When Gilbert Sakaguchi opened the original Magoo's Pizza on the Waikiki strip back in 1970, he had high hopes. But in no way could he have predicted the kind of success the tiny pizzeria would have, eventually fielding more than 400 orders a day. Recently, Sakaguchi and his son Marshall have taken their much-loved pizza to the streets via the Magoo's food truck. Equipped with a giant oven, the vehicle roams the roads as chefs prepare fresh pies and sandwiches baked to a golden crisp.
Sarento's Top of the Ilikai serves fine Italian food amid a breathtaking view of Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, and the Honolulu skyline. Winner of the Hawaii Hell's Kitchen challenge, chef Maka Kwon employs his top cooking chops to craft a menu that can begin with manila clams basking in white wine-parmigiano broth ($12) and tastefully transition into osso buco with saffron risotto and gremolata ($34). Upscale pastas include tagliatelle ai funghi, featuring mushrooms roving through thickets of hand-cut pasta ($24), and sweet tiger shrimp scampi ($29).
The eight trademark pies at King’s Pizza achieve their cheesy, bubbly surfaces through brick-oven baking, gracing plates alongside salads, wings, and sandwiches crafted from Italian recipes. Dig into a slice ($5) or entire extra-large specialty pizza ($18) of specialties such as the Kingston, which arrives smothered with chicken, spinach, and capers, or the Pali, in which a garden of fresh organic spinach, olives, and gnome-sheltering jalapeños grows. Creative epicureans may craft their own pizza creation from 17 different toppings, sending beef, pesto, or sun-dried tomato to parachute down onto their pizza’s cheese-strewn plains. Forgo circular fare to nosh on sandwiches such as the Italian meatball ($7) or a fresh garden salad ($7). Like most carrier pigeons, King’s Pizza offers free delivery.
Sergio Mitrotti's various careers have led him to the bottom of the sea as a scuba diver and to the chicest lapels as a clothier, but the Turin, Italy, native has always been one thing above all else: an Italian gourmand. As head chef at Cafe Sistina, Mitrotti infuses his mother’s and grandmother’s traditional Italian recipes with Hawaiian produce and works on his own culinary legacy by putting innovative spins on the classics. His entrees range from traditional linguine puttanesca to shrimp scampi alla vodka with spinach linguini to the modern, spicy tutto mare—risotto topped with spicy opakapaka, calamari, and shellfish. Wines from Italy and the United States complement each dish in the colorful dining room, where every surface—from walls to ceiling—is painted with a colorful reproduction of a famous mural, including Michelangelo's The Fall and Expulsion from Garden of Eden and The Creation of man.
The chefs at Chi-Town Deep Dish Pizza Co. fill the club they're housed inside, the Soho Mixed Media Bar, with the mouthwatering aroma of deep-dish pizza. When they’re not adorning thick pizzas with heaps of toppings, they stack fresh ingredients between bread to create italian-sausage sandwiches and open-faced pizza sandwiches. Guests can choose to enjoy their domestic beers and Chicago-style hot dogs served in the casual pizzeria or found skittering across the DJ’s turntables in the club.