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New pizza place in Glen Park

  • j
  • jane Jan 24, 2007 04:18 PM

I just heard there's a new pizza place in Glen Park. Don't know the name, don't know the address, just heard it was worth checking out. Any reports?

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  1. Gialina, diamond at Kern

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

    1. It's called Gialina. I'm excited to try it. Here's their site:
      http://www.gialina.com/

      Do yourself a favor and subscribe to Tablehopper (extremely well written and very interesting email newsletter about SF openings and closings). That's where I learned of Gialina.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Atomica

        Did they name a pizza after you? Did you look at the menu? Of course, you have to try the Atomica pizza now. If I can get over there I want to try the pizza with dandelion greens, sweet Italian sausage, Fontina

        Looks like a good menu. They are serving Bi-rite ice cream in addtion to the house-made lemon ice.

        That apetizer list looks kind of excellent too ...
        Prosciutto di Parma, persimmons, dates, pistachio

        Antipasti- Framani salumi, wild mushrooms, white beans, shaved fennel, olives, herbed ricotta, peppers

        1. re: rworange

          Funny, I didn't notice that pizza until last night, about the 3rd time I had looked at the menu. They certainly didn't name it after me!

          Any place that will put an egg on a pizza has my admiration. I'm interested in the one you mention with dandelion greens, and also the Zucca (winter squash, fresh ricotta, ricotta salata).

        2. re: Atomica

          Ugh! Another posh one! I was really hoping for a good thin-crust-pizza-by-the-slice to replace the awful pizza Sunset used to make there. With the looks of their menu and reviews posted below, I won't bother until I hear something really good about them.

        3. I'm skeptical about those photos, but if you say so. :)

          I wonder what their hours are and if they do lunch. Can't find hours on the website. Restaurants often overlook this info, but I'll give them a pass since they're new. Thanks for the review.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Atomica

            I am pretty sure they open at 5:30; not sure on closing but not too early. No lunch YET. 7 day/wk.

            1. re: Atomica

              You can see their hours here (someone should redesign this site -- hours ;should be on the home page or the "about us" page, don't you think):

              http://www.gialina.com/index.php?id=10

              Scroll to the bottom of the page.

            2. If only they served burrata, I would be there tonight!

              1. What kind of oven?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Regular deck ovens. I went last night too. I live in the hood now and was so hopeful to have a good pizza place nearby. What I found was typical undercooked california pizza dough that tasted odly sweet. Toppings were average in that I think they are using average restaurant quality ingredients rather than top flight farm sourced ingredients such as Pizzaiolo or A16. If they are using top flight ingredients, they are being handled without much care. The margherita sauce was overly sweet and the cheese rubbery. The dandelion greens on the other pizza lacked any depth. The salad was somewhat wilted and totally overdressed. This is NOT Neapolitan style pizza. I am so disappointed. I will either BART to Pizzaiolo or drive to A16 to get my pizza fix. Also worth noting that their prices are exactly the same as A16's or Pizzaiolo. It is a rip-off taking advantage of a captive neighborhood audience.

                2. Tried it last night. Had a margherita and the 3 cheese (ricotta, provolone, Parmigiano Reggiano).

                  Much as I hesitate to say, the pizzas were not that good. The crusts were a bit undercooked. The dough did not have enough salt in it either. On the 3 cheese pizza, the ricotta tasted like canned ricotta.

                  However, they have been only open 3 days, so I am willing to give them benefit of doubt. I plan to return in about a few weeks. I really want them to succeed as its close by to were I live.

                  Service was a bit chaotic, but thats understandable. The restaurant was full when we ate there.

                  Online Menu: http://www.gialina.com/index.php?id=6

                  To answer Robert's question -- I dont think they have a wood burning oven.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bong

                    Damn. Undercooked crust is a pizza lover's nightmare! I'm going tonight with friends and hopefully we'll have a better experience. I'll report back.

                    1. re: fine wino

                      If it's undercooked, send it back. They should be eager for that kind of feedback.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        You bet I will! :-)

                  2. We walked by last night at 9:30pm and it was PACKED.
                    By comparison, Chenery Park was practically empty at that hour.
                    I'd give it some time to get its bearings - especially with those crowds.

