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Remember middle school? That emotion-riddled era of tween-age angst? Where every day just around noon the playground morphed into the adolescent equivalent of a full-on war of words, WWF Smackdown style? Yeah. Me too. One of my favorite “cut-downs” from those recess days was the infamous, “Girrrrrrl, why you gotta be all up in my grill?!” Loosely translated as “mind your own business,” this grill was definitely an uncool locale. But here in Honolulu, I am making besties with a new grill — and it’s suddenly the most popular place to be.
Since its opening in 2011, GRYLT has fast become a local favorite for “good food that’s good for you.” Owned by husband-and-wife team Allen and Mayu Farinas, and boasting a menu full of farm-fresh ingredients plus homemade (and yes, grilled) recipes, GRYLT goes head-to-head against the widespread web of greasy, high-calorie fast-food chains that glut the market today — and wins.
Also, bringing new meaning to the saying “Tread lightly,” GRYLT walks the talk when it comes to the company’s carbon footprint. Making every effort to reduce waste, this earth-friendly eatery exemplifies impressive frugality and forward thinking by using recycled and compostable products. And with all entrees consisting of fresh produce bought locally, I’m anticipating some good eats.
Not to disappoint, GRYLT dishes out three heaping helpings of deliciousness:
• Grilled Tofu Plate ($9.95). A generous portion of island-made tofu is perfectly seasoned with sea salt, cracked pepper and sun-dried tomato olive oil, then served alongside customers’ choice of white or brown rice. Substitutions of smashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower (shown in photo) can also be had for an additional $1. Also included is choice of garden grilled veggie (baby Romaine, baby spinach or ‘Nalo greens). Top with any of GRYLT’s homemade sauces (Asian fusion, citrus herb oil, roasted garlic chili or sundried tomato olive oil) and you have a complete, healthy meal in minutes.
• GRYLT Signature Salad ($8.95). A refreshingly light yet filling mix of Romaine, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, tomato, onions, and house-made honey mustard dressing sprinkled with shredded Parmesan cheese. “What makes this dish stand out is the Romaine — we throw it on a grill first, infusing it with that smoky flavor that really sets it apart,” explains Farinas.
• Veggie Wrap ($8.25). Starting with a locally made Sinaloa spinach wrap, GRYLT takes the wrap and grills it with a little olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper, then fills it with the freshest spring mix, zucchini, squash, purple onions, tomatoes and mushrooms. “This item is the ultimate in health options,” says Farinas. “It’s low-calorie, completely clean and lean with nothing added, and totally satisfying.”
Ah yes, it’s been a bit since those painful playground days, and I’ve often wanted to go back in time and rapid-fire a clever comeback at those big bullies and mean girls. But, alas, my time travel will have to wait — I’m too busy minding this business.
4211 Waialae Ave.
(with additional locations at Ala Moana Center and Manoa Marketplace)
Daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.