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Jul 10, 2009 08:24 AM

Been to Tommaso's lately?

The hubby and I realized it's been at least 3 years since we've been to our old favorite spot, focusing instead on Delfina's and Gialina's when in the mood for Italian style pizza. Thinking of heading down to North Beach tonight. Anyone been to Tommaso's lately? Same old warm, yummy experience?

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    1. re: Shane Greenwood

      I hope you meant "as good as it ever was"!

      I won't even cop to how long we've been going there but were so traumatized about a year ago, haven't been back.

      Would love to hear some encouraging words!

      1. re: Fine

        I went last year with some out-of-town visitors and we enjoyed the pizzas and the wine. How many other pizza places have Grace Family Cabernet on their wine list?

          1. re: sydthekyd

            Here's what I found looking back through my old posts:

            "I have always preferred certain other menu items to the pizza (though we always have one): spaghetti with calamare or with broccoli and, ALWAYS, the broccoli choice among the not-appreciated-enough vegetable side dishes that have been a feature here as long as I can remember.

            "That said, the most recent visit, after Agostino sold it (to his staff, if I remember right), was so disappointing I could hardly believe it. The squid bordered on inedible. The pizza was not up to par. Can't remember if I posted at the time." This was a year or so ago.

            I had raved so many times about the textures in the calamare and pasta dish matching each other so exactly and how I had a terrible time choosing between the pasta and squid and the pasta and broccoli, how great I always found the fresh broc side dish, I was devastated at the precipitous drop in quality the last time we went..
            I did not grow up eating pizza and, aside from appetizer ones, still don't eat it out often at all. I do make it--whole grain and with non-traditional toppings--at home, though not often enough to satisfy my BH.
            Tommaso's pizza is fine. I think one of my problems with restaurant pizza is also why so many folks dislike anchovies: fresh from the can or jar (I'm speaking of filets here), they're mild and delicious; left sitting around in the reefer once open they get strong and nasty and that's what most restaurants anchovies do. Still, for us, pizza in an Italian restaurant means anchovies, even at that risk. At T's
            I always order the vegetarian with anchovies (which we jokingly call a vegetable in our mostly vegetarian household).
            As for long lines, we eat late so rarely have that problem anywhere.

            1. re: Fine

              All the pasta and seafood I've had there has been overcooked. The broccoli's great.

              I believe you're mistaken about the Crottis selling it. The liquor license is still in their names:


              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I'm on my way out of town so don't have time to hunt up when and where I read they'd sold to the staff, but I'd guess it was between 1 and 2 years ago.

                Perhaps the writer was mistaken; perhaps the deal didn't work out. Either way, it's good news!

                I always found the textures of the broc and the squid in the two pasta dishes featuring them were remarkably like the pasta itself, which never failed and always delighted me. The last time we were there, as I've said, the squid was inedible ... a first.

                1. re: Fine

                  The Cantolupos opened Lupo's in in1935. In 1971 they sold it to Tommy Chin, who'd been worknig there since 1936, and he renamed it Tommaso's. He sold it to to the Crottis in 1973. The only change I know of since then is that they improved the wine list.

      2. If you want pizza, then it's still worth the trip. But no other dish on their menu is anything more than adequate. Service is usually quite efficient and amiable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Absonot

          Any recommendations on when/what day to go? It seems to have made it into too many guide books, and the last few times I've tried to go, I've been thwarted by 45+ minute waits.

          1. re: peterme

            The waits have been like that as long as I can remember, and I've been going there for over 40 years. Early in the week, and early in the evening is best, as at most places.

        2. We did go Friday night, and won't wait another 3 years to go back. It was as good as ever. Very good food and friendly efficient service from all the familiar faces.

          About when to go, early is key. This has always been the case. Got there at 6 and had a 20 minute wait for a table for 4. It was clearly over an hour wait by the time we left at 7:30.

          Tommaso's pizza is still my favorite of all the Italian style options around. And I would say the other dishes we had are (still) better than adequate. Baked Fresh Coo-Coo Clams dish remains bread-dunking heaven. Makes a great starter along with the chilled string beans in olive oil/lemon. We enjoyed the pizza, and the in-laws had perfectly al dente spaghetti in marinara and a very tasty baked eggplant parm dish.

          We were in the mood for beer, but the wine list is much better than average...small, but a great range of options. Has anyone tried the family label wines - VinNostro Cellars?

          Depending on your vino choice, Tommaso's remains an excellent value.

          3 Replies
          1. re: lovebitessf

            Thanks for the update. Glad to hear it didn't disappoint you. Do you have a favorite pizza?

            Tommaso Ristorante Italiano
            1042 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94133

            1. re: rworange

              My favorite pizza by far is the meatball pie. We usually split the pizza and the garbanzo bean appetizer and leave quite happy.

          2. Wondering if anyone has tried The Vin Club opened by a member of the family? I'd be interested in hearing if this might be a way to get around the lines at Tommaso's to have a pizza from the same oven.

            The Vin Club
            515 Broadway St, San Francisco, CA