Review: W Bistro at 1010

Steak and frites (left) and macadamia nut-crusted monchong at W Bistro at 1010

Since it opened in January, W Bistro at 1010 has built its reputation primarily as a lunch locale thanks mostly to its central location in one of this city’s restaurant voids: King Street between Ward Avenue and Keeaumoku Street. Located on the ground floor of the Medical Arts Building at 1010 King St. (across from the Blaisdell) where Le Guignol used to be, W Bistro is one of those places where you just know that the person sitting at the next table is probably a Honolulu Museum of Art member, and, if it’s on a weekend, the people waiting to be seated are probably going to a show at the Blaisdell.

And that’s what makes W work. It’s the ideal place to grab a bite when you’re getting your culture on. Because if you can start your night with Iggy Jang (or hey, Bruno Mars, culture is culture) with a salad and steak frites, all the better, right?

And we dug the steak frites, minus the limp bundle of veggies lying on our ribeye for no good reason—too much to be a garnish and too garnish-y to be a side vege, and too 1991 to be on a $36 dinner plate. The steak was cooked beautifully, though, and the fries were that perfect kind of crispy that get the perfect kind of soggy when dredged through the steak juices. Also perfectly cooked was the macadamia nut-crusted monchong, an off-menu special that would have been the star of the night had it not also been subjected to the oh-so-dated treatment of the fruit salsa topping. Why, people, why?

The dinner menu is pricey for a bistro menu, and the food a bit too finicky. When we think “bistro,” we think comfort food—simple and moderately priced. And nowhere in that definition does soggy granola on salad fit. Here, our meal for two was over $100. Lunch is much more reasonable, and naturally much more crowded.

W Bistro at 1010
Lunch entrees from $8-$14, dinner entrees from $16-$36, BYOB with a $10-per-party corkage fee
In the Honolulu Medical Arts Building, 1010 S. King St., 589-2295,