An Epic ExperienceFeatures Inside Feature
September 13, 2015
Story By: Kelli Shiroma | Photos by: NATHALIE WALKER
From the moment you step into the contemporary, upscale interior of Restaurant Epic, you’ll forget that you’re in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Chinatown. Once there, an unforgettable dining adventure is what owner and general manager David Chang guarantees his guests.
“I think we bring the best value, in terms of quality of food and service,” he says proudly of his restaurant, which opened about eight years ago.
Indeed, when it comes to epic plating, preparation and ingredients, the eatery leaves nothing to be desired. Restaurant Epic presents a fusion of cuisines and flavors, and many of its menu items have been around for years.
“We’ve had some of these dishes for a long time,” Chang acknowledges. “When an item becomes well accepted (by the customers), it becomes a staple on the menu.”
That’s not to say that Chang doesn’t keep things fresh at his restaurant. The Catch of the Day ($16 lunch, $20 dinner) is one of the most popular items and it’s an always-changing special.
“We have some flexibility with the daily specials to be more creative,” Chang says. “I try to take advantage of the market — when there’s something seasonal, I try to pass that on to the customer.”
“For the Catch of the Day, we usually use mahi, ahi, opah or salmon,” echoes Saim Park, one of the restaurant’s managers.
Other popular entrees include Braised Beef Short Rib ($15 lunch, $16 dinner), which Chang states has been one of the long-standing menu items. “It’s served with bacon garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables, which consist of bell peppers, onions and mushrooms,” Park explains.
Chang recommends Flame Broiled Angus Rib Eye Steak ($28), Cioppino ($23) and Miso Butter Fish ($23) for dinner, as well as Miso King Salmon ($18) for lunch.
“We use a king salmon, not a regular Atlantic salmon, so it’s very tender and moist,” he says, describing what makes Epic’s entree different from most.
While the eatery’s lunch and dinner menu items are phenomenal, Chang encourages his guests to save room for dessert. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re craving a specific Cheesecake ($7) flavor or the ever-famous Chocolate & Peanut Butter Molten Cake ($8).
“We put peanut butter inside (the cake) and bake it with two types of chocolate,” Chang says. “The peanut butter mixed with the chocolate is a natural match.”
Restaurant Epic’s lunch clientele comprises mostly businesspeople, while dinner yields families and couples — especially after an event at nearby Hawaii Theatre. While street parking is available, Chang notes that customers often park at Marks Garage or at the nearby public parking lot.
“We do a lot of walk-ins, but any time you have a big party, we recommend reservations,” he says. “We encourage new customers to give us a try, and regular customers are always welcomed back.”
1131 Nuuanu Ave., Chinatown
Lunch: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.,
Dinner: Monday-Thursday, 4:30-9 p.m., Friday, 4:30-10 p.m., Saturday, 5-11 p.m.; Closed Sundays