New menu presents tasty, trendy bitesA La Carte
August 19, 2018
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
The Brilliant Ox at Ala Moana Center introduces a few new dishes, plus a tasty snack menu with a creative twist on some classic bar foods.
On the snack menu, which was added just a couple of weeks ago, are Pork Rinds ($5), Smoked Ahi Spread ($7), Fried Okra and Tomatoes ($6), Red Hot Cauliflower ($7), Fresh Mozzarella ($8) and Chick-peas and Pork Belly ($4).
“It comes out of the kitchen really quick, and it’s smaller than an appetizer because it’s meant to be more like a quick bite,” explains Brian Gremillion, executive chef. “So, if you’re having a bite at the bar or beer at the bar, or maybe you have it while you’re deciding on the menu.
“It’s simple and really great not just to be for beer but all of our snacks also complement the appetizer line-up. We just have a good balance there, where it’s a little less than an appetizer, priced less than an appetizer, but it’s meant to be part of the meal.”
According to Gremillion, Red Hot Cauliflower has been really popular, which is his take on a vegetarian version of chicken wings. The cauliflower is covered in a light beer batter, fried until crispy and served with a house-made shiso ranch sauce.
For something salty and spicy, try Fried Okra and Tomatoes, Chickpeas and Pork Belly or the local favorite Pork Rinds.
The Fried Okra and Tomatoes is made with a cornmeal-like batter with paprika and black pepper, and fried until crispy. “I’m from New Orleans, so this is a home-feel dish for me,” notes Gremillion. Chickpeas and Pork Belly, which has a nice crunch, is a great substitute for bar nuts.
Pork Rinds consists of pork skin that has been cooked until tender, dehydrated in the oven, and then fried and tossed in a spice mix. It is served with a spicy cheddar fondue.
Smoked Ahi Spread consists of ahi that is seasoned, cold-smoked with apple-wood, gently cooked and then whipped with a mix of roasted garlic puree, sour cream, pepper and a little bit of lemon zest, along with a relish made from roasted pepper, lime and olive oil. “It’s basically a take on a dip and we finish it with sesame lavosh that you can dip in there,” adds Gremillion.
Fresh Mozzarella is more of a creamy, cheesy snack featuring little balls of cheese marinated in a chimichurri sauce and served with thinly cut toasted crostini.
The Brilliant Ox opened its doors about eight months ago as a gastropub and restaurant serving new American and local-style dishes with a “brilliant” twist.
The new hot spot serves lunch and dinner, while offering a wide selection of signature cocktails and 16 craft beers on tap, including many local brews, such as Paradise Ciders, Waikiki Brewing and Maui Brewing.
In addition to its regular menu, The Brilliant Ox offers lunch specials, a late night menu (on Fridays and Saturdays), brunch (on Saturdays and Sundays) and happy hour (2:30-5:30 p.m.).
“We definitely want to represent the gastropub vibe of things,” says Gremillion. “We have the Scotch Egg Katsu and a lot of fried stuff. It’s definitely rooted in traditions of a gastropub, and from there we’ve taken some of our own liberty to make new things, which is a little bit of local flavors, local ingredients and some of my background — balancing my experience doing new ramen in New York or seasonal cooking in San Francisco, or some of the Southern things from where I grew up.”
Among the signature menu items that continue to be popular since the restaurant opened are Teriyaki Beef Shortribs ($29), Roasted Bone Marrow ($19) and Ox Burger ($15).
Gremillion, who was the former chef de cuisine at the highly-acclaimed Delfina Restaurant in San Francisco and chef at the extremely popular Ivan Ramen in New York City, hosted a ramen pop-up at The Brilliant Ox last month that sold-out. So, they are planning another ramen pop-up in September.
The restaurant also is available for events and parties. There are two private rooms that can hold six to18 people each, or be combined for a party of about 36 — the entire restaurant can fit about 200 guests.
What’s more, a DJ plays music from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.