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Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano -- San Diego

notjustastomach Oct 31, 2009 05:06 PM

Has anybody been here yet?

It is in the location of the defunct Cafe One Three, on Park Blvd in Hillcrest. Though I've been aware that a new pizzeria would be opening in this spot, I only noticed today that it is open.

It's gotten some positive reviews on Yelp. But given that it was compared unfavorably with Pizzeria Arrivederci, and I have never been impressed with either of the Arrivederci restaurants, I've just chosen to ignore the Yelp ratings.

Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
4207 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92103

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  1. s
    sdnosh RE: notjustastomach Oct 31, 2009 05:16 PM

    I don't recall seeing Cafe One Three on the list of lost restaurants. I had only been once, but really liked it. It seemed like great neighborhood joint.

    1. m
      MrKrispy RE: notjustastomach Oct 31, 2009 07:19 PM

      Is this the place across from Small Bar/Lei Lounge?

      1. Captain Jack RE: notjustastomach Nov 1, 2009 06:22 AM

        The Napoletano aspect is promising. Do they use a wood-fired oven, and do they make their own pizza dough and sauce?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Captain Jack
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          maxwellg RE: Captain Jack Nov 1, 2009 08:20 AM

          I saw a positive review on yelp comparing it to Luzzo's in New York and tried it out on Friday, it was really really good, the beer selection was not huge but the pizza was incredible and the oven was wood fired and according to the server was handbuilt in Naples.

          1. re: maxwellg
            Captain Jack RE: maxwellg Nov 1, 2009 01:10 PM

            oo, I'll have to give this place a try. I loved Una Pizza Napolitana in Manhattan (now closed). I hope this compares favorably. Cooking Neopolitan pizza in a wood fired oven is an art form.

          2. re: Captain Jack
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            oerdin RE: Captain Jack Dec 3, 2009 06:34 PM

            Their website shows a picture of a wood fired brick oven and I imagine they make their own dough and sauce as most restaurants do to keep prices down.

            http://pizzeriabrunosd.com/

            Edit: They say the chef was trained at the Verace Pizza Napoletana, that they make the dough and sauce in house using Italian sourced ingredients (an Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, etc). It sounds very interesting.

            1. re: oerdin
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              pickypicky RE: oerdin Dec 4, 2009 06:06 AM

              I truly can't believe how perfectly salted sauce and dough were-- so rare with tomato sauce. Usually my mouth is seared from the SD salt obsession and I wake up with a salt hangover. But yum. This was all good.

          3. s
            stevewag23 RE: notjustastomach Nov 1, 2009 04:02 PM

            Are they open for lunch?

            1. notjustastomach RE: notjustastomach Nov 1, 2009 04:32 PM

              My wife and I ended up going last night. Why wait for somebody else to try it first?

              All in all, an excellent addition to the Hillcrest dining scene.

              The excellent: All ingredients are top quality and very flavorful. Pizza properly charred! Forno a legna fueled with flavorful wood.

              The good: Service is friendly and attentive, but not sycophantic. Reasonable prices. Small but diverse selection of beers. I'd have included different examples of each genre, but their choices are reasonable. Not much of a wine drinker, so I have no comment.

              The not as good, but not bad: The bread used in the bruschetta as well as the pizza dough itself were too soft for my taste. The dough needs more "tooth" and less sponge. I know this is a tall order for the bruschetta, both because there is no proper casareccia (the sine qua non of proper bruschetta -- ciabatta makes a better substitute in my opinion than "italian bread") and because it is probably the case that soft bread has wider appeal than toothy bread. But it need not be a problem for the pizza. The remedy is less yeast and longer rising.

              Wife agrees re bruschetta, but offers dissenting opinion vis-a-vis the pizza dough, which she thought was just fine.

              Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano is no Pizzeria da Michele, or even Franco Manca (the epitome of the non-Neapolitan Neapolitan pizzeria). Still, despite these quibbles, I'm sure that Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano will become a part of our e regular rotation.

              1. Josh RE: Omid Soren Nov 14, 2009 10:38 AM

                Are they open for lunch?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Josh
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                  Omid Soren RE: Josh Nov 14, 2009 11:46 AM

                  As far as I know, they are open from 4:30 PM to 11:00 PM during week days. However, they may open up earlier on the weekends. You can call them at (619) 260-1311.

                2. Josh RE: notjustastomach Nov 27, 2009 07:36 PM

                  Went tonight, thought it was great. Can recommend it unreservedly.

                  It is without a doubt, BY FAR, the closest thing to real Italian pizza I've had in San Diego. The only quibble I have is similar to the OPs, the dough is just a hair softer than the dough I had in Italy. Otherwise, the place is top notch.

                  San Marzano tomatoes, flour from Naples, Knight Salumi, Italian soppressata, La Quercia prosciutto - clearly this guy knows quality ingredients.

                  I also liked that they had Czechvar on draft. As much as I love the beer selection at Blind Lady, it was nice to have a maltier European lager with the pizza - made the whole experience much more reminiscent of being in Italy.

                  The place was pretty empty, but I'm chalking that up to post-Thanksgiving lull - hopefully this place does booming business, this is the kind of place we need more of in this town.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Josh
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                    MrKrispy RE: Josh Nov 28, 2009 07:45 AM

                    hey great to hear, excited they are importing some beers we don't usually see around the other beer-centric places.

                    1. re: MrKrispy
                      notjustastomach RE: MrKrispy Nov 28, 2009 03:46 PM

                      Indeed, Czechvar is an excellent accompaniment for their pizzas. Generally, I gravitate towards IPA's, but this is a lager I can enjoy.

                      1. re: notjustastomach
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                        4wino RE: notjustastomach Nov 28, 2009 05:00 PM

                        My first visit there and it was great. Loved the pizza, dough is especially good around the edges. The salad had very fresh ingredients, though could scale down on the balsamic. Had a glass of Barbera d'Alba that was quite good and reasonable.

                        Enjoyed myself very much even though we had to drive on a very wet day here in SD.

                        Service was very efficient and friendly.

                  2. geekyfoodie RE: notjustastomach Dec 2, 2009 10:59 AM

                    Decent happy hour prices- $3 beers, $4 house wines (although they could be a little more clear with their signage or just do a separate happy hour menu), and $5 personal pizzas with one topping (sauce and cheese do not count as a topping). I had a pizza with prosciutto cotto and it was pretty good. Flavor-wise, it didn't exactly explode, but the crust was quite nice.

                    I'll definitely go back to try more of their pizzas. Kind of wish the beer/wine list was a little larger... I'm not a big Stella Artois fan (didn't get to try the Czechvar... will do next time) and don't care for Green Flash. The wine list looked more promising, but the Bliss Schoolhouse Red was a little dull.

                    1. p
                      pickypicky RE: notjustastomach Dec 3, 2009 05:46 PM

                      I -- am -- in -- love. Tonight, fleeing from a real estate deal that could change our lives, we landed hungry and jangled at Bruno Pizzeria, which was open blessedly at 4pm. We ordered beers (thanks for tip on that Czechish one!) and finally chose the Campania (fennel sausage, roasted onions, moz, and mushrooms) and a Happy Hour $5 Pizza Margarita. Mama Mia! How long have we waited for great woodfired pizza in SD? Too long. The crust was chewy and charred. The toppings were as harmonious as the Four Tenors. First time in memory that the meal was properly salted ( NOT salt-drenched) The service was great. And we couldn't resist and ordered a third pizza. The usual suspects will weigh in their negativity, I'm sure. No, it isn't Pizzaria Bianco, but darn if it isn't more than good enough. This, my Chowsers, is finally, something new in SD that is actually new: a restaurant doing something small but right.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: pickypicky
                        Josh RE: pickypicky Dec 3, 2009 07:48 PM

                        Yeah, we went back tonight, and as it happens got the Campania. Delicious.

                        Tonight the dough was a little older than our first visit, and we liked it even better. Great stuff.

