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Retreating to a Sanctuary Filled with Scallops

Columns Ono, You Know

June 25, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

I am not a picky eater by any means — and never have been. In fact, when asked on the spot, it’s hard to come up with a food that I don’t like. However, having said that, there are a few edible creations I haven’t explored to their full culinary potential, one of those being scallops.

This week I made it a point to broaden my horizons and expand my palate beyond its comfort zone, and immerse myself into a scallop sanctuary of sorts. Boy, was I missing out on some of the most delectable foods to come from the sea. No matter how they’re prepared, these crustaceans are so rich, sweet and tender that you won’t know what hit you.

So, come along with me and enter into the world of scallops. You won’t be disappointed at what you’ll find at the following “Ono, You Know” hot spots.

Atlantis Seafood & Steak

  • The editor is ready to devour a forkful of Atlantis Seafood & Steak's Ocean Seafood Pasta ($24.95)
  • Atlantis Seafood & Steak's Ocean Seafood Pasta ($24.95)
  • Atlantis Seafood & Steak's Deep Fried Ocean Wrap ($12.95)
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Mention the words “surf and turf” and you’ll hear my stomach growl just a little (OK, a lot), but really who doesn’t love some steak and seafood in their lives? You don’t have to ask me twice!

This week, I ventured to the heart of Waikiki to what was once the former Waikiki No. 3 Theater — now transformed into Atlantis Seafood & Steak aka a culinary paradise on earth.

The staff here is friendly and patrons are free to seat themselves, whether you wish to dine under a ship’s majestic frame or out on the lanai overlooking beautiful Waikiki.

Manager Frank Bennett introduced me to an endless selection of seafood and steak specialties, but I couldn’t help but develop an affinity for the Ocean Seafood Pasta ($24.95). This best-seller features a mountain of pasta mixed with caramelized onions, garlic, oregano, basil, Burgundy wine and Roma tomatoes simmered for two to three hours to create a special sauce. Then a cluster of fresh manila clams, shrimp, scallops and mahi mahi is added to the dish to make for a festive feast straight from the sea. Delicious!

“While the Ocean Seafood Pasta is a universal favorite, it seems like the Japanese tourists love the Togarashi Jumbo Scallops ($25.95),” Bennet says.

This enticing entree offers diners pan-seared scallops with Japanese 7 spice served with Lilikoi Buerre Blanc and mango chutney. Your mouth will definitely be watering at first sight — if it isn’t already.

And while all this is divine, the Deep Fried Ocean Wrap ($12.95) is great for starters. This appetizer will appease all appetites as it showcases jumbo scallops and shrimp wrapped ever so deliciously in bacon and deep fried golden brown with a tempting mango salsa.

Locals, don’t forget to inquire about the kamaaina discount and receive 10 percent off with a valid ID.

Atlantis Seafood & Steak
2284 Kalakaua Ave. Suite 201
(808) 922-6868
View the Map

Paesano Ristorante Italiano

  • Paesano's Scallop Casino ($15.90)
  • Paesano owner Nila Rattanasamay
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Being half Italian, it’s without a doubt that genuine Italian cuisine holds a special place in my heart, and therefore, Paesano Ristorante Italiano is one of my top picks when my stomach is yearning for some onolicious grinds straight from my fatherland.

Owners Billy Rattanasamay and wife Nila opened the doors to the restaurant’s first location in Manoa Marketplace in 1992, and in 2008 opened a second location in Waimalu Plaza Shopping Center.

And while the array of out-of-this world pastas runs the gamut here, seafood lovers marvel in the Scallops and Shrimps Alla Bolla (small portion $21.90, regular portion $26.90).

“The Scallops and Shrimps Alla Bolla features four jumbo shrimps and six pieces of jumbo scallops,” says Paesano executive chef Gerry Quach.

Served on a bed of linguine, the scallops and shrimps are seasoned with the perfect amount of garlic, white wine and butter. The dish is then decorated with colorful sugar snap peas, making it the perfect dish to satisfy your palate.

Yet, before you fill yourself up with this tantalizing entree, I highly recommend you and your special someone share a taste of the Scallop Casino ($15.90).

This is one appetizer that some may say supersedes the rest, as it offers diners five decadent pieces of pan-seared scallops garnished with heavenly morsels of garlic, bacon, onion and fresh basil, then sprinkled with a touch of white wine, lemon juice and savory butter.

Paesano Ristorante Italiano
Waimalu Plaza Shopping Center
98-1277 Kaahumanu St.
Manoa Marketplace
2752 Woodlawn Drive
(808) 485-8883 (Waimalu)
(808) 988-5923 (Manoa)
View the Map

Golden Duck Chinese Restaurant

  • Golden Duck's Scallop with Sugar Snap Peas ($12.95)
  • Golden Duck's Seafood Taro Basket ($13.95)
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Upon setting foot into Golden Duck Chinese Restaurant, diners are greeted by the appealing aroma of Hong Kong-style Chinese cuisine. With two establishments under their belt, part-owners Colin, Darlene and Aaron Fong draw in a bounty of customers to both their South King street and Kahala locations on a daily basis.

With my sights set on all things scallop, head chef of the Kahala establishment Cheung Lam Lau cooked up alluring plates of Scallop with Sugar Snap Peas and the famous Seafood Taro Basket.

Primarily served family-style, Scallop with Sugar Snap Peas ($12.95) consists of an exotic blend of scallops and sugar snap peas sauteed with garlic and a special house gravy. Trust me, the smooth texture of the scallops pairs perfectly with the zesty crunch of the peas. If you”re crazy about scallops, I will bet this dish will soon turn into a must-have when dining here.

Now, enter the Seafood Taro Basket ($13.95). As one of my personal favorites, this dish features a symphony of shrimp, scallop, fish, squid and Chinese peas nestled nicely in a crispy taro basket, and doused in a flavorful garlic and ginger sauce.

“Both of these dishes are available for lunch and dinner, and both are doing really well,” Darlene says. “Our scallops are always fresh and everything is served made-to-order.”

Dim sum fanatics, listen up: Golden Duck Kahala also recently launched its dim sum menu, available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Prices range from $2.88 to $3.88 with more than 30 varieties of dim sum to meet your fancy. Speaking of scallops, why not sample the Fresh Scallop Look Fun Roll?

Golden Duck Chinese Restaurant
4230 Waialae Ave.
1221 S. King St.
(808) 737-7188, 737-7288 (Waialae Avenue)
(808) 597-8088 (South King Street)
View the Map