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Best Toast 

Pizzaiolo

Everyone knows about the seasonally topped thin-crust pizza at Pizzaiolo, which some might argue is the apotheosis of California-fied Italian cooking. But the Temescal stalwart's morning coffee and pastry program is still somewhat of a secret — albeit a poorly kept secret, given the size of the crowd many mornings. We could fill several paragraphs with praise for the light-as-air buttermilk doughnuts or the well-made espresso drinks, which are as reliable as clockwork. But mostly what we love is the toast: thick slices cut to order from some of the loveliest loaves you'll ever see (baked daily in-house), equal parts chewy and crunchy and deeply fragrant, with a hint of sourdough tang. Served with house-made condiments — recent offerings included strawberry-rhubarb jam and a Meyer lemon marmalade — and a huge hunk of soft butter, this is one plate of bread that is sure to win over any breakfast connoisseur who's ever thought that toast is an afterthought rather than the main course.

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