A Pizza for All PalatesColumns Lite Bites
January 20, 2013
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Leah Friel
Kyle Okumoto loves pizza, so much so that he quit his sheet metal construction job to open Inferno’s Wood Fire Pizza at Ward Centre.
With no culinary background, Okumoto would make pizza from scratch at home for his friends to try, and eventually bought a wood oven which cooks the pizza in just 90 seconds and gives a hint of kiawe wood-smoked flavor to it.
People seemed to like it, and about two years ago he set up a pizza truck along with a portable oven and tent in a parking lot in Kalihi. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and Okumoto could hardly keep up with the orders.
Last July, the mobile pizzeria found a permanent home in Ward Centre. Each pizza is hand-crafted and prepared with the finest, fresh toppings, and baked in an 800-degree kiawe wood fire oven. The menu features 16 different types of pizza guaranteed to satisfy any appetite. You also can create your own pizza by choosing your own toppings.
Among the favorites are White Truffle ($16) with fresh mozzarella, crimini mushrooms, garlic and white truffle oil; and Pepperoni, Bacon and Onion ($14) with bacon bits, pepperoni and Maui onions. If you love garlic and seafood, you have to try White Garlic Clam ($16) with fresh mozzarella, minced clams, fresh mushrooms, garlic, oregano, olive oil and a house seasoning (Okumoto also notes that it’s really good with anchovies, $2 extra).
“We use flour from Italy, and the dough is made fresh every day,” says Okumoto, a 1994 graduate of Roosevelt High School. “We also try to use as many fresh, local ingredients as we can. And we have our own brewery with eight orginal beers on tap.”
There also are a variety of salads and appetizers, including jalapeno peppers, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks and potato skins. Enjoy live music on Friday and Sunday evenings, and happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. daily with $3 draft beers and specialty drinks. The restaurant can seat about 50 people, and the back area of the restaurant can be reserved for private parties.
Inferno’s Wood Fire Pizza
1344 Kona St., Honolulu (additional location at Newtown Golf Driving Range in Aiea)
Monday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-3:30 a.m.
Sunday, midnight-3:30 a.m.