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Parties continue at Pagoda

Cover Story

March 15, 2020

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Standing: Kelvin Nakahata, Mark Repollo, Risa Myers, John Teruya, Chef Michael Arita, Edwin Dagdag, Darlene Akiu, Tracy Yadao and Tori Samiere. Kneeling: Sheri Chun

It’s party time at Pagoda Floating Restaurant, which continues to serve as a go-to destination for special events, catering and ono buffet selections, and offers up plenty of aloha through cuisine that generations of families and friends have come to love over the past six decades.

Pagoda Floating Restaurant features a wide range of local-style comfort food with Asian, American and Hawaiian influences. The restaurant staff operates like a family, building on past experiences and knowledge with a collective focus on providing the best guest experience possible.

House-smoked brisket with peppercorn sauce (weekend buffet)

“In order for us to continue to survive and serve future generations of diners, we looked back at what has made us successful as we move forward,” says general manager John Teruya. “What is it that has allowed us to last this long? It’s about good food, how we serve it and what our experience means for local diners.

“Being here for 56 years happens because of the people who partake in what our staff — our family — has to offer, and we’re reminded of that when guests say, ‘Wow, the food is still really good!’ Fifty-six years of success isn’t an accident, and that represents our acknowledgment of what customers appreciate.”

Molokai Catch (weekend buffet)

Under the guidance of executive chef Michael Arita, who has been with Pagoda for more than 30 years, the restaurant’s menu features local ingredients and fresh flavors to attract first-time diners, while also keeping regulars coming back for more. Keiki and kids at heart enjoy the fishponds and cascading waterfalls surrounding the restaurant as thousands of vibrant koi are joined by ulua, barracudas, moi, mullet and many others. The expansive restaurant and banquet destination is a local icon known for its oasis-like ambience nestled within the bustling Keeaumoku dining hub.

From birthdays and graduations to showers, yakudoshis, retirements, fundraisers and weddings, the Pagoda team is dedicated to accommodating guests with planning and executing seamless and memorable events. And, with space for events large enough to accommodate parties of 50-400, as well as available communications and presentation technology, attendees are sure to remember special gatherings at Pagoda. Catering sales manager Darlene Leones-Akiu and her team are seasoned professionals when it comes to making sure special events go off without a hitch.

Caprese salad (weekend buffet)

“Families continue to enjoy our homestyle cooking and fusion cuisine,” adds longtime restaurant manager Tracy Yadao. “We offer reasonable prices, and our local diners appreciate that.”

Every Aloha Friday evening on the dinner buffet, patrons can look forward to Hawaiian food on the menu, including delicious laulau prepared in-house. On Friday and weekend nights, house-smoked brisket with peppercorn sauce, “Molokai Catch” featuring delicious white fi sh cooked in ginger and soy sauce accented with cilantro, nishime, assorted sushi rolls and caprese salad are just a few of the popular items available on the buffet lineup. The weekend dinner buffet is available from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday for just $45.95 (adults), $36 (seniors) and $17.95 (children).

Nishime (weekend buffet)

Pagoda Floating Restaurant is preparing to roll out its Easter brunch and dinner buffets, and guests are encouraged to make reservations now by calling 9488354. The Easter brunch will be served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, while dinner will be available from 5 to 9:30 p.m. ($60.95 for adults, $50.95 for seniors and $25.95 for keiki — the first child eats free when joining two paying adults).

The special holiday buffet arrangement is slated to feature a host of local favorites, including prime rib, snow crab legs, chicken, seafood specialties, assorted tempura, appetizers, desserts and many more delicious items.

Housemade laulau (part of the aloha Friday buffet)

Ask About Special Event Space

In addition to its expansive main dining room, Pagoda Floating Restaurant also features private rooms surrounded by a tranquil garden that seat up to 17 people. A semi-private room that seats up to 50 is perfect for senior groups, showers or other small gatherings. As a “home away from home” for diners, guests are encouraged to book their upcoming holiday celebrations, parties and special events today — and, be sure to complete the dining experience with a koi fish feeding!

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