3660 Rises Above the Rest With Its Pacific Rim Perfection

Columns Foodie Fare

August 26, 2012

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Even if you have dined at 3660 On The Rise within the last few months, you’re about due for a repeat visit. Not only does the Kaimuki restaurant offer the best in Pacific Rim cuisine and an intimate, relaxing setting, but it also is constantly creating new dishes.

Its newest batch of menu items are as delectable as ever. The list of new dishes includes two tasty appetizers — the perfect way to start your foray into the new menu. Try Garlic-Lemongrass Braised Veal Cheek ($12.95), which features a slowly simmered veal served with scal-lion rice. For another great new starter, try WOW Tomato Salad ($12). While the salad gets its name from WOW Farms, where its fresh tomatoes are from, the dish certainly will have customers saying, “WOW!” It is the perfect marriage of an array of flavors — prosciutto ham, house-made truffled mozzarella and micro basil salad tossed with truffle oil, all topped with Kona Sea Salt and smoked balsamic reduction.

One new entree is Kurobuta Pork Two Ways ($28.50), which was unveiled just a couple weeks ago. On one side of the plate, there is Crispy Garlic Scallion Pork Loin Chop, which is quickly fried, flavored with sauteed garlic and chopped scallions and served with scal-lion rice. On the other side is the Braised Pork Belly, served over butter spinach and sauteed garlic and comes with flatbread.

Also recently joining the menu is Fire Roasted Long Island Duck Breast ($26), which, like the pork dish, features duck cooked in two equally tasty ways. “We fire roast the duck breast skin side down, so it comes out nice and crispy. And then we sear the backside to finish it off,” chef de cuisine Lydell Leong says, adding that the finished product is served medium-rare to medium. “On the other side is a crispy confit of duck leg. We take the whole duck leg and thigh, and marinate it in some seasoning — salt, thyme and pepper — for about 24 hours.” Once it’s cooked, it’s quickly fried to create a perfectly crispy skin, while keeping the meat inside soft. The dish also is served with Yukon Potato Risotto, which features diced Yukon Gold potatoes that are sauteed in the same style as risotto, seasoned with diced ham, caramelized onion and a hint of Romano cheese.

And it might not be new, but Mile High Waialae Pie ($8.50) is the perfect way to finish off a meal. It has Haagen Dazs vanilla and coffee ice cream with layers of chocolate and caramel sauce and a macadamia nut crust.

If you have other longtime favorites at 3660, don’t worry — there’s a whole slew of dishes that have been on the menu for years and aren’t going anywhere. A lot of these will be showcased during the restaurant’s 20th anniversary celebration, which will run from Sept. 1-15. The anniversary special features an “all-time favorites” menu with dishes that have been a hit since 3660 opened in September 1992. It’s a three course meal for $36.60 with a choice of Caesar Salad or Clam & Corn Chowder; a choice of New York Steak Alaea, Tempura Catfish with Ponzu Sauce, or Chinese Steamed Fresh Snapper; and Harlequin Creme Brulee and Warm Chocolate Souffle Cake.

On the Side

“We utilize somewhat familiar flavors,” 3660 On The Rise chef de cuisine Lydell Leong explains of the restaurant’s fare.

“I always describe it as using a little bit of the flavors that my grandma would cook, but a little elevated, and a little bit more refined. It definitely is stuff that we grew up eating, flavors that we grew up tasting, but maybe combined in a different way.” Leong adds that French influences also play a big role in the restaurant. Many of the dishes utilize classic French cooking techniques, and a lot of the sauces that are featured are French-inspired as well.

While its techniques may come from afar, the products 3660 utilizes are derived much closer to home. Produce including basil, asparagus, tomato and lettuce are all procured from local farms. Ahi, mahi mahi and snapper also are sourced locally when available. “We like to support the local farmers and the local producers as much as possible,” Leong says. “If they can do it here, it’s got to be that much better.”

Just like the restaurant manages to seamlessly combine European cuisine with Island flavors and products, it also brings a quality combination of the old and new to the table.

Next month marks 20 years of the restaurant’s Pacific Rim perfection. And while many of the dishes that have been around since the beginning still remain customer favorites, 3660 also continues to churn out new dishes with a fervent creativity.

Leong explains that 3660 changes its menu pretty frequently — about every couple of months, in part depending on what ingredients are available. The restaurant’s kitchen staff is constantly thinking up new items. “There is a lot of banter back and forth between Chef Russell Siu and myself, as well as our banquet chef Tony,” Leong explains, adding that the three of them derive inspiration from everyday life. “Not only do we like to cook, but we also like to eat.”

3660 On The Rise

3660 Waialae Ave., Honolulu
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96816

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