Can’t Help Falling in Love With Frittatas

Columns Ono, You Know

October 20, 2013

Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Leah Friel

From the green smoothie craze to a growing number of gluten-free menus popping up in restaurants, it’s clear that eating healthy is all the rage these days. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: If it’s healthy, how tasty can it be? But let me reassure you that there’s no need to sacrifice flavor and satisfaction when it comes to figure-friendly eating!

Lately, I’ve made it my personal mission to find dishes that are good for me, yet don’t feel like a chore to eat. That’s why I can’t get enough of a certain European breakfast specialty also known as the frittata.

While health-conscious foodies are constantly on the prowl for the latest lean eats, it turns out the Italians knew all along how to create a dish that’s both mouth-watering and nourishing. Packed with protein and often bursting with a garden of veggies, these open-faced omelets are a fanciful — and fulfilling — way to dress up your morning egg routine.

Thanks to a number of inspiring chefs around the island, the following Ono You Know eateries hold the answers to every frittata craving.

Ocean House

Life is but a dream with any morning spent at Outrigger Reef on the Beach hotel’s beachfront restaurant, Ocean House. Its idyllic setting presents gorgeous ocean views and plantation-style décor reminiscent of old Hawaii.

Executive chef Aurelio Garcia elevates the experience with an innovative blend of island cuisine, and his recent expansion of the menu includes a slew of flawless gluten-free options.

During breakfast, diners may revel in the chef’s Tofu and Kale Frittata ($13), an absolute must.

“A lot of our guests who like healthier items gravitate toward this one,” says vice president and general manager David Nagaishi, when describing this gluten-free selection.

Loaded with local produce, Garcia crafts this three-egg frittata with creamy tofu, Maui onion and Kamuela tomatoes. Fresh kale adds a nice firm texture to the dish, while Portobello mushrooms lend rich, hearty flavor. Then, it’s topped with Parmesan and Cheddar cheeses, which enticingly melt as the frittata is baked to golden perfection in the oven.

“I think the flavors are really nice and natural because you can taste the tomato and the nice flavor of the juices of the mushroom coming out into the omelet,” explains Nagaishi.

It doesn’t get better than taking a bite of this fluffy frittata while gazing out at the glistening water and feeling energized for the day.

Ocean House
Outrigger Reef on the Beach
2169 Kalia Road

Kissaten Coffee Bar

The next place I found frittata bliss was at Kissaten Coffee Bar on Piikoi Street, where gourmet comfort food, coffee, espresso as well as other specialty drinks have delighted families since 2010.

The café is open 24 hours a day, but you’ll have to stop in from 6 to 11 a.m. to find its ever-popular Egg White Frittata ($7.75).

“It’s actually one of the only surviving ingredients of our original menu,” says co-owner Neysa Taba.

Kissaten's Egg White Frittata ($7.75). Lawrence Tabudlo file photo

Kissaten’s Egg White Frittata ($7.75). Lawrence Tabudlo file photo

In true Italian form, this dish only contains a handful of ingredients, but they’re so perfectly paired with one another that the resulting flavor is beyond epic. Roasted cherry tomatoes and baby spinach are combined with egg whites, goat cheese and Parmesan, then finished off in the oven. Mesclun greens add a fresh finishing touch, while house-made basil oil lends a bright pop of color against the snowy backdrop of egg whites.

Put simply, it’s “light, savory and healthy,” explains Taba, who notes that patrons may order the dish with whole eggs if they so desire.

Wonderful as a meal in itself or great for sharing with others, this Egg White Frittata bursts with pureness in every bite.

Kissaten Coffee Bar
88 Piikoi St.

Big City Diner

For my grand finale of frittatas, I decided to go all out with a seafood-filled creation at Big City Diner’s Pearlridge location. I knew I could count on one of Hawaii’s favorite spots for a taste of local fare to fill me up with a Shrimp Frittata ($10.99).

Available on the eatery’s rotating specials menu, corporate executive chef Dennis Franks presents his frittatas every three weeks and alternates between shrimp and crab varieties.

As a devout shrimp eater, I went for the special pictured above, which includes a healthy mix of onion, mushroom, spinach and plump shrimp. The frittata is topped with spry green onions, diced tomatoes and sour cream, rendering it utterly devourable.

Chef Dennis says his inspiration for creating such a colorful frittata was to offer an exciting and upscale breakfast option to his loyal patrons. “It’s (a dish) that people don’t try every day — something a little more elegant than a regular omelet.”

And to my taste buds’ merriment, the fresh shrimp’s flavor stands out and pairs excellently with the eggs. “The seafood flavor is not hidden,” adds the chef. “It becomes part of the feature.”

When it comes down to it, we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why not make it count with one of these healthy frittatas, all of which will invigorate your day?

Big City Diner
98-211 Pali Momi St. #900
(And various locations)

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