a journal of finding good food and restaurants i love to eat in Taipei when I'm not in Los Angeles. looking forward to hearing from other food lovers about where your favorite places to eat are, so i can try them next!
Kid friendliness: high chairs available; lots of kid friendly toppings or plain cheese avail
Visit reviewed: 1/29/2013
Has this ever happened to you? You secretly make some new year's resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more often, write snail mail to friends, watch Homeland, clean out your closet, as well as blog up a storm, but then real life hits and all of sudden it's already February. And all of the resolutions got postponed. Not to mention my laptop's "start up disk" is full so I have over a month's worth of travel and food photos from my iphone, s95 and DSLR to upload. Eek. Time to clear the digital clutter and reorganize.
But until then, let's talk about a great little pizza place in the Daan district I tried the other day, Zoca Pizza. Some of you might have discovered it already, as I've been told to try this place at least a few times by a few readers. (It is also across the street from the shuttered WeiB which I saw was being torn down.)
Opened over a year ago, Zoca Pizza is a casual little shop near Anhe Road, offering over 40 kinds of different thin crust pizzas on the English, Italian and Chinese menu, as well as a daily soup, a few salads, calzone, lasagna, and a pizza by the slice lunch set. There is also a wine list and house made limoncello. The variety of pizzas is quite overwhelming with all the choices, but luckily our friend helped us order. The pizzas also cook quickly and come quickly to the table, so you could always add a pizza after your initial order if you aren't full. I like to order different ones and share.
You can even spy the chef making the pizzas in the open kitchen and firing it in the brick oven.
The waitress told us that the owner and chef of Zoca has been making pizza since he was a boy in Verona, Italy, and also learned how to make the Italian desserts and housemade gelatos that beckon when you walk in.
The pizzas are large enough to share, so my friends and I ordered a few to try. My friend recommended we come here insisted we order the Dolce Vita pizza (NT$400) and it ended up being my favorite of that day as well.
Topped with prosciutto, mascarpone cheese, nuts and honey provide contrasting flavors and textures with the tomato sauce and cheese base. When my friend first described the pizza to me, I thought it was a dessert pizza, but it is quite savory and the creaminess of the fresh mascarpone really perfects the pizza. And the chewy crust is thin, but bendable and gives a great bite- not heavy and not crispy. The neapolitan pizzas at Zoca are similar to Fifteen Pizza, for those of you that have been.
The carbonara pizza comes with a white sauce and topped with bacon and a well done baked egg. I missed the tartness of the tomato sauce with this one and prefer a less well done egg, but it might be good for fans of carbonara pasta.
I thought it was funny (and very appropriate) that the pineapple and ham Hawaiian pizza was called Americana pizza (NT$320) instead. It reminded me of how we're so used to bastardized versions of other cuisines in America, but we end up craving it anyways because it's what we've grown up with. Like how some people look for or desire things like orange chicken and moo shu pork that are nearly impossible to find in Taipei because they are essentially Chinese Americana.
We couldn't leave without trying the desserts, so we shared a hazelnut tart, acannoli, and limoncello cake which they called bobo. I thought the cake would have a strong lemon flavor, but it was more of a strong alcohol flavor, which was actually too strong for me. Haha, you can tell I'm not a big drinker.
My favorite was the cannoli (NT$150), which I've only seen at Solo Pasta otherwise in Taipei. I'll have to come back another day to try a scoop or two of the Italian ice cream.