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Pizza’s never been so healthy, savory

Digest On the Menu

May 10, 2015

Story By: Serena Valdez | Photos by: Bodie Collins

Pizza: it comes in many different shapes and sizes. From an impressive array of crust types — thin, deep dish, stuffed, pretzel, hand tossed — to a seemingly never-ending list of toppings, cheeses and sauces, pizza is a staple in the culinary arena. No person is left behind when it comes to pies, and at zpizza, even the health-centric can find their slice of pizza heaven.

The international chain, founded in Laguna Beach, Calif., has made a name for itself as a pizza place that spotlights healthier, organic ingredients free of preservatives, hormones and GMOs. The menu at zpizza caters to every dietary lifestyle, including vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free eaters, while also using local and fresh produce.

“We make everything pretty much from scratch,” says Chris Llarenas, operations training manager for both the Kailua and Ward locations. “The dough, we make every day — it’s always fresh.”

Aside from the classic pies normally found on a menu, like cheese or pepperoni, zpizza offers a menu of mostly vegetarian or chicken pizzas. There are also sandwiches, flatbreads, salads and shareables. Shareables are the eatery’s version of appetizers, meant to be shared among the table.

One shareable worth trying is Mediterranean Plate ($8.75), which presents zbread served with a plate of feta cheese, roasted peppers, cucumber, roasted pine nut hummus and kalamata olives. The zbread is pizza dough brushed with olive oil and salt and baked to a crispy finish, ready to be loaded with toppings.

During the summer season, zpizza will feature two special menu items. First is Avocado Arugula Salad ($9.25), a blend of arugula and romaine lettuce tossed with bits of avocado, cucumbers, feta cheese and basil, with sliced lime on the side to taste. Tying the dish together is a light yet delicious lemon vinaigrette.

Second is Carnitas and Roasted Tomatillo Pizza ($13.95 small, $25.95 large, $28.95 extra large), an appetizing creation featuring its namesake: shredded pork marinated in homemade tomatillo salsa with mozzarella and red onions topped with fresh cilantro and optional avocado (an additional $1.75 small, $2.50 large, $3 extra large).

Although Llarenas claims Tuscan Mushroom Pizza to be his favorite menu item, Carnitas and Roasted Tomatillo Pizza is worthy of consideration for a permanent spot on the menu. The flavorful ingredients complement each other to where each bite satisfies the taste buds. And if you love cilantro, this pizza is for you. For a spicier kick, owner Karen Llarenas recommends adding some pili pili oil, a fusion of olive oil and peppers.

Mediterranean Plate is offered year-round, but the summer specials are available for a limited time. In addition to in-store orders, patrons can order online for delivery or pick up at zpizza.com.

zPizza

WARD CENTERS
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.-9:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

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