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New restaurant Scratch draws brunch, lunch crowd

By Elizabeth Kieszkowski

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:18 p.m. HST, Jul 16, 2014


When you think of Honolulu's Chinatown, you don't necessarily think brunch -- unless you're heading for dim sum. But Scratch, a new restaurant on Smith Street, is looking to expand the trendy vibe that's emanating from the district.

Scratch celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday and will offer all-day brunch and lunch with Creole-inspired and other tasty fusion plates from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Dinner will be offered from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

The restaurant had its soft opening Thursday and drew enough of a crowd to run out of food. Customers are still discovering the menu during mid-morning hours, though.

Chef and owner Brian Chan, who formerly manned the kitchen at Restaurant Epic, is behind the new restaurant. He's making a bet that menu items such as Creole Shrimp 'n' Grits ($14) -- with "grits" that can also be described as "smoked cheddar polenta," andouille sausage, fried egg and gravy -- and Tiramisu Pancakes ($10 and sold out on Tuesday) will draw diners to a daytime spot.

More breakfast options include The Sylvie ($11), with griddled banana bread, praline-coated bacon, salted peanut gelato and caramelized banana, and Calentado ($14), with house-rubbed beef short rib, sofrito rice, fried eggs, jalapeno "chips" and salsa verde.

The dinner menu wasn't available during our visit, but lunchtime menu offerings include Pulled Pork Won Ton Posole ($7), a Summer Salad ($12) with watermelon, cucumber, tomato, arugula, feta, pine nuts, golden raisins and sherry vinaigrette, and Moroccan Chicken "Caesar" Salad ($12) made with baby kale, burgers ($12) made with Big Island beef and "kalbi" meatloaf ($14).

The airy, contemporary room, with a counter allowing diners to watch as prep cooks make pasta and plate dishes, seats about 30.

The restaurant is close to other trendy sites, including Lucky Belly (and Lucky Belly owner Dusty Grable's soon-to-open Livestock, the former Amy's Place) at the intersection of Smith and Hotel, and Pig & the Lady at 83 N. King St. It's also near Grondin French-Latin Kitchen, opened by New York City transplants Jenny Grondin and David Segarra on March 31, at 62 N. Hotel St.

Scratch is also makai from thriving Chinese restaurant Little Village on Smith Street, founded by Brian Chan's parents, Kenneth and the late Jennifer Chan.

Find Scratch at 1030 Smith St. Call (808) 536-1669.

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Elizabeth Kieszkowski is editor of TGIF, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser's weekly arts and entertainment section. Reach her via email at ekieszkowski@staradvertiser.com or follow her on Twitter.






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false wrote:
yum, looking forward to trying Scratch and Livestock!
on July 16,2014 | 07:32AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
A restaurant called "Scratch" in Chinatown? Appropriate name. Maybe a bar named "Infection." A retail shop named "E Coli."
on July 16,2014 | 07:51AM
eoe wrote:
I can't wait to weave around passed out homeless people and human sewage to be overcharged for breakfast by haughty waitstaff. So hip, so trendy.
on July 16,2014 | 07:56AM
username_required wrote:
Kahala McDonalds? Senior coffee club member?
on July 17,2014 | 07:17AM
AhiPoke wrote:
I enjoyed Brian's menu at Epic and I'm looking forward to trying Scratch.
on July 16,2014 | 11:13AM
loio wrote:
SA seems to like free advertising for CERTAIN businesses. How about sticking to the news instead of plugs for individual businesses.
on July 16,2014 | 01:50PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
HSA does not have time to go looking for stories. Lots of stories come to them. I remember though one story about a restaurant quite a while back that seemed to shine a bright light on the restaurant. Then a few days later, a differing story emerged. I can't remember the names, so I can't and won't mention names. For this new restaurant, who knows maybe HSA made a deal such that if HSA ran a story, then this new restaurant would advertise with HSA. Happens all the time. I scratch your back, you scratch mine, no pun intended, although it sounds great !!!
on July 16,2014 | 02:34PM
Bully wrote:
Pretty good food, one of the nicer places in chinatown.
on July 16,2014 | 02:46PM
iwanaknow wrote:
after x amount of years....so many places go belly up.............time will tell?..........hope they beat the odds?
on July 16,2014 | 07:36PM
copperwire9 wrote:
So snide.
on July 17,2014 | 03:56AM
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