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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New: Dash Gastropub

The chefs at Dash Gastropub are not given to restraint. The hamburger ($12) piles on onions caramelized in shoyu and other umami-rich (secret) ingredients, a sweet and tart tomato chutney, slices of brie, bacon, a parmesan crisp, lettuce and a half-pound beef patty. Really, though, you could put a block of tofu in there and you probably wouldn’t even be able to tell, so flavor-packed is this hamburger, messier than a sloppy joe. Intellectually, I may appreciate the philosophy of letting simple, perfect ingredients shine with minimal manipulation; viscerally, however, I like this burger. Sure, I think Dash could do away with the brie, maybe choose between the bacon and the parmesan, but nevertheless, it satisfies all my sweet, salty, crunchy, fatty cravings, everything I desire while drinking.

Our server defines a gastropub as high-end food and drink at bar prices. This could probably describe many of Honolulu’s beloved bars such as Side Street Inn and Home Bar and Grill. How Dash differs: it takes familiar comfort food, both local (such as poke and mochi) and American (grilled cheese, chicken and waffles) and applies its own spin. So an ahi tataki ($18) is dressed in a soy vinaigrette, yuzu and truffle oil, layered with pickled cucumbers and daikon, and topped with two varieties of tobikko. Grilled cheese melds with cheddar apple pie, the result: grilled cheese apple pie sandwich with bacon ($12).

The star, though, is the yukari fried chicken and matcha waffle ($12). If pastry chefs have co-opted bacon as a dessert, then Dash has kidnapped fried chicken and hauled it to the sweet side. Crispy nuggets of fried chicken, skin and all, are sprinkled with puckery yukari, piled onto a green tea-flavored waffle, so crunchy it’s almost as if it’s bruleed, and the whole thing drizzled with a yuzu butterscotch sauce. Every component is well-executed, and taken together, supremely, surprisingly addictive. Taken as a dessert, it’s great, my only problem is, every dish we tried leans a little sweet, so by the end of the night, I’m craving salt, aka some real bar food.

1018 McCully St., 943-0125

Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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