Chef Roy Choi was born in Korea and raised in Los Angeles, but his heart is in Hawaii.
Chef Roy Choi was born in Korea and raised in Los Angeles, but his heart is in Hawaii—as writer Jonathan Gold discovered when he took a marathon eating tour of Honolulu with Choi. It’s not just the beaches and the weather that brings Choi back year after year to Hawaii—it’s the food. Now, Choi will finally bring the authentic Hawaiian food he loves to Los Angeles at A-Frame.
Though the restaurant has been serving an interpretation of Hawaiian food for five years, the menu will become a full-fledged ode to “ono grindz” (Hawaiian slang for good food) this February. “Our new chef, Johnny Yoo, inspired me to look deeper into Hawaii and take it from the abstract to the real,” Choi writes on A-Frame’s website. Get a taste of some of the dishes that might appear on the menu with five of Choi’s takes on his favorite Hawaiian dishes.
“This is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of Hawaii,” says Choi about the sushi-like musubi, a mix of seared Spam, sushi rice and pureed kimchi, all wrapped up in nori.
Asian Fried and Glazed Baby Back Ribs
One of Choi’s favorite Honolulu spots is Side Street Inn, partially because of the sticky fried ribs. He makes his version with a mix of Asian sauces, including hoisin, black bean sauce, oyster sauce and Sriracha.
Tomato-and-Pineapple Salad with Garlic Chips
Choi makes this tomato-and-onion salad as an homage to Hawaiian fruits and vegetables.
Oxtail Soup with Daikon and Ramen Noodles
Oxtail is a popular ingredient in Hawaiian cooking. Choi makes it the base for the broth of his hearty soup and adds plenty of the tender braised meat as well.
Chicken Teriyaki Plate
Choi’s excellent version of this classic dish has a surprise ingredient: lemon-lime soda.