Most Valuable Pūpū: 5 Fully Loaded Fries to Try in Honolulu Right Now
The undisputed pau hana staple, fries are perfect with cold beer, cocktails and the latest gossip. Here are some of our favorites, upgraded and fully loaded. Plus, three notable alternatives to fries.
Smith & Kings
PHotos: Steve Czerniak
There’s poutine—and then there’s the lobster poutine from Smith & Kings in Chinatown. A bed of hand-cut fries is topped with mounds of butter-poached lobster, a rich béchamel sauce and shaved Parmesan.
$12, 69 N. King St., (808) 537-2222, smithandkings.website.
Aloha Beer Co.
Pair your brewed-on-site craft beer with the brewpub’s steak fries, kicked up with your choice of four unusual sauces we’ve never had on fries before. There’s Japanese curry gravy; fontina cream sauce with kiawe-smoked bacon; Ni‘ihau lamb gravy with tomatoes, cucumbers, dill yogurt and feta; and a combination of Italian sausage ragu, ricotta salata and pepperoncini.
$6.50 for fries, $3 to $5 extra for sauces, 700 Queen St., (808) 544-1605, alohabeer.com.
Garlic-truffle oil can take anything, especially crispy fries, to the next level. Moku Kitchen adds Parmesan cheese, whole-grain mustard aioli and house-made ketchup, creating the dish you want to order every time you go back.
$8, 660 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 591-6658, mokukitchen.com.
Pint + Jigger
There’s something about barbecue seasoning on fried potatoes, and the P+J Fries, tossed in mesquite barbecue seasoning, has that right balance of salty and sweet.
$4.50, 1936 S. King St., (808) 744-9593, pintandjigger.com.
The Brilliant Ox
You’d expect some sort of poutine at The Brilliant Ox, a modern English pub of sorts. But this version, called Brilliant Ox Fries, comes with oxtail gravy, an aged cheddar fondue and lots of black pepper—so good and filling we won’t judge you if this is all you order.
$10, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 377-4803, thebrilliantox.com.
Not quite fries but we count them anyway
Ditch the guilt with these house-made veggie chips—lotus root, sweet potato, burdock root—lightly salted and served hot and crispy in a paper bag.
$7, 2700 S. King St., (808) 951-0510, naru-honolulu.com.
Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar
Even with pizza in the name of this restaurant, the deep-fried portobello mushrooms is the most popular dish here, with about 15 pounds of mushrooms fried up a week. They’re not super crispy but keep their firmness and match well with the pesto aioli dipping sauce.
$9, 150 Ka‘iulani Ave., (808) 922-1150, appetitowaikiki.com.
Big Island-grown Okinawan sweet potatoes are sliced super thin and fried in rice bran oil to retain their bright purple color. No additional charge to swap fries for chips with your burger—or you can buy as a side and have both.
$4, 1001 Bishop St., Suite 108, (808) 524-2747, squarebarrels.com.