Hawaii Restaurant Chefs Recommend
Chef Recommends: Everyone envisions chefs laboring away at the hot stove, so much so that we sometimes forget they do venture out of their kitchens, eat at other restaurants, try new dishes and relax with friends around a table.
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Chef de Cuisine at Star Noodle
At his restaurant: Pohole salad ($8).
Born and raised in Hilo, Simeon grew up eating pohole (ferns)—at baby luau, parties, from his grandparents’ backyard. “When developing the menu [at Star Noodle],” he says, “I knew I wanted something on the menu that ties to my roots.” He combines the pohole with dried shrimp, shredded ika (cuttlefish), kombu (kelp), onions, tomatoes and sesame oil for a sweet, salty and umami-filled bite. 286 Kupuohi St., Lahaina, (808) 667-5400, starnoodle.com.
He also recommends: Sansei’s shrimp dynamite at Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar ($12.95).
For this pupu, tempura-battered rock shrimp are tossed with masago aioli and unagi sauce. “The creaminess works well with the crunchiness of the rock shrimp,” Simeon says. “And it goes well with Kirin Ichiban. Or a couple of sake shots.” Sansei, Kihei Town Center, 1881 S. Kihei Road, No. KT-116, Kihei, 879-0004, sanseihawaii.com.