Them Dining Ups the Ante With Local Favorites
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By now you may know that Them Dining is an establishment tucked away in Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel that serves highly regarded cuisine to those who have managed to seek out its nearly hidden location. What you probably don’t know is that the father and son duo of Kazuo and Yushi Shimada are doing such good work in a space most would find small.
Them Dining (a rough translation of Zem Dining, which means Dream Here) features a mixture of French and Japanese cooking techniques, with a splash of local influence as well. You’re not likely to find a hamburger steak in either Tokyo or Paris, which is too bad, because here at Them Dining, this local lunch favorite is much more than cheap meat and brown gravy.
The tender steak is fried, then baked to maintain its natural juices. Covered with mushrooms and a red wine demi-glace, the Hamburger Steak Set ($14.50) is smoky with a slight onion finish. The demi-glace is deep in color and rich in flavor making it a perfect complement to the tangy mixed green salad with shoestring beets that accompany each dish. The order comes with rice and a spaghetti salad that is similar to the typical mac salad we are used to, only better.
For fans of the other white meat, the Pork Saute with Japanese Sauce ($14.50) is a recommended option. The pork is thin, moist and pan-fried to a golden brown, but it is the sauce that really makes the dish unique. Made of shoyu, green onion, shallots, apple and myoga (a Japanese ginger), the top-ping is very bright and fresh, yet light enough not to overpower the accompanying protein. The sauce is strong enough to add a distinct flavor that really shows off the mix of cooking cultures Them employs.
Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel
2375 Ala Wai Blvd., Honolulu
Open for dinner 6-10 p.m.
Last dinner seating at 9 p.m. (Call restaurant for more information.)