                    1. we tried it for take out tonight about 6:15pm... the place was packed and we got three pizzas to go... the three cheese, atomica, dandelion & fontina & sausage. The host was super friendly and accomodating with our take out order. We got the pizzas fresh out of the oven and, given we only live a 2 minute drive away, got to taste them fairly fresh and hot. I was really impressed, particularly relative to the previous pizza place ( i know, not saying much, but still the decor and the buzz was nice for GP.) The 3 cheese was great, with thin crust and chewy ends. It was very garlicky. Not my favorite, only because I like my "traditional" red sauced type pizzas, but it was a very tasty pizza. The atomica was more traditional, and the chiles were outstanding. However, parts of the pizza were extremely salty, and I didn't like that too much. The dandelion was my favorite. I will agree, that they didn't have the same "efffect" that dandelions often have in other dishes. I expected them more bitter and sparse as they often are elsewhere. They far more encompassed the pizza and were thickly layered, but if I thought of them as another green, such as spinach or collards, they were delish. The fontina and the sausage were FANTASTIC. It is exactly the type of sausage I personally enjoy in pizza. Nice chunkns of good fatty pork. Well seasoned, but not too fennel-y or otherwise overposering. in fact, that was my favorite pie of all. To be honest, this is a already a gem in the neighborhood and is reasonably priced and much better than any pizza place within a mile radious of our hood, so I will be back often. Not to mention that the cooking time was as prescribed (20 mins) and the host was so kind and responsive. I'll definitely be back. My crust was definitely not undercooked. It was perfect. :)

                      1. We had a great experience here - the zucca (butternut squash, ricotta, sage) and dandeliongreens/sausage/fontina pizzas. I don't profess to have a handle on exactly what kind of crust is from which precise 4-block radius in Italy or whatever, but I thought both of them were absolutely delicious. The crust was blistered and had a great chewy texture. The zucca, which weighed less, kept its shape (ie the individual pieces didn't flop down when you pick them up) but that did happen with the sausage one. I was very happy with the place.

                        We had great service and good wines by the glass, too.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Maya

                          RE: the "flopping", did you fold the piece in half as you ate it? Was the sausge slice foldable, or did it seem like it would break? I ask, because DH's NY test for good crust and a well-constructed pie is that it has a foldable crust.

                        2. Went last night around 7:30 and thought it was pretty good, though we too were served pies that should have stayed in the oven another 5 min. Yes, it was packed and our server was a bit harried but friendly and not too busy to offer suggestions, which was nice because I took her advice and got the Atomica. But before we got to the pie we had a perfectly dressed Mixed Chicories with grated egg and a little parmesan. The salad for two was enough for four when we ordered that plus a nice little Antipasto, which was mostly veg with some Framani salumi and a burratta or fresh mozzarella "spread" that had some herbs mixed in. It also had some white bean salad, olives and roasted, marinated mushrooms.

                          Unfortunately, all our pies came with very "blonde" crust. When we were waiting for our salads, I started noticing pizzas coming out and they all looked very light in color. Of the four pies we got, all four had absoltely no color on the top or bottom of the crust. The edges had a crackle to them and were nice and chewy but these pies were not crisp at all and one was plain soggy.

                          I think the Atomica is described above so I won't go into toppings but I did really enjoy the flavor of this pie and it's nice kick of heat. My peeps got the Three Cheese, which was nicely balanced and not a gooey cheese pile that can often become of this type of pie, and the Dandelion/Sausage, which I thought had too much greenery as well. The greens pretty much took over the pie and it was also very soggy in the center due to the added moisture of the dandies. The fontina on that pie is real Italian fontina and the sausage was good quality as well. Again, I liked the flavor of this one, but it needed more oven time and less toppings to make it work.

                          We waited a good half hour between salad and pizza time but it wasn't really a problem for us since we were with friends we hadn't seen in a while. But we were starving once the pies came and there was no way any of us were going to send back anything for more oven time. All in all, it was pretty good and I'd probably give it another chance sooner then later if I lived near by. For now, I'll wait 'til I hear better things about that crust.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: fine wino

                            So, it seems the thing to do is ask for it well baked/well done...charred crust or something similar....has anyone done this yet??
                            What was the result if so...
                            Are they open for lunch???

                            1. re: ChowFun_derek

                              Not yet. I am expecting you to order the lemon ice if you go and report back.

                              1. re: rworange

                                i went again on thurs and agree with the underdone pizza comments. i spoke w/the owner and she said she was having trouble keeping up w/demand and our pizza (it was on the later side) had been made w/crust made that day vs. allowed to rise a day. that's obviously a problem (along w/not cooking it long enough) of which she is well aware and she is taking action to fix it; she said she was going to stop take out while they got their arms around demand/capacity. they also ordered another pizza shelf right before opening that is not yet in; that will help flow through.

                                with respect to the heat of the atomica pizza (which i HAD to have again), abel, the very fun and capable host/manager, said this is something they are still working on getting just right each time; such is the workings of day 4! you may want to request "spicy" or "less spicy"?

                                with respect to quality of ingredients, i think this is feedback the owner (sharon) would really want. as you can see by looking at the back of the menu, she is dedicated to simple, authentic and GOOD inputs. not fancy, just good.

