This was quite a well-mannered crust, displaying many signs of restraint, seemingly brought out of the oven right at the point when the rawness was just dispelled from the dough, but before the dark crisp scorches had set in. There were shadows of brown cast on the marble white dough by the oven and very fine "bubbles" in the thin crust, leading to an almost crunchy texture with very little chewiness. An interesting crust, holding the middle path between the extremes of dense breadiness or fragile crispness. I liked its unique brittle quality, different from most of my past pizza experiences.
On one half of the pizza, we had a more conservative composition: basil (lots of it -- a good thing), cherry tomatoes halves (juicy and still nearly spurty, a pleasure when hot) and merely decent mozzerella (my personal preference for pizza: the ivory buffalo versions that look almost like a pool of milk as it pizza emerges from the oven; that's rare in this country). Lots of garlic in the tomato sauce.
The other half was more daring. A deep charcoal-like smokiness in spicy smoked sausages and rich fluffs of goat cheese dominated, a very satisfying pairing. The other ingredients were less visible on the palate, the tomato sauce and tomato, a mere distant tang and sweetness behind the meat and cheese.
Certainly a worthwhile dinner, although the modern combinations come at a premium and cost more than the hearty versions at Regina (half a 20-inch pizza and an ice tea at Emma's came to $13 including tax and tip). While I have no strong preference, I do prefer the cheese at Regina and I think the latter offers more down-to-earth bang for the buck. I'll hit Emma's when I feel the need for a more elegant crust and toppings that are ... what's the word ..... Californian.
I'd run back if they were gutsy enough to offer a white pizza with only mozzarella, parsley and very very very thinly sliced lemon (I'm pretty sure I'm the only one that liked lemon slices as a main topping when Arizmendi offered it on their pizza in SF).
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