Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dining Out: Pauline's Pizza

Until last Thursday, cubes and I had never dined at Pauline's Pizza on Valencia, even though we walked by it many times. I'd always assumed that Pauline's served deep dish pies, something that typically is off limits for me. And... Pauline's is almost always packed with a crowd gathered outside, waiting patiently for their turn to dine. Last Thursday there was no line, and with the exception of the private dining room, the main room was empty save for one family.
Dining Out: Pauline's

First, let me say that Pauline's doesn't serve deep dish pies. They specialize in a thin crust that's more like a focaccia or flat bread. They offer fresh, in season, organic ingredients from one of their farms and wine from their winery. (The asterisk on the specials menu identifies produce from their farms.)

We decided to split the salad special, an appetizer, and a medium Pesto Pizza. The salad special arrived at the table, arranged like a work of art. It was hard to take the first portion and mess up the arrangement. The Belgian endive was not bitter (we're guessing that the leaves had been blanched as we'd been taught last year at Casa Lana's). The persimmon slices were paper thin; I'd have liked a little thicker piece for more flavor. The persimmon was overpowered by the beets, endive, and greens.

Next to arrive was our appetizer. The Brussels Sprouts were roasted and seasoned with a touch of salt and pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The sweetness of the balsamic vinegar offset the tartness of the Brussels Sprouts beautifully. When cubes went outside to talk on his phone, I wolfed down more than half of the dish.

Until I got pregnant, I'd not been a fan of pesto - even the pesto made without Parmesan that I could eat. I know, with my love of Thai and Italian cooking and their pervasive use of basil, you'd think I would have loved it. Pauline's signature Pesto Pizza satisfied a craving I didn't know I had. The ratio of pesto to pizza crust to Romano was just right. Even though I was comfortably full after two slices, I just had to have a third. It was that good.

Now that we know they offer thin crust pizza, we'll definitely be making our way to Pauline's more often. And if we arrive when there's a crowd, we'll be ordering take out. (More photos from our dinner are up on Flickr.)

What's your favorite pizza spot in the city?

Bon Apetit!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.