The remote reaches of 7th Street in Downtown, previously known most for a Greyhound station, have slowly gained points of drinking-and-dining interest.
Pizzanista! is the latest addition, located in the same jet-black building that houses Tony’s Saloon. The restaurant’s New York-style pies, baked in a high-octane deck oven, are served at tables surrounded by high-backed booths; an expansive front window invites Hopper-esque views of diners.
Originally opened as Toddy G’s, the restaurant took a skater-punk turn three months ago, after its namesake pizzaiolo decamped for the East Coast. Co-owner Salman Agah, a 1990s skateboarding icon, renamed the joint after The Clash album Sandinista! and has taken residence behind the counter.
You can buy a slice, but it’s worth waiting for a hot, crisp-crusted 18-inch pizza. We enjoyed the basic Cheese ($18), with zesty tomato sauce and molten mozzarella. You’d be smart, though, to add herb-flecked beef-and-pork meatballs ($3), which pepper the pizza landscape like boulders on the moon. The diverse list of toppings also includes La Quercia prosciutto and speck, and vegan cheese.
Pizzanista! sells salads and sides, too, like broccoli rabe ($5) and burnished garlic knots ($3), both of which host enough raw garlic to ward off even the most hostile vampire.