Pieology, the newest Chipotle of pizzas, opens its doors in Aina Haina


Brittain Komoda

Custom pizza and salad topped with an abundance of fresh, flavorful ingredients from Pieology Aina Haina.

By Brittain Komoda, Staff Writer

An abundance of fresh flavors and vibrant colors sit atop the perfectly thin 11.5-inch crust. With every bite of this “pie,” my mouth watered for more.

Pieology, Hawaii’s newest Chipotle of pizzas opened its doors in late February at Aina Haina Shopping Center, the first of 20 planned across the state, and the 25-minute wait in line explains the hype it created.

Pieology is the nation’s fastest-growing pizza chain according to Business Insider. Founded in 2011 by Carl Chang, the restaurant allows customers to build their own pizzas and salads with a variety of toppings, including fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

The restaurant is set up like a Subway. All the ingredients are displayed and customers tell the “Pieologists” exactly what they want, and it is beautifully crafted right in front of their eyes.

Three different crusts are available to choose from, House-Made, House-Made whole wheat and gluten-free, which is an additional $2. Pieology offers seven sauces to choose from to start off your pizza. After choosing the sauce, you can choose from its seven cheeses, including vegan mozzarella. Ten meats including Hawaii favorites, Spam, Portuguese Sausage and Kalua Pork can be chosen from as well as 16 vegetables to top off your pizza. Each 11.5-inch custom pizza has an unlimited amount of toppings, takes about 5-7 minutes in the oven and costs $10.95.

Custom salads have the same unlimited combination concept. Toppings are the same as the pizza choices and cost $8.75.

With a grumbling stomach and a hearty appetite, I opted for a customized pizza and salad. The ingredients looked and tasted fresh, the vegetables had the perfect crunch with each bite, and the meats were dripping with flavor. Although soggy from all the juices running down in the middle, the crust had a char on the edges and made a “crunch” sound when bit into. All of the ingredients combined made for a perfectly crafted, flavorful, rich and hearty pizza.

My creation included a House-Made crust with red sauce and mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, sausage, pepperoni, and Portuguese sausage. The salad I created included fresh organic greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, bacon, and croutons and drizzled with the most creamy, rich Italian dressing. All of this was enough to feed two and still have leftovers.

The décor of the restaurant is chic and rustic. A large board with quotes and pictures sits on the main entry wall, as well as two big menu boards. Dark-stained woods are used on the walls, ceiling and as backboards on booths. Concrete-like tables and black metal chairs make up the seating in the restaurant. The tables had a slippery film on it, which caused dishes to slide, so be careful when moving plates or dishes around.

Pieology Aina Haina also serves local beer and wine, with a few Maui Brewing choices on tap.

The “Pieologsts” were so accommodating and friendly, asking “does this look good,” before handing off creations to you.

Its website states that “your Pieology might feel warm and familiar inside, but when it comes to taste, it’s like visiting the first time, every time,” so visit Pieology for an everlasting first impression each time you visit.