Just when I thought I'd eaten everywhere there was to eat in Toowoomba, Stain threw one up for tasting. His birthday was last week and to celebrate, the old gang gathered up for dinner at La Pizzaiola; the birthday boy's choice.
I'd probably walked past this restaurant many times without taking notice. The entrance is small but there's a surprisingly expansive dining area inside, divided into several rooms. Larger inside than out. It's like a spacial illusion. We took up a table tucked away in one of the rooms and started perusing the menu.
La Pizzaiola offers a wide selection of Australianized Italian cuisine. All the usual family pasta favorites are there, along with a bunch of risottos, shnitzels and a huge list of pizzas. I was stuck between a few menu items. None of them sounded the least bit authentic Italian but still appealing in a naughty junk food kind of way. I ended up going for a pizza and cup of coffee.
My latte took a long time to come out but it was fairly decent for restaurant coffee. It was another long wait before the food came out.
Coralli marinara - with green prawns, scallops, baby octopus and garlic in a marinara sauce
Superman ordered the marinara with coralli pasta. It should have been awesome because it has my name in it! He was disappointed though, firstly with the lack of parmesan on the table and secondly with the general lack of flavor. Apparently the pasta was overcooked too.
Pollo risotto - with chicken breast, proscuitto, mushrooms, onion, garlic, cream sauce and topped with green salad and pinenuts
Stain had been to La Pizzaiola on several occasions and each time, ordered the pollo risotto. He liked it and when Superman tried some, he said it was much better than his marinara pasta. On this occasion, the risotto was a bit underseasoned but there was no salt on the table to make ammends.
Bodeno pizza - with barbeque sauce, chicken breast, bacon, caramelized onion, pepperoni, roast capsicum and camembert cheese
Pizza and Pony shared a large bodeno pizza. The crust on 1/2 of the pizza was burnt but they diplomatically added that it didn't taste too burnt. In terms of flavor, Pizza commented that barbeque chicken is always a winner so it did taste quite good (sorry for the confusion between my mate, nicknamed Pizza for this blog and pizza, the food she ordered).
Jimensca pizza - with baby spinach, roast pumpkin, chicken, caramelized onion, fetta, pepperoni, balsamic reduction and basil
I went for the jimensca pizza because it succeeded in sounding like a vegetarian pizza (I like an abundance of vegetables in pizza topping) but also had chicken. I liked the sweetness of pumpkin and caramelized onion but the whole thing needed more saltiness. Again, the lack of a salt shaker on our table proved problematic. The base was like a Domino's pizza base, which is OK but I personally prefer thin and crunchy pizza bases.
I didn't fall head over heals for La Pizzaiola. The food was fairly average at best and there were some issues with seasoning and dishes being overcooked or burnt. Not only that, we had to wait a long time for our food. The atmosphere was casual and friendly though so it would be a good place for a family dinner as long as your expectations for food aren't too high.