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HI-5 Luncheon at EAT HONOLULU

This was the first time our office gang enjoyed lunch on behalf of all things, the HI-5 recycling funds from aluminum cans and plastic water bottles collected over the past year in our energy-starved ‘n burnin’, hard-working office.

With that, we had lunch at EAT HONOLULU, a rather “chic” indoor sidewalk cafe located in Gentry Pacific Design Center on Nimitz Highway, on the Ewa side heading Ewa, between K-Mart and City Mill. To note, Gentry Pacific Design Center was purchased recently by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) for $21.37 million.

Eat Honolulu was formerly named Eat Catering & Cafe, which before changing hands to new owner Chef Dave Passanisi, was formerly known as Matters of Taste.

Without further ado, let’s check out the menu…


Download a pdf (2-sided copy of original) of the Eat Honolulu summer 2013 menu here

Here are the specials of the day…

Being everything is fresh, from scratch and made to order at EAT HONOLULU, our order took about 20 minutes to prepare. Here’s the result…


EAT HONOLULU: Elepe & Pasta, 808 Reuben, Chicken & Mushroom Paellla Soup du Jour, “Surf & Turf” and Kulana Farms Beef Burger Steak

Let’s start from the center, where we have Diner JM’s ‘Surf ‘n Turf‘….


EAT HONOLULU: “Surf & Turf” – Kulana Farms Beef Patty, topped over a crispy whole soft shell crab, fresh avocado and EH’s specialty sauce, with a side of EH’s house-made pickles and onions

next up, Diner E’s Kulana Farms Beef Burger Steak


EAT HONOLULU: Kulana Farms Beef Burger “Steak” – In a soy and ginger glaze with broccoli slaw (not in the case on this day), served over “Forbidden Rice”

Next up, Diner A’s Kulana Pastrami Reuben…


EAT HONOLULU: 808 Reuben – homemade Kulana Farms Pastrami, pickled golden beets, sugarland cabbage, swiss cheese and EH’s specialty sauce

Money shot…


EAT HONOLULU: 808 Reuben – homemade Kulana Farms Pastrami, pickled golden beets, sugarland cabbage, swiss cheese and EH’s specialty sauce

Diner A also ordered a cup of the Chicken Paella soup du jour to go with his “sammy”…


EAT HONOLULU Soup du Jour: Chicken and Mushroom Paella

Money shot in soup du jour form…


EAT HONOLULU Soup du Jour: Chicken and Mushroom Paella

Next up, Diner C’s Elepe Swordfish over Gemelli Pasta with Red Sauce…


EAT HONOLULU: Grilled Elepe (Swordfish) over Gemelli Pasta with Red Sauce (a combination of Ragu and Pesto), tossed with Broccoli and also topped with grated Parmesan

And finally, my version of the same dish…


EAT HONOLULU: Grilled Elepe (Swordfish) over Gemelli Pasta with Red Sauce (a combination of Nalo Arugula Pesto & HI Tomato Sauce), tossed with Broccoli and also topped with grated Parmesan

And? EXCELLENT! All that was missing was a bottle of Cab’, however that wasn’t going to happen during work-time hours.

The seasoning of my pasta and swordfish dish was SUPERB, having just the right amount of kosher salt and fresh cracked black everywhere it counted. The Elepe swordfish was grilled to PERFECTION, retaining all the moisture it could have for such a lean cut of fish, while having a fantastic smokey accent from the seared grill markings. Yummers!


Elepe (Swordfish) seasoned and grilled to PERFECTION

The pasta sauce was a combination of Nalo Arugula Pesto and HI Tomato Sauce, and just, wow, orgasmically delicious! It had depth and essence without being too complex. The Gemelli pasta itself was cooked perfectly al dente, however if there was just one complaint about the dish, the broccoli was undercooked, being too firm, around a third of the way between raw and al dente. Still, it was a welcoming earthy contrast to the starchiness of the pasta. Sealing the deal was the abundance of slightly melted fresh-grated parmesan cheese that glued the whole dish together in every sense of the word. I’d easily order this dish again and again!

