Archive for the ‘Casual’ Category

Hank’s hosts ‘Man vs. Food’ weekend

November 30th, 2011
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Photos courtesy Hank’s Haute Dogs
Hank puts his Seoul Dog, encased in french fries cemented with batter, to the test before it’s ready for its closeup.

After taking on Laie’s Hukilau Cafe Hukilau Burger, Helena’s Hawaiian Food’s pipikaula short ribs and laulau, Mac 24-7′s Mac Daddy Pancake Challenge (four pounds of ‘em) in 2009, see how Adam Richman fares when he challenges his humongous appetite with another taste of the islands, on an episode of the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food Nation,” airing today.

One of his stops was at Hank’s Haute Dogs, where he sampled some of Henry “Hank” Adaniya’s latest creations.

“He ate quite of few off our regular menu,” says Hank, who also concocted some “new wild creations for him to try.”

“Man vs. Food” host and food daredevil Adam Richman gives Hank his approval.

He doesn’t know which dogs will actually have screen time—I’m betting on the Seoul dog—but to mark the occasion, Hank’s will be presenting a “Man vs. Food” Weekend beginning Dec. 2, with specials as follows:

Dec. 2: Lobster Fat Boy. A lobster dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried and served with garlic aioli, lettuce and tomato.
Dec. 3: Seoul Dog. From the streets of Korea. Fries are batter-glued to an all-beef dog planted on a stick, deep fried, then served with a kim chee mignonette!
Dec. 4: Tsunami Dog. This is what you get when you combine a foot-long hot dog, kalua pig, BBQ poi sauce, pineapple relish, pickle onion and cabbage.
Dec. 5: Truffled Italian beef combo. The iconic Chicago beef sandwich paired with housemade Italian sausage, then covered in the house truffled cheese sauce.

Hank’s Haute Dogs is at 324 Coral St. Call 532-HANK (4265).

The tsunami dog.

YuZu splashes into scene

November 8th, 2011
By




Nadine Kam photos

Motoko “Moco” Kubota shows YuZu’s lotus pizza.

YuZu Hawaii hosted its grand opening party Nov. 3 at its location on the ground floor of the Ala Moana Hotel. The casual bar concept described as “not your grandmother’s Japanese cuisine” is the latest project of Isamu Kubota and Motoko “Moco” Kubota—following Kai Okonomiyaki, Kaiwa and Hale Macrobiotic—who continue to feed us in novel ways.

The couple still lean healthy, using veggie-based mayo, gluten-free tamari, housemade dashi and focusing on locally grown produce.

In spite of their having done this countless times before, the restaurant wasn’t quite ready when guests arrived, only to be left standing outside while the room was being set up. Food and drink were also slow to materialize and when platters did arrive, there was so little food on them that a mere six people could clear a whole tray if they merely grabbed two skewers of yakitori chicken.

It got to a point where people stood around the table and swarmed the minute a plate landed. I called it a fish feeding frenzy and Yelper Thomas Obungen corrected that it was more like watching piranha!


One of the restaurant’s pieces of food-related artwork.

Photographer Travis K. Okimoto took this shot over my head, with lots of hungry people patiently waiting for us to get our shots before closing in like zombies after brains! You can see all his yummy photos of the evening on his Facebook page.

I have to admit it was a bit scary, like being in the center of a mosh pit at times when I was just trying to take a photo, surrounded by an immediate circle of photographers, and outer circle of hungry people armed with chopsticks and forks. In those moments, I looked for a gap in the human wall to slip through, without risking grabbing a bite. It made no sense to try to grab a plate either, because by the time you got back, every scrap would be gone.

What I did sample was simple fare of french fries with yuzu aioli, garlic and regular soy beans, and tender yakitori that also paired well with the aioli. There was also a lotus-cheese pizza which could also be doused with Yuzu-It!, a bottled yuzu-pepper sauce.

One big selling point is that most of the menu items are priced at less than $10.

After I left, others who were there tweeted me about the udon I missed. When they’re running up to speed, three kinds—(hoso, thin round), (gokufuto, wide flat) and (futo, thick round), will be prepared fresh daily and cut to order. I look forward to trying it without battling a crowd.

YuZu is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and dinner service  from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m., with full bar service, and parking is free at Ala Moana Hotel, or just walk over from Ala Moana Center after one of your holiday shopping tours.

Organic french fries can be dressed with a housemade ketchup or yuzu aioli.

Garlicky soybeans.

Tender yakitori, umm-umm good! Get them teriyaki style, or spicy. Both are salty, made for the bar set.

Ball-shaped temari sushi are named after the temari balls crafted from kimono fabric. Featured here are hamachi with jalapeño and sake sushi.