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Jason Gudeman, corporate general manager at GRYLT, describes the story behind the local eatery as a “whirlwind romance.” Husband-and-wife team and owners Allen and Mayu Farinas met while surfing in Waikiki, fell in love and married just a few months later, before starting their business together.
“They’ve been together for more than 10 years now, and they work together — that’s a lot of hard work,” says Gudeman. “They opened GRYLT because they wanted healthy alternatives and fast, restaurant-quality food.”
With three locations on Oahu — the first opened in Ala Moana Center’s Makai Market Food Court, followed by one at Kahala Mall and another in Kailua — GRYLT is known for its fresh, local ingredients and speedy service.
According to Gudeman, Allen initially came up with the name GRYLT, which has evolved to mean “Great Recipes You’ll Love to Try,” a statement that surely holds true for the establishment.
Take GRYLT’s Signature Salad ($10.50), for instance. This bed of greenery features local baby romaine lettuce from Waipoli Farm on the Big Island, local sauteed zucchini, squash, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. It’s all mixed with house-made honey-mustard dressing. “This is an award-winning salad,” says Gudeman. “We brought it back to our menu about a month ago and a lot of people are loving it.”
Other beloved entree at GRYLT is Pacific Line-caught Ahi ($14.50), which is very popular because it’s locally sourced and the fish is caught with a fishing line, versus a big net. Gudeman describes that as a more humane fishing method and says people can taste the difference right away.
There’s also Surf n Turf ($17.50), which comes with garlic shrimp and flat Angus tri-tip steak that’s been aged for 60 days and tenderized five times for maximum melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Patrons have a choice of starch, vegetables or salad to go with their meals. Some go-to sides are Vegan Cauliflower Mash, Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes and Summer Baby Kale Salad.
Ala Moana Shopping Center
Makai Food Court,
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Ste. 1160 B, Honolulu
(And two other locations)
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.