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Food & Drink

Best Pop-Up to Permanent Restaurants 

Wednesday, May 6 2015

After 20 years spent perfecting the art and science of pizza, including almost five years selling below the legal radar on the streets with the help of a modified Weber grill that cooked dough at up to 1,000 degrees, Jeff Krupman of PizzaHacker (3299 Mission St., 415-874-5585) opened his first brick and mortar restaurant in Bernal Heights in February 2014. His pizzas are made with dough that's based on Tartine's bread recipe, and tomato sauces that are painstakingly made from scratch using local and Italian tomatoes — and they'll stand up to the best pies in the city. The space is buzzing but easygoing and relaxed at the same time. An abundance of families and couples huddle over the long picnic tables, sharing pies, a retention of the communal aspect of sharing Krupman cultivated on the pavement for all of those years. One of the standout pizzas is the Rocket Man, with arugula, garlic, lemon juice, chili paste and a lovely farm egg centerpiece. The pie is cut so that the piece with the egg is a large square and other corners and pieces are easy to detach and dip in the egg for extra richness.

San Francisco's pop-up scene has taken on every price and style imaginable, and at the high end was Lazy Bear (3416 19th St., 415-874-9921), which has made the transition from a pop-up in 2009 into refined permanent restaurant in 2014. It's been perpetually packed since opening in September, rivaling only State Bird Provisions as the hot, typically un-procure-able ticket in town. By using a ticketing system that sells two seatings a night, Lazy Bear leads people to feel like they've scored a Powerball lottery if they manage to get one. Persistence is worth it in this case, as once inside, minds are universally blown under the ever-evolving culinary innovation of chef David Barzelay, whose last name provides the anagram that is the restaurant's moniker.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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