I rush into the minimalist space of Salt kitchen and tasting bar with the food warriors in tow. We’re late for our 5:30 reservation by 20 minutes but they’ve saved our table in the tiny upstairs dining area. The Kaimuki eatery feels like it would more likely be found in the Meat Packing district of New York than shoe-boxed between the toy store and hookah lounge on Wailae Ave. but we head in and are ready to get down to business
Hang out for happy hour downstairs 5:00 to 6:30 everyday and all day Sunday for a quick bite. Or make a reservation for one of the handful of tables upstairs and linger with friends. The High Class cocktail intrigued me with a mix of Aperol (bitters), Absinthe and fruit juices. The flavor is similar to Campari or blood orange with an anise twist, refreshing and sweet-tart.
I was a bit nervous when I saw the “art” featuring a pig mapped out in prime cuts.
What a pleasant surprise to see several dishes that were vegetarian and easily made vegan friendly like the Crispy Fingerling Potatoes or Blistered Shishito Peppers. If you’re craving something green, try the Beet Salad or Nalo Mixed Greens.
The rest of the food warriors are carni/omni-viores so they ordered both the cheese and chacuterie platters.
The cocktail must have gone straight to my head because I ordered the Kahuku Corn Agnolotti without realizing it was in a cream sauce. Bummer! Luckily the food warriors gobbled it up. The next time I go back, I’ll see if it can be prepared sans dairy products.
No plant based desserts, but my friends shared the Tres Leche with black pepper semi-freddo.
Salt kitchen is a great spot for small bites and I’ll definitely be back for happy hour.
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