COURTESY SHERATON WAIKIKI
Ingredients offers grilled sandwiches, salads, pizzas and desserts from 6 a.m. to midnight daily, with breakfast until 11 a.m.
Sheraton Waikiki, 2255 Kalakaua Ave. / 922-4422
Ingredients, in the Sheraton Waikiki, is not really a "destination" restaurant of the sort that lures people from anywhere around the island, but it's handy for anyone who happens to be passing through. (Focus on built-in traffic means I had difficulty getting Sheraton parking validation.)
The idea is to allow time-challenged guests to choose from made-to-order meals or grab-and-go goods that can be enjoyed at poolside tables.
The eatery comprises about five stations, where servers help you to build your own salads -- or a heat-to-order method prevails. In the morning, a breakfast panini station offers pressed, grilled sandwiches ($6) filled with your choice of a ham and cheddar scramble, egg BLT and more. At night, those fillings are replaced with the likes of seared ahi, grilled vegetables, or turkey, bacon and avocado for $10. Perhaps the most flavorful of the bunch is the kalua pig panini with caramelized onions, herb garlic cheese and jalapenos, though it was needlessly greasy.
I thought the "Some Assembly Required" salads were the best part of the experience. (Hmm, desserts are also very good, though.) Greens are topped with a choice of five out of 28 ingredients, such as artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, mozzarella balls, avocado, bacon and roasted eggplant, at $7. It's another $5 to add sliced steak, grilled salmon, seared tuna or boiled shrimp.
Pizzas could have used that variety. The only classics available, for $10, are tomato and basil, wild mushroom, meat lover's and pepperoni.
Ingredients provides a great template for restaurants beyond Waikiki. With today's eat-and-run pace, it seems its time has come.