808 Sheridan St. #109 Honolulu, HI
Phone number (808) 369-7000

Everything about Urban Bistro is fun.

It starts with parking — a rotating lot straight out of the final scene of Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. It’s not entirely done yet, since the entire Sheridan Street complex, dubbed the 808 Center, still is undergoing construction. Urban Bistro itself has only been open for a few weeks now. But when it is done, I’m told the garage will accommodate 72 vehicles.

Seating outside in an awkward alleyway manages to feel comfortable. Inside, exposed brick and subway signs marking places like Times Square and Yankee Stadium make the room feel, well, urban.

And then there is the ordering system. Each item on the menu has a corresponding letter and number. Once you know what you want, write it down on a scratch paper and someone picks it up, returning with food not long after — service was pleasantly quick.

Just don’t make the same mistake I did and write down the wrong thing.

That little hiccup, though, was hardly that. Instead of the Fresh Fish Sliders I had meant to order (which I fully intend on returning for), out came the restaurant’s 109 Sliders — two dinner roll-sized buns stuffed with slow-cooked pork, slaw, queso fresco and BBQ sauce. Every bite was soft and smoky and surprisingly light. It. Was. Good.

But my favorite that night was the Fish and Wedges. It was basically like fish and chips, which I’ve had elsewhere and can be dry and flavorless, or too bready.

Not the case at Urban Bistro. This one was the right amount of batter so that I could enjoy every bite of crunchy, yet tender, flaky fish (salmon, the night I stopped in, though I was told the restaurant changes it quite a bit).

Dessert options were fairly ordinary, except for one very unusual item: a Garlic Créme Brulee. Sadly, my dinner companion (aka my wimpy boyfriend) opted for something a bit more traditional, and we got the S’mores Pie instead.

It wasn’t a bad decision, though. It was indeed like biting into that nostalgic treat, and was rich and decadent, but controlled by a portion that didn’t immediately induce guilt afterwards.

It’s important to note that Urban Bistro is BYOB. Since I didn’t realize this until seeing the large BYOB sign on the window, I ordered one of the restaurant’s non-alcoholic beverages — a Mango Ginger Mojito. I would like another one right about now.

I feel like I’ve just overloaded you with information, telling you every single detail — but that’s kind of how I would summarize my first experience at Urban Bistro. There was so much to see and taste and take in that I can’t help but get a little excited.


Exciting news: The Mind of a Chef — a PBS docu-series that follows chefs that I’ve mentioned here before — announced a new feature on its blog.

A play off of an omakase meal that is entirely selected by the chef, Omakasette is exactly the same thing — but with music.

The website describes it as such:


1. (on the Mind of a Chef website) a weekly themed playlist consisting of multiple songs selected by a chef.

“I played Tony Bourdain’s omakasette mixtape while cooking a five-course dinner for my wife.”

Fun, right? The first play-list was released last week Wednesday, selected by Anthony Bourdain, the series’ narrator, and it’s about as awesome as you’d expect.

Visit to check it out.