Holoholo Grill inside Paradise Palms is now a seasonal ramen and sushi bar. The grill is adding items to its menu aside from grab-and-go items like sandwiches and salads.
The grill introduced its new ramen concept in spring 2018. What used to be the check-out counter is now an eight-seater mini bar, designed to mimic a tiny Japanese ramen bar.
The restaurant tries to “go-green” by maximizing the use of their ingredients to ensure they waste as little food as possible. Owner and chef Jill Owens explained neighboring restaurants like Panda Express and L&L Hawaiian Barbecue contribute ingredients for them to reuse that would otherwise be thrown away. For example, vegetable tops, bottoms and peels are roasted and boiled for the ramen broth. The ramen bar is very proud of their “10 hour broth,” a tonkotsu broth made from these reused ingredients.
Every food part can play a role in a dish. Certain parts of cucumbers that are not desirable for sushi can be used for Bánh mì (Vietnamese style sandwich). Fresh ahi that is not used for poke bowls is poached and used to make tuna salad.
The prices of salads, sandwiches and wraps vary between $6 and $10, while sushi and poke bowls range from $5 to $12. Owens said the most popular items are the Fresh Ahi Tuna Salad Sandwiches, the vegetarian Green Goddess Sandwich and the Minty Gingerade drink.
“We have the least amount of trash here and we have the most products. But we’re also not a corporate company, so we can do whatever we want,” Owens said.
The ramen bar also offers a meal set which includes ramen, gyoza, a cookie and a drink for $14. The ramen set is only available for sit-ins, but customers can still order it to-go as an ala carte.
Holoholo Grill also uses compostable packaging for all their products.
“Our stuff goes back to dirt in 60 to 90 days once it hits the landfills… Everything for us is more expensive than anyone else because we’re trying to save our islands here,” Owens said.
This semester, Holoholo Grill will be serving bentos and musubi. These became available during the summer to test customers’ reactions to their new menu items.
According to Owens, the bentos and musubi usually run out early in the morning. Their most popular bentos are the breakfast bento, chicken adobo bento and garlic chicken bento. Bentos range from $5 to $10 and musubi prices vary from $2 to $3.
The Holoholo Ramen Bar will only be available every spring semester. For the fall semesters, the location transforms into a sushi bar. The California, spicy ebi and caterpillar rolls will be on the menu.
The grill will have both ramen and sushi next spring.