Hawaii Mom Blog: Mi Almita Cantina Now Open

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June 27, 2018

Mi Almita Cantina Now Open

Chef Michael Mina proudly announced the opening of Mi Almita Cantina, by James Beard award-winning chef Hugo Ortega and the MINA Group. Located on the 1st floor of the International Market Place facing Kuhio Avenue, the MINA Group’s third full-service restaurant on Oahu will feature authentic Mexican coastal cuisine with a modern twist and island flavor. Guests will enjoy an open-air dining room in the heart of Waikiki, where food is invigoratingly fresh, drinks are flowing, and the spirit is electric.

Mi Almita Cantina, is the first brick and mortar location for the brand after the wildly popular restaurant got its start at The MINA Test Kitchen in San Francisco. The authentic Mexican concept is the brain child of renowned Chef Ortega of Houston, Texas. Guests will be invited to sip their favorite tequila or select from an expansive variety of smoky mezcals, carefully concocted by award-winning bartender Andrew Woodley from the Myna Bird Tiki Bar. Pull up a stool at the margarita bar for a tropical experience you won’t want to miss. The menu is a freshly prepared fiesta for the palate, with soulful recipes that highlight the time honored traditions and rituals. The concept is about simple ingredients that create exotic results.

Start your journey with tantalizing appetizers like the line-caught Kajiki Ceviche with pineapple, coconut and habanero or Ahi Tuna Crudo Tostada with charred jalapeno, sour orange mayo and salsa “soy.” For the entrees, choose from over 6 different varieties of tacos – from Guajillo braised beef brisket to Crispy Kona Lobster. And let’s not forget a classic favorite – the Tamale, with either Pono Pork or line caught Monchong. The Specialty dishes feature a Kauai Shrimp Arroz a la Tumbada, a Mexican twist on paella, Monchong Encamisado, wrapped in banana leaf, mole aramillo and mushrooms, or a 12oz. NY Strip Carne “Brava.” Save room for dessert with Hugo’s Coconut Crema Tart, Chocolate Tres Leches and more!

“Mi Almita” means “my little soul” in Spanish, and pays homage to the spirituality and tradition of Mexican cooking. It’s the passion for cooking from the heart that caught the attention of Chef Mina as he ventured into one of Chef Ortega’s restaurants in Houston. “I was blown away by the hospitality and cuisine. The bold flavors and ingredients worked so well together, and everything was light and flavorful. I knew I wanted to find a way to work with Hugo.”

“It isn’t often that one gets to work with someone they admire greatly from afar, but when it happens it is an absolute honor and pleasure,” said Chef Ortega. “I’m so excited to transport my heritage of great Mexican cuisine and the passion I have for it to Hawaii. It is so special to share the richness of cultures and people and I can’t wait to serve the people of Hawaii and visitors to the islands.”

Mi Almita Cantina is located at 2311 Kuhio Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815, on the ground floor of the International Market Place. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served from 7am to 10pm. For more information visit www.mialmitacantina.com or call 808-377-6915.

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