Friday, April 1, 2011

Impressions: Operacaffe

835 4th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-6538

[Photographs by Adam Lindsley]

I recently took a trip to Mexico to see my girlfriend, Meghan, and on the way back to the airport in San Diego we stopped into a quaint little downtown Italian eatery called Operacaffe. As there was pizza on the menu, I naturally had to try some.

I'm not sure exactly where this Margherita ($10.95) is supposed to hail from, but Italy isn't it. It's cooked in a gas oven so that the rim of the crust gets some nice char, but the top and undercarriage are left merely golden brown. No matter if the crust tastes good, right? Well, unfortunately it was flavorless. It had a decently open crumb, so just a bit of salt in the dough would cure this problem in a jiffy.

Moving inward, the tomato sauce is a tad sweet, but more than that, barely detectable under the landfill of aged mozzarella. There was so much cheese weighing everything down that it was nigh impossible to extract a slice without three dozen strands of gooey, greasy mozzarella tethering it to the rest of the pizza. As it was aged mozzarella, and sodium-rich, it nearly made up for the blandness of the crust being squashed beneath it.

This is gut-bomb pizza, plain and simple, a bizarre, over-topped hybrid of Neapolitan and New York-style. It's not awful (I mean, how wrong can you go with lots of cheese?), but it's not strictly good, either. I won't write this place off completely, though, because my girlfriend's ziti was pretty tasty. Just don't order the pizza unless you want a little crust with your melted cheese. 

Or bring along an extremely attractive woman to distract you from the food, as I did.

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