Updated: Aug 22, 2022
We've known about pinsa Romana for a while, but all of a sudden it seems like it's poised to have it's Hot Chicken or Rolled Ice Cream moment. I think it's better than both.
Pinsa Romana is basically Roman style pizza and the word "pinsa" derives from the word to press. The first time I had it was close to twenty years ago in Rome and I didn't give it a ton of thought. Since then it has crossed my plate on several occasions here and abroad, but has always been relatively obscure. I thus declare this the Summer of Roman Pinsa, and when there are a dozen pinsa restaurants in SLO county you can smirk and say, I've known about pinsa for years.
My wife Stephy actually discovered a place called Montesacro in San Francisco that claimed to be America's first pinseria. Whether this is true or not who knows, but the place is as amazing as the neighborhood is shady. Stephy was so excited about her discovery that she took a pizza to go to share with me. As soon as you could say Pinsa Romana a dastardly rouge zombie like fellow, grabbed the pizza package from her hand, and walked away. She did the smart thing and basically just kept walking. I was able to try the place soon after and the pinsa was phenomenal. Lucky for you they have opened a few new locations including the safe and preppy Marina district and one in the even more sanguine burb of Walnut Creek. If you prefer a little danger and adventure you can always try the original one in Soma, right off 6th Street, maybe skip the carry out though.
Recently on a trip to Los Angeles I heard about a new Pinsa spot called Oste that opened in West Hollywood (WEHO). I called a friend about it and he said, I know the owners and I'll let them know you're coming. It was Friday night and Oste does not take reservations - yes it's a new hot spot and I'm not WEHO cool. I showed up with my daughter thinking I was all cool anyway and gave the Roman guy at the front my name. He looked at me like I was some kind of A-hole and said we don't take reservations so you need to wait. I explained my friend Stefano grew up with the owner yada yada, and he said, "I'm an owner - wait over there with the rest of the crowd".
We actually scored a table pretty quick, but since they are open during lunch and dinner maybe avoid Friday night. Kate was so embarrassed she wouldn't even look at me. She did love the pinsa however and even the Nutella pinsa they brought us for desert. If you live near, in or travel to LA, I highly recommend you visit Oste. I think their pinsa is even better than Montesacro. Probably don't use my name or Stefano either. https://www.ostelosangeles.com/
Why all this talk about Pinsa? As some of you know we just began stocking authentic. It has already become a big hit without any promotion. The normal price is $18 for 2 pinsa Romano doughs, but since this is a new item and the distributor wants to promote it they are offering a special that allows us to sell 2 of these for $12 - What a Bargain! We hope to have this special in place for a while so take advantage of it while you can. There are few better ways to celebrate the joys of the summer bounty from the garden than on pinsa Romana crust.
I love pinsa for the lightness and crunch of the crust, but there are also certain health claims that don't hurt either. According to Oste and a couple other advocates of the pinsa it has about 1/2 the sugar, much less fat and cholesterol and even less calories vs. traditional pizza. I hope this is true, but what I know is true, is that pinsa is the fastest and most delicious meal you will be able to make for the family and guests this summer. The early response from moms with kids has been phenomenal.