Moving On Up with Perfect Upscale Pizza

Columns Ono, You Know

March 27, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Let’s get one thing straight: When it comes to pizza, I often lose complete control. Seriously, I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve devoured entire pizza pies all by myself. Man versus Food with Adam Richman? Pfft. If I had my own TV show, it would simply be called Alana versus A Lotta Pizza!

But I’m showing better self-restraint lately because I’m really trying to eat healthy. As a result, I decided to skip the greasy pies this week and instead immerse myself in the world of “upscale pizzas.” These gourmet creations need minimal adornment, and they really do shine in a class of their own.

So come along with me as we veer off onto the Rodeo Drive of Pizzas — fabulous hot spots on Oahu that, quite amazingly, have mastered the art of the perfect pizza!

Anytime Cafe

  • The author prepares to devour an entire pizza pie at Anytime Cafe.
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Conveniently situated in Market City Shopping Center, Anytime Cafe has been quietly serving upscale pizzas since the restaurant first opened its doors in February 2010. However, loyal fans like myself know that the upscale pizza is what it’s all about!

Owners Ken and Cindy Wong have intermixed a symphony of cultures resulting in a fusion of flavors from around the world. Be it Chinese, Italian or local favorites, you’ll find scrumptious pizza under one roof at Anytime Cafe.

My Italian cravings got the best of me again this week and thoughts of a piping-hot pizza pie had my stomach rumbling for days. When I finally made it into Anytime Cafe, I was looking for something a bit off the beaten path. I immediately chose Seafood Pizza ($10.95).

“Our pizzas are a popular item here,” says Cindy, adding that the Seafood Pizza can be considered the most unique of the bunch. “The base of all of our pizzas consists of mozzarella cheese and a light tomato sauce atop a thin, crispy crust.”

The Seafood Pizza was something I had never tried before; yet as the seafood lover, I was sure I wouldn’t be disappointed. I was right! Slices are topped with a tantalizing array of salmon, shrimp and calamari — now that’s what I call “simple extravagance” at its best. Nothing beats the comfort of your classic pizza while being spoiled silly with savory creatures from the sea.

Now if you’re a topping hoarder of sorts, you’ll probably love the Build Your Own Pizza deal. For just $8.95, you can choose to personalize your pizza with a variety of toppings, including pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, ham, chicken, onions, pineapple, bell pepper, tomato and corn. Better yet, you can have it all, if you want!

Lastly, the Margherita Pizza ($9.25) is a pure classic. Think utter simplicity that is breathtakingly delicious.

“The Margherita Pizza is made with fresh sliced mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, then baked and topped with fresh basil and dry tomatoes,” Cindy explains.

Open from 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays; and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays, Anytime Cafe has got you covered anytime of the day or night.

Anytime Cafe
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Boulevard #218
(808) 735-3888
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ZPizza

  • Arugula Salad at ZPizza.
  • Tuscan pizza at ZPizza.
  • Greek and Santa Fe slices of pizza at ZPizza.
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Zpizza Hawaii has everything a pizza lover could want — including upscale pizzas for those with a health-conscious appetite. That makes this eatery perfect for people like myself who want to devour an entire pizza without feeling guilty. Zpizza Hawaii first opened the doors to its Ward Centre restaurant in 2008; it has since opened a second location in Kailua at 151 Hekili St.

Aliiana Fiu serves as general manager of both locations and, upon my visit, quickly served up a few classics — among them the Tuscan pizza ($12.95/$22.95/$26.95), the Santa Fe pizza ($12.95/$22.95/$26.95) and the Greek pizza ($12.95/$22.95/$26.95). The restaurant’s pizza is made with 100 percent certified organic wheat and tomato sauce. You also can order all pizza options by the slice for a lighter meal.

“The Tuscan Pizza is a vegetarian favorite,” Fiu exclaims. “It features roasted garlic sauce, mozzarella, cremini, shiitake and button mushrooms, caramelized onions, feta, truffle oil and thyme.”

I couldn’t resist the burst of flavors on a crust and, like me, I’ll bet you won’t be able to stop at one slice either!

For carnivores, opt for the Santa Fe Pizza, which offers a colorful blend of chipotle pesto, mozzarella, chicken sausage, red onions, corn, Serrano chilies, tomatoes and cilantro all on a bed of crispy-chewy crust.

The Greek Pizza was equally marvelous, with farm-fresh feta cheese and mozzarella, red onions, Greek olives, fresh rounds of tomatoes and oregano.

So what are you waiting for? Head down to the nearest ZPizza location and immerse yourself in upscale pizza at its finest.

ZPizza
1200 Ala Moana Boulevard (Ward)
151 Hekili Street (Kailua)
(808) 596-0066 (Ward)
(808) 230-8400
View the Map

Fendu Boulangerie

  • Basil Pesto and Goat Cheese Pizza at Fendu Boulangerie.
  • Five Gourmet Cheeses Pizza at Fendu Boulangerie.
  • Pizza maker Nick Flores tosses dough in the air at Fendu Boulangerie.
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Fendu Boulangerie is well-known for its delicious French-style breads, pastries and desserts. However, owner and pastry chef Niel Koep offers all this and much more to new and repeat patrons, including homemade rustic gourmet pizza.

“All pizza is hand-tossed and baked to order in our oven, which has a nice stone surface in there,” Koep says. “The tomato sauce is something that we make fresh, and the vegetables are always fresh as well. The secret behind the cheese is that we use Parmesan reggiano cheese and whole milk mozzarella,” he adds.

Three of my personal favorites include Koep’s creative masterpieces of Cajun Shrimp and Roasted Garlic Pizza ($10.99, 8-inch; $17.99, 14-inch), featuring mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, with scrumptious shrimp and flavorful expressions of roasted garlic; Basil Pesto and Goat Cheese Pizza ($10.99 8-inch; $17.99 14-inch), consisting of macadamia nut garlic and basil pesto with fresh tomatoes and goat cheese; and Five Gourmet Cheeses Pizza ($8.99 8-inch, $14.99 14-inch) which is any cheese addict’s dream come true with Pecorino, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Vermont white Cheddar and gorgonzola cheeses.

Make it today’s goal to take a slice out of life at Fendu Boulangerie.

Fendu Boulangerie
Manoa Marketplace
2752 Woodlawn Drive #5119
(808) 988-4310
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