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Oct 30, 2001 04:56 AM

Mourning "Little Italy"

  • d

Well...I expected better, more courteous responses, if you had really read my original post, I mentioned only those areas where I felt the Bay Area lacked the quality it likes to think it posesses. There is ALWAYS room for improvement, and in these areas... in my opinion, and with my experience, it certainly does. I am quite aware of the Bay Areas' culinary delights, I have lived here for 31 years, and really do not need to be lectured to. Please, if you can't answer a straight forward query about a specific restaurant, or a specific type of restaurant ..in this case a Southern Italian restaurant in a Northern Italian town (S.F.)..then kindly don't post. The problems with deli, fried clams, Greek food etc.etc have been spoken of often here. I will not comment on your problems in the culinary realm except to respectfully agree, or disagree...and I expect the same civil discourse. So, may I pose my question again?...If any of you know, or in this case knew "Little Italy" on 24th in Noe Valley and are aware of another "Southern Italian-American" restaurant of similar ilk, I would appreciate hearing about it.Thank you.Derek Durst

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  1. I wish I could be of some help to you regarding recommendations of Southern Italian cooking, but I can't. I do want to tell you that I'm completely in agreement with you regarding the tone of the responses you received from your initial post. When I read those replies I thought they were pretty heavy handed and didn't at all address your question. People need to be more respectful of others on this board and stick to the topic at hand. I hope someone can give you the information that you're looking for.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jim Cardosa

      Ah, c'mon. What's wrong with a little spice? The whole point of this board is food, not gentility. Some people express themselves with cream sauce, others with vindaloo. A great thing about NYC is that people can yell at each other and then have a beer. And the point stands. Remember what the intense yearning for Seattleesque coffee wrought upon the world: Starbucks.

      1. re: jeannie

        I agree with the first two posters. You were out of line. If you want to belittle someone, there are other forums for that.

        The intent of this board (my interpretation, obviously) is to be a source of information on new, maybe even occasionally bordering on the intrepid, culinary experiences -- whether they be one star or five, traditional or offbeat. I appreciate a group of people who are willing to venture out and try something new, not limiting themselves to what's in Zagat's or the latest issue of Bon Appetit, and then sharing their discoveries with the rest of us.

        That being said, I don't know of any Southern Italian places in the mold of Little Italy, but speak up anyone who does.

        1. re: jeannie

          Having berated someone for lamenting the absence of an East Coast style in the Bay Area, it hardly helps to cite New York custom in your defense. ;-)

          Seriously, though, there was a lengthy discussion of the issue of civility on these boards (mostly on the About This Site board, but it spilled over to others) a year or so ago. You might profit from reading it, if you haven't already. Your post was not in the same league the posts that prompted that discussion, but it was rude.

      2. It was amusing to the read the reply's (rants) to your question as similar things happen on the New York board. You should see what mentioning California Style burrito's does.

        I'm gonna offer up a Southern Italian place , Sicilian actually. Its not Spaghetti and Meatballs though, but Seafood. Its Caffe Sport on Green and Columbus. and it aint cheap. but its great.
        You may want to give Sodini's up the block a shot for a reasonable Spag and meatballs meal.

        I've lived on both Coasts and now that I'm in NY, I defend California and when in Cali, defend NY. I defy anybody in SF to find a good Baked Ziti. : )

        Good Luck in your search

        3 Replies
        1. re: SLAP

          As far as I know, baked ziti doesn't even exist in the Bay Area. The only times I've ever heard about it is from Easterners.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            It's easy enought to make yourself. Buy some ziti pasta (usually called "penne" in California). Cook it off. Drain and rinse. Dump in a caserole dish with sauce, mozzerella, parmesan and ricotta (often mixed with egg). Add whatever spices, flavor, extravagant touches like spinach, capers, etc.

            Cover and cook until hot and bubbly at around 350 (about an hour+). Keep moist by adding sauce as needed. A nice touch is to take off cover last 20-30 minutes of cooking so top gets brown & crispy.

            I used to make tons of baked ziti when working at an Italian Deli in Connecticut. Easy to make and delicious.

            1. re: RedRob

              Penne != (does not equal) ziti, though it's the closest you're going to find in California. Ziti are smooth-edged, penne are ridged. Not that this stops me - ridges trap sauce better anyway - but they're not the same pasta.

              I agree with the recipe though. I make it here because you just can NOT get it here.

        2. Since you got essentially no responses about ``replacements'' for Little Italy, except for Cafe Sport, which I enthusiastically endorse, I should also mention Jackson-Fillmore in Pacific Heights. It is especially relevant because the guy who ran Little Italy runs this place. I never ate in L.I., so I can't tell you how well the food matches up, but an old high school buddy of mine waited tables at Little Italy for many years then shifted over to wait tables at Jackson-Fillmore. He turned me on to many good things on the menu there.