Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar.


Last night along with a few foodie friends, I took a trip out to the new eatery that opened up in Kaimuki called Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar.  Salt made it’s grand opening on June 14 and there has been a certain buzz about this place through online bloggers and the media ever since… so of course we had to check this place out for ourselves.  If you are familiar with Kevin Hanney’s 12th Avenue Grill then this place may be of no surprise to you as he is also the owner of this establishment.

According to a recent article in Honolulu Magazine, the driving force behind this move was to take the bleed-over bar crowd from 12th Avenue and bring them here.  If you’ve ever been to 12th Avenue for pau hana then you’ll know what I’m talking about. The bar area there is very limited and if you’re looking to do just some drinks and some light tasty appetizers that 12th Avenue offers, then it’s not exactly the most accommodating place.  But look no further now, because Salt is just right around the corner.  You would park in the same parking lot as 12th Avenue but just walk a few steps further to Waialae Avenue where Salt is located.  It’s right next door to Coffee Talk and BC Burrito in the old C&C Pasta and Belladonna location.

Below are the pictures of our meal.  I apologize but the memo I had in my phone with the description and prices was accidentally deleted so I’m just going to wing it!  Good thing I don’t do this for a living! For a more thorough and descriptive write-up….not to mentioned one done by a professional… look out for the posting on Nonstop Honolulu very soon!

Aviation, lemon based alcoholic drink. It was $10.

These were Kumamoto Oysters that were on special (not on menu). It had a citrus flavor with a Tabasco froth. Very good, I could eat these all night. They were $3 a pop.

Blistered salted Shishitos. Very simple, one of my favorite dishes. However very inconsistent. Though my dish was great, my friend Sean's version was under seasoned and because of that...very bitter. $5.

Crispy potato fingerlings with aioli dipping sauce. These were pretty good, one of the first dishes to run out. I think it was $6.

This was a pork sampler. Everything here was part of the pig with the exception of the picked vegetables and toasted baguettes. I think they had some kind of liverwurst, prosciutto, smoked pork shoulder and a deep fried sausage made of part of the head. $21.

Smoked ahi stuffed roasted piquillos. This was one of my favorite dishes. Something really simple that you could probably make at home. Very tasty. I think this dish was $6...or $9.

Portuguese flavored clams with chorizo. I didn't get a chance to taste this dish but my friends thought it was very tasty. The clams were a bit small but flavorful. $12.

3 cheese sampler. This one escapes my memory but the brown stuff you see is a fig jams which offset that cheese in the middle....which was very better. The one on the left was a goat cheese. I can't remember the price.

The menu called this one "warm olives" with....whoops. You can see as the later dishes kept coming out I wasn't paying too much attention to the details since I was focused on eating! Anyway, I wouldn't get this again. The olives were very tart.

The beet salad with pistachio's, goat cheese and arugula was one of the better tasting dishes of the night. Very lightly flavored with a vinaigrette.

Overall, I thought this place was good, say 7/10.  If you’re a fan of 12th Avenue then you’re sure to enjoy this place.  They have a lot of things smoked here with use of a variety of cheeses, rich sauces and herbs such as dill, fennel and parsley’s.  The prices were reasonable for the food and depending on what you get…tasty.  They do have a full bar including mixed drinks, beers, champagnes and wines.  The drinks however, are on the pricier side so if you are planning on reliving your glorified college years and getting “hosed,” this is probably a place you don’t want to be doing that at.

I’ll be honest when I say that I wouldn’t go out of my way to come here but if someone suggested it or they asked me to meet them here for happy hour, I wouldn’t object.  The knock is that they don’t take reservations so if you have a bigger party like we did last night you’ll have to get there early enough to get the tables.  The entire place by 8pm was packed so don’t take a chance.  I also heard before coming here that there was a bit of drama between the owner and one of the head chefs where the chef was let go soon after he helped open this eatery. Not sure what the full story is but I didn’t really see that reflected in the food.  Parking is plentiful in the paid lots next door or on the street (Waialae & Koko Head Avenue).

Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar
Open 7 days a week 5pm – 2am


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