                                do tell her. she is really great, very approachable and this is her dream!

                                ps-the cheese on the antipasti plate is whipped ricotta

                                1. re: rworange

                                  ...or TORTONI!

                            2. DH and went this past Friday, early evening. First impression: the host/seating situation was really confusing. With all floor staff members congregating at the back counter, there was nobody there to greet us or even catch our eye when we arrived. Ourselves and 2 other parties stood there, just inside the doorway, looking like idiots for a good five minutes before the a-hole behind us just decided to push through and seat himself. That was extremely uncomfortable.

                              With that, a waiter finally came up the front to point out which tables we could sit at. Seriously, a simple sign at the door that said: "please wait to be seated" OR "please seat yourself" would have made it much more pleasant. Once seated, we were ignored by the servers for a few more minutes while people who were seated after us got menus & drinks. Someone finally caught on and brought menus and a profuse apology about 10 minutes later. Not a good start.
                              HOWEVER, once we got our dedicated server, things went swimmingly. Service was friendly and very efficient. First course, we got the large salad of three lettuces ($12). The greens looked exactly like a supermarket bag of spring mix, but all were fresh and tasty. The cheese slivers were terrific, and the dressing was quite tangy (which I love, but others may prefer less acid). It was just the right size for 2 people. We also split the order of the meatballs ($9), which tasted really good. Their texture was a bit firm & dry for my liking, but it may have been because we were served in the first turn. I would imagine the meatballs continued to simmer in the sauce as the night wore on.

                              For wine service, they do nice carafes that are about 500ml each--the perfect amount for us two lightweights. DH ordered a Barbera that was great - surprisingly fruity at first with a rich, clean finish. I also ordered a Limonata just because I could.

                              We split the pizza marinara, because DH believes it a true test of a restaurant's pizza-making mettle. When it came out, it was disappointingly small - it barely covered the center of the plate. On further inspection, it seemed the size was due to poor handling of the dough. It was kind of square, not round, with uneven crusts. There was plenty of crust & rim around the outside, but it just didn’t get stretched far enough to reach the edges of a normal-sized pizza.
                              The crust itself was well-done, but dry & crispy on the flat part. Not only could you not fold it, it cracked in half if you even thought about folding it. On the thick edges, it was a little more chewy and yeasty with a nice flavor. The marinara sauce was terrific, though. Intense, sweet and garlicky with lots of good tomato flavor. The soggy minced parsley added at the end could have been applied with a lighter hand. Instead of a scattering of green flakes, they were more like blobs of parsley paste.

                              DH and I skipped dessert because we had no room, but the couple next to us had the dessert pizza. As a lover of Nutella myself, I will be coming back, if only for that dish alone.

                              All told, dinner with 2 starters, 1 pizza, 1 Limonata & a carafe of the Barbera ($26) came to $59 before tax.

                              Notes on ambience:
                              Warm red-brown walls and giant reproductions of the family photos you see on the website make for an inviting atmosphere. However, there were at least 5 toddlers seated at 3 separate tables, and the addition of soft surfaces would have helped dampen the noise - especially when one started screaming. I liked the pendant lights over the banquette-side of the restaurant, but the fluorescent bulbs in them did nothing to make the food look very appetizing. I love that they used CF bulbs, but I hope they can find different ones with a warmer, pinker glow.

                              Based on other comments on the board, it sounds like she's trying to get a handle on her dough production flow to keep up with the demand. I think we'll come in for pizza again sometime after she's worked it out & the dust has settled.

                              A nice addition to the neighborhood!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: foodiegrl

                                We went there a week ago and thought it was very tasty. We happened to get there with no wait (around 6:30pm on Sat). The service was friendly and attentive. We tried the antipasti (very good) platter, and 4 pizzas (atomica, sausage and dandelion, zucca and margherita). My favorites were the atomica and the sausage/dandelion ones. We ordered a carafe of the chianti and also got the dessert pizza - SO good!! It came to about $30 per person for 4 of us. We were very excited to have a nice new restaurant in the neighborhood and will definitely be going back!

                                1. re: foodiegrl

                                  FYI on the lighting. The bulbs were stand-ins for the week. They have been replaced with the proper bulbs which were on back order. The new bulbs are still CF (compact fluorescent) but are low temperature (K) or warmer colored, dimmable and low wattage/long life span, which is why they are harder to find. In addition these are actually better quality than the incandescent variety.The bulbs you commented on were unpleasant (cold - make food look bad) and "hurt" to install, but they are gone. If you go back, check out the newer ones, they help alot. FYI, good eye for noticing that detail. FYI, the images are photos of tree leaves from the local area of Glen Park.

