Monday, December 29, 2008

town - Restaurant Review

town, with a lower case “t,” was one of the first restaurants I loved when I first moved to to the island. After having the luxury of choosing between numerous organic eateries in California, I found it hard to find a place on Oahu that served local, fresh, and organic dishes prepared with simplicity. Moreover, town lives out what it states it values--the coaster for my glass of water is a cut of from one of their old menus.

In a minimalist urban space, town features silver tables, subtle gray walls, espresso stained wooden chairs, modern wood lamp fixtures, orange chair cushions and dark browh draperies.

The menu is always a little tough to navigate: the font is in an old typewriter style, and the listing on the menu is well…“organic” to put it nicely… or “un-orderly” if you’re in a rush. It’s hard to distinguish what is designated as appetizer, entrée and dessert--but that’s the philosophical point, right?

On the menu: Panino of local mushrooms, tatsoi, caramelized onion, radish, boursin ($8.50). I usually get this, not sure why. It’s a sandwich put in a panini press served with organic greens. Not a stand-out, but healthy and decent.

Today I ordered the Penne—grilled chicken, arugula pesto, tomato, ricotta salata ($12.50). The pasta is cooked al dente, just right, the pesto not too strong, with diced tomato and cheese giving it a subtle spark. The chicken is lightly floured and spiced with coriander. Again, not too over powering and complimentary to the pasta. This is one of the more interesting dishes I’ve had here.

The “hand-cut pasta” with prosciutto ragu sounds interesting ($14.50). The last entrée on the menu (yes, they keep it simple) is the Kulana Short Ribs with argugula, fontina cheese on a baguette ($10.50)

I appreciate that town supports local artists who share values. Three weeks ago the art work on the walls changed. Dave Homey’s black and white underwater photography is framed in his sister’s “Found Wood” custom frames. Recycled Glass Art is represented by Crystal Thornburg.

I love town’s motto: “Local first, organic whenever possible, with Aloha always.”

(also, there are three power outlets and free WiFi. I’m happy to be able to blog as I enjoy my lunch.)

3435 Waialae Avenue #103
Honolulu, HI 96816

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