DB Grill, at Kapolei Commons, is a branch of Café Duck Butt in Kakaʻako. Why the neutered name? I’ve heard an interesting rumor involving a certain nearby red-themed big box store, but you’ll have to confirm for yourself.
No matter—because the casual, no-shits-given attitude exemplified by the Duck Butt name hasn’t gone away.
Every bartender and server we’ve met has been effortlessly friendly and cool. You know how some servers are nice and it feels like an act? At DB Grill, you can tell it’s just how they are.
That goes a long way toward a good experience. The bartenders are always willing to offer recommendations. And if you’re honest about what you like, they’ll warn you away from stuff you’d hate.
The space is cool too—the wall behind the bar features an awesome painted mural of Asian art-inspired clouds that carries up to the 20+ foot ceiling. There is also a second floor lounge that can be reserved for private parties.
Both food and drinks are Korean-inspired. If you’re already a fan of Korean, you’ll have some tough choices to make. If you’ve not had much Korean before, it’s a chance to sample some of the flavors and dishes before you get too hardcore.
Pupus at DB Grill
Chicken Wings: You can pick between garlic soy, spicy Korean, or hoisin pepper. Mix it up—all three have gorgeous color, pleasing crispiness, and flavors that are interesting without being too aggressive.
Mandoo: Pan-fried then steamed to perfection, the mandoo come out crispy on the bottom and moist and soft on the top. Served with a tangy ponzu dipping sauce for a delectable bite.
Drinks at DB Grill
Beer: If you’re there for happy hour—tough to beat $5 Miller Lite, Blue Moon, or St. Archer IPA. They also have a good selection of local (Maui Brewing) and international (Sapporo, Hite, Asahi) in cans.
Cocktails: Many of their specialty drinks contain the Korean spirit soju. Modern bartenders use soju in much the same way they use vodka, as a canvas to feature more adventurous ingredients (while still making sure you’ll get a buzz).
One of my favorites is the Shiso ʻOno, made with the aromatic herb shiso and the Asian plum ume. You can get a range of flavors, so ask your bartender for recommendations.