                                2. Went last night - it was busy but there were empty tables when we arrived. We were greeted immediately, very friendly and professional staff. The green salad was really beautiful, very fresh butternut lettuce with a creamy (buttermilk? I meant to ask but forgot) dressing I could become addicted to. We had two pizzas - clam and broccoli rabe w/sausage - both were excellent. The crust was perfect, the pizzas were beautifully spiced and not too salty. We had a great bottle of chianti very reasonably priced and the dessert pizza is worth every calorie. I can't wait to go back. A great, welcome addition to sleepy Glen Park.

                                  1. we loved the place - great thin crust pizza's, fun service. A bit of a draft from the front door, though.

                                    1. So we went again yesterday, hoping that they have now settled down.

                                      We (2.5 of us) tried a margherita pizza, as well as a pizza with Fontina, potato slices, bacon and rosemary.

                                      The pizzas, when they came out, were a real odd shape, looking like the map of some central asian countries. But as long as the pizzas tasted good, who cares about their shape, right?

                                      Unfortunately, the pizzas were not that good either. The crust was again undersalted (not as undersalted as on our first visit, but still undersalted). The crust was also a tad undercooked.

                                      The crust was quite "flat" as well -- there was no yeasty goodness in the crust. (it had no "bubbles").

                                      Whoever is doing the pizza cooking needs to go through some serious pizza training.

                                      We are going to stick to Pizzeta 211 ( http://www.yelp.com/biz/QOpqNPKpClL48... ) even though its a bit of a trek across town for us...

                                      1. >But as long as the pizzas tasted good, who cares about their shape, right?
                                        >
                                        i used to care about the shape of food ... then they proved the Poincare Conjecture!

                                        i wanted to like P211, but it didnt really pay off in my mind ... i'd probably go back
                                        but between the trip out to the sticks, the indifferent service, the wait, the freezing
                                        cold, it's been mentally registered as "so-so". my friend conjectured their oven wasnt
                                        hot enough, but i have no opinion on that.

                                        1. The secret to getting a good pizza (and better service) at Pizzetta 211 is to go there at lunchtime.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: bong

                                            And even then, at the end of lunch on a weekday, when the place is almost empty, you wait an eternity for your food. I have made wood-fire pizzas myself, and have also watched a friend many times as she made wood-fire pizzas at her restaurant, and those pizzas barely take any time to construct and cook. A handful of minutes. So why do I wait for over 45 minutes at Pizzetta 211 when they are making food only for me? Ridiculous. There's no reason for it.

                                            1. re: Atomica

                                              Interesting.
                                              I have heard other folks on CH complain about their service, but for me, I have never ever had a case of bad service, or even long waits.
                                              I must have eaten at Pizzetta 211 well over 30 times ( a vast majority of them for weekend lunches ) in the last 4-5 years, and never once have we encountered bad service or long waits...

                                              Perhaps I am just getting lucky?

                                              Anyhow, this probably deserves a topic of its own...

                                              Getting back to Gialina, am I the only one here who's underwhelmed and disappointed by their pizzas?

                                          2. I liked Gialina quite a bit. We had the meatball, mushroom, and margherita pizzas, and I liked them in that order. The pizzas were oddly shaped in an appealing way, and they were not undercooked. The dough had a nice hint of olive oil, and the edges were nicely chewy. We didn't find it to be over- or undersalted. The garden lettuce salad was fresh and nicely dressed (balsamic?), but for $7 I'd like to have something other than greens and cheese in my salad.

                                            One glitch: our friend's mushroom pizza exploded in the oven, so they made him a new one, which took a little while. Still, this is a great addition to the neighborhood, and I'm sure we'll be back.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: stonefruit

                                              We walked in at 6:30 pm last Sunday and got the last table - I loved the neighborhood feel. I thought the pizza was excellent - we ordered the Margherita (good flavor), Atomica (too spicy for me but Hubby liked it), the dandelion green/sausage (I've discovered I don't care for dandelion greens - way too strong-tasting on the pizza) and the best one - heirloom tomatoes, speck, arugula & pecorino. This last one was phenomenal. I also liked their crust and happily munched away at my kids' leftover ends.

                                              While I thought the pizzas were good, the salads were outstanding. We had a nice leaf lettuce salad w/figs and goat cheese, but the standout was a heirloom tomato salad with corn and a few other ingredients that I forget.

                                              The dessert pizza was great, especially if you like Nutella - but as mentioned before, it's very big. And rich, so order it with a large party. Or plan to take it home (they assured us that it reheated quite well).

                                              Really liked the place overall - the service was friendly and although not super-efficient, it made up for that in charm. We'll be back.

                                            2. Location:

                                              -----
                                              Gialina
                                              2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131