Posts Tagged ‘bars in hawaii’

DASH Gastropub – Gastrolicious!

April 1, 2013

Wikipedia defines the term “gastropub” as “a portmanteau of gastronomy and pub” and refers to a bar or restaurant that serves high-end beer and food. While gastronomy is the study of food and culture, with a particular focus on gourmet cuisine, a pub is not usually known for more than just beer and “bar food.” So when you put the two together, it is quite the oxymoron that deserves further investigation.

Enter DASH Gastropub, the relatively new (they just celebrated their 1 year anniversary on Feb 10th), 5,000 square-foot hotspot located in the old American Savings Bank location on the corner of Young and McCully. As the first locale in Hawaii to use the term Gastropub in their name, it has come with a fair amount of self-appointed pressure. It is a powerful word with great responsibility, but they’ve definitely got all the right pieces in place to make it happen.

DASH Gastropub partners Hyuk Kim, Alysha Tanabe & Shane Tsubaki (Photo Courtesy: Shane Tsubaki)
DASH Gastropub partners Hyuk Kim, Alysha Tanabe & Shane Tsubaki (Photo Courtesy: Shane Tsubaki)

DASH is actually an acronym made up of the four partners’ first names. Along with a silent partner who wishes to remain anonymous, Alysha (Tanabe), Shane (Tsubaki) and Executive Chef Hyuk (Kim) have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the bar and food service industry with stints at places like Remedy Sports Lounge, Maile’s Place, and the once uber popular Osake Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge. Well known food guru and local celebrity Grant Kawasaki (Hawaiian Grown TV & Hawaiian Grown Kitchen) also acts as a consultant here, so you know their food is always going to be on point.

As a lover of both food and beer, this concept of “gastropub-ery” is a dream come true. Here’s a look at what we pounded

Home made Fresh Kettle Chips (Seasoned fresh cut potatoes fried golden brown and crispy served with strawberry guava ketchup - $7)
Home made Fresh Kettle Chips (Seasoned fresh cut potatoes fried golden brown and crispy served with strawberry guava ketchup – $7)

Rainbow Sashimi Special - $16
Rainbow Sashimi Special – $16

Oysters on the 1/2 Shell (Half dozen Gulf oysters served on shaved ice with citrus oroshi, tobikko, jalapeno masago, & spicy ponzu sauce - $12)
Oysters on the 1/2 Shell (Half dozen Gulf oysters served on shaved ice with citrus oroshi, tobikko, jalapeno masago, & spicy ponzu sauce – $12)

Ahi Tataki (Fresh Hawaiian Big-Eye Ahi with sunomono, yuzu, tobikko, soy vinaigrette and a dash of white truffle oil - $18)
Ahi Tataki (Fresh Hawaiian Big-Eye Ahi with sunomono, yuzu, tobikko, soy vinaigrette and a dash of white truffle oil – $18)

Beef Sashimi (Seared USDA Choice filet mignon with minced garlic and soy vinaigrette - $16)
Beef Sashimi (Seared USDA Choice filet mignon with minced garlic and soy vinaigrette – $16)


“DASH” Rib Eye (1 lb seared USDA Choice Rib-Eye cubed pupu style with sautéed Hamakua Alii oyster mushrooms and onions – $21)

As if that wasn’t enough, DASH is also chock-full of wines, sakes, beers (crafts & imports) and specialty cocktails. So far, it looks like they are well on their way to living up to that self-appointed pressure. Pub? Yes. Gastropub? Definitely. But here’s a portmanteau I’d like to propose to help sum up my experiences there:

Gastronomical!

(Previously published in Lawai`a Magazine)

DASH Gastropub
1018 McCully Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
(808) 943-1025
Tue-Sat: 6pm-12am
Mon-Fri: 4pm-2am
Sat & Sun: 6pm-2am

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Banzai to Kanpai! – Kanpai Bar & Grill

June 1, 2009

When I hear someone say “Eh, we go bar!” I picture some dark musky room with sweaty old men drinking cheap booze as they throw popcorn at the TV or complain about their nagging wives.

