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Why Not Lighten Up with Fresh Ahi Salad?

Columns Ono, You Know

August 20, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

After last week’s amazing high of birthday cake indulgence, I’ll admit that I’ve been slowly falling back to earth from that overdose of carbs and sugar. That’s why I’m in desperate need of a cleanse — meaning, I need to partake in meals that are abundant in fresh vegetables and fish with lots of nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids.

With that in mind, I decided to treat my body right this week with all the ahi salad my heart (and stomach) desired, and it was quite a welcome change, to be honest. I wound up venturing into some of our island’s finest establishments known for incredible ahi salads — and, without a doubt, they all were “Ono, You Know” worthy, of course!

So after feasting on salad all week, I’m happy to report that I’m feeling a bit lighter on my feet. And now that the sugar rush has subsided and I’m refreshed, I’ve decided to hike up Koko Head. I’m pretty sure I’ll regret this later, but maybe all of can meet me at the top? After all, I may need some help getting back down!

Atlantis Seafood & Steak

  • The editor agrees with Atlantis Seafood & Steak's customers: The Ahi Salad Nicoise ($16.95) is onolicious!
  • Atlantis' Ahi Salad Nicoise ($16.95) features pan-seared fresh ahi on Nalo greens, with asparagus, black olives and Okinawan potatoes.
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Atlantis Seafood & Steak is the place to be these days as the eatery serves up everything from savory island-caught fish and whole Maine lobster to the most tender steak and prime rib.

And while you would expect most of the alluring creations at Atlantis Seafood & Steak to be rich and hearty, there actually are a few options specially made for lighter appetites. Enter the Ahi Salad Nicoise ($16.95). As one of the premier salads on the menu, locals and tourists can’t seem to get enough it. And truth be told, neither can I.

The Ahi Salad Nicoise features pan-seared fresh ahi tuna on Nalo greens, accompanied by asparagus, black olives and Okinawan potatoes topped with your choice of dressing, be it ranch, blue cheese, balsamic vinegar or house Oriental. This refreshing salad also makes a great starter course before indulging in your main entree.

Kamaaina also receive a 10 percent discount with a valid Hawaii ID.

Atlantis Seafood & Steak
2284 Kalakaua Ave. Suite 201
(808) 922-6868
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Pagoda Restaurant

  • Ahi Katsu Salad ($12) at Pagoda Restaurant
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Sticking with my health kick this week, I stopped in at Pagoda Restaurant on Rycroft Street, where I was immediately greeted by the calm and serene setting of a Japanese garden, koi pond and waterfall. Things were off to a good start far before any culinary treats hit my palate.

Now, many are familiar with Pagoda, an establishment that serves as a place of nostalgia for many locals. And while the ambiance here has remained the same throughout the years, guests also have been delighting in new menu options and a plethora of ingredients brought about by Pagoda head chef Jason Takemura. Takemura features a variety of tantalizing dishes daily, highlighting the best of Asian, Hawaiian and Western fare. My absolute favorite health conscious dish, however, has to be Pagoda’s famous Ahi Katsu Salad with Sesame Wasabi Dressing ($12).

“This is our most popular salad,” Takemura states. “Our fresh ahi katsu is served rare with Nalo greens, cucumbers, local tomatoes, avocado and crispy Hasu chips and drizzled with our house made sesame wasabi dressing.

“When it comes to this dish, customers can always expect freshness — satisfying your appetite without leaving you feeling stuffed,” he adds.

I couldn’t agree more. The Ahi Katsu Salad with Sesame Wasabi Dressing is out of this world. Served only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, make a date with this salad for your next lunch outing.

Pagoda Restaurant
1525 Rycroft St.
(808) 948-8356
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Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill

  • Seared Sashimi Grade Ahi Salad with oriental dressing ($17.95) at Uncle's Fish Market & Grill
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Located at the Waterfront at Pier 38, this award-winning establishment offers the best spread of all for any seafood fanatic, especially when it comes to its Seared Sashimi Grade Ahi Salad ($17.95). When I’m in need of something substantial but not overly filling, this is always my preferred choice.

“Our Seared Sashimi Grade Ahi Salad is very popular among our customers,” says manager Sean Simpson. “We get our fish from the Honolulu fish auction six days a week, so our ahi is always fresh.”

Executive chef Geoffrey Arakawa serves the freshly seared ahi on a bed of mixed greens topped with a flavorful Oriental dressing.

The ahi itself is pure perfection and is exquisite when paired with a bounty of fresh greens. What I love most about this creation is that it’s absolutely guilt-free, leaving me to marvel in and enjoy each and every bite.

And while you’re at it, be sure to sample sushi chef Ernie Gray’s decadent Tei Maki and Special Rolls, such as Hamachi Jalapeno, Poke on the Pier and Spicy Tuna, to name a few.

The freshest and highest quality seafood takes the spotlight here at Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill.

Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill
Waterfront at Pier 38
1135 N. Nimitz Hwy.
(808) 275-0063
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