It’s a warehouse wrapped with Miami mint, lined in millennial pink and decorated with all the tropical plants you can carry. It’s an influencer’s wet dream and an Instagram husband’s nightmare. Coconut Club near Union Market is the first restaurant from Chef Adam Greenberg, “all-time winningest Food Network competitor,” winner of Beat Bobby Flay and four-time winner of Chopped. All that time on TV means Greenberg knows exactly how to use publicity to his advantage.
You can’t help but gravitate toward the ring of swinging chairs for a selfie with frosty beverage in hand (guilty!), the large-format drinks in small disco balls, or even the pink tsunami of a mural that lines one wall. Here are our fast five faves to try when you manage to put down the camera:
- When in tropics, start with pineapple sparkling wine ($15) from Tedeschi Vineyards to get you in the mood. What else?
- The frozen Mahalo at You Later ($13) is frozen in pink, with rum, strawberry, chartreuse, and lime. Mahalo at me when you’re done.
- Order a Coconut Club-branded, freshly-opened young coconut ($12) because you need to
do it for the ‘gramthe electrolytes.
- The walu crudo ($14.50) is ready for its close-up with moro oranges, fennel, dill, and black salt. As bright and sweet in taste as it is in color.
- If you’re a fan of kohlrabi salad ($8.50), it’s sliced instead of julienned, and tossed in coconut milk and pickled mango for a silky, creamy crunch.
- One of our top picks is the brussels sprouts ($7.50), roasted until crispy and sweet, with paper-light edges to soak up the yuzu-coconut yogurt and pickled carrots. Give it all a good stir and dig in.
- What’s a visit to Hawaii without SPAM? This Hawaiian staple is a star at Coconut Club, diced and fried with fluffy, seasoned rice ($12), topped with soft egg, crispy shallots, and a big dash of furikake. This rice is so nice, we ordered it twice.
Not-so-fun-fact: SPAM is a staple of Hawaiian cooking now, but during World War II, SPAM was a military ration, with 100 million pounds of the stuff being shipped to feed U.S. troops in the Pacific from 1941-1945. U.S. security restrictions effectively ended the careers of local fishermen, so without SPAM and other canned foods, the Hawaiian economy would have collapsed. Read more at National Geographic.
Mary was born and raised in New York City where her family owned restaurants. Instead of eating dirt on the playground, she ate duck blood, beef tripe and pork belly. She cut her teeth at The Mandarin Oriental and The Ritz-Carlton hotels, working with Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe, LeVar Burton, Jane Krakowski and others. Mary founded Girl Meets Food in 2009 as a cover for her debilitating addiction to fried chicken and was named Washington Post’s “Favorite Local Foodie.” After 13 years in hospitality, she started freelance writing for USA Today, The Washington Post, Eater, Washington City Paper, and more. Today, she provides digital marketing for hospitality clients as a content creator who’s contently creating content.