                        1. re: Josh
                          kare_raisu RE: Josh Dec 4, 2009 09:24 AM

                          Yeah, crazy seeing you there last night. We had the brunoverde, lasagne and salumi pizza - all were pretty outstanding. The ricotta was fantastic. The puffy around the edges crust - marvelous. This is the best pizza I've had in San Diego.

                          Behind it would be Whole foods

                          1. re: kare_raisu
                            Josh RE: kare_raisu Dec 4, 2009 10:25 AM

                            Funny you would mention Whole Foods. I think that's one of the more underrated pizzas in town, at least in terms of crust. Their white pizzas are good, but I'm not a big fan of the red sauce.

                        2. re: pickypicky
                          r
                          RB Hound RE: pickypicky Dec 4, 2009 12:16 PM

                          Not sure who you mean by the "usual suspects." Some of them have tried it and seem positive; some have asked for more details. Just because some people raise their fur when places like El Indio get recommended does not mean that this place is full of negative Nellies. :)

                          Do any of you know how a relatively well behaved but potentially fidgety 4-year old would do at this place? It seems like a good after Zoo dining option.

                          1. re: RB Hound
                            geekyfoodie RE: RB Hound Dec 4, 2009 12:26 PM

                            I think it'd be great, especially if you go a little earlier than peak dinner time. When we went at 5:30pm, it was empty (a handful more patrons showed up while we were there) and the service was warm and friendly. There's enough space that a fidgety child wouldn't be really noticed and pizza is really kid-friendly.

                        3. SaltyRaisins RE: notjustastomach Dec 4, 2009 02:05 PM

                          Just to prove the axiom that give a food snob a dearth of good restaurants, and she'll complain...give her one good one, and she'll complain even more, I've gotta weigh in:

                          Great addition to upper Hillcrest- we've needed a real crust for a long time. But there are some issues I had with my lunch at Bruno today. Although the pizza is great and the ingredients are superb, the crust is not really like anything I ever ate in Italy, and really belongs in a category of its own- more spongecake-ish than crisp-chewy. But I like it anyway. The pizzaiolo is very good with the amount of toppings and the loose arrangement that makes each bite of good pizza a novel thing, but the toppings are too chunky and miss out on some good browning- particularly on the Campania: the sausage pieces (excellent) were just too big, and onions on pizza in my not-so-humble opinion should only be paper-thin against the grain slices. They're chunks at Bruno and therefore almost raw. An important step in making pizza napoli is after the pie cooks on the floor of the oven, it's supposed to take a quick trip up to the top of the oven in order for the moist center of the pie to dry out a bit- the center of both the bufalina and the campania were too undercooked, while some of the crust bubbles were pure carbon.

                          A great place with great beer selection and I can't wait to go back on a less busy day to tie one on in the late afternoon on the patio when the weather's a bit warmer, my criticism aside.

                          And what's with the neighborhood? Some real gems: Mama's Bakery, Pizzeria Luigi, Eclipse Chocolate and McDonald's all a stone's throw from each other...awesome.
                          Cheers.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: SaltyRaisins
                            Josh RE: SaltyRaisins Dec 4, 2009 02:35 PM

                            I ate pizza in a few different places in Italy, and I would say Bruno most reminds me of pizza I had in Rome in terms of the crust. It does seem that there's a bit of a consistency issue with the dough. It was much better on our last visit than our first. I have seen the guy move the pizza to the top of the oven, not sure how he handles it when busy.

                          2. p
                            pickypicky RE: notjustastomach Dec 5, 2009 01:35 PM

                            My chef husband thought the crust a bit soggy-- so once home he plowed through his vast culinary library to read up on woodfired Napoletano pizza and dough; and after looking at photos and reading from several sources about its distinctive characteristics, he can't wait to go back. (He admitted to me he didn't know what he was talking about.) The deal is Bruno's pizza tastes real. The tomato sauce is not a cooked sauce. The onions on our Campania were perfectly roasted (still sassy with no sog or slime). LOVED the whole basil leaves and thin slabs of sausage. I hate to belabor all this, but it's been a long time since I ate something and somewhere in SD with this many reasons to exist.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pickypicky
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                              cstr RE: pickypicky Dec 5, 2009 03:27 PM

                              Ususally a soggy crust is the result of too many toppings, or maybe too much sauce. BTW - nice detail about the tomatoes not being cooked, that's one significant plus to getting a good tasting za, fresh tomato flavor.

                            2. o
                              oerdin RE: notjustastomach Dec 5, 2009 06:45 PM

                              I went to Bruno's last night with a friend and we split a Margherita with mozzarella di bufala ($16). The water buffalo cheese was very good with a nice chewy mouth feel plus it was a nicely stringy cheese which attests to the fact that buffalo milk is higher in fat then cow's milk. The sauce tasted excellent though was a bit to runny for my taste even though we let the pizza sit for a little while so the sauce could cool down and set up but the absolute best part was the crust. Fluffy and chewy yet slightly crunchy on the bottom and at the edges. They use some wonderfully tasty whole grain semolina wheat, hand made, hand tossed (they toss it right in front of you in the open kitchen so you are entertained by the chef cooking with in view) plus it isn't over salted or with sugar added which is the normal failing of pizza in the US. All in all I'd give the crust and A+ the cheese a solid A with the sauce and A-. It would have been nice to have a bit more basil but the quality was excellent and I will certainly be coming back.

                              Also it was happy hour and they had some excellent beers on tap for only $3 per pint. I got a pint of Czechvar (in Europe it is sold as Budweiser but in the US Anheuser Busch has usurped that name).

                              1. b
                                Boonton RE: notjustastomach Dec 6, 2009 07:36 PM

                                I should state up front that I recently (January) moved to San Diego and that I am a huge fan of true Naples style pizza. I have traveled far to find a Verace Pizzeria Napoletana (link below). I have now eaten at Bruno’s twice and overall, I can strongly endorse Bruno’s and recommend that you try it soon.

                                Pros:

                                The bread/crust. Near perfect. I think the key to Naples style pizza. Like nothing you have had before if you haven’t traveled to Italy or sought out a VPN pizzeria.

                                The sauce. Again, near perfect. Simple, but with delicious Italian tomatoes.

                                The Sausage. Delicious. Making their Salsicie and Campagnia pizzas great.

                                Cons:

                                Be aware that the menu is limited. This was fine for me but you will need to make sure that the group you go with is OK with the limited options.

                                The Buffalina pizza. This is a simple pizza using Buffalo mozzarella as the key ingredient. At other VPN restaurants, this is my favorite pizza. Here, it missed the mark. I can not put my finger on specifically why. I think that they used too much cheese.

                                Overall, give it a try. I think that you will enjoy!

                                Also, plan to eat there. This type of pizza does not travel well (not good for take-away).

                                Ciao!

                                LINK: http://www.verapizzanapoletana.org/

                                -----
                                Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
                                4203 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Boonton
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                                  4wino RE: Boonton Dec 12, 2009 06:43 PM

                                  Today we split the green salad again, and the balsamic dressing was just right. Very fresh greens and you get a ton of salad, but somehow we finished it all. My wife had the Campania Pizza and it was great, very good ingredients. I had the meat and cheese plate and it was wonderful and plentyful. I really liked the quality of the meats and cheeses. I would like to see a mustard served with this. Tried a couple of their draft beers and was happy with them.

                                  Finished with a very nice espresso.

                                  Great service, we will be visiting them often!

                                2. j
                                  jturtle RE: notjustastomach Jan 8, 2010 08:44 AM

                                  Had dinner there yesterday. All I can say is wow! It was unlike anything I have had in San Diego. The tomato sauce was perfect and the crust was puffy and chewy with a nice amount of char. It was fairly quiet at 7 last night so if you are worried about the crowds don't be.

                                  24 Replies
                                  1. re: jturtle
                                    stevuchan RE: jturtle Feb 8, 2010 07:40 AM

                                    Finally made it to Bruno, I was impressed with the ingredients and the staff, but as others have mentioned my pie (salcichi) was wet in the center. I was a bit miffed by the center, however the outter 2 inches of pie were a pleasure to eat, good char and I enjoyed the chew.

