A stick-to-your-ribs story
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Yogurstory’s hip ambiance and menu influenced by Asian, local and comfort foods hits all the right notes for lunch. The spacious light-filled dining room, complete with decorative trees, provides a welcome retreat from the office. Just wait until you get a taste of the food.
The bibimbap-like Hurricane Rice Bowl ($15) pays tribute to Yogurstory’s Korean roots, as well as the surrounding Korean establishments on Keeaumoku Street. The picturesque bowl offers a playground of textures and flavors: spicy kimchee and bacon fried rice topped with a medley of blanched and fresh vegetables (such as radish sprouts, thin sliced shiitake mushrooms and sesame oil-seasoned spinach), Korean pickles, chucks of tender kabayaki prime rib and soft-poached egg with a yolk begging to be let out. The red chile-based condiment koo chu jang (also spelled gochujang) served on the side delivers sweet heat with umami under-tones. “This dish is very authentic,” says owner Sean Saiki who sources many ingredients from the Korean Keeaumoku Supermarket behind the restaurant.
Another dish Saiki says features a little of everything you’d like is Turkey Pesto Panini ($12), served with either seasoned potato wedges or mixed-green salad. In this sandwich, toasted ciabatta is stacked high with deli-sliced turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato and spinach. A smear of macadamia nut pesto adds extra flavor.
Want even more pesto? The same house-made basil paste goes into the creamy alfredo sauce in Rotisserie Chicken N Asparagus ($15) pasta, a special that earned itself a permanent place on the menu under the “pastabilities” section. The saucy mess of noodles is topped with cubes of oven-roasted chicken and asparagus cut thin on a bias, and sprinkled with shredded parmesan cheese. Two slices of garlic bread complete the plate.
Plenty of parking and quick, friendly service are added bonuses for this lunch haven. And don’t overlook the array of hot and cold drinks to choose from. Bottomless coffee, fruity iced tea, espresso and lattes, including the taro-flavored steamed milk latte ($4.85), will give you a much-needed midday perk up.
815 Keeaumoku St.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily (Dinner hours coming in late May, 5-10 p.m. daily)