Talk Kaimukī’s Nighttime Pizzas and Sandos Are Addictive
Decadent toppings and fillings now feature on the Thursday-to-Saturday bar bites menu.
Everyone knows about Coffee Talk for its … well, coffee. But late last year, it added evening cocktails to the mix and rebranded as Talk Kaimukī. Now, Sicilian-style focaccia pizza slices are on the bar menu, and I’m officially addicted.
Pastry chef Tanya Rose tops the $8 slices with combos including pepperoni; salami, provolone and roasted red pepper; ricotta, garlic and extra virgin olive oil; and fig, rosemary, ricotta and balsamic. Toppings change every week. I have gone several times to, um, inspect the pizza to make sure I know what I’m talking about. Yes, that’s it.
The house-made focaccia makes for a thicker, fluffier crust—not to be mistaken for school lunch pizza crust, which is dense. I loved every slice I’ve tried, but my surprise favorite has been the ricotta, garlic and EVOO for its simple, habit-forming richness. I thought I’d love the salty pepperoni more, but that garlicky cheese was irresistible. Hawai‘i News Now cameraman Joel Ugay raved about the apple and goat cheese slice—and if you know him, he doesn’t crack much emotion.
Only 40 slices of pizza are available per night, so you need to go early to ensure you get one.
Talk Kaimukī also offers “bomb grilled cheese” sandos using focaccia from Breadshop, four blocks down Wai‘alae Avenue. All sandwiches are stuffed with brie, shredded cheese, parmesan and Dijon aioli, by the way. My absolute favorite has honey and ham ($15), just bursting with all the sweet and savory flavors you would expect. Just as with the pizzas, I have been back a few times to, um, research the other sandwiches. My report: You can’t go wrong with the pesto ($15), fig jam ($15) or truffle oil ($16.50) grilled cheese sandwiches.
I would also highly recommend the Tropical Storm popcorn ($8), a take on a local favorite. The popcorn is tossed with black sesame, nori, sesame oil, dashi, black garlic, miso butter Chex and nuts (on a recent visit I detected some arare, too). My eyeballs nearly popped out of my head at the first bite—it’s such a genius creation. Why has no one drizzled sesame oil on popcorn before? This one is a game-changer. It’s full of Asian umami and salt and no less buttery than hurricane popcorn.
You can also order hummus with naan ($14), cheese and crackers ($15), tiramisu ($12) or boozy tiramisu ($17). I guess I need a few more visits to make my way through the rest of the evening menu.
Bar manager Brittany Cheatham, as mentioned in a previous blog, has a full menu of innovative handcrafted cocktails and mocktails at Talk Kaimukī, including a section that is “coffee house-inspired,” so of course, I tried the Spill The Tea (because I spill the best tea) and Don’t Be Chai. We also tried Banana Phone, Moshi Moshi, Nah, Yeah and even the Curry Up Already. Cheatham infuses many of the liqueurs herself to produce unique flavors.
If you’re like me, once you try the food and cocktails on Talk’s Thursday to Saturday evening menu, you’ll be looking for an excuse to go back.
Café open daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., cocktail bar open Thursday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight. 3601 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 737-7444, @talkkaimuki