About two weeks ago I dined at Ka ‘Ikena, the fine dining room at Kapiolani Community College where students showcase their culinary and hospitality skills. The experience was so fantasic I had to go back to try The 220 Grille Restaurant, the casual Hawaii regional cuisine restaurant at KCC also run by students. The students did not disappoint.
The ambience is more casual with cafeteria style seating and paper plates/plastic utensils. But do take a look at their menu, which is far beyond what you’d expect at a casual “grille”. They have escargot! And lamb chops!
My friend ordered the Calamari Fritti ($5.95) served with smoked chipotle aioli and (SPICY) Asian cocktail sauce…
and Mushroom Soup ($3.00).
My other friend also ordered Calamari Fritti and Chicken Quesadillas ($5.95) with shimeji mushrooms and served with Mexican cream and mango pineapple relish.
I had Escargots in Mushroom Caps of course, because, where else can you eat escargot for $4.95!? The flavor of the white wine was too strong because the alcohol was not cooked off enough, but I’m happy to dismiss that because 1.) these are students learning how to cook and 2.) this is not a for-profit restaurant.
And I had Lamb Chops with Chipotle Honey Glaze and Cilantro Mint Vinaigrette ($9.50). Lamb is one of my favorite meats and this one came with 5 petite, tender chops cooked medium rare and perfectly seasoned.
For dessert I had Crepes Suzette with Orange Butter Sauce ($3.75) served with strawberries and spiced whipped cream. YUM.
To sum it up: fabulous food at prices that are a steal. The only unfortunate thing is that I got busy and took so long to write about 220 Grille – their last day of operation for this module is tomorrow! After that, you’ll have to wait until they re-open next year after renovations to their kitchen.
When you do have the chance to go, don’t forget to leave a donation in lieu of gratuity to support the KCC Culinary Arts Program! Parking is available on the campus in unmarked visitor stalls.
OVERALL: GOOD food, WOW concept
PRICE RANGE: $3.00-$5.95 for starters, $6.25-$9.50 for entrees. View menus on their website.
MY BILL: $18.20 plus a donation
RETURNING?: Yes but we’ll all have to wait till next year!
The 220 Grille Restaurant
Kapiolani Community College
Ohia Building, Room 220
4303 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
Lunch – view schedules and hours on their website