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Thursday, February 22, 2024

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CultureFood & DrinkGood Taste: Mochi crust to paneer pies, 2 pizza...

Good Taste: Mochi crust to paneer pies, 2 pizza shops that aren’t serving your average slice

Mochiko Mochi Pizza and Mr. Singh's offer up some roundly innovative 'za.

Welcome back to Good Taste, a local food menu celebrating innovation and deliciousness. This week, two new independently owned Bay Area shops are stretching the boundaries of what pizza can be!

Spicy pork and pepperoni pizza from Mochiko Mochi Pizza

“Is it good?” more than one person asked, skeptically, as I sat outside to eat a long, rectangular pie at the new Mochiko Mochi Pizza (283 Lorton Ave, Burlingame). 

“Yes!” I replied, in between hot, crispy, and chewy bites.

Most pies run $18, and for two dollars more, you can get a combo of two or three different flavors, which is the way to go. One pie feeds two well or three people reasonably, and the combination of the subtly spicy pork option went well with the tangy tomato jam on the pepperoni variety.

Like hot, melted cheese, the texture of a mochi crust (which is gluten free and made with a blend of rice flours) changes a little as it cools. The shop provides reheating instructions for people grabbing pizzas to go, but it’s worth trying one hot out of the oven to understand the high bar.

A recent Sunday visit saw the dough run out before 4pm; they’re still learning how to make enough to meet demand. One way to increase the odds of securing a box: make an online order before arriving.

Malai Paneer pizza from Mr. Singh’s Curry Pizza

Zante’s Pizza & Indian Cuisine (3489 Mission) is credited for turning San Francisco palates on to Indian pizza and making it a beloved dish for almost 40 years. Competent versions exist at younger spots in the Mission, but a new business in the Sunset District serves what may be a worthy challenger.

Geared for to-go business, the recently-opened Mr. Singh’s Curry Pizza (2241 Judah) offers a large menu of pizzas on bubbly-classic or crispy-thin sourdough crusts. The pizzas can be topped with Indian curries and other entrees, or more traditional Italian accompaniments. There’s also a full selection of Indian dishes that I suspect are really going to be an asset to the Sunset.

I can personally recommend the varieties with roasted cauliflower or chili paneer on a classic crust, which still tastes great the next day. But this vast selection, which includes 10 vegetarian pizzas, deserves working through over time. However, after ordering twice from Mr. Singh’s, I’ve also learned that the pizzas freeze and reheat really well.

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