Hot. Very, very hot.
Six years ago, I got to write one of my favorite pieces about this fair city of ours for Where magazine about long-standing San Francisco restaurant families. I interviewed the Sanciminos of Swan Oyster Depot, the Chans of Yank Sing, the Mechettis of the Gold Spike (it was still open in 2005), and the charming Bermejos of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant. Each story was such a powerful one, of hard work, immigrating to a new country, vision, tenacity, family. So it was with great sadness I learned that the effervescent and ever-in-motion Tommy Bermejo of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant has suddenly passed. I know many people are raising many glasses of tequila right now, saluting this delightful, big-hearted man, and his wonderful family. Sincere condolences to the Bermejo familia.
So, it’s Friday. Review time. I didn’t intend to write about yet another place with rules and not your usual front-of-house experience this week, but here we are at Una Pizza Napoletana in SoMa.
It bears mentioning my personal rule of thumb about reviews on tablehopper: I only write a place up if I could recommend it to a good friend. And in the case of UPN, the pizza really is one of the best in town, so I’d tell any pizza-loving friend they have to go and check it out. But on the flip side—like I’d tell my friend—there are a number of components to the experience that make it really challenging (namely, the wait), and one visit drove me borderline insane. I’ve eaten there three times, and it has totally been a reenactment of the three bears: one time the wait was incredibly short, one time it was ridiculously long, and one time it was just about what I’d expect. In the end (like it always is), it’s up to you to decide if you want to spin the UPN roulette wheel and see how long you’ll wait (and how you’ll be treated) for the payoff of an utterly delicious pizza.
It’s time for a Tommy’s margarita.