6 Unique Pizzas You Must Try
Enjoy Thai, Korean and dessert pizzas to celebrate National Pizza Day on Feb. 9. Or any other day, really.
The Korean Yakiniku pizza at Appetito craft pizza and wine bar makes our list of unique pizzas to try now.
Photos: Katrina Valcourt
If you know me even a little bit, you know my favorite foods are French toast and pizza. I regularly wear a jacket with a pizza patch, a pizza pin, a pizza necklace and pizza earrings. I never get tired of it.
SEE ALSO: French Toast Dishes To Try Now
Though these pies aren’t quite as outrageous as those the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were famous for ordering (peanut butter and clams? Granola and licorice?), they’re still one of a kind.
Appetito Craft Pizza and Wine Bar
One of Appetito’s new pizzas, the Korean Yakiniku, covered in onions, grilled marinated beef, kim chee, gochujang and more.
After opening last fall without any of the craft pizzas advertised in its name, Appetito finally debuted its main attraction—funghi pizza, smoked salmon pizza, shrimp pesto pizza and more. We tried the Korean Yakiniku, with grilled beef marinated in barbecue sauce and shoyu, mozzarella, kim chee, gochujang mayo, a ton of Tokyo negi and tomato sauce. Thankfully, the kim chee doesn’t overpower the pizza—it gives it a mild Korean flavor without a strong aftertaste. There are a lot of ingredients piled on here, though, so this is one pizza you might actually need utensils for. Pro tip: Order Naomi’s Spicy Meatballs ($12) and dip any leftover crusts in the green curry sauce.
$19, Outrigger ‘Ohana East Hotel, 150 Ka‘iulani Ave., (808) 922-1150, appetitowaikiki.com
Brick Fire Tavern
One of Brick Fire Tavern’s “modern pizzas,” the Apple a Day has a jalapeño onion jam I loved.
Determined to order The Real Hawaiian (papaya puréed kalo, kālua pork, lūʻau leaf, watercress lomi tomato salad? Yum!), I was disappointed when I showed up to my favorite pizza place and that particular pie wasn’t available. Thankfully, there are other unique items on the menu under “Modern Pizza,” such as the Apple a Day: gorgonzola and mozzarella, Fuji apple slices, olive oil, arugula and jalapeño onion jam. That jam makes the dish more than just a salad on crust. It’s killer.
$17, 16 N. Hotel St., (808) 369-2444, brickfiretavern.com
Prima’s Bacon & Eggs pizza puts standard breakfast fare on a pie, as if we needed a reason to eat pizza in the morning.
Prima’s menu normally includes a nice range of pizzas, from a standard margherita (tomato, mozzarella, basil and olive oil) to the rich Kona Street (with mozzarella, truffle oil, tomato, onion, parsley, pancetta and a poached egg). But if you stop by during lunch or weekend brunch, you’ll notice an additional option: the Bacon & Eggs. This quintessential brunch pizza comes with fresh mozzarella, strips of pancetta, a smidge of scrambled egg, thyme, parsley and an additional dusting of cheese on top. Even with some olive oil the pizza is a little dry, so we suggest adding a soft-poached egg ($2) or tomato sauce ($1) to help you get through the crust, which is the perfect balance of soft and chewy.
$18, 108 Hekili St., Suite 107 (next to Baskin Robbins), Kailua, (808) 888-8933, primahawaii.com
Sophie’s Gourmet Hawaiian Pizzeria
The Thai-dal Wave, with guava-infused crust, mac nut cream, mozzarella, Thai-spiced chicken, jalapeños, green onions and cilantro. Hold the coconut drizzle.
I’m not exaggerating when I say this pizza changed my life. An avid coconut-hater, I’ve been known to detect even the slightest hint of coconut in everything from curries to desserts and refuse to touch them with a 10-foot pole. I’ve been trying to up my tolerance lately (mostly in the form of coconut-milk caramel I’ve been mixing into brownies and drizzling over popcorn), but it’s far from a flavor I love. So even though I was intrigued by the Thai-dal Wave pizza at Sophie’s, with its macadamia nut cream sauce, Thai curry-spiced chicken, spicy jalapeños, cilantro, green onions, mozzarella and Sophie’s signature guava-infused pink crust, there was no way I was getting it unless the coconut drizzle it came with could be ordered on the side. Seemed like a reasonable request, the girl told me as she began assembling my pie. Of course it was reasonable. What the heck is coconut drizzle anyway?
When my pizza came out of the oven, the lemongrass and garlic-infused chicken glistening, my mouth began to water. I took a bite, and it was good. Really good. And then I took another—with a slice of jalapeño. I figured I’d better do my due diligence—for you!—and dunked my slice into the small container of coconut drizzle I’d set aside. At the very least, it would cool the burning in my mouth. But it did so much more.
The creamy, thick drizzle is more like a yogurt or sour cream than a syrup, and it somehow tasted … amazing? My already fantastic pizza was actually enhanced by coconut?? I ate the entire 12-inch pie that day. Like I said: This pizza changed my life. Let it change yours.
$12.95, Koko Marina Center, 7192 Kalaniana‘ole Highway, Suite D100A (next to Zippy’s), (808) 892-4121, sophiespizzeria.com
Proof Public House
Pineapple on a dessert pizza: Don’t knock it till you try it!
Proof offers some vegan and vegetarian pizzas, as well as odd flavors like fried rice, loco moco, and mac and cheese, but we’re most interested in its dessert pie of the day. Usually featuring fruit, chocolate syrup, ricotta, honey and/or powdered sugar, it’s up to the chef to pull together a sweet combo of what he’s feeling that day. On our most recent visit, we got a pineapple and chocolate iteration. So you can have pizza for lunch and pizza for dessert in one sitting. (Or just the dessert pizza. We won’t judge.)
$19, 1154 Fort St. Mall, #10 (entrance in the alley of Chaplain Lane), (808) 537-3080, proofpublichouse.com
Half Spinach and Garlic, half Molto Formaggio at J.J. Dolan’s.
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox
Spinach and garlic are no strangers to pizza, but dabs of pillowy ricotta and enough garlic to ward off the entire cast of Twilight characters make the New York-style Spinach and Garlic Pie one of our favorites. We haven’t come across anything quite like it at any other local pizza joint; we love getting it half-half with the uber cheesy Molto Formaggio ($19.25).
$18.50, 1147 Bethel St., (808) 537-4992, jjdolans.com
Brunch like you mean it at HONOLULU Magazine’s BrunchFest presented by American Savings Bank on Sunday, March 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at SALT at Our Kaka‘ako. Embrace the relaxed Sunday Funday vibe with seven local chefs, live entertainment, lawn games and a photo booth during this unique dining experience. Tickets on sale now. Click here.
READ MORE STORIES BY KATRINA VALCOURT