Saturday, January 15, 2011

Good Eats: Kaka'ako Kitchen

From the chefs that brought you fine dining at 3660, they also created a diner that focused on the Hawaiian favorite: plate lunch.  This place doesn't just do plate lunch, they elevate it to gourmet plate lunches.  The menu includes fresh, local ingredients and get their fish fresh from the piers in the morning.   

Kakaako Kitchen is located at 1200 Ala Moana Boulevard on the ground floor in Ward Center.  It's just a few blocks past Ala Moana Center.

Walk right in to check the daily specials, down on the counter in fluorescent yellow paper or get the tried and true plate lunches.  Breakfast is served at 8:00 am, lunch and dinner entrees start at 10:30 am.  Dinner specials are served from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm from Monday to Thursday.  

I tried this place for lunch and few times and overwhelmingly recommend the fish here.  Whatever fish dish I ordered I was impressed.  The fish is really straight from the fishing boats in the morning.  The chicken dishes are okay, though I thought the Mochiko Chicken Plate was excellent.  I haven't tried the desserts, but the kitchen bakes them fresh daily and the bread budding had good reviews.  

Fried tempura mahi sandwich on a taro bun with a side of organic Nalo greens.  Crunchy on the outside with a warm, tender center.  My only regret is I didn't get another one.  I usually get the Nalo greens because of the house made salad dressing.  

Another favorite is mixed plate with two selections.   You can get beef stew, loco moco, mochiko chicken, sweet and sour spareribs, chinese 5-spice shoyu chicken, hamburger steak, and sauteed mahi-mahi.  I decided to get the sweet and sour spareribs with sauteed mahi.  The spareribs are tender, sweet, and slightly tangy.  The sauteed mahi is excellent.

Although I wasn't overly impressed with the chicken dishes here, there is one dish that stood out.  That is the Mochiko Chicken Plate.  Mochiko is sweet rice flour that used to make mochi (rice cakes).  The mochiko flour is mixed with cornstarch, soy sauce, garlic, and other ingredients the chicken a sweet, teriyaki flavor.  

Don't get me wrong, I liked the chicken, I'm just saying after eating at 3660 I had great expectations.  Here is another good pick, the Hibachi Chicken wrap with a side order of fries.  The chicken wrap is served cool and is good on a hot day.  

There's a lot to like here, check out the menu at their website here.  

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