                                    1. re: stevuchan
                                      Josh RE: stevuchan Feb 8, 2010 08:52 AM

                                      FWIW, any red-sauced wood-fired pizza I ate in Italy had the wet center. The smaller wood-fired pizzas there aren't cut into wedges, they are served with a knife and fork, which is how I saw most Italians deal with the wet center.

                                      1. re: Josh
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                                        DougOLis RE: Josh Feb 8, 2010 09:15 AM

                                        That affirms authenticity (and possibly a design flaw), but is it necessarily better that way? Just because the Italians have the same thing happen, does it mean it's good?

                                        1. re: DougOLis
                                          stevuchan RE: DougOLis Feb 8, 2010 09:44 AM

                                          I've had a ton of wood fired pies and never experienced the wet quite like this before, it was like a really flavorful sponge, kind off-putting. I will be heading back soon to try the non-sauced pies.

                                          1. re: DougOLis
                                            Josh RE: DougOLis Feb 8, 2010 09:49 AM

                                            I think "design flaw" is the best description. I think that I'd rather have the soggy center than a hard-crust throughout.

                                            Pizzas I had there without red sauce didn't suffer from this problem as badly - the centers were still softer than the perimeter, but without sauce it was more manageable to eat.

                                            I kind of wish Bruno wouldn't cut the pizza into wedges. I'd rather just get it with a knife and fork.

                                            1. re: Josh
                                              stevuchan RE: Josh Feb 8, 2010 10:04 AM

                                              My fault for not really doing my homework, the classic neapolitan pizza has a wet center by design. It is truly on of the charastics of the style, and I was not aware of this.

                                            2. re: DougOLis
                                              m
                                              mama_pajama RE: DougOLis Feb 22, 2010 02:10 PM

                                              Just returned from living in Naples for 2 years. ALL pizzas there are "wet" and subsequently none are eaten in the "pie wedge" way that Americans universally enjoy. They just start on one end and knife and fork their way across. This is partially because the fresh mozzarella di bufala is WET, and partially because they drizzle extra oil over everything just before serving.

                                              But to answer your question, no, it isn't necessarily better that way. I prefer my pizza less drippy and it drove me nuts that even though every pizza we ate in Italy was delicious, they all shared this basic trait (I'll abstain from calling it a "flaw" per se, since it's obvious that the Italians like it like that)!

                                            3. re: Josh
                                              SaltyRaisins RE: Josh Feb 9, 2010 12:45 PM

                                              I was used to doing the knife-and-fork thing, but was reprimanded by a couple of older women for doing so at a shared table in Molise and again in Rome. They insisted that the overall flavor of a pizza is ruinously altered unless you cut it into larger pieces and eat with your hands. After switching back to American-style eating, I have to agree with them.

                                              1. re: SaltyRaisins
                                                Josh RE: SaltyRaisins Feb 9, 2010 01:05 PM

                                                Yeah, that's what I did over there as well. The only part I'd actually eat with a fork was the soggy middle.

                                            4. re: stevuchan
                                              m
                                              mcgrath RE: stevuchan Feb 9, 2010 06:43 AM

                                              First heard about this place from this board just a week ago and went two nights ago with Italian-Amer. friends. My comments mirror those of stevuchan. I accept that the flabby middle is authentic, but still would prefer it somewhat drier and crisper.

                                              That said, the obvious quality of the ingredients sang through each dish. The bruschetta was absolutely delicious, perhaps the best i've had. The Diavolo pizza was a very pleasant surprise. Not quite as warm an ambiance as it could be, but a group of 8 20-something Italians at the next table, speaking Italian and hoisting glasses, made the experience all the more memorable. It'll be a go-to place for us for pizza.

                                              -----
                                              Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
                                              4203 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

                                              1. re: mcgrath
                                                Captain Jack RE: mcgrath Feb 9, 2010 09:14 AM

                                                I dined at Bruno's a couple of weeks ago for the first time and I must say it lived up to my hopeful expectations. I slammed a Margherita and a Campania. The wood fired crust was perfect. As Josh mentions above, it was just like the Neapolitan style pizzas I ate all over Italy, and I dealt with the soft center with a fork, just like I did while abroad. The sauce was excellent, and the Knight's Salumi fennel sausage on my Campania was off the hook. I paid the extra four bucks for the mozzarella di bufala on my margherita, and while it was not quite as fresh as the best of what I experienced in Italy, it was still fantastic, and worth every penny in my book. I spoke with Pizzaiolo Peter about his Italian imported bufala, and I agree with his assessment that it is richer, creamier, and more flavorful than the California made Bubalas Bubalis product . I have hoped for years that someone would open a true, wood fired, Neapolitan style pizza restaurant in San Diego, and now that we have Bruno's, you will find me there on a regular basis.

                                                P.S. The night I was there Peter told me that I just missed Josh by about an hour lol.

                                                1. re: Captain Jack
                                                  stevuchan RE: Captain Jack Feb 9, 2010 12:05 PM

                                                  Although the cured Knight product has improved, the fresh sausages have been outstanding as of late, really impressive. Peter is a genuinely nice guy and a pleasure to talk to. Is he related to the mother daughter team in the front of the house? There is a resemblance, but i did not ask.

                                                  1. re: Captain Jack
                                                    Josh RE: Captain Jack Feb 9, 2010 01:06 PM

                                                    Funny.

                                                    I really like the Brunoverde. Give that one a try sometime. I agree about the Campania.

                                                    1. re: Josh
                                                      DiningDiva RE: Josh Feb 9, 2010 01:37 PM

                                                      The Brunoverde is really outstanding. I love it too.

                                                2. re: stevuchan
                                                  cgfan RE: stevuchan Feb 9, 2010 10:02 AM

                                                  I have taken on as a pet project making as close to possible a Neapolitan pizza in a standard home oven, with the eventual goal of reaching a 90 second bake time. Devouring as many books as I can mixed with my own ideas I've gotten closer, but still far from where I wanted to be relative to a 90 second bake time. My project got a fresh kick when I picked up Heston Blumenthal's ISOP, which had some very clever ideas. So now using an amalgam of techniques I'm able to get temps well north of 970 F, the limit of my IR thermometer, and bake times which are closer to my goal.

                                                  Originally my goal was for a thin crisp crust throughout, but the more I worked the problem the more I took it that I may never figure out the solution with my current techniques and a tomato sauce. (Most of my pizzas do not use a tomato sauce anyway and they do tend to come out crisp throughout.) In any case I was happy with the flavor and that's what mattered most, but it still bugged me nonetheless.

                                                  More recently I had an opportunity to go to 2 Amy's, a D.O.C. certified Neapolitan pizza operation in D.C. I ordered their Margherita and it was absolutely delicious. But most of all I realized that they, too, had a soft center, but no matter since the quality of their ingredients created a pizza where that didn't bother me at all. I absolutely loved their pizza, and now because of it I'm a bit more lenient on my own pizzas as well.

                                                  1. re: cgfan
                                                    Josh RE: cgfan Feb 9, 2010 01:06 PM

                                                    Have you eaten at Bruno? I believe Peter also has the DOC certification.

                                                    1. re: Josh
                                                      cgfan RE: Josh Feb 9, 2010 01:33 PM

                                                      Josh, I can't wait! DOC or not if they're passionate about their pizza, it is sure to show. (But cool if they have DOC certification...)

                                                      (I've always thought that both Italian and Japanese food philosophies are virtually identical, regardless of their vast differences in ingredients, history and culture... Simplicity, seasonality, ingredients, craftsmanship and tradition reign supreme in both cuisines...)

