Whoosh, someone opened early this past weekend: FLOUR + WATER PIZZERIA is now open in the former Farina Pizzeria space on Valencia in the Mission. There’s some prime corner real estate, with plenty of natural light and sidewalk seating. The space was updated by Studio KDA with new surfaces, green Heath tiles, and bronze light fixtures, but the layout is the same with the small bar and then bar seating across from the kitchen. (The pizza oven is now a four-deck Pizza Master.)
Chef Thomas McNaughton has put together a fun menu, with starters like fritto misto, meatballs, and their pride and joy: mozzarella sticks with marinara (all $12 and under). It ends up these mozz sticks were one of the toughest things to engineer, but with one bite of the seasoned breadcrumb exterior, I’ll say they nailed it.
There are three different marinated vegetable options for $5 each, including a minty and tangy dish of asparagus, mushrooms, charred spring onion vinaigrette, and pine nuts. All three have a conserva/bright note to them, an excellent accompaniment or precursor to the pizzas. You’ll also find a Caesar salad with white anchovies, a classic chopped salad (McNaughton is from New Jersey, represent!), or a more Cali-style salad with kale, arugula, and quinoa (which you can add avocado to), all $13.
The 13-inch pizzas are divided into white or red pies, 10 in all. Chef Tom told me a bit about some of the different doughs they have been working on, from the delicate-yet-crisp dough for the margherita ($15), to the four-day ferment for the squash blossom with burrata ($19). These are not Neapolitan pies, they’re something unique. Both had an airy yet crisp lightness to them (they bake at 650 degrees), and the flavor of the crust will have you eat every last bite (it ends up they brush the pies with tomato sauce and dry/shaved mozzarella, creating an extra layer of flavor—and you’ll notice some of the blisters on the pizza have a darker red look to them). You want a side of ranch? They got you.
For dessert, there is soft-serve ice cream, featuring Double 8 Dairy, and your choice of flavors and toppings (including Mike’s Hot Honey). There’s also an off-menu topping you can request: the Felipe, named after their bartender, which comes with Cappelletti drizzled over fior di latte ice cream and sea salt. Yes, you want this.
Speaking of Cappelletti, it’s featured in their house spritz ($11), along with a few beers, and a wine list of both California and Italian selections (four of them are their own label, custom-crushed in CA).
Look for the second entrance and counter, where you can pick up takeout orders and soon you’ll be able to grab “the big slice” to-go (it will be a daily-changing slice that will be one-quarter of a full pie), served on a paper plate, and for to-go only. (Perfect on your way to or after Dolores Park.) You’ll be able to order the rest for delivery exclusively on Caviar (use my code for $10 off your first two orders).
Hours are 11am-11pm. No reservations, but there is text notification waitlist functionality. 702 Valencia St. at 18th St.
The updated dining room at flour + water Pizzeria. Photo: © tablehopper.com.