A Fallback That Made A Surprising Impression
I like Pizza Nova. A decade ago when I lived in Solana Beach I used to go to the one off Lomas Santa Fe Drive pretty regularly. In particular, I like their pizza because it has a thin crust, and I think their wines are surprisingly good for a restaurant at this price point. (I also have a soft spot for their trademark dough balls.)
But these days pizza is significantly cheaper at major chains than it used to be. So Pizza Nova has become comparatively pricier, I think. While I like their food well enough, there almost always seems to me to be a better option when we're looking to go out nowadays. As a result, I hadn't eaten at a Pizza Nova in years.
But we went to this one recently because it was right next to another restaurant that we tried to get into spontaneously one night. But since we had no reservations, that other restaurant had too long a wait for our young daughter to tolerate. So went went to this Pizza Nova instead, as a fallback, merely because of its proximity to the other place.
I was girded for disappointment and walked in here with almost no enthusiasm. But you know what? The whole experience was a pleasant surprise. The food and wine was really good, and the whole experience enjoyable.
Despite the fact that a small crowd began gathering at the front door as we arrived (all wanting a table, like us), we were seated almost immediately, just ahead of the crowd. Our waiter was also really cheerful, and his service prompt.
The red wine we ordered was surprisingly good, too. As was the baked garlic appetizer, which was greeted with no enthusiasm by my family when I ordered it, but which was ravenously enjoyed by everyone once it arrived.
And their "Works" pizza, which we ordered as a group and shared, was also just as good as I remembered.
It's perhaps the ultimate compliment to the experience that when we left I asked my wife rhetorically why it had taken us so long to go back here. And you know, just a week later we ordered another "Works" pizza from here to be delivered.