Best Thin-Crust Pizza San Francisco 2004 - Arinell Pizza
The East Coast expats among us often have a difficult time finding great pizza in San Francisco, especially the New York-style thin-and-crispy-crust variety. But since 1989, the Mission District's Arinell has filled that void admirably. Its owner, Ron Demirdjian, is originally from New York, where he says he learned the recipe "from an Italian gentleman, from Rome." Said recipe results in a 'za with a mildly tart tomato sauce, moderately applied; a non-gooey cheese; and best of all, that crust -- it literally crackles in the mouth, with a lusty, dusky, crispy-brown zest. When asked his secret, Demirdjian replies, "I've never wavered from the recipe -- and I refuse to 'Californicate' my pizza." That means no cilantro, pesto, or pineapple. Only the fundamentals: pepperoni, mushrooms, chopped garlic, and suchlike. (The place makes Sicilian-style, too, for you thick-crusters.) A sizable thin-crust slice sets you back $2.25; a large pie, $18. Arinell offers no delivery, scant seating, and nonexistent ambience -- but who cares, as long as the pie rules.