Picking a Plethora of Pineapples

Columns Ono, You Know

May 19, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Hop aboard the Pineapple Express, Ono readers, it’s time to get your fruit on! This week, I’m featuring my favorite fruit of all time. Let’s give three cheers for pineapple! Regarded as a tropical plant, it’s no surprise that pineapple is a beloved fruit of our island home; however, Southeast Asia actually dominates world production with Thailand and the Philippines leading the pack.

Pineapple may be consumed fresh, canned or juiced and is spotlighted in a wide variety of cuisine. Its refreshingly sweet and tangy taste is like no other, and the mere thought of it makes my mouth water. So instead of fantasizing about this “perfect” fruit, in my opinion, why not pick up where we left off and devour a plethora of pineapple delights at the following Ono, You Know establishments.

JJ Bistro & French Pastry

My pineapple craze kicked off at JJ Bistro & French Pastry, where executive chef and owner JJ Luangkhot’s outstanding creations define decadence. Here at this Waialae Avenue eatery, you’ll almost think your taste buds transcended to Paris where Luangkhot’s sweet Euro-Asian fare emphasizes some of the best in French cuisine. Take, for example, Chocolate Banana Confit, the famous Chocolate Pyramid, and, of course, since we’re on the Pineapple Express, Luangkhot’s Pineapple Margarita Cake is a staple.

Priced at $4.75, Pineapple Margarita Cake features a strong foundation with coconut cake as the bottom layer, topped with an extravagant blend of pineapple and haupia mousse filling. Add to that morsels of fresh pineapple, and you simply won’t be able to resist this exquisite work of edible art.

“I also garnish the plate with strawberries, pineapple and a hint of dark chocolate. For me, presentation is very important,” Luangkhot says.

And you’re in for a treat — literally — Luangkhot whipped up this fabulous dish especially for this Ono, You Know feature. Are we lucky or what?!

“Pineapple Margarita Cake will be available starting today,” he adds. “It’s creamy, sweet and tangy, and we only use local, fresh pineapple.”

So, take it for what it’s worth, JJ Bistro & French Pastry presents the sweetest of tastes that you won’t soon forget.

JJ’s Bistro & French Pastry
3447 Waialae Ave.
View the Map

Eggs ‘n Things

Breakfast fanatics know that Eggs ‘n Things is ono at any time of the day or night. Located in the heart of Waikiki on Saratoga Road with a second “eggspress” location on Kalakaua Avenue, this renowned eatery is on top of its game with its mouth-watering spread that draws in crowds of kamaaina and tourists alike.

And perfecting the art of pineapple, general manager Michael Skedeleski wasted no time captivating my appetite with exhilarating entrees that present an ideal balance of both tangy and sweet.

“We actually use a lot of pineapple in our dishes, and we always try to use Maui Gold pineapple — always keeping it local,” Skedeleski explains. We use pineapple in our salad dressings and we recently started offering Pineapple Pork Chop with a pineapple glaze. Tourists really appreciate the addition of pineapple to a classic dish such as pork chops.”

However, this week, I just had to pay tribute to one dish especially, which has been on the menu since the restaurant’s inception in 1974. Enter Eggs ‘n Things’ Pineapple Sour Cream Crepe ($11.95), featuring three gigantic crepes filled to the brim with the best pairing on earth: sour cream and freshly diced pineapples. These one-of-a-kind crepes have a bit of a kick, but according to Skedeleski, “it’s a simple classic that’s available morning and night. Some may be hesitant about the sour cream, but it’s actually very good.”

What’s more is Eggs ‘n Things’ most sinful Pineapple Ice Cream Waffle ($12.55). Trust me when I say this dessert of champions will liven up your palate even in the darkest of hours.

“Our Pineapple Ice Cream Waffle is really popular, but only available at night,” Skedeleski states. This magnificent dessert showcases a large waffle adorned with a scoop of Lappert’s vanilla bean ice cream and topped with a mountain of whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate syrup and sprinkled with macadamia nuts.”

It’s simply a pineapple paradise here at Eggs ‘n Things.

Eggs ‘n Things
343 Saratoga Road
View the Map

Bangkok Chef

Bangkok Chef owner Patrick Chang with Pad Bliao Waan ($6.65)

This Nuuanu Valley eatery is a favorite for diners craving authentic Thai cuisine. Owner Patrick Chang and his wife, executive chef Sansane Pornchairatanakul, are experts when it comes to incorporating a taste of Bangkok intertwined with local flair.

“We use fresh ingredients and are always busy,” Chang says.

And if you’re hungry for pineapple, then you must try Bangkok Chef’s Pad Bliao Waan ($6.65). According to Chang, this dish translates to “sweet and sour,” and is a top pick when it comes to comfort food.

“Pad Bliao Waan is comparable to a stir-fry, and it consists of red and white onions, red and green bell peppers, a special sweet-and-sour sauce and chunks of pineapple over rice,” he explains, adding that the dish is usually served with chicken, but can be substituted with shrimp, fish or tofu.

Unlike your average Thai cuisine, Pad Bliao Waan is not spicy and is perfect for those who can’t handle the heat.

The portions here are large enough to share, so bring in the family and experience the flavors of Bangkok.

Bangkok Chef
1627 Nuuanu Ave. (and Manoa and Nimitz locations)
View the Map

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best