Your Last Chance to Support Localicious Hawai‘i This Week

Of the 148 restaurants participating this year, 41—including Tommy Bahama—are new.


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Tommy Bahama in Waikīkī is serving this ho farms tomato salad to support the Localicious Hawai‘i campaign. Tommy Bahama is one of 41 restaurants participating in the annual campaign for the first time.
Photos: Catherine Toth Fox

 

When chef Andrew Warner moved to Hawai‘i to open the restaurant at Tommy Bahama in Waikīkī last year, he already knew he wanted to get out and visit farms.

 

“I knew there was a lot of opportunity here with what’s growing and all the fresh fish,” says Warner, 31, who grew up picking berries and pumpkins in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. “Hawai‘i is a melting pot of culture and different ingredients.”

 

SEE ALSO: Tommy Bahama’s New Retail Store in Waikīkī Comes With a Restaurant and Rooftop Lounge

 

After visiting farms such as Ho Farms in Kahuku and Mari’s Gardens in Mililani, he started to change up the Tommy Bahama menu. Every month, he offers about six different specials—sometimes those change weekly, depending on availability—using whatever local ingredients he finds.

 

His experience touring these farms led him to create a dish specifically for the annual Localicious Hawai‘i campaign, a monthlong culinary event that highlights restaurants that source locally while raising money for agriculture education in schools. The program started on March 1 and runs all month. (HONOLULU Magazine is a silver sponsor of this event.)

 

The dish is a beautifully plated tomato salad featuring heirloom baby tomatoes from Ho Farms in Kahuku, beefsteak tomatoes from Maui, a coulis made from shiso and sea asparagus from Kahuku, an ume vinaigrette and pork belly croutons, for $16.

 

SEE ALSO: Get Out and Eat During the Monthlong Localicious Hawai‘i

 

Tommy Bahama is one of 41 restaurants participating for the first time in Localicious Hawai‘i. Others include Artizen by MW, Blue Note Hawai‘i, Ethel’s Grill, Hali‘imaile General Store, Honolulu Beerworks, La Tour Café, Mud Hen Water, Pint + Jigger, The Pig & The Lady and various Merriman’s restaurants.

 

Executive chef Andrew Warner, who grew up in Portland, incorporates local ingredients into the menu at Tommy Bahama whenever he can.

 

Warner has made an effort to infuse Island flavors into the dishes at the Waikīkī location, setting this restaurant apart from the other 16 nationwide. The menu boasts items such as ‘ahi tuna tacos, kālua pork quesadilla, Hāmākua mushrooms and apple flatbread, Maui sweet onion soup, Maui Mokka coffee-crusted rib-eye steak, salads with Kula romaine hearts and Kamuela tomatoes and a smokehouse bacon burger using Hawai‘i-grown beef.

 

While the restaurant’s signature coconut-crusted shrimp is still one of its most popular dishes, the local-style ones are not far behind.

 

“We’re all about food quality and service here, and we’ll continue to support local farms no matter what,” says Warner, who says he never had Spam until he moved to O‘ahu and now eats a Spam musubi just about every day. “I want people to say, 'That retail store has a great restaurant upstairs.’”

 

Localicious Hawai‘i ends on March 31. Participating restaurants across the state, localicioushawaii.com, hawaiiagfoundation.org, veggieu.org

 

READ MORE STORIES BY CATHERINE TOTH FOX

 

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