Pig and the Lady Is A Must Eat


Sheehan Chase

Chinatown location

By Sheehan Chase, Staff Writer

What started as a food truck and quickly gained popularity with its pop-ups and stands at local farmers markets, Pig and the Lady is now a successful brick-and-mortar restaurant located in Chinatown. Opening in 2013, Pig and the Lady was awarded best new restaurant by Honolulu Magazine and has since opened a second location called Piggy Smalls in Ward. Although a bit pricy (expect to pay $30-$40 per person), Pig and the Lady is a must-eat and makes a great date-night.

This culinary dream team is made up of head chef and owner, Andrew “The Pig” Le and his mother, “The Lady,” Loan “Mama” Le. Pig and the Lady offers traditional Vietnamese food with a modern twist. Instead of the basic Vietnamese foods that we are all familiar with like spring rolls and pho, the menu here consists of more contemporary dishes such as vegetarian stews, French-inspired soups, “house-special” noodles, and unique seafood dishes.

The rustic beams with red bricks and old school lighting make a fun atmosphere and help give the whole place a homey vibe. Along with communal seating and an open kitchen, Pig and the Lady creates a comfortable setting.

Prior to being seated at my table, I ordered a cocktail at the bar. Although a bit on the expensive side, the drinks at Pig and the Lady are all examples of true mixology. From the high-quality ingredients to the unique glasses each drink comes in, these cocktails are both distinct and delicious. I enjoyed the P&L Sour ($11), which included 100proof bonded bourbon, lime, apricot, and tamarind.

For my appetizer I chose a vegetable plate, the “Farmers Haku Lei” ($16). Pig and the Lady celebrates Hawaii’s agriculture by using 100 percent local vegetables, seeds, roots, sprouts and flowers to create a dish that is both tasty and ascetically pleasing. This array of greens was a great starter and helped balance the overall meal.

And for the main course I ordered one of the “house-special” noodles, inspired from the famous fish dish from Hanoi, Vietnam, “the soft shell crab cha ca,” ($25). This dish is marinated in turmeric-galangal, aromatic herbs of dill, shiso, rau ram, mint, house pickles, roasted peanuts, rice vermicelli, mam tom bac sauce, and served with rice noodles. Attempting to describe such flavor with my limited vocabulary would be doing it a disservice. Simply amazing!

As if that were not enough food, I couldn’t help but order the “P&L Sundae Funday” for dessert ($11). With your choice of frozen custard, soft sorbet, or swirl-served house-made waffle bowl with salted feuilletine crunch, coconut liqueur whipped cream, and chocolate magic crack. Yes, that’s magic crack. I was only able to enjoy several bites before throwing in the towel for the evening but they were possibly the best bites of the entire meal.

My dining experience at Pig and the Lady was awesome and one of the best I’ve had on Oahu. I highly recommend it and am looking forward to trying their lunch menu which is served Monday through Friday 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.