                                                      1. re: cgfan
                                                        Josh RE: cgfan Feb 9, 2010 01:48 PM

                                                        Yeah I agree. I've always been impressed by those attributes in both cuisines. The clarity of the flavors is so important. That's why I recoiled so much with my first post-Italy bite of Luigi's pizza. The assault of spices, garlic, and bad tomatoes was just so far off the mark from what I experienced in Italy.

                                                        1. re: cgfan
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                                                          ipsit RE: cgfan Feb 9, 2010 02:28 PM

                                                          "Simplicity, seasonality, ingredients, craftsmanship and tradition reign supreme in both cuisines"

                                                          I believe this philosophy is at the heart of most cuisines. Problems arise when this is sacrificed in the name of convenience, or economy. Sadly that happens more often than not!

                                                          1. re: ipsit
                                                            honkman RE: ipsit Feb 9, 2010 03:30 PM

                                                            " believe this philosophy is at the heart of most cuisines" - Completely agree. If you look at the background and heart of most (if not all) cuisines in the world they rely on simplicity, seasonality, ingredients, craftsmanship. Today's world might have changed how those cuisines (including Italian and Japanese) might be "used" in restaurants or at home but that is more a reflection of the times we are living in and not of the roots of all those cuisines. I have to admit that I am tired to read so often also on CG or egullet or foodblogs (and that is not against cgfan but a general feeling) that cuisine X is better than cusisine Y.

                                                            1. re: honkman
                                                              Josh RE: honkman Feb 9, 2010 03:46 PM

                                                              I think "most" is stretching it. The cuisines from regions that have long winters, for example, are much less dependent on the quality of the fresh produce utilized. Similarly, cuisines from places with abundant herbs and spicing options will have a lot more complex flavors than cuisines from regions without that.

                                                              I know that one of the reasons Japanese food has the characteristics it does is due to the relatively small number of seasoning options available to them.

                                                              I also don't think that recognizing this difference implies in any way that one is better than the other. But I do think some cuisines are more easily replicated without having fresh native ingredients on hand than others.

                                                              1. re: Josh
                                                                honkman RE: Josh Feb 9, 2010 04:06 PM

                                                                Even cuisines which have long winters orginally (in todays world many countries have supermarkets etc. and don't rely on any seasonaility anymore) relied on seasonal ingredients which of course differ very much from seasonal ingredients from regions with hardly any winter. But that doesn't mean that those cuisines are less relying on seasonality - the variety of seasonal ingredients is just smaller.

                                                                "I also don't think that recognizing this difference implies in any way that one is better than the other." - My comment wasn't about this discussion but if you look on CH you will find that these kind of discussions often end up in discussions about which cuisine is better/ which is the best etc. which I find very useless. I agree regarding your comment about different degrees of difficulties in replicating different cuisines.

                                                            2. re: ipsit
                                                              cgfan RE: ipsit Feb 9, 2010 04:42 PM

                                                              I certainly would have listed other cuisines had I believed that there were others that shared a close philosophical kinship, so I do stand by the strong philosophical match between Japanese and Italian cuisines. But I misstated my claim by enumerating what these two cuisines shared in common by starting off with what would inevitably be an imperfect list of characteristics, think of it as an imperfect sieve, as any such finite list would undoubtedly admit others.

                                                              How I arrived at my observation was once pondering why Japanese cuisine is so philosophically different from the other Asian cuisines. I then asked myself then if not in Asia, then what other world cuisine would I feel most matches Japanese cuisine in philosophical approach. The answer came easily - Italian cuisine.

                                                              So that's what I should have said in the first place, with the question that started it all which was: what world cuisine is philosophically closest to Japanese cuisine?

                                                              Italian just happens to be my answer, and the more I study both of these cuisines the more I am absolutely amazed by their philosophical similarities.

                                                              It's a culinary equivalent to the excellent installation at the Mingei Folk Art Museum of "Kindred Spirits: The Eloquence of Function in American Shaker and Japanese Arts of Daily Life", which explored the amazing similarities of the craftworks between these two otherwise disparate cultures.

                                                          2. re: Josh
                                                            i
                                                            ipsit RE: Josh Feb 9, 2010 07:02 PM

                                                            I don't disagree with any of the arguments here - just wanted to add a couple of thoughts.
                                                            First, all cuisines are essentially local - in that, to understand a cuisine, you have to look at its region of origin, its geography, climate and history (whether it ever lay on a trade route, whether it was conquered, or the people from that region made conquests etc.) All of these things play into how a cuisine evolved. So a comparison between cuisines is almost always going to say more about the person dong the comparing rather than the cuisine itself
                                                            The more interesting question is, why two cuisines that evolve in completely distinct regions would be similar. Is it a bias on our part (i.e. when we look for similarities, we often find them) or are there universal qualities in the way people everywhere deal with food. I'm quite certain that a case can be made for Indian cuisine to be very similar to Japanese or Italian in philosophy (though it may not have much in common overtly...and this is a purely academic example, nothing to do with any of those cuisines specifically). Some one well-versed with virtually any cuisine could probably find similarities between theirs and any other...and they would all be correct because none of us can ever truly overcome our biases.

                                                            Why talk about all this? Because my qualm is more with restaurants that claim to represent a specific type of cuisine, but actually serve food that is nothing like the authentic cuisine. This for e.g. is the case with the overwhelming majority of Indian restaurants around here, and has nothing to do with availability of ingredients or spices. Makes one appreciate places that are the real deal that much more...

                                                    2. k
                                                      Katherine H RE: notjustastomach Mar 4, 2010 01:17 PM

                                                      Does anyone have experience taking Bruno pizza to go? I offered to bring dinner to some Italian friends who just had a baby, and I thought Bruno might hit the spot. Is it worth it if the pizza will have to travel about 25 minutes?

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: Katherine H
                                                        Fake Name RE: Katherine H Mar 4, 2010 01:37 PM

                                                        It would certainly not be at it's best. But I'd still happily eat it, and prefer it to a fresh Bronx. I REALLY like it leftover with an egg on top.

                                                        1. re: Katherine H
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                                                          Ewilensky RE: Katherine H Mar 4, 2010 02:11 PM

                                                          I'd just be sure they reheat it in an oven and not a microwave... I actually prefer the Buffalina after it sits for a few minutes - firms up the (authentic) soggy center.

                                                          1. re: Katherine H
                                                            Josh RE: Katherine H Mar 4, 2010 02:16 PM

                                                            I've heard anecdotal reports that to-go is not so bueno. I'm inclined to believe it. The pizza cooks in 3 minutes, and the texture of the freshly cooked dough is an important part of the experience. I'd probably look at other options.

                                                            1. re: Josh
                                                              Fake Name RE: Josh Mar 4, 2010 02:27 PM

                                                              Ummm. This is not Bruno's but you get the idea.

                                                               
                                                              1. re: Fake Name
                                                                Josh RE: Fake Name Mar 4, 2010 03:50 PM

                                                                I've eaten leftover Bruno and enjoyed it, but it's sub-sub-sub-optimal, IMO.

                                                            2. re: Katherine H
                                                              m
                                                              MrKrispy RE: Katherine H Mar 4, 2010 02:43 PM

                                                              I don't know of any thin crust pizza that holds up after being boxed and sitting for 20 minutes...I always prefer to lightly toast them again to crisp up the crust (which is what Bronx/Luigis/Sicilian Thing/et al do when you order slices from them.

                                                              1. re: Katherine H
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                                                                jturtle RE: Katherine H Mar 4, 2010 06:23 PM

                                                                We had quite a bit leftover last weekend and I was able to crisp it up by warming it for just a few minutes on the wax paper they provide in a 375 degree oven. Changes the texture/taste a bit but is still far better then other pizza options. And with the new baby I am sure they would be excited!

                                                                1. re: Katherine H
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                                                                  DougOLis RE: Katherine H Mar 5, 2010 08:26 AM

                                                                  It's good when you take it to go but definitely not nearly as good as in the restaurant. If you do take it to go, I'd suggest heating it on the stove in a frying pan. Microwave or room temperature is not so good.

