14 New & Coming Restaurants to Watch for on O‘ahu: May 2022, Part 1

A new truffle restaurant is coming, and Gina’s BBQ is opening a second location after 31 years.

 

Reopenings, expansions, brand-new restaurants: If there’s a theme in the evolution of the island’s dining scene these days, it’s the momentum of locally owned eateries. Bulletin: Gina’s BBQ is opening a second location after 31 years. It’s a similar story for Million Restaurant, the longtime hole-in-the-wall from Sheridan Street that just expanded to shiny new digs on Kapi‘olani Boulevard. And a new taco shop just opened in Kaimukī on Cinco de Mayo. It’s not all about local, of course: A Tokyo-based truffle-centric restaurant is coming to Kaka‘ako, and yes, you’ll be able to order a whole truffle for yourself.

 

There’s so much happening, we’ve divided this update into two parts. Read on for 14 new developments on O‘ahu’s dining scene, and stay tuned for Part 2, coming next week.

 

Asahi Grill Kaimukī

Kaimukī

The restaurant that bills itself as the home of the original Kam Bowl oxtail soup is now in the former Mandalay space at the foot of Wai‘alae Avenue, three months after shuttering its Ke‘eaumoku location to make way for a new condo development. If the name is slightly confusing (you’ll see references to both Asahi Grill Ke‘eaumoku and Asahi Grill Kaimukī), its menu of classics isn’t: Eiko’s chicken salad, kalbi fried rice, eggplant tempura curry and of course, the famous oxtail soup.

3008 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 744-9067, @asahi_grill_keeaumoku

 


SEE ALSO: Jan. 31 Will Mark the End for a Whole Block of Ke‘eaumoku Eateries. Here’s Where They’re Going 


 

Atsushi

Kaka‘ako

Atsushi Saba nigiri

Saba nigiri with crushed scallions and konbu. Photo: Melissa Chang

 

Coming to Waterfront Plaza in July: Atsushi Kumagai’s 10-seat omakase sushi restaurant, successor to @sushi’s wildly popular eatery inside the former ‘Ohana Hale Marketplace where reservations booked up weeks in advance. In the meantime, you’ll find his $150 omakase popping up on Friday and Saturday evenings inside Artizen Café across from Blaisdell Center, in Velocity’s luxury car showroom next to gleaming Jaguars and Maseratis.

500 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 358-4593, @atsushibv

 


SEE ALSO: Sushi Alert: Atsushi from ‘Ohana Hale Marketplace Is Doing Weekly Omakase Pop-Ups


 

Bo’s Kitchen

Makiki

 

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Beef chow fun, brisket noodle soup, mapo tofu and some of the best wontons in town flavor the menu at the first brick-and-mortar version of Bo’s Kitchen, another ‘Ohana Hale eatery that closed with the Kaka‘ako marketplace. The new Bo’s Kitchen is in the old Taisei Ramen space on Beretania Street. If parking in front of the restaurant is tight, there’s another lot in back, accessed from Kinau Street.

800 S. Beretania St., (808) 232-5640, boskitchenhonolulu.com, @bo.s.kitchen

 


 

Fig & Ginger

McCully

Honolulu’s newest brunch spot turns out to be a successful Instagram business that just graduated to its first brick-and-mortar. Fig & Ginger’s daily brunch menu at McCully Shopping Center includes staples like pancakes and french toast, salads, sandwiches and the artful charcuterie boards that made them famous.

1960 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 351-3424, fghonolulu.com, @fig.gingerhonolulu

 


 

Gina’s BBQ

Kapolei

Ginas Bbq Plate Pc Ginas Bbq

Photo courtesy of Gina’s BBQ

 

We did a double-take when we got an email announcing that Gina’s BBQ, opened in Market City Shopping Center in 1991, was opening a second location in Kapolei. Thirty-one years later. Sang Han, the son and nephew of Gina’s co-founders, will run both locations and promises the Kapolei menu will be similar to the original, but with weekly specials. Which means Kapolei will need to loosen its belt for famously massive local-style Korean plate lunches with an entrée, four banchan sides and three scoops rice. Target opening date is June 1.

4850 Kapolei Pkwy Suite 305, (808) 744-2449, ginasbbq.com

 


 

Himalayan Kitchen

Ala Moana Center

Himalayan Kitchen Ala Moana Center Pc Mari Taketa

Photo: Mari Taketa

 

Find curries, biryani, tandoor-grilled meats and naan, and an assortment of Nepali and Tibetan dishes at Himalayan Kitchen’s third location, just opened at the Diamond Head side of Ala Moana Center next to the Satellite City Hall.

