Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Foie gras served with strawberry pickled mangos

Pizza and burgers — high minded and friendly

The dirty flat top burger, with plenty of melted cheese.
The dirty flat top burger, with plenty of melted cheese.

When North Park's D’Angelo Pizzeria closed in late 2017, I failed to notice. The small pizza shop on 30th had a mostly hyper-local following for at least the last decade, and though I must have driven past a hundred times, I never tried it, or even heard much about it.

Place

Friendly

4592 30th Street, San Diego

However, when a new restaurant, The Friendly, opened in the same spot, not even a month went by before I started seeing photos and shout outs popping up in social media feeds.

Crispy crust on a pork belly pizza.

A lot of that has to do with the guys who opened the spot. Chef Mario Maruca's mobile wood-fired pizza kitchen, Caliano (a portmanteau of Californian and Italiano, like Maruca himself), has been become a food truck fixture at craft beer tasting rooms. Partner Brandon Brandon Zanavich brings prolific local restaurant experience, having worked with the likes of Carnitas' Snack Shack, Beerfish, and Luigi's Pizza.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Still a pizzeria. Also a little more than that.

The Friendly's a small, low budget, diner. It reads like to sort of DIY pop-up shop you might expect to find in Portland, Oregon. There's no slick interior design, just a branded wall, and a handful of casual dining tables across from a long counter with barstools facing an open kitchen.

However, with the support from local chefs and beer industry folk, it's off to a hot start, and only promises to get better. A beer license is pending, and last weekend The Friendly kicked off the first of many planned chef collaborations — in this case featuring pork produced by Carnitas chef Hanis Cavin.

I found one of those in form of a white pizza topped with pineapple, jalapenos, and pork belly. The thin, crispy, crust is closer to New York than Italy, and when the red sauce is applied, it's rich with oregano.

These guys obviously have a strong pizza background, and The Friendly makes use of the D'Angelos pizza ovens to provide a creative mix of slices ($3) and whole pies ($21-26) including vegan pizzas and a buffalo chicken pie topped with smoked fried chicken skins

However, the shop's pizza business supports additional creative pursuits — such as another collaboration special that made a sandwich our of Cavin's pork rilletes. Daily specials posted to The Friendly's instagram account have included achiote pork katsu sandwich, a vegan veggie melt sandwich, and "Mexican candy" foie gras served with "strawberry pickled mangos" and green tomato jam.

It's not the sort of effort you'd expect from a pizza shop.

The Friendly seems intent to straddle the line between high-minded and low brow cuisines, and nothing may illustrate that better than its burgers. Daily specials include spruced up burger options topped by the likes of foie gras and quail egg. However, I went straight for the $5 standard: the so-called dirty flat top burger. It's a pair of small, thin burger patties grilled with onions and "the shittiest processed American cheese you can buy." It's got some dirty flat top charm, as advertised, and some of the goopy, melted cheese crisps at the edges.

I would not deem it — as some have already declared — the best burger in town. But it's enjoyable, suggesting these guys can dish it up even when they're not splurging on gourmet ingredients.

More to the point: my visit to The Friendly begged the question: when lunch is a burger and a slice of pizza, which is the side dish?

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego reggae takes over the national – and worldwide - festival circuit

“It’s rooted in our love for the lifestyle we live here”
Next Article

The livery pleasures of Pinoy Stew

Kaldereta is Filipino comfort food
The dirty flat top burger, with plenty of melted cheese.
The dirty flat top burger, with plenty of melted cheese.

When North Park's D’Angelo Pizzeria closed in late 2017, I failed to notice. The small pizza shop on 30th had a mostly hyper-local following for at least the last decade, and though I must have driven past a hundred times, I never tried it, or even heard much about it.

Place

Friendly

4592 30th Street, San Diego

However, when a new restaurant, The Friendly, opened in the same spot, not even a month went by before I started seeing photos and shout outs popping up in social media feeds.

Crispy crust on a pork belly pizza.

A lot of that has to do with the guys who opened the spot. Chef Mario Maruca's mobile wood-fired pizza kitchen, Caliano (a portmanteau of Californian and Italiano, like Maruca himself), has been become a food truck fixture at craft beer tasting rooms. Partner Brandon Brandon Zanavich brings prolific local restaurant experience, having worked with the likes of Carnitas' Snack Shack, Beerfish, and Luigi's Pizza.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Still a pizzeria. Also a little more than that.

The Friendly's a small, low budget, diner. It reads like to sort of DIY pop-up shop you might expect to find in Portland, Oregon. There's no slick interior design, just a branded wall, and a handful of casual dining tables across from a long counter with barstools facing an open kitchen.

However, with the support from local chefs and beer industry folk, it's off to a hot start, and only promises to get better. A beer license is pending, and last weekend The Friendly kicked off the first of many planned chef collaborations — in this case featuring pork produced by Carnitas chef Hanis Cavin.

I found one of those in form of a white pizza topped with pineapple, jalapenos, and pork belly. The thin, crispy, crust is closer to New York than Italy, and when the red sauce is applied, it's rich with oregano.

These guys obviously have a strong pizza background, and The Friendly makes use of the D'Angelos pizza ovens to provide a creative mix of slices ($3) and whole pies ($21-26) including vegan pizzas and a buffalo chicken pie topped with smoked fried chicken skins

However, the shop's pizza business supports additional creative pursuits — such as another collaboration special that made a sandwich our of Cavin's pork rilletes. Daily specials posted to The Friendly's instagram account have included achiote pork katsu sandwich, a vegan veggie melt sandwich, and "Mexican candy" foie gras served with "strawberry pickled mangos" and green tomato jam.

It's not the sort of effort you'd expect from a pizza shop.

The Friendly seems intent to straddle the line between high-minded and low brow cuisines, and nothing may illustrate that better than its burgers. Daily specials include spruced up burger options topped by the likes of foie gras and quail egg. However, I went straight for the $5 standard: the so-called dirty flat top burger. It's a pair of small, thin burger patties grilled with onions and "the shittiest processed American cheese you can buy." It's got some dirty flat top charm, as advertised, and some of the goopy, melted cheese crisps at the edges.

I would not deem it — as some have already declared — the best burger in town. But it's enjoyable, suggesting these guys can dish it up even when they're not splurging on gourmet ingredients.

More to the point: my visit to The Friendly begged the question: when lunch is a burger and a slice of pizza, which is the side dish?

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tunaville is the place for fresh — or aged — local catch

Fishermen owned market can sell you smoked oysters in a can, or thresher shark sausage
Next Article

Are San Diego's Prius owners bad drivers?

Or do they just attract undeserved hate?
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.