GastronomeHARBOR RESTAURANT AT PIER 38
1129 N. Nimitz Hwy.
Phone number (808) 550-3740
The area at Pier 38 has long been a favorite of mine. It’s detached from the city, for one, so it never has that hurried, crowded feel. Views of the harbor are serene and fun to watch, too. Plus — and this always has been the biggest draw for me — parking is so incredibly easy to find in a lot that never seems to fill up.
So when Harbor Restaurant at Pier 38 opened earlier this summer, I was more than thrilled. Finally, and after hearing quite some hype, I stopped in recently for lunch and discovered that it is in fact something to get excited about.
First, let’s talk about the ambiance. Located right above Nico’s Pier 38, gone is the generic grey ballroom that once occupied the space. In its place is a bright room with high ceilings and accent décor you can’t help but stare at.
Now, the concept of Harbor Restaurant is tied to Brasa ovens — a charcoal-burning appliance that is reported to add more flavor to food. It’s a theme that plays out well in the restaurant, with orange-tinged lamps that decorate the ceilings and a copper-top bar. Even little flames decorate the name tags waiters wear.
I opted for something light, ordering the Fire Grilled Prawns and Avocado. It didn’t disappoint, and was a flavorful dish that balanced salty and sweet notes, with smoky prawns served atop peppery arugula and a calamansi vinaigrette, enhanced with tomatoes and bits of avocado.
My lunch companion ordered The Harbor Pastrami Reuben — prepared classically with pastrami, Swiss cheese and housemade sauerkraut — and finished it faster than I could blink. (You can order it with Parmesan lattice chips, a side salad or cup of soup.)
Together, we indulged in the Mixed Berry Cobbler after, a warm and sticky-sweet ending to our meal, served in a hot skillet, with a scoop of vanilla gelato on the side. (Though for those on good terms with dairy, it usually comes right on top.)
The portions were generous and I found myself soon settling back into a cushy chair, feeling content and relaxed. Before I could even finish my meal, I was making plans to return. How could I not with cocktails to sample, and dinner items like a Brasa Portobello Tower and Brasa Roasted Half Chicken?
So you and me, Harbor Restaurant, we have a date coming up again. I can hardly wait.
PARKING Don’t even sweat it CHECK OUT THAT VIEW Picture-worthy, for sure BOTTOMS UP Seriously, that cocktail menu looks amazing