Late night at The Whole Ox

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Since arriving at The Whole Ox, chef Justin Yu has reworked the menu and recently added a Saturday late-night menu (from 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.) that’s drawn crowds and raves to the evolving Kaka‘ako eatery. I had a chance to talk to Yu about his menu tweaks and inspiration behind late-night grub, and he spoke candidly about his intentions and memories of food, saying his motivation isn’t necessarily to feed people, but to bring people together.

Here’s a look at the late-night menu:

The Whole Ox

The Whole Ox is now the place to be on Saturday nights, a BYOB gathering featuring a menu of Yu's favorite comfort foods that changes slightly each week.

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Interview with Justin Yu

13 comments
nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

i like the video interview. good initiative to turn on the camera during a laid-back convo, w/ the result that we finally see a more personable side to this new chef in town. nice job, chuggy :)

russkar
russkar

Nice Review, we had a great time..

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

I like the new bun because it's NOT CRUSTY! hahaha yay!

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

Hmm...I don't really see what's different about the super loco that justifies its $16 price tag. Looks pretty similar to other loco mocos that are half that price. Even if the taste is better, is it $16 good? I'm still not sold on his menu and prices but will reserve further judgement until another outing. I've only been to Yu's Whole Ox once and wasn't impressed with the quality nor the prices. But I will give this late night menu a try. That Korean hash doesn't look too appealing either.

Grant Shindo
Grant Shindo

@nonstopmari thank you, Mari! We were chatting about the menu and the inspiration behind it and I had to interrupt and say "hold that thought!" It's always refreshing to see creative people articulate their passions and to catch it on camera is an added bonus.

Grant Shindo
Grant Shindo

@Melissa808 The fried chicken sandwich is really really good. I had it last night and the honey mustard plus the juicy chicken is amazing!

Grant Shindo
Grant Shindo

@MyongChoi The hash was actually pretty tasty. The cubes are a little too big for my liking but the flavors are definitely there. I had a taste of the maitake moco first and that made me really want the super moco! Prices are always going to be a point of contention because of the labor involved with doing everything in-house. Luckily you don't get a utility frozen beef patty with your dinner here.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @Grant Shindo  Yeah, based only on the picture, that was my "beef" with the kim chee hash. The pieces should be smaller to make a more effective dish, more like the "hash" name it bears.

 

And I while I can maybe understand the prices justified by the labor, that doesn't necessarily mean that consumers are willing to pay for his labor when they can get something similar for considerably less elsewhere. Also, other places serve "gourmet" loco mocos at similar or lesser prices with the added benefit of ambience and wait service. But I suppose the required tip at those places must also be considered as a price factor.

 

I guess time will tell if this model works for Yu or not.

Grant Shindo
Grant Shindo

@Melissa808 oh I completely forgot I had those! I guess its a sign that I have a problem... I had all my own pictures of everything on the menu.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @Grant Shindo  BYOB? Well, why didn't you say that in the first place? LOL Now I'm even more anxious to try!

Grant Shindo
Grant Shindo

@MyongChoi the BYOB aspect is really appealing so you can spend a little more on food. I predict the late night doing very well.

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