There are few things that unite us in this world. Pizza is one of them. Who doesn’t love three food groups conglomerated into one steaming slab of dough? Whatever genius conceived this made the world a better place.
And Paia. Now we have Pizza Paia, with its simple yet alliterate name. It’s nothing more and nothing less than the town’s quintessential pizza place. It fits the criteria by being easy to find, selling quick and quality pizza and boasting an efficient set-up.
You can drive through or stroll up to the window, order, then grind at the picnic tables right on Hana Highway. Let’s just say if anything about that confuses you, you’re not the brightest tomato on the vine.
The menu is displayed across a couple surfboards hung over the window. They’ve got the typical special combos on 10-, 14- and 16-inch pies for between $7 and $21. Slices go for $2 and it costs 50 cents per topping. It’s all very reasonable.
I applaud them for keeping it about the pizza. You’ve got plenty of toppings to choose from in customizing your slice, which is of hearty size. There are also a half dozen salads and munchies ranging from $3.50 to $5.75. One of those is the enticing Pizza Pretzel, a giant handmade pretzel made from pizza crust with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil and oregano mixed in. It’s no ordinary pretzel.
There are also hot and cold sandwiches six or 12 inches in size for between $4.75 and $8.25. They looked good, but unless you’re allergic to cheese I don’t see why you wouldn’t just order pizza. When in Rome, right? So, with this anti-diet mentality, I ordered a slice with mushrooms (always) and pineapple, to add a little aloha.
We all know everyone has his or her own idea for the paragon of pizza. Sometimes it’s a hit and sometimes a miss, but we usually enjoy it just the same. Anyway, that Pizza Paia slice scored on the upper end of my pizza-meter.
The crust was neither too thick nor too thin. In fact, it was nearly the size of a flipper and the toppings were nicely embedded. The cheese was a little excessive for my taste, and I ended up partially dissecting my lunch. But I got the emotional gratification that a great piece of pizza gives, so unattainable through a salad or quiche.
My only minor annoyance was with the 30-second fury of rain that cut under the veranda in sheets, right onto my plate and I. But that’s why we love green Paia.
Surfers and Paia merchants occupied the other picnic tables during my lunch, and together we watched the alien-like bike riders on their way down from Haleakala, wondering if they knew they looked like a scene from Mars Attacks.
Boosted by all those carbs, protein and fat, I then felt strong enough to take on the afternoon—as well as the traffic back to the Westside. MTW