Lots of food to eat: New spots, cool events

Help buy furniture for a new Kaka‘ako food “hub”—Taste, a collaborative venture between chef Mark Noguchi, his partner Amanda Corby, and Eat the Street founders Poni and Brandon Askew. Tonight they hold a grand-opening/fundraiser featuring food by Noguchi, Sean Priester, The Pig and the Lady (now run by Andrew Le’s mom, since he absconded to San Francisco to work at Rich Table), and Sweet Bread.  You can get tickets here ($45). Anyone who got a sneak taste of Taste at the Kaka‘ako Night Market will want to go. The pork-belly Thai curry and lu‘au stew were the best things I’ve eaten in a plastic bowl in a long time. 667 Auahi Street between Keawe and Coral streets (around the corner from Whole Ox Deli).

Whole Animal Dinner at Salt Kitchen and Tasting Bar: The animal is a Maui deer, the chef is Quentin Frye, the wine includes Croze Hermitage 2007 (along with three others), the date is Oct. 30, 6:30pm. It may be as muggy as Jakarta out there, but the calendar says it’s chasse time in Europe! Guaranteed to be an instant winnah. Four courses for $65 plus tax and tip. Reservations a must: 744.7567.

Street + Spicy cooking class + lunch: On Oct 18, home design shop fishcake hosted a cool food-and-ceramics event called 3 @ the table, organized by Share Your Table (aka Melanie Kosaka) and restaurant designer Wendy Tsuji. It was a fantastic evening. It kicked off with a presentation about ceramics and how they are integral to notable dining experiences—and how we should all be supporting ceramicists just like we’re all into supporting local farmers, chefs and restaurateurs. Why doesn’t Alan Wong’s use dinnerware custom made by one of our many talented clay artists? There was tako salad from Prima, roasted pig from Town, and beautiful ceramic ware by local (Daven Hee, Clayton Amemiya, Steve Martin) and mainland artists.
On Nov 10, Share Your Table holds another food event at Fishcake: Street and Spicy. Café Julia’s Lance Kosaka (yes, Melanie’s brother—talented family!) gives a cooking class on easy Asian street food recipes (Asian hummus crostini, Vietnamese-inspired pork lettuce wraps, and make-ahead marinades and salad dressings), and then you get to eat it all family style. Cost is $65. Buy tickets online.

Salads to eat now:
• Calamari salad at 53 by the Sea—the salty bottarga slivers totally make it, plus it’s huge. Don’t let the Japanese-tourist prices scare you away—the salad is $18; split it with a friend at the bar. Affordable!
• Beet and goat cheese salad at Lucky Belly—no sloppy chunks of flavorless root here. You get a precision terrine of layered slices of beet and cheese, along with a tousle of greens topped with a crushed-nut mix. Yah, it’s kind of addictive.
• Frisée salad at Salt Kitchen and Tasting Bar—always fun to have a new twist on a classic. Here guanciale stands in for lardons, and it’s enhanced with three cubes of migas (Spanish version, not Tex Mex)—really just bread, but infused with the smoky baconiness of the guanciale! A poached egg is still the runny goodness that brings it all home.

Best thing I ate this week: The slow-roasted pork special at Prima. Cracklin’ on the outside, meat pudding on the inside, with potatoes that border on Robuchon silk (pictured above). If it’s on the specials menu get it! (But don’t get the Doritos Ranch soup.)

Photo courtesy Trisha Lagaso Goldberg.

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