Hawaii eats section Pleasurable lunches an art at museum cafes
WE'RE CRAVING: FRIED RICE
8 FAT FAT 8 BAR & GRILLE
We crave a lot of things from the 8 Fat Fat 8 kitchen — the crispy gau gee and the special chicken is some of the best bar food around — but sometimes it's the lup chong fried rice ($9) that really hits the spot.
8 Fat Fat 8 Bar & Grille, 1327 S. Beretania St., 596-2779
BIG CITY DINER
When we've got fried rice on the brain, we make a beeline for BCD's Grandma's Incredible Kim Chee Fried Rice ($7.99). Char siu, sausage , peas, green onions and the perfect amount of kim chee make the mountain of rice extra-satisfying.
Big City Diner, five locations islandwide: Kailua, Kaimukí, Ward Entertainment Center, Pearlridge, Waipio, www.bigcitydinerhawaii.com
HOLE IN THE WALL
Hole in the Wall's Portuguese sausage-laden fried rice with a fried egg ($6) is the best fast-food breakfast ever. We also like it for lunch, dinner or any time in between.
Hole in the Wall, 1154 Fort Street Mall, 532-9911
LITTLE VILLAGE NOODLE HOUSE
Little Village does just about everything right, and the proof is in the fried rice. "Chef Chan's Special Fried Rice" is local-style fried rice meets Chinese-style fried rice, and the result is pure carbo love. It's meaty — shrimp, roast duck and char siu — like Grandpa made it, and it's wok-toasted and gingery like your favorite Chinese joint makes it.
Little Village Noodle House, 1113 Smith St., 545-3008
SIDE STREET INN
Next time you hit Side Street, be sure to add fried rice to that order of pork chops, because when it comes to turning out the ultimate plate of fried rice, no one comes close to Side Street's extra-meaty version. Packed with char siu, lup chong and Portuguese sausage, the super-sized dish ($14) is enough to feed four hungry folks.
Side Street Inn, 225 Hopaka St., 591-0253
MR. MANDOO TIMES TWO
In its short life, Mr. Mandoo, a Korean cafe-like restaurant specializing in all kinds of mandoo from the fried kind to the super-sized kind that resemble Chinese steamed bao (we love the Kim Chee King Mandoo, $2.50), has undergone a few big changes. Big change No. 1: It expanded, with a new location in Kalihi. The first Mr. Mandoo opened last year on Pi'ikoi Street.Big change No. 2: The flagship Pi'ikoi Street location closed last week and reopened in Downtown Honolulu on Alakea Street, next to Quizno's.Both restaurants have the same menu and keep the same hours, and the Kalihi store has its own parking lot.
710 N. King St. (848-7770) 801 Alakea St. (599-4000)
Hours: 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays
At Matsumoto’s in Kalihi (1323 Gulick Ave., 848-7464), chef Todd Matsumoto’s salmon butteryaki ($8.75) appetizer is a plate of piping hot, butter-fried salmon nuggets that are perfectly tender and moist — and the pink chunks literally burst with rich, juicy, buttery flavor.
— Ed Morita
Fine wine meets local bar grinds for Aku Bone Lounge's (1201 Kona St.) first wine-pairing event happening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 3. Choose from a menu of four pupu ó 'ahi poke, hibachi shrimp with garlic butter, Chinese-style roast pork with a
French-style bistro and wine bar Brasserie Du Vin (1115 Bethel St.) kicks off its Monday-night three-course wine dinners for the month of March with a Mediterranean-inspired menu March 1. The menu, titled "Mediterranean Musings," will include Mediterranean mussels steamed in roasted garlic veloute sauce, paired with a 2008 Bibi Graetz Casamatta Bianco; bronzini (Mediterranean sea bass) stuffed with roasted tomatoes and Meyer lemons with herb-infused wild rice, paired with a 2007 Perrin & Fils Reserve, Cotes du Rhone; and Stellar Bay oysters served on the half shell with a lychee mignonette, paired with Zardetto Prosecco. The three-course meal is $49 per person, and is also available without the wine pairings for $35. Seating starts at 6 p.m. Reservations are recommended (545-1115).