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Aug 11, 2010 10:29 AM

Zero Zero - San Francisco - Report

Zero Zero is a new restaurant in San Francisco’s SOMA district by Bruce Hill. (Pizzeria Picco, Picco, Bix) The restaurant is named after “00″ or doppio zero ultrafine milling flour, used in many pizzas. They feature ‘Calipolitan’ pizzas, pastas, Italian small plates, ‘two big time bars’, and organic soft serve. The focus is on farm driven ingredients and a party like atmosphere. Reservations for parties 5 or larger only, so by 6:45pm there was a wait.

Zero Zero SF’s Menu has a variety of starters from Crudo to mostly vegetable Antipasti to Salads. 5 pastas and 10 pizzas round out the menu.

Ricotta Stuffed Squash and Fried Squash Blossoms, cherry tomato, Brocolli Raab Pesto ($6.95) is a mass of lightly fried stuffed vegetables that even carnivores could devour quickly.

Heirloom Tomato, cucumber, pickled onion and avocado panzanella ($8.95) was a solid salad with two kinds of fresh tomatoes, bits of marinated avocado, a lite dressing, and some very nice croutons.

Nuvole, Organic Egg, Mascarpone, Mushrooms, Bacon ($12.95) is a rich twisted homemade pasta for strong bacon and egg-based sauce. This rich pasta dish was a bit on the salty side but not as bad as the Papparardelle.

Margherita Pizza – tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella, parmesan and De Padova extra virgin olive oil ($10.95) was a very thin artisan pizza with a runny center and some high quality cheese. There were a fair amount of charm marks on the crust, but the classic margherita flavors of the pizza were very good. Pizzas are sliced at your table side.

Fillmore Pizza – Hen of the Woods mushrooms, leeks, mozzarella, parmesan, pecorino, fontina, garlic and thyme ($15.50) was a vegetarian friendly and tomato sauce-less pizza cooked without a hint of saltiness. Lots of fresh mushrooms made this a bit chewy. Pizzas get racked on a cool multiple pizza tower.

Castro Pizza – Sopresatta, House made sausage, tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil ($13.50) was a solid pizza with also a wet middle. Tasty meats on the salty side. A bit more edge cindering on this one.

Organic Soft serve Chocolate / Vanilla Swirl ($4.95), Toffee ($0.50) and Mascapone Cheesecake ($4) had a ton of high quality, egg-based, very smooth ice cream. Even the cheesecake was top notch. Dessert costs can skyrocket with all the options, so share this large creation.

Papparardelle, Braised Pork Shoulder, Grilled Summer Squash olive pesto ($13.95) was a good sized house made pasta with excellent homemade wide noodles and tender meat. The major problem was simply the meat was too salty.


Service – Zero Zero opened not long ago, and already has decent service although the waitress overloaded as the place filled up. She was friendly and knew the dishes well. Pacing was off, as all the dishes seem to come at different times.

Value – Prices are definitely on the premium side for a trendy pizza, pasta, and cocktails place, leaving minimal room for error. It is easy to hit $40 a person for a pizza, appetizer, drink, and dessert.

Alternatives – Pizzaiolo in Oakland, reminds me of Zero Zero, but has better food.

Verdict – Zero Zero serves up solid pizza in a energetic atmosphere, perfect for groups and parties. They could use some tuning on their pastas though. Strong cocktail list. Good sized wine list with Wines on tap from $6, by the glass from $7, by the bottle from $25.
4% San Francisco health surcharge that is not mentioned on the menu.

Pics and more...

5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

Zero Zero
826 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107

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  1. Thanks for your very thorough run-down. I was wondering how long it would be before we heard about it. Anyone else tried Zero Zero?

    Zero Zero
    826 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107

    1. Have you been to Pizzeria Picco, for comparison? Is it pretty much the same stuff?

      Pizzeria Picco
      320 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA 94939

      1. We went on opening weekend and snagged a couple seats at the bar with no wait. Service and coursing were perfect.

        I started with a spicy Tres Agaves cocktailI, the High Smolder, which had a well balanced tartness, sweetness and a medium spicy kick (not as spicy as the Laughing Buddha at Cantina). The Nebbiolo they had by the glass was very nice as well.

