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HONOLULU Staff Favorites: The 11 Best Healthy-ish Vegetarian Dishes on O‘ahu

Whether you’re a vegan, a vegetarian or trying to lessen your meat consumption, your restaurant experience should not have to suffer. From sushi to hot pot to pasta, here are our team’s top spots for vegan and vegetarian meals.


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Tea Leaf Salad

$14 from Rangoon Burmese Kitchen

rangoon vegetarian

Photo: Katrina Valcourt

 

So! Many! Flavors! I don’t know how this combination of different tastes and textures works, but it does. You can go for the vegetarian version with fermented green tea leaves, romaine lettuce, garlic chips, beans, peanuts, split peas, sesame and sunflower seeds, tomato, jalapeño and lime, or you can get the Rangoon tea leaf salad, which incorporates fish sauce, cabbage instead of romaine, fresh garlic (a bit pungent) and red chili.Katrina Valcourt, managing editor

1131 Nu‘uanu Ave., (808) 367-0645, rangoon-burmese-kitchen.business.site

 


SEE ALSO: What You Should Order at Rangoon Burmese Kitchen in Chinatown


 

Vegetarian Hot Pot

$6.95 and up from Sweet Home Café

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by sunmaru (@sunmaru_eats) on

 

Most of their broths are vegetarian or can be made vegetarian (except for the tonkotsu one). My favorites are the house special and healthy herb, which smells like a Chinese apothecary, but tastes way better. Plus, the fridge at Sweet Home Café is stocked with tons of leafy vegetables you can select, including chrysanthemum greens, watercress and baby bok choy, as well as delights like spinach tofu that tastes like custard, thinly sliced lotus root and mushrooms galore. This is my favorite and most fun way to get my veggies on. Broths start at $6.95 and add-ins start at $3.—Martha Cheng, food and dining editor

Waikīkī location: 407-413 Seaside Avenue, (808) 922-7894; McCully-Mōʻiliʻili location: 2334 S King Street, (808) 947-3707, sweethomecafehi.com

 


SEE ALSO: The Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Hot Pot in Honolulu


 

Housemade Tofu with Daikon Salad

$6.50 and up from Izakaya Gazen

tofu

HOUSEMADE TOFU SAMPLER AT IZAKAYA GAZEN (FROM TOP): BLACK SESAME TOFU, ZARU (BASKET) TOFU, SUKUI TOFU IN SOY BROTH.
PHOTOS: OLIVIER KONING

 

Gazen’s puddinglike, housemade tofu ($6.50), coupled with a daikon salad ($9)—ribbons of daikon tossed in a peanut dressing with crispy rice crackers sprinkled on top—are my go-to orders here, even if I’m not trying to eat healthy. If you don't mind a few ikura slipping into your veggies, the cabbage salad ($10) is also great—salty with the ikura and preserved kombu, paired with crunchy Chinese cabbage in a yogurt-onion dressing.—Martha Cheng, food and dining editor

2840 Kapiolani Blvd., (808) 737-0230, e-k-c.co.jp

 


SEE ALSO: The 11 Best Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes on O‘ahu Right Now


 

Roasted Squash Ravioli

$15 from Moku Kitchen

The roasted squash ravioli features local goat cheese, wilted spinach and a walnut-sage pesto.
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox

 

Holy ravioli, Batman! These generously sized pasta pockets are filled with squash and topped with a walnut sage pesto, fresh spinach and a sprinkling of goat cheese. I know it’s polite to offer a piece to others at the table, but when a dish is this good be ready for everyone to rob you blind. The best thing to do is visit Moku during the first happy hour session (daily 3–5 p.m.) when the small plates are all half off—that way you can order a plate for sharing and another one for yourself!Katie Kenny, digital editorial specialist

660 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 145, Salt at Our Kaka‘ako, (808) 591-6658, mokukitchen.com

 


SEE ALSO: 11 Honolulu Happy Hours for Every Occasion


 

Masala Supreme

$15 from Ganesh Dosa

dosa

PHOTO: ROBBIE DINGEMAN

 

With all these rainy days, it’s easy to crave spicy curry, potatoes or perhaps something cheesy? Combine all three in Ganesh Dosa’s Masala Supreme Indian crepe at the booth in ‘Ohana Hale Marketplace. The fermented rice-and-lentil batter cooks quickly on the round griddle until it’s thin and crispy. Topped with chunks of potato spiced with mustard, cumin, ginger, turmeric, sundried tomatoes; fresh spinach and Jarlsberg cheese, the dosa is rolled up into a footlong meal that’s cut in half and plated with a side of coconut curry and a little cup of sambar, a spicy lentil soup.  It’s big, tasty, tangy and easy to share for lunch.—Robbie Dingeman, editor at large

