BIGA, a casual Italian eatery offering Neapolitan-style pizzas and other authentic Italian dishes, opened in San Diego last month. We were invited to visit a few weeks ago and are absolutely smitten with the place and have been trying to find a free weekend night to come back ever since.
(Yes, that’s a real tree in the center of the restaurant.)
Biga refers to an Italian fermentation process which is used in their pizzas and breads. Don’t let the casual order-at-the-counter or very reasonable prices fool you–the food here is of much higher caliber than your typical casual restaurant.
Let me start off with my favorite dish of the night. This porchetta had the crunchiest pork skin I’ve ever tasted.
When I saw the porchetta behind the glass case upon walking in the restaurant, I immediately knew I had to try it.
The porchetta is a three-day process. It starts with the restaurant butchering down a whole hog, rolling the shoulder meat into the belly, stuffing the crevices with fresh herbs, marinating, tenderizing, and finally roasting it for 6 hours. The end result is melt-in-your mouth pork meat encased in a gorgeous, thick-crunchy golden skin.
I would come back for this dish alone. It’s only served on Saturday during dinner service and they usually sell out pretty early. One of the main reasons why we didn’t immediately come back the next day after our first visit was because we really want to get this pork dish again and we just haven’t had a free Saturday evening.
Napoli Pizza Fritta
Another favorite for us was the pizza fritta, a specialty street food item from Naples. The pizza is deep fried instead of baked, with the toppings sealed between two discs of dough. Pizza dough, when deep fried, develops a delicious fluffy consistency. It might not be the healthiest preparation, but it is a wonderful treat that doesn’t feel greasy or heavy.
We also tried one of their traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas, which was excellent as well. The crust was slightly thicker than other Neapolitan pizzas we’ve had in San Diego, but had a nice elasticity to it.
We also got to try some of their side dishes, including their nduja served on grilled bread. Made in-house, the spicy pork salame spread packed quite a punch.
House-Made Ravioli, Mushroom and Parmesan Brodo
This beautiful egg yolk ravioli, surrounded by prosciutto, chives and mushrooms, was another favorite.
I was also a huge fan of this earthy and well-balanced dish. Roasted crispy yams, served with oro blanco grapefruit, cilantro, creme fraiche, and hazelnuts. I love all the textures and flavors of this dish and especially the almost caramelized sweetness of the yams.
They also serve gelato and coffee, but we were too full for either.
Finally, how adorable are these plates? I need some in my house…
I also spent some time admiring this wall herb garden.
Overall, we had a fantastic meal here and can’t wait to be back. We are very excited for this addition to downtown San Diego and definitely support the owners vision to keep prices affordable while still offering authentic, high quality Italian cooking. I recommend visiting during dinner, as the lunch menu is a little more limited. And I highly suggest visiting them on Saturday early evening to try their unforgettable porchetta.
Please note, as stated above, we were invited to check out this new restaurant and our meal was complimentary. All opinions expressed are my own.
950 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101