napizza (pizza al taglio) / little italy – san diego, ca
There was a time, around college or so, that I didn’t eat pizza. I got sick of it. The smell of pepperoni made me feel ill and I just wouldn’t touch the stuff. That’s what the college years imparted on me: a lack of love for the grandest of college food staples. I did eventually rekindle my love of pizza slowly but surely and now I’m uber picky about what kind of pizza will cross my lips. If you try to take me for a $5 pizza at Little Caesar’s or some other unknown place, I will secretly kill you with eye daggers and curse you forever. Jake and I have had our fair share of pizza around town with a few places in constant rotation and I think it’s safe to say that Napizza will be the latest restaurant to pass the test to get into our precious pizza rotation.
I was invited to come and check out Napizza in Little Italy. I’ve been wary of going places Downtown so sometimes its hard to get me to go down into this area, but I’m sure glad we made it down.
You can order whole of half pizzas at Napizza, but I think the fun comes in seeing the styles of pizza slices all laid out before you. There’s something about actually seeing a slice with all of it’s topping rather than just reading the description of said pizza.
Jake, T and I oohed and ahhed over the slices for a bit before actually making some concrete decisions on what to eat. Luckily we were there before the rush since we kind of stared at the slices for awhile before each picking different slices to try.
After we placed our order, we got some drinks and grabbed a table while we waited for the slices to be prepared for us.
I noticed that near the drink dispenser, they had this jug of cucumber lemon water for their guests. Thoughtful!
There were also these rolls of customized masking tape. I wasn’t sure what you’d use these for though… maybe taping up your leftover box of pizza?
Before we get into the pizza slices, let’s talk a bit about their crust.
The crust at Napizza is unlike any other pizza crust I’ve had. I could (and did) easily eat the crust alone. It’s crispy and crunchy on the top and the bottom but the inside of this puffed up looking crust is light and fluffy. They let their dough rise for an incredible 72 hours with a small amount of yeast to create a dough that stands up to their longer cooking time (30 minutes). The flours, olive oil and other ingredients are shipped in from Italy – all to help create this pizza dough!
[daily special slice // margherita// bapo – red potato, crispy bacon, sprinkled with fresh mozzarella and classic zucchini velvet]
All of the slices are squares, making these slices pretty easy to share. We’ve got one slice of the daily special, one of the Margherita and one of the Bapo – one of their most popular slices with red potato slices, bacon and a “zucchini velvet” – sort of like a zucchini sauce laced on top.
Of these three the Bapo was the winner here among the three of us. The combination of all the toppings and flavors paired with that crunchy, fluffy crust was very delicious.
The margherita slice was also really excellent – very simple, but so good – the crust really just makes and outstanding difference in all of these slices.
[old fashioned amatriciana – signature tomato sauce, crispy bacon, sprinkled with fresh Roman pecorino cheese]
This slice of Amatriciana was made with a very robust tomato sauce made with a bacon base with more bacon on top with the pecorino cheese. Jake and T really liked this one, but for me the sauce was a little too much for me – the flavor felt too heavy to me and too rich – but I tend to shy away from sauces like this one, they just don’t appeal to me. But the quality and flavor are still really excellent – just not something for me.
[truffle porcini – porcini mushrooms, decadent truffle cream, sprinkled with fresh mozzarella and garnished with parsley]
Mushrooms lovers can rejoice with this slice of Truffle Porcini – this slice featured two different kinds of mushrooms on top. I didn’t really get a lot of cheese on this one – I felt like it needed a bit more cheese for my tastes. I love mushrooms though, so I still dig this one – the mushrooms were very fresh and were great with the dough, but it felt more like bread with mushrooms rather than a slice of pizza.
[polle e pesto – organic chicken, cherry tomatoes and goat cheese sprinkled with homemade basil pesto]
This chicken pesto slice was both Jake and I’s favorite of the night. The pesto was so bright and super flavorful – and it was nice that it was drizzled on and more of an accent flavor rather than the base sauce. Sometimes pesto can be overwhelming, but when done in the right way it can really be a great highlight – no exception here! The flavors really popped and the crust paired with this was just perfect.
[ma.bi salad – spring mix, baby spinach, walnuts, crispy bacon, apple, homemade garlic croutons, fresh organic avocado, tossed with our honey mustard dressing.]
I also ordered us a salad to share – making the Ma.Bi my pick – the combination of walnuts, bacon and avocado drew me in right away.
All mixed together this salad was really fresh and delicious. The creamy avocado with the crispy bacon with the crunch of the apple and walnuts just made for a perfect salad. The honey mustard dressing was a prefect compliment as well – lightly tossed together but with a nice pack of flavor. Getting a little bit of all of the goodies in one bite was a little challenging but totally worth it if you could achieve it (and I did).
They have a few salad mixes all ready to choose from, but you can also create you own combination from their organic, local ingredients for own special creation.
[nutella dessert pizza]
Last but not least… we got a little slice of heaven with this dessert Nutella pizza. The Nutella here is also imported from Italy (of course!) and is spread in the middle of the pizza crust with a dusting of powdered sugar and cocoa.
It was kind of like a nutella sandwich since it was only in the middle. I personally would have liked more Nutella in there, but that’s just because I love the stuff. This is sweet but not overbearing – and again, the crust shines once again.
While it seems like we ate a lot of bread and crust, the crust didn’t feel heavy at all. I didn’t feel like I was stuffed to the brim with carbs like I usually do when I eat a lot of bread or crust.
Napizza has only been open since this summer but is already looking to be such a great addition to the Little Italy community. If you’re down here for visit, be sure to check out their wonderful pizzas!
1702 India Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 696-0802
Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Thursday – Friday – Sunday: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am to 11:00pm
Disclaimer: I was invited to dine at the result by BAM Communications. Our meal was complimentary. I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own.