Page 3 - Dining Out - April 9, 2023
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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee
     ry, Kaimuki Middle and Kalani High schools, and different colleges, but for my culinary career, I graduated from Kapiolani Community College.
AL: Many great chefs have influ- enced your career. Can you tell me about that?
KL: I worked for many great talent- ed chefs such as Russell Siu at 3660 on the Rise — that guy knows his wines and was my inspiration for my wine list. Alan Wong taught me the importance of supporting local farmers and the next generation. Although I didn’t work at Roy’s, Roy Yamaguchi was very involved with KCC and he has been a part of my journey. These chefs taught me to have thick skin and do whatever it takes.
I was able to stage at Benu in San Francisco, a three-star Michelin restaurant, with chef/owner Corey Lee. I realized that San Francisco wasn’t for me, then NewYork pulled me in. It’s a melting pot like Hawaii with lots of different cultures and Eu- ropean influence. I went on to work at Le Bernardin, Eleven Madison Park, Café Boulud and Gramercy
Tavern, which is where I met Mi- chael Anthony, who had a huge impact on what I do today.
AL: What did you prepare today?
KL: Da Spring Fling Tasting Menu starts with the V is for Vegetable Trio, which features Aloun Farms chilled melon gazpacho, Kolea Farm spring onion, curried samosa and Kolea Farm kalo croquette (aka our Hawaiian french fry).
Then, you get a choice of a main entrée: Happy Cauli-days for our vegetarian friends (fresh tagli-
atelle, Small Kine Farm mushroom and cauliflower bolognese, tomato, Parmesan and basil); the Salmon (green apple and cucumber dashi, yuzu potato, Sumida Farm water- cress); or Belly Up (fried pork belly, creamy mustard sauce, couscous, Kolea Farm bok choy and pickled green mango). Then, a choice of sweets: Spring Panna Cotta (mat- cha buttermilk and Ho Farms cal- amansi) and the popular Da Kahala Shuffle (chocolate and Kahlua mud pie topped with Kona coffee syrup). The cost is $65 per person (add $25
for a wine pairing).
The Haku Lei Poo ($20), also
called our Hawaiian Crown, is special to me. It’s 100% local — I made this before when I was a chef at The Pig and the Lady — and we’re able to support farmers from Maui, Molokai, Kauai, Big Island and Oahu. You can actually place the plate on top of someone’s head to get the full experience as you would if wearing an actual haku lei.
The Omaomao Garlic ($15) fea- tures three pieces of house cream cheese rangoon with Kolea Farm spring onion and spinach. One of the first dishes created was You Chick’n Me Out ($38) featuring Ludovico Farms roasted chicken, green harissa — which is unique and made in-house as I wanted the mild flavors of the peppers and for it to not overpower by the spice — pickled grapes, couscous and mint. Zucchini Jun ($15), meanwhile, is my homage to meat jun. It features scallions, radish and soy-chile. I made this thinner and layered it and, with the flavor of the egg and the chili, it acts like a regular meat jun.
Kapa Hale
4614 Kilauea Ave. Ste. 102, Honolulu
5-9 p.m. dinner daily;
9 a.m.-2 p.m. brunch Saturdays-Sundays;
10 a.m.-2 p.m. lunch Wednesdays-Fridays 808-888-2060
1. Da Kahala Shuffle, part of Da Spring Fling Tasting Menu ($65)
2. Haku Lei Poo ($20)
3. Omaomao Garlic ($15)
4. You Chick’n Me Out ($38)
5. Zucchini Jun ($15)
6. V is For Vegetable Trio, part of
Da Spring Fling Tasting Menu ($65)
AL: How did you come up with the clever dish names?
KL: I call it the “fun puns.” It’s us having fun with food, being creative and tying in culture and mashing it together. It’s quirky but I want our guests to know that even chefs like to have a little fun with food.
     A Blissful Taste of Paris at Hoku’s
   Inspired by his recent trip to Paris,
Executive Chef Jonathan Mizukami presents a special three-course menu highlighting fine Parisian fare. Pairing classic French dishes with fresh local ingredients, Chef Mizukami will take you on a journey across the sea.
Bon appétit!
Limited time only from March 21-April 22
5:30–8:30 p.m., Tues-Sat
$135* per person
*Does not include tax & gratuity.
OpenTable 808.739.8760
      Dining Out / April 9-15, 2023 / 3

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