Saturday, January 29, 2011

Palazzo Ristorante Italiano

I know it may seem like I get out and explore a lot, but my experiences are generally limited to a small geographic area.  It didn't take long before I developed the Hawaiian mindset where a 20-30 minute drive to the western part of the island was a major hassle not worth the trip.  Not surprisingly, therefore, there are things that I haven't tried.  One of those places is Palazzo Restaurant in Aiea.  See, Hawaii is great for a lot of food - as long as it's some type of Asian.  This does not include Mexican and it does not include Italian.  However, the reviews on this place were positive, but going here required going out to Aiea, which is past the airport.  Crazy, I know.  Anyway, it's a little Italian restaurant tucked away in the back of the Aiea shopping plaza.  It's located at 99-080 Kauhale St # C2 Aiea, HI 96701 (map here).  So based on the feedback, we decided to give it a try before bowling the other night.

I think I would go back.  The food was really good, but the service left a lot to be desired.  It wasn't busy at all, but there was no host/hostess to seat us for several minutes when we arrived.  Then once we finally sat down and ordered, it took about a half an hour to get the food.  That was the only negative of this place, though.  The ambiance was nice and it wasn't like a lot of Italian restaurants where the guests sit on top of each other and can hear the neighbor's conversation.  There was space between the tables and dividers between the two halves of the room.  There was some soft music playing as well.  The whole place had a very quiet atmosphere with a feel of a little boutique restaurant.  For anyone who likes to find hidden gems outside of the bustle of tourist places, I definitely recommend this spot.

The food itself was good.  I had the Osso Buco (veal) and it just melted in my mouth.  It also came with linguine and sauce with heaping portions of each.  Pricing was okay, too.  For the size of the portions and everything, I thought it was worth it.  If you like Italian food and you're willing to explore a little, check this place out.

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