Avocado Aficionado

Columns Ono, You Know

August 10, 2014

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

Cravings. This thing called cravings seems to have taken over my life. I eat in hope of feeling satisfied. My tummy is content for a minute, and then sooner or later, another craving strikes — and it strikes hard! Oh, the agony!

One day this week, I consumed a banana, Pop Tarts (strawberry-flavored with sprinkles, if you’re curious), ham and turkey salad, Cup-O-Noodles (when the craving hits, these noodles are O.M.G. awesome), Chex Mix, cookie dough ice cream and more cream-filled pastries than I care to admit. I’m a nutritionist’s worst nightmare. Sigh.

Let’s be completely honest here. I love to eat — so, so, so much! Food makes me happy in a way I don’t think many will understand. I really don’t think the normal person considers food with the love that I do, and I doubt that constant cravings are a huge deal for most people. But they are for me (And no, I’m not pregnant!).

Recently, my cravings obviously have been saturated in sugar and salt — all the good stuff.

But alas, I’ve managed to finally hit a happy medium. In between the cotton candy and burrito cravings came a temptation by avocado — the stuff glorious guacamole is made of. Confession: I’m currently obsessed with this creamy, luscious fruit that’s rich in antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fats.

This week, the following OYK eateries have plated me with avocados done right.

Finally, a craving that grows on trees! A craving that’s good for me!

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

I can eat a prime slab of steak with the best of ’em! Is that a gorgeously marbled piece of ribeye or a hearty cut of New York steak before me? Oh, baby, my inner carnivore is exposed for the world to see. How can you not be steak-obsessed when at Wolfgang’s in Royal Hawaiian Center? It’s a steakhouse specializing in U.S.D.A. prime beef, dry-aged for 28 days (in its own aging box!).

And although I so badly wanted to put chunk after chunk of medium-rare glorious meat into my mouth, it was time to change things up with Wolfgang’s Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad. Before I continue, I know you’re thinking, “Who orders a salad at a steakhouse?” Normally, I would be in total agreement, but not this time.

Priced at $19.95, Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad is available daily from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and it’s anything but a side salad. It’s an appetizer/main entree featuring a heaping pile of mixed greens, sliced beefsteak tomatoes and sumptuous lumps of ripe avocado, along with pieces of shrimp grilled in extra-virgin olive oil and garlic, sprinkled with salt and pepper then tossed in light vinaigrette. This is what I call a legit salad. And don’t underestimate the avocado, it really is capable of upgrading good to amazing.

Of course, avocado seems like a natural salad pairing, right? But you simply can’t assume such a fact until you try it. A surge of happiness results from the first bite of savory shrimp and velvety smooth avocado. Wolfgang’s Steakhouse just upped the standards on salad.

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse
Royal Hawaiian Center
2301 Kalakaua Ave.

Pagoda Floating Restaurant

Pagoda’s executive chef Jason Takemura doesn’t cook to impress. Rather, he cooks what he likes to eat, puts it on the menu and, low and behold, it’s usually patron-approved. Seriously, his food doesn’t disappoint. An expert in flavors, Takemura whips up a ton of my favorites, especially Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed French Toast (which I would marry if I could, because that’s true love at its core). But, since I don’t live in a perfect world where I can scarf that down 24-7, I must direct my palate to the next best thing. Enter Ahi Avocado Poke ($13). Bearing no resemblance whatsoever to Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed French Toast, Ahi Avocado Poke is fantastic! Take a moment to absorb this dish in its entirety.

Pagoda's Ahi Avocado Poke ($13)

Pagoda’s Ahi Avocado Poke ($13)

First, fresh, local ahi is enhanced with Maui onions, sesame oil (everything tastes better with sesame oil, by the way), kukui nut, ginger juice and shoyu. Then comes freshly diced avocado. Ding, ding, ding! I think we’ve just hit the jackpot. Enjoy this substantially healthy meal for lunch or dinner. The red cubes of ahi are a great source of protein marinated just how I like them, and the avocado — oh, the avocado — it butters me up with its fatty creaminess — almost like ice cream.

Finally, toss, toss, toss. Takemura tosses the aforementioned ingredients together and serves this creamy, melt-in-your-mouth poke with a side of homemade taro chips. It’s “ahi-cado” awesome!

Pagoda Floating Restaurant
1525 Rycroft St.

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best