Shaka Brah

Kona Grill is all over the map, from Hawaii to China, good to bad.
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Posted June 18, 2014 by LAURIE JAMES in Eats
Kona Grill’s beef bulgogi tacos and shrimp-and-lobster roll await. Brian HutsonKona Grill’s beef bulgogi tacos and shrimp-and-lobster roll await. Brian Hutson

Kona Grill offers a staggering array of choices, from sushi to satay and bulgogi to a variety of meats augmented with pineapple or macadamia nuts. But Kona is not just a pan-Asian place with a little Hawaiian/Polynesian flair. The menu also includes flatbread pizza, linguini, sliders, and more.

The calamari appetizer was a fairly standard, very generous serving of breaded, fried, non-rubbery rings and tentacles. The batter had a hint of sweetness, and the accompanying aoli sauce provided a nice spicy balance.

The sushi sampler — immaculately fresh shrimp, tuna, and salmon sashimi plus a California roll and a side salad –– was great. The fish was as good as anything you’d find at a high-dollar sushi restaurant. The Cali roll was as tasty as a not-really-sushi-roll can be, and the salad was a caesar, with a lovely garlic-infused dressing and parmesan croutons.

The soft shell crab po-boy slider plate was impressively presented and delicious. Two full fried crustaceans arrived nestled in matching brioche buns filled with grilled pineapple, andouille sausage, and a spicy slaw. The whole thing was a messy, sloppy, scrumptious mess. The accompanying sweet potato fries were an excellent combination of salty-crispy outside and slightly mealy inside.

From Kona’s seasonal menu, the Chinese five-spice ribs were kissed by star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, and hot chile pepper, but they weren’t that spicy. The meat was falling-off-the-bone tender, and the generous serving provided more than enough to share. The dish included thinly sliced, perfectly salted, and addictively tasty shoestring potatoes.

Two other entrées weren’t as stellar. The club sandwich turned out to be just a pile of turkey, some cheeses, tomato, and bacon on ciabatta bread. It was too big to fit into a normal-sized mouth, and after a few bites, the sammy was abandoned entirely — the smoky bacon was great, but the other ingredients were bland. The sweet, chile-glazed salmon with broccolini and pork-fried rice was weird and not in a good way. Though the fish was cooked perfectly, it had a spice undertone that was almost acrid, and the veggie was unforgivably overcooked. The meaty rice was the best thing about the plate.

The crème brûlée consisted of a subtle yet lip-smackin’ly good passion fruit-tinged custard and a perfect crust. The butter cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and raspberry puree was the kind of dessert that diners grudgingly share, and there were several spoon fights for the last few bites.

 

Kona Grill

3028 Crockett St, FW. 817-210-4216. 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.

Calamari …………………………………… $10.75

Five-spice ribs ………………………….. $21.75

Sushi sampler …………………………… $12.00

Soft shell crab po-boy sliders …….. $14.50

Crème brûlée ……………………………. $   7.00

 


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