An Oasis for Oxtail
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By Rachel Breit
Find peace and comfort while looking out over the placid koi ponds and waterfall, and tucking in to a steaming benedict, soup or juicy burger. At Pagoda Restaurant you can feed the fish, and you can feed yourself with fresh, local favorites homemade from scratch using no frozen ingredients.
For a hearty breakfast try Kalua Hash Benedict ($12). The kalua pork hash, which takes the place of the usual Canadian bacon in this riff of the classic benedict, makes this a signature breakfast item. The hash is made from kalua pork prepared in-house and placed between an English muffin and a poached egg. The benedict is covered in homemade hollandaise, and topped with fresh local tomato and onion lomi. The effect is a luscious layering of flavors and textures: spongy muffin, crispy-crusted hash, buttery egg and hollandaise, and the fresh tang of lomi. Choose rice, paniolo potatoes, hash browns or toast to accompany the dish. Hash purists should try Kalua Pig Hash ($9) served with two eggs cooked any style.
Star anise, peanuts and secret ingredients make Oxtail Soup ($12) a star on both the breakfast and lunch menus. Served with rice and grated ginger on the side, it is the broth that makes the dish sing. The oxtail is first boiled to cook off excess fat and then braised for six to eight hours in the secret recipe. The broth is rich and bursts with the savory flavor of the bone. Bok choy, won bok and whole peanuts add crunch and contrast to the tender tail meat. “People love the flavor of the broth. You can eat oxtail at a bunch of places, but I think from customer’s comments and just tasting it personally, it’s the most flavorful oxtail broth on the island,” says Tracy Yadao, Pagoda restaurant manager.
For those craving burgers, don’t let anything stand between you and Pagoda Classic Burger ($11). When it’s served to you, you’ll surely be concerned over whether or not you will be able to get your teeth around it. But don’t chew it over for too long — dig in. This local Big Island beef burger is crowned with cheese, bacon, avocado, crispy onions and chipotle aioli on a potato bun. “Crispy onions give it the texture, the bacon the saltiness, and the avocado the creaminess. Chipotle adds spice and a smoky kick,” says Yadao.
Free parking in the Rycoft Structure for breakfast and lunch, brunch and dinner buffet discounts for seniors, and a keiki menu make this an ideal spot to enjoy a meal with family.
1525 Rycroft St., Honolulu
Breakfast: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lunch: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Brunch Buffet: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner Buffet: Wednesday-Sunday, 5-9:30 p.m.