Less is more at JJ Bistro

Chew On This Digest

April 12, 2015

Story By: Lindsey Appleton | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

Today’s restaurants have quite the challenge: be tasty, healthy and Instagram-worthy. Since everyone with an appetite is calling themselves a “#foodie,” chefs sometimes compromise affordable prices and flavors to commodify presentation. An experienced chef, however, knows that taste and quality should always come first. On Waialae Avenue, Praseuth “JJ” Luangkhot, owner and chef of JJ Bistro & French Pastry, has a knack for artfully-crafted dishes, but has kept his objective to serve good food a priority.

“Anyone can make a dish presentable, but can you eat it?” Luangkhot asks. “Some places use too many ingredients, the dishes are too complicated and the flavors don’t balance or blend well together. The more simple, the better.”

Enjoy the effortlessly tasty Stone Crab Claw ($18.95), sauteed and steamed in Luangkhot’s special XO sauce. Made with yellow curry, shallot, garlic, dried shrimp, chili powder and other ingredients, the full-flavored XO sauce complements the delicate and sweet stone crab.

Twirl up a forkful of Luangkhot’s Manilla Clam with Fettuccini ($14.95). A creamy and garlicky white wine beurre blanc sauce evenly coats a bed of house-made fettuccini, topped with tender baby clams. Luangkhot takes the time to make each meal from scratch, including the pasta and sauces.

“I was taught that you should never take any short cuts when cooking,” says Luangkhot. “Cooking quality food is time consuming, but it is worth it. I do all of the cooking myself, so I’m able to have affordable prices.”

Dig into Double Soft Shell Crab with Fettuccinie ($16.95). The Pankocrusted and fried crab is served with Luangkhot’s JJun sauce. A twist on a Cajun recipe, Luangkhot uses fresh jalapeno, garlic and butter to create his zesty and rich sauce.

“I’m inspired by traditional French cooking techniques, and Laotian and Asian ingredients,” says Luangkhot. “Dining out is something special, and my goal is to share the experience of high-end food with everyone.”

Of course, any meal at JJ’s isn’t complete without one of his famous desserts. Try the ever-popular Chocolate Pyramid (now available gluten-free). Or, receive a complimentary baked oyster and creme brulee with a purchased four-course meal. Keep an eye out for JJ’s newest restaurant adventure — Jean-Marc Honolulu — opening in the next few months. The venue will emphasize Parisian dishes as a tribute to the late Jean-Marc Burillier, to whom Luangkhot attributes his culinary success.

JJ Bistro & French Pastry

3447 Waialae Ave., Honolulu
Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96816

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Hawaii's Best