5008 Telegraph Ave (Between 51st and 50th St)
Oakland, CA 94609
Pizzaiolo opened in 2005 and has been packing them in for pizza since. The Chef-Owner used to work at Chez Panisse.
Decor, Vibe – Dimly lite, exposed brick with lots of wooden booths. Hipsters in their 30’s, couples, and a couple families were eating.
Annabelle’s Chicories ($9) with persimmons, walnuts & gorgonzola was a very good salad. Some bitter greens balanced with fruit, cheese, and a light dressing.
Margherita Pizza ($13) was a classic pizza with very good cheese and very thin crust. Crust was just right when it arrived, but it got soft after about 5 minutes. Flavor was very good. Size was pretty good.
Rapini & Housemade sausage Pizza ($17) was heavily flavored by the Broccoli rabi. Crust was similiar to the other pizza. Make sure you like broccolli. You can always add Sausage to another pizza instead.
Mojito cocktail ($9) was strong and well balanced. One of the better ones around.
Pasta con le sarde ($14) was well cooked al dente pasta with sardines. Tiny bones, very buttery. Good but the pizza overshadows this.
Pizzaiolo’s service was adequate but not as attentive as we expected. Servers were pretty casual. The pizza here is the draw and it is good. The Margherita pizza was better at Gialani in San Francisco.
Be sure to make a reservation as a line is present before they open. Glasses of wine start at $6.50, with bottles from a reasonable $16.
Bakesale Betty is down the block. Be sure to visit them before your meal.