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Inside Feature

Tradition Lives On

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
December 23, 2012

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As New Violet’s Grill prepares to undergo some long-anticipated renovations, its friendly staff and management make it a point to ensure customers that their favorite meals are here to stay.

Joey Suehisa, who co-owns the Kalihi eatery in Kapalama Shopping Center with her sister Cindy, explains that the shopping center is currently going through a face lift aimed at improving both the parking lot and facades of the buildings. Along with additional changes to the interior of the eatery that are planned for 2013 to coincide with the shopping center remodeling project, Suehisa mentions that the restaurant’s menu also will be improved, including the addition of a kid’s menu as the establishment strives to become more family friendly.

While the eatery has remained a part of the Kalihi community for more than 60 years, the Suehisa family has owned the restaurant for nearly 16 years after taking over the operation and continuing the tradition started by its two previous owners.

“The food has more of a Japanese and Okinawan influence, and the restaurant offers a friendly atmosphere that really makes guests feel like family,” Suehisa says when asked to describe the restaurant’s appeal to generations of loyal customers. “We’re going to fix things up in here,” she adds, when discussing the upcoming renovation that will truly put the “New” in New Violet’s Grill.

“We’re still going to be open even with the renovations going on,” she says, about the shopping center changes that recently got under way. “And, we’re going to make some changes in here to help the restaurant be more family-oriented. Also, my sister Cindy is thinking about eliminating the (handheld) menus and simply putting the different options on each table for customers to look at.”

New Violet’s Grill helps its customers start the day off right with a host of popular breakfast options, including Two Egg Breakfast ($6.95, add $1.50 for fried rice), which includes a choice of two strips of bacon, corned beef, ham, pork sausage, smoked meat or Portuguese sausage served alongside two eggs. The Oriental Breakfast ($6.95) features a breakfast set including rice, tofu, miso soup, an egg, and a choice of grilled ahi, mahi or saba and tsukemono.

Diners also enjoy classic favorites such as Club House Sandwich ($6.95, $6.25 takeout), which includes a hearty portion of fries as well as a choice of tossed or macaroni salad. With the recent trend of windy, rainy weather, New Violet’s Large Saimin ($6.95, add $1.50 for vegetables; $4.95 takeout, add $1.10 for vegetables) is sure to warm up customers.

The Suehisas also recommend Okinawan Miso Soup ($9.95 a la carte, $13.95 complete meal, $10.75 take-out), which is chock-full of pork, tofu, green onions, mustard cabbage, bean sprouts and an egg. Goya with Chicken ($8.95 a la carte, $13.95 complete meal, $10.55 takeout) is another popular selection, as the stir-fried dish, which also includes tofu, dashi and egg, can be ordered with chicken, pork or beef. The complete meals at New Violet’s Grill are accompanied by rice, tsukemono, miso soup or tossed salad, a beverage and a choice of Jell-O, pudding or ice cream for dessert.

In addition to its expansive menu options, New Violet’s Grill also offers a wide array of specials, including Grilled Ahi Belly ($16.95), Ahi Belly Nitsuke ($16.95), Grilled or Steamed Opakapaka ($16.95), Garlic Ahi ($14.95), Grilled Ahi Steak ($13.95), Steamed Saba ($13.95), Korean Fried Chicken ($15.95) and Mochiko Chicken ($15.95).

Through Dec. 24, New Violet’s Grill is offering special discounts to coincide with the holiday season. Individuals receive 5 percent off all dine-in orders, while couples and groups of three or more receive 10 and 20 percent off their checks, respectively. These special discounts are available all day as a way for New Violet’s Grill to thank its loyal customers as the new year approaches.

New Violet’s Grill

Kapalama Shopping Center
1210 Dillingham Blvd. #8, Honolulu
841.8535
Open daily, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Bar open until 2 a.m.