Del Popolo Pizza Truck – San Francisco


Del Popolo
Currently at Mint Plaza, SF
(415) 967-1853

Rated: ♣♣♣♣♣

Sigh, I feel awful for leaving The Culture Bite for 2 months. I caught a case of the lazies and I couldn’t get myself motivated to write anymore reviews… until yesterday. It’s not surprising that pizza is what drew me back!

A coworker, and fellow food lover, suggested we take a trip out to the Mint Plaza to try this brand new Napoletana-style pizza truck by a former Flour + Water chef, Jon Darsky. Holy smokes, this truck is impressive. Darsky shelled out $180 THOUSAND to build his new restaurant-on-wheels in a shipping container complete with a wood-burning oven that can reach up to 800-degrees and pop out 72 pies per hour. Do you see how insanely large this truck is compared to its patrons?


For $10 each, Del Popolo offers 2 different kinds of pizzas – a classic margherita and a white pizza. I opted for the margherita since it’s usually my benchmark for comparing authentic Napoletana-style pizzas. In less than 5 minutes, I had a piping hot, freshly baked pizza in my hands. We ate in the plaza because I couldn’t bear to trek 15 minutes back to work without a taste of this cheesy-tomato pie. As I pulled apart my first slice, I immediately felt the soft pillowy crust between my fingers. I thought that since the pizza was scorched in a 800-degree oven, the pizza would be crusty. Fooled I was! I took my first bite and immediately went into pizza heaven. The crust was soft, chewy and salty. The mozzarella was perfectly gooey and the sauce had the right amount of tanginess.


I would say their margherita pizza is on par with my favorite Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach. But instead of waiting 2 hours for a table at Tony’s, I could come early to Del Popolo, the pizza big-rig, and get a pizza in less than 5 min!

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Cupola Pizzeria – San Francisco

Rated: ♣♣♣♣

While doing some damage at the SF Westfield mall, Cupola quickly caught my eye. At the very top of the shopping center is a brand new Italian restaurant from the Lark Creek Steak Restaurant Group serving up gourmet pizzas and pastas. If you’re planning on dining here, be prepared to wait. We waited about an hour for a table of 3, but you can also make a reservation. Though, it seems kind of silly to make a res for mall food, but here, it’s necessary and worth it.

Believe it or not, we were trying to eat light, so we decided to skip the pizza and order gnocchi with lamb ragu, fried calamari salad and warm mozzarella with broccoli rabe.

We started off with Warm Pulled-to-order Mozzarella with broccoli rabe and crusty crostinis. So rich, creamy and amazing. The toasted chili flakes were a nice compliment to the heavy dish.

Cupola Pulled Mozzarella

Next, we had the Fried Calamari Salad. A generous portion of deep fried calamari was topped on a bed of well-dressed arugula, red onion and thinly sliced lemon. The calamari was fried perfectly without tasting too greasy.

Cupola Calamari Salad

For our entree, we split the Potato Gnocchi with braised lamb, red kabocha squash, honey thyme vinegar and pecorino cheese. As if I couldn’t be more pleased, they bring me this dish. The gnocchi was light and airy, the lamb tender, the sauce sweet and creamy while still savory. The dish was completely amazing and I’m definitely ordering this again when I come back.

Cupola Gnocchi Lamb

Overall, I was thoroughly wow-ed by Cupola. For mall food, this was pretty darn good. Though, I’ll need to eat the pizza in order to tell if this is legit. Can’t wait to come back!

Cupola Pizzeria
Westfield Shopping Centre
845 Market St, 4th Fl, Ste 400
San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhoods: Union Square, SOMA

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Sam’s Kitchen – Pizza Margherita

Sams Kitchen Pizza Margherita

To be honest, K and I hardly cook in our brand new kitchen. It’s really bad actually… We typically hang out at my parents house and eat meals like this, this and this.

One day, K and I made a real effort to get off work early and cook a dinner for ourselves. First meal on our list was pizza! We made a pizza margherita that night, and I surprised by how easy it was. Check out the recipe below:


Note: You will need a pizza stone for this recipe. I used this one.

