Kauffman endured three waits for pizza and sides at Sharon Ardiana's Ragazza to find an experience that's "hard to define" overall. On good nights, the pizza evokes: "And those crusts, oh! They are some of the lightest in town." But there's an "infuriating waiter" that keeps surfacing and "the kitchen proved inconsistent." In summary
"Ragazza is a promising restaurant whose staff just needs to get it together. The menu is smart. The room is comfortable. Half of the pizzas come out as fantastic as the pies at Gialina; same with the sides and salads. It's the other half of the product that needs work."[SF Weekly]
The House of Bauer takes a return trip to Heidi Krahling's Insalata's in San Anselmo and finds it's "still going strong." He eats "one of the best pastas ($16) I've had of late: al dente pappardelle lightly coated with a wild mushroom ragout with pork and fennel meatballs." And that does sound quite drool-worthy, we might add. He finds service that makes him feel "appreciated," and despite middle-of-the-road desserts, concludes "the restaurant has become a community touchstone in Marin." It's a 2.5 star party in all categories. [SFGate]
Reidinger hits up the teaspoon-sized Pica Pica in the Mission and remarks on the "kitchen's attentiveness to the full spectrum of sensual appeal." The take-aways: stay away from the tofu (it's tough to eat); stick with pulled pork ("about as good as it gets"); and choose the arepa from the threesome of flatbread options. [SFBG]
The Elsewhere: Let's kick it off with Bar Bites in Danville at Stomp; then onwards to a Bargain Bite at Abhiruchi Indian Cuisine in Pleasanton; meanwhile The Merc finds exquisite pastas at Osteria Coppa in San Mateo; Metro SV likes Bona, the new Polish restaurant in Menlo Park; the Marin IJ has a cozy experience at Cafe on the Common in Ross; and finally the EBX is not worried about the lack of pork at vegan Filipino No Worries in Oakland.
Crowded at Ragazza. [Photo: ISSF]