                                                                  1. re: Katherine H
                                                                    k
                                                                    Katherine H RE: Katherine H Mar 9, 2010 09:09 AM

                                                                    Thanks to everyone for your input. I had decided to give Bruno take-out a shot, but I forgot that they are closed on Mondays. I ended up picking up a couple of pies from Bronx, which worked out okay, but I'm pretty sure that even a sub-sub-optimal Bruno pizza would have been better.

                                                                  2. 4
                                                                    4wino RE: notjustastomach Mar 6, 2010 04:33 PM

                                                                    Went for lunch there today. My wife and I split an antipasto salad and a Campania pizza. Both were first rate. Patrick and Peter are doing a superb job.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: 4wino
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                                                                      JRSD RE: 4wino Mar 6, 2010 08:28 PM

                                                                      Went there this week as well and the Bufalo Mozzarella pizza was amazing. The anchovy people really loved the anchovies as well.

                                                                      1. re: JRSD
                                                                        Josh RE: JRSD Mar 7, 2010 10:04 AM

                                                                        Their anchovies rock.

                                                                        My favorite is to get a white happy hour pizza w/ olives and anchovies. Mmmm.

                                                                    2. foodiechick RE: notjustastomach Mar 7, 2010 12:49 PM

                                                                      We were there for lunch yesterday as well. Had the Brunoverde - fresh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, ricotta, and arugula. We added some parma prosciutto - it rocked. Nice little Super Tuscan by the glass too. Wish we lived closer.

                                                                       
                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: foodiechick
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                                                                        4wino RE: foodiechick Mar 28, 2010 09:31 PM

                                                                        I had to try their anchovies today and you folks are right...excellent. I can't help myself, I get cravings for their pizzas, so authentic!

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                                                                        pastrychefwannabe RE: notjustastomach Apr 5, 2010 12:23 PM

                                                                        I don't care about how authentic the process is. The bruschetta had mealy tomatoes and the pizza was like a wet burrito. I might as well eat raw dough! Then the server had to give me a stupid history lesson about them following the 100 years-old italian tradition of pizza making. If he has to give such a detailed spiel, obviously I am not the only one who dislikes dishrag pizza. All this came about when I asked for my pizza to be cooked a little longer. Oh yeah, it was not busy and the cook was not cooking anything else.

                                                                        35 Replies
                                                                        1. re: pastrychefwannabe
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                                                                          lmmsdca RE: pastrychefwannabe Apr 5, 2010 12:37 PM

                                                                          Dishrag pizza! Love it, and my thoughts exactly. Regardless of the fresh ingredients, I'm no fan of a limp, soggy pizza.

                                                                          1. re: lmmsdca
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                                                                            mangiatore RE: lmmsdca Apr 21, 2010 09:34 PM

                                                                            I'm going to have to try this place. The sogginess everyone refers to is an excellent sign. If you can pick it (a slice) up without rolling it, it's not Neapolitan/Italian pizza, it's American pizza. Two different dishes that should never be confused. Pizza in Italy is always eaten with a knife and fork.

                                                                            1. re: mangiatore
                                                                              SaltyRaisins RE: mangiatore Apr 21, 2010 11:33 PM

                                                                              I had an Italian nonna yell at me for eating it with a knife and fork over there. She said that the flavors "don't get together" if you do the knife and fork.

                                                                              1. re: SaltyRaisins
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                                                                                mangiatore RE: SaltyRaisins Apr 22, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                                                I can assure you that among Italians she is definitely in the minority .

                                                                              2. re: mangiatore
                                                                                Josh RE: mangiatore Apr 22, 2010 10:39 AM

                                                                                Apparently the people from the Italian consulate here have become regulars.

                                                                                1. re: Josh
                                                                                  Granite RE: Josh Apr 22, 2010 11:27 AM

                                                                                  This was some of the worst pizza I've ever been served in my life. We had the mozzarella di bufala, tomato and basil pie, and it was literally pizza soup. I was outraged for all of Naples!

                                                                                  Our server prefaced our order with 'our pizzas are wet.' By 'wet,' I thought he meant more sauce. Silly me! Instead we navigated a bufala quagmire attempting to salvage any of the (admittedly delicious) ingredients. The only part of the pie with any sort of integrity were the edges of its crust. Which were in fact tasty.

                                                                                  I think our server saw us poking fun at the pie, including my dining amigo who took a photo of the disaster, and never bothered to check back after the food was delivered. We finished and he brought the bill, end of story.

                                                                                  I was curious to read Candice Woo's article hanging on the wall, and when I did, was even more confused with: 'The inner circle of the pizza stays a bit wet—true to form.' Really? Later I did some research on Neapolitan pies, and no where could I find their inner circles are meant to be wet.

                                                                                  If you ask me, the 'wet' disclaimer by the server has likely come about because of complaints. It's an excuse for not knowing how to work with their ingredients, or that beautiful wood burning oven (shame!). Perhaps the bufala is the wettest of all the pies; wouldn't surprise me with the high moisture content of the cheese. But for crying out loud, figure that ish out before you charge 15 bucks for it.

                                                                                  1. re: Granite
                                                                                    Josh RE: Granite Apr 22, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                                    I don't know if you've been to Italy, but when we were there, we ate pizza in all of the cities we visited. Universally, the pizzas cooked in wood-fired ovens, like Bruno's, had soft centers, and were served uncut with forks and knives.

                                                                                    That said, some of Bruno's pies are wetter than others. I generally prefer the white pies there because the crust is sturdier without the red sauce.

                                                                                    1. re: Josh
                                                                                      Granite RE: Josh Apr 22, 2010 01:20 PM

                                                                                      Found the pic of our sad pizza.

                                                                                       
                                                                                      1. re: Granite
                                                                                        honkman RE: Granite Apr 22, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                                                        The photo indeed doesn't look too good.

                                                                                        1. re: Granite
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                                                                                          mangiatore RE: Granite Apr 22, 2010 01:48 PM

                                                                                          Looks about like it should. As I mentioned above, if you can pick it up without rolling it (I should have added "and it doesn't droop and the cheese doesn't slide off), it's not Italian pizza. Next time, cut a slice, eat the middle half with knife/fork, then (if you must) pick it up and eat the rest.

                                                                                          1. re: mangiatore
                                                                                            Granite RE: mangiatore Apr 22, 2010 02:36 PM

                                                                                            You've got to be kidding me. The dough was slimy. Rolling up a piece of pizza? I've heard of folding... which makes sense. What is the point of a wood burning oven if what comes out is wet and soggy? Makes no sense to me, and I'm half Italian. Never had anything like this.

                                                                                            1. re: Granite
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                                                                                              mangiatore RE: Granite Apr 22, 2010 02:51 PM

                                                                                              I wasn't suggesting that you actually roll it, though I have seen it tried (usually it results in hot tomato sauce squirting all over the hands); I was just trying to give you an idea of the consistency of the pizza served in Italy.

                                                                                              Its sounds like you have discovered that you like the taste but not the consistency of Italian pizza. It takes some getting used to but I don't know one American who has lived in Italy for any length of time who didn't eventually come to love Italian pizza. It truly is a different dish than American pizza though. I like both.

                                                                                              1. re: mangiatore
                                                                                                Josh RE: mangiatore Apr 22, 2010 03:28 PM

                                                                                                That's really the big takeaway here, IMO. If you've eaten the real thing, you recognize it's an entirely different dish. That's what bothered me about the first comment kicking off this thread - dinging a place for offering an authentically Italian pizza is unfair.

                                                                                                1. re: Josh
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                                                                                                  mangiatore RE: Josh Apr 22, 2010 03:37 PM

                                                                                                  I agree, though in Granite's defense I don't think she recognized her error. Pizza is such an institution in the U.S. that people who haven't had pizza in Italy find it incredibly difficult to accept that this ultra-thin-crusted, "soggy" stuff is Italian pizza.

                                                                                                  All this gabbing and I haven't even tried the place yet. I'll get my butt over there and report back with my thoughts.

