Monday, May 27, 2024
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Brick Fire Tavern opens in Kaimuki

If you are a fan of the hip eateries in Chinatown, you’re already a fan of Brick Fire Tavern, which has been serving up Neapolitan pizzas for more than a decade there. Due to the pandemic, of course, they had to close temporarily (we hope), but it gave owner Matthew Resich the much-needed time to focus on his Kaimuki restaurant, which has been in the works for about a year and a half.

The new Kaimuki restaurant is about 2000 sq. ft.

The new venue, located at 3447 Waialae Ave. (next to Brew’d), opened on Sept. 30 with a bright, cheery space (it feels more open, even without the social distance spacing), a full bar, and a private room in back. In addition to private dinners, Resich hopes to use the room for classes.

If you’re not familiar with Brick Fire Tavern: In 2015, Resich and his late business partner Inthira Marks flew halfway around the world to Napoli, Italy to learn the art of Neapolitan pizza making under famed pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia. After studying under Coccia, the two returned home to Hawaii and opened Brick Fire Tavern in Honolulu’s Chinatown in 2016.

For the new Kaimuki restaurant, Resich once again commissioned famed third-generation oven builder Stefano Ferrara in Napoli to design and build a wood-fire brick oven. The smoldering embers of local kiawe wood heat the oven to 900 degrees, which means Brick Fire Tavern’s Napoletana pizzas are perfectly cooked in just 90 seconds. Committed to using only the highest-quality ingredients, Brick Fire Tavern sources locally whenever possible for it’s modern pizzas and seasonal dishes. Here are some of the things we tried at a recent media event:

To start, their unique Maui Gold pineapple wrapped in prosciutto di parma and drizzled with mint oil and balsamic glaze ($10). I like this better than melon! The flavor is so much more pronounced and has a fresher taste overall.
If you don’t like surprises, start with a salad comprised of fresh, house-pulled mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, basil and balsamic drizzle served with house bread. ($12)
You can’t go wrong with roasted beets, but these are served with house macadamia pesto, basil, balsamic glaze, and olive oil….all atop a mozzarella MOUSSE. Yum!! ($11)
I love mushrooms, so of course one of my favorites was the funghi ($18) topped with besciamella, a mushroom medley, mozzarella, fontina, thyme and Italian parsley. A mushroom lover like me would probably not share this.
This is actually called prosciutto e rucola ($20) and another of my favorites. It’s topped with mozzarella, prosciutto di parma, arugula, shaved parmesan, and olive oil. Very filling! But the arugula helps make you feel healthy!
This pizza ($17) is topped with San Marzano sauce, soppressata salami, mozzarella, and flat leaf parsley. To jazz it up, they added the “miss-ins trio” of kalamata olives, mushrooms and onions for $3 extra. I like my toppings, so I would go with the trio!
Purists will probably get the Margherita ($16), topped with San Marzano sauce, mozzarella, pecorino Romano, basil and olive oil.
On this day, we had a gnochetti, one of the experimental pastas they were featuring. Resich wants to introduce pastas gradually, working up to three in rotation, then about five. This was so good, I forgot about the carbs! Based on this dish, the pastas should be really good here!
You can also beef up your meal with an appetizer or side of their meatballs ($15), made of local beef and pork atop their house marinara and topped with shaved pecorino and basil. These were tender, yet very filling. The flavors were all very robust but not at all overwhelming. I would definitely order this again.

Brick Fire Tavern Kaimuki is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Diners can make a reservation by calling 808-369-2444. Walk-ins accepted. Parking is in the back, or on the street.

Brick Fire Tavern
3447 Waialae Ave.

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