I also got to try a bite of Diner JM’s ‘Surf ‘n Turf’, which was a Kulana Farms Beef Burger combined with a battered ‘n deep-fried soft shell crab, and WOW! Just the Kulana Farms beef patty itself was INCREDIBLE. So juicy, fresh-tasting and BEEFY! Eat Honolulu definitely is giving Honolulu Burger Company a run for the money with their burgers here, I tell ya’!


EAT HONOLULU: “Surf & Turf” – Kulana Farms free range, grass-fed all-beef patty, topped with a crispy whole soft shell crab, fresh avocado and EH’s specialty sauce

Personally I think the Soft Shell Crab was overkill, with too much going on. Where, you don’t know if you’re eating a burger, or some whacky twist on a crab cake sandwich. Still, the combined flavor of the crab and beef was delicious, however, I’d go with one or the other next time, not the two of them in one.

Other than that, AMAZING burger, especially with the fresh avocado and lettuce to round it out. That super fresh char-grilled Big Island-based Kulana Farms beef just screams with juicy beefy flavor. Super yummers!

Diner E also gave his Kulana Farms Beef Steak — which is essentially a gourmet take on the classic Hamburger Steak plate lunch — a thumbs-up (something difficult to muster out of him). He noted the gravy was light, yet hit all the right notes, while his char-grilled Kulana Farms free  range, grass-fed burger patty was as stellar as the one in the Surf ‘n Turf burger. He also really enjoyed the purple colored “Forbidden Rice”, as he’s a fan of Sekihan. If you’re going to ask what exactly “Forbidden Rice” is, it’s a mixture of cooked Black Rice and Sushi-grade Rice, stir-fried in clarified garlic butter. I tried some, and must say, it is de-LISH!

Diner A was diggin’ his 808 Pastrami Reuben, only asking the proverbial question, “Where’s the beef?!”

Well, apparently, here it WAS from a previous recent visit to EAT HONOLULU…

Ah, that’s much better, being a bit more classic New York deli style, where pastrami is piled ridiculously high. Not THAT ridiculously high, yet enough for some credibility.

While on that prior visit, check out these Polenta Fries…


EAT HONOLULU: Polenta Fries side order with Remoulade sauce for dippin’

Money shot…


Polenta Fries bite shot (specks are fresh cracked black)

And? The Polenta Fries are certainly “interesting”, texturally speaking, as expected. Think steak-cut fries, albeit with a more mealy, corn-like or rice-like flavor and texture profile, vs. potato, is the best way to describe it. Never-the-less, really ono! Eat’s Polenta Fries for the win!

Back to the Reuben, he also noted that it didn’t have Rye Bread, let alone Dark Rye, which to me, is a MUST-HAVE RULE for Pastrami Reuben. Still, he really enjoyed it, if for anything else, being a really delicious roast beef sandwich.


EAT HONOLULU Soup du Jour: Chicken and Mushroom Paella

He also loved the Chicken & Mushroom Paella Soup, saying it reminded him of a “Haole Jook”. I’d be good with that!

Overall, everyone gave EAT HONOLULU a resounding 4-Musubi rating on this particular visit. Huge mahalo to all our aluminum cans and plastic water bottles for the onolicious lunch. Yay!

EAT HONOLULU
560 N. Nimitz Hwy #68
(within the Gentry Pacific Design Center)
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
Tel. (808) 538-0597
www.eathonolulu.com
Eat Honolulu Summer 2013 menu (2-sided PDF)

The Tasty Island rating:

(4) Excellent. Worth another visit or purchase. (Winnahz!)

Related links:
Iwilei Eats: Eat Catering & Cafe – The Tasty Island
Eat Honolulu – Yelp user reviews
Baik Designs – Gentry Pacific Design Center

P.S. Thinking “green” is certainly a start to the enhancement of humanity, as we found praying amongst our Buddha brothers in stone hanging out across Eat Honolulu in front of Baik Designs at Gentry Center. A way to take us further along the path of spiritual enlightenment…


Diner E’s prayer: “Please bring back Rinken Band and Shoukichi Kina to the Okinawan Festival next year.”

Diner A’s prayer: “Please God, or Buddha, or whoever you are, have Pomai hurry-up and take this photo. My leg is really sore in this position.”

