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Restaurant report: Pizzeria Delfina on 18th St

I don't get Delfina. I honestly don't. I've noticed this nasty trend in San Francisco for restaurants to take Italian-American cuisine, the likes of which can be found in any deli or bodega on the East Coast, and celebrate it as if it were the Second Coming. Despite the giant lines crowing the sidewalk every day, Delfina is not remarkable and it is almost certainly not worth waiting for.

While not attempting to engage in the perennial New York versus San Francisco food debate, Delfina would never receive the accolades that it does were it in the New York area. Simply, the food is plain, unimaginative, and not even well done. I have had pizza from Delfina twice, both here on 18th St and their location near FIllmore Street. Their dough and crust is just all right, but it is their flavors where they really fall short. The pizza is bland and boring.

Delfina also does not push the definition of pizza. Nothing new, nothing unique, nothing that can only be found at Delfina. By itself, that is fine! There's nothing wrong with taking classical dishes and doing them well. But Delfina manages to make everything taste bland and boring.

So now when I see the crowds waiting for an hour for a table, I can walk on by without any regrets.

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Delfina Restaurant
3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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    1. Now that you've gotten the name of the restaurant right, do you think you can add some specifics about what you tried and did not like? Which pizzas did you try that you found bland and boring?

      Taste is personal, of course, and but it would be great to hear more about what you ate, specifically, and how it fell short.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pane

        As a New Yorker..I would define the pizza and food as Neopolitan ...not Italian-American.

        1. re: ChowFun_derek

          As they dont even use a wood fired oven at Delfina Id say they are Neapolitan-influences and whatever other adjectives you can come up with...artisanal?

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          Delfina Restaurant
          3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          1. re: ChowFun_derek

            Per the Web site, Delfina is Neapolitan-inspired, so it's not intended to remind anyone of NY Italian-American.

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            Delfina Restaurant
            3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        2. I spent the first three decades of my life in NYC and recently lived there again for almost three years. Are we talking about the same NYC? One can find bad to mediocre Italian and/or Italian/American food on just about every street. Don't get me wrong, there's lots of good to great stuff in my home town as well, but you do have to know where to get it.

          In defense of my current home (Bay Area), the same holds true here. You have to know where to go to avoid the mediocre or just plain terrible. I have had good to great experiences at the Fillmore Delfina. Everyone has different tastes.

          1. Jeez! Pizzeria Delfina is one of my favorite spots. I usually order the Panna pizza and it is so flavorful and well put together that I am always tempted to take one more to go. I've tried many of the well-regarded pizzas in the Bay Area and PD is in the top 5, easy.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kellylee

              The Panna is the only pizza I've had at Pizzeria Delfina (Fillmore location), and I thought it was just great.

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              Pizzeria Delfina
              2406 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115

            2. We have a strange custom in the Bay Area. When you don't like the food in a restaurant (no matter how good it may be for others), you may complain to up to ten people for no more than two hours, then do not eat there any more.