There are some foodies who sneer at hotel restaurants, never including them in roundups for best eateries or creative menus.
Some of the best chefs I know have either cut their teeth at hotels — or still work there.
And some of my favorite go-to spots are in hotels — like Hoku’s at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
Parking is easy. Location is unbeatable. And the food has always been consistently good, thanks to longtime executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi.
And starting this month, the award-winning restaurant is offering a new dinner menu, designed by the recently hired chef de cuisine Hiroshi Inoue, who has worked at such notable spots at the Grand XIV Karuizawa, Nagano; the fine-dining French-Italian fusion restaurant Shinkirou in China; and L’Osier, a three-star Michelin French restaurant in Tokyo.
Among the new additions to dinner are the Kurobuto pork and mushroom risotto, a grilled guinea hen breast and a grilled A5 Miyazaki Wagyu strip loin.
Don’t worry — some of Hoku’s classic dishes remain on the menu, including the uber-popular Hoku’s ‘Ahi Musubi and Seafood Tower.
A bunch of us media types got a chance to preview some of the new dishes last night, thanks to the awesome public relations manager Huy Vo. Here’s a peek:
Here’s the Miyazaki beef prepared. While we didn’t get to sample it, I’ve had this beef before — and it’s worth every dollar. This dish, at $142, comes with a 5-ounce slab of strip loin, grilled and served with wasabi, Hawaiian sea salt and a ginger-shallot XO dip.
And of course, you have to have chocolate! This the Valrhona Chocolate with salted caramel in the center of that chocolate bavarian, with a praline crunch, Nutella powder (on the side), a Kona coffee cremeux and a dollop of Amarena cherry ice cream.
The 134-seat Hoku’s is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 5:30 to 10 p.m. for dinner and every Sunday for brunch — that’s my next visit! — from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In addition to just ordering everything a la carte, the restaurant offers a prix fixe menu for $70 per person, a tasting menu for $100 per person, and a degustation menu for $130 per person. Call (808) 739-8760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.