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Ali Carte
Ali Carte

Not Your Average Pizza

By Ali Resich Photos By Nathalie Walker
July 15, 2012

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If there’s one food I am outrageously passionate about, it’s pizza. I tend to be a purist in this regard — give me a good slice of cheese and I’m a happy girl. But something about the freshness of summer has made me crave something new, and lately I can’t stop ordering ZPizza’s topping-filled delights. The restaurant’s brilliant flavor combinations, presented on a variety of crusts, are enough to make me completely rewrite my pizza philosophy.

While the eatery offers a cheesy classic slice, this season showcases some festive pies to really get into. “It’s a barbecue summer,” says owner Cesar Llarenas, who is excited to highlight the ZBQ ZPizza Creation ($12.95, small; $23.95, large; $26.95, extra large). This pie features an exciting barbecue-sauce base topped with mozzarella, barbecue chicken, roasted peppers, red onions, fresh tomato rounds and sweet corn. “The combination of ingredients is fantastic,” says Llarenas. You can enjoy ZBQ by the slice on Fridays as well.

One thing that makes this pizzeria stand out is the mound of fresh herbs that tops each slice. ZBQ really comes to life with the addition of fresh cilantro in every bite.

If barbecue flavors are your thing, you also can try the ZBQ Salad ($8.50, small; $10.95, large), filled with mixed greens, barbecue chicken, roasted peppers, red onions, sweet corn and fresh cilantro in a chipotle ranch dressing.

In search of more pizza, I decided to try something really unique. It was a risk that led to great reward, and I urge everyone to order Curry Chicken & Yam Rustica Pizza ($12.95). “The curry is really nice — it’s not too spicy but it’s nice and potent. This is starting to be one of my favorites,” says Llarenas. The intensely fresh and flavorful curried chicken blends so well with the yams, raisins and mango chutney for a sublime sweet-and-savory combination. Mozzarella and fresh cilantro round out the toppings.

And as any pizza-lover knows, only a stellar crust will do. You’ll love ZPizza’s Rustica crust because it is the restaurant’s thinnest variety — providing all the crunch you could want — yet it maintains an air of fluffiness and good chew. “It’s a little bit crispier and really holds the pizza well,” adds Llarenas.

So the next time that pizza craving kicks in, head to ZPizza for an exciting slice.

ZPizza

WARD
Ward Centre
1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
596.0066
Sunday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

KAILUA
151 Hekili St., Kailua
230.8400
Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.