Grill & Chill

12th Ave Pimm's Cup KAIT HANSON PHOTO

12th Ave Pimm’s Cup KAIT HANSON PHOTO

Kaimuki’s 12th Ave Grill has been on my must-try list for a long time. After seeing yet another post about the restaurant from @HawaiisBestKitchens on Instagram, I knew it was time to check it out.

After I made my reservation, I headed over to 12th Ave’s website to investigate its bar scene. I had a 9 p.m. reservation, so I wanted to make sure I could relax with a beverage beforehand. Their cocktail list was impressive, with a wide range of spirits and custom concoctions. I knew as soon as I saw the Barrel-Aged Marksman — a mix of Maker’s Mark, Kahlua, orange-vanilla bitters and torched orange peel — I had found a winner!

I saddled up to the bar around 8 to give myself plenty of time for imbibing, only to find out that the drink list posted online is not up to date and the Barrel-Aged Marksman wasn’t available.

Bummed, I settled for the 12th Ave Pimm’s Cup, a blend of Pimm’s No. 1, muddled cucumber and thyme, lemon and Fever Tree ginger beer. It was what I can describe as a Moscow Mule on steroids — delightfully refreshing with a heavy ginger aftertaste.

I sipped my drink and decided to pair it with the Deep Fried Brussels Sprouts Salad. It was a terrific pairing and segue to my main course — Free Range Jidori Chicken Breast, which I had with the house rosé. I like my rosé to be light, crisp and refreshing. Theirs was all of the above, plus I got a generous pour! Winner, winner, chicken dinner — literally.

What I really loved about 12th Ave Grill is the parking lot right beside the restaurant, because less time spent trolling the streets for parking means more time for those pre-dinner cocktails. If you’re headed out this weekend, make sure you have a reservation, as it gets quite crowded. And get there as early as possible; some popular menu items had sold out by the time my reservation rolled around.

Next time I stop by, I’m planning on getting the Pineapple Express, comprised of Plantation Rum, dry curacao and caramelized pineapple-baslamic shrub, paired with their Smoked Ahi Brushcetta. Yum!