While I still haven't tried all the pasta on offer at A Mano, the new Hayes Valley restaurant from Adriano Paganini's Back of the House restaurant group, I can say for sure that former Flour + Water and Incanto chef Freedom Rains is putting out some great thin-crust pizza.
Perfectly crisped and lightly browned at the edges by a high-temp gas oven (similar to one used at Pizzeria Delfina), the asparagus pizza on the current menu has a satisfying chew, crunch, and perfect saltiness in both the crust and the caciocavallo cheese on top which also has a terrific tang. The white pie comes lightly topped with just thin rounds of asparagus spear slices, as well as diced spring onion, green garlic, and lemon, all adding to its springtime freshness.
It would also take well to any of the toppings offered as add-ons, including sausage, anchovy, or an egg I had it with sausage and it didn't detract from the vegetables' freshness.
Add to this some well mixed, Italian-inspired cocktails (Negroni variations are well represented), a mix of starters that include some excellent chicken meatballs, and some very reasonable prices pastas and pizzas are averaging about $2 to $3 cheaper than at sister restaurant Beretta and A Mano seems to be a winning combination for the Hayes Valley hungry hordes, especially those who pack Souvla and Patxi's for low-priced weeknight meals.
A Mano - 450 Hayes Street at Octavia - Open Sunday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight
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