After two years of anticipation, The Mission welcomed Farina Pizza to the dance floor in mid-August. As the second, notably more casual establishment from Farina owners Luca Minna and Laura Garrone, this eye-catcher on the corner of 18th and Valencia has fifth-generation pizzaiolo Antonio Langella in its arsenal, slinging pizzas in and out of a black stone oven constructed with sand from Mt. Vesuvius. But is it enough to stand out in a neighborhood where Neapolitan heavy hitters like Pizzeria Delfina, Beretta, and Flour + Water, are nearby? Not to mention, Mozzeria? Let's see what the people are saying.
The Neapolitan News: "[It is] Neapolitan pizza as it's meant to be," said Tasting Table of the 15-dollar pies: "A pure distillation of a few ingredients." Tablehopper was also "blown away" by her pizza. She suggests, "For those who dislike the char of Neapolitan pizzas cooked in wood-fired ovens, you'll enjoy this one." In contrast, SF Weekly's Anna Roth was not impressed: "They're average renditions of Neapolitan-style pies you've likely had before. On the plus side, the toppings are high-quality and well-balanced." And an anonymous Eater guest adds, "What an uninspired pizza lineup! Tomato + mozzarella + Basil on almost every single one. In a town full of pizza, a little inspiration wouldn't hurt."
The Crust News: According to Yelper E H., "They won't cut your pizza because, as our server said, they want you to 'experience the crust.'" While Ms. Tablehopper found that "the dough has great flavor and an amazing elasticity", SF Weekly's Roth thought the crust to be "doughier and less cooked than I've come to expect from thin-crust pizzas; the centers are downright soggy." She says, "Neapolitan pizza should be moist, but these were soupy, which made them all the more difficult to cut." And though Yelper Christina M. thought the crust was "awesome...airy and fresh," another Yelper, Pearl L. said her crust was "a bit undercooked?soft, chewy, and with no blackened charred blisters," which "made the pies soggy and difficult to eat."
The Vibe News: "The interior feels like a sleek, Italian version of a diner with a focus on turnover," writes SF Weekly's Roth. While Yelper Audrey B. enjoys "the energy" of the space more than that of the original Farina down the street, she feels the restaurant is "all about the coolness factor? the hip interior, prominent location and chic diners" and "not so much about the food or the drinks." The Tablehopper describes the restaurant's white, hex tiled exterior as "a bit space-agey," but finds the interior "inviting and cheerful" with the "eye-catching ceiling" composed of panels with comic book characters from the 1960's Italian Diabolik comic.
The Booze $$ News: The Tablehopper commented bluntly on the all-Italian wine list: "They're not cheap." Roth at SF Weekly adds her opinion on the pricing: "Though there are a half-dozen imported Italian beers?it's hard to justify $12 or $18 for a 330 ml beer." Yelper Kristen H. enjoyed her Italian beer choice, but she felt her friends "would have liked a longer wine list to choose from." Meanwhile SL N. Yelped a seven-paragraph one-star review, and she and her fellow dining patrons were "SHOCKED by the price of alcohol." She thought, "The most 'reasonably' priced bottle of red wine on their menu is $48!"
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