Just opened: The Pig and the Lady in Chinatown
Interior of The Pig and the Lady's new restaurant.
[So who's the Pig anyway? Here is the story of The Pig and the Lady's beginnings and how it became Honolulu's best new restaurant.]
The Pig and the Lady restaurant opened yesterday, drawing its farmer market regulars and pop-up fans to a new brick-and-mortar location in Chinatown. (Among its fans? Daniel Dae Kim, who tweeted the restaurant as a "must go.") With a permanent kitchen and dining room at last, Andrew Le (the pig) and his mom, Loan Le (the lady), will continue to serve their popular banh mi and Vietnamese noodle soups, while introducing new dishes incorporating Southeast Asian flavors.
Left: tsukemen; right: chicken liver pate and cornbread
A few of the items on the opening week lunch menu (specials will be changed weekly): the Pho French Dip with roasted brisket, Thai basil chimichurri and pho au jus; a smoked bacon and brisket pho; canh chua chay, a traditional vegetarian noodle soup made with tamarind broth. The new items include a pho tsukemen with salt cured egg yolk, fried shallots and roasted peanuts, and a chicken liver pate with cornbread, watercress and pomegranate.
Some of the sandwiches and noodles can be ordered in half portions, so you can make your own soup and sandwich combo.
Even though the restaurant is currently only open for lunch and Saturday brunch (with dinner starting December 12), bar manager Kyle Reutner is already shaking up cocktails for your workday lunch. The drink menu is citrusy and light, such as with the Moonstruck cocktail of grapefruit soda and bitters.
The Pig and the Lady's new spot is in the former Lemongrass Cafe, the restaurant for the Pacific Gateway Center, a nonprofit group that provides assistance to immigrants, refugees and low-income residents. Though The Pig and the Lady has taken over the space, they're still partnering with the Pacific Gateway Center and employing participants in their work training program. It's an appropriate partnership, given that Loan Le herself is a refugee from Vietnam.
The Pig and the Lady, 83 N. King St., thepigandthelady.com