1450 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 949-4373, himalayankitchenalamoana.com, @himalayankitchenhawaii

 


 

Honolulu Burger Co. Kaimukī

Kaimukī

The Makiki burger shop finds a second permanent home, 12 years after opening its first, in the former Stir frozen yogurt space on Wai‘alae Avenue. Unlike its original location and its farmers market booths, this Honolulu Burger Co. spot will be a full-service dine-in restaurant with new appetizers and salads, so you can tuck into your 100% Big Island grass-fed beef burgers on the spot. Anticipated opening is sometime in May.

3583 Wai‘alae Ave., honoluluburgerco.com, @honoluluburgerco

 


 

Island Sausage

Kaka‘ako

 

A former MW Restaurant sous chef turned a passion for sausage-making into a farmers market venture and now, a full-fledged restaurant. Think char siu, ginger miso and spicy Korean sausages, plus assorted burgers, hefty sandwiches and fried chicken at this new spot in the old Vino space at Waterfront Plaza.

500 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 888-0509, islandsausage.com, @island.sausage

 


 

Kaimukī Storeroom Wine Bar

Kaimukī

 

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It’s weekends only for now, and word is another coffee shop up the street is also looking to introduce wine, but for now it’s safe to say that The Curb is Kaimukī’s only coffee bar and wine shop. Bottles of natural wine are available for sale; soon they’ll be available by the glass, along with a small menu of new food items.

Inside The Curb, 3408 Wai‘alae Ave. Suite 103, (808) 367-0757, @kaimukistoreroom

 


SEE ALSO: New: Kaimukī Storeroom, The Curb’s New Wine Shop


 

Margotto Hawai‘i

Kaka‘ako

 

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Hawai‘i’s first truffle restaurant is coming to Pi‘ikoi Street later this month, a stone’s throw from Side Street Inn and Ala Moana Center. Calling itself “a truffle-centric Japanese-based French cuisine restaurant,” Margotto is an offshoot of Margotto e Baciare in Tokyo’s posh Nishi Azabu district. Course menus will start at around $80, truffles will be sourced seasonally from points around the globe, and you’ll be able to order whole truffles and shave them yourself.

514 Pi‘ikoi St., @margotto.hawaii

 


 

Million @ Kapi‘olani

Kaka‘ako

The vibrant teal-green building that once housed an outpost of South Korea’s Michelin Guide-listed Budnamujip barbecue restaurant is now home to a second outpost of Million, better known as Millions, a homey Korean hole-in-the-wall on Sheridan Street. The new Million is neither homey nor a hole-in-the-wall, bright and modern, and it already fills up at peak lunch and dinner times.

871 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 200-4385, @millionrestaurantkapiolani

 


 

Rooftop Bakery Cafe

Kaka‘ako

 

The pastry table here is long and thrilling, loaded not with bear claws and the like but things like Korean-style chestnut bread, cinnamon manju and rolls filled with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. Rooftop Bakery Café is all that—a bakery and café with indoor and rooftop seating, serving breakfast, brunch and dinner.

938 Pi‘ikoi St., (808) 772-9588, @rooftopbakerycafe

 


 

Tight Tacos

Kaimukī

 

Tight Tacos is a homecoming of sorts for Reggie Ballesteros, born in Hawai‘i and raised in California. In Portland, Oregon Ballesteros and partner Rizza Cosio started a Mexican street taco cart that morphed into two brick-and-mortar taco eateries before opening on Maui and, as of Cinco de Mayo last week, in the old Azteca space on Wai‘alae Avenue. The specialty here is carnitas, which you can get by the quarter-pound on a plate with freshly hand-pressed corn tortillas, beans and rice.

3617 Wai‘alae Ave., @tighttacoskaimuki

 


 

U Kitchen

Waikīkī

 

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U Kitchen is the new takeout counter in the Royal Hawaiian Dining Plaza, tucked off a small lane between Royal Hawaiian and Seaside avenues. The opening adds to the food court’s roster of Greek, Indian and ramen offerings U Kitchen’s Japanese-style bentos, musubi and other grab-and-go snacks that often sell out at its original location in Kalihi.

2239 Waikolu Way, @u_kitchen_hawaii

 


SEE ALSO: Two-Minute Takeout: U-Kitchen Bento Shop in Kalihi