California Dreamin’ of Fresh, Scrumptious Chinese Cuisine

Digest Foodie Fare

June 4, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

This week’s Foodie Fare comes to you from the Golden State (Palm Desert, Calif., to be precise), where healthy food and fresh options are in ample supply. Taking a cue from the West Coast lifestyle, it is only fitting that our featured restaurant is California Wok.

  • House Special Pan Fried Noodle ($12.55)
  • Employee Yujiao Ni holds one of California Wok's specially discounted dishes, the Curry Chicken ($7.45 half portion; $10.49 large).
  • Dragon and Phoenix ($12.29)
  • Hoisin Four Delights ($12.55)
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Located on the first level of Ala Moana Center near Macy’s, the tiny dine-in, take-out eatery serves uniquely inspired dishes made with only the finest, freshest ingredients available.

“The items on the menu are all cooked to order,” says manager Winnie Li of the creations cooked up by California Wok’s own chef.

Among the list of one-of-a-kind Chef’s Specialties are the Dragon and Phoenix ($12.29), Hoisin Four Delights ($12.55) and a House Special Pan Fried Noodle ($12.55).

A combination of large shrimp in a Szechwan sauce and General Gau’s chicken, the Dragon and Phoenix is a spicy-sweet, light meal, perfect for the impending summer months when diners crave something full of flavor but not fat.

Another healthy option is the Hoisin Four Delights, a medley of stir-fried beef, shrimp, chicken and pork mixed with scallions and water chestnuts in a hoisin sauce. Or sample the House Special Pan Fried Noodle, a heaping portion of shrimp, squid, chicken and scallops mixed with fresh vegetables over a bed of pan-fried noodles.

“And we don’t have MSG here; we only use cholesterol-free canola oil,” Li adds.

Each Chef’s Specialty comes with a side serving of steamed rice and can be modified to meet customers’ specific dietary needs.

“The customers can request their own plates — whether they don’t want sugar, salt or sauce,” explains Li. “The (menu items) are all cooked to order, that way the people can order what they want and we cook it so it’s fresh.”

On the Side

California Wok has been a mainstay with locals and tourists alike who seek healthy, tasty cuisine since the Chinese eatery opened in Ala Moana Center 10 years ago.

After a recent two-month renovation, the restaurant reopened May 26 with new counters, floors, flat screen TVs and dining tables. But one thing regulars can count on staying the same — California Wok’s commitment to serving food that tastes good and is good for you.

In appreciation of customers old and new who pass through the brand-new space, California Wok is now offering a 20 percent discount with the purchase of $5 or more on items such as Curry Chicken ($7.45 half-portion, $10.49 large), Sweet and Sour Pork ($10.49), Garlic Shrimp ($8.39, $12.29) Bean Curd with Spinach ($8.59), Singapore Rice Noodles ($9.25) and Chicken Fried Rice ($7.25).

“We also have Party Pans and a Lunch Menu we make cooked-to-order,” adds manager Winnie Li.

Priced from $7.35 to $8.29, items on the lunch menu include Sweet and Sour Chicken or Pork, Chicken with Broccoli, Kung Pao Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Shrimp with Garlic Sauce, Chow Mein, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and General TZO’s Chicken.

Each meal is served with steamed white, brown or fried rice and choice of salad or spring roll. (Add 50 cents if you’d rather have two chicken wings or a bowl of Egg Drop or Hot & Sour Soup in place of the salad.)

California Wok

  • Where
    • Ala Moana Center
    • 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
    • Honolulu, HI 96814
  • Call
    • (808) 947-1332
  • Hours
    • Daily
    • 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Website
  • Notes
    • Ample free parking available.