        We started with the fried chicken thighs that came with a tomato sauce and spicy white sauce. The chicken was perfectly fried, very juicy with a well seasoned crunchy batter, best fried chicken I've had in a while. Also loved the fried basil they garnished it with. Definitely a must order.

        The spaghetti with prawn, broccoli raab, mint and chiles was tasty as well, albeit on the salty side. Pasta was cooked well, maybe just a tad more than al dente. For comparison, I liked the ramp taglietelle with spicy tomato sauce at SPQR more than this, but my dining partner liked the dish.

        Kitchen accidentally sent out the arancini, essentially a fried rice ball filled with spinach and cheese. These were perfectly cooked till golden and crunchy, with a creamy risotto like interior. It's served with a nice white sauce underneath, topped with arugula.

        I had the Castro pizza as well, which was predictably salty from the cured meats, but I'm partial to a Margherita pie. The crust is light, well seasoned, perfectly thin, nicely charred on top as well as below, but wet in the middle. Tomato sauce was just a tad undersalted or not enough tomato essence for me. I like Tony's (North Beach) tomato sauce the best. It had a good amount of cheese and we were able to add some fresh basil for some brightness since we sat at the bar. I'd definitely come back to try another pie, the bar staff mentioned they liked the white pies the best.

        Tres Agaves Restaurant
        130 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107

        1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

        2 Replies
        1. re: DezzerSF

          I was there early last Friday and the fried chicken dish is one of the most delicious things I have eaten in recent memory. The accompanying yogurt sauce with caraway was good on its own too.

          We ordered 2 pizzas and I thought they were fine, a bit chewy but I don't know if that is good or bad in the pizza world. The pizzas seemed slightly smaller than those at Picco.

          The serving of softserve seemed huge compared to what I remember at Picco. It definitely adds up if you add extra toppings. Our order of softserve with chocolate sauce and a waffle was about $9.50. I live close by so I will definitely be back.

          1. re: Mari

            we also went within the first or so. Went opening night just for dessert and i loved the ice cream with olive oil/sea salt.

            Went back a week or so later and had a large selection of dishes which left me a bit underwhelmed.

            We started with the Hiramasa crudo. This had really good flavors but they overwhelmed the fish and the dish was a bit too salty.
            The meat plate was also underwhelming. The meats themselves didn't hold up without the jam/bread, yet there wasn't enough jam/bread to support the meat.
            We also had the castro pizza. I agree that the cheese was good, but the pizza was soggy in the middle (even tho it had excessive char -- and I'm a char gal). The sausage was cut in chunks in an odd way that added the overwhelming flavor of salt on the pizza.
            We followed this eve up with one at nearby Zuppa.
            By comparison the meat plate at Zuppa was outstanding (sure, it's different meats but the selection was much better)
            The sausage pizza at zuppa was also superior. Cooked perfectly with thin slices of sausage that added excellent flavor without overwhelming the pie.

            I'd happily return to Zero Zero for ice cream, but I'd go to Tony's for the perfect pizza.

            564 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

            Zero Zero
            826 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107

        2. I love a fortuitous typo: "charm marks" on the crust of an artisan pizza fits the bill.

          1. Ate here last night, I thought it was good but a little uneven, and not as good as Picco in my limited (3 visits) experience. Here's what we had:
            - Plum Smash cocktail- bourbon, mint, plum, lime- very tasty, served on the rocks though so it got a little watery, next time i'd order it served up.
            - Bruschetta with caponata and buratta- nice generous portion. the caponata and buratta were delicious. my only complaint is that the bread was a little soft & airy, i prefer a chewier, crunchier, denser bread for bruschetta.
            - Polenta with mushrooms and egg- really tasty, great sauce on the mushrooms combined well with the egg flavor.
            - Margarita Extra Pizza- This was pretty disappointing- very little cheese, which i know is the style of this kind of pizza, but it was still too little. And the sauce was too sparsely flavored, which i think is also the style of this kind of pizza, but again, too little flavor, too much rawness. The crust was good, chewy, a little sour. Next time I'd try one of the white pies or a meat pie.
            - We also had wine on tap- the dolcetto and the sangiovese, both very good.

            Zero Zero
            826 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107