Keeping Fit With Salad

Columns Ono, You Know

January 6, 2013

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Leah Friel

Happy New Year, Ono readers! I don’t know about you, but I feel as if 2013 is filled with possibility and opportunities for greatness. Now, I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions every year, but 2013 is different. This year, I have made a promise to myself that I will work hard to get into the best shape of my life — for both my health and my happiness.

In fact, my fitness journey started three months ago. Since October, I’ve been hitting the gym on a regular basis and making it a point to eat right. As a result, I’m feeling better than ever, physically and mentally. So, I must continue to make progress — like it’s been said, to be fit requires a complete change of lifestyle.

Yet, “eating right” doesn’t have to be a chore, nor do you have to sacrifice on flavor. This week, I’m taking a break from the decadent holiday treats of cakes, pies and cookies. The holidays are over, so it’s time to get back on track with salads. Here at the following Ono, You Know hot spots, I stumbled upon a variety of salads that are sure to spice up my life. Here’s to new beginnings!

Pho My Lien Vietnamese Restaurant

Discover a taste of Saigon at Pho My Lien Vietnamese Restaurant. Owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team of Tommy Dang and Lien Bui, this Aiea eatery flourishes with authentic Vietnamese favorites. All restaurant creations are derived from Lien’s family recipes, and as a result of many taste tests at the establishment, I can attest to the fact that the pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) hits the spot, not to mention the amazing spring and summer rolls at that.

But since I’m salivating for salad this week, Pho My Lien’s Green Papaya Salad ($7.50) tops my list of must-haves. And that’s really no surprise, as this dish is comprised of shredded green papaya, shrimp, mint leaves, peanuts and splashed with a house special salad dressing that really ups the ante.

Here we have the best of both worlds — Green Papaya Salad offers a flavorfully filling meal without the guilt. What more could you ask for, right? Pho My Lien puts a bit of “phobulous” into each and every one of its dishes. Go ahead, take a bite out of awesome!

Pho My Lien Vietnamese Restaurant
Westridge Shopping Center
98-150 Kaonohi St., Suite B213-B

Plumeria Beach House

A heavenly oasis awaits at Kahala Hotel & Resort’s Plumeria Beach House, an upscale, yet casual open-air restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Plumeria Beach House is reminiscent of an inviting island home, which offers both indoor and outdoor terraces, overlooking the majestic Pacific ocean.

An ideal dining experience for the entire family, keiki included, this exquisite establishment offers a variety of buffets, such as its brunch buffet and curry buffets, in addition to an expanded a la carte menu, which features signature items, including The Kahala Burger, Kahala Thin Pancakes and Grilled Ahi Sandwich.

However, if you’re anything like me, and attempting to go the healthy route this new year, opt for Plumeria Beach House’s luscious array of salad selections. Choose from restaurant classics such as Chinese Hoisin Roasted Chicken Salad or Baked Caesar Salad. Or, for a fresh take on your every day salad, dig in to Plumeria’s BLT Salad. Priced at $17, this sumptuous salad presents you with fresh island greens, fresh Ho Farm’s heir-loom tomatoes and savory morsels of candied peppered bacon dressed in a creamy house dressing (mayo-based with white balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and garlic). So, if you’re trying to lay low with your carb intake, but are a devout BLT lover at heart, then BLT Salad is the way to go.

Another favorite of mine is Plumeria Chop Salad ($18), which features a bed of freshly chopped greens, deli meats of ham and salami, Swiss and provolone cheeses, kidney beans and cucumber tossed in a green goddess dressing mainly composed of champagne vinegar and tarragon. Delicious!

One thing’s for certain, Plumeria Beach House completely dismisses the notion that salads are “boring.” This year, dine at this award-winning establishment, and you’ll see greens in a whole new light.

Plumeria Beach House
Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Ave.

Seafood Village

Located on the lower level of Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa is Seafood Village, a gem of Waikiki. For decades, this restaurant has been luring in appetites of both kamaaina and visitors alike. And while there’s great selection in the Islands when it comes to Chinese food, Seafood Village prides itself on serving up authentic Hong Kong-style favorites.

Eating right requires making smart choices. On my most recent visit to Seafood Village, Chinese Chicken Salad ($6.95) had my name written all over it. Nothing’s better than veggies and protein, right?

According to restaurant manager Johnson Ma, Chinese Chicken Salad is considered a staple for lunch and dinner. Diners are presented with a bed of lettuce garnished with carrot, tomato and sliced chicken breast, won ton strips are generously sprinkled atop the salad and a drizzle of oriental dressing completes the dish.

With three private dining rooms available, this restaurant plays host to all special occasions. And even though it’s a party, there’s no need to indulge every time. Stick to your gut and go the healthy route with Chinese Chicken Salad.

Seafood Village
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa
2424 Kalakaua Ave. #103

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best