Eat at Emma's
Isn't it great when you find a new favorite place? We tend to whine at lot at our house about all the restaurants we miss in San Francisco, and while I realize this is primarily an attitude problem on our part, it's still exciting to try something new and feel like you could see yourself going back there regularly.
I'd passed Emma's pizzeria a bunch of times, but even though I often said, "Oh, we should try that place sometime," the truth is that I didn't really want to. I think it was the sign: it was cute, too cute. A sign for the kind of place where you get fussy, yuppie pizza, overpriced and undersatisfying, probably with haughty service. (Interestingly, my companion in Emma's exploration had assumed it would be just the opposite: stripped down counter service. Which I guess just goes to show when it comes to unfounded prejudices, it's each to his or her own.)
I had also figured Emma's was cute enough that we'd have to work for it, i.e. put in our time to get a table. But even though we walked in with a largish group at peak dinner hour on a Thursday night, we were told we'd have to wait all of five minutes.
It's not that the food was mind-bending. Everything was just so pleasant and good. Good, simple, crisp-crust pizza. Tons of topping options. Wine served in charmingly squat goblets. Wooden chairs painted different colors, and painted pizza peels on the walls (most notable was a Super Mario Bros design). Dim lighting, with a wide window along one wall offering a peek into the kitchen.
Our waiter took good care of us without making a big deal about it, and when the host collected our money as we left, he commented of the tip, "That is very generous!" When's the last time that happened?