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.

Focaccia bread

We started with some complimentary focaccia bread, drizzled in olive oil.

polipo ($12)
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.

I previously tried a recipe using cornstarch as a secret ingredient to making soft and fluffy chocolate chip cookies. I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

I decided to try again, but using one of my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipes, and adding in cornstarch to see what would happen. Like the previous cornstarch cookies I made, these cookies really puffed up and were soft and cakey.

Ramen Yamadaya, a popular ramen chain from Los Angeles, recently opened a location in San Diego. I always get excited when LA places finally make their way down to San Diego, so I couldn’t wait more than a few days to check it out.

I’ve actually never been to the LA locations, but have heard good things from friends. I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but my ramen knowledge is pretty limited. For a better coverage of Ramen Yamadaya, head over to A Radiused Corner.

Ramen Yamadaya specializes in Tonkotsu broth ramen. Tonkotsu broth is made of pork bones, boiled for 20 hours according to Ramen Yamadaya, which results in a rich, creamy broth. The noodles used are thin, white and straight, unlike the wavy noodles usually associated with ramen.

The location (nearby Little Sheep) is quite small. We had a party of six and rather than push a few tables together, they decided to seat us outside on the patio which was  unfurnished except for two Samuel Adams picnic tables. I hope they spruce up this outside seating in the future because it felt dark and separated, like I was just sitting at some free picnic table in a public park. It also made picture taking quite difficult since the patio was only lit by the plaza lights.

Here’s the menu: