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Local buffet destination keeps on giving

A La Carte

September 9, 2018

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

“Build-your-own” ramen station (a rotating lunch buffet action station)

For generations, Pagoda Floating Restaurant has been a favorite for its tasty home-style local food, family-friendly setting and all-you-can-eat buffet. Recently, the landmark Honolulu restaurant added an action station to its lunch buffet, and sushi station to its weeknight dinner buffet.

The lunch buffet ($18.95, $16 for seniors age 60 and older, $7.95 for children ages 5-8) is available from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and features a seafood, chicken, beef and pork entree, along with two fish dishes — one is steamed Molokai style (similar to Chinese style with ginger, green onion, shoyu and hot oil) and the other is fried or baked. There also is a poke bar, salad bar and dessert line (you’ll want to save room for the delicious Punaluu Sweet Bread with sweet cream sauce and Zenzai, a traditional sweet red azuki bean soup with mochi ball).

Spicy Ahi California Roll (available during dinner buffet)

The action station, which launched a few months ago, also rotates each week. For example, last week, guests were treated to a ramen bar with an extensive selection of toppings to choose from, including homemade char-siu, boiled eggs, wakame, ginger, corn, fishcake and green onions.

“We have a regular a la carte menu, but most people come here for the buffet,” says Tracy Yadao, general manager. “People are really loving the action stations, I think the most popular right now is the build-your-own hamburger station. We’ve also had a hot dog station and pho station.”

For the sushi station, which has been part of the weekend dinner buffet but was just added to the weeknight buffet offering about a month ago, enjoy made-to-order sushi rolls, such as the classic California Roll, Spicy Ahi Tuna and Futomaki, or a daily specialty roll, such as California topped with spicy ahi tuna, unagi sauce and dynamite sauce.

The dinner buffet is available from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday ($20.95, $18 for seniors age 60 and above, $8.95 for children ages 5-8), and from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday ($40.95, $35 for seniors age 60 and above, $17.95 for children ages 5-8).

The difference between the weeknight and weekend dinner buffet is that the there’s prime rib, crab legs and tempura on the buffet line on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. However, you have the option of adding a crab platter ($12) or prime rib ($10) to your weeknight dinner buffet order.

Since opening more than 50 years ago, Pagoda also has become a popular spot for special occasions, such as graduation, retirement and birthday parties. The restaurant is very family-friendly, even providing fish food for children to use to feed the koi swimming in the surrounding pond. And while it also is known for its reasonable prices, the restaurant regularly has specials throughout the year.

This month, receive a complimentary crab platter (approximately one pound of steamed Alaskan crab) for every two people when dining for lunch Monday-Saturday or dinner Monday-Thursday. Look for the coupon in Dining Out or mention the promotion to your server.

For both the lunch and dinner buffet, there also is an early bird special of 15 percent off, if seated before 11 a.m. for lunch or before 5:30 p.m. for dinner.

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