Restaurant Guide: Feed Your Needs
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We all know restaurants do more than just feed you; they provide a way for you to connect with friends and family over a good meal. Whether you’re looking for a place to take Grandpa or a dining room that will let you bring Lassie, here are some restaurants that can satisfy your unique needs.
IF YOU NEED:
A place to throw a big, TV-based party.
Let’s say UH goes to the Sugar Bowl again—how will you fit all of your cousins’ cousins into your living room?
Before you start mixing three kinds of dips, you might want to consider taking your sports party to Ryan’s Grill at Ward Center. The lounge seats about 80, according to manager Gabrielle LeClair. There are three flat-screen televisions, plus one pull-down screen.
Ryan’s won a Hale Aina Award for Best Bar in 2007 and has an array of finger-licking pupu. Try the sweet potato fries with Bourbon-spiked barbecue sauce or the crab and artichoke dip, which is the most popular pūpū, says LeClair. “It’s served warm with our in-house [baked] focaccia bread.”
The lounge is first-come, first-serve, so make sure your party gets there early. Ryan’s also has happy hour seven days a week, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Restaurant hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight; the bar is open until 2 a.m. nightly. 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. 591-9132. www.wardcenters.com.
IF YOU NEED:
A quiet, home-style restaurant where you can take your tutu.
Kenny’s Restaurant has a menu full of local comfort foods, is wheelchair accessible and has exceptionally long, early-bird dinner hours. The early-bird dinner hours are Monday through Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m., about three hours longer than other restaurants.
“When we started this about three years ago it was a way to fill the seats during our slower afternoon hours. It became such a hit that it stuck,” says Ron Kayano, the restaurant’s manager.
The specials during early-bird hours include three dollars off the ribeye steak, mahimahi filet, pork chop, and spaghetti with meatballs. Want to eat your comfort food at home? Takeout is available. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, 6 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. 1620 N. School St. (Kamehameha Shopping Center). 841-0931. www.kennysrestaurant.com.
IF YOU NEED:
Karma points served as a side dish.
The Lotus Café on the Big Island uses compostable containers, water-conserving appliances, a tankless water heating system and 450 solar panels that provide all the electricity.
Owners Howie and Ladda Simon apply their environmentally conscious philosophy to their Pan-Asian cuisine as well. “We make the menu based on what we can grow, and what we can grow we grow organically,” says Howie. The restaurant works with area farms, big and small, to provide locally grown produce whenever possible. “We don’t believe in canned or bottled sauces and spices. We make all of our sauces from scratch so we can guarantee what’s in them,” he says.
One of the most popular dishes is the Miang Kham, a spicy appetizer of ginger, coconut, peanuts and shrimp served on Thai betel leaves with a coconut and palm sugar dipping sauce. “We don’t keep our curry on the back burner all day; it is made fresh to order. Nothing is made in advance,” says Simon. For dessert, try the restaurant’s take on gelato, made with coconut milk and fresh fruit, and available in 10 flavors, such as ginger vanilla. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 73-5617 Maiau St., Kailua-Kona. (808)327-3270. www.thelotuscafe.com.