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Pizzeria e Trattoria da Isa

Pizzeria e Trattoria da Isa is the creation and life-work of Hisanori Yamamoto. He’s the young pizzaiolo you see at the helm of the massive wood-fired oven, shoveling in the pale raw pizzas with his long flat paddle, and then just a minute or so later pulling them out golden brown and bubbling hot.

When he opened da Isa in February last year, most of the media interest focused on the fact that for three years running he was a winner at the World Pizza Cup competition held in Naples, Italy. But it’s not the trophies and certificates on the walls that keeps us coming back — nor even that Yamamoto has re-created the look and feel of a no-frills Neapolitan backstreet trattoria. It’s that he really does turn out pizzas as good as you’d find back in the old country.

He offers around 40 different kinds on his menu, ranging in price from ¥1,500 to almost twice that much, depending on the ingredients. But don’t ask for exotic flavors or toppings such as pineapple or seaweed. Almost all of his pizzas are variations on the classic Marinara or Margherita styles, though cheese-lovers will be thrilled to find a Quattro Formaggi (¥2,350), featuring mozzarella, Gorgonzola, taleggio and Parmesan.