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Inside Feature

Red House Brings Fun to Fusion Cuisine

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Tony Grillo
November 18, 2012

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From the bright red-and-white decor and outlandish wall decorations to the K-Pop music videos playing continuously on one of the walls, Red House in Honolulu makes an eye-catching first impression as the eatery continues its mission to bring a “new generation of Korean food” to the Islands.

Owner Justin Chun conceived the fusion restaurant ,located conveniently on Keeaumoku Street, that integrates an exciting, upbeat atmosphere featuring sparkling red booths and special bucket-style chairs from Korea with the dining experience, which features menu items with noticeable Korean influences paired with complementary cooking and preparation styles from all over the globe.

“In Korea, there are a lot of restaurants with this type of atmosphere,” explains Chun. “Here in Hawaii, there aren’t any Korean fusion restaurants—they are all traditional. So, I wanted to start a fusion restaurant, and only a few of the dishes on the menu are traditional.”

Red House recently added a new menu to supplement its current selection of favorites. Customers are invited to try the Black Pasta and Red Pasta ($12.99 each), which feature pasta with a creamy black bean sauce and stir-fried meat, and a special Red House spicy pasta with a creamy Korean Chili paste sauce, respectively.

“If you look at our Black Pasta, it includes black bean, which is really popular in Korea and has been for a long time,” Chun says.

“What we did was make a pasta out of it, so it’s creamier. It’s not necessarily blending specific cultures or influences, but more so mixing in different aspects.”

For example, Red House offers a pizza that is composed of crushed rice topped with cheese and bulgogi beef — the ultimate fusion of the Korean marinated beef with a traditional Italian favorite. The bulgogi beef also can be found in wraps that incorporate the tasty meat in a fun finger food.

Also appearing on the new menu is a unique take on traditional side dishes offered at Korean restaurants. Instead of serving the sides in bowls, Red House offers K-Maki ($9.99 for three selections, $19.99 for all seven) that include Mayo Tuna, Spam, Bulgogi, Bibimbob, Garlic Bacon, Kimchi Tuna and Spicy Avocado wrapped in bitesized, pupu-style sushi rolls. The KMaki also are available as part of some new lunch combo specials offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which incorporate various noodle, chicken and beef, and side order selections as well.

Customers also rave about Red House’s Special Galbi ($14.99 for half order, $23.99 for full order), which includes marinated short ribs with roasted garlic and pumpkin served on a piping hot stone. Another favorite is Chef’s Special Boneless Moa ($14.99 for half order, $23.99 for full order), Red House’s take on fried chicken. The juicy, tender boneless meat is fried to provide a crispy crunch, and served with a house soy sauce.

“I wanted to create a clean atmosphere where people can enjoy Korean fusion food,” says Chun. “Usually people have a stereotype of Korean restaurants of them being dark and dirty, and everything’s always busy. We wanted to offer a more relaxed, welcoming environment.”

Starting tomorrow, Red House will stay open for an additional hour until 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. Chun notes that the eatery features a special late-night menu full of food and drink specials available from 8:30 to 11 p.m. on the aforementioned days. The restaurant is open until midnight Friday and Saturday, and on those nights from 9 p.m. to midnight, the special menu also is available to help diners end the evening on the right note.

Red House

835 Keeaumoku St. #1-101B, Honolulu
944.0088
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight