12th Avenue Grill

Reid, 5. July 2004, 18:47

This is the new restaurant that is where the old Mongolian BBQ used to be off of Waialae Avenue. I really enjoyed this small cozy place. The lighting was intimate and the wood floors, wooden tables and availability of booths made this a very welcomed place.

I would describe the food as slightly upscale comfort food: you got your steaks, pork chops, chicken dishes. The portions are good and the price range is between $10-$25 (most of the entres fall between $10-$20 range).

I had the Rib-eye which was served with mushrooms and a light sauce to go with it. The cut was not too thick, and the prepared it just the way I like it (medium rare). The meal came with a thick potato pancake which was really good as well.

Larri ordered a chicken and mushroom dish with mashed potato. What I liked about that was the grilled skin on the chicken. We also tried the kim-chee steak which was basically a teri steak with a spicy aftertaste. That too was also nicely grilled.

The dishes that Penny and Grace had also looked good, but I’ll let them talk about that.

All in all it’s a great atmosphere with solid food. This is the kind of place you think of when you think of a neighborhood restaurant.

Larri, Penny and I went to 12th Avenue Grill again last night.

I got the fish special: balsamic glazed salmon stuffed with crab, served with fresh spinach and other vegetables. This was basically a salad (no starch), and it was pretty good, although nothing special. I also tried the tomato-basil soup which basically tasted like tomato sauce soup. It was actually better than I’m making it sound.

Larri had the kim chee steak and ceasar salad. I liked the ceasar because it wasn’t sopping with dressing. Penny said the anchovy taste was too strong, but I didn’t think so. The kim chee steak was pretty good. The side of kim-chee is really interesting, as it’s almost like sauerkraut. Penny said that they did put sugar and vinegar in there, but there’s also that kim chee taste, plus a little smoky, bbq flavor from the steak. Pretty interesting.

The best dish by far was what Penny got: the spare-ribs, and I have to say that I think that’s the best dish on the menu that I’ve tried. It’s not the type of spare-ribs you see at Chinese restaurants. This was more like an osso buco. I’m not sure how to describe the sauce although I know it was beer based. The dish came with mashed potatoes and vegetables. For under $20 it was a good deal. The portion is pretty good, especially if you get a salad or soup.

We finished our meal with a carrot cake (super moist, almost like a banana bread), and the apple crisp. That came in a flat tart dish. It was one of the better apple pie dishes I’ve had (although it might have been a little too sweet).

Once again, the ambiance is really wonderful here, making it a perfect date restaurant or a small group meal.

Yes, we went again. Before I give a description of the dish I had, let me give some tips to those of you who are considering going here:

Don’t go here with more than four people unless you don’t mind waiting for an hour or more. (We had eight people and waited for an hour and a half!)
The restaurant is pretty loud, and the acoustics are such that it can be hard to hear someone who is sitting several seats away. It’s not the place for a quiet, romantic meal.
OK, last night I havd the duck. For $25 it as kinda pricey, and the portions weren’t very big (which the waiter warned me about). The dish really reminded me of collared greens with bits of smokey ham-hocks. The duck was a boneless breast with skin and super smokey. The smokey flavor wiped out the duck taste. (The owner’s wife said it wasn’t supposed to be this way.) The entre comes with a sides of greens (can’t remember the name) which reminded me of collared greens. The starch was a cornbread stuffing with sausage. (The sausage was OK.) I was deciding between the duck or the pork chop ($18). Next time I’ll try the pork-chop.

For dessert my niece got this blue-berry sour cream pie, with walnut crumble. It looked like a coffee-cake, but it was really moist. It was better than the pear crisp (apple crips except with pears). Btw, they serve a fruit “crisp” every night. Recommended.

2 Responses to “12th Avenue Grill”

  1. Reid

    Squid ink pasta with grilled tako. Some of the pieces of tako were really tough, but I liked the squid ink pasta–it had a nice, chewy texture. The sauce was good, too.

    Beer battered avocado, with a salad. Meh. The avocado was nice and creamy, but it didn’t have a flavor and the batter didn’t add much.

    Nairagi with risotto. This is the type of fish that doesn’t have much flavor, but I liked the texture (reminded me of butterfish). Risotto and vegetables were good.

    By the way, they afogado for dessert, which is an espresso dumped over a scoop of ice cream. You can add a liqueur with this (I got the amaretto), and it was really good. However, the cost wasn’t. (Larri said it was $15, but I don’t remember now.)

  2. Reid

    12th Ave. now features family suppers on Sundays, which is basically a comfort food, family style version of a prix fixe meal. For about $30 per person, you get a veggies, starch, main entre and a dessert. What’s cool is that not everyone at the table needs to order the family style, but they could share some fo the food. So, for example, when I went with my extended family, four people ordered the family supper, but we had a total of eight people. We had to order some other food, but the portions for four were pretty good (except for the dessert). If Larri and I just took the kids, we could probably just pay for two people and maybe get something small for the kids.

    We tried this twice. On one occasion we got the paella, which comes in a black, wok looking pan. It also came with a salad, naan bread and baklava. The paella wasn’t outstanding, but it was decent.

    On another occasion we tried their fried chicken dinner, which came with mashed potatoes, swiss chard, biscuits and (sausage) gravy and fruit cobbler. The swiss chard was sauteed and the portions weren’t that big. The dessert was even smaller, coming in a smallish bowl. At first we thought there was more dessert. It looked like a large serving for one person, two at the most. The fried chicken was of the buttermilk variety (I’m pretty sure), and it was just OK. I wouldn’t strongly recommend it, but they have this once a month, so it seems like it’s a popular item.

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