Grind Time: The Pig & The Lady opens downtown

Nov. 12, 2013 | 0 Comments

Long lines are a common sight at The Pig & The Lady's tent at the Blaisdell Farmers Market on Wednesdays. (Courtesy photo)

Long lines are a common sight at The Pig & The Lady’s tent at the Blaisdell Farmers Market on Wednesdays. (Courtesy photo)

BY JASON GENEGABUS / jason@staradvertiser.com

The big day is here for farmers market and pop-up restaurant veterans The Pig & The Lady. Flush with cash from a successful crowd-funding campaign, Chef Andrew Le and his family will open the doors at The Pig & The Lady at Lemongrass Cafe on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Located at 83 N. King St., the new restaurant will continue to operate as an incubator for up-and-coming culinary talent. Lemongrass Cafe is an extension of Pacific Gateway Center, a nonprofit group that provides services to immigrants, refugees and low-income residents, including job training and entrepreneurial support.

While dinner service is still a few weeks away (scheduled start date is Dec. 12), Wednesday’s grand opening will service the downtown Honolulu lunch crowd with a number of popular dishes from The Pig & The Lady’s farmers market and pop-up menus, plus a few new items.

The Pig & The Lady's Vietnamese Posole. (Courtesy Alex Le)

The Pig & The Lady’s Vietnamese Posole. (Courtesy Alex Le)

The lunch menu will include items like:

» P.L.T. Melt Banh Mi: Fried portobello mushroom, filled with cheddar cheese, sprouts, local tomato and “Srirancha” sauce (sriracha mixed with ranch dressing)

» Pho French Dip Banh Mi: 12-hour roast brisket, thai basil, bean sprouts and pho au jus

» Le Saigon Banh Mi: Pork belly, ham, pate, slow poached egg and roast pork jus

» Vietnamese Posole: Pork, shishito pepper, lemongrass, radish and lime

» Pho Tsukemen: Brisket, salt cured egg yolk, fried shallot, roasted peanuts and pho tsuyu

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, with a noodle bar remaining open for service until 5 p.m. Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays; the restaurant will be closed on Sundays and Mondays. Tentative dinner hours will be 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The menu at The Pig & The Lady will feel very familiar to regulars, but Le hopes his Southeast Asian-inspired family-style menu will strike a chord with new customers in the neighborhood.

“We want (our food) to remind you of the good times you share with family while introducing you to new tastes and experiences in the company of friends,” he said in a statement.

To promote the community dining experience, Le partnered with Daniel Anthony of Mana Ai — the guy you see rocking a malo and pounding poi at farmers markets and other community events around Oahu — who donated five hand-crafted mango wood dining tables that seat up to eight people. He added a small pop-up retail space to sell various items and plans to open an oyster bar within the restaurant once dinner service starts next month. An expanded catering operation is also expected to bring Le’s food to more hungry mouths in the coming weeks.

Fans of The Pig & The Lady’s popular “Dinner and a Movie” nights will be happy to learn they will return in the coming months at the new brick-and-mortar space, and Le will draw upon the creative abilities of his kitchen team when he launches an all-new concept — the “Trough Dinner.” At the end of each week, cooks will go through whatever food is left in the kitchen with the assigned task of transforming it into “something refined and delicious.”
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“Grind Time” is always looking for the latest places to get your grub on. Email Jason Genegabus with restaurant, bar or any other food/drink-related item at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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