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Date Night: Shuggie’s Pizza Parlor Lathers on the Kitsch, Delivers on the Flavor

Written by Jeffrey EdalatpourPublished Jul. 02, 2022 • 11:00am
Patrons dine at Shuggie’s Trash Pie + Natural Wine in San Francisco. | Juliana Yamada / The Standard

There are technicolor cartoons less colorful than the interior of Shuggie’s. The two main dining rooms are painted in monochromatic tones of yellow and green. One bathroom is pink, the other purple. But the décor is merely a tempting candy wrapper. Shuggie’s calls itself a “food waste paradise” because they use ingredients “that would otherwise go to waste.”    

Definitely a noble mission—but I couldn’t taste the difference. The subheading on the menu reads, “Trash Pie + Natural Wine.” The pies are pizza pies, in case you were imagining the chicken pot variety. We started with garlic knots ($10) made with “leftover dough.” There’s no indication what the dough is exactly leftover from, but I assumed it was pizza dough. It’s served with a “wilty green chimi” or chimichurri sauce. And with “ricotta fluff,” an ingredient that can make a guest appearance on one of the “grandma style thin squares” of pizza for an extra $4.

The texture is marshmallowy, but not sweet, and complemented the honey and chili flavors on our pepperoni pizza. Per the waitstaff’s recommendation, one pizza is enough for one person. We split a second greener-looking, vegetarian pizza ($19) that was milder, less spicy by miles, and therefore more forgettable. The thinness of the crusts surprised me. It looks like flatbread, but the dough somehow retains the chewy consistency of a Neapolitan pizza.  

After our pizzas, an unconventional serving container of salad arrived. The waiter explained that diners can receive one of two dishes: one in the shape of a woman’s bosom, the other someone’s posterior. Thankfully there wasn’t a third option. Ours came in the bosomy one with the lettuce skewered like it was about to be barbecued. The skewers didn’t affect the flavor but having to remove the lettuce from a skewer seems like an unnecessary gimmick. Yes, the serving dishes are novelties but I’d rather just have lettuce on a plate.

Music playing on the house speakers is loud. Be prepared for sudden mood shifts. You’ll be swaying along with reggae beats and then lose your train of thought seconds later as they’re stamped out by punk or heavy metal. Everyone, young and old alike, were having a good time at Shuggie’s. Every sense is overstimulated there. I don’t remember a single thing my friend said to me while we were eating, but my eardrums did heal by morning.

Shuggie’s Trash Pie + Natural Wine

3349 23rd St.

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