Tom’s baffled by La Smorfia

Enjoyed the food, but there were minus points which, given the stiff competition, confuse me. The pizza was very good; really flavoursome and satisfying. One of the ingredients – anchovy – was very sparse. Admittedly this pizza (Trappola) had quite a few toppings, but the anchovy is obviously important. Still, nice food.

Now here’s my first gripe; you know my thoughts on side salads – they should not be a token gesture. I ordered a mixed salad, and there was nothing awful about it, basically it felt like some assorted leaves from a supermarket packet. They chose to lob in a few olives, pretty cheap ones. Now, I like those, I buy them, but if you’re going to add olives, use proper marinated ones or something. Further, the tomato slices were completely flavourless and out of the fridge. If you go to a restaurant, surely you want it to be as good as, or better than, what you’d do at home? And not just ‘good’, but interesting. I fail to understand how things like this are given such lack of thought. I am fussy, but this is West Hampstead – the competition is out there and I would guess that other locals would be similarly interested in detail.

Strada have done great side salads on most occasions, and you also get a salt mill with either rock or sea salt – again makes a difference. I had no salt at all on my table.

Nice big glass of pleasing house wine. Good but somewhat blank-faced service – certainly didn’t strike me as “ooh – new customer – let’s pull the stops out” – though a free little bruschetta bite was appreciated.

No sweet menu forthcoming so I went home.