                                                                                                  1. re: mangiatore
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                                                                                                    RB Hound RE: mangiatore Apr 22, 2010 03:46 PM

                                                                                                    Sort of like New Yorkers making their first visit to Gino's East. :)

                                                                                                    1. re: mangiatore
                                                                                                      Granite RE: mangiatore Apr 22, 2010 06:34 PM

                                                                                                      No error here; this didn't even classify as pizza, and I'm sure most of Italy would agree, and aliens from mars for that matter. The very definition of 'crust' was defied on my plate. How is that my problem or lack of taste for the real deal? I'm not joking when I say the entire slice (save for the crust which did not have sauce or cheese on it) was spongy. Burnt parts of the dough, which would have been a delightful addition to cracker thin crust, instead made the whole mess taste of pancake batter that was dropped into a smoking hot pan. Raw in the middle and made worse by a charred flavor. The cheese slid right off, and yeah, I ate it, b/c frankly I felt sorry for the buffalo whose milk contributed to this monstrosity.

                                                                                                      I get it- Neapolitan pizzas might be softer in the center (some definitely more than others judging by Foodie Chick's photo), but there is absolutely no way this pizza could have passed as such even with the most undiscerning of eaters.

                                                                                                      I think it's bogus to say that my poor experience was based on lack of knowledge about true Italian pizza. Are mushy vegetables, or over cooked pasta, or undercooked/burnt to hell chicken breast acceptable in some cuisines and not others? In other words, this experience transcends just a soggy piece of pizza... The ingredients were misused, and clearly the technique was, well, not tried and tested.

                                                                                                  2. re: mangiatore
                                                                                                    honkman RE: mangiatore Apr 22, 2010 04:16 PM

                                                                                                    It is hard to judge from one picture but if I compare my experience from eating pizza in Italy or other AOC certified places in Europe I would say that this particular example looks too wet, like the dough is not like it should be. I am not implying that it is a regular issue at this pizzeria but just talking about this one example. I just find it interesting that everybody seems to assume that Granite just doesn't like this style of pizza (which might be possible) instead of also assuming that a pizzeria (like any other restaurant) might produce a dish which is not perfect.

                                                                                                    1. re: honkman
                                                                                                      DiningDiva RE: honkman Apr 22, 2010 04:18 PM

                                                                                                      Thank you. Every restaurant kitchen I've know or woked in misfires at times.

                                                                                                      1. re: honkman
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                                                                                                        mangiatore RE: honkman Apr 22, 2010 04:42 PM

                                                                                                        Certainly possible.

                                                                                                        1. re: mangiatore
                                                                                                          Granite RE: mangiatore Apr 22, 2010 06:49 PM

                                                                                                          And this might certainly be the case with my experience, at least I hope it is considering all the praises for Bruno's on this thread. BUT, the fact that no one asked how our meal/experience was... is why I see no reason to go back. Know what I mean?

                                                                                                          1. re: Granite
                                                                                                            Josh RE: Granite Apr 22, 2010 07:31 PM

                                                                                                            Maybe they saw/overheard you guys mocking the food?

                                                                                                            I've been there many times, and have always found the service to be friendly and accommodating.

                                                                                                2. re: Granite
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                                                                                                  MrKrispy RE: Granite Apr 22, 2010 04:06 PM

                                                                                                  damn, that photo of the droopy slice is making me hungry for some Brunos.

                                                                                                  1. re: MrKrispy
                                                                                                    Fake Name RE: MrKrispy Apr 23, 2010 07:06 AM

                                                                                                    This is so true- ever since I saw that image I've been Jones-ing for a Bruno's. I agree it's possible that Granite's pizza was done wrong. Certainly their pizza is wet, but as dd points out, maybe they made a mistake on hers.

                                                                                                    Either way, that's no reason to go completely off and damn the restaurant to a wood-fired hell.

                                                                                                    1. re: Fake Name
                                                                                                      Granite RE: Fake Name Apr 23, 2010 09:41 AM

                                                                                                      I wish any new restaurant in San Diego the best of luck; no wood-burning oven hell to anyone. That being said, I might go back and give the place another try, taking Josh's suggestion of ordering a white pie. I would like to be wrong, because you can never have too big of a selection of pizza places to choose from.

                                                                                                      1. re: Granite
                                                                                                        DiningDiva RE: Granite Apr 23, 2010 01:44 PM

                                                                                                        Granite, do try the Brunoverde as Josh recommends. It really is very good. Yeah, it's a little damp, if you will, in the center, but certainly not the soggy mess you had in your photo. It's a white pie with 3 cheeses (all with lower moisture content than mozz) and arugula. I like it quite a bit. I do eat the center part with a knife and fork because it's just easier with the greens, but then pick it up and finish it with my fingers.

                                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                                                          foodiechick RE: DiningDiva Apr 23, 2010 02:52 PM

                                                                                                          Yes, what DD said. And if you are really feeling decadent, add some prosciutto to it!

                                                                                                          1. re: foodiechick
                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                            Kico RE: foodiechick May 11, 2010 08:55 AM

                                                                                                            Have any of you who've had the Brunoverde at Bruno's had the Biancoverde at Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix? That is my absolute all-time favorite pizza and I'm curious how the two stack up to each other. Hoping to make it to Bruno's soon and taste for myself.

                                                                                                            1. re: Kico
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                                                                                                              DougOLis RE: Kico May 11, 2010 09:39 AM

                                                                                                              I just ate at Pizzeria Bianco last week and I think the Brunoverde does hold up very well to the Biancoverde. The Biancoverde was probably my favorite slice I had there and if memory holds, the Brunoverde is extremely similar. I'd probably have to have both within a short time frame to really tell the difference.

                                                                                                              Comparing the pizza menus of Pizzeria Bianco and Pizzeria Bruno, it is very evident that Bruno used Bianco as an inspiration. Bianco has a nicer location, ambiance, and setting but at least Bruno doesn't have the 3 hour wait for a pizza that's arguably just as good.

                                                                                                              One difference I did notice between Bianco and Bruno is that the pizzas at Bruno are wetter. Bianco was still wet and a knife and fork affair for everything but the outer areas, but it wasn't as sloppy as some of the Bruno pizzas I've had.

                                                                                                              Pizzeria Bianco menu:
                                                                                                              http://www.pizzeriabianco.com/menu.html

                                                                                                              Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano menu:
                                                                                                              http://pizzeriabrunosd.com/menu/

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
                                                                                                              4203 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

                                                                                              2. re: Granite
                                                                                                stevuchan RE: Granite Apr 22, 2010 01:04 PM

                                                                                                "true to form.' Really? Later I did some research on Neapolitan pies, and no where could I find their inner circles are meant to be wet"

                                                                                                I did some research up thread and found out it is a characteristic of the genre. Perhaps authentic Neapolitan pies are not you thing, the wet centered pie is not my favorite. I hate to say it but I'll pass on the VPN Margarita, too much moisture in the buffalo moz and tomatoes. That volume of moisture has no chance of evaporating in 1-2 minutes even at >700 °F. Don't think it's fair to knock a place for being authentic.

                                                                                                1. re: stevuchan
                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                  RB Hound RE: stevuchan Apr 22, 2010 02:12 PM

                                                                                                  One thing is for certain - Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano has quickly joined the subset of San Diego places that people love or hate.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
                                                                                                  4203 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

                                                                                              3. re: Josh
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                                                                                                Ewilensky RE: Josh Apr 22, 2010 11:34 AM

                                                                                                I often take our visiting Italian singers and conductors here for a nice early dinner between rehearsals. They swear it is "as good as at home" and makes some of them homesick.

                                                                                                1. re: Ewilensky
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                                                                                                  sdnativa RE: Ewilensky Apr 23, 2010 12:57 PM

                                                                                                  You live a charmed life!

                                                                                                  1. re: Ewilensky
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                                                                                                    Ewilensky RE: Ewilensky Apr 23, 2010 09:39 PM

                                                                                                    Meh, they're called divas for a reason.

