Drinks and Pupu in Hawaii
Pupu on the Rocks: You can’t always judge a great drinks and pupu place from the outside.
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The sirloin strip, cut pupu style, was rubbed with Italian sausage spices, nicely grilled.
Finally, a dish the menu called chicken and mashed potatoes. Oh, my goodness. The chicken was braised for five hours in a seasoned stock, then cooled. Before frying, it was coated in gluten-free rice and tapioca flour batter.
The chicken was remarkable, but we ended up fighting over the mashed potatoes. They were orange with ancho chilis, touched with garlic and bay leaves. I could have eaten a whole bowl full.
The plate even looked great, touched up with lightly pickled red cabbage.
You have to try this guy’s food.
It’s a huge bonus that it’s casual and inexpensive: The fish and steak are $15, the chicken $11, the evening for three, complete with lots of well-crafted, interesting cocktails, $135.
If Lahiana’s food is just the sort of thing to share with friends over drinks, well, that’s one of the joys of living in Honolulu, where we take bar pupu seriously.
John Heckathorn has been writing award-winning restaurant reviews for HONOLULU Magazine since 1984.