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Mamma Mia, This Pizzeria!

By Andy Beth Miller Photos By Nathalie Walker
February 9, 2014

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It all started with one man. A man who had a passion — a passion for pizza. From his very first blissful bite of wood-fire, oven-baked pizza, Inferno’s Wood Fire Pizza owner Kyle Okumoto recognized the superior taste and flavor that only true smoke and flames could produce. “It was the best. I had never tasted that kind of pizza before — and nothing beats it,” says Okumoto.

Okumoto wasted no time in purchasing his very own brick oven so that he could make personal pizza pies to enjoy. “I bought it (the oven) for myself at first, because I just really like pizza — but then, my friends convinced me to start baking and selling.” From a small mobile start-up, to a now bustling storefront restaurant, Okumoto built Inferno’s based on the impeccable Italian model of Neopolitan-style pizza. Each pizza is hand-crafted and prepared with only the freshest ingredients before being baked in “The BEAST!” (That’s the witty nickname for the restaurant’s brick oven.)

Not only is the oven impressive to look at, but “The Beast” also knocks one’s socks off when it comes to mastering the art of making pizza. Glowing embers await as the open jaws of “The Beast” bide their time to devour mouthwatering moons of hand-rolled dough. Comprised of imported flour from only the finest Italian regions, the dough is kneaded by hand and topped with fresh, farm-raised ingredients, such as basil, Greek tomatoes and garlic, before being forged to perfection in the fiery bowels of “The Beast.”

“The oven is truly what sets each slice of pizza apart,” explains Okumoto. “By cooking it at such a high temperature (800 degrees) for a shorter amount of time (a mere 90 seconds is all it needs), you come up with a crust that is perfectly crisp on the outside, and surprisingly soft and chewy on the inside.”

One of Inferno’s best selling pizzas is Spinach Garlic Tomato ($14) — a warm round of culinary delight dotted with fresh mozzarella, spinach, Greek tomatoes imported from Italy, and a kick of fresh garlic. Also popular is Truffle ($16) — a more epicurean entree infused with fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, garlic and white truffle oil. Melt-in-your-mouth goodness is a description that just skims the surface of the savory taste these pies pack.

Also recently introduced is a new menu item, Caprese Skewers ($4). A trio of bite-sized portions of fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil leaf — speared side-by-side kabob-style, and then drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar — these refreshing delights are perfect for a pau hana snack.

So, whether you are a plain-Jane like myself, or have more of a connoisseur’s cravings (where else can you find truffle oil on a pizza?), Inferno’s Wood Fire Pizza will ignite the inner-Luigi in you, infusing fiery flavor into every bite of your next lunch or dinner date.

Contact Andy Beth Miller at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Inferno’s Wood Fire Pizza

69 N. King St., Honolulu
375-1200
Open daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
InfernosPizzaHawaii.com