In mid-April, Artizen by MW closed to revamp its breakfast and lunch menus. The popular Downtown spot reopened for lunch yesterday, and we checked out the new menu.
Get the avocado toast ($11) and share with a friend if you’re not super hungry, because the mochi bread will fill you up. It’s topped with creamy, flavorful avocado mash, a slightly sweet Ho Farms tomato jam, grilled kale and a sunny side up egg. It's easily one of the best avocado toasts I’ve ever had, just based on the bread alone.
While the Mixed Plate sandwich is no longer on Artizen’s menu, this meatball sammie is a good addition. The meatballs are juicy and smothered in house-made tomato sauce and melted provolone cheese. The sammie comes with a side of fries or green salad, so get the fries (is that even a question?). And of the four choices — regular, barbecue, furikake and sweet potato — go with barbecue. You can smell the seasoning before the fries hit the table.
If you want something that’s more reminiscent of plate lunch, opt for the pork chops. Each nugget is fried to a crisp, but isn't overdone.
The fried chicken and eggplant ($13) is another good choice if you want a mix of protein and veggies. The chicken is juicy with a satisfyingly crunchy exterior. Both.chicken and pork chops come with your choice of rice and a mixed green salad with yuzu-miso dressing.
Also new: Kalua pig tacos ($10 for two). Artizen's previous tacos alone were worth a visit, so I'm saving these for a future lunch.
Regulars will notice subtle twists on old favorites like the seared ahi plate ($14), mochi crusted opah ($15) and chili bowl ($11). For instance, the bento box ($11) features fried fish instead of SPAM, but still includes kalbi, jidori garlic fried chicken and Portuguese sausage over furikake rice and farmers banchan.
Even if you're full, make sure you get dessert to go. All desserts are $6 and the selection changes daily. Classics like the chocolate dobash cake and black forest cake are still there, but if you want something lighter, order the “Pog.” It’ll totally remind you of the juice you downed by the carton as a kid, but in gourmet form.
Artizen by MW
250 S. Hotel St.
Open Mon-Fri, breakfast: 7:30-10:30 a.m., lunch 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.