Starting at 5 p.m. each day, members of the Gilhooly family begin twirling doughy disks high in the air. These stewards of Oblio's Pizzeria then flick their creations into the oven and watch as the almost-tangible heat forms a 3-D platter complete with cheese, tomato sauce, and a bounty of toppings. Customizable pizzas come with one of three types of sauce—tomato, seasoned olive oil, or barbecue—and any of 23 available toppings, including canadian bacon, banana peppers, and salami. Specialty pies combine these treats into themed meals; the Giovanni features five meats, the Berkeley Blues has bountiful veggies, and the Santa Cruizin’ boasts Cali-inspired artichoke hearts and minced garlic. Patrons can watch all the action unfold, ogling their pies, lasagna, or meatball sandwiches as they take shape within the open kitchen. Those content with a little surprise can leave the cooking to the Gilhoolys and decamp to the sunny patio or sip luscious nectars from the vino bar as they wait.
Buenos Aires Pizzeria's menu was crafted outside of the pizza box. Try an empanada ($2.05 each) filled with a mouthwatering meat such as beef or chorizo, or choose one of their veggie empanadas, including blue cheese and onion, corn, and margarita (tomato, basil, and cheese). You can also opt for an order of canastitas, better known as open-faced empanadas ($2.90 each). Venture down the menu with a warm sandwich, such as the Cuban (ham, pork, swiss, pickles, mustard, and mayo, hot pressed on Cuban bread, $8.30), Media Luna (ham and cheese oozed between flaky croissant, $5.65), or a meatball sub (with tomato sauce, oregano, and chunks of mozzarella, $7.90).