Top-Notch Italian Fare

A La Carte Columns

November 8, 2015

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa |

Handmade Pasta and Filet Mignon Meat-balls ($30). Nathalie Walker photo

Handmade Pasta and Filet Mignon Meat-balls ($30). Nathalie Walker photo

Executive chef Edmond Kwok is bustling around the restaurant when Dining Out stops in at Sarento’s at the Top of the Ilikai, but this is expected. The same is true for Chef Edmond’s cuisine, not that the cuisine won’t surprise you, but that each dish meets every expectation of magical perfection.

On the 30th floor of the Ilikai Hotel in Waikiki, Sarento’s towers over the island with a mix of traditional and original Italian recipes that keep the restaurant in high standings with tourists and locals alike.

Diners will be pleased to hear that on Thanksgiving Day a three-course, prix-fixe menu will be available (price to be determined). Expect stuffed turkey roulade with Hawaiian sweet bread stuffing and, instead of traditional pumpkin pie, Chef Edmond promises a Molokai sweet potato pie with haupia sauce.


Although it stems from a pretty common dish, Handmade Pasta and Filet Mignon Meatballs ($30) certainly does not taste like any spaghetti and meatballs you’ve ever had before. Thick cuts of handmade tagliatelle pasta, which translates to “tattered rags,” are ladled with chunky pomodoro sauce cooked with Italian herbs, white wine and some garlic butter.

Each meatball is 3 ounces of quality filet, ground and mixed with more herbs and seasoning. You even may decide to share — or not — as there are three meatballs total.

Sarento’s At The Top Of The Ilikai

The Ilikai Hotel
1777 Ala Moana Blvd., Waikiki
Daily, 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96815

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best