little star pizza in the mission....yes, we are eating 2 pizzas
This is what happens when you've lived in a place for a while, there's a place you've eaten at many times and for some reason you keep thinking you had already reviewed the place. Then when you go back over you posts you find you never did. Such is the case with Little Star Pizza, I've been there several times since I started this food thing, but for whatever reason, never wrote about it.
Little Star started out with a spot on Divisadero (still there) and hit the ground running with good reviews and lines out the door (San Francisco!). Since then, they expanded to three locations, one in Albany ,of all places, and another on Valencia street in the Mission. I've been to both SF locations and on this particular evening me and Ms. O were hitting up the Mission spot for no other reason than it was close by, open and we really like their pizza. Yes, that's a dead giveaway to the rest of the review, but they've been around awhile, have a following and it's pizza. Still, I thought I would at least show you what we got.
Pizzas come in two sizes, small and large. They also come in two versions, thin crust and deep dish. You can get pre-named versions or create your own. Things are made to order and if you go thin crust it comes pretty quickly. The deep dish could take up to 30 minutes depending on how busy the place is. In order to maximize our experience and time, we did what folks sometimes do--ordered a small thin crust to tide us over till our small deep dish arrived. Gluttonous? Maybe, but this way we knew there would be slices left over for lunch the next day.
First up is the sausage and mushroom thin crust. It's $14 for the basic cheese then $1.75 for each topping. True to form it comes pretty quick and even for a small, there are still 6 nicely sized slices. Main reason I like Little Star is their crust. It is the cornmeal mix variety that stays thin and crispy even with sauce and toppings. No soggy tip syndrome going on here. Crisp, almost crumbly with buttery corn notes. I am just a sucker for a cornmeal crust. While I know they aren't the first place in town to do this, Paxti's did pre-date them, they do a pretty darn good version in their own right. It also goes well with their very slightly spicy pizza sauce made in-house. Sort of a sweet and spicy thing with combined with the crust. Large chunks of sausage and mushrooms and plenty of cheese to get gooey with. It is one good bite after another.
We decided to go house special with the small deep dish and got the Mediterranean chicken with artichoke hearts, onions, red bell peppers and feta along with the red sauce and mozzarella for $20. There are also green olives, but decided to skip those. It is like a wall of crust with all the toppings nestled down in it's valley. The crust is thicker all around and it needs to be to hold up all those toppings. But they managed to cook the crust all the way through without any doughy bits. Just nice crisp crust. It helps also to load toppings in first, then cover in cheese, then cover in sauce. Helps keep things from getting too soggy. Chunks of chicken, marinated artichoke hearts, crunchy onions, overall I liked it. Not sure I'd go Mediterranean again, but for something different it was good. It's always fun to try different things on your pizza, though at the end of the day, I'm probably still a traditionalist, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom kind of thing.
And there it is, Little Star Pizza, now I've reviewed it and can mark it off the list. There are any number of places in San Francisco to get pizza, I think I've shown that over the past few years. But Little Star is one of the stand out ones serving up their version of a tasty, crispy cornmeal crust you can get in thin and thick and each size crust is worth trying. While you don't have to get one of each on the same visit like we did, unless you want to, no judgement, you can then use it as an excuse (like you need one) to go back again. Or better yet, get the thin crust at one location and get the deep dish at the other. And if you do it in the same evening, still no judgement, but maybe a little admiration.