3660 Rises to the Occasion

Columns Surf and Turf

October 20, 2013

Story By: Steve Murray | Photos by: Leah Friel

The food at 3660 On The Rise is awesome. Go.

That was my initial thought as I pulled into the legendary Waialae Avenue restaurant for appetizers and entrees last week. There was even a discussion about using the 11-word lede paragraph as the text for the entire column. What more do you need to know? The food is great, the service outstanding.

Chef de Cuisine Lydell Leong liked the idea. A light work load works for me, and what photographer doesn’t want more exposure for their shots? Alas, brighter minds prevailed.

Kicking off a meal with the Tomato-Ginger Braised Veal Cheek ($12.95) is always recommended. Why? Because it rocks!

Veal is slowly simmered for hours in a bath of stock, spices and aromatics to produce a cut of meat that is so well prepared that it retains its moisture and tenderness even after 24 hours and two microwave reheatings. Order big and take home is my motto. The side of scallion rice is a perfect, fresh addition that only enhances the entire dish.

If you haven’t tried sake as a foundational flavoring for protein, you’re really missing something. As a base for marinades or to deglaze a pan of ju, it just can’t be beat. This is what you get with the Soy Sake Fillet of Butterfish ($29.50).

Six-and-a-half ounces of Psenopsis anomala, also known as butterfish, is marinated in a sake/shoyu mix and broiled to order. Served with fire-roasted bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and sauteed “abologna” (imitation abalone), it’s one of the truly outstanding fish dishes in town. The flavors are deep, but subtle and are a great representation of the skill and care that embodies the restaurant’s culinary staff. I almost forgot, the butterfish also comes with a delicious Miso Ginger Dashi Nage!

One can’t talk protein without talking pork, and Kurobuta Pork Two Ways ($28.50) is worth a conversation all its own. As the name suggests, the dish features two outstanding preparations. One is the Braised Pork Belly, which undergoes a 25-hour process that begins with a brine and ends with a braised and fried slab of temptation. The pork is crispy, meaty, porky, fatty, yummy … I could go on. Sharing the plate with the pork belly is Crispy Garlic Scallion Pork Loin Chop. It’s the crunchy counter to the buttery belly, topped with crispy garlic and scallion, and served with scallion rice.

There’s nothing left to do but go to 3660 On The Rise, savor these fine bites of island cuisine and enjoy a memorable dining experience.

3660 On the Rise

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

Honolulu, HI 96816

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best