Sarento's is a bit of a paradox. In the dining room on the 30th floor of the Ilikai Tower, the views out of the floor-to-ceiling windows are quintessential Honolulu: Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, and the famous skyline that's graced more postcards than the words "I'll come home when I feel like it." But look down at the food on your table, and you'll be transported to the other side of the world. The chefs here pay tribute to Italy and the greater Mediterranean region, crafting dishes such as escargot, grilled veggies, and homemade pastas with filet mignon meatballs.
Meals often wind down over live piano music, and pair nicely with a selection from the wine cellar, which holds around 3,000 Old World vintages. Visitors can also try a glass alongside more casual fare at the wine and tapas bar.
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.
Apartment 3 flaunts the chic side of belly-warming comfort cuisine with its menu of appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, and more constructed from as many locally and sustainably sourced ingredients as possible. Share fantasy bocce-ball-team picks while sharing The Yard Sale, a seasonally handpicked myriad of pickled veggies, on-location cured meats, and goat cheese lightly sprinkled with olive oil ($13), or dunk thirsty french fries in a tank of Sriracha ketchup ($7). Meat, vegetable, and white pizzas ($11–$12) sate circular cravings, and the Italian Dog, a mozzarella-dressed meat tube with tomatoes, basil, and balsamic, lubricates the stomach's elaborate system of levers and pulleys ($11).
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.
In 1993, the basement of a Minneapolis apartment building was transformed into an Italian restaurant, becoming the first Buca di Beppo. The owners soon found themselves riding a wave of popularity and marinara sauce as they opened new restaurants across the nation. Today, the eatery occupies 97 locations nationwide, from San Francisco to Times Square.
At each location, chefs maintain the northern and southern Italian flavors that made the original so popular, with a few American twists. Then they serve it up in massive, family-style portions, making Buca di Beppo a favorite place for hungry families and groups of friends.
For starters, the chefs bake up batches of Cheesy Bread Florentine, a colorful combo of spinach, roma tomatoes, and garlic sprinkled over Italian bread and sealed in place with fresh, melted cheeses. Entr?es are prepared with an eye toward quality and quantity, both of size and selection, complete with Veal Parmigiana, Baked Ziti, and classic Italian-American staples like Ravioli and Lasagna. And in keeping with the convivial atmosphere, they also serve truly decadent desserts. The Mt. Vesuvius Dark Chocolate Cake erupts with melted chocolate, and the Colossal Brownie Sundae towers above other sweets with six scoops of ice cream and tiers of sundae trimmings.