Going Greek

Features Inside Feature

December 17, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Fresh, flavorful and filling — these are the qualities of dishes you’ll find at Greek Marina, located in Hawaii Kai’s Koko Marina Center, facing the serene Koko Marina waterfront. Customers can choose to immerse themselves in the Greek dining experience either inside the restaurant or outside on the patio, where they have the view of the picturesque waterfront.

  • Greek Marina co-owner Nasser Rizk with a restaurant specialty.
  • Gyros ($14.95)
  • Mix Vege Plate ($16.95)
  • Spanakopita ($5.95)
  • Souvlaki Beef Shish Kabobs ($15.95)
  • Hommus ($7.95)
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The eatery, which first opened seven years ago, provides a unique dining experience for both locals and tourists alike, according to co-owner Nasser Rizk.

“The food and location — primarily the food — makes our restaurant different (from others),” says Rizk, who encourages those who never dined at Greek Marina to experience both the cuisine and the atmosphere.

With a menu bursting with authentic flavors, Greek Marina provides a variety of salads, hot and cold appetizers and Greek specialties for its customers to try at reasonable prices.

“The average price per customer is $10-$15,” he says.

In terms of hot mezedes (appetizers), the most popular items are the Spanakopita ($5.95) and Dolmades ($7.95). The Spanakopita features a mixture of feta cheese and spinach baked in filo dough, while Dolmades are a blend of rice, tomato and spices wrapped in grape leaves and served with yogurt sauce. Other featured hot mezedes include Fried Kalamari ($8.95), served with garlic mayo sauce, and Tiropita ($5.95), delicate Greek cheese wrapped in filo dough and slowly baked. For cold mezedes (appetizers), customers frequently order the Baba Ghanouj ($7.95) — a tasty blend of baked eggplant mixed with lemon, garlic, cumin and tahini (a sesame seed paste) — and the Hommus ($7.95), a unique blend of garbanzo beans, tahini, fresh garlic and lemon topped with olive oil. Other cold mezedes include Tzatziki ($7.95), a yogurt dip seasoned with mild garlic and grated cucumber, and the Tarama Salata ($8.95), a creamy, caviar-based dip served with pita. The Appetizer Platter ($6.95/person), designed for parties of three or more, is another popular choice, as it includes a “sampler” of several hot and cold mezedes, including Dolmades, Falafel (mixture of crushed chick-peas, parsley, garlic and spices, fried in vegetable oil) and Baba Ghanouj.

“Sometimes people who order the Appetizer Platter are full after that dish alone!” says Rizk with a laugh.

The Gyros Salad ($11.95) — Greek salad topped with gyros — is the most popular salad, and the eatery offers vegetarian options as well.

“The Mix Vege Plate ($16.95) is popular because it comes with everything on it; grape leaves, Falafel served with salad and pita, Hommus and Baba Ghanouj,” says Rizk.

Gyros ($14.95) — a subtle blend of lean roasted beef and thinly sliced lamb served with salad and pita — reigns as the restaurant’s signature dish. Other popular Greek specialties include the eatery’s Lamb Shank ($16.95) — a shank of lamb basted in the oven with Greek-styled rice, salad and pita — and Lamb Rack ($21.95), broiled Athenian-style to the customer’s preference and served with rice, salad and pita.

In addition to its regular menu items, Greek Marina features several everyday specials. Rizk explains that the Souvlaki Beef Shish Kabobs ($15.95) are exceedingly popular.

“It’s a shank of beef top sirloin marinated and skewered with bell peppers,” he says. “Our other daily special is the Mix Seafood Plate ($21.95), a mixture of shrimp, fish and calamari steak.”

The Souvlaki Beef Shish Kabobs are served with rice and Greek salad, while the Mix Seafood Plate is served with rice, Greek salad and pita bread. Rizk mentions that one more special entree exists: The Baked Chicken Special ($13.95).

“The Baked Chicken Special is only on the weekends,” he confirms. “It’s an oven-baked chicken breast with baked potatoes and served with rice, Greek salad and pita bread.”

Finally, customers’ Greek dining experience would not be complete without dessert. Greek Marina offers a variety of desserts, including Rice Pudding ($3.95) and the ever-popular Baklava ($3.95), a sweet pastry comprising layers of filo pastry and a filling of chopped nuts and honey.

Greek Marina

  • Where
    • Koko Marina Center
    • 7192 Kalanianaole Highway E-126
    • Honolulu, HI 96825
  • Call
    • (808) 396-8441
  • Hours
    • 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Sunday – Thursday
    • 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Friday and Saturday
  • Website

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