Pomai’s prayer: “Kosenrufu, plus please repair my broken heart, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo x infinity.”

21 thoughts on “HI-5 Luncheon at EAT HONOLULU

  • September 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm
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    I like the soft shelled crab burger but not in a burger with a nice salad.

    Reply
    • September 2, 2013 at 9:05 am
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      Amy,

      What I’d actually like is a plate of the crispy soft shelled crab (a bunch of them) served pupu style with some kind of dipping sauce. Perhaps something like Thousand Islands Dressing or Cocktail Sauce or remoulade would work well with the soft shell crab. That and an ice cold Blue Moon with an Orange wedge and I’d be GOOD!

      Reply
  • September 2, 2013 at 8:44 am
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    Hope your prayers come true. A broken heart is the worst. They always say “time” to which I always ask “how much time?” Sometimes even time doesn’t do it!

    Reply
    • September 2, 2013 at 9:01 am
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      h,

      Hey, you weren’t supposed to key-in on our prayers. That’s personal. You were supposed to only comment about the food at EAT HONOLULU. lol :-P

      Reply
      • September 2, 2013 at 11:15 am
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        Sorry. Delete my reply if you like.

        Reply
        • September 2, 2013 at 11:17 am
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          h,

          I’m just kidding. Silly you. Well, silly me, too.

          Back to the main subject, if you were to visit EAT HONOLULU, looking at the menu, what would you order? I’m guessing you’d choose either the Tamato & Basil Panini, or the same Grilled Swordfish & Gemelli Pasta with “Red” Sauce dish I ordered.

          Reply
          • September 2, 2013 at 11:28 am
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            Veggie burger with avocado, or grilled cheese with tomato and avocado! Swordfish looks too meaty, like chicken.

          • September 2, 2013 at 11:38 am
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            Yeah, you’re right, swordfish is very “meaty”, which is why it’s one of the best types of fish to smoke, as it’s very fibrous. I’d say it’s the closest thing that seafood can get to pork, with some “beefiness” to it, albeit totally lean. In fact too lean in my opinion. My favorite fish actually is Monchong, as it’s very delicate and fatty. Next would be Butterfish, then Opah, followed by Opakapaka (Snapper), then Mahimahi.

            Hmmm, a grilled cheese sandwich with avocado sounds like a winner! I’ll have to try that too!

            I still have yet to review that Taro Veggie Burger made here in Hawaii. I also still have yet to do that Richard Simmons video I owe you. And also to send you the dressing I said I’d send. Just so busy right now with the house and everything. Give me time. Ah, time. Sigh.

  • September 2, 2013 at 11:53 am
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    No worries. I still have stuff to send you, but I, too, have been very short on time lately.

    Grilled cheese with avocado is so delicious, it’s addictive. At the very least, grilled cheese needs tomato. (I’m pretty weird when it comes to grilled cheese, I like to dip it in ketchup. Most people think that’s gross, but it’s so good)

    I’ve had Mahimahi, I’ll eat it if I have to, but it’s really the meatiest fish I’ll agree to eat. I’ve never had Monchong, Butterfish or Opah. Nor have I had pacific Snapper. I do like red snapper, but that’s not even in the same family as pacific snapper. I like Tilapia. I loathe salmon, but for some reason, everyone makes it “special” for me when I dine at their house, so I eat it to be polite. On my own, I’d never go near the stuff.

    Reply
    • September 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm
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      OK, I’ll take you up on the avocado grilled cheese and order that on my next visit to EAT HONOLULU. That’s certainly something I can “afford”, health-wise. I’ll even try dippin’ it in some ketchup. Ha! Hopefully they’ll have some sort of tomato-based soup that day that can be used to dip the sandwich into. If they have it, I’d go as far as adding a thick slice of Maui onion in it for a sweet and zesty kick.

      I agree, cheese and tomatoes go hand-in-hand. Any pasta, tossed simply with a generous helping of sweet cherry tomatoes, basil, EVOO, garlic and lots of parm, and I’m good!

      I’m also not really a salmon fan if it’s just sauteed. However I go crazy for salted salmon, such as in Lomi Salmon, or salted and smoked such as a Bagel Lox with lots of cream cheese, chopped red onion and an olive spread. Gosh, I could so go for that right now!

