So Many Reasons Why I’m Lovin’ My Lamb

Columns Ono, You Know

May 14, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

When it comes to lamb, where do you fall on the food spectrum? Do you consider it to be tender and succulent or gamey and, quite frankly, baaaad?

Viewed as one of the most versatile of meats, lamb is surprisingly not a favorite among Americans. But ask any European, Australian or New Zealander and I’m sure they’ll tell you otherwise. And yes, although it may be a bit of an acquired taste, I’ve learned to enjoy this uniquely meaty morsel over the years.

So if there are any of you who’ve yet to develop an affinity for lamb, you’re in for a treat. Read on and you may just change your mind after setting your palate on these irresistible lamb creations found at the following “Ono, You Know” establishments.

Greek Marina

  • The author can't help but relish the flavors of Lamb Shank ($15.95) at the Greek Marina.
  • Greek Marina's Lamb Shank ($15.95)
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The ancient history of Athens along with the impressive views of Santorini, Greece are hard to come by without hopping on a flight to this exquisite destination. However, if you’re yearning for an authentic Greek meal without leaving the comfort of our island home, then head on over to the Greek Marina, and you’re sure to be singing the praises of Zeus and Hera, Apollo and Aphrodite.

Located at Koko Marina Center in Hawaii Kai, it offers innovative Greek cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner, owner and chef Tarek Guirguis takes pride in many of the restaurant’s specialties, including Gyros, Souvlaki, Classic Greek Salad and so much more.

As a fan of lamb, I must admit that the Greek Marina has some of the best lamb I’ve ever set my chops on.

Greek specialties such as the Lamb Souvlaki ($13.95 lunch, $15.95 dinner) grab at the taste buds of hungry patrons, as this tasty dish features savory pieces of marinated lamb grilled to your liking and then placed on a large skewer with a colorful array of bell peppers. It’s then set atop a heaping portion of rice and Greek Marina’s famous salad.

“The marinade consists of a garlic, vinegar, lemon and a Worchestershire sauce, and many people like to use the Taziki sauce that we also offer on the side,” says server Mako Takahama.

The Lamb Shank ($15.95) is another popular dinner option that lamb enthusiasts gravitate toward. Soaked in a stew-based tomato sauce with sauteed onions and peas, the lamb shank entree also is served with rice, Greek salad and pita bread. So ono!

Greek Marina
Koko Marina Center
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy., #E126
(808) 396-8441
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Hy’s Steak House

  • The Rack of Lamb ($59.95) has always been a signature item at Hy's Steak House.
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Sure, Hy’s Steak House is known for its award-winning steaks and USDA prime beef, cooked effortlessly on kiawe wood to complement the flavor of the beef, but I know all you loyal lamb lovers are asking, “What about the lamb?” Let’s make this simple: Hy’s Steak House offers some of the best lamb on the island! But don’t take my word for it — rather, let the lamb speak for itself.

“Our Rack of Lamb has always been one of our signature items,” says Hy’s general manager Bob Panter. “Until about a year ago, Hy’s offered only a full-rack (eight ribs) of Australian Spring Lamb. On the menu we still have the full rack, but for smaller appetites we now offer a half Rack of Lamb.

Priced at $59.95, the Full Rack is served with mint jelly, vegetables du jour and your choice of rice or potatoes. For $39.95 diners can order the Half Rack served with the same accompaniments.

And to add to the fine dining experience here at this Waikiki eatery, all lamb is carved tableside, either on the chop or served removed from the rib bones itself. The secret behind Hy’s tender lamb, you could say, lies in the seasoning. All lamb racks are dry marinated with robust herbs, including marjoram, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf, then seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper to enhance the flavor.

“Hy’s also does very tasty Lamb Chops ($59.95), same specifications as the full rack, but cut into four double chops, started and finished over the kiawe wood fire,” Panter says. “The chops are served with our Tropical Fruit Chutney instead of the mint jelly.”

Hy’s Steak House
2440 Kuhio Ave.
(808) 922-5555
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The Fat Greek

  • The Fat Greek's Lamb Souvlaki Salad ($10)
  • Enjoy a Thursday special Lamb Shank ($14.95) at The Fat Greek.
  • The Fat Greek manager Daniel Provenza shares some of the restaurant's best-kept lamb secrets with the author.
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Don’t let the name fool you — The Fat Greek is all about Mediterranean-style healthy food that will make you thin and ready for summer! What’s more is that the cuisine is not only delicious, but affordable.

With two locations, on Waialae Avenue and in Waikiki, owner Francois Provenza says it’s his mission to give patrons a refreshing taste of the Mediterranean Sea.

Of course, what would a top-notch Greek establishment be without amazing lamb? Manager Daniel Provenza immediately presented me with the most unbelievably ono lamb entrees, including the famous Lamb Souvlaki Salad ($10) and Lamb Shank ($14.95).

Make Thursdays the day you pay a visit to this authentic Greek eatery, as the Lamb Shank is a Thursday special. This special consists of an enticingly hearty lamb shank, adorned with fresh carrots, squash, zucchini and daikon in a zesty tomato sauce served over Basmati rice. Be sure to save room for the side salad and pita bread that comes with the dish.

For the diner on a diet, I highly recommend the Lamb Souvlaki Salad, featuring a medley of mixed greens, tomato, bell peppers, onions, purple cabbage and more topped off with the most alluring pieces of lamb. Perfectly paired with a side of taziki sauce and lemon, your taste buds will definitely be thanking you.

Free parking for the Waikiki location is available at the Waikiki Marina, as the restaurant will gladly validate.

The Fat Greek
3040 Waialae Ave. and
1831 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 201
(808) 734-0404
(808) 941-3444
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