It's funny sometimes how two people can eat exactly the same meal and have a totally different reaction. Such was my experience when I finally ventured down to Pizza Strada at Azabu Juban to try out Tokyo's latest "authentic" Napolitan pizza joint.
It's a fairly small restaurant with a big counter plus a few tables with tiny, uncomfortable stools. The centrepiece of the restaurant is the iron wood-fired oven, which looks like it would have cost a bomb to get in there!
The ikemen staff are not particularly obliging, and have this kind of attitude I've found in other Italian restaurants in Tokyo that are trying oh so hard to be authentic - kind of macho and rude basically sums it up. Nevertheless, our needs were basically attended to so...
The menu is quite small, with hot and cold appetisers and about 5 or so pizzas to choose from. My dining partner and I opted for the cold marinated swordfish as well as the meatballs for the appetiser. For the pizza we shared the "Tamaki" which is billed as the chef's special, and made with smoked mozzarella and cherry tomatoes.
I found it all to be tastier than average, but my Japanese dining partner seemed almost scandalised at the quality and volume of the food for the price which, including a beer and a wine, came to 4,000 yen. The flavours are not exactly delicate and there's probably a bit too much bouillon in the tomato sauce but I thought it was ok.
I'll guess I'll be back, but perhaps with a different dining partner!