The Supermarket As Restaurant

Market-prepared foods are giving restaurants a run for their money.


(page 3 of 5)

The salmon cake with tofu and ogo was about the size of a premade burger patty. It looked good, but it was dry and we couldn’t discern any ogo or, for that matter, any tofu, though it may have been hiding somewhere.

Recently Reviewed

Here are some things John Heckathorn had to say in past months. Visit our Dining page to read more reviews!

• Kyoto Ohsho
Hookipa Terrace,
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Kyoto Ohsho approaches the concept of buffet dining with a little less buffet style and a little more Japanese style. For example, “the long line of largely Japanese dishes … is all in individual portions on an appropriate little tray or in a bowl, so they look like Japanese food,” writes Heckathorn. Just remember, when eating the sushi, eat the whole thing. They charge you more if you eat the fish but leave the rice.

Reviewed in our November 2007 issue.


• 21 Degrees North
Turtle Bay Resort,
57091 Kamehameha Hwy,
Nestled in the North Shore country—known more for its shave ice and shrimp trucks—is 21 Degrees North at the Turtle Bay Resort. Receiving its name for the latitude of the Hawaiian Islands, 21 Degrees North offers a great ocean view. Heckathorn recommends the single scallop. “Ours arrived hot, perfectly done and seasoned, as it were, with a dollop of salty Osetra caviar,” complete with leeks and sliced, poached Asian pears.
Reviewed in our June 2008 issue.

The ahi cakes at $1.99 apiece were small, heavily breaded and dense. They didn’t work cold, so we warmed them, which released all sorts of fishy odors. These were not saved by the small cup of “Asian remoulade,” in other words, tarted-up mayo.

The $3.89 chicken breast with ginger scallion pesto was pretty much the classic Chinese restaurant dish, cold ginger chicken. The differences: a better cut of chicken, not enough ginger and not as much oil. Though it was no doubt healthier, and certainly edible, it made us miss Chinese takeout.

The “ultimate potato salad” had everything in the world in it—imitation crab, bacon, peas, green onion, hard-boiled eggs. But like the “Best Foods Macaroni Salad,” it tasted almost exclusively of mayo and salt.

The winner here was the meat loaf—by far the best of the many I was soon to sample. Under a sweet glaze of barbecue sauce, the loaf was dotted with Portuguese sausage and kernels of Kahuku corn. This we fought over.

The vegetables looked fantastic, vibrant and green. The problem was the preparation. The asparagus—quite good in itself—came with mushrooms and olives. But the olives were canned “ripe” olives, cured in lye, which deprives them of both flavor and texture. And the mushrooms—well, if we searched hard, we could find them. The asparagus was dotted with sesame seeds, which didn’t add much.

Similarly good-looking—and promising from its description—was the broccoli rabe, in olive oil with “toasted” garlic. I don’t know how you toast garlic, but the process deprived it entirely of its flavor. This left the predominant note of the dish the bitterness of the broccoli rabe—not a brilliant strategy.

I spent more than $40 on all this, except I’d ordered one more item, a fancy brochette of grilled seafood, a strip of salmon serpentined around scallops and topped with shrimp.

Unfortunately, the young woman bagging our order was busy ranting about a co-worker to the checkout clerk. When we got home with the bag she handed us, it lacked the brochette. Foodland, you owe me $9.99 plus tax.

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Honolulu Magazine September 2019
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