When my foodie friend Melissa Chang (@melissa808) tells me to eat somewhere, I make a mental note.
But when she invites to eat with her, well, I clear my schedule!
Urban Bistro (@urbanbistro808) is the first of a slew of new restaurants to open in The 808 Center, a three-story, 23,000-square-foot retail and restaurant complex just behind Walmart, on the corner of Rycroft and Sheridan streets. (Others include a French pastry and coffee shop by JJ Bistro, a trendy pancake cafe, a Sichuan sizzling hot stone noodle eatery, a wedding cake and custom-made dessert shop and an upscale French restaurant.)
Owned by Margaret Lin, who owns other restaurants in Waikīkī, Urban Bistro has the feel of an American diner with a hip urban decor featuring elements from the New York City subway and Beacon Hill in Boston. The menu offers grilled pizzas, tapas, sliders, burgers and salads — all with Chef Greg Chun Jr.’s twist.
Here’s how it works: You grab a table, check out the menu, then jot down the number of the item you want on a piece of paper and give that to the waiter. (See below)
It’s also a no-tip restaurant because, as Melissa wrote in her blog, “it’s our pleasure to serve you.” Nice!
We stopped by for lunch — the restaurant is open for dinner, too — and decided to overeat. Like usual.
Here’s what we had:
I love a restaurant that lets me sit and talk for hours — which we did — and serves up easy-to-eat grub that’s shareable (or not). It’s a great place to bring friends, to hold meetings, for date night. And the menu keeps evolving, so there’s always a reason to come back again!
Urban Bistro, 808 Sheridan St., #109. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. Phone: (808) 396-7000