An occasional collection of bites. Have you eaten anything good or bad, or seen a good scene while you munched? Send in your short bites to firstname.lastname@example.org. Full names only.
A “real” slice of pizza from Arinell Pizza: After spending 26 years in New Jersey, where I grew up eating at least two slices of pizza five days a week from arguably some of the best New York-style pizzerias in the country, I’d like to think I know what makes a good slice. So when I discovered Arinell on Valencia last week while looking for a quick bite to eat, I was pleasantly surprised to find the best example of a New York-style pizza since I moved here four years ago. I ordered one slice of plain and one slice with pepperoni from the flour-covered employee working the counter. The crust is just thick enough that it can’t be mistaken for a cracker (a mistake that many so-called New York-style pizza spots in the Bay Area make), but not so thick that it’s spongy or doughy. Arinell executes the delicate balance of a savory red sauce on top of the aforementioned crust finished off with the nondescript unsalted mozzarella cheese of my youth, producing a slice that would be at home in any hole-in-the-wall pizzeria in Jersey. Also, at $2.75 for a slice of plain pizza and 75 cents extra for each topping, it’s a pretty good deal for those on a budget.
— Sean Havey
Mexican tapas at lolo: I’ve often walked past lolo on 22nd and Bartlett without a second glance. Always crowded (reservations are recommended even on Monday nights) and decorated with found and recycled parts (bike tubes! newspapers!) lolo is a cute, intimate spot to take visitors from out of town. The menu is Mexican tapas, and it was a toss-up between two of the four dishes my dinner guest and I tried as to which was the best. The pistachio-encrusted seared salmon with wasabi cream sauce was cooked perfectly, and the panko-and-spice-dusted shrimp topped with a tropical relish and spicy aioli was surprisingly refreshing. All dishes run about $8 to $14. Full bar to boot.
— Carly Nairn
Tripas burrito from Los Coyotes: With so many Mexican food spots in the Mission District, I was steered by a friend to Los Coyotes on 16th and Mission streets, just across the street from Wells Fargo. It was clean, friendly and reasonable, and it offers a variety of dishes that include a nice salsa bar with colorful free tortilla chips. I first tried a tripas (cow intestines) burrito that satisfied my cravings, topped off with a bottle of Mexican Coke. The second time around I tried a California burrito, which comes with french fries, avocado and sour cream instead of the traditional rice and beans. This one has a little crisper taste and I’d rather go with the original style, but I’m sure you would find something you like on the large menu.
— Alejandro B. Rosas