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Pupu Picks
Pupu Picks

Starters to Write Home About

By Steve Murray
March 10, 2013

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A look around the third-floor terrace at Hyatt Regency Waikiki and it becomes clear what the $13 million renovation has done. The open-air hotel, already visually appealing, is fresh and more modern. So are the restaurants that inhabit the area.

“The whole concept of Shor is an American seafood restaurant using locally-produced and organically-grown items,” says Kyle Higa, chef de tournant. He’s exactly right.

Shor opened last April, and the American seafood restaurant has been a hit ever since. Why is no mystery. The food is outstanding and the view of Waikiki Beach is the stuff postcards are made of.

If there is a star on the appetizer menu it may be Seafood Tower ($60). On average, 25-35 orders a night go from kitchen to table destined as a group starter or a complete meal for two, maybe three. Piled high with lobster, oysters, mussels, shrimp, king crab, poke, seafood salad, crab salad and Big Island abalone that is baked with ina-mona (a flavoring made from kukui nut and Hawaiian salt) garlic butter and served on a bed of Hawaiian Sea Salt. It’s a tasty way to begin, or finish, your meal. Something else of note: Shor features a rotation of three types of oysters that includes Kumamoto, Miyagi, Fanny Bay and Penn Cove oyster. Most eateries stick with one.

Who doesn’t like Baby Back Ribs ($14)? Tender pork is braised for three to four hours, cut, topped with a guava hoisin glaze and grilled until the outside caramelizes with the tangy sugars of the glaze. The result is a smoky, sticky, delicious rib that makes a perfect compliment to the next suggestion, Warm Watermelon and Tomato Salad ($12).

Made of caramelized locally-grown watermelon, yellow tomatoes seasoned with guava garlic salt, ‘Nalo Farms micro-greens, a syrup made from a balsamic vinegar reduction, and pistachio, the salad is wonderfully clean and refreshing, and serves as an excellent palate cleanser when dining on the ribs or other bold-flavored dishes. It’s also an excellent option as part of a light meal or snack in the midst of a busy and warm Hawaii day.

Another light choice, one of many, is Caesar Salad ($11). The talented Shor staff combines Waipoli hydroponic baby Ro-maine lettuce, house-made garlic croutons, shaved Parmesan and a classic Caesar dressing. The result is superb. The lettuce is soft, the croutons are fresh, the cheese has a firm flavor profile without being overpowering and the dressing ties it all together. Check it out and bring the kids. Shor has them covered as well.

The hotel features its “Hyatt for kids, by kids” menu created by an 11 year-old chef and features nothing fried, no desserts just fun, flavorful and fresh food that has kids clamoring for salad. Go figure.

Shor American Seafood Grill

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa
2424 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu
237-6145
Open daily for breakfast, 6:30-11 a.m. dinner, 6-10 p.m.