That's Amore

Head to the beach for spaghetti and meatballs

For whatever reason, the four-year-old Pizza Place on Noriega has remained an off-the-radar gem.

The location, within a stone's throw of Ocean Beach, has ensured a steady stream of surfers and neighbors, but word has been slow to spread to the rest of San Francisco.

But psst...this joint is good. Pizzas form the backbone of the menu, and with their crisp crust and generous toppings they resemble East Coast-style pie–fitting, since the owners are from Boston.

Knowing that surfers can't live on pizza alone, spaghetti and meatballs ($13) is also now on the dinner menu. The mammoth serving platters are piled with enough to serve four: a tangle of Barilla spaghetti, a choice of either homemade marinara or pesto sauce, and three plump, tender meatballs made from finely ground pork and beef, the recipe for which co-owner David Ashin says is based on the one in The Joy of Cooking.

Two lengths of garlic bread sprout from the dish like bunny ears. And though every table in the place has the obligatory glass shaker jar filled with cheese, these noodles require no adornment whatsoever.

The Pizza Place on Noriega, 3901 Noriega St. (at 46th St.); 415-759-5752 or pizzaplacesf.com