                                                                                                    Had the Marinara and Buffalina tonight - Marinara was awesome - the Buffalina was indeed a bit wet but firmed up in about 10 minutes. We added some arugula to it which seemed to soak up some of the juice and made it awesome (awesomer?). But in Granite's defense I can see why people might think it a bad pizza. BTW, waiter (a new chap) told us the center would be damp, etc, etc... so I think they're getting some feedback. Still the best place for pizza in town for pizza, IMO.

                                                                                                    1. re: Ewilensky
                                                                                                      notjustastomach RE: Ewilensky Apr 24, 2010 08:32 AM

                                                                                                      I don't understand this post. You let the pizza sit in the middle of the table for 10 minutes before eating it?

                                                                                                      Put me at the hot left, on the continuum from "warm moist pizza" to "cold congealed pizza."

                                                                                                      1. re: notjustastomach
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                                                                                                        Ewilensky RE: notjustastomach Apr 24, 2010 10:42 AM

                                                                                                        Sure. Finished up the Marinara pizza, drank some wine, had some conversation. By the time we got to our second pieces, it had been 10 or so minutes and the pizza was better for it. How fast do you eat?

                                                                                          2. Fake Name RE: notjustastomach Apr 25, 2010 05:34 AM

                                                                                            Went last night. Still amazing. Had the Brunoverde, Margherita, and Lasagne. All with a delightfully wet center. Best of all- I have leftovers.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Fake Name
                                                                                              honkman RE: Fake Name Apr 25, 2010 12:23 PM

                                                                                              Never understood why people like pizza leftovers. As with risotto pizza has to be eaten when still fresh otherwise it taste horrible, IMO

                                                                                              1. re: honkman
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                                                                                                mangiatore RE: honkman Apr 25, 2010 12:47 PM

                                                                                                I would add pasta to this list, with pizza slightly salvageable and risotto/pasta completely unsalvageable.

                                                                                                1. re: honkman
                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                  RB Hound RE: honkman Apr 25, 2010 12:56 PM

                                                                                                  Back in the day, there was a sdnet.eats newsgroup regular (probably one of the regulars here :) that did not like pizza that had been placed in the delivery box - he said that the steaming action changed the pizza too much.

                                                                                              2. Divamac RE: notjustastomach Apr 25, 2010 02:09 PM

                                                                                                I finally made it to Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano this afternoon for lunch. We ordered the Bufalina and the Lasagna and both were very good. The buffalo mozzarella is the best I've ever tasted. Very rich, making the Buffalina taste very decadent. The richness is nicely cut by the tomato and basil. The tomato sauce on the Lasagna pizza is, as others have said, very nice, with just the right amount of acidic bite. The dough, white tasty, is a little spongier than I usually prefer on a pizza, but the wood oven char is an excellent touch. Finished off with the cannoli which is, of course, filled to order, and was also good. Not the best I've ever had, but a nice, not-too-sweet end to the meal. We will be back.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Divamac
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                                                                                                  MrKrispy RE: Divamac May 3, 2010 10:50 AM

                                                                                                  ahhh thanks for the heads up about the cannoli...we will only order them if they are filled on order....most places don't do that in SD.

                                                                                                  1. re: MrKrispy
                                                                                                    Divamac RE: MrKrispy May 3, 2010 06:28 PM

                                                                                                    agreed! I always ask first.

                                                                                                2. jmtreg RE: notjustastomach May 2, 2010 08:07 PM

                                                                                                  I finally tried this place after hearing so much about it. I ordered the Salumi pizza, and my friend ordered the quattro formaggio. And wow. Its about as close to Lombardi's as you can get. The crust was smokey, chewy, but not too chewy, and just the right amount of crispness. Yes, the interior was a bit "wet" but that wasn't a big deal for me. Overall, its probably the third best place for pizza in San Diego (with the best place being my Mom's, and the second best place being my house).

                                                                                                  1. 4
                                                                                                    4wino RE: notjustastomach May 2, 2010 08:37 PM

                                                                                                    We had a celebration there, 11 people. We tried just about every pizza they had, everything was delicious. One downside, they were out of the Czechvar, we went with some other Pilsner.

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                                                                                                    1. re: 4wino
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                                                                                                      zoey67 RE: 4wino May 11, 2010 03:49 AM

                                                                                                      There's a Bruno's in san marcos that is probably the best pizza I've eaten in a long...long time. Up here in N county we got Urbn which is sister of Basic which was the best until I reluctuantly tried Bruno's (because of the mixed reviews on yelp) .

                                                                                                      I can't see how anyone cannot flip out for their pizza so I thought maybe their competition was writing the bad reviews. Btw I ordered a small pizza and thought maybe 8-10" and came out the biggest freakin box at least 24" so it's a little pricey but it will feed a small army.

                                                                                                      1. re: zoey67
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                                                                                                        mikec RE: zoey67 May 11, 2010 04:53 PM

                                                                                                        Bruno's in San Marcos is totally unrelated (I'm pretty sure) and nothing at all like Pizzeria Bruno on Park Ave. in San Diego.

                                                                                                        1. re: mikec
                                                                                                          Josh RE: mikec May 11, 2010 05:24 PM

                                                                                                          Yes, definitely unrelated.

                                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                                      MrKrispy RE: notjustastomach May 11, 2010 10:42 AM

                                                                                                      This thread inspired me to get back to Brunos. Got the Brunoverde and loved every puddle of wet cheesey sauce on the plate. I don't know why someone would complain, we found the puddle quite tasty to dip the crust in.

                                                                                                      (if you aren't aware, they will also bring out a small bowl of red pepper olive oil on request, some of the best I have had at a restaurant in SD)

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: MrKrispy
                                                                                                        Josh RE: MrKrispy May 11, 2010 03:22 PM

                                                                                                        Thanks for the note about the oil. We're going tonight, I will definitely make it a point to get that.

                                                                                                        1. re: MrKrispy
                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                          mangiatore RE: MrKrispy May 11, 2010 07:47 PM

                                                                                                          Olio piccante -- this is another good sign. Still haven't made it there. Damn!

                                                                                                          1. re: mangiatore
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                                                                                                            MrKrispy RE: mangiatore May 11, 2010 11:53 PM

                                                                                                            been there twice where I remembered to ask for the olive oil...once was a olio piccante style and once seemed to be olive oil that they tossed red pepper flakes in. I had the feeling the waiter just tossed them in after I asked for the oil. They also ran out of napkins that day - and it was only 3pm haha

                                                                                                        2. 4
                                                                                                          4wino RE: notjustastomach May 25, 2010 08:08 PM

                                                                                                          This is on my regular rotation as a Sunday afternoon late lunch. Last Sunday we tried the Caprese and the Brunoverde. Both oustanding. Finally the Checkvar was back.

                                                                                                          I have to say that while I love the place, my wife is nuts about this place...that is pricelss.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: 4wino
                                                                                                            Divamac RE: 4wino May 25, 2010 09:34 PM

                                                                                                            We should just cut to the chase and have a standing Chowdown set up for here. It's also on my regular rotation...Sunday late lunch, 4 weeks running. My husband, who's lived in Italy, can't keep away from the stuff! Next week we are taking his parents to see if it brings back memories of their time in Italy, too.

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                                                                                                            tanzbodeli RE: notjustastomach Jun 23, 2010 08:47 PM

                                                                                                            I -finally- made it to Pizzeria Bruno this past weekend. Came in at about 2pm on Saturday and my girlfriend and I were the only two customers.

                                                                                                            From all the ambivalence, I really wasn't sure what to expect. But I was blown away. Less than 5 minutes after placing our order, the pizza arrived at our table. I guess that's what you get when it only takes 90 seconds to cook the pizza. I've never had a pizza crust like that. It was light, chewy, toothsome and oh so tasty. It had perfect little char spots around the edge and was sublime.

