Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beach House

Gracious Hawaiian service and innovative Pacific Rim cuisine are complimented by breathtaking oceanfront views at the Beach House Restaurant in Kauai. Owners Roy Dunn and Mike Hooks work closely with Executive Chef Marshall Blanchard and General Manager Tim Obert to insure that their vision for the Beach House is reflected in every aspect of the restaurant.

The talented kitchen team strives to make the most of local ingredients. The fish is sourced directly from Island fisherman, and the beef and coffee come from neighboring ranches. They incorporate local fruits and vegetables whenever possible, and delight in being able to find new and innovative ways to use the resources that surround them from artisan bakers to folk artists.

For our last dinner in Kauai, I knew I wanted to eat at the Beach House. Located just down the road from our hotel, we called for reservations a few days earlier but still had to wait a bit upon our arrival.  The dining room was bustling with both tourists and locals celebrating, and super gracious staff who greeted everyone as they walked by.  We sat next to the window on the lower area in the room with the bar. Even though the sun had already set, I could still see the white caps on the waves as they came along the shore.  It was a familiar sound that provided a relaxing back drop to our last meal on the Islands.

To start, I ordered a Li Hing Mui Margarita to kick off what I knew would be a gluttonous meal; as I simply wanted to enjoy our last evening in Kauai.  It was sweet and tangy from the li hing mui powder, which also gave a warm orange hue to the typically lime green drink.  For an appetizer, Keith and I shared the Japanese Togarashi Fried Calamari that were nice thick pieces of the calamari steak, as opposed to the typical rings. They were very mild in flavor and not chewy at all.  Next, I started with an Asparagus with Kilauea Tomatoes Salad that was too overdressed with the soy sherry vinaigrette and overloaded with shaved red onion, which I pushed aside.  Keith tried the Seafood Corn Chowder, that had more fish than crab but nice silky texture and sweet corn flavor.  For my main dish, I chose the Lemongrass & Kaua’i Kaffir Lime Crusted Sea Scallops.  They were cooked very lightly and had delicate flavor, but were overpowered by the large pieces of bok choy on the plate.  Also, the saffron rice was disappointedly gummy.  Keith's main dish of the Macadamia Nut Crusted Opa was a surprise hit.  The fresh caught moonfish was meaty and paired well with the citrus beurre blanc.  Keith did not think he would like the macadamia nuts, but they provided a nice texture and crispy crunch to the fish.  By the time we finished our meal, the restaurant had pretty much emptied.  Our server was courteous though and did not rush us out.  Even though I was a bit full, I wanted to indulge in one last dessert and chose the Bananas Foster.  Nothing very Hawaiian about it besides the local Lappert's vanilla ice cream and addition of macadamia nuts, but it was huge and delicious!  Enough for four people to share easily, Keith and I ate most of it before surrendering. Overall, I appreciated the highlights of fresh local ingredients in each dish and the super warm hospitality of each staff member. Even as we were leaving, busboys, other servers, and the hostess thanked us for dining and wished us a good night.  The Beach House in Kauai is truly a special place.

Total Rating: 4.375
Food: 4.5, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 5, Accessibility: 4

What I ate:
Togarashi Fried Calamari
accompanied by spicy Thai cocktail sauce

Asparagus with Kilauea Tomatoes
with red onion, goat cheese & soy sherry vinaigrette

Lemongrass & Kaua’i Kaffir Lime Crusted Sea Scallops
accompanied by with saffron rice, chili aioli & Maui Up Country baby bok choy

Bananas Foster
bananas in caramel sauce served over a puff pastry,
garnished with Lappert’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream & macadamia nuts

Plus Keith ate:

Seafood Corn Chowder
with crab, fresh fish, chives & sherry

Macadamia Nut Crusted Opa (Moonfish)
with citrus aka miso beurre blanc, rice and vegetables

Beach House on Urbanspoon

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