This has always been one of our fav restaurants in San Diego. And it was about time we came back again so I jumped online and reserved a table for 2 at 6pm on Saturday. We planned on arriving in Little Italy a tad early so we could nail a street parking spot . . no such luck. When we drove slowly past Isola Pizza Bar just before 5.30pm the length of India St was packed out. Luckily we found a parking lot on the corner of Beech and Union St not too far up the road.
We walked down to the restaurant and arrived at the hostess desk at 5.45pm. The young hostess showed my wife to our table towards the rear of the restaurant while I took a couple of pics. IT WAS GREAT TO BE BACK ! Funny enough we were both concerned that given how long it had been since we were last here . . we would not know any of the staff. THAT CHANGED QUICKLY ! A sharp looking guy walked out of the kitchen and I recognized him from the Isola Pizza Bar in La Jolla when it first opened a few years ago. Raffaele the manager ( for the last 4 years ) and I had a lovely chat about old times when he was the pizza chef ( a good one too ) at La Jolla. I went and joined my wife at our table.
A lovely server named Renata looked after us. Renata herself had worked at the La Jolla location also but not recently. I kicked things off with a Harland Brewing Hazy IPA and 2 glasses of cold water. I asked Renata about complimentary bread and she said no problem. We ordered the PENNE AL RAGU ( slowly braised bolognese ragu, parmigiano ) and a QUATTRO CARNI WOOD-FIRED PIZZA ( fennel sausage, spicy salame, pancetta, guanciale, mozzarella, tomato sauce ) for our entrees.
The restaurant was pretty much packed out by now. It’s a long narrow space inside with a full bar on the left as you walk in and most of the tables are situated on the right side past the elegant ISOLA mural adorning the restrooms ( to enter just push the wall ). My chilled glass and can of ice cold hazy IPA hit the table within seconds courtesy of our server Renata. And then out came our COMPLIMENTARY ARTISAN FLATBREAD with dipping sauce thanks to Kristina the food runner.
Now when we first entered the restaurant I spotted the quite tall Kristina who looked very familiar and sure enough Kristina remembered us from our many dinner visits to their La Jolla restaurant. HOW LOVELY ! My ice cold beer tasted very refreshing and the artisan flatbread was el perfecto. WHOOPEE . . Kristina delivered our dinner order and didn’t everything look MOUTHSATIONAL ! We like to share our entrees so some fabulous pasta to start quickly followed by a slice of delicious wood-fired pizza.
OH YEAH . . the Ragu sauce had rich flavor and the pasta tasted just right. Our Quattro Carni Pizza tasted as good as it gets . . the incredible texture & flavor of the crust was mouthwatering and the fennel sausage / spicy salame really hit the spot. BRING ON THE DESSERT ! Now soon after we arrived I checked in on Yelp and got a FREE DESSERT OFFER. I have never bothered to take up any of the Yelp check in deals ever but on this occasion YES PLEASE ! When Renata came back to see if we wanted dessert I ordered the BUDINO and my wife ordered TIRAMISU. They came out fast and tasted wonderful. We thanked Renata our server, Raffaele the manager and Kristina the food runner for making our dinner visit so enjoyable !