Didn't get to do as much chowing as I'd hoped, due to a sick child (it never fails... air flight + snorkelling = sinus infection - oh well). But, do have the following to report:
Marriott Ihilani - great hotel, but the food really blew... literally. Had dinner in the Terrace restaurant the 1st night - husbands crab chowder tasted more of paste than anything. My escargot were very sandy & the curried fish dish (can't remember which fish) was very forgettable. Woke up at 4 am verrry ill. Breakfast buffet very basic, hot food none too hot, fruit none too ripe, pastries tasteless, etc. Liked the Honulau (sp?) bar as you could order from any of the restaurants, but got 1 steak that tasted freezer-burned, 1 lobster that didn't taste of much at all. Tempura ahi ok, not great, spinach salad was about only thing that was good. Great friendly bartenders there, tho!
Lunch - Mariposa @ Neiman Marcus - wonderful popovers w/ papaya pineapple butter & delicious duck breast & peach salad - with a great view & good wine list. Great lunch crowd - I'm used to only ladies who lunch in Chanel @ our N-M - here it was everyone - from military in full fatigues to business lunches to families - good vibe.
Lunch @ Indigo downtown. Stumbled upon this & remembered reading about it. In an old building & you feel as if eating in a treehouse. Had a waiter performing tai chi & doing cat imitations. Had the dim sum buffet ($13.95) - just got 2 steamed pork buns, 2 spring rolls & 2 delicious goat cheese wontons, but the buffet was bountiful with great veggies - eggplant, asparagus, etc, all in different & delicious sauces, steamed fish in a great sauce, chicken in satay sauce, corned beef (better than it looked), etc. They have martini nights & the a la carte looked good, too. Would definitely return.
Dinner - Alan Wong's - Alan not there, sat at the chef's counter anyway & they were all really friendly - a lot more relaxed than when el Hefe is around. They made our daughter what she proclaimed the best penne & cheese she'd ever had in her life. Husband has ahi tempura - not as excited, but his fish was so good he wouldn't let me have a bite. I had the tasting menu - less successful, unfortunately. Taco Salad of Beef Tartare layered with avocado & white beans ok, but cold beans not all that appetizing. Also a slice of tendeloin wrapped around greens that was pretty flavorless. Hit of the evening - gave us all a complimentary kalua pork & foie gras sandwich on brioche that was unbelieveably delicious. Cold tomato & pea soup that accompanied not as exciting, but those sandwiches were to die for! Next for me, seared Hudson Valley foie gras in Pineapple Pico de Gallo sauce - not nearly as tantilizing as it sounds - again, not a whole lot of flavor. Then Shellfish Tamales - lobster, shrimp & scallops wrapped in masa, then hearts of palm instead of corn husks - that was really good, but still wanted some more heat. Lobster tail & shrimp that accompanied was terribly overcooked. Dessert - tropical flan & pineapple empanada - I love flan, but no discernable caramel & too thick, cheesy tasting - empanada just pineapple in phyllo. All would have worked had the sauces/spices been kicked up a notch, but was a little disappointed after looking forward to this all week. Daughter's 5 sorbets delicious as always - I'll still be back, but just felt a bit let down this time.
Had several people recommend Tiki's for a casual evening, a new Duke's-style restaurant bar at the last hotel on the Waikiki Strip (Aston?), but we ran out of time. Next trip, will try this & L'Uraku & hopefully, Hoku's again, plus some more local places that we missed being hotel-bound - oh well, the weather was great & the Hyatt actually serves a decent saimin!
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