Dash of Sazón Spices Up Hotel Street With Caribbean and Latin Fare

Peruvian, Jamaican and Puerto Rican flavors mesh well with the diversity of Chinatown.



Honolulu’s Chinatown is in the spotlight with diverse new eateries that take us beyond China and Hong Kong. Dash of Sazón, a relatively quiet newcomer, brings to the neighborhood Latin and Caribbean dishes at lunch and regular pop-ups at two bars across the street in the evenings.


Ezzio and Asia Lavarello cook up an exciting mix of family recipes in tribute to their backgrounds: his Peruvian, hers Jamaican and Puerto Rican. As you might have guessed, the results of this marriage are delicious and dare I say hot?


On weekdays at The Walkin, their lunchtime eatery on Hotel Street, the Lavarellos offer a traditional menu with small plates of Peruvian antichuchos grilled beef filet mignon skewers ($16), thick Chancho Fries mounded with Puerto Rican slow-roasted pork pernil ($16), and empanadas (two for $10) to start.


Entrées range from a hearty Lomo Saltado plate ($23) of soy and red wine-marinated filet mignon stir-fried with tomato and onions served over steak fries and garlic rice, to a six-hour braised Jamaican oxtail stew ($23) and grilled jerk chicken ($18), both served with coconut rice and peas.


For lighter fare, there are two plant-based options, including a Trinidadian curry dhal ($15). Everything is large enough to share, so bringing co-workers to try more of the menu is wise.


SEE ALSO: Roll With It: Peruvian Street Food from El Gallo in Kaka‘ako


On Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Dash of Sazón takes over the kitchen at Nextdoor with similar flavors repackaged into late-night bar grinds. Think lomo saltado and jerk chicken pizzas ($16 to $20), Jamaican beef patties ($9) and seasoned chicken wings ($12).


If you’re not in the mood to hit the bar, Doordash and Uber Eats will deliver. Whether you’re switching it up for lunch or just partying it up on Hotel Street, a little Dash of Sazón will go a long way.


Open Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 40 N. Hotel St. (The Walkin); and Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., 43 N. Hotel St. (Nextdoor), @dashofsazon, dashofsazon.com