Recently I was able to attend a true foodie event- Chef Brian Hirata’s Na’au (“Where your soul resides”) dinner held at the lovely Palms Cliff House Inn. Arriving early to relax and check out our room (Room #5, lovely top-floor end room with jetted tub), we enjoyed a cocktail on our lanai and watched the mongoose play on the lawn below. After a cleansing rain and picture-perfect rainbow behind an iconic palm tree, we headed down to the dining area for dinner. We were immediately greeted by Adrian and Sarah with canapes of burnt miso liver pate with ohelo gastrique on a chicken skin cracker (OMG- I may have eaten about 5 of these) and a Valencey goat cheese with black garlic tomato jam on a cracker, along with a glass of sparkling wine. Any time I’m handed a glass of bubbly within the first five minutes of arrival, I’m happy.
We sat down for dinner at the intimate communal table seating 8 lucky souls, and the party began. Chef Brian prides himself on utilizing fresh, local ingredients as much as possible, including items that may not be commonly served. While everything was excellent both in flavor and presentation, my favorites were: the Kona Shrimp Toast with Ho’i’o, Pepeaio, and Kona Shrimp Paste XO; the Kona Abalone Chawanmushi (which I’ll admit had a lighter texture than the Uni Chawanmushi I served at my pop-up dinner the weekend prior); the Chukar Two Ways (made for me because I don’t eat beef) with a 65-Degree Quail Egg Yolk, Cauliflower and Egg white Mousse, and Spanish Needles Chimichurri; and the LAMB SHANK with Kimchi Harissa and Chevre Foam (which I may have hinted, unsuccessfully, to Adrian that if Chef had any “leftovers” in the kitchen I’d be happy to take them back to our room).
A superb splurge for the holiday weekend. It truly did nourish my soul. And now I’m inspired to plan my next pop-up!