It's a rare day when there isn't a line on the pavement outside this Nakameguro pizza restaurant, which has been luring diners from all over Tokyo since it opened in early 2010. Pizzaiolo Hisanori Yamamoto picked up a string of trophies in Naples on his way to opening his own shop – and that seems to be where he got his sense of aesthetics too. The interior at Da Isa looked scruffy even when the place first opened, and bears a far closer resemblance to the original L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples than the benchmark-setting eatery's Ebisu outpost ever could. It's got an atmosphere to match, too: tables are wedged close together, conversation is loud and the staff operate at a permanent fever pitch. If you're looking for a leisurely dinner or romantic date, look elsewhere.
And the pizza? Damn near perfect. You'd be hard pressed to find a pizza in Tokyo that betters Yamamoto's sour-dough creations (and they're almost always his creations: the man barely strays from the oven during opening hours). The margherita is textbook stuff, while off-kilter innovations like the Shiori (mozzarella, prawns in shell, tomato, rucola and parmigiano) are also well worth a try. Too bad that Yamamoto ditched his excellent calzones, though he's kept the deep-fried pizze fritta if you're looking for a real artery clogger. The menu also offer a decent selection of antipasti and pasta, but it's the pizzas that are the undisputed stars here. And if the prices at dinner make you balk, note that pizzas cost a mere ¥1,000 on weekday lunches, while takeaways (from a limited menu) cost ¥900.