Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka: 12th Street Bistro

As you can tell by our many posts on Hawaii, we did not starve while in the islands. Thank goodness it was pouring buckets while we were there so unfortunately there were no opportunities to show off my growing pot belly towards the end of the trip.

On our last night, we went to dinner with Karli and Aaron at one of their favorite local restaurants, 12th Ave Grill in Kaimuki. While we normally gorge ourselves on "local" food like you've seen in previous posts, this was a unique experience for us because we got to indulge in delicious bistro food with a local Hawaiian twist.

Like many restaurants in the mainland, 12th Ave Grill boasts local produce and meat. Some random fun facts about local produce: I found out that my mom's cousins are the managers of the Hawaii Farmer's Markets and offered to give Kyle and I "VIP" parking at a local farmer's market next time we are in Hawaii along with a tour! Also, my Uncle Dave is featured in a TV ad in Hawaii that endorses eating locally grown produce like our Sumida Watercress.


MMM...Kyle and my weakness...mac and cheese...This mac and cheese was truly unique with a smokey flavor that made the dish extra rich and complex. We shared it as an appetizer, but I think I could have ate two orders all by myself.

Karli and Kyle got the BBQ Maui Cattle Co. Short Ribs that were fall-off-the-bone tender. The beef sat on a lovely pillow of corn and smashed potatoes with honey butter. The true highlight of the dish was the mustard greens sauteed with bacon and onions which were addictive with their savory buttery flavor.


Aaron got the skirt steak with rosemary roasted new potatoes and topped with garlic and local marrow butter. He loved it, but said that the previous season's menu that included a kim chee steak was his all time favorite dish. He was so disappointed that they had switched out this dish that he emailed the owner! However, they did not add it back to the menu yet. Here is  our public plee: BRING IT BACK!

I decided to go light and only get the special salad of the day with local greens and fresh tomatoes.

Just kidding! That would be crazy. I of course paired that salad with a big old lobster pot pie! One of my favorite comfort foods (second to mac and cheese) is chicken pot pie. I couldn't resist this perfect combination of two favorites: pot pie + LOBSTER!

I swear they had a whole lobster chopped up in this butter pastry! Look at that huge chunk of lobster claw. Ahhh, and this, ladies and gentlemen, is my heaven. 

We shared this black bottom creme brulee that was absolute love and perfection in the form of a silky rich pot of cream and sugar. The chocolate bottom added the perfect bitter-sweet addition needed to balance out the sweet custard.

We also shared the seasonal fruit crisp which was a pear crisp. It must not be Hawaii seasonal, because I know there are no pears in Oahu! The ice cream was an add on, but Kyle said it should be an automatic. It really balanced out the crisp by adding sweetness since the crisp itself was not too sweet. The pears were al dente, not too mushy or overly saturated with syrup.

Kyle and I had so much fun in Hawaii and look forward to returning soon...just not too soon since I need to work off the meals we ate for several more months. Ironically, I am watching Biggest Loser right now and the guilt is settling in!

Happy Eating,

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