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Innovative Kauii food


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#1 Beachfan

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Posted 08 June 2002 - 02:55 AM

I had dinner at Pacific Cafe last night, the best restaurant on the half of Kauii that I visit.  Some very interesting innovations there.


Last night the meal was stellar.  No doubt because chef Jean Marie Josselin was there.  

I had shrimp/scallop dumplings with Tomato Edamame Vinagerette.  Actually the sauce was separate from the tomtato edamame. The sauce was excellent, the dumpling very nice (needed a higher ratio of filling to skin), the tomato edamame didn't do much.

My entree was a verison of their "surf and turf", Grilled Ahi, Seared Scallps and Fois Gras, with a cherry port glaze.  An excellent dish; I had it with Mahi Mahi instead because I've had so much ahi lately.  Ahi is a better match but the fois gras with the hawaiin fish was delicious.  The sauce, with liberal use of dried cherries, pulled the ingredients together very well.

My wife had the vegetarin twin towers.  While not on the menu, it's always available.  The difference in vegetarian food when a chef cares is amazing.  Because it's so much food, my wife had the first tower brought as an appetizer the second as an entree.

First tower:
Roasted Garlic Potato Soup - the best example of this we've ever had.  Redolent of garlic but not over the top, a perfect consitstency and balance.  Wow!  

Roasted Tomato over Broccholi Puree
So often Heirloom tomatoes disappoint.  This one was top notch.  The broccoli puree was a great pairing (interestingly, it's the first time I've seen this besides my wife making it).  It seems very rich, but it isn't at all.

Bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes and Edamame/wasabi puree.
No worries about repetition of tomatoes; when they are this great, keep 'em coming.  The edamame/wasabi puree was a first (anyone else seen it before).  Just enough wasabi to let you know it's there without overpowering the tomatoes.  Very interesting.

Second Tower
Roasted eggplant with Soba noodle
Very tastey, noodles very good (but not artisanal, the dinner conversation turned to Bouley bread at that point; see the Bouley lunch post).  Well executed, not overly exciting though.

Grilled Kabucha pumpkin with Faro and edamame/wasabi puree.
Faro, I was told, is am Egyptian grain.  Interesting (didn't make me forget cous cous however).  Perhaps Jean Marie was getting tired with the edamame puree repeat.  However, the pumpkin was EXTREMELY EXCELLENT, and the puree was a good match with it.  

Grilled asparagus and beets over diced (brunoise) vegetables.  A simple but exceptional Chez Panisse type dish, with the quality of the vegetables winning our hearts.

The bread was a pleasant dark grain olive bread.  The wine was exceptional, a 1997 Kistler vineyard Kistler Pinot Noir. The best California can offer in Pinots.  Could have use a couple more years to let the grape power integrate a little more, but it was just outstanding.

The one desert we craved wasn't available, so we went next door for a couple of cookies.

Other Jean Marie Josselin innovations
Wok Charred Mahi Mahi (garlic, sesame crist, lime butter buerre blanc)
Thai Coconut Curry soup with Ahi, scallops and prawns (the Ahi is the innovation)
Sweet Shrimp and Imu Duck Lumpia

I haven't had the last one, the first two are excellent.  

Aloha
Beachfan in Beachland
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#2 tighe

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 11:38 AM

My wife and I had two spectacular dinners at Pacific Cafe when we were on Kauai in March. I believe Mssr. Josselin was in the kitchen the first night.

The first night we had the tasting menu which was a great introduction to the highlights of the menu. The way Josselin has fused French culinary techniques and sensibilities with Island/Pacific Rim ingredients and flavors is really remarkable. I wish I could remember the details of the tasting menu more, but my wife has notes somewhere.

The second dinner we ordered a la carte. I had the 'Surf & Turf' mentioned above. Excellent ahi, but the foie gras wasn't the best I've had. My wife had snapper with a potato crust and truffle sauce. It was definately one of best single plates of food I've ever encountered. The alluring truffle aroma along with the crispness of the scalloped potato crust and the moist fish is something you have to experience to understand.

Beachfan, did you make it to the Beach House at Poipu? We didn't get there but a friend of mine said he had what may have been the best seafood meal of his life there.

Overall, I was really impressed with the quality of the restaurants we went to on Kauai. I never thought it would be possible for me to get too much ahi, but by the end of the week, I had ahi overload for sure. A good problem to have......
Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.
- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

#3 Beachfan

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 10:42 PM

Actually, Waipouli (where Pacific Cafe is) is the furthest south I go these days. I love the north shore!
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#4 bigbear

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 11:14 PM

I love the north shore!

Me too. We haven't been for a number of years. Used to rent condos at Puu Poa in Princeville. Where do you stay on the north shore?

-- Jeff

"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." -- Groucho Marx


#5 Beachfan

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Posted 30 August 2002 - 11:44 PM

Sealodge, we go every year if we can.
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#6 CathyL

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Posted 31 August 2002 - 05:34 AM

Oh, I miss Kauai! We went every year too, but last time I got so mosquito-bitten we switched to Lanai and got hooked. (Swimming with wild dolphins will do that.)

