Hawaiian pizza unpacked at Panino’s

click to enlarge GRIFFIN SWARTZELL

  • Griffin Swartzell

604 N. Tejon St., 635-7452, paninosdowntown.com

Takeout and delivery

Does pineapple belong on pizza? It’s a divisive question.

Pineapple fans and haters alike defend their positions with ardor. But I believe and have believed that pineapple on pizza, including the much-maligned Hawaiian pizza, can be made to work. And Panino’s does a good job of it.

I order a large Hawaiian pizza for pickup, and bottles of Rochester, New York-brewed Genesee Cream Ale from the beer fridge on impulse. As many years of eating Panino’s food has conditioned me to expect, the pizza crust bears a modest crispness to its exterior and a welcoming softness within, and the sauce does its job just fine.

Atop the cheese, the pineapple has been dried enough before baking that it doesn’t sog anything, which is crucial. There’s enough Canadian bacon to start balancing out its sweet tang. I ask for added onion, the key component that more cohesively unites the ham and pineapple, and its bite brings everything together. Washed down with the mild, easy-drinking ale, it’s a little piece of normal in a strange, strange world.