the haven / kensington – san diego, ca
After my little solo trip to Heaven Sent and after Jake’s game that evening, I suggested we head over to The Haven Pizzeria in Kensington for dinner. I had a LivingSocial deal and had read about the pizza spot on CC’s blog and I had a hankering to visit.
[haven twists – parmesan & garlic bread sticks / $4.99]
I can never resist a breadstick, even though we’re already eating pizza. I’ll have more carbs with my carbs, thank you! The breadsticks looked really good with that Parmesan and garlic all over it, but I thought they were too thin. The thinness made them more crunchy than they should be, so they were a bit dried out. The flavor was good but it didn’t seem like there was enough soft, fluffy bread in there.We did get a choice of two dipping sauces and we got the roasted garlic sauce and the spicy pizza. The roasted garlic sauce was excellent – good amount of garlic without being overpowering. The spicy pizza was also good – it was a marinara sauce with a little heat, but not so much heat that I couldn’t handle it.
This appetizer seemed a bit on the pricey side since we only got 5 breadsticks. That’s a dollar a piece!
[dave’s meatballs – meatballs baked in tomato sauce, topped with parmesan / $7.99]
The meatballs came out pipping hot and I loved how the cheese got a little crusty around the edges. The meatballs again were just okay, nothing special about them and again I didn’t think this was quite worth the price.
[caesar salad / $5.99 small]
The Caesar salad was pretty good. I liked the lightly tossed dressing and the homemade croutons tossed in the salad. I also like that they did shavings of Parmesan on the salad.
[build your own pizza with candied bacon, mascarpone cheese and red sauce]
CC had mentioned that she got a pizza with mascarpone cheese on top, as recommended by the staff. This I had to try out! I really liked the mascarpone cheese with it since it has that extra bit of sweetness. Normally I prefer ricotta, but mascarpone was a nice substitute for it here (though I still think I like ricotta a bit better).
I surprised Jake by requesting we try the red sauce instead of going for garlic, but I felt like I wanted to try a more basic pizza. The candied bacon was a bit overkill to me since it was sweet protein piled on top of a sweet creamy cheese. It needed something else to break up the sweetness – some onions or garlic or something salty. This was our own fault though since we weren’t sure how the flavors would all mix in together. Don’t get me wrong – the candied bacon was excellent, but I had already topped out on my limit of sweet things for the day!
The crust’s bottom was done nicely with a good enough browning. This is a bit thicker than NY style thin crust and it held up well without being too soggy on the top. It wasn’t quite crunchy, but the crust had a good chew and flavor.
Would I come back? Yes, I would – but I’d skip the appetizers and go for more trying more pizza combinations. They have a “PBTO” which has hazelnut pesto, candied bacon, tomato and caramelized onion which sounds really good to me (especially the pesto part). I might even be willing to try their “Spicy Pesto” which has the spicy pizza sauce with hazelnut pesto, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella. They have some good creations and a good amount of different toppings (artichoke, brussel sprouts or pepper jack cheese, anyone?) and also offer wheat and gluten free crusts for an additional charge. I think it’s safe to say that we’ll back to try more items at The Haven!
The Haven Pizzeria
4051 Adams Ave.
San Diego, CA 92116