It was a dough-throwing, pizza-peeling segment with Food Network’s Guy Fieri in 2008 that opened many a pie lover’s eyes, hearts, and stomachs to Luigi Agostini’s Golden Hill pizzeria (1137 25th Street). But folks who knew this Italian-born doughboy back when he was putting out pies off the grid in Poway know he’s been doing right by his homeland’s pride and joy for some time now. His trick — keep things simple. He’s been around the block and knows the key to any pizza, whether it’s a classic Margherita (fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella) or a more contemporary Frenchie (honey ham, pears, bleu cheese, and caramelized onions) is the crust. His is thin, but by no means communion-wafer-like. There’s crispness from solid oven-firing, but also the slightest bit of inner chew around the edge, which adds substantiality and makes Luigi’s all-Italian recipe extra appealing to American palates. Enough so that both locations continue to thrive without the assistance of TV shout-outs.
— Brandon Hernández