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Honoo Grill and Noodle Looks to Bring Asian Street Flavors to Astoria

DITMARS — A new Astoria eatery is looking to bring a taste of Asian street food to Ditmars Boulevard.

Honoo Grill and Noodle opened last week at 33-06 Ditmars Blvd., near 33rd Street, specializing in grilled meat skewers and hot broth noodle soups.

Honoo, which means "flame" in Japanese, offers a menu inspired by the street food vendors of East Asia, who often use small fires in their portable stalls to cook, co-owner Samuel Lu says.

"We thought we would take that and add a modern twist," he said.

Honoo's staples include a variety of grilled meat and vegetable skewers, which run from $4 to $7 for a serving of three, with options like spicy cumin beef, grilled squid, herb-marinated beef short ribs and shrimp served with a tare dipping sauce.

The restaurant's variety of hot broth soups include seafood wonton and Asian pesto chicken breast, served with a choice of ramen, udon or Honoo's house noodles.

Other options include an appetizer of beef tacos, served with jalapeño and scallions in a dumpling shell, and entrees like the grilled lemongrass pork chop and the 6-ounce grilled salmon steak served with a tangy pan-Asian sauce.

Beer, wine, and hot and cold sake will be added to the menu soon, Lu says.

Lu, who works in finance for Thomson Reuters, opened Honoo with longtime friend and chef Ben Lawn, whose past gigs include the kitchen at Long Island City's Penthouse 808.

The two lifelong Queens residents say they chose Astoria as the location for their venture — opening in the space of a former bagel shop — for its proximity to Manhattan and trendy reputation.

"Astoria is a very up and coming neighborhood," Lu said.