Cold Comfort

June 5, 2012 | By Alana Folen

Keep your cool with an appetizer served chilled.

With summer in full swing and temperatures on the rise, Waikiki magazine is on the search for something that’s as tasty as it is refreshing. We were able to garner up a few remarkably “cool” (in every sense of the word) starters to rev up your appetite, so grab a bite at one of these eateries…

Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar
Royal Hawaiian Center, Bldg. B, Level 1
2233 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 110
(808) 922-3400

As the flagship Italian restaurant for the father-son duo Wolfgang and Peter Zwiener, Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar is conveniently located at Royal Hawaiian Center. Now open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night fare, Il Lupino offers a relaxing, yet sophisticated environment, featuring indoor and alfresco bar and dining, an open kitchen, and a salumeria (Italian delicatessen). Begin any meal with a delectable appetizer, including Insalata Caprese ($14), spotlighting an exhilarating blend of heirloom tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, lemon cured onions, basil and a dash of extra virgin olive for a finishing touch.

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
2552 Kalakaua Ave.
(808) 931-6286

Known for its contemporary sushi and new wave Asian-inspired dishes, Sansei is guaranteed to wow diners with each and every bite. As part of the DK Restaurants group, and with locations on both Maui and O‘ahu, the chefs here are highly skilled in preparing only the best in Japanese-inspired Pacific Rim cuisine. Executive chef Joseph “JJ” Reinhart of the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa location creates a plethora of reinvigorating starters such as Cajun Seared Walu Sashimi ($12.95) with shaved Maui onions, red jalapeño, cilantro and a yukke sauce, and Japanese Yellow Tail Nori Aioli Poke ($14.95) with crispy lotus root chips and tobiko. Hamachi Carpaccio ($17) is a favorite here as well.

The Veranda
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
2365 Kalakaua Ave.
(808) 921-4600

Located at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, The Veranda is shaded under the canopy of a historic banyan tree and offers soothing sounds of ocean waves, breaking gently on the shores of beautiful Waikiki. This award-winning establishment is open daily for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, and chef William Chen stirs up your appetite with refreshing appetizers Wagyu Steak Tartar ($16), featuring whole grain mustard, capers topped with Okinawan potato crisps, and Hamachi Crudo ($17) with fresh cucumbers and wasabi topped with ponzu. Both items are available from noon to 3 p.m.