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Ono, You Know

Miso Madness!

By Alana Folen Photos By Nathalie Walker
March 2, 2014

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Me so crazy about miso! Yup, Ono readers, miso is my latest and greatest obsession. Let me count the ways in which I adore this Japanese culinary staple. First of all, a bowl of steamy, hot miso soup with chunks of tofu and green onion garnish has my name written all over it, while the mere thought of miso ramen makes my mouth water. Of course, I’m also chomping at the bit for anything and everything complemented by a miso marinade. Did you say miso butterfish? Sign me up for miso anonymous, will you? And, by the way, being a self-proclaimed miso addict is nothing to be ashamed of. Be proud!

Miso is made by fermenting a selection of soy beans, rice, barley and wheat together to create a thick, textured paste.

So, miso lovers, let’s get to the following Ono, You Know establishments this week to indulge in surf-and-turf creations played up with miso. The smooth, slightly sweet and salty taste of miso is quite invigorating to the taste buds. Now, this, my friends, is miso madness at an all-time high!

Plumeria Beach House

While Waikiki is a thriving metropolis full of visitors from across the world, some prefer a quieter, more tranquil setting to relax in. Enter The Kahala Hotel & Resort, a luxury hotel renowned for its exquisite atmosphere, top-notch customer service and award-winning cuisine.

Plumeria Beach House, an open-air restaurant situated in the resort, provides its guests with breakfast, lunch and dinner service in a casual, yet elegant setting. Locals and visitors alike save their appetites for a variety of buffets, as well as the restaurant’s diverse a la carte menu.

Plumeria Beach House is a popular choice among the dinner crowd, as guests are seated on both indoor and outdoor terraces overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A favorite on the dinner menu is Peanut Miso Glazed Butterfish. Priced at $30, this entree boasts a savory slab of butterfish, which executive sous chef Daniel Uyejo coats with a mouthwatering teriyaki kalbi sauce infused with peanut butter and white miso.

“The miso brings a savory element to the dish and presents an Asian flair,” Uyejo says. “Peanut Miso Glazed Butterfish is a good percentage of our dinner sales. Patrons should know that if they care for this dish at any other time of the day, it is always available upon request.”

Wok-fried carrots, bok choy, asparagus and Hamakua Alii mushrooms add a pop of color to the entree, and Uyejo notes that the majority of produce is locally sourced. Lastly, your choice of white or brown steamed Matsuri rice rounds out this flavorful masterpiece.

The fish is so tender, it literally melts in your mouth and overwhelms with flavor. Uyejo is at the top of his game. Plumeria Beach House ranks among the A-list restaurants in my book, so if you haven’t yet dined here, it’s definitely worth a try.

Plumeria Beach House
Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Ave.

739-8760

Japengo

Justify your miso obsession at Japengo within Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, where chef de cuisine Jon Matsubara showcases the best of the Pacific Rim by playing up “California freshness” paired with exotic, international tastes.

Japengo's Miso Salmon ($35) Photo courtesy of Japengo

Japengo’s Miso Salmon ($35) Photo courtesy of Japengo

The concept of Japengo’s Miso Salmon ($35), or what chef likes to call miso lacquered salmon, is a beautiful one. The salmon sits atop a bed of rice and fresh spinach, as the restaurant puts a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Miso lacquered salmon includes mirin, butter and sake-braised spinach,” says Matsubara, who has more than a decade of experience under his chef’s hat. “The miso adds body to the sweet and salty lacquer. It pairs naturally with the fattiness of the salmon.”

Fresh ingredients paired with Matsubara’s outstanding talent equates to stellar dining in the heart of Waikiki.

Japengo
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa
2424 Kalakaua Ave.
923-1234

Good to Grill

Tell me, what self-respecting carnivore doesn’t start to salivate at the thought and aroma of perfectly charred meats and a fresh catch? It’s almost impossible not to — especially if you find your way to Good to Grill, which specializes in kiawe wood-fired cuisine. Also known for its fine-dining fare at affordable prices, the restaurant is popular among its patrons, thanks to its open kitchen and multitude of surf-and-turf selections.

And the chefs grill up impressive renditions of Misoyaki Chicken ($8.99) and Misoyaki Salmon ($11.99). Precise grill marks are a stamp of perfection on both chicken and salmon entrees, each coated with an ono misoyaki glaze. Undertones of garlic, mirin and green onion intermix with the white misoyaki paste and sugar, which make up the delectable sauce. Diners may also select from two sides, including white or brown rice, garlic mashed potatoes, waffle fries, local North Shore green salad with papaya seed dressing or a medley of sauteed vegetables.

Keep in mind, Misoyaki Salmon is featured as a Good to Grill special, while Misoyaki Chicken is a staple on the menu.

Good to Grill
888 Kapahulu Ave
734-7345