Nutritious food that’s ‘GRYLT’ to perfection

Columns Lite Bites

February 22, 2015

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

I often hear people say they want to eat healthier, but it’s just too difficult. I understand. We’re all so busy with work and family, that these days many of our eating habits are based on convenience.

Well, GRYLT has made healthy eating very simple. Its casual, fast-food-style set up is convenient, and the food is fresh, tasty and nutritious. There also are multiple locations in shopping centers with lots of free parking — Manoa Marketplace, Ala Moana Center and Kahala Mall, and a fourth is expected to open April 1 in Kailua Shopping Center near Times.

“There wasn’t anything that offered fresh food that was high-quality in a quick service format,” says Allen Farinas, who started the company in 2011 with wife Mayu. “The type of quality we serve is typically what really good restaurants serve — all fresh ingredients, not frozen. We also try to get things locally whenever we can, and we try to get things organic whenever we can. We just want to serve really good food.”

On the menu, customers can build their own plate in four easy steps by choosing a protein, starch, veggie and sauce. There also are handcrafted sandwiches and wraps, savory soups and farm fresh salads.

Salad options are GRYLT Signature Salad, Summer Baby Kale Salad, Greek Salad or Farro Salad. All are priced at $9.95, or you can add a fresh protein (tofu, chicken, steak, braised beef, ahi, salmon or shrimp) for an additional cost.

Constantly in search of the finest, locally produced ingredients, Farinas recently discovered Kunia Country Farms, and started using its lettuce in GRYLT’s salads and other menu items about a month ago.

“It’s an aquaponic farm,” he explains. “I think they’re one of the most sustainable farms on the Island. They don’t use any pesticides. Everything is organic and sustainably grown. We use their Manoa lettuce, and when you take a look at it, it’s just bursting with juices and it’s amazing.”

Each salad features a variety of ingredients that result in a perfect blend of flavors. It also is light and refreshing. The Summer Baby Kale Salad consists of kale, Kunia Country Farms’ Manoa greens, strawberry slices, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, mandarin oranges, feta cheese and a homemade acai vinaigrette.

The Greek Salad has Kunia Country Farms’ Manoa greens as well, along with cherry tomatoes, marinated olives, red onion slices, Japanese cucumbers, feta cheese and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

As for the Farro Salad, which uses emmer wheat imported from Italy, you’ll find cherry tomatoes, Ewa sweet onions, local mint, local parsley and local Japanese cucumber, infused with a citrus dijon vinaigrette.

“We sponsor some bodybuilders and CrossFit athletes, and they just love the Farro Salad, that with chicken on top,” notes Farinas. “This type of food is what people want. People are more conscious about what they eat. They are living longer, working out more and they want to know what’s in their food.”


Manoa Marketplace
2764 Woodlawn Drive

Kahala Mall
4211 Waialae Ave.

Ala Moana Center, Makai Market Food Court
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.


Honolulu, HI 96814

Honolulu, HI 96816

2764 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822

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