Cityscape

New Paia pop-up at Prairiefire offers fresh fish and a Hawaiian vibe

Ahi poke bowl and Luna’s Nectar cocktail
Ahi poke bowl and Luna’s Nectar cocktail Special to The Star

PB&J Restaurants Inc. got its start with a Paradise Diner in Oak Park Mall three decades ago.

But the diner’s updated revival in Overland Park’s Prairiefire didn’t take. So the company replaced it.

The livelier Paia Fishmarket is described as “fun, fresh and affordable.” The pop-up restaurant offers several fresh fish options (brought in daily Monday through Saturday) that can be prepared four ways: grilled, sauteed, Cajun or blackened. They come with Hawaiian crunchy slaw, along with coconut jasmine rice or french fries.

The menu also includes calamari, oyster, shrimp and fish tempuras, swordfish burgers, tacos, classic shrimp cocktails, Newport clam chowder, ahi poke (a Hawaiian fish salad), Lomi Lomi salmon poke and more.

But not everything from Paradise Diner is gone: the specialty Paradise burger and its Cory chicken salad, longtime customer favorites, also made the Paia menu. Entrees range from $10 to $19.

A grab & go section has prepared salads and meals, as well as fresh fish and steak to prepare at home. Carry-out parking is available directly in front of the patio.

The bar features a selection of Hawaiian and craft beers, as well as wine and specialty cocktails. It also serves breakfast from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, featuring favorites from the Paradise Diner menu. Aloha hour is 3 to 6 p.m. daily.

Paradise Diner opened in Oak Park Mall in December 1987. In 2014, the owners revived it next door to a sister restaurant, the more upscale Newport Grill, taking a coveted corner location at 135th Street and Nall Avenue. The two operations shared a kitchen, servers and bartenders.

PB&J also operates several other restaurants, including a Newport Grill in Wichita, YaYa Euro Bistro in Overland Park, Denver, Little Rock, Ark., and St. Louis; Burnt End BBQ in Overland Park; area Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews locations.

The owners also are considering other options for the Paia space, perhaps bringing in guest chefs for a month at a time.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC

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