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The Skinny on Fat Greek

Features Inside Feature

July 30, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

When Francois Provenza set out to design The Fat Greek’s Waikiki location, he aimed to present guests with an authentic Mediterranean experience. Everything from the ambiance to the fresh, healthy Greek cuisine has made the Ala Moana Boulevard eatery a hit among visitors and kamaaina.

  • Elie Provenza with the Salmon Special
  • Lamb Souvlaki ($11.75)
  • The Papa Special ($19.95)
  • Salmon Special ($12.95)
  • Calamari ($6)
  • Cook Norman Galinato works the grill in the kitchen.
  • Hummus ($6)
  • House Shrimp Special ($12)
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Waikiki marks the third location in the chain’s collection that also includes stores on Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki and a kiosk in Ala Moana Center. It has now been open for more than six months, and offers customers full-service dining that takes guests around the world without ever having to leave the dining table.

“One big thing is that guests come to us to start their vacation, they’ll come to us first,” says George Stephanos, Provenza’s business partner and adviser, when discussing the eatery’s burgeoning popularity. “Then, they’ll go somewhere else (to eat), and will come back a few more times before they leave because they fall in love with it. It’s like home with a touch of the Mediterranean.”

The Fresh Fish ($12.95) has become a guest favorite, and upon Dining Out‘s recent visit, included fresh-grilled salmon topped with Mediterranean salsa and served with basmati rice, Greek salad and pita bread. The Calamari ($6) appetizer and Shrimp House Special ($12) also have reeled in their fair share of diners as the delicious, plump garlic shrimp are served along with a hearty Greek salad. Stephanos credits Waikiki’s success to the restaurant’s ability to carry fresh seafood selections that are used for both the regular and rotating special menu offerings.

“We bring in fresh fish at least twice a week from the auction,” Stephanos explains. “It’s the little touches like that which really add to the experience.”

The Fat Greek also offers a variety of entree platters that include numerous menu favorites presented in large portions on a family-style dish. The platters allow diners to build their own unique plates with their favorite items, including those on the Royal Platter ($38) that boasts four lamb chops, eight garlic shrimp, Greek salad, Greek fries, hummus, pita bread, baklava and two sodas.

“Nobody else makes platters like that,” says Provenza. “Even when you go to the Mainland, Greek restaurants are very simple — nothing like this.”

The Papa Special ($19.95) is another example of how Fat Greek earned the honor of “Best Greek Food” in the 2011 Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii’s Best People’s Choice Awards. The dish features a New Zealand rack of lamb marinated in a special house sauce, rosemary and garlic, and comes with Greek salad and zesty potato wedges. The Souvlaki ($11.75) is another Fat Greek favorite that features a choice of chicken, fish or lamb marinated with lemon, olive oil, garlic pepper and Greek oregano and comes served with pita bread, tzatziki sauce and a side salad.

Fat Greek’s Waikiki establishment also offers a full wine list, and allows diners to bring their favorite vino for a minimal corkage fee. Stephanos says that he hopes the perks will help “add more to our loyal regulars. The table service allows us to do all this. We’re one of the highest-rated restaurants on (food critic Website) Yelp, so we really have to put out a good product.”

Windward residents will soon be getting a taste of what Fat Greek has to offer as Provenza states that Fat Greek is coming to Kailua’s Enchanted Lake Shopping Center “soon, by year’s end.”

In the meantime, check out the Waikiki eatery for excellent Greek cuisine and no fuss. Talk about the perfect staycation.

The Fat Greek

  • Where
    • Kaimuki
    • 3040 Waialae Avenue #A3
    • Honolulu, HI 96816
    •  
    • Waikiki
    • 1831 Ala Moana Boulevard, Suite 201
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 734-0404 (Kaimuki)
    • (808) 941-3444 (Waikiki)
  • Hours
    • Open daily
    • 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.