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Authentic Italian food is in the heart of Waikiki, and it has people driving in from all parts of the island.
Dining Out caught up with Max Sword, Sharon Har and her husband Vincent Todd on a beautiful afternoon for lunch.
Each ordered their own dish but had the Insalata Farfalla ($14), which comes with papaya, avocado, marinated mushrooms, tomatoes, cured onions and a black truffle vinaigrette, to share.
The three have found a go-to place for great Italian food at Il Lupino and were ecstatic to share their thoughts on favorite dishes and experiences at the establishment.
Max Sword: What I ordered was the Funghi e Spinaci Pizze ($13). Why I like it? I like the crust and the quality of the food. Everything else on the menu is excellent. It reminds me of Trattoria, a classic Italian restaurant. The food here reminds me of that, good quality and real Italian food. That’s why I like this restaurant, and there’s not that many good Italian restaurants. The food is excellent, but the pizza is my favorite for lunch.
Sharon Har: (Ordered the Tagliatelle ai Tartufi for $15.) I’m from Kapolei, and the reason I love the food here is because it is difficult to find authentic Italian food here in Hawaii. Having lived in New York City, having lived in Washington D.C., Boston, cities with really authentic Italian food, the quality of the ingredients that they use here is par none, along with the atmosphere. And as locals, we genrally don’t come to Waikiki, but the food here is absolutely worth the drive from the Leeward side.
Vincent Todd: I ended up ordering the Prosciutto, Mozzarella & Tomatoes Panini ($12), and for me like everyone else here, we discovered Il Lupino and it’s all about the quality of ingredients. When it comes to food, my philosophy is “less is more,” and in order to do more with less you need quality ingredients. You need to have the freshest, tastiest vegetables. And I think the panini that I ordred represents that. It’s the perfectly engineered sandwich, where each and every ingredient does something for the sandwich and there’s nothing more beyond that because that’s really all it needs.
Royal Hawaiian Center
2233 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu
Sunday to Thursday, 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m.