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Saturday, March 5, 2016

PIZZA CORNER

PIZZA CORNER
92-1047 OLANI STREET, #1112
KAPOLEI, HI  96707
808-380-4626
HOURS:  Daily 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Playing a round of golf at one of my favorite Oahu courses in Ko'Olina led me to Pizza Corner.  This New York Style Pizza restaurant is located across from the Aulani and Fairmont resorts and across the street from Monkeypod Kitchen and the ABC store in Ko'Olina.  We wanted to have a quick lunch prior to our round so I called Pizza Corner in advance and ordered our pizza and salads and requested they be ready at a specific time.  A nice gal named Sarah took my order and payment over the phone and when we arrived our pizza was coming out of the oven. We were seated outside on a beautiful bright and sunny Ko'Olina day and our food was brought to the table along with the receipt to sign.  The Antipasto Salad ($4.75) was a nice fresh salad with crisp Romaine Lettuce, Salami, Pepperoni, Tomato, Cucumber and Mozzarella Cheese.  This was a very good salad for the price.  Served with a store bought dressing out of a tube that was not bad but a fresh homemade dressing would have been better.  The Corner Combo Pizza ($25) was loaded with Salami, Pepperoni, Sausage, Onions, Bell Pepper, Mushrooms and Olives.  Nice size Pizza with a thin and crispy crust cooked to perfection.  I liked the flavor and taste of the Pizza but the sauce was a bit weak.  Did not really shine through and make this a Pizza I would crave.  The Hawaiian Style Pizza ($25) with Ham and Pineapple was also loaded with toppings.  They do not scrimp here and the toppings are fresh.  Pizza Corner does not overload the Pizza with too much cheese which to me is a good thing.  Liked this Pizza too but just wanted a little more sauce flavor to come through.  I requested JalapeƱos on the side ($2.50) and received a large container of them.  More than enough to cover the two pizzas and delicious.  Overall I really liked the Salad and Pizza at the Pizza Corner and will return again and recommend.  While we were eating outside on the patio the owner who's name is Frank visited our table to see how we liked the Pizza and chat a bit.  He let us know that this was a BYOB restaurant and we should return again with some beer or wine.  Very nice guy.  Also nice to take a few slices to the golf course and have some to snack on during the back nine.

Ko Olina Poke Pizza Dish Wins Big At International Competition

Pizza Corner's executive chef Jerome LaSorba II (left) and owner Frank Mento with their award-winning poke pizza at the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas. Photo from Frank Mento.
Pizza Corner’s executive chef Jerome LaSorba II (left) and owner Frank Mento with their award-winning poke pizza at the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas. Photo from Frank Mento.
Ko Olina’s Pizza Corner unveiled its Original Hawaiian Poke Pizza just a few months ago, and the signature creation is already winning awards.
The popular pie took first place in the regional division of the non-traditional pizza category at the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas. The contest was held March 26-28 as a part of the 30th annual Pizza Expo. From there, Pizza Corner moved into the finals, where it won third place overall for its category.
“We went up there with the intention of trying to represent Hawaii the best way we could,” explained Frank Mento, who co-founded Pizza Corner with cousin Helen Savio-Godwin. “I was thrilled when they called our name. It was really kind of surreal.”
As far as Mento was concerned, after all, the idea for a poke pizza started as just a little office humor. When discussing possibilities for local style pizzas with executive chef Jerome LaSorba II, Mento jokingly threw out the idea to create a poke pizza. Fortunately, LaSorba was up to the challenge, and a few weeks later, he was back with the winning concoction.
The Original Hawaiian Poke Pizza features hand-made dough (all pizza doughs at Pizza Corner are hand-tossed) baked with extra virgin olive oil and furikake. When the pie comes out of the oven, a tomato lomi salsa (comprised of red onions, Roma tomatoes, cilantro and Hawaiian salt) is applied generously. Finally, on goes the poke that has been lightly marinated in LaSorba’s original sauce. They top it all off with green onions and sesame seeds.
“The nice thing about this poke pizza is that it is fairly healthy and it is fairly light,” Mento pointed out.
The idea for Pizza Corner, which turned 1 year old on Saturday, came when Savio-Godwin and Mento noticed the rapid growth that Ko Olina was going through. Mento had previously worked a string of restaurant jobs, including serving as food and beverage director at Honolulu Club and owning a soft-serve dessert shop.
“Once Aulani opened up – seeing all those families with children – I thought pizza could work out here,” recalled Mento, who is originally from New York. “We both saw that the future here was nothing but growth.”
The restaurant serves traditional New York-style pizza, but it’s also beefing up its local-style menu, which currently includes the Kalua Pork, which features pork with mango salsa and mango chutney.
“What (LaSorba) has done with chutney on here is just killer,” Mento declared. “Sweet and spicy. It’s a little dance party in your mouth for your taste buds.”
LaSorba stays busy in the kitchen whipping up a whole slew of pizzas to add to his Hawaii-inspired menu, including a chicken char siu pizza and a seafood pizza with lobster cream sauce.
“I think there’s a missing gap here,” Mento added. “The chain pizza places here are never going to do anything that is really local style. There is a real good opportunity here. We have a traditional pizza for people that want that, and then we also do something that is very different.”
Pizza Corner is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 380-4626.
PIZZA CORNER IN KO'OLINA
TAKE OUT OR DINE IN
PIZZA CORNER MENU
SALADS, APPETIZERS, SUBS, PASTA AND RIBS
PIZZA CORNER PIZZA MENU
LUNCH SPECIALS MAKE THIS PLACE POPULAR WITH LOCAL CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
ANTIPASTO SALAD
CORNER COMBO PIZZA
HAWAIIAN STYLE HAM AND PINEAPPLE PIZZA
PIZZA CORNER IS LOCATED NEXT TO KO'OLINA GOLF COURSE
NOT A BAD PLACE TO ENJOY A SLICE OF PIZZA
GOLF, PIZZA AND BEER - WHAT A GREAT COMBINATION!
THE 18TH HOLE AT KO'OLINA GOLF COURSE
RECOMMEND YOU HIT PIZZA CORNER BEFORE OR AFTER YOUR ROUND

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