Catering To Family-Style DiningA La Carte Columns
September 18, 2016
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Christina O'Connor
Aja Sushi & Bento has made its name on creating local, home-style cuisine. So it’s no wonder that one of its best sellers is its Garlic Chicken, which is derived from a longtime family recipe.
“This is the third generation making this chicken in our family — my grandma has been making this forever,” explains Lauren Yoo, who co-owns the restaurant alongside her parents.
“We fry it twice and then we season it with our own special sauce,” she explains.
Yoo says the chicken is infused with just the right amount of garlic flavor — where the taste of the garlic comes through, but is not so overpowering where “you can’t talk to anybody for the rest of the day.”
The popular item is available as a Family Pack, which Yoo estimates can serve about 5-7 people. The pack is usually $14.99, but it’s on special right now — through the rest of the month, it will be $11.99. The Family Pack is only offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MondaySaturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
“What our customers usually do is they get one Family Pack and then they either pick up some side order of veggies or make rice at home and then share with their family,” Yoo says. “It’s a really great value.”
The Light Alternative
If you want to get a bite of that garlic chicken but want a lighter option, you can indulge with less guilt by ordering Garden Chicken Salad ($8.99).
“People enjoy our garlic chicken, but sometimes they think it might be heavy. We found that it goes really well with salad,” says co-owner Lauren Yoo. “It has been really well received.”
It’s a fresh tossed salad with broccoli, cucumber, corn, olives, tomatoes and red cabbage, with your choice of dressing from a varied selection. Then, of course, there is a generous helping of garlic chicken.
Aja Sushi & Bento
Ala Moana Center, Makai Market Food Court
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.