Back in June of last year, I noticed that the old and kind of worn Bollweevil was being put out to pasture. Taking its place was something called isa.bella - artisan pizza & craft beer garden, yes...all lower case. I kind of hesitated in visiting mainly because even though I've enjoyed watching new places pop-up arpund the neighborhood, I really haven't had much luck when I've checked these places out. Honestly, I'm not expecting North Park caliber places, but would like a nice standby that serves better than average food.....
A couple of weeks ago, JohnL agreed to join me for a couple of beers, we wanted to stay around the neighborhood and thought that it was time to check out isa.bella.
I was seated at one of hte tables outside, I've got to say, as much as I liked the colors and such; the tables were pretty high for me and when John and Candice arrived, we realized just how large the tables was. Still, this will be a nice place to have a beer and relax when spring and summer arrive.
I looked over the beer selection, which was decent, nothing like the High Dive of course, but with 15 on tap, it was fine with me. I think having a couple of bottles might be great as well.
I went simple with an Hoegaarden to start while I just kind of got into relaxation mode.
Soon enough Candice, then JohnL arrived and we started looking over the menu in earnest.
In the end we decided on two apps and two pizzas.
Things started off with the meatball trio ($7):
The meatballs were served with a "trio" of sauces; a white, almost bechamel type of sauce that was kind of gritty, a decent think red sauce, and pesto. The flavor of the meatballs were decent, though these were on the hard and tough side.
Seeing the Garlic Wings on the menu ($7), I just had to check them out.
Though the menu calls these spicy, I found them more sweet than anything else. Decently crunchy, sticky and messy, with a mild garlic flavor, this was the best thing we had all evening.
The pizzas started with the Eggplant Parmesan ($13.50).
Now, considering that I was told that isa.bella served Neopolitan style pizza, something along the lines of Pizzeria Bruno came to mind. This didn't quite make it up there, especially in the crust department for me as it was hard and cracker like. This was also on the bland side as the eggplant needed a lot more help. The cheese was not strong enough to carry the dish and there didn't seem to be enough marinara sauce on this as well.
The Margherita ($12.50) fared better.
I'm still not fond of the crust, but the acid of the roma tomatoes combined with basil is a wonderful thing. The pizza was still a bit short on sauce for my taste.
Overall, the prices weren't bad, I wasn't very fond of the pizzas, but the staff was nice, and I felt comfortable here, so I figured I'd drop by for just a beer and something simple one evening.
I got the Leffe Brown, I like browns which balance out the sweet and bitter, and this did the trick.
I'm guessing this place will be just that for me; a place to drop in for a beer and something small to eat every once in a while. I like the staff, they're friendly, but not overly so, and I can have a beer and decompress..... though I may stop by for lunch someday.
isa.bella artisan pizzeria & craft beer garden
4011 Avati Dr
San Diego, CA 92117
Tues - Thurs 11am - 9pm
Fri - Sat 11am - 10pm
Sunday 11am - 9pm