We are back for part two in our series of “Where To Eat in San Francisco”, and we have saved the best for last. Could you believe that a New Yorker can actually find better pizza out west than there is here? That is blasphemy! Well it definitely did happen while I was out there, as well as devouring the best Peruvian food I have ever had as well as some pretty tasty shareable plates inside a hot new hotel. This is the conclusion for where you should eat the next time you are in The Golden Gate city.
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana- 1570 Stockton Street, North Beach
Do you notice in the picture above, that there is a man holding a woman in a very comforting way? That is how i wanted someone to hold my belly after having what I truly believe to be one of the best pizza, if not THE best, pizza experience of my life. After reading that Forbes.com gave Tony’s Pizza Napoletana the award for The Best Pizza in America, I was naturally skeptical given that I come from the Pizza capital of our country… New York.
Needless to say, my moronic skepticism was shut up within the first bite of Tony’s incredible variety of pizzas that he produces. Home of 11 time, yes 11 time World Pizza champion Tony Gemignani, he has taken ideas from his mother’s side growing up and turned something like that into award-winning Neapolitan pizzas for anyone to enjoy. With thirteen different restaurants under his belt, this man is a god in the Pizza world, and we were simply there to bask in his cheesy and tasty glory.
I don’t even know where to begin with which pizza was the best but if my hands were tied, I would have to say The Honey Pie, pictured above. I have never had anything like it in my life before. Consisting of honey, calabrese peppers, mozzarella, scallions, piave cheese, caramelized onions and serrano peppers, it is a classic and perfect example of mixing sweet and savory all in one tasty bite. Absolutely delicious. Their Margharita, which is limited to only 73 a day, it is that good, is freaking fantastic. My other favorite from what they provided was their Sweet Grandma, only ten made per day. If this Grandma is this sweet each time I try it, then I am going to want to visit her as often as possible. With extra sweet tomato sauce, mozzarella, garlic, oregano and pecorino, this pizza is proof that you don’t need a zillion toppings on order for it to be great. Don’t just take my word for it. Check out their official site for more info.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana- Pier 1.5, Embarcadero
La Mar, located right off the water in the Embarcadero area of San Francisco (take the above ground F train all the way down Market Street to get to this area, hint hint) boasts the best of Peruvian cuisine, in one of the most breathtaking areas of SF. With the location split between being indoor and outdoor, you really get an incredible birds eye view of how magnificent the city really is, on top of how delicious Celebrity Chef Gaston Acurio prepares each individual dish to perfection.
La Mar’s seafood cuisine is simply spectacular in its execution, taste, texture, and so many other wonderful adjectives to describe really how great it is. Here are some of the dishes that i recommend you try next time you are in town. Their Cebiches are absolutely delightful, and we were treated to their classic one which had California Halibut in a leche de tigre with red onion, habanero, Peruvian corn and yam. Shockingly for me, what pulled this together was the sweetness of the yam mixed with the spicyness of the habanero and the delicious Halibut. For their Tiraditos, which is Japanese sushi, Peruvian style, I would recommend trying their Tiradito Verde, which is wild salmon, creamy avocado, and jalapeno pepper leche de tigre. Once again, the flavor combinations in these are out of this world, yet don’t leave a burning hole in your mouth.
For their Causas, which means duo of whipped potatoes topped with seafood or vegetarian ingredients, we recommend their Causa Limena, which has Dungeness Crab on top of a yellow potato causa with avocado purée, quail egg, cherry tomatoes, ají amarillo huancaína sauce and basil cilantro oil. Tasty as can be. They also have a great line of Anticuchos, grilled skewers by the food carts in Peru, such as their Carne, Pollo or Pescado as three good examples. To finish the meal off, you must get their Dulce De Leche, as it is quite possibly the best version of this dessert that I have ever had. For more information, check out their official site.
Dirty Habit, located inside The Hotel Zelos, 12 4th Street, Union Square
Dirty Habit, which happens to be on the fifth floor of one of the fab hotels that I stayed at, Hotel Zelos, is a great example of a relaxed environment where you can get some delicious cocktails and shareable treats to enjoy with the person or persons that you are with. Elegant and modern, Dirty Habit has both an indoor and outdoor location, which fits perfectly into the weather that we will be having in the upcoming weeks.
Although their cocktails are quite yummy, I made a beeline for the delicious food that they provided for us. Some standouts for me that night was their Chicken Wings with sweet soy and a chili vinaigrette, Steamed Bun with Fried Lamb Belly and Peanuts, and their Seared Scallops with Lentils, Ham and Endive. On the sweeter side, their Churros with Flan, Spiced Chocolate and Passion Fruit was our favorite way to end the meal. Each of these dishes that are mentioned all packed a ton of flavor and spice that was necessary and worked very well with the surrounding environment. If you are looking for a chill place with great food, check them out. For more info, here is the official site.