The first time I went to Pizza East I hated it. Only a revoltingly hip Shoreditch restaurant would describe itself as having “a progressive approach to pizza” and only the most nauseating of beatniks would swallow it, metaphorically and literally. After a distinctly forgettable non-pizza based main instead, I had avoided this place, and indeed all of East London, pretty much since that visit. Then I was drawn back a few weeks ago to meet a small group of ex-colleagues and I couldn't say No to the suggested venue as no doubt they were desperate to escape the City and Pizza East is within reach, pocket friendly, a known quantity and had a menu unlikely to cause offence (to most, myself excepted it seemed). I now have to eat my previous words (although for sense I will obviously leave them typed out). I threw caution to the wind and had a pizza because I was tempted by the San Daniele which has my all time favourite pizza topping, ricotta, and pesto. And it was yum. I am not sure what was “progressive” about the pizza as it seemed to follow the traditional formula to me: crispy thin base with slightly puffed edge, and lightly but fairly sprinkled toppings with top marks for the creamy cheese. The other pizza options might have been progressive with a few quirky ingredients like veal meatballs and, most unusual of all, a total absence of names like Diavolo and Quattro Qumquats. Service was friendly, if somewhat ubiquitously and overtly moustachioed. And apart from the fact that it was a hot sunny day and I was slowly roasting by the window (a silk dress is not a good option in this situation), the atmosphere was surprisingly laid back pleasant and not studied laid back modish. I am lifting my embargo on the area.