Perfection in pizza

  • Dennis Fujimoto / TGIFR!DAY

    A crowd passes Pizzetta Italian Kitchen and Bar in Old Koloa Town.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / TGIFR!DAY

    Ono picatta comes with a caper sauce and sides at Pizzetta Italian Kitchen and Bar in Old Koloa Town.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / TGIFR!DAY

    The islander is served by Pizzetta Italian Kitchen and Bar in Old Koloa Town.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / TGIFR!DAY

    Papaya barbecue baby back pork ribs come with sides at Pizzetta Italian Kitchen and Bar in Old Koloa Town.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / TGIFR!DAY

    Lorna Ouderkirk of Pizzetta Italian Kitchen and Bar in Old Koloa Town prepares an order for delivery.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / TGIFR!DAY

    Margherita pizza is hot from the oven at Pizzetta Italian Kitchen and Bar in Old Koloa Town.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / TGIFR!DAY

    Hostess Ku‘ulei Rita serves up a super combo pizza at Pizzetta Italian Kitchen and Bar in Old Koloa Town.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / TGIFR!DAY

    Kiereeann Barnes serves up orders of garden salad and bruschetta at Pizzetta Italian Kitchen and Bar in Old Koloa Town.

Pizzetta Italian Kitchen and Bar.

That just sounds like a place you would want to visit.

And to that, we say, go for it.

This wonderful, cozy restaurant in Koloa has what anyone could want when dining out. A warm setting, friendly staff, prompt service and, yes, great pizza.

The night before the Kauai Marathon, my wife and I stopped here so I could fuel up for the next day’s 26.2 miles. Despite a line out the door just a little after 5 p.m., it was only a matter of minutes before we were led by a young hostess to a corner table. Not the best table in the house, mind you, a bit tight for quarters, but when the place is hopping like this one, likely many of them planning to run the next day, you can’t be too picky.

The water glasses were promptly filled and after about a five-minute wait, our waitress arrived. She quickly apologized for the delay in service and even apologized for the many diners and chairs so near our table, which right away made us appreciate her efforts and her smile.

The 12-inch vegetarian pizza we ordered was delivered to our table sooner than I expected, considering the crowd. And I have this one word to say about it: bravissimo! Perhaps one of the best pizzas we have had. Perfection on the crust, not too thin so it seems there isn’t much to it, and not too thick so it seems later like you ate a giant ball of dough. It was a beautiful pizza, filled with flavor and taste, and one that the two of us had no trouble finishing.

A little thing to point out: sometimes when you only order water, as we did, they don’t refill it too often or too quickly. At Pizzetta, our water glasses were refilled as soon as we emptied them.

We didn’t sit long to wait for our bill, either. Our waitress left it with us at just about the right time. Too soon, and you feel like you’re being rushed out the door. Too late, and it’s like they forgot about us.

As busy as it was, staff paid close attention to us.

Pizzetta is casual and nice. You’ll be fine if you’re wearing shorts and a tank top or an aloha shirt and long pants. The place was overflowing with conversation. Men and women sat around the bar, sipping beers or mixed drinks, watching the big-screen TV above the bar, chatting and just enjoying the ambiance. A bit noisy, but it was a Saturday night.

They have more than pizza at this fine Italian restaurant. Calzones, pasta dishes, salads, antipasti and a variety of specialties are available.

The penne Siciliano, the seafood fettuccine, the spaghetti pomodoro and the eggplant parmigiana all, as we read about them on the menu, sounded like a feast that we’ll certainly try on our return.

Pizzas, by the way, included the margherita, Italian sausage, Hawaiian, shrimp puttanesca and the super combo and, judging by how many we saw delivered to tables, they are popular.

The prices range from $10 to $15 for salads, $15 to $30 for a pizza, and the $20 range for specialties. It’s not over or under-priced, but is, not surprisingly, just right.

Wherever you live on Kauai, the drive will be worth it to try Pizzetta in Old Koloa Town.

They also offer delivery and carry out, but I recommend eating in so you can enjoy the atmosphere of almost being in Italy.

Pizzetta is at 5408 Koloa Road. Dinner hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday, and lunch is served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy hour is 3 to 5:30 p.m. Reservations are available. Info: 742-8881

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Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or bbuley@thegardenisland.com.

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