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Like many other type-A tykes, I learned to read at a very early age, and have since been eager to discover everything I can about language. Especially being raised in the Carolinas, grammar in particular took precedence in all respectable Southern circles of propriety.
From cotillion classes — where we learned proper etiquette and speech — to the Schoolhouse Rock! videos (go ahead and Youtube it, I will wait), my parents were indeed determined I was gonna “talk real good” or bust. I can still hear the catchy theme song of one of my most-often viewed train-themed Rock! tutorials, “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?” it asked in singsong cadence.
So what’s all this singing about? How important the word “and” is, of course! And at Ahi & Vegetable, restaurant owner Sam Seo gets what the buzz is all about. Already widely known for its incredibly fresh fish, the vegetarians can also take comfort in conjunctions. Yep, Seo’s two eateries (one located in Kalihi and the other found downtown) are equally equipped to whip up their famous fresh fish offerings and a few dynamite veggie bites.
Seo willingly admits that, “The main concept here is fish (tuna), and I want people in Hawaii to be able to enjoy fresh, top-quality ahi at an affordable price.” Yet Seo has not forgotten his fish-free clientele, explaining that “our target customer really is anyone looking for health food, and we do have menu items made just for vegetarians.”
So, after such honesty and reassurance, you can confidently hop on the veggie train headed straight for Ahi & Vegetable, and chew-chew on these savory bites.
Vying for our affections first is Vegetable Roll Sushi ($7), a compilation of fresh veggies and sushi rice bundled up in a nori wrap that’ll knock your socks off. Also try Tofu Salad ($7) comprised of crisp local greens, carrot and cabbage strips with cubed, raw tofu perched atop, then blanketed by oriental-style sesame house dressing.
Although I’ve heard it said that love is the universal language, I’d have to argue that at Ahi & Vegetable, delicious food is the dialect of choice. Take it from one who “talks real good” — this eatery is eloquently fluent in health-conscious cuisine.
Ahi & Vegetable
1210 Dillingham Blvd.
Open daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
1126 Fort Street Mall
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.