At Palo Alto’s new Pizza Studio, diners _ like artists in their own studios _ get to create their own pies and slice masterpieces. Making an 11-inch personal pizza involves a simple four-step design and ordering process. Diners choose among many options for crust, sauce, cheese and toppings. For example, whole grain-flax seed and rosemary herb are among the five crust choices. Sauce options include basil-pesto and feta cheese, or tangy barbecue sauce and crumbled goat cheese. More than 20 toppings range from raw and roasted vegetables, to meats, to interesting seasonings, such as Jamaican jerk. For indecisive customers, there are a few pre-designed pies, called “Starving Artist Originals.” The menu also has a few salads and fresh-baked cookies. The California Avenue fast-casual restaurant, formerly Tandoori Oven, is the second Peninsula branch of the California-based chain, which has franchises as far away as Washington D.C. Another local branch is open in Mountain View.
365 S. California Ave., Palo Alto; (650) 324-1925. Pizzastudio.com
The Peninsula’s thirst for craft beers and craft cocktails is being quenched with Devil’s Slide Tap Room in Pacifica, steps from the sea in the newly renovated Pedro Point Shopping Center. The family-run, family-friendly pub places equal emphasis on food and drink. The compact, casual menu includes quality bites such as tap room wings, salads, sliders, a burger with onion marmalade butter and housemade thousand island dressing, and sandwiches with pickle-brined chicken or sausages made by the kitchen. A large sign over the entrance appropriately says “Beer.” More than two dozen taps lining the bar focus on West Coast breweries. For dessert, there’s a root beer float with the Peninsula’s own Devil’s Canyon Brewery root beer. The tap room also boasts a large patio, perfect for when the fog sweeps away. A 49ers game, great food and drink, and an ocean view? Not a bad trio.
5560 Pacifica Coast Highway, Pacifica; (650) 898-8855. Devilsslidetaproom.com
The team behind Rangoon Ruby has opened The Rail Club, bringing much-desired craft cocktails to San Carlos in the old Carlos Club. Only freshly squeezed juices and non-artificial syrups are used in drinks, which include local ingredients. “La Pistola” features St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur made in Alameda, and “The Rail Club” has fresh orange and lime juices and gin made by Anchor in San Francisco. Several Northern California craft beers and wines also are offered, and there are 21 high definition TV screens for sports. Food isn’t served yet, but there are plans to add it.
612 El Camino Real, San Carlos; (650) 622-9708. Railclubsancarlos.com
A big congratulations to the recently announced 2014 Michelin-starred restaurants on the Peninsula. Baumé in Palo Alto is the lone two-star establishment. Allspice in San Mateo, Madera in Menlo Park, The Village Pub in Woodside and Wakuriya in San Mateo received one star.
This story was updated Nov. 4 to correct an error that the Pizza Studio in Palo Alto was the first branch to open in the Peninsula. Another branch has been open in Mountain View.