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Jan 7, 2009 12:32 PM

Rotten City Pizza in Emeryville?

There's a new sign on the co-op kitchen building on Hollis in Emeryville, but nothing comes up for it when I google it.

Anyone have any info? I'd love to have a good pizza place around here.


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  1. I think they will be opening soon. I saw a posting on Craigslist that they are looking to hire staff. So the place should be up and running soon.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Yup - looks like it is open now. Some co-workers went at lunch and said it was packed. And delicious.

        I'll probably wait a few days.

        1. I'll also confirm it was open and delicious. It was crowded, but more because of the inept service than the large crowd. The main guy better whip his help into shape quick, cuz the crowds will be there soon.

          My friend got a plain slice ($3), I got a mushroom slice ($3.5). Fancy names on the menu (neapolatain, funghi) to match the prices, and one slice is not enough for a lunch if you're hungry. We both agreed that the proportions and ingredients were very good. My friend thought the crust wasn't flavorful enough, but I disagree. I thought it was a very well made pie. Nice and thin, but cooked firm enough to hold up the slice. The crust was substantial and cooked to a nice light, crunchy perfection. My mushrooms were flavorful and aromatic, a lot better than the bland criminis one usually gets. I gotta try the anchovy and bianca slices next time. They looked excellent.

          First impression: high end delivery and execution of classic pizza. Delicious. Will definitely repeat. Again and again.

          1. re: BernalKC

            Can you provide a little more explanation of the place in regards to menu and seating? Is the place more like Arinell's, Gioia, Lanesplitter?

            What are their hours?

              1. re: Scott M

                Counter service. No seating. Some limited counters to stand by, which helped jam up the service. Best to order by phone and take the pie out, IMO.

                6613 Hollis St., Emeryville, 510.655.CITY
                11-8 mon-thurs
                11-10 fri, sat
                closed on sunday

                1. re: BernalKC

                  Do you (or anyone else) happen to know if they're going to deliver?

                  1. re: mitzimarmle

                    Their take out menu says yes, but I would call to see if that is up and running yet. The same menu also shows a URL that currently appears to be parked: -- clearly they need time to work things out.

                    1. re: mitzimarmle

                      I Yahoo searched the name and a CraigsList ad came up looking for workers (including delivery ppl).

              1. re: sydthekyd

                Long-time reputation as a hotbed of corruption and iniquity. The back of their take-out menu explains, and there is a quote from Earl Warren that is the direct reference. Another Emeryville restaurant, The Townhouse, was apparently once the hangout of the corrupt mayor (I assume before the current incarnation of the restaurant).

                I pretty much agree with BernalKC's review above. I thought the crust was flavorful, enough salt, and baked just short of scorched (hints of black at the bottom, but no actual char). I liked the sauce, which was not too wet, preventing the slices from getting soggy though I would have liked a little more, and the ingredients were good quality and flavorful. Large, thin crust pies, not NY style in that there is much less cheese and better ingredients; not Pizzaiolo in that they are larger and less fancy. Still more like those two thank a typical California utility pizza.

              2. Their website is working now.

                I had a slice of the funghi for lunch yesterday. As BernalKC said, it's intensely mushroomy, the most mushroomy pizza I've ever had. Friend had a slice of the salumi of the day. It looked like prosciutto but it was something else -- beginning with a c. I can't remember. He liked it, anyhow. We both really liked the slightly charred crust, too.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Glencora

                  I just ordered a funghi pie delivered to my house. It was quite good, but not in the same league as Gioia. There's something about the Gioia pie that just fills your mouth with flavor... and the Gioia funghi experience is much more mushroom-y.
                  BUT, Gioia doesn't deliver. And this is definitely the best delivered pie I've had in the East Bay.

                  1. re: peterme

                    Funny, I don't like Gioia very much. I think Rotten City is better, especially the crust. But pizza is certainly subjective.

                    1. re: peterme

                      Comparing a slice from a home delivered Rotten City pie to a walk-up slice at Goia is problematic, no? It does suggest a fun lunch crawl / experiment: Go to Rotten City and get 2 slices of funghi. Eat one, hold onto the other. Head next to Goia and repeat procedure. Take remaining slices home and cool to room temperature. Reheat both at best you can. Compare and contrast.

                      1. re: BernalKC

                        Ordered a funghi pie today. Found out, unfortunately, that they don't deliver as far as Lake Merritt, so we had to go pick it up. By the time we got through rush hour traffic both ways, the pizza definitely wasn't close to hot anymore. BUT, after eating a couple of lukewarm slices, we heated the rest up in the oven, and it reheated beautifully. Just five minutes in the oven, and the crust crisped right back up.

                        I liked the texture and how the pizza isn't too heavy with the toppings--might slightly prefer this to Lanesplitter in that respect, though $23 a pie definitely isn't a bargain. Still, I think we'd be ordering from here regularly if it were more close by.

                        1. re: BernalKC

                          I guess I kind of tried this experiment last week...I tried slices of each place's Calabrian sausage pie, reheated at home, on consecutive days.

                          Based on this, I'd have to say Rotten City is the clear winner. It was more flavorful than the Gioia pie, which was more "greasy" than "flavorful" (and had more of the slice taken up by the crust at the edge).

                          Not sure if it's safe to say Gioia has slipped based on that, but based on 3 other slices I've had from there, Rotten City is the real thing.

                          1. re: Agent 510

                            You did the experiment? What a riot. I was just ad libbing, cojuring up a lunch adventure for myself...

                            ..but how cool. I think the reheating experience would totally depend on the toppings. I think I've pretty much had all their pies now, and I would feel bad about having to reheat the margherita. It just would not be as good.

                            As for Lanesplitter, their pies could do with a little drying out. A Lanesplitter Heartstooper 'refrito' style could work...

                            1. re: BernalKC

                              Well, it was more like "I just want to try both places" rather than "I MUST do the experiment and prove conclusively which is best!" But, yeah.

                              Neither place has tables or a place to eat, so unless you like eating on the sidewalk or in your car (or live close by), reheating may be necessary.

                    2. link

                      Rotten City Pizza
                      6613 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608