One of Honolulu's best chefs is cooking vegan next week

Jon Matsubara's Feast is popping up at Juicy Brew with an all-vegan menu
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I couldn't believe the Instagram message from Jennifer Hee, chef at Kaimuki's Juicy Brew:

"Hi Mari! Chef Jon Matsubara will be popping up here next week. Vegan Feast!"

Matsubara, you may recall, was the architect of the $65 Ultimate Loco Moco at Bloomingdale's Forty Carrots, an off-menu colossus of butter-poached beef tenderloin, lobster, foie gras and egg. Even the Hamakua mushroom rice had toasted bonito. (Don't go looking for it at Ala Moana now; the dish left when Matsubara did.)

jon matsubara
Photo credit: Sean Morris

"He is my high school best friend's brother," Hee wrote, "so I wanted to challenge him to a full vegan pop up. It's not super fancy — more like TV dinner kine."

Right. Matsubara cooked at Michelin-starred Jean-Georges in New York City, plus Tabla, Alan Wong's, Canoe House, Stage and Azure. He's one of the most gifted chefs in Hawaii. Meals at Feast, the pop-up business he started out of Anasia karaoke bar in Moiliili, featured comfort dishes like salt meat watercress soup and Hilo-style hamburger steak dripping in mushroom-onion gravy, or mushroom bisque and butter-poached crab and bacon sandwiches he might have made for his wife and mom. All of it was intensely flavorful — and intensely meaty.

Now that this confirmed carnivore is bringing haute-cuisine training and intense flavor to an entire vegan menu, I say bring stretch pants. Hee wasn't kidding when she said TV dinner. Here's what Matsubara texted when I asked if he had any photos of his dishes.

empty tv dinner tray

There will be a curry similar to the one he made at Forty Carrots above, a vegan chilled white pineapple curry with red Thai spices and shaved fennel. Everything wlll be a la carte; NF means nut-free and GF is gluten-free. It's all first come, first served, anytime between 6 and 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 to Saturday, June 15, 2019. And it's BYOB.

Here's the full menu. See you at Juicy Brew!

popup vegan main dishes

vegan popup desserts

Jon Matsubara's Vegan Feast
Juicy Brew Kaimuki
June 11-15, 2019
6 to 8 p.m.
3392 Waialae Ave. at 8th Avenue