Words + photos: Kari Lau
A new food court has emerged in the bustling tourist hub of Waikiki.
The Street, A Michael Mina Social House was introduced to the public on May 19, 2017, releasing a variety of cuisines curated by James Beard Award winner and Mina Group founder, Michael Mina. The food court was designed to emulate Mina’s childhood meals: bright, joyous, and a lot of food. With these intentions, 13 booths were invited to The Street.
As a recent visitor, I can say with honesty that the food court has captured the essence Mina had envisioned. Upon entering, I saw people happily conversing as they munched on their food. The sound of chatter from many created a light, social atmosphere.
I was enchanted by the light projections that were casted throughout the food court; it created a picturesque glow. The illuminations appeared as white specks, but also rainbow on the edges. It was mesmerizing.
Aside from that, as I explored the food court, I noticed that each restaurant had its own appeal based on the food it served. For instance, The Ramen Bar, which served Japanese cuisine with a modern twist, emulated a trendy, yet traditional vibe with the usage of monochromatic graphics: fish, Kanji (Japanese characters), and other geometric shapes. So, not only was I able to absorb the vendors’ concepts through taste, but also by sight.
Living up to the great atmosphere of The Street, the food was equally as great. I visited two vendors; The Ramen Bar and Adam’s Nana Lu: Pizzeria Cuisine with an emphasis in a homey feel. Both excelled in the dishes they served.
The Ramen Bar:
In search of a delicious appetizer, I casted my sight on the Ramen Bar’s Chasu Fried Rice.
The dish was simple. It contained few ingredients: garlic, shoyu, green onion, and minimal pork bits. Although it was bare in ingredients, it was abundant in flavor. The garlic and shoyu flavor that was prominent in the rice was delectable to the last grain. Overall, an enjoyable, easy eat for anyone to devour.
Adam’s Nana Lu:
After eating some food from The Ramen Bar, I couldn’t help but crave something more.
So I ordered the Rigatoni Pasta at Adam’s Nana Lu. The dish consisted of the rigatoni noodles, flavored with tomato sauce and shredded pork. The finishing embellishment was some sort of white cream, alongside shredded cheese.
One word: phenomenal.
My favorite component of the dish was, without a doubt, the sauce. The tomato marinade had a meaty undertone from the shredded pork that enriched the sauce. With each bite that I took, my tastebuds were delighted with the flavor.
The shredded pork was also amazing. It was tender and prominent in the pasta. Slathered in the wonderful tomato sauce and some salt, I had an enjoyable time finishing it.
As for the finishing embellishment, I was neutral with it. The cream reminded me of cheesy mashed potatoes that was really, really well blended. However, it did accompany the pasta and pork wonderfully. It was a nice counter against the overwhelming flavor of the other two components.
All in all, Mina truly brought to life a social house in Waikiki. So, for all those who have not yet seen this amazing place, I urge that you do. Don’t miss out on a variety of great eats.
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