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My take on Pizza Antica (San Jose)

Carb Lover | Aug 4, 200508:42 AM

Husband and I were at Santana Row recently taking care of some business (ie, wandering around that huge Crate & Barrel store) so we thought we'd finally try Pizza Antica since I had heard some positive things on CH, although nothing too recent. In short, our lunch was pretty disappointing across the board. Saw and tasted enough to decide that there's no need to return.

We ordered the antipasti platter ($8.75) and large pizza margherita (although they don't even call it that; $12.95) to share. Pizza pictured below; a large is about the size of a computer keyboard but it's very thin and not that filling. Wanted the mushroom fritters that I had heard about, but they weren't on the current menu (linked below). Since it was mid-day, we went for non-alcoholic beverages of lemonade and sour cherry limeade (both of which were spritzified).

Antipasti platter consisted of a strange prep of veggie piles, a horribly congealed and flavorless mass of housemade mozzarella (to make another appearance on the pizza), two spartan pieces of crisped focaccia that were stale, and a ramekin of aioli w/ absolutely no purpose. Plain odd. The romano beans were the best part, but if I hadn't been so hungry, I could have abandoned the rest.

I was hoping the pizza would be a little better, but no. It looked fine served on the paddle, but it didn't evoke that enthusiasm that a pizza w/ distinction does when whisked to the table. Sure all the components looked to be there, but beyond that, the thing was utterly lifeless and generic in flavor. The basil was distinct in that it didn't taste like the right variety; had more of the minty flavor of Thai basil which was overpowering. All the fundamentals were lacking, and my regret and agitation mounted as I thought about how I could get so much better at Delfina or A16 or the other pizza war contenders for not much more $. Antica is way overpriced for what you get. To highlight how bored I was w/ Antica's pizza, a thin crust sausage and onion from Domino's would have been more satisfying for me.

I find it amusing that their website has made sure to explicitly define "antica" as "in the old artisanal style" and they go on and on about their exceptional ingredients. Wish they had the substance to back up their sleek marketing. In fact, we walked around afterwards and I checked out some of the other Santana Row eateries that have been mentioned on this board, some that have even come from me. I couldn't help but conclude that they were all "traps" in their own way and don't think I'll be suggesting that anyone make a special trip to Santana Row just for the food. I'm sure places aren't horrible, but they can't be outstanding either...sort of like the Crate & Barrel of restaurants or a glammed up food court. There have to be better flavor and value options outside of this movie-set shopping complex. Even if I'm shopping there, I'll make the extra effort to go to Ramen Halu, Layang Layang, Japantown, or the Vietnamese areas in the future.



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