You know that restaurant in Waikiki , the one at the top? Yeah, the one that spins? Top Of Waikiki -- known for it's amazing views, super awesome happy hour and traditional surf and turf menu items. But the traditional restaurant is boasting not so 'traditional' flavors and with Chef Lance Kosaka now at the helm of it all. Kosaka is a teddy bear at heart but a beast in the kitchen when it comes to incorporating flavors from Vietnam, Japan, France, Hawaii and new twists on the traditional steakhouse favorites utilizing local produce and protein. Kosaka has slowly transitioned the menu to include some of his favorites and his following from the local community would be proud!
My hubby and I went to the restaurant to celebrate Valentine's Day a little early. It was a perfect dinner. The bread is a sweet potato roll served with mango butter. For appetizers we had poached pear salad, corn chowder, crab cakes and Lance sent out Peggy's Chips which is something not featured on the menu. For our entrees we ordered some of the newest and best entree hits - braised short ribs with wasabi mashed potatoes and bubu crusted onaga on a bed of shrimp risotto. The meal was a great combination of bold flavors, Hawaii delicacies cooked to perfection and service with aloha.
You may think this place is for tourists because of it's location. But hey parking is free with validation, and the food is so good it's become one of our favorite special occasion restaurants. Last year we came to celebrate our anniversary and left with huge smiles on our faces.
Here's a look at some of the highlights... We can't wait to go back. I am already hoping someone will ask me to happy hour soon. I gotta try the new drinks and some of the other new menu items.
Yukari & Bubu crusted Onaga - with kombucha and shrimp risotto, pickled Japanese vegetables. This was a bit reminiscent to a combination of flavors Lance would cook up at Alan Wongs. It's like a combination of the salmon ochazuke and the scallop risotto. The crunch from the bubu arare is a great crust on the perfectly cooked onaga and the risotto with the pickled vegetables is delightful and crunchy.
Miso soy braised short ribs served with wasabi mashed potatoes with a shrimp and corn relish. This is my husband's favorite short rib entree on the island. The beef is very tender, the potato is a semi-strong wasabi flavor which compliments the rich decadent sauce from the short rib. The corn adds the perfect crunch to this dish.
Dessert: this was a special and not on the menu like the potato chips, but perhaps you could special order it. House made coconut panna cotta with fresh fruit. This was the perfect combination of fresh tart, sweet, creamy and ice. A delightful end to a delicious meal. The pastry chef, Heather, is a true gem. Her semi-freddo and creme brûlée are also amazing!