Geisha, Maiko, and Pizza!

An ad for a Japanese pizza chain featuring a geisha and maiko
An ad for a Japanese pizza chain featuring a geisha and maiko

One of the very few (and very minor) things I don't like about living in Kyoto is the number of fliers that get stuffed in my mailbox every day. I get fliers from real estate agents, fliers for beauty products, fliers for health spas, and many, many more, all of which go straight into my garbage.

The only fliers I don't mind getting are from the pizza chains and other restaurants in my area. I live within walking distance of a Chicago Pizza Factory and a Pizza Little Party, so I get menus from them. I also get menus from Pizza-La and Pizza Hut.

I get these fliers every week, but I was quite surprised a week or two ago when I found this Pizza-La menu in my mailbox featuring the geisha Kimika and the maiko Fukumi of Miyagawa-cho. I hope you will get a chuckle out of it, as I did. It's nice to see that some geiko and maiko (and their okasan) have a sense of humor!

I have never met Kimika or Fukumi, but I am very familiar with Pizza-La. The Pizza-La Light with "Hand toss" crust is my current favorite. It's got pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms, and the crust doesn't taste too prefabricated.

I'm also a fan of Chicago Pizza Factory's Chicago Trad (pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, ham, and green peppers), but they often skimp on the cheese and pepperoni. I have to order it with double cheese and double pepperoni just to be safe.

Pizza Hut is the same here as in the U.S., but there are some differences. I haven't been to a Pizza Hut in America in years, but I don't think I'd find "Avacado Shrimp," "Tuna Mild," or "Super Korean Purukogi" in my native land. The "Super Korean Purukogi" is actually pretty good, and I usually get a half-and-half pizza from Pizza Hut, half "Super Korean" and half  "Deluxe."

Of course, none of these places can hold a candle to Umberto's of New Hyde Park (a five-minute drive from my childhood home and the best Sicilian pizza on the planet) or even Village Pizza in my hometown, but beggars and ex-patriots can't be choosers.

Sometimes on a Friday or Saturday night you just don't want to cook or go out to a restaurant, and pizza is the best option, for me at least.

Finally, if anyone out there can tell me what the La in Pizza-La stands for, I'd be eternally grateful. It's been bugging me for years!

Happy eating, everyone!