Go-slow dough: Secret weapon?

Napizza’s yeast lives longer

Veggie parmigiano pizza slice
  • Veggie parmigiano pizza slice

Napizza al Taglio

1702 India Street, Little Italy

One thing I like about Napizza is that they were serious about going green from the get-go. They claim to be the first pizzeria in San Diego certified by the Green Restaurant Association. They try to buy local and organic. And they promise that all their proteins are hormone and antibiotic free.

But the claim I like best is they don’t hurry their pizza dough. “Up to” 72 hours. This gives the yeast time to do its thing and deliver more lightness, and, they claim, means they end up using 80 percent less yeast.

And, I swear, the pizza dough you get is more tangy. It has that molasses-sweet-bitter thing you get in a good San Diego IPA.

Fun crew

Fun crew

What $15 buys

What $15 buys

Patio view

Patio view

I’ve been hanging around Little Italy lately, trying to keep pace with new stuff happening. So tonight I have to stop and see what’s new at Napizza. (Still not sure: is that short for “Pizza, Naples style?”)

The Reader used to be located right opposite, so I got to know these guys back in the day. Since then they have expanded to Hillcrest and 4S Ranch. Tonight I want to try their Happy Belly Combos, new since last I came.

Basically we’re talking pizza, soup or salad, and a drink. This is Little Italy, so nothing is cheap-cheap. But they’re reasonable. Start at $10 for a soup, salad, soda combo. Eleven bucks buys you one slice of pizza, soup or salad, and a soda. “Happy Beer Belly” has two slices of pizza and a draft beer for $15. I go top dollar and order the $15 “Happy Wine Belly.” It’s one slice of pizza, soup or salad — I get the salad — and a glass of house red or white.

Yes, I worry about just one slice. But turns out it’s more than enough.

I get the veggie parmigiano with a green pesto sauce squirted over the top, a big square sliced corner to corner, and a multi-leaf salad topped with goat cheese. Tasty. Best of all, the wine is Astica 2014, a strong young Malbec from Cuyo, Argentina, that comes in a nice clunky preserving-jar glass. (I hate those delicate-stemmed beauties that make you nervous every time you pick your wine up to sip.)

I settle in to their streetside patio and watch the world go by on the corner of Date and India, right in the heart of the village. Sunset, Friday night, you can’t do better if you’re into chewing, chatting, and checking out the passing parade from the catbird seat.

The main news: the pizza is squelchy and tasty on top, but the dough is still crispy light and hasn’t lost its tang. Slow is beautiful!

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Sorry Ed, that picture reminds me a Soylent Green. It is not an appetizing portrait of food.

I gotta agree with you there! I thought a Martian got blenderized for the topping.

Don't listen to him, Ed, I think it looks simply scrumptious! Will have to give this place a try next time I'm in Little Italy...

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