Restaurant Week Hawaii 2012: Staff Picks
Murphy’s Bar & Grill
Murphy’s Bar & Grill has got to be one of the most underrated restaurants in town. Crowded out by all the new and exciting buzzed-about restaurants, old-timers often can’t get their fair share of ink, so when I tell people I’m going to Murphy’s, I’m often met with a puzzled frown.
Sure, Murphy’s no-frills menu isn’t likely to thrill those in search of the new, but I eat at “hot young thang” restaurants day after day, and sometimes I just want to bask in the warmth of comfort cuisine. This is one place where I can always count on a good burger, steamed clams or grilled salmon.
For Restaurant Week, Murphy’s is serving up its classic Best Corned Beef and Cabbage with mashed potatoes and vegetables as an $18 dinner special. Check it out. (2 Merchant St., 531-0422, www.murphyshawaii.com)
— Nadine Kam, Star-Advertiser
Dining at Nobu Waikiki can be quite a splurge, but the $55 four-course meal during Restaurant Week is a great way to enjoy a high-quality meal at a fraction of the cost.
Start off with your choice of Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño or a Seared Tuna Sashimi Salad, then an entree of Jalapeño Misoyaki Cod or Beef Tenderloin with Sancho Teriyaki Sauce.
Next is an assortment of sushi with miso soup followed by a lovely dessert to end the night. (2233 Helumoa Road, 237-6999, www.noburestaurants.com)
— Lindsey Muraoka, Honolulu Pulse
Orchids at Halekulani
Once in a while, even if you have no reason or desire to visit Waikiki, you should go anyway. We owe it to ourselves to see Hawaii as visitors see it.
Orchids at Halekulani is a good way to get a taste. It’s not too far into the concrete jungle, the valet parking is free with validation and the cool, quiet property is an oasis from the bustle of the streets.
Dine beachside and revel in the view. You’ll understand why people save their whole lives to come to Hawaii.
Restaurant Week menus are $30 for lunch, $45 for dinner. Try the Kahuku Shrimp Ravioli or the Roasted Organic Chicken. Close with the Halekulani’s Signature Coconut Cake.
Then go sit by the pool and pretend you’re a hotel guest. Soak it up. Why not? It’s our Waikiki, too. (Halekulani, 2199 Kalia Road, 923-2311, www.halekulani.com)
— Betty Shimabukuro, Star-Advertiser
When at work we normally settle on certain dishes at certain food spots near the office, rarely exploring the menu. We need fuel. Why stray from your normal routine?
Restaurant Week gives us an opportunity to explore new things at routine places. For me it’s Pa‘ina Cafe.
The little joint in Ward Warehouse is famous for poke bowls. I never try anything else. They’re good, cheap and filling. But for Restaurant Week you can get a smoked marlin salad sandwich on pita bread with a green salad and drink for $10.
Mmm, smoked marlin salad. How does the curious culinary mind not react to that? Food for the workplace can be more than fuel. (Ward Warehouse, Koko Marina Center, www.painacafe.com)
The Pineapple Room
The Pineapple Room at Macy’s Ala Moana is always a good bet for sampling Alan Wong’s cuisine without going to his fancier King Street eatery.
For Restaurant Week the Pineapple Room’s four-course menu highlights local products for just $40. Start with an Otsuji Farms kale and pineapple shot, followed by seared ahi on garlic black pepper sauce, seafood Koda rice with Keahole lobster and Kauai shrimp, and miso-braised short ribs with farmer’s market vegetables.
Dessert is a Waialua chocolate semifreddo with Waialua coffee sauce. (Macy’s Ala Moana, third floor, 945-6573, www.alanwongs.com)
The buffet has been disappearing from our culinary landscape due to increased competition and diners’ realization that they can glean more pleasure from a great sit-down dinner than a so-so smorgasbord.
But for Restaurant Week it’s worth visiting the Prince Court, which is hosting a “Eurasian Island Mele” dinner buffet from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and a Seafood Dinner Buffet from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Considering the cost of other menus offered during the week, this one seems to pack the most bang for your buck at $39. In addition to the expected sashimi platters, shrimp cocktail, assorted poke, temaki and nigiri sushi, there will be salads, assorted cheeses, hot entrees and desserts, plus daily specials and a shabu shabu station on Monday and Tuesday, and curry station on Wednesday and Thursday.
Over the weekend, enjoy additions of crab legs, peel-and-eat shrimp, mussels and oysters, karaage calamari, steamed clams and a phó station. (Hawaii Prince Hotel, 100 Holomoana St., 944-4494, www.princeresortshawaii.com)