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Plate lunches almost too good to be true

A La Carte

December 2, 2018

Story By: Don Robbins | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Steamed Opakapaka ($13.95)

Hungry customers keep coming back and clamoring for more of the gourmet comfort food with a twist that is served at Kahai Street Kitchen.

Chef David Yamamoto, with 30 years of culinary experience under his belt, constantly turns out upscale plate lunches on the regular menu with popular items such as Guava Barbecue Braised Brisket and Korean Cobb Salad, with the Crab Stuffed Catch of the Day on rotation. Daily specials that change constantly are also offered.

Kahai Street Kitchen opened during the summer of 2006 in the industrial area of Kalihi. However, in 2016, Yamamoto and owner Nao Iwata, along with the staff, moved their restaurant to its current location at the corner of Coolidge and South King streets in Moiliili.

They stress that they are focused on serving quality food at reasonable prices, while providing excellent customer service and exceeding expectations.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Roulade ($12.95)

“The food is an eclectic type. I try to surprise them (customers) with different items, a little twist to everything,” Yamamoto shares.

“It’s plate lunch kicked up a couple notches. People who come here really appreciate the flavors that David creates. They say it’s really good,” notes Iwata.

Iwata announced that the restaurant has new hours of operation that are, Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday).

Yamamoto said that the restaurant has some exciting special items available every day this upcoming week.

Calamari Steak Parmigiano ($11.25)

One of them is Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Roulade ($12.95). This delightful dish features a scrumptious rolled pork tenderloin stuffed with in-house made Portuguese sausage and bacon stuffing, baked to golden brown. It is served with onion and mushroom gravy.

A second succulent special is Calamari Steak Parmigiano ($11.25). It consists of a mouthwatering, breaded deep-fried calamari steak, topped with sauteed bay shrimp, red onions, bell peppers and melted provolone cheese. It is finished with homemade marinara sauce.

Third on the agenda for this week’s specials is the tasty Steamed Opakapaka ($13.95). This eye-catching presentation includes a fresh, yummy opakapaka stuffed with sauteed baby bok choy and Asian pesto, steamed to perfection with fire-roasted tomato and garlic jus.

Other specials this week are Kahai Beef Pastrami Reuben clubhouse sandwich ($11.95) and Chicken Korma ($10.95). The sandwich is the restaurant’s twist on an old-time favorite. The grilled Reuben comes with sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, crispy bacon, sliced tomatoes, green-leaf lettuce with Thousand Island Dijon mustard spread, and is served with french fries. Meanwhile, Chicken Korma consists of Gokul’s Indian chicken curry marinated in yogurt, and prepared in a special blend of spices. It is served on bed of basmati rice with fire-roasted naan bread.

Owner Iwata explains that a Hawaiian minister told him the word “kahai” means to “tell a story.” He says that word perfectly reflects the restaurant — which is talking-story about food and expressing itself though the chef’s culinary creations.

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