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Seafood Paradise

Ono, You Know

July 15, 2018

Story By: Ellise Kakazu | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Dining Out editor Ellise Kakazu with Uncle’s Seafood Pasta ($25)

As the saying goes, “Lucky we live Hawaii.”

Indeed, we truly are pomaikai or blessed to be residents of the 50th State. From the Islands’ white sandy beaches to their glorious mountain ranges and beautiful mix of kamaaina, there really is no place like home. And among the list of reasons that make Hawaii so special is its seafood.

Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands are surrounded by an array of sea life such as opakapaka, ulua, onaga, mahimahi, and, of course, the beloved ahi. With a treasure trove of seafood readily available, fishermen can reel in onolicious eats on a daily basis, which are then used to create local favorites like shoyu and spicy ahi poke or sashimi.

If diving into some ocean treats sounds like a good idea right about now, check out some of the scrumptious seafood dishes I dug up this week for my Dining Out ohana.

Let’s jump right in!

JUST LIKE FAMILY

Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill suitably located at Pier 38 is a breath of fresh air. One step into the eatery’s doors and you will feel right at home.

Uncle’s Seafood Pasta

With Uncle’s easy-going atmosphere and its top of the line seafood selections featuring everything under the sea from shrimp to clams, the eatery is many locals’ go-to spot.

Brian McKelvey, director of restaurant operations, notes some of Uncle’s most popular items are Sushi Bowl, Uncle’s Award Winning Garlic Ahi, Fresh Onaga and its poke offerings.

Among its star players is the ever-popular Uncle’s Seafood Pasta ($25), which features a glorious mix of sauteed fresh fish, jumbo shrimp, scallops, calamari and clams atop a bed of smooth linguine. Customers can choose to enjoy the dish with either marinara or Alfredo sauce.

“It’s by far the most popular (pasta),” says McKelvey. “People actually come down here just for the Seafood Pasta.”

With the pasta and many other popular menu items on heavy rotation, Uncle’s seeks out fresh seafood on a daily basis. According to McKelvey, about 75-80 percent of the eatery’s seafood is locally sourced — Uncle’s parent company is Fresh Island Fish, one of the largest wholesale fish distributors in the state.

“We source every day from the Honolulu Fish Auction,” notes McKelvey. “The fish market is just a few buildings down (from Uncle’s).”

If for some reason surf is not your thing, Uncle’s has some tasty turf options for you like Prime Burger and Prime New York Steak. There also are salads and pastas that can be made vegetarian upon request for those who don’t eat meat.

There is something for everyone at Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill. So drop in and prepare to ride a wave of flavors at the eatery — cowabunga!

A ‘ROYAL HAWAIIAN’ FEAST

There are many attractions throughout the state of Hawaii, but there are a few hot spots that everyone knows and loves — Waikiki is one of those places.

Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar’s Linguine Pescatore ($35)

While the area is heavily populated with tourists from all over the globe, it is home to some of the best restaurants on the island, drawing in locals, like me, looking for a good meal.

On my list of must-try Waikiki restaurants is Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar, an eatery known to serve great Italian cuisine within Royal Hawaiian Center. Owned by esteemed chef Wolfgang Zwiener, the restaurant takes European elegance and cuisine and marries it with local ingredients and flavors, creating a match made in culinary heaven.

“We want to provide our guests with delicious, authentic Italian cuisine, made with prime ingredients, including many locally sourced products,” notes Adam Kekahuna, executive chef.

A menu item that perfectly embodies the restaurant’s philosophy is Linguine Pesca-tore ($35), a gorgeous mix of mussels, Manila clams, local white fish (type depends on availability), calamari, U10 scallops and jumbo shrimp, served with linguine noodles and a light tomato sauce. This swimmingly good dish will have your tastebuds singing, What A Wonderful World.

And it really is wonderful, isn’t it? Especially here in Hawaii nei.

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