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Apr 26, 2013 09:57 AM

Empty Bowl soup choices

Plan to go to the Empty Bowl fundraiser tonight at Ala Moana and wondered if anyone would recommend any of the soups being offered. I've been to several of these restaurants, most not, but can't recall trying any of the offerings. What is in town's Pohaku Soup? Any "must try" recs?

12th Ave GRILL
Big Island Cauliflower Bisque with Shiitake Bacon

3660 on the Rise
Broccoli Cheddar

Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room
Kim Chee Portuguese Bean Soup

Big City Diner
Vegetable Soup

Cafe Laufer
Chicken Gumbo

Cafe Kaila
Chicken Tortilla

Great Life Cuisine
Bean and Veggie (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

Hula Grill Waikiki
Lemongrass Chicken Red Curry & Thai Green Curry

JJ Bistro & French Pastry
Cream of Potatoes and Bacon

Le Bistro
French Onion Soup

Mariposa at Neiman Marcus
Kahuku Corn Chowder

Murphy's Bar and Grill
Black Eyed Peas with Ham

Kamuela Tomato and Herb Bisque

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Slow Braised Shinsato Farms and Pork Hominy Posole Soup

Side Street Inn
Italian Minestrone

Stage Restaurant
Island Style Kalua Pig Chowder

Tango Contemporary Cafe
Lentils with Smoked Sausage

Tiki's Grill & Bar
Five Spiced Butternut Squash Bisque

Pohaku Soup

Whole Foods Kahala & Kailua
Organic Thai Carrot & White Bean and Kale

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  1. Had to go completely without the safety net of CH recs, and instead went with what looked really good. Hit paydirt with the unlikely but delicious pozole from Sansei. A long wait to get in, and the small portion was cup-sized, not bowl-sized, but a good cause, and fun with friends. Had to hit Chun Wah Kam for manapua afterwards as we were all still hungry.

    5 Replies
      1. re: indelibledotink

        Yes, was sorry I couldn't try more of them. Friends reported that the tortilla soup was good, and the broccoli-cheddar also, but with portions so small, it was kind of frustrating to see all those good options and not be able to try them without paying another $25 for each extra ticket for another ceramic bowl and soup portion. People who went previously said the portions were larger last year, but they ran out of soup. They might want to consider giving two soup tickets for small portions for each donation that you could use for two different soups, or use both for for two of the same one.

        1. re: macaraca

          Yikes, $25 for a bowl of soup, even for a fundraiser seems pretty steep. Especially since the restaurants probably also donate everything.

          I have to say based on the list of restaurants, it would be hard to go wrong, more a problem of deciding what would be best.

          What was the fundraiser for?

          1. re: KaimukiMan

            you did get to keep the bowl? how did they look?

            1. re: indelibledotink

              The fundraiser benefits Meals on Wheels, so no problem with supporting a very worthwhile cause. The concept is quite clever, adopted from similar on the Mainland. They get the local ceramic folks to make bowls that are given to each ticket holder, wrapped to take with you, not to eat out of. The goal, which I think they got close to, was to have 5000 ceramic bowls to give away.

              The long wait to get in is due to the time people take to go thru the tent with hundreds of bowls to pick from before moving on to the soups. Most of the bowls were very attractive, on the small size, good for rice or soup...not the size used for ramen (well, maybe extra-small servings), but appealing.

              Your ticket then allows you to pick one soup, served in a very small styrofoam cup/bowl, with a bread roll on the side. If you want more than one soup, you pay for another ticket, and then you get two bowls, two soups. $20 advance, $25 at the door.

              So yes, I'm sure the bowls are all donated, and the soups are too. They probably have to pay for tents and styrofoam, but doubt there is much more overhead except maybe advertising.