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Pizza suggestions Inner Sunset and beyond

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Mil Mascaras Jun 17, 2004 01:11 PM

I am organizing a casual group dinner in the Sunset with some old college friends; I am thinking of pizza, but I wanted to get some suggestions first from you guys. I may consider another area too, but I really want to stay in the Inner Sunset. My options are Milano, Cybelle's front room, and the controversial Villa Romana.

Milano: I saw someone eating one of their pizzas on the street one day and it looked and smelled good, but I would still like some more feedback.
Villa Romana: I hear this place is old and overrated, and overpriced.

Cybelle's: Is this chain any good? I've heard
Mixed things about it.

Gracias ...Mil

Image: http://www.savethegalaxy.com/milclear...

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  1. w
    wedgeheadjunkie RE: Mil Mascaras Jun 17, 2004 01:54 PM

    Hey, nice picture of Aaron Rodriguez (aka "Man of a Thousand Masks"). Is he still associated with either Santo or the Blue Demon?

    Milano's is OK, if you happen to like thick crust, but the toppings have a way of sliding off the slices when held at any angle, and their crust is kind of doughy. Not always the freshest tasting pizza.

    Cybelle's Front Room is very similar to Milano's in terms of toppings and crust, and is alot noisier, in my opinion. It is great for large groups, but the pizza is quite average, IMHO.

    Villa Romano is smaller, has better lighting, somewhat more intimate, but still good for large groups. Pizza is about the best of the three you mentioned.

    If you insist on this area, how about Pasquale's on Irving near 8th? They are great for large groups and their pizza is better (I think) than any you mentioned. At least the toppings are fresh, not too heavy on the tomato sauce and the dough is thick, yet thin enough to have some crunch underneath instead of a soggy mess. Their sausage, olive, and bell peppers has yet to disappoint.

    If you're willing to go outside the Inner Sunset, say to the Richmond District, there's Gaspare's which is great for large groups, and has fantastic thin-crust NY style pizza.

    Also for thin-crust, there's Amici's over on Union St. and their new-ish location on King St. near SBC Park. Try the garlic, sun-dried tomato and clam.

    The best place for thin-crust NY Style pizza, of course, is Pizzetta 211 -- but this place is definitely NOT suitable for a group your size due to very limited seating. File away for a future personal visit or with a smaller group of 4 people or less.

    Gaspare's
    5546 Geary Blvd (between 19-20th Avenues)
    SF (415) 387-5025

    Pizzetta 211
    211 23rd Avenue (near California St.)
    (415) 379-9880

    8 Replies
    1. re: wedgeheadjunkie
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      abby RE: wedgeheadjunkie Jun 17, 2004 02:56 PM

      if you are considering inner richmond vs. sunset, how about giorgios on clement, around 2nd?

      1. re: wedgeheadjunkie
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        tedm RE: wedgeheadjunkie Jun 17, 2004 05:47 PM

        I second Pasquale's.

        Had Cybelle's front room (on 9th) the other night and it was nasty. I had to pull thick globs of cheese off the top before eating.

        1. re: tedm
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          deelish RE: tedm Jun 18, 2004 01:33 AM

          third Pasquales, and the owners are nice and accomodating

        2. re: wedgeheadjunkie
          k
          katya RE: wedgeheadjunkie Jun 17, 2004 08:13 PM

          I haven't tried the places in the Sunset that you name, but I have been to the Amici's on Union St. (driving there all the way from my home in Rockridge) because it's so good. Their margherita pizza rocks. And it's a fairly large restaurant and can hold your group.

          I thought Gaspare's was overly oily when I was there, but the place was charming and seemed to have potential.

          1. re: katya
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            Poot RE: katya Jun 18, 2004 12:34 PM

            Never say anything bad about Gaspare's. It's where pizza was born, groomed and perfected. It's where grape clusters festoon the rafters. In fact, it's the only place in the world that makes and sells pizza.

            1. re: katya
              r
              Robert Lauriston RE: katya Jun 18, 2004 08:41 PM

              You drove past Tommaso's to go to Amici's!?!?!?

              For future reference, there's a branch in Dublin, and another in SF by the ballpark.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                k
                katya RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 23, 2004 07:13 PM

                I went to Tommaso's a few months ago and (gasp) thought it was just OK. I could see it had potential (crust was perfect) though and plan to go again and order differently.

            2. re: wedgeheadjunkie
              k
              kresge86 RE: wedgeheadjunkie Jan 20, 2008 08:36 PM

              I completely agree with the Gaspare's recommendation. Arizmendi has good pizza, but it doesn't sound like it fits the bill for Mil Mascara's stated purpose. If you leave the westside altogether, there are many, many more options, but I confess there are times when only Gaspare's Bruce's Special pizza will do. A little oily and heavy on the garlic, but terrifically yummy.

            3. l
              leroy RE: Mil Mascaras Jun 17, 2004 05:58 PM

              I had dinner at Pizzeta the other night after the review in the Chron,it was terrible and the service was down right rude.

              3 Replies
              1. re: leroy
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                nja RE: leroy Jun 17, 2004 07:19 PM

                Pizzette 211, I assume? I've had nothing but positive experiences there. Though that was before the Chron article.

                However, it is a miniscule restaurant. I would hesitate to go there with a group larger than 4.

                1. re: leroy
                  k
                  kresge86 RE: leroy Jan 20, 2008 08:38 PM

                  I found the pizza to be underwhelming and way overpriced. I won't be back, and I'm within walking distance of Pizzetta 211.

                  1. re: kresge86
                    wolfe RE: kresge86 Jan 20, 2008 08:50 PM

                    Leroy and Mil Mascaras posted in June of 2004. Perhaps you could start a new topic such as current pizza choices in the Sunset.

