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Where Vegetables are King

Columns Veg'n Out

December 16, 2012

Story By: Terri Hefner | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Deep-Fried Tofu ($10.50)

Deep-Fried Tofu ($10.50)

One of the best gifts you can give the chief cook and bottle washer in your life is a break from the kitchen during holiday get-togethers. Gathering for a special meal in a great restaurant is fun, but deciding on the perfect venue that will please everyone in your party, including vegetarians, sometimes can be a bit difficult.

Lobster King — yes, really — actually has an ample selection of vegetarian dishes, which makes it an excellent venue for group dining. The welcoming, comfortable ambiance and diverse menu are just the ticket for a fun family holiday celebration.

Along with all that seafood, Lobster King knows a thing or two about vegetables, and owner June Kim is happy to recommend a few customer favorites.

Fried rice is always a crowd-pleaser, and even carnivores won’t miss the meat in Lobster King’s egg-free Vegetable Fried Rice ($9.25).

Jai ($9.95) or Monk’s Style Mixed Vegetables, is a favorite for Chinese New Year, but Lobster King offers it all year round.

Owner June Kim with Vegetables Served with Iceberg Lettuce Wrap ($9.95)

Owner June Kim with Vegetables Served with Iceberg Lettuce Wrap ($9.95)

You can’t go wrong with stir-fry, and Lobster King offers a variety for non-meat eaters. Stir-fried Bean with Garlic Sauce ($9.95) is healthy and full of garlicky goodness, and if green beans don’t do it for you, there are spinach and water-cress dishes prepared in the same style.

To spice up your meal, Meatless Sauteed Szechwan Eggplant ($9.95) is a savory favorite, and Kim assures vegetarians that no oyster sauce is used in its preparation. Stir-fried Ong Choy with Chili and Bean Curd Sauce ($9.95) is another spicy option. “That’s really good,” says Kim.

Vegetables Served with Iceberg Lettuce Wrap ($9.95) is a fun concept. “When vegetarians come in, they order this one,” she says. “People like that.” As its name implies, chopped vegetables including carrots, choy sum, baby corn, water chestnuts, onions — “all kinds of mixed vegetables,” notes Kim — are served with iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping up all that veggie goodness.

And if your Chinese meal isn’t complete without noodles, just ask for a vegetarian version of chow mein or chow fun.

Of course, Lobster King is known for its fresh crustaceans, and offers a holiday party menu that feeds 10-12 people. The nine-course meal costs $188 and includes three live lobsters for those seafood lovers in your life. Call for details.

Lobster King

1380 S. King St., Honolulu
Open daily, 11 a.m.-3 a.m.

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