Edit ModuleShow Tags

New French-Latin Bistro, Grondin Opens in Honolulu’s Chinatown

Grondin French Latin Kitchen: A new but surprisingly familiar restaurant opens at the sketchy end of Chinatown.


Charcuterie at Grondin. 
Photos: Steve Czerniak


Two of Honolulu’s most underrepresented cuisines—French and Latin—come together at Grondin. And yet what sounds like an uncommon mash-up feels surprisingly familiar.

That’s because the menu here is less fusion than a presentation of classic French and Ecuadorian food, so classic it reads more like a universal language than Esperanto could ever aspire to. You’ll recognize charcuterie and ceviche, steak frites and pork chops.

The interior, too, speaks adorable in every tongue—classic Thonet-style wooden bistro chairs, black-and-white tile floors, brick walls and tall ceilings that tip the ambiance from cramped to intimate.

Grondin tells the story of its owners—Jenny Grondin (whose father was a French chef) and David Segarra (originally from Ecuador). In the past seven years, they helped open and manage four Fatty Crab and Fatty ’Cue restaurants—the uber-popular, Malaysian-inspired concepts based in New York. Grondin is the first restaurant that’s their own, and it’s a love letter to the foods of their childhoods.

So the ceviche is made with ketchup, Ecuador-style, and the steak accompanied by frites is served sliced, as is often the case in Paris. The most unfamiliar dish, muchines, isn’t so exotic once you realize it resembles mochi—steamed, grated yucca has that same chewy texture, only here it’s topped with queso fresco and honey. And, like mochi, I can’t get enough.

Big hunks of meat are not usually my thing at restaurants—I get bored halfway through—but they are stunning at Grondin. The chuleta, a thick-cut pork chop, arrives as bronze and naked as a Waikiki sunbather, making me fear it will be equally leathery. But no—it’s perfectly juicy and deeply flavorful. It comes on saffron rice, a refined take on the Latin yellow rice, studded with raisins and pine nuts and emboldened with pork fat. There’s nothing technically wrong with Grondin’s cassoulet or white bean ragu, but they just can’t compare.

The flavors don’t let up at lunch. The excellent charcuterie offered at dinner is served in a killer sandwich of pate and house-cured ham infused with chili and cumin. A chicken-salad sandwich is made over with a vinegary mix of veggies and sliced, fresh jalapenos. This kitchen is not shy with seasoning, from salads to steaks, and I love it for that.

Chuleta, pork chop with saffron rice. 

Recommended dishes: 
Muchines, charcuterie, chuleta.

Price range:
Lunch: Sandwiches $12 to $14.
Dinner: Small plates $7 to $15, large plates $18 to $32.

62 N. Hotel St., 566-6768, grondinhi.com


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine February 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags



Here’s How Hawai‘i Responded on Social Media to the False Ballistic Missile Alert

Ward Warehouse

A false alarm caused by human error sent the entire state of Hawai‘i into panic mode.


Twitter is Going Nuts Over Barack Obama’s Backward Hat and Rubbah Slippahs


Vacation mode: Activate.


6 Things You Need to Know About Rat Lungworm Disease Before You Eat a Salad

Rat lungworm disease

Everyone’s talking about the recent disease outbreak affecting the Islands. Find out what it is, where it comes from and how you can prevent it.


Here’s How to Survive a Possible North Korea Nuclear Strike in Hawai‘i

North Korea

What you need to do according to the Hawai‘i State Department of Defense.


20 Great O‘ahu Hikes

Explore 20 great adventures that offer beautiful vistas, waterfalls and more.



Edit ModuleShow Tags