Get All-You-Can-Eat Paella Every Tuesday at Bread & Butter
The restaurant offers unlimited paella and a glass of wine every Tuesday for $20.
The seafood paella, one of two pans served at Bread & Butter’s Paella Tuesday dinner.
Photo: Courtesy of Bread & Butter
Restaurants sometimes offer special deals to bring in business on slow nights, especially in the middle of the week. We’re talking happy hours, trivia nights, three-dessert Thursdays. (OK, maybe that last one was our approach to the college dorm cafeteria, but you get the point.) It’s a marketing ploy for many, but one that gives diners some interesting options, including Paella Tuesday at Bread & Butter.
Every Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. onward, Bread & Butter’s regular dinner menu is replaced with bottomless paella and a glass of pinot noir (owner Hide Sakurai loves pinot) for $20, with appetizers or desserts available à la carte. Why paella? Chef Arnaldo “Masa” Gushiken (who is originally from Argentina) says that, in Spain, food and wine are to be enjoyed with family and friends, and paella is a common dish, since it can feed many people.
I went with my old college roommate (hence the three-dessert-Thursday memories) to catch up and see how far we could stretch those $20—and our stomachs. We arrived for our 5:30 p.m. reservation to find it completely unnecessary—the place was virtually empty, save for one guy on his laptop in the corner (there’s free Wi-Fi). But that was fine—more paella for us.
The server brought us water and the pinot of the week: HandCraft Pinot Noir, an easily drinkable, pleasantly smooth red that I wished was unlimited, too. (If you’d like a refill or a different type from what’s offered that evening, it will be at an additional cost.) We decided to skip the apps but, next time, we might get one or two to help break up all the paella.
About 15 minutes later, two pans came out of the kitchen to a table set up near the door: one seafood, with prawns, mussels and clams, and another that rotates depending on what interests the chef that week, this time chicken and mushroom. We leapt up and requested a small plate of each, which a server dishes out to you.
The seafood paella, chef Masa’s signature, has a nice mix of flavors, brightened by a squeeze of lemon, which highlights the tomato in the dish. My favorite, though, was the chicken and mushroom, which came with a creamy garlic aioli I want to put on everything. (And I could eat it with less mess. While trying to stab a clam in my seafood paella, I accidentally tilted my plate, which slammed back down on the table, making my friend’s knife fall off the edge and clatter against the floor-to-ceiling window, before echoing off the bare floors. This is why we don’t go out.) I wish I could’ve had some meat with each bite, which would’ve made it easier to finish all of my rice. I get bored eating too much of the same thing, no matter how delicious—and it was—so I ended up slowing down and my food got cold. Note to self: one plate at a time.
The writer’s favorite is the chicken and mushroom paella, topped with a garlic aioli. She requested a single clam on the side.
Photo: Katrina Valcourt
It was a little awkward trying to hold a conversation while the server stood a few feet away, hovering over the paella table for most of the night; if you want privacy, request to be seated farther away. But we definitely needed her. Between the two of us, we went back for seven or eight plates, and that was before anyone else even came in. Needless to say, the wine only lasted a few rounds.
As with any unlimited dish, it’s the decent thing to finish your plate before going back for more. Read: Don’t just pick out the prawns and leave heaps of rice on your plate. But that’s the genius of Paella Tuesday—you’ll get full sooner than you think. Did we wish there was a more equal meat-to-rice ratio? Yes. But is it worth $20? Definitely.
Paella Tuesday is every Tuesday starting from 5 p.m. at Bread & Butter, 1585 Kapi‘olani Blvd., 949-3430, alohabreadbutter.com