GRYLT: What’s Good for You

Cover Story Features

August 17, 2014

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

Healthy fast food: a pairing like oil and water. The irony, right? Well, think again. We’ve reached a day and age of no surprises, a time in which anything goes and one innovative idea supersedes the next.

For Allen and Mayu Farinas, owners of GRYLT, it was time to breathe new life into an industry heavily saturated with processed foods and high-calorie fast-food chains.

With three locations on the island (Manoa Marketplace, Ala Moana Center’s Makai Food Court and Kahala Mall), GRYLT offers a deliciously nutritious menu filled with creative, chef-inspired dishes designed for those on the go. Yes. Finally, locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients and quick, efficient service go hand in hand.

The restaurant originally opened at Manoa Marketplace in 2011, and from the get-go the Farinas were committed to the philosophy, “good food that’s good for you.”

Allen says GRYLT operates on its “build-your-own-plate-lunch” system, in which patrons may select a protein, starch, vegetable and sauce.

Topping the list of proteins is tri-tip Angus steak and grilled tofu. Vegan-friendly, grilled tofu morsels are seasoned with crystals of Hawaiian sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. The grill marks? A legitimate sign of perfection. The tofu is firm enough to hold its form but smooth enough that it practically melts in your mouth. The meat of it all is in GRYLT’s Slammin’ Steak Platter ($15.25), which sets the standard of what a good steak should be: tender, moist and an explosion of flavor. Cut against the grain, tri-tip Angus steak speaks for itself. Its juices and smokiness imbue the beef with a flavor that’s unmistakably classic, and a dash of Hawaiian sea salt and cracked pepper add the finishing touch.

“I like to give our customers the best of both worlds, and that’s what you’ll get with Surf N Turf Platter ($16.25),” Allen says of the dish featuring tri-tip Angus steak and Atlantic salmon. “This is just one of many combinations. While the platter usually is served with Atlantic salmon, some patrons opt for shrimp, ahi, etc.”

As with all GRYLT platters, diners may choose their choice of starch (white/brown rice, Yukon Gold smashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower) and veggies (Kunia Country Farms baby romaine, spinach, ‘Nalo greens or sauteed garden vegetables).

“GRYLT was created from the vision that Mayu and I share,” explains Allen. “After surfing, we wanted a substantial, healthy meal, but quick. There really wasn’t anything like that out there, so we made our vision happen.

“It’s our responsibility to serve our customers fresh, pure, high-quality ingredients with gourmet stylings at an affordable price. Farm-to-table is what we live by.”

In addition to platters, GRYLT’s menu opens the door to other healthy alternatives, including sandwiches, acai bowl and wraps.

Priced at $10.80, Ahi Wrap pleasures the palate with slivers of Pacific-caught ahi, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized balsamic onions, wasabi aioli spread and a special sauce wrapped in a grilled spinach tortilla from locally owned Sinaloa Tortillas.

“Expect nothing but freshness. We receive daily deliveries of produce, fish, meats — everything,” confirms Allen.

GRYLT soon will expand its presence in the Islands, with a fourth location slated to open later this year in Kailua Shopping Center. The Farinas are hopeful GRYLT will be welcomed with open arms into the Windward community.

“More and more people seem to be on the path to a healthier lifestyle, and we can help them in their journey,” he says. “Everything (at GRYLT) is consciously created — organic, free of preservatives and our chicken breast is free of any hormones or steroids.

“There’s no guilt with GRYLT!”


Kahala Mall (with additional locations at Ala Moana Center and Manoa Marketplace)
4211 Waialae Ave.
Daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96816

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