East Meets West
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Since opening in 1999, JJ Bistro & French Pastry in Kaimuki has become a neighborhood favorite for its unique menu of French and Laotian flavors.
The restaurant also is known for its exquisite signature desserts, including the famous Chocolate Pyramid.
Chef and owner JJ Luangkhot, who is originally from Laos, moved to Hawaii in 1995 and credits the late chef Jean-Marc Burillier for helping him to become the chef he is today.
He even named a second restaurant in honor of his mentor, Jean-Marc Honolulu. He hopes to open that eatery by the end of this year. Located at 808 Sheridan St. (near Walmart on Keeaumoku Street), Jean-Marc Honolulu will feature more French cuisine.
As for JJ Bistro & French Pastry, Luangkhot says he’s always coming up with new menu items, including desserts — which has grown to more than 45 different options. The most recent addition is Clafouti, a French dessert made with mixed berries and mascarpone cheese.
FALL HARD FOR SOFT SHELL CRAB
Chef JJ says he’s always experimenting in the kitchen and recently created Soft Shell Crab Spaghetti for his employees. Well, it was a hit, so last week the eatery started offering it as a seasonal menu item to customers. The dish features panko-crusted, deep-fried soft shell crab, spaghetti pasta and a slightly spicy sauce with jalapeno, garlic, chili sauce and Thai basil.
Also popular and introduced earlier this year, is Crab Cake ($12.95), consisting of panko-crusted blue crab meat with a chili aioli sauce, topped with clover sprouts, and served with mesclun mix accompanied by a sweet plum vinaigrette dressing.
JJ BiStro & French Pastry
3447 Waialae Ave., Kaimuki
Monday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.