Two new dishes unveiled this week

Columns Foodie Fare

July 27, 2014

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Long considered a go-to for Hawaiian food, People’s Cafe is grateful for its many regular customers. And with that, chef and owner Tomas Ventura ensures that there’s always something new to try.

Concocting new dishes seems to be almost automatic for Ventura, who says that he’s always inspired to experiment with new cuisine. And no wonder. He’s been working at People’s Cafe for more than 20 years — on and off since he was just 17. It was Ventura’s decision to introduce Filipino food into the mix, and he consistently is introducing new dishes and concepts to the menu.

This week, for example, the restaurant will unveil two new items.

“We wanted to give our customers some other options in addition to the things they see every time,” Ventura says. “I try to mix it up.”

Trio ($30.95) makes its debut featuring salmon, shrimp skewers and steak served with rice. The salmon, which the restaurant brings in from Alaska, is grilled and bathed in a lemon butter sauce, as is the shrimp. The steak is seasoned with garlic salt and black pepper.

House Special ($14.95), provides patrons with a few of their favorite dishes all at once. This new addition spotlights lomi lomi salmon, poi and haupia, along with short ribs, which are marinated overnight in teriyaki sauce. Also on the plate is poke, made from ahi that Ventura gathers three times a week from Honolulu Fish Auction. Lastly, the dish is paired with the crowd-pleasing lau lau, filled with pork and butterfish.

“I notice that a lot of people like to order the teriyaki short ribs and the poke,” Ventura explains. “So I decided to put it with the lau lau and see what happens. I think it looks pretty good!”

In addition to new items, customers also can find comfort in their stand-by favorites, including Butter-fish with Watercress ($10.50). Ventura says this labor of love is soaked in Hawaiian salt for 24 hours.”

Contact Christina O’Connor at diningout@staradvertiser.com

People’s Cafe

1310 Pali Hwy., Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, 6:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sunday, 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96813

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best