For a while there, it seemed like a new one opened up every month, but as it turns out, the brick-and-mortar gastropub trend stopped at three–Pint+Jigger, Real a Gastropub and Dash, with Miso & Ale (a pop-up pub), roaming around here somewhere. So what’s the deal? First of all, “gastropub” is sort of a misnomer, right? “Gastro” is something that’s usually followed by –enteritis or –esophageal reflux disease, not –pub, a place where you go to enjoy yourself. It sounds like a pit stop in a Magic School Bus field trip through the digestive tract. Name aside, we people of Honolulu are lucky enough to have three strong examples of the trend that started in ye olde English Pubs of the late 1900s, a movement that’s, thankfully, far better than its name.
1. Real a Gastropub’s thing is beer, and they offer a lot of it. Over 200 bottles and 24 rotating draughts are listed in the beer binders on your table, but even if you closed your eyes and picked at random, you’re sure to make a good choice. If you need help, just look for a Rauchbeir and pair it with their duck fat fries and duck confit corn dogs. I hope you like smoked beer and eating ducks.
2. Dash Gastropbub’s idea is to focus on the cuisine of Asia Pacific with dishes such as kalbi, beef sashimi and butter-fried mochi. Pitchers of Deschutes Greenlake Organic Ale or Lost Coast Downtown Brown will help you wash it all down.
3. Pint+Jigger classifies their beer selection into four categories: Beers???, Aluminum Beers!!, Brews That Don’t Suck…, and Seriously Good Beers!!! (all their punctuation). Be sure to try owner Dave Newman’s award-winning Smoking Gun margarita or the Whiskey a ChoCho–rye whiskey with chocolate, which would go down easily with their popular bacon-wrapped strawberries, but then again, what wouldn’t?
Bonus: Miso & Ale’s co-chef and –owners Christopher Okuhara and Christopher Gee don’t have a permanent location yet, but this doesn’t stop them from offering delicious prefixe dinners at special pop-up events across Honolulu. Check their website for upcoming events and to purchase tickets.