Kailua eatery whisks away taste buds

A La Carte Columns

October 2, 2016

Story By: Caitlin Basilio |

Sherry Brine Pork Chop ($29) Photo By Caitlin Basilio

Sherry Brine Pork Chop ($29)
Photo By Caitlin Basilio

Hawaii is usually on the top of everyone’s list when it comes to dream destinations. But for those who already live in the great Aloha State, you can take an authentic food tour of Europe without leaving the Islands at Bella Bistro.

Venture to the Kailua eatery, where whatever you decide to try will have you exclaiming, “Che buono!” (That’s delicious in Italian.)

The eatery is situated in a small outdoor setting, offering an intimate ambiance. Chef and owner David Kaminski explains that the restaurant is best known for Mediterranean cuisine. Since opening in 2013, Bella Bistro has offered everything from French and Italian to Greek and Spanish foods. Better yet, everything is fresh and homemade.

“All our dressings are house-made — nothing out of the bottle. We do everything from scratch, all of our stocks, soups; everything is from scratch,” he says. “We make it in smaller batches to ensure the freshness of it and it’s basically a flavor you’ll never find anywhere.”

Two of the most beloved dishes at Bella Bistro are Eggplant Parmesan ($14 lunch, $19 dinner) and Pastrami Reuben ($17 lunch only).

“The Eggplant is done old-world, Italian-style,” says Kaminski. “We flour, panko and fry it, then add our house-made basil garlic marinara sauce and provolone cheese, and bake it until it’s golden.” The meal is served with Caesar salad.

Pastrami Reuben is done on Jewish rye bread and made with grilled pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. The sandwich comes with french fries and a spring salad, which consists of fresh spring greens, Kalamata olives, red onions and red grape tomatoes, mixed with a house-made vinaigrette.

One special that Kaminski urges guests to try is Sherry Brine Pork Chop. This 12-ounce chop will be a newcomer to the restaurant’s fall menu, but is offered right now for $29.

“We brine the pork chop in sherry, garlic (and) brining liquid, which is basically salt, sugar, black pepper (and) bay leaf, and then I add the sherry and fresh garlic and it brines for 48 hours,” explains Kaminski.

The meat is served French cut-style, which, according to Kaminski, means that the entire piece of meat has the same amount of thickness, making for a really tender pork chop.

Bella Bistro

201 Hamakua Drive, Kailua
11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-9 p.m.;
Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.,
5-9 p.m.; Closed Monday

Kailua, HI 96734

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