Monday, July 23, 2012
Hawaii Eats: The Whole Ox
The Whole Ox is a gourmet butcher shop that serves breakfast and lunch on wooden picnic tables out of a store front on Keawe Street just off of Ala Moana Boulevard.
The food is similar to what Angelenos would be familiar with from places like Animal with a casual vibe. In fact, this place would fit in well in LA with its emphasis on local produce and organic meats.
We stopped in for breakfast and tried a sampling. The menu is limited, but all of the dishes looked good. Less than a month after the California foie gras ban went into effect I was excited to get my foie fix with the eggs benedict foie gras (pictured below), which was an eggs benedict on a homemade biscuit with foie in place of the Canadian Bacon (they offer the Canadian Bacon version as well) and some stewed dried apricots, all covered in a light hollandaise. The foie was just slightly overcooked but the poached eggs were perfect, and the whole dish worked well.
Sausages with biscuits and gravy was not quite as strong a dish. The gravy lacked flavor. The sausages were a very dense, merguez type sausage which I liked a lot. The biscuits, the same ones used on the benedict, were a bit dense as well, lacking the fluffiness I tend to like in biscuits, which made the whole dish a bit heavy.
Smoky pork hash (pictured, top) was fantastic. Hash dishes are very popular on the islands and this pork hash had chunks of shredded, smoky pork, reminiscent of kalua pig, with nicely cubed potatoes. Corn beef hash was good but not as good as the smoky pork hash.
A special of "piggy grill cakes" (or something like that) was a rectangular pattie made from pork and steel cut oats. It was fried crisp and had a nice porky flavor. The oats provided texture more than anything else.
Most breakfast dishes were in the $10 range (the foie gras benedict was $19).
Overall, this was a fun place and one I'd definitely return to. I appreciated both the creativity of the dishes and the emphasis on local and organic ingredients.
The Whole Ox
327 Keawe St
Honolulu, HI 96813