Shimokitazawa Area Restaurants #3 Pizzeria LaBefena

An authentic pizzeria to melt the heart and restore the mind and spirit

From the outside of Pizzeria LaBefena it would be understandable if you saw it as no more than any other small one man operation selling Italian~Japanese style catering to the taste of the local market. but once you take a few steps to the door you enter into a restaurant where you know immediately that you have found authentic Italian cuisine.

From the firm wafer thin pastry pizzas through to lasagna and fettuccine, whatever you chose your tastebuds are guaranteed to experience one of the best treats of their lives and your lives in a harmony of feel good proportions.

At lunchtime you can chose from two 'set' menus which are the most flexible set menus I have ever seen as you can chose your courses from either A or B set! Every set meal comes with a complimentary cool juice drink to clean your palate for the taste treat to come. Also before your choice of main course you will have a generously portion of green salad with fine sauces which confirms you are in an Italian restaurant of the finest kind and kindness.

The service is warm and friendly and the stages of the meals are timed to perfection so you have neither a sense of haste to nor endless bread nibbling waiting. In short, they know what they are doing and you can tell the chef has undoubtedly been trained in Italy at some point.

The second floor is bigger than its downstairs counterpart, which is itself not small at all, as the outside view might give to the imagination. But just go in and prepare yourself for a real treat at very reasonable prices, and let your imagination take you to Italy. It is just a wisp and a wish away.

Getting to Pizzeria LaBeefa is a very short walk from Shimokitazawa Station. To get to Shimozawa from Shinjuku take the express train from platforms 4 or 5 of the Odakyu Line. It takes seven minutes and is the second stop on the line. Coming from Shibuya take the express train from the Inogashira Line (it is the terminus) and in just four minutes you will be at the first station which is Shimokitaza.

If you use the Inogashira Line you are on the correct platform so if you come in on the Odakyu Line you just have to follow the arrows and directions as these lines interesect at Shimozakitazawa. Whichever line you take get to the Inokashira platform and walk all the way along it to the very end where the steps go down to the ticket barrier. Once through the barrier turn left and go up the steps to the street. Go just a few paces along that street until Lawson's convenience store. Stand with you back to Lawson's and you will see a small street which you should go down and within thirty meters you will see LaBefena on your right. Go up the steps and step into Italy!

by Andrew Grimes