#65 Tomasso’s, San Francisco (Mushrooms and Sliced Italian Sausage)
Tomasso’s has been a San Francisco institution in North Beach since, well, forever. It was opened as Lupo’s in 1935 by the Cantolupo family, immigrants from Naples, with what it claims was the first wood-fired brick pizza oven on the West Coast. It changed hands when the family retired in 1971 and gave Lupo’s to longtime chef Tommy Chin, who started working there the year after it opened. Chin may have preserved the restaurant’s traditions, but he changed the name, and though he stayed on to teach them the restaurant’s classic recipes, he sold it two years later to the Crotti family. Tomasso’s has been a family-owned and operated joint ever since. These days, the pizzeria has been accused of serving a very cheesy pie. So if that’s not your thing, be forewarned, but you’ll find few people who will argue the strength of the sauce, or that Tomasso’s is a worth the visit to sample one of their almost 20 pies, among them their self-proclaimed most popular, the mushroom and sliced Italian sausage pie.