Assaggio Bistro (Kahala)

We recently had a wonderful Italian lunch at Assaggio Bistro, located on Kilauea Avenue off Waialae Avenue in Kahala. It was our first time there.

The owner is Thomas Ky. He immigrated alone to the USA from Vietnam at age 13 in 1978 as part of the mass exodus from Saigon. He was placed in a foster home in New York, working in restaurants when he was old enough to do so. In 1984, he moved to Hawaii, where he again worked in restaurants. In 1989, he finally opened his very own restaurant, Assaggio in Kailua. There are now 6 Assaggios all over this island.

In 2014 at age 47, Ky was sentenced to 6 months in federal prison, fined $50,000, and ordered to forfeit $1.3 Million to the federal government for laundering money from an illegal internet gambling ring through his restaurants. He has learned his lesson. Other than that brush with the law, Thomas Ky has done very well and has redeemed himself.

This is Assaggio Bistro in Kahala. There is handicapped parking in front of the restaurant, which we took advantage of:

Here we are:

We started with a warm loaf of bread and butter:

Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail (5 chilled jumbo shrimp with a spicy tomato sauce dip and a wedge of lemon):

I ordered Chicken Alla Saltimbocca Romana (breaded chicken breast, fried in olive oil, topped with melted mozzarella cheese, spinach, and prosciutto ham in a mushroom white wine butter sauce over linguine, sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese). That red thing is the prosciutto ham; the fried breaded chicken is beneath it:

David ordered Osso Bucco Alla Romana (veal shank, onion, and garlic, in a lightly seasoned tomato sauce over linguine, sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese):

For dessert, we had Tiramisu (ladyfingers, dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavored with cocoa and topped with a maraschino cherry):

It was all so delicious. Great Italian cuisine! We’ll be back, most definitely, to choose other items from the extensive menu.

Thomas Ky is a very successful entrepreneur, owning and managing his 6 Assaggio restaurants so well. And just think, he immigrated alone to the USA from Vietnam when he was only 13. His is a rags to riches success story.

America is the land of opportunity, which is why my own grandparents immigrated to America from Korea in 1904. It also is the reason why David’s parents immigrated to America from Canada in the 1940s. Our families have done very well here in America.

Here’s to the good ole USA! Cheers!

17 Responses to “Assaggio Bistro (Kahala)”

  1. DavidH Says:

    That was a very pleasant and enjoyable meal. Everything was perfect. We must return again!

  2. Valerie-Jael Says:

    It’s always good to read of a success story! Your food looks wonderful, glad you enjoyed your meal! Valerie

  3. tomthebackroadstraveller Says:

    …it looks like a fabulous place.

  4. Doug M Says:

    It’s a beautiful restaurant (with an interesting backstory). Gigi, your food pics are wonderful, it sure looked delicious!

  5. Olga Says:

    You have so many places to choose from, going out becomes an adventure.

  6. Christine Says:

    Ky is a survivor. The food looks so good.


    Looks delicious! ❤️

  8. DeniseinVA Says:

    A wonderful story of Mr. Ky. It looks like a beautiful restaurant and always lovely to see you and David enjoying a fabulous meal.

  9. Elephant's Child Says:

    You eat out a LOT more than we do. I am glad that you had another fabulous meal.

  10. Arkansas Patti Says:

    Interesting story about Mr. Ky and so happy his troubles are behind him and he can enjoy his amazing success.
    What wonderful looking food. Can see why he is so successful.

  11. marmeladegypsy Says:

    It’s a beautiful looking restaurant and interesting story. Your lunch looks remarkable.

  12. Nancy Chan Says:

    That was a wonderful and delicious looking meal for you and David. The restaurant looks beautiful and comfortable. Glad that Ky is doing so well now.

  13. Iris Flavia Says:

    What a story, glad he came to his sensed and made good use of his, well third chance.
    Looks yummy and you again so happy 🙂

  14. Beatrice Says:

    Always nice to read about and see the places that you and David have enjoyed dining at, Gigi. It’s even better when you are planning a return visit.

  15. DJan Says:

    It’s quite a good looking restaurant with really interesting dishes.

  16. Joared Says:

    I could enjoy that meal.

  17. Tom from Sightings Says:

    Oh boy, that shrimp looks good! Unfortunately, I developed an allergy a few years ago. No more shrimp for me. Still … I’m salivating.

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