Restaurants & Bars

Hawaii Honolulu

Honolulu Notes...

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Restaurants & Bars 20

Honolulu Notes...

torta basilica | Feb 8, 2007 07:02 AM

Arrived home 3 lbs heavier after 3 nights, so obviously had a great time!

1st stop - Mitch's Sushi - See recent review

Hanohano Room - recent reviews indicated new and exciting food. We crashed a Grey Goose party (hey, they gave us VIP wristbands when we exited the elevator - who were we to argue with free drinks?) The free food didn't look all that exciting, so sat at the bar & shared a dinner. Bar staff very friendly, but didn't seem used to serving food there, although we were led to believe it's a popular drink and grazing place... App & entree served at the same time, which didn't thrill me... Escargot in garlic with macadamia nuts instead of breadcrumbs was nothing ground-breaking, but pretty tasty. Biggest complaint was that the rolls served with it were awful - disintegrated into the sauce before you could swipe a butter/garlic infused bite. What a let-down - they really need to rethink that bread. Chilean seabass in lobster cream sauce was good - slightly overcooked by about 30 secs, but that may have been a function of being served at the same time as the app. On a bed of mashed potatoes... when is that trend ever going to end? Nice sauteed vegs. Felt the wine list was very expensive for what was offered - not too much by the glass of interest at all. The view IS spectacular - would recommend going up for a drink, but probably won't return for the food.

Tamura's Fine Wines - read about this place in Kaimuku somewhere & was determined to find another place than Foodland to purchase wine! Was a little concerned upon entering that is was just another Asian food & sundries market, but upon closer examination... some great gourmet sauces, a HUGE poke bar - really want to get back & sample that!, small but interesting cheese selections, 2 kinds of French & 1 Italian butter, creme fraiche, Devonshire double cream, and other very upscale grocery selections. Got very excited when I realized the other half of the store was devoted to wine - incredible selection AND prices (rare for Hawaii). Frank Family Chard was $22.45 - I often pay $35 here in California! All kinds of excellent wines on special - very blown away by the depth and International offerings. Then, were invited into the special wine room - Penfolds Grange, some nice Barbarescos, Rameys,... Could spend hours just hanging out here! Anyway, well worth the drive.

3660 on the Rise - Have never eaten here - always seems to be overshadowed by AW's & Mavro's. Pretty restaurant - not stuffy, but airy & very friendly staff. Decided to have a drink at the bar - huge martini list & my lychee with vodka & champagne was delicious. Bartendress was so nice, we decided to forgo the table & stay there. Huge quandry over the menu - everything sounds absolutely delicious, so let her steer us... 3 Apps, 1 entree & 1 dessert... Yummy bread, Crispy garlic shrimp with fried spinach & green onions was one of the best dishes I've ever had - big juicy shrimp over crispy spinach & garlic shards - spectacular! Ahi sashimi special - 4oz of gorgeous buttery ahi slices for $10 - excellent! Foie gras 2 ways - seared with orange marmelade - very good, nothing ground-breaking. Cold torchon 'Napolean style' with lilikoi gelee slices inbetween - WOW! would have preferred more foie & less gelee (always!), but this was truly delicious. I especially appreciated the $8 3oz pour of Beerenauslese to accompany & not having to buy a bottle of Sauternes at 10 times or more the price. Only complaint was rice blini or whatever it was served on was inedible, but that didn't matter - just one less thing to get in the way of the foie... BTW, excellent wine list - both by the glass & bottle. Had an great Australian Zin, but am spacing on the maker. Panseared New York steak in better & garlic was delicious - crisy onions on the side could have used my umph - salt or something, but all in all, a great dish. Famous chocolate lava cake with ice cream & mocha sauce for dessert, accompanied by an excellent cup of coffee. What a meal - can't wait to return.

Pineapple Room - Lunch - got to admit, we weren't all that hungry after the night before... Had a somewhat unfriendly waitress - probably a function of us eating at 2:15... Husband had a deconstructed shrimp & crab Caesar - didn't look like much and I don't think he was all that impressed. I had the calamari salad, which was very good. That great foccacia with pepper aoili was good as usual. Had the mini haupia tapioca with shave ice & assorted fruits - wasn't as exciting as I remembered... Will order differently next time...

Town - Cute restaurant reminds me of somewhere in W Hollywood, but can't think of where. Friendly service. Limited, but interesting wine selections. Shitake salad good, lemon shrimp & fennel fritti less so - not a lot of flavor from the fennel, nice bread, split the famous bread chicken, which was very good, but not the 'best chicken dish guests have ever eaten in their lives,' as touted. Pretty hip & trendy and I'd go back to check out breakfast & lunch, but can't say I was blown away by dinner.

Still, a great trip with some awesome food moments...

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