Ryan's Grill (2006-11-05)

Ryan's Grill is located in the Ward Center, another shopping complex geared toward tourists.  I had found the restaurant on the Internet and the food looked good (doesn't it always on pictures?), so we decided to give it a try.

The restaurant is very "American-looking" with cushioned booths, wood panels and flooring, and ceiling fans.  We decided to eat in the dining area instead of the lounge and lanai.  I don't understand why people want to eat in the lanai when it's so hot and muggy.  Air-conditioning is definitely the way to go for us.

We thought of ordering an appetizer and an entree each but worried the serving might be big.  We hate to over-order and waste food.  So at the end, we got an appetizer and an entree to share.  I'm glad we did because the serving was big.  We were totally stuffed when we finished and still left a big chunk of ribs untouched.

The appetizer we got was Dungeness crab and artichoke dip with focaccia bread.  The flavor of the dip was overpowered by too much onion and mayo.  I could see chunks of crab meat and artichokes but their taste was unrecognizable.  The dish was saved by the wedges of warm and soft herb accented focaccia.  I could easily have eaten the bread by itself without the dip.

Main course/entree was BBQ ribs with a guava-tamarind glaze.  Our eyes were shocked wide open when the platter with two huge slabs of ribs on top of rice and slaw arrived.  Do they expect customers to share their entrees or are there people who can actually finish theirs by themselves?  The ribs were tender enough and full of smoky flavor, although I couldn't detect any guava taste in the sauce but the tamarind could've contributed to the tanginess of it.  The sauce was more of a run-of-the-mill BBQ sauce but still tasty (I'm a BBQ freak, so unless the sauce is extremely weird and bad, I'll say it is tasty!).  However the ribs were a bit on the dry side, they could've slathered a lot more on them or even a little bowl of sauce on the side would've been nice.

Service was also good.  If we lived in Honolulu, we wouldn't mind going back to try the other interesting looking items on the menu.  Since there was the constraint of time, we'd have to leave the second visit for our return trip.

Ryan's Grill     1200 Ala Moana Boulevard


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