Jolene’s Market in Chinatown debuted Asian-style Maine lobster rolls last month, and judging from the lobster rolls on nearly every table at the once-empty food hall, I'm hardly the only fan. But something new just swam onto Da Buttah Lobstah’s menu: A superbly cheesy lobster grilled cheese sandwich.
Where the counter once had only lobster rolls, now there are three sandwiches and more sides than chowder. The lobster grilled cheese comes with a housemade tomato bisque for $16. If bisque isn’t your thing, you can swap in fries for $1.50 more.
Ooey, gooey mozzarella and cheddar plus lobster? This is grilled cheese gone glam. Even before I bite in, mozzarella and lobster are oozing out. The lobster makes it comforting and luxe at the same time, and there are cheese pulls in every bite. The bread is the same soft, spongy Japanese bread used for the lobster roll. The tomato bisque is on the sweeter side and great for dipping the sandwich in, but really, this cheesy concoction can hold its own.
So you’re probably wondering: Is this better than the lobster roll?
Yes. Oh, a million times yes. But your verdict really depends on how much you love cheese. If you want straight-up lobster goodness, you’ll prefer the lobster-packed, lobster-centric roll. If you’re a cheese fanatic, get this.
This sammie doesn't beat the super luxe crab and lobster grilled cheese from Maui's Down the Hatch, which has way more lobster and is dominated by seafood flavors. But Jolene's Market is the only place I've found a lobster grilled cheese on Oahu, and it satisfies my craving.
One more thing worth mentioning: The new $9 Chowdah fries don’t disappoint. Gloriously crispy and fried to a perfect golden brown, they’re smothered with housemade corn chowder, cheese, bacon and green onions. Once the cheese melts, the medley tastes even better. There’s something irresistible about loaded fries, but loaded waffle fries are even better.
As if I need any more carbs the next time I'm here for another lobster grilled cheese.
100 N. Beretania St.
Mon-Th 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sun 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Parking in Chinatown Cultural Plaza