There are a bunch of new restaurants opening up on the top floor of Ala Moana Shopping Center, the first of them being Romano’s Macaroni Grill. At a guild BBQ last week a bunch of us decided that we needed to pay the new place a visit, fueled by the discovery that one of our friends works there.
Jonny Schleif used to be my best friend’s boyfriend back in… well, millions of years ago. He worked at the legendary Trattoria (legendary for good-looking waiters!) for 12 years, & after it closed down this past March, Jonny ended up here at the Macaroni Grill.
Nice place, Jonny.
At 6:45pm there was a huge crowd of hungry people standing around the entrance. I immediately suffered unpleasant flashbacks of an hour & a half wait for The Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki.
Fortunately the wait was nowhere near that long.
For $9.99, Romano’s Sampler had Bruschetta, Calamari, & Mozzarella Fritta. The calamari was yummy & the mozzarella… well, how can you go wrong with fried mozzarella?
Here’s a good one: the women’s restroom says “Men” on the inside of the door. Ha ha, very funny. As I stood there trying to get a good shot of the door (reflective surfaces = hard!), a fellow female finished washing her hands & stood there in confusion for a moment before asking me if we were in the Men’s restroom.
Pause for a moment. Imagine me rolling my eyeballs.
Ok, moving on.
The line was full of men in white who didn’t have a chance to look who was taking pictures of them from the side. The bar was similarly packed; what excellent business on a Wednesday night! And post-Christmas too!
The bar was also packed. Not exactly an ocean view, but considering the flocks of young women milling around outside waiting for tables after a hard day of shopping, I’d say there was a decent People Watching experience to be had, at least for the guys.
The $13.50 Scaloppine consisted of chicken breast, mushrooms, artichoke, capers & smoked prosciutto. I’m a huge fan of capers & quite frankly if you just heated up some capers for me I’d make a meal of it. It was ultra rich & didn’t need the fresh-grated parmesan. But I took some anyway. In the pursuit of knowledge, of course.
I barely made it through half of my dinner, & I’m not sure how the others fared. Jonny came out & mentioned a few desserts, the “Ravioli” somewhat sticking in everyone’s heads; something like a Snickers bar dumpling. Unfortunately, no brulèe was to be had.
Our server Lori came out with a dessert tray, swivelling the tray as she explained the features. When the Cafe Latte Cheesecake was brought to the front, a collective gasp arose from the table. Lori then went away for a little while, probably chuckling evilly to herself, while we (painfully) debated desserts.
In the end, Mark ordered the Ravioli & Channon got the Tiramisu, which I got to have a big fluffy bite of. Although we all yearned for that slice of Cafe Latte Cheesecake… we were afraid.
Mark: I think I’m gonna go with the Ravioli.
Ryan: How can you guys still have room for dessert?
Me: Ryan, maybe you don’t understand the concept of Multiple Stomachs.
Me: You have a stomach for, say, an entrèe & it gets full. But you still have, say, an empty Dessert stomach, or a Popcorn stomach. So no matter how much you eat at dinner, you still have room for popcorn. It’s true!
Joy: I don’t have that.
Channon: I don’t have that. My system is very simple.
Channon: But I do have a compactor.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill