One correction, the Cafe at Chez Panisse opened and started serving pizza in 1980, and Prego didn’t open until 1981. So Alice Waters and her team get sole credit and blame for inventing California pizza.
I think the writer may not realize that the long fermented sourdough artisanal pizza had already taken off in LA to the point of saturation and eye-rolls every time a new LA pizza place opens up planning to do another charred, long fermented sourdough pizza. That can’t really be a defining style that SF can trend now because I think we’re almost at the end of the trend, that it might be what already defines the current iteration of CA pizza. Also, if anything, LA and SF are currently interluding with the Detroit style. And CA has definitely moved past the luxury ingredients on pizza of the 80s. So what is California pizza beyond local in-season ingredients? Sourdough? Who knows.
To me, “California pizza” means what it has since the 80s: pies along the lines of Chez Panisse Cafe and Spago, with farmers-market ingredients and creative combinations of toppings.
“San Francisco-style pizza,” I don’t believe there was ever such a thing. Tomasso’s, Golden Boy, Pauline’s, Delfina, Pizzetta 211, PizzaHacker, and others all originated styles of pizza that might have claimed the term, but they didn’t.