‘Ohana Hale Marketplace, 333 Ward Ave. #3, (808) 367-9489, ganeshdosa.com

 


SEE ALSO: The 9 Best Açaí Bowls on O‘ahu


 

Leahi Roll

$14 from Tane Vegan Izakaya

vegan sushi

Leahi roll: smoked beets, cashews, creamy tofu, avocado and orange zest
Photo: Leah Friel

 

Gorgeous ruby slivers of smoked beets are the star here, crowning a sushi roll brimming with asparagus, avocado, creamy tofu and sweet mustard. A dusting of cashew crumbles adds crunch, while orange zest brightens and adds the perfect zing.—Brie Thalmann, managing fashion editor

2065 S. Beretania St., Diamond Head of McCully Street, (808) 888-7678, tanevegan.com

 


SEE ALSO: First Look: Tane Vegan Izakaya Serves Vegan Sushi Ramen


 

Garlic ‘ulu pasta with portobello mushrooms

$15.99 from Adela’s Country Eatery

vegetarian noodles

Photo: SARAH BURCHARD

 

Ever been to Crustacean in S.F. or L.A. for their garlic noodles? Adela’s Country Eatery’s garlic ‘ulu noodles are better—fresh pasta made with locally sourced ‘ulu, topped with portobello mushrooms, plus the portions are huge!—Christine Labrador, art director

45-1151 Kamehameha Highway, Kāne‘ohe, (808) 236-2366, adelascountryeatery.com

 


SEE ALSO: Adela’s Country Eatery: Find Fresh Noodles Made with ‘Ulu, Kalo, Ube and Moringa at this Kāne‘ohe Hole In The Wall


 

Miso Eggplant

$15.95 from O’Kims

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by O'Kims Korean Kitchen (@okims_honolulu) on

 

When I go to O’Kims I don’t even bother with the menu—I know my order. The baked miso eggplant. The crispy, buttery char on the eggplant from the sweet miso glaze, complements the eggplant’s soft, meaty center. Served with an umami trio of seaweed rice, Japanese pickles and hijiki (a brown seaweed) this is my definition of Asian soul food. And yes, order the truffle mushroom mandoo. You can arigato me later.—Stacey Makiya, senior fashion editor

1028 Nu‘uanu Ave., (808) 537-3787, okimshawaii.com

 


SEE ALSO: First Look: O’Kims Korean Kitchen opens in Chinatown


 

Charred Cabbage

$18 à la carte dinner menu (also available with $38 three-course prix fixe lunch menu) from Senia

senia

Photo: STEVE CZERNIAK

 

As someone who rarely gives cabbage a second thought, I never in a million years imagined I’d like something called “charred cabbage,” but here I am. I had heard a lot about it and decided to order it at dinner along with some of the restaurant’s other popular dishes. I was shook. Senia’s unexpected take on foods I thought I knew (such as salmon! I don’t like fish! I think?) made me reevaluate my picky eating habits. I recently discovered that this dish was added to the more budget-friendly lunch menu, which means I can order it anytime I want.—Enjy El-Kadi, digital marketing specialist

75 N. King St., (808) 200-5412, restaurantsenia.com

 


SEE ALSO: A Meat Eater’s Guide to Veggie Burgers


 

No Dog

$4.25 from Hank’s Haute Dogs

Avocado and pickle work in tandem? Who knew!—Don Wallace, senior editor

324 Coral St., (808) 532-4265, hankshautedogs.com

 


SEE ALSO: Where to Find Jai in Chinatown for Chinese New Year


 

Brussels Sprouts Chips

$4 at happy hour from Easy Que

brussels sprouts

Photo: Robbie Dingeman

 

Brussels sprouts taste consistently great roasted or shaved raw into a salad. But the aloha barbecue team at Kailua’s Easy Que kicked the dish up a notch: turning them into crunchy cheese-dusted chips for a light savory snack to go with a cold beer, liliko‘i sweet tea or that $7 swirled slushy at happy hour.Robbie Dingeman, editor at large

Happy hour is Wednesday through Sunday at 3–5:30 p.m. 767 Kailua Road, Suite 106, Kailua, (808) 762-3089, overeasyhi.com

 

 

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