A sustainable take on local cuisine

Digest On the Menu

October 26, 2014

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

For two decades, Kakaako Kitchen has built a stellar reputation by offering tasty dishes crafted with fresh, locally grown and sourced ingredients to put a gourmet touch on local-style plate lunches and comfort food.

Located on Ala Moana Boulevard in the Ewa end of Ward Center, the restaurant takes the concept of sustainability to the next level, incorporating local vendors such as ‘Nalo Farms for its produce, and utilizing biodegradable plate lunch containers instead of Styrofoam.

Chef Anthony Phillips recently joined the Kakaako Kitchen team, and along with sous chef Justin Karioka, is continuing the vision of culinary craftsman and managing director Russell Siu.

“It’s a healthy approach to flavor and freshness using local items,” Phillips says. “We focus on quality — our beef is grass-fed — freshness and bringing different flavors from around the world into our dishes.”

Kakaako Kitchen’s Char Siu Chicken Salad ($11.95) features char siu marinated chicken and a tangy house-made hoisin vinaigrette on a bed of romaine lettuce, along with kamaboko, sliced cucumber and soba topped with carrot curls and won ton strips. Another healthy yet tasty option is Shichimi Dusted Chicken & Soy Citrus Sauce ($12.95), as a seven-spice blend is used to flavor the chicken, which is topped with sauteed shiitake mushrooms and soy citrus sauce.

Those looking for fresh fish can reel in the flavor with Mahimahi Plate ($14.50), a Kakaako Kitchen classic, which consists of sauteed mahimahi topped with lomi tomato and ginger butter sauce served with a choice of Hinode brand white or brown rice, mac salad or ‘Nalo Farms fresh greens. Tempura Mahi Sandwich ($10.95) is another island favorite and serves up a mahi filet deep fried in tempura batter to create a light crunch. It’s served with a tasty tartar sauce and choice of mac salad, ‘Nalo greens or curly fries.

“I would go for our classics; a lot of repeat customers return almost daily to pick up their favorites. We offer large portions — you won’t be disappointed,” Phillips says.

Kakaako Kitchen also is poised to help with catering events, from intimate gatherings — such as home parties, first birthday celebrations and business functions — to large weddings. With various options available, including assorted pupus and enticing entrees, Kakaako Kitchen’s skilled staff is capable of customizing menus for parties of 10 to 1,000 guests.

Phillips recommends an Appetizer Platter (prices vary by order size and menu selections), which can be crafted with a multitude of options. Some choices include chicken skewers prepared with olive oil or garlic butter glazes, refreshing tofu summer rolls, crab/cream cheese won tons and soy sake glazed meatballs.

As a special scoop for Dining Out readers, Kakaako Kitchen offers a can’t-miss Hot Deal worth $20 for just $14 to be used at the restaurant. Customers may purchase the vouchers now through Thursday, Oct. 30, and the deal is valid for six months from the date of purchase. As a reminder: the deal may not be redeemed on major holidays (Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day and President’s Day); it is not valid for “Picnic on the Lanai” or “Table 13” events; and is not combinable with other offers or discounts.

Kakaako Kitchen

Ward Center
1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday

Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best