When you think of Valentine's Day you typically imagine a romantic dinner, candlelight, sensual dishes like lobster, steak and chocolate... well to my surprise there is a new restaurant in Waikiki that serves all this for Valentine's Day weekend (Friday-Sunday). Buho Cantina opened just over 7 months ago off of Kalakaua Avenue in the heart of Waikiki. Located above Victoria's Secret this restaurant is a beautiful rooftop oasis from the bustling streets below.
A more upscale Mexican cantina-style eatery, this place takes Mexican food to a whole new level. Forget about Tex Mex and other eateries that specialize in chip and salsa... this is a more refined approach to latin cuisine, while highlighting local flavors, local ingredients and pushing the limits of those flavor profiles. The dishes are well seasoned, fresh and simple but also very elegant. I got a chance to try their special 4-course Valentine's Day set-menu and it was such great value for the cost of $98 for two people. They are also offering fresh roses for purchase too $5 for a single long stem rose or $60 for a dozen waiting for you table side and it will add that special touch to your romantic evening. Here's a look at the prix fixe dinner.
Kale Salad - this is a generous portion which comes out on one dish, so the two lovers can share it. Mixed greens, crispy fried kale, jicama, kahuku corn, fresh apples, tossed in a tamarind vinaigrette. I loved this salad. It was refreshing, crunchy, hearty, healthy, well dressed and the texture from the jicama and the sweetness from the apples added a nice touch. I would order this for lunch or dinner!
Lobster Taco - fresh Kona lobster on a homemade squid ink soft tortilla topped with an achiote aiole and fresh Kahuku corn relish. I have never heard of anyone using squid ink to make tortillas. This was delightful, the lobster oh so fresh and I really enjoyed the flavor of the achiote aiole. Great combinations of textures and flavors here, party in my mouth!
Surf & Turf - 16 oz Prime Rib with a traditional herb and Mexican chili spice rub served with giant Kauai tequila garlic shrimp. The sides also included Jalapeño Bacon smashed potatoes and sautéed green beans. You can't tell from the photo but this dish was HUGE. Now the plates are meant to be shared so you don't feel like a candidate for over-eaters anonymous. LOL. The prime rib was called one of the best everyone ever had at the table. The sides were perfectly seasoned and hearty and the shrimp not too overwhelming in flavor. Very impressive!
Lastly, this heart-shaped Mexican Habanero Brownie is served with premium Maui Roselani ice cream and fresh fruit. Surprisingly this brownie was light, moist, sweet and had a little kick to it because of the habanero. It was really nice and a great ending to a fabulous meal. I was impressed by the flavor combinations, freshness of the dishes and the innovative use of ingredients. Overall, I would say this is an excellent deal for the cost, value, and product served. The ambience is also fantastic, I love this venue and my friends love it too.