Andy Gambardella is back on Peninsula dining scene with Pazzo 

click to enlarge Pazzo
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.f. Examiner
  • San Carlos’ Pazzo is more than just a pizzeria, it also serves rigatoni with housemade fennel sausage, broccoli di ciccio and chili flakes.
With a grand wood-burning oven and housemade pastas, Andy Gambardella has unveiled his newest establishment, Pazzo, in San Carlos.

The restaurant is in the building that formerly housed Rumi. This is Gambardella’s first restaurant since he closed the venerable, more upscale Gambardella’s in Menlo Park in 2012 after an 20-plus-year run.

Pazzo’s is separating itself from the many Bay Area pizzerias by specializing in New Haven, Conn.-style pies that are much more known in New England, where Gambardella grew up, than here in California. They are thin-crust pizzas with a specific type of dough and you can order a classic white clam pizza, heavy on the garlic. Of course, Neopolitan-style pies are also served, topped with the likes of shrimp, mushrooms or housemade fennel sausage.

Starters include seasonal salads or a plate of burrata to spread on bread, also baked by the restaurant. Simple, hearty pastas include cavatelli with pork ragu, and the famed roasted chicken from Gambardella’s is back on Pazzo’s menu as an entree. Craft cocktails and Italian wines are served, as are lunch specials like a porchetta sandwich.

Wood is a main theme from the pile of logs by the entrance to the chairs and bare tables to the cabinlike exterior. The dining room is bathed in white walls, with marble flooring, and is anchored by the open kitchen’s red-tile oven.

Don’t forget that slice of ricotta cheesecake for dessert.

1179 Laurel St., San Carlos; (650) 591-1075.

San Mateo

Sushi rolls and sashimi are the headliners at the newly opened Furagu Sushi, but the casual new San Mateo spot’s extensive menu covers a wide array of Japanese specialties from ramen to even a seafood sukiyaki.

The sushi choices are a combination of the customary fish and creative rolls like the Island Roll filled with shrimp tempura, avocado and crab, then topped with thin layers of salmon. Five types of udon noodle soup and four versions of ramen are offered, including a hard-to-find beef ramen. Starters include fried calamari katsu and baked mussels.

For diners who would like to try an array of dishes, opt for either the $14.95 dinner plate combinations with a choice of two entrees with miso soup, steamed rice and salad, or a Dinner Boat. One of the boats presents tempura, chicken teriyaki, salmon teriyaki and a California roll, for $16.95.

116 W. 25th Ave., San Mateo; (650) 931-4038. No website.


Bay Area Asian dessert cafe Honeyberry has opened a bright and colorful new branch that is much larger than San Mateo’s cafe. Roti buns are again the focus, served plain or filled with chocolate butter or cream cheese. Pearl milk tea is a popular choice, offered here with a self-serve bar for toppings. Gelato, honey bread and smoothies are also served. You can even request a banana-split gelato sundae on top of a waffle. Now that’s dessert.

153 El Camino Real, Millbrae; (917) 370-8178. No website.

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