Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.
Dona Maria Mexican Restaurant's menu depicts authentic Mexican cuisine constructed from fresh vegetables and hearty meats. Groups of two or four commence chow downs with a basket of tortilla chips and fresh guacamole, made in-house by skydiving avocados. Chefs line plates with traditional Mexican dinner platters such as enchiladas, chili rellenos, and chimichangas, as well as sautéed seafood platters that tout fresh tilapia fillets and shrimp. In addition to hearty meals, servers adorn tables with breakfast plates comprised of scrambled eggs sprinkled with chorizo or vegetables. Instead of bringing a hose nozzle from home, patrons can wash down spicy bites with a margarita or substitute the colorful concoction for another thirst quencher.
When it came time for the team at Johnny Carino’s to come up with some new recipes, they began rifling through their personal cooking histories. Executive chef Chris Peitersen took his first kitchen job at a barbecue joint when he was 14, so he was primed to create italian baby back ribs. By infusing brown sugar barbecue sauce with balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, he’s given the marinade a more acidic bite than typical barbecue sauces. As the ribs slowly roast and char on an oak grill, he bastes on his creation before finishing the dish with a dusting of parmesan.
The ribs are one of Carino’s many menu items that follow the restaurants’ approach of classic Italian preparations modified by forward-thinking flavor combinations. Diners will find a Black Angus burger capped with mozzarella and fried pepperoni, or sautéed tilapia spiced with garlic and jalapeño. Other signature dishes include the 16-layer lasagna, Skilletinis that sizzle with spaghetti and a choice of meat, and tiramisu made from scratch.
A little family run spot, Saigon Bistro Express pours a heap of passion into every Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, noodle soup, and grilled sate skewer. Lemongrass tofu stars in vegetarian entrees, while fresh fruit shakes cool off palates still smarting from flavorful bites of spicy beef or chicken rice bowls. The cafe atmosphere is welcoming and casual, with orders taken at the counter and delivered to your table by restaurant staff. Throughout the day, customers breeze through the friendly, family-owned dining space, stopping in for a full meal or a quick bite.