Haute Spot: SALT Kitchen & Tasting Bar in Kaimuki

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Back in June a new restaurant opened in the bustling town of Kaimuki — to much anticipation and hype.

SALT Kitchen & Tasting Bar was touted as the Next Big Thing, as it was the creation of Kevin Hanney of 12th Ave Grill, who partnered with Robert McGee, who came to Honolulu from Portland’s Slow Bar and opened the kitchen at apartm3nt. It’s located around the corner from Hanney’s flagship restaurant and in the space vacated by the short-lived Belladonna.

This restaurant is a true charcuterie, curing its own meats and serving some of the best salted and smoked offerings around (like the house charcuterie platter above).

But the menu boasts a nice array of innovative dishes including roasted beets and goat cheese, ceviche with Kahuku corn creme fraiche, deep-fried eggs with Calabrian chili aioli, smoked ahi-stuffed piquillos and fried arancini balls (above) filled with risotto and paired with a fried egg puree.

The ambiance is chic and modern, with a loft for additional dining. We love the downstairs bar, with a nice selection of wines including the St. Joseph Rhone and the Michel Gros burgundy.

SALT doesn’t take reservations. And it’s often crowded on weekends. So we suggest heading there after work for a couple of cocktails and a sample of one of the island’s best charcuterie. You won’t be disappointed.

Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar, 3605 Waialae Ave. Hours: 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (food until midnight) daily. Phone: (808) 744-7567

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