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New Locals-Approved Menu Makes A Splash

Cover Story Features

February 5, 2017

Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Hostess Victoria Lee, restaurant manager Won Bae and sous chef Chealin Hong

Hostess Victoria Lee, restaurant manager Won Bae and sous chef Chealin Hong

Situated in a quiet corner of Kahala Avenue, away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, The Kahala Hotel & Resort has long been the retreat of choice for celebrities and VIPs alike who appreciate the private and peaceful ambiance of the oceanside sanctuary. Yet with its high-quality restaurants boasting locally inspired flavors and genuine island hospitality, the hotel also has attracted a wide range of kamaaina over the years who’ve felt right at home on its beautiful grounds.

Chocolate mousse and green tea financiers from the dessert bu˛ et

Chocolate mousse from the dessert buffet

The latest dining special created by The Kahala’s exceptional culinary team caters to those local guests, welcoming them to enjoy a sophisticated island-style meal during Kamaaina Thursdays at The Beach. Hosted every Thursday evening from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Plumeria Beach House, the weekly dinner event offers diners their choice of entrée from an exclusive menu along with access to a booming salad bar and dessert buffet for just $45 per person.

Green tea financiers

Green tea financiers

“Executive chef Wayne (Hirabayashi) wanted to create this special to give locals a great dining option. We introduced it a few weeks ago (mid-January) and the response has been really good so far,” explains sous chef Chealin Hong, a local girl who has lived in New York and San Francisco and completed her culinary training in Seattle, Washington before moving back home to work in the industry.

Miso Glazed Patagonian White Fish (entree choice from Kamaaina Thursdays; or $36 a la carte)

Miso Glazed Patagonian White Fish (entree choice from Kamaaina Thursdays; or $36 a la carte)

Hirabayashi, Hong and the rest of the kitchen crew put a gourmet touch on many local favorites for the Kamaaina Thursdays menu, including Kalbi-style Boneless Short Rib of Beef (also available a la carte for $28). It’s served with Hawaii’s go-to starch, steamed white rice, as well as farmer’s market vegetables. Representing the melting pot of flavors island cuisine is known for, Miso Glazed Patagonian White Fish ($36 a la carte) is another winner from the menu, delighting with ginger sake broth, toasted sesame oil and spinach and shiitake mushroom dumplings.

Li hing mui pineapple upside-down cake and berry mousse with strawberry gelee

Li hing mui pineapple upside-down cake

In line with Plumeria Beach House’s overall menu of worldly cuisine accented with locally inspired ingredients and preparations, Mango Mustard Crusted New Zealand Lamb Rack ($29 a la carte) is another standout. The dish is served with fresh vegetables and Yukon mashed potatoes.

Other Kamaaina Thursdays highlights include Steamed Catch of the Day Hong Kong Style and Sauteed Garlic Shrimp, and let’s not forget about the accompanying spreads. Patrons may customize their ideal salad, while saving room for an array of rotating desserts. The pastry chefs perfect such sweet endings as berry mousse with strawberry gelee, green tea financiers (almond cakes), li hing mui pineapple upside-down cake and chocolate mousse.

Kalbi Style Boneless Short Rib of Beef (entree choice from Kamaaina Thursdays; or $28 a la carte)

Kalbi Style Boneless Short Rib of Beef (entree choice from Kamaaina Thursdays; or $28 a la carte)

Wine pairings also are available during Kamaaina Thursdays, as is live music to give patrons that true local vibe. “You have entertainment and the beautiful breeze that comes in at night, and it’s so private here,” adds Hong.

Live music may be enjoyed at Plumeria Beach House Sunday-Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., while guests can soak up the beachside view and delectable fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily with a variety of buffet and a la carte options. Restaurant-goers especially love the eatery’s curry lunch buffet on Wednesdays — featuring an international blend of Japanese, Thai and Indian curries — and the Best of Kahala Seafood dinner buffet Friday and Saturdays.

Salad bar from Kamaaina Thursdays at The Kahala

Salad bar from Kamaaina Thursdays at The Kahala

Fall in Love

There are numerous ways to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day when you spend the upcoming holiday at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Hoku’s, will make sparks fly with a multi-course dinner ($90 per person or $130 with wine pairings), including Lobster Salad & Petit Bisque, Grilled Hawaii Ranchers Natural Beef Tenderloin & Foie Gras, and Bittersweet Chocolate and Passion Fruit Heart for dessert, among other bites.

Berry mousse with strawberry gelee

Berry mousse with strawberry gelee

If a dinner buffet is more your style, head downstairs to Plumeria Beach House instead, where the very robust spread ($80 per person; $40 for keiki 6-12) will feature a Rosemary Salt Crusted Prime Rib carving station, New Zealand Lamb and an array of hot selections, salad, soup, pupus, desserts and more.

And for those looking for just the right touch of romance, The Veranda — The Kahala’s spacious dining lanai — will host Fondue for Two.

Mango Mustard Crusted NZ Lamb Rack (entree choice from Kamaaina Thursdays; or $29 a la carte)

Mango Mustard Crusted NZ Lamb Rack (entree choice from Kamaaina Thursdays; or $29 a la carte)

The Valrhona “Illanka” bittersweet chocolate fondue will be served with cinnamon financiers, fresh strawberries, homemade marshmallows and more. And the best part? Two glasses of Lucien Albrecht Rose Brut, all for $50 (serves two).

To make a reservation, call 739-8760.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort

5000 Kahala Ave., Kahala
Dining reservations: 739-8760
Daily, 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m.;
Kamaaina Thursdays, 5:30-10 p.m.
Kahalaresort.com

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