Monday, November 10, 2008
Uncle Bo's Restaurant
Uncle Bo's is quite an eclectic mix of casual dining, bar, and lounge with a menu inspired by Local, Asian, Italian, and Cajun cuisines. I was pretty confused from the minute I stepped into the restaurant, and still don't quite know how to describe it. First of all, the name "Uncle Bo's" makes it sound like a local "shorts and slippers" take out place. The sign on the outside also gives that impression, with the red and yellow painted surf board. The interior, however, is quite trendy and modern, with plush cushions and a bar with hot pink back lighting. It appears to be sophisticated lounge, yet the televisions suggest a sports bar. To add to the confusion, the owner, Bo Pathammavong, looks nothing like you would imagine an "uncle Bo" to look like (he looks nothing like my uncle Bo, anyway). The menu offers a variety of cocktails, pupus, soups, salads, seafood, pizza, pasta, steaks, and desserts, with everything from Thai Street Style Garlic Chicken Wings ($9), to Baked Opah with a Garlic Chili Aioli and Fried Garlic Shrimp ($19), to Prime Rib with Au Jus and Horseradish ($22), and Chicken Piccatta ($15). At first, I was a little bothered trying to make sense of everything but by the end of the night after hanging out with the girls and eating the food, I realized that perhaps the randomness is what makes this place so fun, and so unique.
We started out the night with some cocktails. The trendy vibe and glamourously lit bar suggest that this would be the perfect place. Unfortunately, we didn't have the best of luck ordering cocktails here (they just didn't taste right). Its a good thing the food was enough to keep us happy! Next time I'll order some wine or beer.
My favorite dish of the night was the Thai Style Steamer Clams ($11) served in a sweet chili garlic oyster sauce. One pound of clams, with chunks of tomato and bok choy swimming in a delicious sauce. I loved the sauce so much I used it as a dipping sauce for my bread and had to hold back from slurping it like soup!
We also had the Warm Spinach Salad ($13) with a strawberry vinegarette, walnuts, onions, bacon and feta cheese. This one was okay, a little heavy on the garlic though.
The Pele Shrimp Pasta ($17) was a Cajun butter sauce with shrimp, bell peppers, onions, and tomato, and white wine. It was slightly spicy and oh so yummy!
The Grilled Chicken and Spinach Pizza ($15) was also yummy, with a thin, yet chewy crust.
So once I stopped trying to figure out what this place was supposed to be, it turned out to be a really fun hangout. It offers a relaxed atmosphere for mingling over good food. The service is pretty good, and they don't mind if you stay a while after the meal. It offered a nice atmosphere for the girls to be girls... but boys can also be boys there too (there was a bunch of guys celebrating a birthday just as we were leaving). Speaking of birthdays, this place also does a great job at embarrassing the birthday girl with a loud birthday song. I only know this because my girlfriends thought it would be so funny to tell the waiter that it was my birthday, even though it wasn't!
One note on this place, try to find street parking if you can. The parking lot across the street that was once free now charges $4.
Uncle Bo's Restaurant
559 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815