CONTRIBUTED BY MELISSA RUIZ NAZARIO
La Tejadita Ichiban sounds like a Mexican-Japanese fusion restaurant, but it’s actually a cute takeout pizza joint close to Kadena on 329 just off of 85 (toward Yellow Box). Although their menu is limited and the prices are about average to mid-range, the pizza is yummy enough to splurge on every now and then.
Instead of selecting individual toppings, there are about 10 different pizza flavors to choose from, including familiar choices like margherita and pepperoni-bacon, to the more Asian-inspired corn tuna or seafood pizza. Their menu has pictures of the pizzas, to give you a better idea of the ingredients included.
Since it’s carry-out only, I thought I’d share a bit of Japanese ingenuity—check out this cool bag with handles, that keeps the pizza boxes completely flat as you carry it home! Pretty clever, if I do say so myself.
All the pizzas come in three sizes: small at 25 centimeters with 6 slices, medium at 30 centimeters with 8 slices, or large at 40 centimeters with 12 slices. Small pizzas range from ¥750 for the simple margherita to ¥1,000 for the exotic seafood, and large pizzas are anywhere from ¥1,500 to ¥2,200.
A small pizza is quite enough for one person, possibly two, depending on appetite. The hubby and I tried a small picante and a small chorizo garlic pizza. The picante pizza was quite good, and had a bit of heat from the spiced bits of chicken. The black olives, thin slices of green pepper, onion, and slices of pork added some heartiness, and their thin, perfectly cooked crust (not too thick, not too chewy) made for a delicious pizza.
Although it looked a bit strange to see corn on the chorizo garlic pizza (and I still haven’t completely figured out the Japanese love affair with corn on most food), the sweetness of it was actually a nice counterpoint to the savory and saltiness of the meat. Surprisingly, though, the chorizo was different from what I’d had come to understand as chorizo—it was more like a ham or Canadian bacon. The added pepperoni, thin strips of green pepper, onion and parsley made this a favorite, and though we were quite full, there wasn’t any pizza left by the end of the night.
They also have delicious pastries for sale on the cheap, including fluffy sweet cakes and chocolate and sesame shortbread cookies. I tried all of the desserts (research!) and loved them all.
Directions: From Kadena Gate 2, make a left onto 23. Follow it down to 85, where you’ll see a white walking bridge, a motorcycle dealership on the right, and a car dealership with a clown statue on the left. Make a right at this intersection onto 85. At 329 (should be the third light), make a right (there’s a blue highway sign that will direct you to 329/Kitanakagusuku). La Tejadita Ichiban will be on the left hand side of this street—turn into the alley just after it and there are a few parking spots to the side and in the back.
Hours: Sunday – Friday 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Payment: Yen only