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Chimichurri Adds Spice to Life

Columns Ono, You Know

October 19, 2014

Story By: Alana Folen |

In my past life, I truly believe I was a Latina. Why? Besides the fact that everywhere I go I’m often mistaken for being a Latina — Mexican, Colombian, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Argentinian — I’m also in love with the Hispanic culture, the people, the dialects and, of course, the food! Hispanic food is generally spicy, savory and hot! In the realm of food, it’s “the chimichurri on the steak.” Confused?

Did you happen to do a double-take? Well, yes, it’s all about the chimichurri and meat (ahem, “icing on the cake” is a phrase that’s so overused).

Not only is chimichurri fun to say, but it’s packed with Argentinian flair. Chimichurri, a mildly spicy, vinegar-laced pesto, is the condiment of choice, pairing beautifully with my protein of choice — meat! In a perfect world, I’d treat myself to a succulent medium-rare ribeye daily, and drown myself in tangy chimichurri goodness.

This week, I stopped by two of my favorite OYK restaurants, Kit n Kitchen and Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop, as I know both establishments are well-versed in authentic chimichurri.

Don’t cry for steak, Argentina — these hot spots sizzle! Here’s where the beef is. Are you feelin’ the chimichurri vibe?

Kit n Kitchen

There’s no need to travel the globe in search of the quintessential chimichurri sauce, when all you have to do is pay a visit to Kit n Kitchen on University Avenue or in Pearl City. The restaurant’s invigorating Eurasian cuisine embodies my love for food — especially Grilled Ribeye Steak with Chimichurri Sauce ($20.95), a 10-ounce, tender piece of ribeye cooked to your liking. Basically, I love anything on the menu that’s served with chimichurri.

The sauce holds true to its South American roots yet yields to a twist of Asian flavors, as it includes American parsley, onion, garlic, chili pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

“We’ve served our homemade chimichurri sauce for more than five years. Some of our customers have said that our chimichurri sauce tastes better than some they’ve had in Argentina,” says owner Kit Yiu.

Yiu encourages patrons to begin their meal with Grilled Beef Chimichurri, 4 ounces of boneless short rib, thinly sliced and coated in chimichurri sauce. You won’t want to miss this irresistible deal: With the purchase of two entrees, you can have this appetizer for only 99 cents.

Here at Kit n Kitchen, the signature chimichurri sauce represents the blending of worldly flavors — and that’s what Kit n Kitchen is all about.

Kit n Kitchen
1010 University Ave. (with additional Pearl City location)
942-7622

Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop

Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop sends my taste buds soaring. Every time I set foot into this charmingly rustic eatery on Smith Street in the heart of Chinatown, owner and executive chef Brian Chan is the perfect host. Not only does he greet every customer with a smile, but each dish that he makes by hand encapsulates his passion for the culinary arts.

And this Southern-inspired brunch bistro offers a killer Calentado, which has chimichurri written all over it. Priced at $14, Calentado is a Colombian breakfast, which Chan compares to a Colombian loco moco. This dish is everything you want it to be and more.

Scratch Kitchen's Calentado ($14) NATHALIE WALKER PHOTO

Scratch Kitchen’s Calentado ($14) NATHALIE WALKER PHOTO

Sofrito rice with notes of cilantro, bell pepper, garlic, tomato and onion is the base of the dish. House-rubbed beef short rib lies atop the rice, complemented by a 142-degree egg (the running yolk is a beauty), jalapeno tempura, pico de gallo and a strikingly delicious chimichurri zest.

The Argentinian condiment incorporates Italian parsley, cilantro, garlic, capers, chili flakes, and drizzles of vinegar and olive oil.

“Chimichurri’s acidic nature helps to heighten the flavor of the dish,” explains Chan. “What sets my chimichurri apart is the smoked paprika and anchovy that I add to it.”

Calentado is worth waking up for, obviously. And who needs a jolt of caffeine when you can have a burst of chimichurri to jump-start your day?

Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop
1030 Smith St.
536-1669