Fish & Rice is worth braving Pālama Supermarket’s parking lot.
First Look: Foodland’s Chic New Restaurant Et Al in Kāhala
This makes eatery number three for the local supermarket chain.
It’s official: Foodland has a restaurant chain. After opening Redfish Poke Bar in Kaka‘ako in December and Mahi‘ai Table inside Foodland Farms in Kapolei in July, the local grocery chain opened a third eatery Nov. 18: Et Al restaurant inside its new Kāhala Mkt store. Knowing Foodland’s penchant for customizing offerings to suit each neighborhood—an okazuya and burrito bar in its Pearl City store, for example, and mix-and-match donuts at Foodland Farms Ala Moana—we headed in for an early taste.
Et al, which means “and others” in Latin, has a contemporary American menu with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Think upscale casual in a chic, sunlit space—in a grocery store. Pendant lights dangle from a lofty ceiling over a curving bar, a separate counter with bar seating, and socially distanced tables. There are fresh pastries, sweet and savory toasts and hearty dishes like loco moco and smoked meat benedict with meat from Foodland-owned HI Steaks for breakfast. Lunch choices like short rib arancini, ahi tartare, lobster roll, an amazing burger and pizzas. Dinner of seasonal oysters, Ora King salmon, Hawai‘i Meats striploin and bone-in pork chop. There’s a menu of bar bites like salt and vinegar chicken skin and charcuterie, and a weekend brunch with pastries, loaded toasts, pancakes, benedicts and things like a coconut chia seed parfait and a breakfast banh mi.
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Here’s a rundown of our favorites at a recent media event where we ordered lunch and dinner dishes from the menu. Definitely start with the short rib arancini with gruyere and truffle aioli ($15). The fried morsels are rich and creamy with lots of tender, shredded meat and truffle aioli. We loved the lobster roll ($21, lunch only), whose 4 to 5 ounces of claw and knuckle meat are tossed with curry aioli and brown butter and tucked in a toasted bun. The lobster is treated simply, without much filler, and the curry aioli gives it an added oomph.
SEE ALSO: Where to Find Lobster Rolls in Honolulu
The bone-in pork chops ($28, dinner only) are unbelievably tender, and the thick, juicy burger ($17) made with a Hawai‘i Meats beef patty, HI Steaks bacon, confit onions and a rich sauce, is a must (Et Al’s chef Colin Sato, formerly of Beachhouse at the Moana, had his own bright yellow Momo Burger food truck before that). If you’re there for dinner, save room for dessert—Chocolate PB Textures ($10) is like an elevated Snickers ice cream bar with chocolate brownie bits and peanut butter ganache, and the Bananamisu with coffee syrup and roasted marshmallows ($10) is a fun, fruity twist on tiramisu.
The restaurant shouldn’t be overlooked as a cocktail destination—not with Instagram- and droolworthy libations like the Kāhala Sunset, Hunakai Sling, French Caribbean mai tai and Islay Boulevardier. There’s a smattering of local craft beers and bottled beers, plus mocktails, boozy brunch cocktails and wine.
Kāhala Mkt, Foodland’s newest store, anchors Kū‘ono Marketplace just across Waialae Avenue from Whole Foods Market and Times Supermarket. It’s smaller than other Foodland stores and a fraction of the size of Foodland Farms ‘Aina Haina, three miles away, with a heavy emphasis on prepared and ready-to-cook foods and higher-end snacks and wines. Other features:
- A new kabayaki ‘ahi poke flavor at the poke counter, where, as at Redfish, only fresh ‘ahi will be sold
- A handmade pizza counter selling Naples-style, thin-crust, 12-inch whole and half pizzas, along with cauliflower crust pizzas
- A section of wines, many exclusive to Kāhala Mkt, sourced by R. Field Wine Co.
- Create-your-own-plate station with mains and sides for takeout. You’ll find dishes from Foodland Farms’ old hot bar stations, including white miso glazed cod, roasted pork loin with cranberry chutney, roasted chicken with lemon and herbs, Szechuan cauliflower and more
- Grocery shelves featuring local products and purveyors
As with other Foodland stores and restaurants, you’ll need to wear a face mask and practice social distancing. If you’re there to shop, the limit is two people per group.
Open daily 6 a.m. to 8 p.m, 4230 Waialae Ave., (808) 732-2440, @etalhawaii