And although there ARE actually places like this, there are several watering holes around town that are working hard to completely wipe that image from your head. The relatively new Kanpai Bar & Grill (opened in September of 2008) off Ward Avenue is one such place.

“Kanpai” is the Japanese word for “cheers,” or to toast, and there’s definitely reason to raise a glass and give a little banzai to this “higher class” bar.

Kanpai Bar & Grill sign
Kanpai Bar & Grill sign

Why “higher class”? For one, they’ve done a number to the interior of what used to be Dixie Grill and Tio’s. Lots of great “dining” style seating (indoor and outdoor), three dart machines, multiple-touch screen game machines, and 11 or so flat screens showing the most current sporting events all complete the ambience. And we didn’t even mention the food. Not your typical popcorn and peanut collection here yo! It’s real, restaurant quality food and it’s off the hook!

Having owners/partners with many years of experience in the fine dining and food and beverage worlds probably has something to do with it.

The husband and wife dynamic duo of Nadya & Bryan Yamasaki has 17 years of Food & Beverage experience under their belts. Combine that with the culinary mastery of Neil Nakasone, Brandon Hamada, John Estrella, and Jensen Hirota (aptly named Quatro Foods) in the kitchen – with experiences at such places as The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong, Halekulani, Ritz Carlton, Ruth’s Chris, and Tokuname – and you’ve got yourself a winning formula for some of the best bar eats in town.

Two of their best sellers are the signature steaks (wafu or kim chee), and the shortrib loco moco.

Wafu Style Ribeye Steak with Kabayaki Braised Mushrooms and Onions, Daikon Oroshi, Garlic Chips, and Ponzu Sauce (12oz - $16, 16oz - $22)
Wafu Style Ribeye Steak with Kabayaki Braised Mushrooms and Onions, Daikon Oroshi, Garlic Chips, and Ponzu Sauce (12oz – $16, 16oz – $22)

Kim Chee Ribeye Steak with Kim Chee and Two Fried Eggs (12oz - $16, 16oz - $22)
Kim Chee Ribeye Steak with Kim Chee and Two Fried Eggs (12oz – $16, 16oz – $22)

Braised Shortrib Loco Moco With Natural Pan Gravy and Two Eggs - $12
Braised Shortrib Loco Moco With Natural Pan Gravy and Two Eggs – $12

Other customer favorites according to Nadya include the garlic soybeans ($7), ahi belly ($10), and something off of their daily specials menu.

Favorites of this writer include the Spicy Garlic Chicken, Pork Chops, and Fried Rice. What’s a good meal without rice right? Right.

Fried Rice with Two Eggs - $8
Fried Rice with Two Eggs – $8

Spicy Garlic Chicken - $8
Spicy Garlic Chicken – $8

Pork Chops with Sauteed Onions - $14
Pork Chops with Sauteed Onions – $14

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention their Saimin and Kalbi Fried Noodles.

Saimin with all the Fixins - $8
Saimin with all the Fixins – $8

Kalbi Fried Noodles - $10
Kalbi Fried Noodles – $10

How does Kanpai pull all of this off in such turbulent economic times?

Nadya explains, “In today’s economy, quality and value are important factors in any business. Providing good food with good value is a challenge that motivates us to meet and satisfy our customer’s expectations.”

This kind of attitude is what sets Kanpai apart from the rest. It also helps to explain the loyal customer base that packs this place on the regular.

So if you’re tired of eating peanuts with sweaty old men, give Kanpai a try the next time someone says “Eh, we go bar!” Your tummy will thank you.

Kanpai Bar & Grill
404 Ward Ave # 100
Honolulu, HI. 96814 (map)
(808) 593-9202
Open 11am to 2am daily