Salt + Fat = Excellence at the Pizza Shop in the Mission
Once largely the province of burritos and tacos, the southern half of the Mission is getting crustier. The Pizza Shop, a fairly spacious and quasi-industrial space on 24th Street near Folsom, joins Rustic and the technically-in-Bernal PizzaHacker, both of which opened in the last seven months. It's a pretty simple operation, exporting a New Jersey icon to the Mission with few frills added. The anonymous-sounding name might as well be "Famous Original Ray's."
At $19 for a plain pie, and $4 for any slice, the prices are more than reasonable, especially when you compare that to the cost of, say, three El Farolito Super Burritos (although that dining option comes without a potential fight over who only gets two slices). It's a good bet to stick to heartier options here, as Pizza Shop's formula is basically salt + fat = excellent. Of cheese and mushroom, sausage and pepperoni, pepperoni and cheese, and tomato and garlic, the meat beat the veg every time -- and all four benefited tremendously from a little salt. The tops of the crusts were a bit on the blond side, but the bottoms were nicely done, and every slice had good "droop."
If you grew up eating exactly this kind of thinnish-crust pizza, you'll feel right at home. Oh, and while forks and knives are provided, don't even think about it, you Californian, you. Remember, these people are from Jersey.
The Pizza Shop, 3104 24th St., (415) 824-1840