A little while ago we went back to a place that Jake and I visited for our anniversary earlier this year: Isabella Artisan Pizzeria. It’s a very dog friendly place with a big patio in the back, though this visit it was on the chilly side (and we had no Maya) so we sat indoors.
It’s kind of a big open space! The table we sat at had chairs that pushed right in under the table, so it just looks like a big cube for a table. Laura and I felt like we were really far apart from each other! But I didn’t want to move to another table because I liked the cozy cushions that the chairs had.
[garlic wings / $8]
We got the Garlic Wings again because Jake and I really liked these the last time we were here. You get a 1lb of crispy coated fried chicken wings in a slightly spicy ginger garlic sauce. The wings are crazy crispy (and stay crisp!) and the sauce reminds me a bit of a Thai sweet chili sauce. The wings are juicy and meaty and the sauce adds a lovely kick of flavor and spice.
[meatball pizza / $13.5]
Again… same thing as last time but doesn’t look like we got any ricotta this time. Huh. Or maybe we built our own and just got meatball? This is why I should do these posts right away. HAH. What I do remember is that I still love the crust on the pizza here. This is a Neapolitan style with a thin, airy, light crust. It’s chewy and light and probably my favorite kind of crust for a pizza. I love the addition of the herbs which give it a pop of fresh flavor.
[chinewples pizza / $15]
Jake asked about what the pizza special was – Chinewples?? What the heck is that? Our waiter explained that it’s kind of a hybrid pie – it’s a cross between Chicago/New York/Naples style pizza. They press the dough into a deep dish pizza pan so that the dough goes up the sides of the pan – making it “deep dish” like, but it’s also thin like a New York pizza and they use the Naples style dough. What you get is a really lovely combination pizza. The ends of the pizza kind of create a light, chewy breadstick on the end and the bottom is crisp and delicious. You can get this style of pizza with any kind of toppings you want – you just have to ask – but we went with the special which came with pulled pork, mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, cheddar & jack cheeses plus Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. It was a very meaty combination of flavors. I would personally want different toppings on this next time but I absolutely adored the crust on this one. I love bread so naturally I loved the big fluffy ends.
[cheesy chicken pesto / $13.50]
In addition to the pizzas, we also got a bowl of pesto to share between the four of us. The pesto was light and creamy – more like a cream pesto sauce than straight pesto. They use chicken breast and plenty of cheese in here to make for a tasty dish.
[triple chocolate brownie with ice cream / $6 + $1.50 for ice cream]
Earlier that week before our visit, the owner contacted me via Twitter and my blog and invited me to come back in. I spotted him later in the evening and Jake introduced me (since Jake is my icebreaker) and he was pretty happy to see that we had stopped back in. He offered to give us some complimentary desserts which we happily accepted.
This crazy thing is a triple chocolate brownie with a drizzle of caramel and chocolate sauces, whipped cream and pretzel pieces. I loved the addition of the pretzel pieces which gave this quite sweet dish a little extra crunch and a dose of saltiness. The brownie was dense and a little fudgy. It went great with the ice cream!
[butterfinger cream pie / $6]
Their butterfinger cream pie is actually a combination of whipped peanut butter and nutella in a graham cracker crust, topped with candied, salted walnuts, a drizzle of caramel & fudge with whipped cream. Hoo boy, this one was so incredibly rich! I liked the flavor and sweetness from the pie filling and the salted walnuts helped cut the richness a little bit but this is something you definitely want to share. S kind of got to eat most of it since the adults started to get a little sugared out.
And last but not least… their housemade churros! The churros are not like your typical churro – they’re actually made from their pizza dough and then dusted with cinnamon sugar. This was by far my favorite of the three desserts we tried because I can’t get enough of the crust they use! The churros are all different sizes which creates different textures. You get an airy bite here and there along with a crispier piece and that creates a lot of fun texture and contrast with the dessert. There was a sweetened cream in the middle (I can’t remember exactly what it is, more like a dip) but I kind of liked the churros by themselves. I thought these were a little more like bunuelos myself, and the owner actually said he kind of thought of them as a cross between churros and bunuelos.
All in all we had a lovely meal here at Isabella Artisan Pizzeria and I know we’ll be back (probably with Maya in tow next time).
Isabella Artisan Pizzeria
4011 Avati Drive
San Diego, CA 92117
Disclaimer: Our desserts were complimentary and the rest of the meal we paid for ourselves. All opinions here are my own.