Saturday, February 25, 2017

Landini's Pizzeria - San Diego

When it comes to pizza, I've decided I like it good and thin. Chicago-style? It's fine if you want a cheese casserole disguised as pizza. But for me, a good pizza is one that hews close to the Neapolitan original. And a great pizza? Well, it's gotta be a New York-style slice.

A New York pizza, in my opinion, possesses the perfect balance of the thin, hand-formed dough of a Neapolitan, but also the uniform amount of cheese and sauce that I fully recognize as the American contribution to the pizza arts.

While I've not made the pilgrimage to the New York pizza temples in actual New York to eat an actual New York pizza, some of the best pizza I've had in my life has been in this style. The two at the top of my list are APizza Scholls in Portland, Oregon and Home Slice in Austin, Texas--cities where I would not have expected to find great pizza.

So far, in Southern California, the closest to the ideal I've found is a pizza parlor called Landini's in San Diego's Little Italy.

We decided to try it out one day simply because we were down there, craving pizza, and happened to have a San Diego Restaurant Gift Card we got last Christmas burning in our pocket. Landini's happened to accept the card.

So we ordered a whole pepperoni pie, made-to-order for about $20. Having it made-to-order--I have to tell you--is the best way to eat this pie. It came out fuming from of the oven, served on the warped aluminum pan I assume it was baked on. And when we took our first bite, the molten cheese and hot pepperoni grease burned the roof of our mouths. But it also put us into a pleasure-induced trance.

Here was the optimal ratio of tart sauce, creamy cheese, and crust that was neither too thick nor too thin. It was uniform all the way to the edge. If I had only one complaint about this pie, it's that the dough might have been slightly overworked. Jaw fatigue set in after I finished my second larger-than-my-face slice. But then, maybe it's good that it did, because I would've eaten two more slices, which would've meant eating half the pizza.

Native San Diegans might want to tell me right about now that I may have missed out on Little Italy's other pizza temple: Filipi's, which is located directly across the parking lot from Landini's. To that I say that Filipi's did not accept my San Diego Restaurant Gift Card.

And you know what's better than a great New York pizza? Not having to pay for one!

Landini's Pizzeria
1827 India St.
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 238-3502

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