All the world’s at Stage
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Who would have ever thought that fashion and food could come together so well? Take traditional classics and incorporate some stylish cues adopted from contemporary Asian American cuisine, and you have the makings of one incredible, edible outfitting of flavor. In fact, at Stage Restaurant, located in Honolulu Design Center, I’d say it’s a perfect fit.
Known for its cosmopolitan chic decor and deliciously eclectic and inspired menu, this upscale eatery clothes itself in only the most stylish splashes of color, accessorizes with bold artwork bling, and really says a lot with its statement lighting. And we haven’t even begun talking about the food yet.
Backstage is really where the magic happens here, as the culinary cast of the kitchen upstages the rest, creating Oscar-worthy eats, all of which deserve a standing ovation. And yes, the vegetarian scene-stealers more than hold their own in this palate-pleasing performance.
You can rest assured there are no character actors banished to the background here, as each dish is unique and demands (and gets) diners’ full attentions.
Inspired by local island favorites, yet infused with innovative and modern flavors using cutting-edge culinary techniques, the menu at this restaurant woos and extracts a double thumb’s up from even the harshest critic. Join us as we raise the curtain on this week’s scrumptious selections taking this Stage by storm:
Vegetable Sandwich ($15, available for lunch only) awes patrons with its generously sized serving of Sourdough Bread piled high with Hamakua Springs tomato, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, Hirabara baby lettuce, spicy mayonnaise and smoked goat cheese. Served alongside patron’s choice of fries or petite salad, this sandwich is sure to satisfy.
Stage’s executive chef Ron De Guzman’s favorite, he describes the dish as having “a good, healthy taste that is also satisfying even for a meat eater.”
Colorful and beautifully built, Vegetable Stacked Lasagna ($18, available for dinner only) presents wholesome layers of melted, gooey goodness consisting of grilled Ho Farms eggplant, asparagus, Hamakua Springs tomato, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, butternut puree, balsamic reduction and arugula salad.
“For Vegetarian dishes, we try not to do too much to the ingredients — especially with the wonderful local products being produced,” explains De Guzman. “We let the ingredients speak for themselves.” And not only do these fresh ingredients speak, they sing.
When asked what his favorite thing about the restaurant industry is, De Guzman shares that, “The creativity allowed and the challenge of a busy service, especially around the holidays (Valentines Day, Christmas, New Years Eve)” really keeps things exciting and never boring. The talented chef also admits that “the chance to groom upcoming chefs” is also a rich and rewarding privilege, and part of his role here at Stage.
Incredibly grateful that this (and every) week’s Stage performance requires interactive audience participation, we have no doubt that any patron lucky enough to score a seat here will leave not only with stars in their eyes, but good food in their bellies to boot.
Honolulu Design Center
1250 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu
Lunch: Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday, 5:30-8:30 p.m.