Herringbone’s starting weekend brunch


Herringbone, the seafood-centric anchor of International Market Place's Grand Lanai, opened for dinner in August with loads of fresh, locally sourced sea-meats-field choices. Now it's adding weekend brunch, and whether you're spending quality time with mom or coming off a boozy bender, it's definitely worth a stop.

While Herringbone's menu is created by "Top Chef" alum Brian Malarkey (Waikiki is the collection's first location outside the mainland U.S.), there's plenty of local adaptations. Starting this Friday, Sept. 15, executive chef Chad Horton and crew are serving up a brunch menu of lip-puckering mochi pancakes, biscuits drenched with gravy and Hawaiian sweet roll Benedicts with uni hollandaise that are perfect for kicking off a weekend.

Because weekend brunch needs bottomless mimosas, you get to select three from guava, lilikoi, mango, peach and classic orange juices.

If brunch isn't brunch without a glass of a little something, bottomless rose wine or mimosas are $25. Even just the sparkling cava wine used for the mimosas is pretty fabulous to sip on into the sultry afternoon hours. The fruit juices add a touch of tart sweetness.

Your next order of business will be to get a couple of plates for the table. Portions are generous, so family style is the way to go. Executive sous chef Ray Locquiao's Ray Ray Pancakes are mochi-based, wonderfully crispy and chewy, and topped with a tart lilikoi butter and seasonal berries.

Ray Ray Pancakes ($14) are a must-have.

Highly recommended: a side of the bacon ($5). Covered in a pungent, herbaceous chimichurri, it eats more like steak than a breakfast meat.

Grilled slabs of bacon with chimichurri.

Naturally, there is no shortage of seafood. The oyster selection varies by the day, but with varieties from places like Washington and Kualoa, lobster from Kona, crab from Alaska and shrimp from Kauai, essentially you're tasting the Pacific Ocean on one platter. And everything on the menu is responsibly sourced and sustainably farmed or caught.

Oysters on the half-shell are available by the piece for $3.50 or in $75 skiffs that come with four oysters, a quarter pound of Alaskan king crab, half a Kona lobster and two jumbo shrimp.

Other plates include ceviche tostadas ($21), garlic shrimp and grits ($21) and a best-seller from the dinner menu, the Buffalo octopus ($18). The texture of the massaged, brined and twice-fried cephalopod is tender, its coating crisp (like the chicken wings!) and the slight hint of spice is calmed by a ranch-style dressing.

The Buffalo octopus from the dinner menu is also available at brunch.

If you're feeling a bit extra, the Herringbone Eggs Benedict ($28) is a definite recommend. It's food porn in its finest form: grilled Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls under slabs of bacon and poached eggs topped with uni hollandaise, caviar and two lobes of fresh uni.

Uni and yolk porn in one photo? It can be done.

For those who need a potato fix, the Okinawan sweet potato hash is the most underrated item on the menu. Simply, the purple potatoes are hashed up with bell pepper and scallions for a sweet-savory-spicy combo that's hard to stop eating.

Tucked away in the add-ons section, the Okinawan sweet potato hash ($10) is easily the most underrated menu item.

The California burrito with carne asada, Shaka Moa eggs, guacamole and crema is legit.
The chilaquiles ($24) are crispy tortilla chips layered with Portuguese sausage, beans, eggs, ranchero sauce, cotija cheese and crema.

The restaurant's SoCal roots show in dishes like the carne asada-stuffed California burrito ($18) and the California avocado toast ($18) piled with romesco and parmesan. The chilaquiles, a dish you hardly see outside of border states, is worth a try. Think of them as breakfast nachos and you'll know how to attack them.

Maybe the best part of Herringbone's weekend brunch it that it starts on Fridays and goes through Sunday. Friday business brunch, anyone?

If not, there's always dinner and "oyster hour," a 4 to 6 p.m. window when oysters go for $2 apiece in the bar and lounge. If shellfish don't float your boat, shared plates like the yellowtail crudo ($23) with pops of truffle oil and yuzu, an insanely delicious Caesar salad with house-smoked trout, and Locquiao's tobiko-flecked Ray Ray Fries ($12) with green onions and zesty aioli will. And do not forgo the Buffalo octopus.

A variation of one of the cold seafood platters. There's no work here, just eat as you go.

Dinner entrees include a whole fried crispy skin onaga ($45) and 8-ounce center-cut filet mignon ($31) with chimichurri and Okinawan sweet potatoes, but some of the shining stars can be found in the sides. The glistening, cheese-encrusted Death by Potatoes ($12) shouldn't be missed. Mascarpone and parmesan cheeses are whipped with silky smooth potatoes topped with flecks of bacon and scallion – it really is an indulgence worth dipping in your spoon again and again.

Death by Potatoes ($12). RIPotato.

Herringbone Waikiki
International Market Place
2330 Kalakaua Ave

Weekend brunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Oyster Hour daily 4 - 6 p.m. in the bar and lounge
Dinner Sunday to Thursday 5 - 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 - 11 p.m.