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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A waterfront pop-up oyster bar

Left: raw oysters with mignonette and chipotle sauce, oyster shooters in a housemade cocktail sauce. Right: the oyster bar at Cha Cha Cha

There's a lovely pop-up oyster bar on the back deck of Cha Cha Cha Salsaria. On Monday nights, you can overlook the Hawaii Kai waterfront and enjoy raw oysters on the half shell with a chipotle hot sauce or Oysters Rockefeller grilled with a savory mix of spinach, parsley, parmesan, water chestnuts and garlic butter. There aren't many oyster bars on Oahu (Broadway Oyster Bar closed just a few months ago), and this one is a gem, with the backdrop of live music by Mango Seasons and dusk setting over the water.

Grilled oysters with garlic butter and cocktail sauce and Oysters Rockefeller

Kathryn Krohn, who operates the oyster bar within Cha Cha Cha, used to run The Marshall Store in California for eight years. It was an institution, a seafood shack fronting Tomales Bay, where oysters came right out of the water. When Krohn stumbled upon the Cha Cha Cha opportunity, she saw it as a chance to recreate her old place, if only once a week (she also has a full-time job at Whole Foods' prepared foods department and caters on the side).  

So while the oysters here are flown in from Washington, and perhaps not so sweet and fresh as what you might get in Tomales Bay, they're still good. Krohn uses miyagi oysters, preferring to keep her oysters small, even for the grilled preparations. "The bigger the oyster, the bigger the stomach. I don't find them to be tasty," she says.

Oysters are $2-$2.75 and served Mondays, 5pm until sold out (get there early!).

377 Keahole St # C1a, 395-7797

Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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