The setup: a first date with a self-proclaimed total foodie.
You’re pretty sure you screwed up when you admitted that escargot wasn’t your thing. But you’re not worried, 'cause you’ve got a trick up your sleeve—the following arsenal of secret off-the-menu items from local restaurants, reserved for high rollers, VIP’s and diners-in-the-know.
Just the thing to move you from nice-girl-with-possibility to full-on goddess worship.
In the Raw
They had us at chocolate soufflé. But the original Roy's Restaurant in Hawai‘i Kai also makes an ahi tartare, a tomato carpaccio salad and a Mongolian grilled chicken salad that are all usually available but absent from the menu. We recommend the ahi tartare, which features fresh local fish, a homemade Caesar dressing, rayu, capers and Kula onions. Roy's Restaurant, 6600 Kalanianaole Hwy., Honolulu, 808.396.7697.
Opal Thai Food, the popular Thai lunch truck nestled among all the shrimp trucks in Hale‘iwa serves up a mean pad thai. But if you ask for it, they’ll make it “country style” which has a slightly hotter, tangier sauce. Apparently "country style" is actually Thai for “delicious.” Opal Thai Food, 66-460 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa, 808.381.8091.
Meat Your Match
While there's nothing you crave more after a fun night on the town than V Lounge's simple yet oh-so-satisyfing pizzas topped with fresh veggies, sometimes you just need to feed your inner carnivore. Meet your meat: the New York-style pizza. Not on the menu, but available by request, the pie comes smothered with generous helpings of sopressetta, Italian sausage and extra cheese. Don't mind if we do. V Lounge, 1344 Kona St., Honolulu. 808.953.0007. For more info, click here.
Not on the menu but almost always available at Nobu Waikiki is a mouthwatering Berkshire pork belly that’s cured for two days then confited. They can also make just about anything from any of Nobu’s many cookbooks. Prepare for a total pig out session. Nobu Waikiki, 2233 Helumoa Rd., Honolulu, 808.237.6999. For more info, click here.
Make Yourself At Home
What’s better than steak? Oh yeah, fried steak. Apartment3 has a chicken-fried steak made from fresh Moloka‘i beef breaded in panko, then fried katsu-style. Served with mashed potatoes and sausage gravy, it will bring both you and your cardiologist to your knees. Apartment3, 1750 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, 808.955.9300. For more info, click here.
The Pacific Place Tea Garden offers up a delicious variety of sorbet flavors ideal for its famous ice tea floats. But shoppers-with-the-scoop know to go for the tub of heavenly lilikoi creamsicle sorbet that lurks in the back of the freezer but is suspiciously absent from the menu. Cool and creamy, it's the perfect pick-me-up after a long, hard day of shoe shopping. Pacific Place Tea Garden, Ala Moana Center, 3rd floor, 808.944.2004.