This Restaurant on O‘ahu’s Leeward Side Serves Mad Good Pizza and Pasta
(Sponsored) Attention to detail and made-from-scratch dishes make Mad Bene the ultimate in Italian comfort food.
Oh, how I miss the days of sheltering in place.
Not really, but kind of. Staying at home meant no traffic, and no traffic meant from town to Kapolei was a blink-of-the-eye 20-minute—I swear, 20 minutes!—drive. Hey, during tough times you’ve always got to find the silver lining. And my silver lining was Mad Bene.
Driving to Kapolei takes a bit longer now, but it’s well worth braving rush hour traffic for the reward of delightfully perfect pasta and pizza that, at first bite, elicits a sigh as your troubles melt away into carb-fueled bliss. I firmly believe that good Italian is the ultimate comfort food (likely the reason why, following a bad breakup, my pants seem to no longer fit), and Mad Bene is one of the best places to go.
It’s all about attention to detail. Mad Bene makes all of its pastas fresh in-house using bronze dies, which, unlike the Teflon-coated versions used by most modern manufacturers, produce a coarser and more porous surface that sauces can better cling to. (See what I mean? Attention to detail.) Fresh gnocchi, which is only served at dinnertime, is made daily—day-old gnocchi is considered a gno-gno around these parts. Mozzarella cheese is in a number of Mad Bene’s dishes, and more than 300 pounds of it is stretched painstakingly by hand every single week. The difference is obvious in every bite: Mad Bene’s mozzarella has a richer, more complex taste and a better texture than any commercially produced version you’ll find.
On to the pizzas. Mad Bene uses a process called cold fermentation for its dough, a slower process that yields better flavor and a more toothsome quality. Each pie is hand-stretched to order to create Mad Bene’s signature thin, foldable crust and firm chew, and fired up in Forza Forni ovens, which is about as authentically Italy you can get this side of the pond.
Don’t believe me? You’ll have to try it out for yourself. Brave the extra 10-plus minutes (if you’re a townie) and find out what makes Mad Bene one of the best Italian restaurants on O‘ahu.