There are tons of thin-crust pizza options these days, so how does a pizza restaurant break out from the pack? Add a waterfront view and outdoor patio.

That’s the winning formula for the relatively new Forge Pizza in Oakland’s Jack London Square. The spacious restaurant has outdoor seating equipped with fire pits for the cool bay evenings.

On a Sunday afternoon, I checked out the restaurant with my friend Stephen when we wanted to get some early dinner near the water. Since the patio is primarily covered by umbrellas, it’s a bit hit and miss on whether you get the summer sun shining directly in your face or not.

Still, you could cool off with some of the restaurant’s cocktails. I tried the “high tide” to stay with the water theme, and it was a refreshing mix of gin, tangerine, lime and mint ($9). The bar also serves up several local beer on tap.

The High Tide ($9), made with gin, tangerine, lime and mint

The High Tide ($9), made with gin, tangerine, lime and mint

The Menu
An often recommended starter is the crispy cheese curds ($7.50), which is exactly like what it sounds – deep-fried golden brown cheese curds. I saw this during another food event that took me to Forge for dinner, but I can’t say I’ve tried it since I’m not a fan of deep-fried foods.

But I can say I did enjoy the baby octopus ($14) with charred tomato vinaigrette, chili and artichoke. The tomato base gave the dish a Spanish flair, and the octopus (a bit big for a baby) was tender and easy to eat. Stephen enjoyed his arugula salad ($10), which was huge with frisee, radish, croutons, grana – all held together with anchovy lemon vinaigrette.

The Pizzas
For the pizzas, there are eight to choose from. We ended up getting the so-called “potato” pizza ($17). I say so-called potato pizza because it was topped with smoked trout, herb salad and horseradish cream. I didn’t feel like this was a pizza highlighting potatoes, but I did like the use of smoked trout (although there was way too much dill for my taste).

Heirloom tomato pizza ($15) with roasted garlic pesto and smoked mozzarella

Heirloom tomato pizza ($15) with roasted garlic pesto and smoked mozzarella

I’ve also tried on another time the heirloom tomato pizza ($15), which had a fresh tomato taste looking very summery and using a roasted garlic pesto sauce. The fresh tomatoes can make the pizza watery, which makes it a bit hard for the toppings to stay on the slice.

Side note: The people behind Forge is apparently happy with how things are going with their Oakland baby because there’s already plans to open a Danville version later this month.

The Last Bite
Forge’s Neapolitan-style pizzas have the right amount of blistering from the wood-fire oven. Initially reviews said the crust was sometimes limp, but I didn’t experience that at all. While it’s not crispy thin, it’s definitely like several Neapolitan pizza spots around the Bay. And with a friendly staff and great views, the Forge makes a unique statement in the Bay Area thin crust pizza race.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4 camera snaps
2.5snaps

 


Forge Pizza, 66 Franklin St. (at Embarcadero in Jack London Square), Oakland. PH: 510.268.3200, Open daily from 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner. Reservations, major credit cards accepted. www.theforgepizza.com/oakland

Forge Pizza on Urbanspoon

Arugula Salad ($10) with frisee, radish, croutons, grana, and anchovy lemon vinaigrette

Arugula Salad ($10) with frisee, radish, croutons, grana, and anchovy lemon vinaigrette

Baby Octopus ($14) with charred tomato vinaigrette, chili and artichoke

Baby Octopus ($14) with charred tomato vinaigrette, chili and artichoke

The wood-fire pizza oven with a forged metal look

The wood-fire pizza oven with a forged metal look

"Potato" pizza ($17) with smoked trout, herb salad and horseradish cream

“Potato” pizza ($17) with smoked trout, herb salad and horseradish cream

The spacious dining room

The spacious dining room

Cheese curds fried up golden brown ($7.50)

Cheese curds fried up golden brown ($7.50)

Fire pits so you can cuddle up with your pizza on the patio at night

Fire pits so you can cuddle up with your pizza on the patio at night

4 Responses to Review of Forge Pizza in Oakland’s Jack London Square

  1. Row says:

    That drink looks very refreshing! I’ve had octopus a couple of times and it’s been only so-so. I think it might be a texture thing, but then again, I love squid with all its tentacles. Go figure. :P

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    The potato pizza with smoked trout sounds divine. I’d devour that all on my own.

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