Mad About Mushrooms

Columns Ono, You Know

January 28, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Happy Sunday, Ono readers! Wasting no time this week, let’s get right to the point. I love mushrooms and always have, so I figure, why not have some fun with fungi?! Known as the “meat” of the vegetable world, fungi are extensively used in international cuisine, and hold a special place in the hearts of carnivores and vegetarians alike. Whether it be shiitake, enoki, portobello or button, these ‘shrooms have no boundaries.

Keeping on point with my healthy dietary attempts, I just had to partake in this onolicious culinary delight. Studies show that mushrooms are an excellent source of niacin, low in calories, fat and sodium, are cholesterol free and contain essential antioxidants to support a strong immune system. So, with that, say goodbye to that lingering winter bug!

And if you’re not necessarily a fan of fungi, you might change your mind once indulging in the variety of mushroom masterpieces offered at the following Ono, You Know locations. No matter what your taste, there’s bound to be something that will have you mad about mushrooms!

Kit n Kitchen

  • The editor can't wait to share Kit n Kitchen's onolicious appetizer Bowl of Button.
  • Kit n Kitchen's Bowl of Button ($4.95)
  • Kit n Kitchen's Mixed Mushroom Risotto ($13.95)
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Kit n Kitchen owners (and husband-and-wife team) Kit and May Yiu have perfected the art of blending European fare with Asian cuisine — both of which are very well-respected in the culinary world. And upon my most recent visit to this University Avenue eatery, abundant with vibrant hues and eclectic decor, I was thrilled to set my eyes and appetite on two of Kit’s highly requested dishes that equate to a scrumptious mushroom of a meal. For starters, engage your appetite with Bowl of Button ($4.95), a tempting appetizer featuring garden fresh button mushrooms sauteed with garlic, olive oil, butter and wine, with a hint of salt and pepper.

“Bowl of Button is perfect for sharing,” says Kit. “It’s a light appetizer that pairs extremely well with a glass of white wine.”

Button mushrooms are bite-sized, so trust me when I say you won’t be able to stop at just one. But, you must, because if you’re a lover of ‘shrooms, you’ll also have to sample Kit’s wonderful Mixed Mushroom Risotto ($13.95). This culinary delight presents diners with a creamy white sauce risotto topped with a medley of garden-fresh button, baby enoki and shiitake mushrooms to tickle your taste buds.

“Shiitake mushrooms give off a lot of flavor, while enoki mushrooms seem to be more crunchy and, of course, button mushrooms are your classic ‘shroom,” Kit explains. “Mixed Mushroom Risotto has a bit of everything mushroom!” So, go at it, dig right in!

Recently, Kit n Kitchen also introduced an Owl Menu to its repertoire, encouraging late-night dining from 9 to midnight nightly. This new menu highlights many of the traditional menu’s offerings in addition to a collection of brand new dishes for your dining pleasure.

Kit n Kitchen
Varsity Center
1010 University Ave.
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Paesano Ristorante Italiano

  • Paesano's Chicken alla Saltimboca Romana ($18.90 small, $22.90 regular)
  • Paesano's Mushroooms with Peppers Saute ($10.90)
  • Server Dave Nguyen presents two of Paesano's delectable mushroom dishes.
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Indulge in the vast flavors of Italia at Paesano Ristorante Italiano. With a location in Waimalu Plaza Shopping Center and another in Manoa Marketplace, this cozy establishment has made a name for itself within both communities.

“Many people celebrate special occasions here, such as birthday parties and anniversaries,” says owner Billy Rattanasamay.

And I couldn’t agree more. I’ve celebrated many of lifes precious moments at this renowned establishment, and Paesano also has been my go-to restaurant of choice whenever a craving for authentic Italian cuisine strikes. Therefore, in the mood for elaborate pasta adorned with an abundance of mushrooms, I knew Paesano was my best bet, with more than 80 pasta dishes gracing the menu. Imagine Mushrooms with Peppers Saute, Linguine served with a savory garlic mushroom sauce, and an alluring entree of Chicken alla Saltimboca Romana. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!

Vegetarians will love Paesano’s onolicious appetizer of Mushrooms with Peppers Saute ($10.90), a blend of button mushrooms, mixed bell peppers and grilled slivers of onion sauteed with garlic olive oil. Then let the mushroom magic continue with Chicken alla Saltimboca Romana ($18.90 small, $22.90 regular). This entree consists of a mound of fresh linguine pasta served with breaded chicken thighs, spinach, mozzarella cheese and proscuitto ham doused with a tasty white wine, light butter, button mushroom sauce. Or, if chicken isn’t your cup of tea, and you’d rather let the fungi shine through on its very own, why not opt for your choice of pasta with mushroom sauce ($15.90 small, $18.90 regular)? Choose from linguine, fettucine or rigatoni topped with a succulent marinara or garlic sauce, enhanced with button mushrooms and sauteed in a light butter and white wine sauce.

Viva Italia at Paesano Ristorante Italiano!

Paesano Ristorante Italiano
Manoa Marketplace
2752 Woodlawn Drive
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Panya Bakery, Bistro & Bar

  • Panya's Pesto Portobello Mushroom Burger ($10.95)
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Exquisite decor, premium customer service and top-notch contemporary Euro-Asian cuisine is what Panya is all about. Make your way through the entrance of this chic and intimate restaurant, bar and bakery — conveniently located in Ala Moana Center — and you’ll soon see what all the hype is about.

Everything on the menu is divine and will meet the desires of even the most indecisive diner. With a wide array of noodles, salads, rice dishes, sandwiches, burgers, fresh-squeezed juices and more, seriously, what’s not to love about this joint? It has it all.

Manic for mushrooms? Factor this into your hunger equation: Panya’s Portobello Mushroom Burger ($12.95). This onolicious burger is a personal favorite, and features a hearty all-beef patty, a giant Portobello mushroom and your traditional burger fixings of lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and ketchup nestled between Panya’s homemade, fresh burger buns. On a mission to make everyone happy, this award-winning eatery offers up a special something for vegetarians as well. Sink your teeth into a vegetarian-style Pesto Portobello Mushroom Burger ($10.95), served with the finest Portobello mushroom — grilled and seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and pepper — provolone cheese, lettuce and tomato. This burger is presented sans patty, and a succulent pesto sauce makes way for additional flavor.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better than this, a side of fries completes the meal. So, go ahead, enjoy the Panya experience.

Panya Bakery, Bistro & Bar
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
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