                                                                                                            We got the margherita with added anchovies. The tomato sauce was light, sweet and unburdened. The cheese was great. Not to much, nor too little. I didn't find the pizza to be watery as others have found. It was easy to eat by hand, or with a fork and knife.

                                                                                                            Definitely one of the best pizzas I've ever had. And having Czechvar to wash it down with was great as well.

                                                                                                            As it was so empty, I was able to chat with the waiter for a while. He was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. All in all, a great experience. I wish I lived closer, so I could visit everyday. On second thought, it's probably a good thing I'm not.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: tanzbodeli
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                                                                                                              zoey67 RE: tanzbodeli Jun 24, 2010 08:10 AM

                                                                                                              Well made out there for happy hour and got a 7" pie for only $5 with one topping so I got 2 addl topping and beer total came to $11. Sweet deal and excellent pizza. They sd it only took 2-3 min and it was fine but next time I think i'll ask them to leave it in an extra min and hopefully the cook won't spit on my pie.

                                                                                                              I would say it's better than basic or Urbn since they're both similar but I must say Bruno's in San marcos to me is a tad more satisfying only because their pizza is a balance between Bronx and Bruno's Napolatino. Im still in a pizza mood so I might drop by the new joint Blue Ribbon and tell y'all how it stacks up later today.

                                                                                                              Btw re it being empty is because of the location. I drove by it twice on the way there and totally missed it even though it's on a busy street. It's too bad, if they were on University it would do so much better. Im praying they will not go out of business.

                                                                                                              1. re: zoey67
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                                                                                                                MrKrispy RE: zoey67 Jun 24, 2010 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                haha I like that location...it makes up for the seating mess at Blind Lady

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                                                                                                              etsmthn RE: notjustastomach Jun 25, 2010 12:59 PM

                                                                                                              Took my boyfriend and his father who are both from Naples and they were pleasantly surprised, they both said they haven't tasted anything as close to real Naples-style pizza in the States. We go here about once a month now. Love it! Also, last time we went there, we were offered their house made Lardo to be added on to our meat plate, delicious!

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: etsmthn
                                                                                                                jmtreg RE: etsmthn Jun 25, 2010 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                I think its a certified VPN operation. http://www.anticapizzeria.net/vpn/ Anyway, when VPN was created, I remember reading a quote from some Italian official that certifying pizzerias was an insane act of love. I gathered that the Italians viewed the Neapolitans as being a bit crazy about pizza, but since the insanity was based in a passionate love, it was respectable. Having eaten the pizza Pizzeria Bruno Napolitano twice, its definitely worth the insanity.

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                                                                                                                sdfoodfreak RE: notjustastomach Jun 28, 2010 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                I finally tried this place last Friday. It was empty at 5:30 but I was excited to try a true Napoletano style pizza since I haven't had much luck finding anything similar to the pizza I've had in Naples. I ordered the Margherita (not bufala) and it came out drizzled in olive oil (from California according to the server) and topped with fresh basil. It was a knife-and-fork pizza just like I remember from Naples. It was very good but if I had to be picky I would say that the sauce was slightly bitter (probably from the seeds still in the sauce), the cheese was a little tough and chewy, and the crust was over-charred. This place has gotten rave reviews so it was probably a fluke. I think it was slightly over-cooked but all around it seems like a great place with a great atmosphere and good happy hour prices. Check it out if you haven't already!

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano
                                                                                                                4203 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

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                                                                                                                  4wino RE: notjustastomach Jul 13, 2010 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                  Next time you guys visit them, ask for the lardo. Very thin slices of fat, very tasty, probably very bad for you!

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                                                                                                                    h0mi RE: notjustastomach Jul 19, 2010 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                    I think this style of pizza takes some getting used to. My first trip I was unimpressed because of the sogginess of the crust... that's usually been a turn off for me for all pizzas. I found buca di beppo and arrividerci's margherita pizzas to have a crisper crust which I'd enjoyed more.

                                                                                                                    But after a few trips to bruno (4 now) I gotta say that while I prefer the crisper crust, Bruno's is very good. And the bufela option on the margherita was just incredible.

                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: h0mi
                                                                                                                      Josh RE: h0mi Jul 19, 2010 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                      Try the diavolo with sopressatta subbed for the pepperoni. Epic!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Josh
                                                                                                                        globocity RE: Josh Jul 19, 2010 05:33 PM

                                                                                                                        Josh, pardon the ignorant question: What is sopressatta?

                                                                                                                        1. re: globocity
                                                                                                                          honkman RE: globocity Jul 19, 2010 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                          Dry cured Italian salami normally made out of pork.

                                                                                                                          Here is a interesting article about sopressata as the new trendy pizza topping:

                                                                                                                          http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                                                                                                          1. re: honkman
                                                                                                                            jmtreg RE: honkman Jul 20, 2010 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                            This I must try.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jmtreg
                                                                                                                              honkman RE: jmtreg Jul 20, 2010 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                              Since you wrote in another discussion that you (or your mother) make pizza at home you could buy sopressata from Knight Salumi and use it for your pizza.

                                                                                                                              1. re: honkman
                                                                                                                                jmtreg RE: honkman Jul 20, 2010 04:55 PM

                                                                                                                                Yes, yes, I believe I will do that and report back.

                                                                                                                                1. re: honkman
                                                                                                                                  Indirect Heat RE: honkman Feb 5, 2011 07:50 AM

                                                                                                                                  +1. Knight Sopressata is awesome.

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                                                                                                                        4wino RE: notjustastomach Sep 4, 2010 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                        I wanted to go here on a Saturday to get a chance to see Patrick. I usually go there on Sunday's but no Patrick. The antipasto salad was wonderful as usual. And what more can I say about the pizza. All this and a $28 bottle of nicely chilled Lambrusco. Life is good!

                                                                                                                        1. SDGourmand RE: notjustastomach Sep 5, 2010 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                          FInally got around to trying Bruno this afternoon, as I was in the area already... Got two pizzas to go, lasagna and bianco. The lasagna was good but not as good as the Bianco. Perfect crust, crisp and chewy at the same time with nice blisters. I got the bianco without gorgonzola and added anchovy and thought it was perfect. It's always nice to find a pizza place that does things right, would definitely go back..

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: SDGourmand
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                                                                                                                            shouzen RE: SDGourmand Sep 5, 2010 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                            Hey, what a coincidence, we were there this afternoon too. Ate on their patio and enjoyed a Bianco. Really like the pancetta and gorgonzola, though there was just a tad too much mozzarella and arugula for my tastes. Crust was spot-on perfect. I wonder how well the pizza will hold up to takeout... will have to try some other time.

                                                                                                                            1. re: shouzen
                                                                                                                              SDGourmand RE: shouzen Sep 5, 2010 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                              It held up well. I tossed it on batalis pizza pan in a 500 degree oven for a few minutes and it was perfect. Wish there was one closer to Carlsbad.

                                                                                                                              1. re: shouzen
                                                                                                                                globocity RE: shouzen Nov 6, 2010 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                shouzen, the pizza had too much arugula? So arugula, mozzarella, and pancetta were the main ingredients? I'd like to recreate this at home. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                1. re: globocity
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                                                                                                                                  shouzen RE: globocity Nov 7, 2010 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                  You'd really need to keep the gorgonzola in there as well, because it's funk ties everything together and really balances the creaminess of the cheese and saltiness of the pancetta

                                                                                                                            2. dmckean RE: notjustastomach Nov 6, 2010 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                              I finally made it here last night. I had the Campania and the Lasange as well as the Meat and Cheese plate. Everything was delicious and the wet crust controversy on this thread is way overblown.

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                                                                                                                                4wino RE: notjustastomach Jan 29, 2011 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                                After a long hiatus of 1.5 months, due to the holidays, we made it back to Bruno's. Everything was superb. I ordered a double order of the anchovies on the side, they just melt in the mouth. They have some new beers on tap. Patrick recommended the German Lager, and he was spot on with his suggestion. Best pizza in SD for my palate.

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