We always stayed in Poipu because in winter the water is more swimmable than up north. Fewer decent restaurants, it's true.

#7 tighe

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Posted 31 August 2002 - 02:36 PM

Another good meal we had on the northshore was at Sushi Blues in Hanalei. The best item was the ahi roll that was coated with tempura batter and deep-fried.
Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.
- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

#8 Beachfan

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Posted 31 August 2002 - 09:24 PM

The Hanalei Dolphin fish store will occasionally do cajun seared ahi sashimi that is just fabulous. I have it for lunch whenever I can.
beachfan

#9 Jason Perlow

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 05:58 AM

I noticed the original sub-title said, "please move to a domestic board." However, this is the correct board for the Hawaiian islands.
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#10 torakris

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 03:38 PM

When my husband and I were living in Maui, we lived just down the street from Pacific Cafe (Kihei, Maui), I never realized there were others.
We used to go occasionally, when our budget allowed! I remember Christmas Dinner 1994 we splurged on the $100 special dinner they were serving and alhtough I can no longer remember everything we ate, it was absolutely fantastic!

Now you've got me dreaming about Maui again!!!!

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#11 southern girl

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 03:44 PM

For all you Josselin fans who can't make it to the Islands, but do make it Las Vegas...try his restaurant "808" at Caesar's Palace....very good.

#12 tighe

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 06:48 PM

I noticed the original sub-title said, "please move to a domestic board." However, this is the correct board for the Hawaiian islands.

I think the problem is that it just seems out of place in the Asia/Pacific thread when every other part of the US is included in the North America area. I had to really hunt to find it initially. To me it would make more sense to have it grouped into North America even if that isn't strictly geographically correct. My concern is that all the great food in Hawaii doesn't get as much play on the site as it might because people don't know where to find it. That's just my opinon though.
Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.
- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

#13 Beachfan

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 07:04 PM

I noticed the original sub-title said, "please move to a domestic board." However, this is the correct board for the Hawaiian islands.

Correct by design, yes.

Insulting to residents of Hawaii, also yes.
beachfan

#14 Jason Perlow

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 07:08 PM

Dude, Hawaii is in the Pacific. They are Pacific Islanders. It is part of the Asia/Pacific region. Many of em are Japanese anyways. Get over it.

What about Guam? Should we put that in North America too? :raz:
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#15 southern girl

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 07:34 PM

Don't suppose it could be added to the PNW-Alaska board? Even though it is in the Pacific and there are a lot of Japanese...somehow it just seems like it belongs in the North America listing...after all...it is first and foremost a part of the USA which is in North America. Not trying to cause trouble... :unsure: just trying to make a suggestion.

#16 tighe

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 11:19 AM

What about Guam? Should we put that in North America too? :raz:

I can personally confirm that there are no restaurants on Guam worth discussing. :raz:

My fall-back position is that Hawaii should at least have its own sub-section under Asia-Pacific rather than being 'elsewhere'. With that, I will never make another comment about Hawaii's rightful position in the e-Gullet universe....
Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.
- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

#17 Jason Perlow

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 11:25 AM

At the moment, the alaska topics are part of the Pacific Northwest board. Theoretically we could put Hawaii there too. But if we continue with the logic that Hawaii is part of the US, then by the same token, half the carribean islands are part of France. Or England.

If we get a huge amount of Hawaii topics, we'll probably give Hawaii its own forum. Same goes for Alaska.
Jason Perlow
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#18 tighe

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 09:51 PM

Ok, so I get mocked as being geographically challenged for suggesting that Hawaii should be part of the North America section of the site, and now it has magically been merged into PNW-A? :wink: Wha' happen'?
Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.
- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

#19 Jason Perlow

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 10:10 PM

We got sick of people bugging us. :biggrin:
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#20 Beachfan

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 10:32 PM

We got sick of people bugging us.  :biggrin:

Thank - you.
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#21 tighe

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Posted 28 December 2002 - 11:34 PM

We got sick of people bugging us.  :biggrin:

And here I thought it was the overwhelming weight of the wisdom of my original argument....

Now that we've taken the first step, can we discuss the fact that it would probably make more sense for Hawaii to be grouped with California than with the PNW? :biggrin:

I didn't think so.....
Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.
- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

#22 Beachfan

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 01:07 AM

We got sick of people bugging us.  :biggrin:

And here I thought it was the overwhelming weight of the wisdom of my original argument....

Now that we've taken the first step, can we discuss the fact that it would probably make more sense for Hawaii to be grouped with California than with the PNW? :biggrin:

I didn't think so.....

Let's not make Jason regret his kind deed.
beachfan

#23 KarenS

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Posted 07 January 2003 - 07:36 PM

Hawaii (where I live) is an American state (and has been since 1959). The James Beard Awards placed Hawaii with the Pacific Northwest too. Thank you for moving it!