      Reply
  • September 3, 2013 at 2:59 am
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    What that ? Lomi Salmon on bagel sound pretty good. I must try it now. Got a name for it?
    I heard of Nacho with Lomi Salmon.

    Reply
    • September 3, 2013 at 3:30 am
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      Kelike,

      While that’s not what I said, Lomi Salmon on a bagel with some cream cheese sounds like a great idea! I’d name it “Bagel Lomi Lox”. Or, perhaps take it to another level, literally, where you add some Kalua Pig over the Lomi Salmon and cream cheese, topped with a dollop of poi, and name it the ‘Luau Bagel’. Whoo-ha!

      Never heard of Lomi Salmon Nachos, yet that sounds good, too! When I tried Taco Bell’s limited edition Kalua Pig Taco and Burrito, the very first thing I thought was that Lomi Salmon would be PERFECT with it as a “Hawaiian Salsa” of sorts.

      Have you heard of Lomi Salmon Dip? It’s simply Lomi Salmon mixed with softened cream cheese. Super easy and very tasty (hey, nice word)!

      Some people use Ritz crackers, however, I think Triscuit® crackers taste the best with Lomi Salmon Dip, where you spread it on vs. dipping it.

      http://www.hpcfoods.com/new.php?pgs=4

      http://alohaworld.com/ono/print.php?id=1253680790

      Reply
  • September 3, 2013 at 5:58 am
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    For someone who do not like own cooking you sure can cook.

    Reply
  • September 3, 2013 at 9:40 am
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    Pomai, if you use feng shui in finding love it will work. Funny story on my other aunt who was a widow and use feng shui in finding love. She had three daughters and all single at that time. Aunt did the feng shiu thing and funny it worked well on daughters who at that time lived with her. They all start getting guys asking them out and now two are married and other along the way. As for aunt she also got a man in her life it was late husband best friend soon to married also.

    Funny not for daughters but it sure on them due to living in same house.

    Reply
    • September 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm
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      Amy,

      Not searching for love, which I have lots of surrounding my life. It’s deeper than that.

      I admittedly never attended any Feng Shui classes, therefore wasn’t aware it also had applications on matters of the heart and spirit, only presuming it applied to physical space (the aquarium should be facing a certain direction in relationship to your living room couch). I’ll have to look more into that. Thanks for the tip!

      Reply
  • September 5, 2013 at 1:45 am
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    Pomai, Aaron panic I want to try Feng Shui but it for my GF who had a hard time find a guy. After reading Amy story I think it good for her now.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2013 at 1:52 am
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    I know Amy for some time since high school at McKinley. I stay a her home at time too. . We have lot gfs but not enough guys.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2013 at 7:27 am
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    I never had soft shelled crab and seeing this place I must try it out.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm
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      Richard,

      The soft shell crabs served at Eat are imported frozen from Vietnam through a local fish distributor.

      You’ll be surprised how easy it is to bite through the shell, making it almost taste like a crab that’s all meat and no shell at all, especially being masked by the deep-fried batter coating (seasoned simply with salt, pepper and garlic powder). Really nice, actually! The shell is slightly pliable, but still, very easy to chew through. As for the flavor, it’s crabby in a relatively fresh way (regardless of being previously frozen), not being too “crabby”, in the same context for fish that tastes fresh, not “fishy”.

      More restaurants need to serve soft shell crab around here. Good stuff!

      Reply
  • September 6, 2013 at 12:39 am
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    Pomai, I try soft shell crab in sushi and not much to it but deep fried in batter in a Thai restaurtant name I forgot was pretty good. I like to try this place to taste it also.

    Reply
    • September 6, 2013 at 5:51 am
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      Kelike,

      Yeah, soft shell crab is commonly used in “Dynamite” style sushi rolls, where everything including the kitchen sink is rolled up in and covered around it.

      I’d love to try some FRESH (not previously frozen) soft shell blue crab from the east coast, where it’s really popular. Just do a seafood “run” right up the east coast, stopping in Maine for what should be the best Lobster Roll you can get anywhere. Gosh, I could go for a succulent Maine Lobster Roll right about now!

      Maine Lobster Roll

      Reply

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