Isola Pizza Bar, which specializes in Neapolitan pizza, recently opened in Little Italy.
Having eaten some delicious Neapolitan pizza while in Italy, DH and I were eager to check this place out. One thing that particularly intrigued me was the fact that they bake all the cooked items in their wood fire oven–not just the pizzas.
When we walked in, the decor definitely reminded us of Italy, from the wine bottle displays to our Italian waiter. We had a seat right in front of the kitchen and it was fun watching them work the wood oven.
We started with some complimentary focaccia bread, drizzled in olive oil.
charred octopus, kalamata, fingerling potatoes, celery, lemon, salsa verde
The octopus was quite tender and mixed nicely with the crispy celery and lemony sauce.
maialino misto ($15)
assorted artisan salumi, bite of cheese, barbera cugna
We were very surprised with the bountiful quantity of assorted salumi presented to us. It was a nice variety and we enjoyed most of it. I also enjoyed the cranberry walnut sauce accompanying it. My one critique would be that I wished for a little more cheese or maybe some tomatoes or something else to counter the saltiness of the meats.
burrata e pomodorini ($15)
burrata, sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh oregano, basil
The fresh made pizzas arrived pretty as a picture.
I’m not an expert on Neapolitan pizza, but I did notice some differences in the pizza served here compared to my previous experiences. For one thing, the pizza was precut, whereas it’s usually uncut. I’m not complaining. I’m glad they cut it for me, but it’s just something I noticed.
The pizza crust was quite thin, as it should be, and still had some chewiness. I was able to pick up the entire slice, which was another differentiation. In my past experiences, the pizza is too wet to pick up easily, especially towards the center of the pizza.
Finally, the crust was lightly baked, but not charred. In my previous experiences, there would be more unevenness to the crust, with bits of crust that get charred. I was always told that this is just how Neapolitan pizza is. Our pizzas were not the least bit charred. Again, I’m not complaining. This meant I could actually enjoy the entire crust without any bitterness, but it did detract from my previous Neapolitan pizza experiences.
This pizza was quite simple. It was basically crust with a bit of burrata and tomatoes. I was surprised to see no additional cheese on the pizza crust itself. I had a wonderful version of this in Italy and had enjoyed the simpleness of letting the ingredients shine, but this version seemed to be missing something, I’m not quite sure what.
prosciutto e arugula ($15)
parma prosciutto, mozzarella, panna, arugula, truffle oil
We both preferred this pie more. A little more flavor, a little more ingredients. It’s funny, in Italy I had preferred the pies with as little ingredients as possible, but here I preferred the ones that had more ingredients.
lady fingers, mascarpone, cocoa
All desserts are homemade. It’s been awhile since I had a good tiramisu and I was happy with this one. We polished off every bite.
All in all we had a good experience here. While it wasn’t as great as the pizza we had in Italy, it’s a solid pizza place in San Diego and I preferred it over my experience at Pizzeria Bruno.
Please note, my food was complimentary and I was invited by BAM Communications. However, my opinions are my own and I was not compensated for the review.
Isola Pizza Bar
1526 India Street
San Diego CA