Discover Downtown’s Dining DelightsColumns Surf and Turf
August 25, 2013
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Leah Friel
While HASR Bistro’s name may draw some puzzled looks and head scratching from first-time guests, there is no questioning the incredible flavors and stellar libations available at one of downtown Honolulu’s dining gems.
During a conversation with some wine representatives who were admiring her collection of rare and one-of-a-kind beverages at the adjacent HASR Wine Co., restaurant co-owner Terry Kakazu was inspired to use the comments for HASR Bistro, which is now flourishing at 31 N. Pauahi St.
The wine purveyor was deemed “spoiled rotten” by the vendors who raved about her highly allocated collection, and the restaurateur turned the phrase into a fitting acronym, as “Highly Allocated, Spoiled Rotten” became HASR Bistro. The restaurant offers a country-style European-American bistro experience with a menu crafted by executive chef and co-owner Rodney Uyehara. The bistro also offers seating in an adjacent courtyard filled with shady trees and umbrellas, and even a small water fountain.
Customers rave about Uyehara’s menu, which incorporates classic European cuisine from across the region and matches the recipes with fresh, local ingredients. One of Kakazu’s favorites is Chinatown Pork Chop Chop ($26, and yes, it’s so good they named it twice!). Available for dinner, the tender, juicy pork is hibachi grilled and served with a hoisin barbecue sauce and mashed potatoes.
“It’s like an Asian-style barbecue pork chop,” Uyehara says of the Kurobuta, or Berkshire, pork dish. “The pork chop itself is marinated in an onion dressing, and when you grill the pork, the dressing actually caramelizes and gives a nice color and flavor to the dish. We just enhance those flavors with the other elements.”
HASR Bistro also nets diners a vast selection of fresh seafood selections including Chinatown Opah ($17) available for both lunch and dinner. The rich and creamy moonfish is served in a zesty ponzu butter sauce atop a bed of Chinatown vegetables along with a side of jasmine rice.
“We like to serve the fish of the day with fresh Chinatown vegetables in an oyster sauce with garlic, and that pairs really nicely with the ponzu butter sauce. It’s become a customer favorite,” says Uyehara.
Diners may complement their meals with wine purchased from HASR Wine Co., located just steps away from the bistro, and best of all, there is no corkage fee added. HASR Bistro also serves up live entertainment from some of Hawaii’s top performers. Stay tuned to the bistro’s web site (HASRBistro.com) for an updated schedule of performances and special events.
31 N. Pauahi St., Honolulu
Lunch, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday
Afternoon menu, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday
Dinner, 5-9 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday
Bar remains open until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; closed Sundays.