I recognize that the "best pizza" is all relative. Some people like thin crust, some people like thick. Some people like lots of toppings, some people like their pizzas sparse. Two of my favorite pizzas in the world are polar opposites from each other: Zachary's pizza in Berkeley serves up Chicago-style, California-influenced deep dish pizza (in fact, the deepest dish pizza I've ever had) so heavy with toppings that a single slice will leave you stuffed. The Cheese Board, also in Berkeley, serves food that embodies the spirit of Northern California - fresh, earthy, bohemian, unique. How can a pizza be bohemian? Try Cheese Board's daily changing pizzas, which are always a surprise and you'll realize what I mean - on one occasion I had a ricotta cheese and lemon slice topped pizza that I raved about for days. The Cheese Board doesn't add tomato sauce, but instead lets the flavors of cheese and fresh California vegetables shine through.
I was introduced to a delicious pizza in Tokyo recently, and while it may not be the best pizza in the world, it is really good. Really, really good. So good that I've been having it weekly since I first tried it! Salvatore Cuomo is as ubiquitous as a restaurant can get in Tokyo - with restaurants ranging from the eponymous casual family pizzeria restaurants all over the city to the higher end Kitchen Salvatore in Roppongi Hills, there is a branch of the restaurant in pretty much every major neighborhood. So really, there's no excuse not to try Salvatore's scrumptious D.O.C. pizza, a modern take on the classic margherita pizza made with sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil.
Salvatore's crust is slightly sweet, perfectly chewy yet paper thin - the perfect canvas for Salvatore's creative mix of toppings. I only wish the pizzas were a little bit bigger - my stomach has adjusted to Japanese portion sizes, but one Salvatore pizza just isn't enough!
The restaurants also serve solidly executed pastas, but pizzas are the stars on the menu. The following are from Mohri Salvatore Cuomo, a casual restaurant with outdoor seating in Roppongi Hills.
Salvatore's award-winning D.O.C. pizza
Tiny anchovies and garlic
Prosciutto and rucola pizza
Food rating: ****
Bang for buck rating: 4
Location: B2 level, Hillside, Roppongi Hills
Average price of meal for two: 5000 yen (~$55)