Green Bloody Marys and DIY Mimosas at The Brilliant Ox Brunch
A brunch-specific menu offers oxtail hollandaise-topped eggs Benedict, liliko‘i mimosas and other twists on late-morning favorites.
The Kim Chee Omelet at the brilliant ox brunch.
photos: nicole ladonne blair
You don’t necessarily think “pub” when planning an upscale weekend brunch, but The Brilliant Ox’s sophisticated take on local dishes offers a tasty late-morning option in a stylish dining space, complete with red London phone booth and, of course, oxen for photo ops.
The brunch menu is only offered Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It lists a dozen American-inspired dishes with Brilliant Ox twists. The Brilliant Benedict ($14) is topped with oxtail hollandaise and the beer-battered fish sandwich ($15) is completed with green papaya slaw and charred jalapeño tartar sauce.
As no brunch is complete without cocktails, we started with a passion fruit mimosa ($12) and a Green Mary ($13). The mimosa is sweeter and less tart than the usual orange-juice spiked version and comes D.I.Y. so you can add just the right amount of liliko‘i juice to a full glass of bubbly. The Green Mary was a refreshing take on a traditional bloody mary. Tomatillo sauce adds the color and a bright, sour twist and you can taste the cucumber in this lighter version of the breakfast favorite. Because it is brunch, service needs to be quick, (keep the cocktails flowing!) and when my dining companion’s beverage came out at least 10 minutes before my own, it did dampen the experience.
the brilliant ox brunch menu is only available weekends, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
I ordered the kim chee omelet ($15) with crispy pork belly and chili-garlic sauce. The sauce added both sweetness and spice and the perfectly cooked pork bellyʻs skins provided a welcome crunch. My companion ordered scrambled eggs and bone marrow ($15) with cheddar fondue, chives and grilled bread. He had never tried marrow before and wasnʻt sure how to eat it. Once we spread it on the grilled bread, he enjoyed the warm richness and buttery texture.
Scrambled eggs with bone marrow.
If you need your local meat fix, you can order the Breakfast Pork Flight ($6). It’s an upscale name for a small bowl of Portuguese sausage, bacon and Spam. We enjoyed the portion—just enough for two to share with entrees.
We stayed on a little longer, sipping 100-percent Kona coffee and leisurely taking in the space. The Brilliant Ox has been making its mark on the Honolulu dining scene for a few months now, and this brunch is a welcome addition.
The Brilliant Ox, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (808) 377-4803, thebrilliantox.com.