When there’s an icon of the Garden State on the menu, you know it’s legit.
Jersey, the by-no-means-exclusively-pizza place on Second Street in SoMa, has revamped its menu and does some heavy lifting when it comes time to impressing people who give their place of origin as “Exit 7A.” (That would be on the New Jersey Turnpike.)
It hasn’t been tenable to poop on San Francisco’s pizza offerings for quite a while now, but any remaining bomb-lobbers need to sample one of two options at Jersey: the New Yorker (provolone, mozzarella, pork sausage, pepperoni, and pancetta, in a hearty tomato sauce, but also generous blobs of ricotta, $26) or the Taylor pork roll (Jersey sauce, fried egg, mozzarella, and provolone, $25). In case you have no idea what the hell it is, Taylor pork roll is a regional crypto-delicacy that’s sui generis to its partisans but more or less the same as a smoky kielbasa to everybody not from New Jersey.
As a project from Steven and Mitchell Rosenthal — of Town Hall, Salt House, and Anchor & Hope — Jersey represents the fourth leg of a SoMa tetralogy. It’s more casual than its siblings, but still food-centric, with monster meatballs slathered in tomato sauce and mozzarella — but not so hoity-toity that there isn’t also a bacon-wrapped “Ripper” made with sauerkraut, house dressing, American cheese, and potato crisps. People from that part of the country tend to express approval by nodding while frowning severely, which is what you will do upon ingesting pappardelle with guanciale Bolognese and broccolini ($24).
God bless New Jersey, the most unfairly maligned state, where even the chopped salads have provolone and two kinds of cured meats.
Jersey, 145 Second St., 415-912-1502 or jerseysf.com.