New meatball sub with Mountain View Farms meatballs. 

Photo By Thomas Obungen

Downtown's Artizen reopens with a new menu

Avocado toast, meatball sammies, fried pork chops and more
Share Button

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. 

Artizen's mochi bread is the soft but sturdy base of this avocado toast. - Photo by Thomas Obungen

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.

The toasted meatball sub ($12) has four Mountain View Farms meatballs in a soft, toasted house bun. - Photo by Thomas Obungen

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.

These thin, crunchy fries are like Pik-Nik shoestring potatoes dusted in barbecue.

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.

Fried pork chop ($14) topped with sautéed onions and jalapenos. - Photo by Thomas Obungen

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. 

Fried chicken and eggplant ($13) comes with sweet and sour sauce, crispy shallots, fried basil and roasted peanuts.

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.

These tacos are filled with kalua pork, lomi tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, chipotle sauce and cilantro. - Photo by Thomas Obungen

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. 

I can't leave Artizen without dessert, like pastry chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka's famous chocolate dobash cake.

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.  

“Pog” blends guava mousse, lilikoi mousse and lilkoi custard. No sweeter way to stay cool in this heat. - Photo by Thomas Obungen

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.