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Food & Dining // Table Talk
Jo McGarry

Good to Grill’s New Lunch Specials

When Good to Grill owner Jason Kim stands in line for lunch at his Kapahulu restaurant, he’s happy to hear what fellow diners have to say.

“I enjoy standing in line and listening to the comments of customers as they look at the menu or choose a longtime favorite dish,” he says. “It gives us an idea of what’s working.”

These days, the comments have become overwhelmingly positive as a number of daily specials offer plate lunch-style dishes for under $10, and a menu of healthy, well-balanced carbohydrate and protein dishes have been designed for those looking to optimize diet and exercise programs.

But don’t be deceived by the casual ambience of the restaurant. There’s some first-rate grilling going on here – along with an exciting menu of healthful food that rivals many higher-priced restaurants.

A big part of Good to Grill’s success is that it appeals to a wide variety of diners.

“We see just about everyone come in during the day and for dinner,” says the immensely likeable Kim. “From families with kids to singles on date night to older people looking for a nice place to have dinner without spending a fortune, there’s something for everyone on our menu. ”

The Good to Grill experience starts way before you enter the restaurant, as a wood-fire kiawe grill sends smoky aromas through the dining room and onto the outside lanai.

“We’re best known for our wood-fire grilled prime rib and short ribs,” explains

Kim, “but recently our value-priced daily specials have been getting some really good reviews.”

It’s easy to see why. The colorful plates of grilled salmon, steaks, chicken and fresh fish with sides of Okinawan sweet potatoes, veggies and salads are all part of a healthful menu inspired by former UH slot receiver and kick returner Chad Owens. Now starring in the Canadian Football League, Owens spent some time recently in Honolulu and made a trip to Good to Grill a part of his regular workout routine.

“He came in every day,” says Kim, “and as he was in training, he asked if we’d help modify some of the plates we were cooking.”

The result is the Power Up menu, designed to suit a diet that’s high in protein with measured amounts of carbohydrates – including a healthy dose of cauliflower masquerading as mashed potato.

“People love it,” says Kim of the counterfeit carb cauliflower mash. “Personally, I always hated cauliflower, but this is a great way to eat it.”

With the introduction of the Power Up menu, and a daily dose of “window” specials (most of them less than $10), customers almost have been spoiled for choice. Next time you visit, look for a host of side dishes such as purple sweet potatoes, green chard, cauliflower mash, brown rice, veggie plates and baby greens that serve as accompaniments to kalbi ribs, misoyaki chicken, ribeye steak and mac nut-crusted fresh ahi – just a few of the entrees coming off the grill.

For Kim, giving customers variety and what they want is the goal.

“When I stand in line as a customer,” he says, “and I hear people talking about the prices, the portions and how good the food tastes – it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Happy eating!

Good to Grill Safeway Center Kapahulu 888 Kapahulu Ave. GoodtoGrill.com 734-7345 tabletalk@hawaii.rr.com

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