North Beach Pizza

1598 University Ave (Berkeley)

North Beach Pizza slice

California-style pizza at North Beach.

Eating at North Beach Pizza is like being whizzed into the early 90s.  Aside from the green furniture aesthetics, I heard multiple Phil Collins singles during my stay, and the place was adorned with cheap film camera snapshots of customers with dated clothing smiling next to pizza.  If the pictures didn’t convince you that the pizza would be amazing, the hundreds of pasted comment cards around each booth surely would (one near my table was from a couple who claimed North Beach pizza was better than anything they had tasted in Italy).

But it’s a farce!  Or maybe I just don’t understand California pizza.  Or both.  But really I didn’t see anything special about North Beach pizza.  The crust was very thin and crispy – more like a cracker than bread. This was interesting even if not particularly my style.  Did I mention it’s greasy?  It is.  But the interesting parts of the pizza stop there.  You see, the cheese basically smothered the entire slice, and it wasn’t particularly flavorful.  There was tomato sauce, but all it contributed was a little bit of wetness to the pizza.  There was basil, too, but it too had been squashed underneath the cheese layer (which was kind of strange) and had surrendered its taste.  The only surviving component of flavor was the sliced Roma tomato, which had managed to escape the cheese and was not bad.

Maybe I just don’t like California pizza.  Maybe it doesn’t like me.  But I could go without North Beach pizza.  That said, it does offer something different than your garden variety pizzeria, so maybe that’s some incentive enough to stop by.

Summary: The flavorless cheese smothers all other components in this 90s time machine of a restaurant.

Verdict: Skip it.

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Published in: on August 27, 2010 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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