New: Lucky Belly Dinner Entrees, Gokoku Sushi, Proof Public House and More
A slew of new restaurants, food ventures and menu items have popped up in the Honolulu dining scene.
Donburi (left) and Thai red curry with coconut gnocchi at Lucky Belly.
Photos: Katrina Valcourt
For the first time in more than two and a half years, Lucky Belly now offers dinner entrees beyond ramen. Say goodbye to the crab cakes, beef tartare and gnocchi appetizers, which have made way for full plates of donburi, snapper and Thai red curry with coconut gnocchi. The donburi ($21) comprises sake-braised pork belly on a bed of rice porridge and is topped with pickled fennel and a soft egg. The snapper ($23) is a boat for pickled green papaya and crispy shallots piled on top, while the whole thing is nestled in bright kaffir jasmine rice. Our favorite, though, is the curry and gnocchi ($25). There’s just the right amount of scallops, shrimp, fried basil and ikura, with each distinct flavor meshing well with the others. It’s creamy with a subtle hit of spice, smooth but with crunchy vegetables and exploding ikura. Each bite is an adventure. 50 N. Hotel St., 531-1888.
Proof Public House
As much as we loved Mercury Bar, we can’t be sad about its replacement: a pizza-and-brew joint by Downbeat Diner and Lounge owners Joshua Hancock and Serena Hashimoto. They say they’re not afraid of the competition from well-known and loved JJ Dolan’s nearby—they’ve got kimchee fried rice pizza, plus a pool table (and beer and whiskey). During happy hour (4–7 p.m. daily), get a slice and a beer for only $5. 1154 Fort St., Suite 10, 537-3080.
Speaking of pizza, the former Magoo’s Pizza has moved and transformed into Doughlicious. The restaurant specializes in thin-crust specialty pies with a sweet sauce. You can also create your own pizza or order a sandwich, hot or cold. 655 Keʻeaumoku St., Suite 110A, 295-4024.
The Home of the Brave Brewseum
You already know the Tomlinson family as the owners of The Brewseum in Kakaʻako, but did you know they also own the Home of the Brave Museum two doors down? They recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to brew their own craft beer onsite in the museum’s Victory Club, which they will serve there, upstairs in the Wiki Waki Woo Tropical Bar and Lounge and, of course, at The Brewseum. Learn more about their efforts and pledge a donation here. 901 and 909 Waimanu St., 799-2796.
The former Beach Bum Café space will soon be home to a new tea shop, according to a blackboard in the window. Beach Bum, which relocated to First Hawaiian Center earlier this year, went out of business shortly thereafter. Stay tuned for more on the teashop soon. 1088 Bishop St.
Hawaiian Pie Company
The Hori family, known for those amazing Big Island-based Holy’s Bakery frozen pies, has embarked on a new venture: fresh-baked fruit pies. The hefty pies are available whole or by the slice in flavors ranging from passion pear to strawberry guava, with an optional secret Hawaiian topping. You can also pick them up frozen. Read more on Frolic Hawai‘i. 508 Waiakamilo Road, 988-7828.
The open sushi prep station at Gokoku Sushi.
Photo: Katrina Valcourt
A new Japanese restaurant is now open for lunch and dinner in Koko Marina, where Miguel’z Mexican Grill and Cantina and Therapy Sports Grill used to be. The upscale sushi restaurant bears no trace of its former occupants, with an elegant dark interior, visible sushi prep station and banquette seating mixed with booths, smaller tables and counter spots. This is the first restaurant by Japanese company Pierthirty to open in Hawaiʻi, with 20 more planned in the coming years. Expect fish straight from Tsukiji and Fukuoka, plus chicken, pork, steak and lamb entrees, soups and assorted tempura. Dine in through Jan. 14 and receive a free coupon for 20 percent off. 7192 Kalanianaʻole Highway, 888-7777.
Chai’s Waikīkī Café and Market
Chef Chai has replaced his award-winning restaurant Singha Thai Cuisine with a new concept, a casual eatery with gourmet-style items. Think quality ingredients at affordable prices, such as Kobe beef in a loco moco, as well as grab-and-go items and local products—Hawaiian honey, pineapple cakes, pecans, chocolates. The café is open for both lunch and dinner. 1910 Ala Moana Blvd., 941-9200.
Honolulu Museum of Art Café
Three new salads and three new sandwiches are now available at the museum café, after months of experimentation by chef Mike Nevin. Highlights include a shrimp salad with ’Nalo greens, strawberries and oranges doused in a ginger-shallot vinaigrette ($16.95) and a barbecued pork loin sandwich, which comes with grilled-pineapple salsa on a house-baked bun and a green salad ($15.95). Up at Spalding House, the café also has new items: baked-eggplant panini ($14), tofu-and-soba salad ($13) and a bacon, greens and tomato wrap with toasted-onion mayo ($13). Honolulu Museum of Art Café, 900 S. Beretania St., 532-8734; Spalding House Café, 2411 Makiki Heights Drive, 237-5225.
Cinnamon’s at the ‘Ilikai
No longer just a breakfast and lunch joint, Cinnamon’s has expanded outside of Kailua to an all-day restaurant in Waikīkī. Expect the usual fare, including those famous guava chiffon pancakes and eggs Benedict, with the addition of cocktails, seafood and steak for dinner. Your favorite brunch items will also be available through closing time (9 p.m.). 1777 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 180, (808) 755-9955.
Angelo Pietro Honolulu
The Japanese-Italian eatery, whose Ala Moana location closed earlier this year, will reopen this spring on 12th Avenue in Kaimukī with new menu items. The space’s former tenant, Kaimukī Grill, has moved into the snack business with a line of jerky called Aloha Edibles. 1108 12th Ave., Suite C, 941-0555.
First it was Mexico Restaurant in Kalihi (the top write-in for Best Mexican restaurant in the 2015 Hale ‘Aina Awards), then the owners expanded to Kailua with Mexico Lindo, and now there’s a third restaurant: Mexico Cantina in Ward Village. As the fourth Mexican restaurant to fill the former Compadres space, we hope this one sticks. Ward Village, next to Ryan’s Grill, 596-4964.