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Restaurant Week Hawaii 2012: Staff Picks
What’s not to like about an Irish pub offering New York-style pizza in the heart of Honolulu Chinatown? During Restaurant Week Hawaii, J.J. Dolan’s is serving up dinner for four for just $50.
The menu includes a caprese salad, one appetizer (your pick of french fries, calamari or wings), a handcrafted pizza of your choice, a bottle of red or white wine and two slices of New York-style cheesecake from Jimmy the Baker. Order anything from classic cheese or classic pepperoni to a margherita or spinach and garlic pie. (1147 Bethel St., 537-4992, www.jjdolans.com)
— Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser
Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
I love dim sum, but I usually get it only once in a while on the weekend. Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant’s special for Restaurant Week is tempting me to make a midweek visit.
The lunch menu (for a minimum of two people) has some unique offerings, including the snow mountain char sui bun, signature shrimp dumplings, shrimp and chive dumplings, deep-fried taro rolls and stir-fried rice noodles Chiu Chow style. Dessert is a silken tofu with sweet ginger syrup, which seems like a nice (and healthy) way to end a meal. All of it is available for $16.50 per person.
The dinner menu offers substantially more meat for just a little more: crispy chicken lettuce wrap, spinach and fish fillet soup, roasted crispy beef, Shanghai pak choy with crab meat and a fried rice with dried scallops and egg whites, plus dessert. Cost is $23.50. (Ala Moana Center Ho‘okipa Terrace, 947-8818, www.jadedynastyhawaii.com)
Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee offers longtime Hawaii residents a mouthful of nostalgia at a discount. Anyone who has fond memories of finding respite from a day of shopping at Ala Moana Center by snacking on Woolworth’s fried chicken will appreciate the crispy deep-fried goodness that is a Chicken Joy Value Meal.
The two-piece meal with one side is $5.75, or get two sides for 90 cents more. Choice include waffle-cut fries, french fries, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn and, of course, rice. (Ala Moana Center Makai Market Food Court, 944-0440, www.jollibeeusa.com)
— Rad Kanda, Star-Advertiser
Tucked into the hustle-and-bustle crossroad where Waimanu Street meets Piikoi, Kissaten Cafe is an oasis of cool calm, a place to exhale the vehicle exhaust, shake off the sharp heat of the sun and refresh. Cold air uplifts visitors as they enter the door, and once closed, the noise of traffic disappears.
Because of this, the rather sprawling space has an intimate feel that quickly puts folks at ease — and ready to ponder the delicious choices of soups, salads, sandwiches and dessert. The cafe, open 24 hours, also brews quality coffees and teas.
Kissaten’s Restaurant Week lunch/dinner lineup showcases some of its most beloved offerings: A party of two can partake of coffee or tea, tomato bisque, a house or Caesar salad, and turkey pesto sandwich or truffle mac ‘n cheese all for $25.
Morning visitors can enjoy special $3 pricing on a parfait with the purchase of breakfast, while nighttime customers can get a $3 brownie sundae with a late-night menu item. (88 Piikoi St., 593-1200, www.kissatencafe.com)
— Joleen Oshiro, Star-Advertiser
Because Longhi’s is perched on the third floor of Ala Moana Center and has no storefront, it’s easy to forget this legendary eatery, but now’s the perfect opportunity to get reacquainted.
The $50 dinner option may seem pricey, but when you factor in that it includes hearty appetizers (potato-crusted crab cake or filet mignon carpaccio), delectable entrees of shrimp and scallops pesto, chicken marsala, fresh catch and petite filet mignon, dessert and a glass of wine, the price tag is quite palatable. (Ala Moana Center, 947-9899, www.longhis.com)
The Mermaid Bar
Tucked away discreetly inside Neiman Marcus, it’s easy to overlook the Mermaid Bar. The clean, quiet oasis of casual dining in Hawaii’s most expensive department store is serving up a screaming bargain for Restaurant Week.
At $17, diners are treated to Red Wine Braised Short Rib, baked potato mash, petite green salad and the pasty chef’s dessert of the day. (Neiman Marcus, Ala Moana Center, 951-3428, www.neimanmarcushawaii.com)