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New pairing at Capitol Hill’s Redhook Brewlab as Chef Shota brings Kōbo and its Detroit+Osaka pizzas to E Pike

The Flat Earther (Image: Kōbo)

(Image: Redhook Brewlab)

Shota Nakajima is ready to help out his neighbor, bringing pizza with Detroit and Osaka roots to the kitchen of Capitol Hill’s Redhook Brewlab.

Kōbo will debut this weekend, taking over the menu of the E Pike microbrewery with Nakajima’s take on pizza pie and providing new energy that could help fill the beer maker’s tables and big street-side patio.

“I was fascinated the first time I saw Detroit-style pizza. Having trained in Osaka, which is known as the ‘starch city’ of Japan, I was inspired by things like Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki, which employ a starch base that is generally cooked over high heat in cast iron or black steel, with a signature crispy exterior and chewy interior,” Nakajima said in a press release on the new link-up.

“It was a natural step to utilize this similar ideology, and staying true to my culinary roots and training, employ the use of koji, nori, and mochiko flour to achieve both umami and a heavenly texture for our dough.”

The new Kōbo is not related to longtime Loveless Building retailer Kobo Gallery and Gift Shop just off northern Broadway.

The new venture further embeds the restaurateur and Top Chef reality star on the block of E Pike in the Pike Motorworks development where Nakajima opened his karaage fried chicken joint Taku in 2020. The renewed focus on his home neighborhood comes following Nakajima’s to pull out of plans for a new teriyaki in far flung Cle Elum.

Now five years old, Redhook Brewlab debuted on Capitol Hill in the summer of 2017 and became Redhook’s sole Seattle brewing operation after its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed to sell the remaining Woodinville brewery site. The move severed any remaining historical ties of the 40-year-old beer brand and left the Brewlab as Redhook’s sole real world incarnation. The E Pike brewery squeezed beneath the Pike Motorworks preservation incentive-boosted apartments is a low-production, eight-barrel system with a focus on experimentation, not bottling for retail.

Its food menu to accompany those creations was developed with help from James Weimann and Deming Maclise of Poquitos and Rhein Haus. Now, Nakajima is ready to pair his pizza creations with Redhook’s beers.

Kōbo’s promise of high-technique pizza includes mochiko flour lending “a chewy texture and slightly sweeter flavor to the dough” plus “a secret blend of cheeses” that “achieves the signature crunchy-cheese lattice around the edge” as the pies are baked in rectangular steel pans.

Debut pizzas will include basics like The Flat-earther with mozzarella, marinara, and basil, The Ginny with diced pepperoni, cheese, and garlic honey, and, yes, The Hot Neighbor featuring Nakajima’s Taku fried chicken.

There is also a selection of plates including Umami Tots and Corn Dog Nugs to round out the brewpub offerings. Deep fried zeppole with powdered sugar and “seasonal compote” will also be on the menu. A beer collaboration is also in the works with Redhook developing a Red Rice Koji Gose flavored with strawberry and raspberry called Rice for the Hill.

As for the move into pizza for Nakajima, it’s an easy win on Capitol HIll where new pie ventures rise and fall on a regular basis. The latest generation is led by Blotto’s relaxed — so chill you might have a hard time getting a pizza before they sell out — and small scale approach on 12th Ave with other recent openings including Boca Argentine Bakery with its Argentine pizzaPizza Twist, a pizza franchise with Indian-flavored ingredients and influences, on Broadway and LA-based Fat Tomato Pizza at 12th and Pine. If non-round pizza is your thing, you can also visit 2016-born Dino’s Tomato Pie at Denny and E Olive Way.

There is also another Hill culinary master with plans to share his take on ‘za. Khampaeng “KP” Panyathong of Taurus Ox has the former Primo Pizza Parlour on First Hill’s 8th Ave lined up to be home to his Shallow Pan Pizza, a project in the works in recent months as he has helped shift Money Frog to its new home at 15th and Pine.

Kōbo is planned to debut Saturday, September 10th inside the Redhook Brewlab at 714 E Pike. You can learn more soon at kobopizza.com.

 

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Ebb
Ebb
20 days ago

This looks so interesting! I love living in a neighborhood with constant reinvention, and I’ve really enjoyed almost all of Chef Nakajima’s endeavors. Will definitely be trying this pizza at some point.

Allen
Allen
19 days ago
Reply to  Ebb

Shota should have won Top Chef as well. He is so talented!