Popo’s Pizza opens Friday, we eat and report

Jason from Popo’s Pizza, the new pizzeria on 24th and Bartlett, invited us down to taste their pizza and drink beer last night. We like pizza and beer. We also like free things. It was an offer we couldn’t refuse (stay tuned for another Godfather reference).

Here’s some general information: Popo’s got it’s start in West Oakland where it has received some undeniably good reviews. Pizza chef Charles Hopkins (who for some reason introduced himself as “Jay”) is a graduate from the SF Culinary Institute and he makes his dough fresh daily. They are closing up the West Oakland location and moving here. He won’t only be serving pizza, either. Jay seems to have a thing for rotisserie-ing every kind of animal, so expect that to come a few weeks after opening day. Apparently, he makes some killer ribs.

On to the pizza, which is what we all really care about right now. Jay’s pizzas are definitely his own creations. If you’re looking for the NY-style Arinell killer, you wont find it here. But hey, not all pizza needs to taste like New York, right? Besides, we already have an Arinell. Bagels, I would argue, do need to taste like NY.

I realize that unconventional ingredients like BBQ chicken, mango, squash, and fresh-sliced gouda scream “California Pizza Kitchen”, but I thought it was tasty and the ingredients were of surprisingly high quality. We sampled  a few pies: “BBQ Pesto Chicken”, “Mango Prosciutto”, “Muzu”, and  ”Ham and Smoked Gouda Goodness”.

When Jay rushed over to drizzle truffle oil over my slice claiming he forgot to do so earlier I said, “that’s cheating”. But I’m not one to turn truffle oil down, so I had him dump it on all my slices, thus deliciously contaminating my entire sample set. Some scientist I am. He also had a side of some pretty mind-blowing blue cheese on the side that I piled on just about everything.

Near the end of our visit, Jay brought out a surprise dessert of cannolis which were so good that I wouldn’t dream of leaving them in the car. Unfortunately, these don’t seem to be on the menu.

Overall, I really enjoyed the za. Nick and Lily thought it could have used some more salt. The guys from Mr. Pickle Sandwich Shop (who were also there for some reason) didn’t stop scarfing down slices long enough to say anything so I assume they liked it too.

That being said, it’s not a quick grab-and-go slice spot common to the area. Their smallest offering is a $7.50 personal 7″ pizza. All their pizzas are priced the same ranging from $22.50 for a 14″ to $26.50 for an 18″. Due to the thinness and softness of the crust, I don’t think it will fill you up as much as a similarly priced Zante pizza (my go-to take out pizza) but will definitely be an interesting departure in terms of flavors. However, their pies to come with free salad and dessert, so that’s a bonus.

The restaurant is still under construction, but they expect to open tomorrow (Friday). Here’s the menu: Page 1, Page 2.

17 Responses to “Popo’s Pizza opens Friday, we eat and report”

  1. local says:

    It’s a bad idea to not serve slices. You’ve got a LOT of once-thirsty, now hungry patrons hanging out at the attic, and the first thing they see when they look out the door is a pizza place right across the street.

  2. Grizzled Mission says:

    Maybe my comparison points are wrong, or missing a variable, but isn’t that extremely expensive? Not only more than Pi or Little Star, but even a high-end place like Beretta? Maybe it’s ok for multiple toppings, but if you want a simple pizza, that’s way too much. Hey, I guess there’s the answer: go for their various combinations, not for something simple.

    • Olu says:

      That was my read on it. $$$! Guess we know why they left the O. Smart move on their part.

      And I agree with @local- it’s always a good move to serve slices, even if they have all that crap on them, and should probably just be called flatbread.

      35$ for a rack of ribs? SHEEEEEEEEEEET.

    • matt od says:

      I believe these pizzas are larger than what you get from Little Star. Not sure about Pi.

    • oinc says:

      It does say their pies come with free salad and dessert, so figure that in, too.

  3. Poopoo says:

    Poopoo pizza

  4. not sure I can trust your review says:

    Your go-to for pizza is Zante’s, which in my opinion is terrible crust and, well, not really pizza but a hit-or-miss yummy gimmick. That said, decent reporting, just an odd stance on pizza (I mean it seems a place just needs to give you truffle oil and/or blue cheese to add to any meal for it to be tasty, that’s not the point of a food/menu review!)

  5. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    How many toppings do you get for $26.50? That’s not such a bad price if it is really loaded with nice toppings.

  6. Jen says:

    How’s the beer selection?

  7. MIke says:

    Why eat there when Arizmendi’s is right around the corner?

    • suckerpunch says:

      What a strange question.

    • Grizzled Mission says:

      Well, probably because Arizmendi closes at 7, and only has one pizza per day, usually something extremely precious – perhaps saffron, leek, and dandelion greens. Are those good reasons?

  8. oinc says:

    Popo in español is POOP. for real. I find it strange to name a restaurant that.

  9. Tico says:

    Thirty-five for a rack is OUTRAGEOUS. There’s just no excuse, no matter how damn good the ribs may be. I see he’s lookin to do some rich hipster pimpin.

  10. Mark says:

    First off WOW! I went in to order a pizza, and the owner asks me if I’d like to try some free rotisserie chicken……um duh. Almost as if that wasn’t enough for him, ribs magically fell into the box right alongside. The ribs were incredibly tasty and so tender thay damn near fell off the bone. Both the chicken and ribs were seasoned very well, and when I asked what I was tasting I was told its a secret…I was a little sad but at least its obvious they put effort into the food. Upon browsing the menu I noticed a slad with a unique name and all I can say is to appreciate the food…you need to sit the f!@#$ down!