                2. a
                  a geek RE: Mil Mascaras Jun 18, 2004 01:18 PM

                  I actually like Villa Romana's plain cheese pizzas; I'm not a toppings guy, so I can't speak to those, but the sauce is generally OK (by SF standards) and the cheese is pretty good. Also, they usually have a nice char on the crust.

                  I haven't tried Cybelle's, but I didn't like Milano or Pasquale's- both remind me of Domino's.

                  The other one I'd mention since others are piling on the Richond is Giorgios on Clement near 4th or so. Decent.

                  And as a caveat, these are all graded relative to other San Francisco pizza places, not NY. All pizza out here is pretty lackluster.

                  1. a
                    AppleSister RE: Mil Mascaras Jun 18, 2004 01:35 PM

                    If you're willing to eat a little early, and take your dinner to an apartment, the best Inner Sunset pizza is Arizmendi's. Not NY pizza, but so good that after trying it, I felt badly about having roundly condemned SF pizza.

                    You could also buy a half-baked one to put in your oven later.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: AppleSister
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                      wedgeheadjunkie RE: AppleSister Jun 18, 2004 01:54 PM

                      Thanks for the suggestion! Have yet to try this place, but their gourmet pizza-making schedule sounds interesting. Will give it a try soon.

                      Link: http://www.arizmendibakery.org/pizza_...

                      1. re: wedgeheadjunkie
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                        jen maiser RE: wedgeheadjunkie Jun 18, 2004 03:09 PM

                        I usually tend to ask for the pizza without oil topping, as their tendency is to put quite a bit of olive oil on the top of the pizza. The end result is a bit too oily for me. Just an FYI if you are sensitive to that.

                        1. re: jen maiser
                          m
                          Mil Mascaras RE: jen maiser Jun 18, 2004 03:55 PM

                          I know Arzemendi makes the best pastries around; so I would assume their pizza would be good.

                          1. re: Mil Mascaras
                            m
                            Melanie Wong RE: Mil Mascaras Jun 18, 2004 06:12 PM

                            To my taste, the Sunset location's pizza is not as good as the original Cheeseboard's or the Oakland Arizmendi. Heavier, thicker and wetter the two times I've tried it. Haven't been to Emeryville.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong
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                              AppleSister RE: Melanie Wong Jun 18, 2004 07:08 PM

                              I felt the same way the first time I tried it, around 2 years ago, but had it again about a month ago, on a mushroom day, and it had an awesome cornmeal crusty texture.
                              I do feel like Arizmendi's goods can vary. Their provolone-olive bread, for example, seems to be much chewier and moister in a small roll, rather than a large loaf. But their corn-cherry scones are consistently wonderful, though I might be biased b/c I like anything made out of corn :)

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                m
                                Michael Alderete RE: Melanie Wong Jun 18, 2004 11:42 PM

                                Yeah, I agree, Arizmendi can be inconsistent. I like other places better.

                                Not quite in the Sunset, but we like Bambino's. They deliver to us (in the Lower Haight), dunno about your area. But it always arrives in good shape, delicious, hot, and fresh. It's the best pizza delivery (and better pizza overall, except Tomaso's) I know of in SF.

                                Link: http://www.bambinosristorante.com/piz...

                      2. lindaness RE: Mil Mascaras Jan 15, 2008 09:26 PM

                        For a general assessment, I'd say:

                        Milano's is my favorite, both in terms of food & dining experience
                        Cybelle's is fair food and dining experience
                        Villa Romana also fair, and expensive

                        1. r
                          rahir RE: Mil Mascaras Jan 16, 2008 10:42 AM

                          I've been to Milano's several times, and I've never had a good experience. The dough is big and chewy, but the cheese, sauce, and veggie just sort of slid around. As others have said, Arizmendi is a great option if you're willing to finish baking it yourself! I had their squash pizza awhile back and it was delicious!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rahir
                            wolfe RE: rahir Jan 16, 2008 11:25 AM

                            .Hey lindaness and rahir their pizza dinner was 3 1/2 years ago. Perhaps there has been a change or a new place since then.

                          2. s
                            sugartoof RE: Mil Mascaras Jan 17, 2008 09:40 AM

                            Inner Sunset used to be a top notch pizza area but I don't think any of these really rise above a Mr. Pizza Man fast food quality now.

                            Milano can be a bit heavy on the artificial cheese, but it's good for cheap beers with pizza. Cybelles used to make such great pizza, that it's hard not to be depressed by what they're serving now. It's sort of the Russian Roullette of pizzas. Of your list, I'd say Villa Romano, just because it is old, no thrills, the pies aren't stellar, but for what they are they can be shockingly good depending on the timing, and what you happen to order. I think inconsistant is the word, but it's still a good old fashioned pizza. When Villa Romano is having a good day, I believe they're the best in the neighborhood for a red sauce pizza.

                            Arizmendi is the best bet if you need take out. It's a sauceless take on pizza, with fresh vegetables, usually heavy on the olive oil, and red onions. Arizemendi also sells focaccio pizza squares if you think someone in your group needs to have sauce.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sugartoof
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                              vinchar RE: sugartoof Jan 17, 2008 01:12 PM

                              Arizmendi's pizza menu changes daily (I think). Sometimes, their pizza of the day has sauce.

                            2. p
                              proletarian RE: Mil Mascaras Jan 20, 2008 07:59 PM

                              If you're willing to try deep dish, Little Star is the best. There's one on Divisadero not too far from Inner Sunset and a new location in the Mission. Cornmeal crust and sauce on top of the cheese. It's really tasty. In my opinion, Little Star is what Zachary's in East Bay aspires to be. The atmosphere is intimate and dark, good for pizza and beer. And give the buffalo wings a try, too.

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