Sun-Thu, 11:30am-midnight; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-2am
J, M, Z at Essex St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Lower East Side
A half-moon of flames emanating from inside the brick oven at this sleek, slate-hued pizzeria can be spotted outside its all-glass corner façade. The medium-size thin-crust pies here—with toppings that range from the traditional (Margherita, four-cheese) to the regrettable—are displayed in glass as well; a hip-level counter lets you pick a slice or order a whole pie as you might inspect wallets or jewelry. Crusts emerge light and bubbly from the fiery oven, and a simple purée of the namesake canned San Marzano tomatoes makes for a light sauce—but pizzas would benefit from half as much mozzarella, which forms a thick seal between the dough and its garnishes. When Mario Batali tried San Marzano during a pizza tour for Grub Street in 2009, he felt some extra time in the oven (an easy request) would also do some good. Despite a few shortcomings, fresh ingredients, expert crust, and availability until 2 a.m. on weekends make the pies a welcome addition to a neighborhood full of mindless late-night slice joints.