At least down near me in the south peninsula, Indian Pizza is all the style. To me, the “original” is always Zante’s in SF. They’re gone from the original 16th street digs long ago, but still in the inner-outer mission grey area. It’s often the take-out of choice at the shop in the bayview I sometimes haunt.
What’s good indian pizza? It’s got to have great sauce, and lots of it. (Arguably) the point of indian food is the gravy. While you think culturally indians should be able to sling an interesting crust (tandoor-style with some burnt), I’ve found indian purveyors are using fairly standard crust recipies and ovens of no particular greatness, so the goal is crust that doesn’t take away from the sauce and toppings.
The toppings should also be great, of course. You’ll expect better than average veg and some interesting spiced meat options, likely chicken based.
What’s shocking about indian pizza of the new places is the near-lack of pizzas with indian sauce. Looking at menus, it’s almost always “white” (no sauce although garlic is claimed) or classic italian tomato. This is simply incomprehensible to me. Sure, one or two “normal” (cis-hetero-american) pizzas in case it’s a mixed party, but … if you advertise Indian pizza, I expect MOST pizzas to have indian sauce.
Palo Alto - Curry Pizza House. This location on Univ ave I categorize as Opportunist. They appear to claim whatever’s trendy, and rotate ever 6 to 12 months. It was a thai-ish place, then a tiki place, then something else, now it’s indian pizza. However, maybe they’ve taken on this local chain’s offerings, and will be “here to stay” for a bit. This place has three sauces, Curry, Shahi (the butter chicken sauce?), white-garlic, Pesto, house red. The first two are obviously the indian ones.
It’s OK. The sauce is usually light, maybe I should order “extra sauce”, the toppings are OK not great, the crust is standard industrial.
I tried Desi Pizza House in MV kinda near the freeway on Moffit. The place is very bare bones - no beer no seating nothin but pizza - no really I think they had two kinds of wings and that’s it - and the pizza is OK but suffers the “where’s the sauce” artifact. I got the most indian-ish item on the menu, and the toppings were pretty good. I think the crust was better than Curry Pizza House by simply being thinner and there being less of it.
Both of these fair poorly compared to my memories of Zante’s.
It looks like Fremont is the place to eat (as usual). They have Tandoori Pizza, Namaste Pizza, Bombay Pizza House, and a couple of the Curry Pizza chains.