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Vol. 7, No. 1
February/March 2004


Now Leaving Burgerland 

by Deborah Gushman

Chef Kelvin Ro
photo: Kyle Rothenborg

Here’s a recipe for delight the next time you’re in Honolulu. Spend a leisurely morning surfing at Waikiki Beach or shopping at Kahala Mall or running a few six-minute miles around the base of one of the world’s shapeliest extinct volcanoes. When you start feeling a bit peckish, take your appetite to the Diamond Head Market & Grill at the corner of Monsarrat and Campbell avenues. From the parking lot, the place may look like a fast-food drive-in (which is exactly what it was for many years) but one look at the upscale menu—and one sniff of the aromatic air—will tell you that you’re not in Burgerland anymore. Gone are the high-fat plate-lunch staples of yesteryear; instead, Diamond Head Grill offers grilled delicacies such as portobello mushrooms in port wine, wasabi ‘ahi and garlic shrimp. Side dishes are appealing as well: healthful green salads and brown rice can be substituted for the more traditional macaroni salad and white rice. "We wanted to do something totally fresh and different," explains owner Kelvin Ro, a multiple Hale ‘Aina Award winner who was the chef/owner of Kahala Moon Restaurant before he opened DH Market & Grill in November 2002. "Of course," Ro adds, "it’s always a gamble to launch a new concept like this." The gamble has clearly paid off, with repeat customers flocking both to the Grill and to the adjoining Diamond Head Market, a stylish source for gourmet take-out food that Ro describes as "a one-stop catering shop." Local, European and Asian entrees; savory soups and salads; sublime desserts and pastries—the market has everything you need to create a memorable picnic or a sumptuous meal. But what about the people who loved the old Burgerland? Not to worry. You can still get french fries and a thick, juicy, all-beef hamburger at Diamond Head Grill. The only difference is that now you can order your burger topped with Western barbecue sauce or house-made gravy—or marinated portobellos.

Diamond Head Market & Grill
(808) 732-0077