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Saturday, February 9, 2013

TOWN - HONOLULU, HAWAII

 TOWN
HONOLULU, HAWAII

TOWN
3435 WAIALAE AVENUE
HONOLULU, HAWAII  96816
808-735-5900
HOURS:  Monday Thru Saturday
                 Breakfast 7:00 - 10:45
                 Lunch 11:00 - 2:30
                 Dinner 5:30 - 9:30
                 Friday and Saturday 5:30 - 10:00

The little neighborhood of Kaimuki just outside Waikiki is known for its restaurants.  While many come and go, it seems that Town has had some staying power with their nice piece of corner real estate on Waialae Avenue.  The front of the restaurant is overgrown with trees and bushes but there is a great area near the entrance where you can find a garden full of fresh herbs.  Does not get much fresher than your doorstep.  That is the concept behind Town.  "Local First and Organic whenever possible" is their slogan.  When you enter Town it is a bit awkward.  The entrance is in front of the bar but the hostess station sits back in the middle of the restaurant in between tables.  This means you walk pass tables of diners to a Hostess stand that faces the wall.  If your table is not ready, you walk back pass tables to the bar.  If you are a diner, you have people walking and standing near your table as they approach the Hostess stand.  Town offers indoor and outdoor seating.  On this night the outdoor space was filling up while the indoor section was half empty.  If the weather is nice, I would sit outside.  Service here was decent but not great.  Seemed a bit out of step and lacked energy.  Our waitress was pleasant and smiled but the food and drink runners seemed out of it with blank stares and silence. We started with the Ahi Tartare ($11.50).  Served on small toasted risotto cakes.  The risotto cakes were delicious and so was the Ahi.  Next came the Sinshato Pork Liver Pate ($8).  This is a bargain and delicious.  Served with a really good whole grain mustard and pickled vegetables that reminded me of a Vietnamese restaurant.  The Liver Pate is rich.  Really rich.  Served with toasted and buttered bread that is addicting.  The Baby Arugula and Beet Salad ($8.50) lacked flavor because of the dressing but the Fennel, Ricotta, Chick Peas, Mint and Orange added little blasts of flavor that I enjoyed. Would like to have a little bolder dressing on all that Arugula.  The Beets were fresh and delicious.  For my entree, I went for the Monchong ($24.50).  This local fish was cooked to perfection but served in a bowl.  I could not figure out why you would plate this dish in a bowl.  Did not work for presentation and I did not like eating out of it.  The Monchong was firm yet moist.  While the fish does not overpower with flavor, there was enough things on top of it and in the bowl to kick it up.  The Roasted Tomato Salsa on top of the fish was a bit overpowering at first.  I thinned it out and it added good flavor to the fish.  The Kulana Sriploin ($26) was topped with Roquefort Butter.  The Butter was overpowering.  It was all you could tasted.  The steak itself was really tough and pretty tasteless.  Served with some really good French Fries loaded with fresh herbs from the garden.  All in all not a bad meal.  The question I always ask myself is would I go back and pay over $100 for this dinner.  Answer here is no.

TOWN IS ON WAIALAE AVENUE IN KAIMUKI
INDOOR SEATING MAY PUT PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES OF YOUR TABLE
VIEW FROM HOSTESS STATION - IT IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RESTAURANT
MENU TYPED AND PRINTED DAILY AND PRESENTED TO TABLE ON A CLIP BOARD
HOUSE MADE FOCACCIA BREAD SERVED WITH OLIVE OIL AND BUTTER 
LIVER PATE
AHI TARTARE
ARUGULA AND BEET SALAD
MONCHONG WITH TOMATO SALSA, WHITE BEANS, FENNEL AND ESCAROLE
MONCHONG FISH WAS FIRM AND MOIST
STRIPLOIN SMOTHERED IN ROQUEFORT BUTTER

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