1 large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 bag of pizza dough from Trader Joe’s
6-8 fresh basil leaves

— Sauce —
2 cans peeled tomatoes
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
5 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of chili flakes


Brown the garlic and chili flakes in the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add in the tomatoes and salt, and let it stew for 20 minutes. Take a potato masher and break up the tomatoes until it’s a thick and slightly chunky consistency. Add in the oregano, bay leaf and basil and let the sauce stew for another 15 minutes. Let the sauce cool down before smearing it on the pizza dough.

Sams Kitchen Pizza Sauce Cooked

Place dough on a floured surface and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Sams Kitchen Pizza Dough

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

After it has rested, stretch the dough out to a round that’s 14 inches in diameter on a floured surface, then brush the dough with olive oil. Carefully transfer the dough to a pizza stone. Try not to press the dough into the stone. I made that mistake and lost some of my pizza crust. :( Take heaping spoonfuls of the sauce and spread it over the dough. Extra sauce can be reserved for some tasty spaghetti!

Sams Kitchen Pizza Add Sauce

Pinch off 1 inch chunks of the mozzarella and sprinkle it over the pizza. Take your fresh basil leaves and evenly space it over the pie.

Sams Kitchen Pizza Add Toppings

Pop the pizza with the stone into the oven and let it cook for 18-20 minutes or until the bottom of the pizza is golden brown. The pizza should be crispy on the bottom and gooey on the top. Enjoy!

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Golden Boy Pizza – San Francisco

Golden Boy Pizza Storefront

Rated: ♣♣♣

When I go out for pizza, I usually gravitate towards the Neapolitan style like here, here and here. Well, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and try Golden Boy Pizza. This North Beach classic serves up square-shaped, foccacia-like pizza and is the perfect place to go when you’re looking for a quick slice and an ice cold beer.

At less than $4 per slice, I grabbed a classic pepperoni and a clam and garlic. The plain ol’ pepperoni and cheese pizza was really good! Bread was soft, not too cheesy, and the pepperoni was perfectly charred around the edges. The best part was biting into the little pockets of tomato sauce in between the cracks of the foccacia. Yum! I’d definitely come back just for this.

Golden Boy Pizza Pepperoni

However, I was not a fan of the clam and garlic pizza. It was loaded with way too much garlic and parsley, so much that we reeked as soon as we left the restaurant. It was so bad, I had to keep my windows rolled down for the night, so I wouldn’t be offended by my own scent the next morning. Yeah, that bad.

Golden Boy Pizza Garlic Clam

My suggestion is to stick to the pepperoni. I’d say it’s probably one of the best pepperoni pizzas I’ve had in the city.

Golden Boy Pizza
542 Green St
(between Bannam Pl & Jasper Pl)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Neighborhood: North Beach/Telegraph Hill

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Sam’s Kitchen – Brown Butter Pasta with Mizithra Cheese

Sams Kitchen Mizithra and Brown Butter Pasta

Back in college, K and I used to dine at a fine Italian restaurant called Old Spaghetti Factory. Okay, it’s not really fine dining, but it’s what we could afford while in school. The dish we used to always order was smack dab in the middle of OSF’s menu with a gold border. I was spaghetti with brown butter and mizithra cheese, and the restaurant claims Homer ate this dish while writing the Iliad. The dish is so flavorful – nutty, salty and delicious.

I’ve never been able to find mizithra cheese until I stepped into a Whole Foods recently. This sheep’s milk cheese is similar to parmesan, but more fragrant with a creamy white color. I was able to get a piece of the cheese for only $1.20.

Here’s a VERY simple recipe I made up for spaghetti with brown butter and mizithra cheese.


1 package thin spaghetti
4 tbsp butter
3/4 cup mizithra cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Dry parsley for garnish


Sams Kitchen Mizithra Brown Butter

Cook spaghetti so that it’s al dente. In a separate pot, brown the butter and add in the salt and pepper. Toss the spaghetti with the butter and plate in a dish. Add the cheese and gently mix. Sprinkle parsley for garnish then enjoy.

Sams Kitchen Mizithra Shave Cheeze

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