So, if you have followed our adventures you know we love The Four Seasons at Hualalai. The other evening we ventured to their bar, the Lava Lounge, above their fine dining establishment, Pahu i’a for sunset, drinks and dinner. The great thing about the Lava Lounge is that the view of sunset is superb, you can enjoy dinner from their tasty bar menu heavy on sushi or the restaurant downstairs, all in the comfort of what feels like a neighborhood bar with absolutely stellar service.
We were excited see a somewhat new menu at both spots for both food and cocktails and began the evening a little out of the norm, with one of these specialty cocktails, lychee mojitos with lots of fresh lime and mint, light on the simple syrup. Just barely sweet, very fresh and completely refreshing.
We also had an old favorite, a snack of a Hawaiian Roll – Ahi, avocado and mango. (The inspiration for our next dinner party amuse…more on that to come.)
After cocktails, with the sun about 15 minutes from setting, we moved on to our favorite bottle to sip right in this spot, a bottle of Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon along with a cheese plate. We have probably had 20 bottles over the years visiting and enjoying the Lava Lounge, and at least a dozen cheese plates. The first time we tried to order a cheese plate it wasn’t on their menu, but it is The Four Seasons, so they put one together for us…and it was incredible. A true platter with fruit, macadamia nuts and probably 7 kinds of cheese from all over the world. We loved it, but got a little nervous, it was The Four Seasons, so we expected our little taste treat to cost a fortune. Nope. $10. The best $10 cheese plate in the world.
We also enjoyed a few appetizers from their new menu including a stunning plate of Ono Sashimi with wasabi and a chili lemon oil; spicy, rich and hearty Hot and Sour Soup with lots of local Pepeiao mushrooms and a spicy chili sauce served on the side to make sure the Hot wasn’t too hot; a plate of chilled WOW Farm tomatoes with a fresh basil pesto that just about sent we over the edge – a tomato that tastes like a tomato, layered one slice on top of another, each slice individually seasoned to ensure the most flavor pops out of each bite with fragrant pesto made from locally grown basil; and grilled, palm size trumpet mushrooms from Ali’i Farm sliced in thick strips with the texture of a juicy steak. Delicious.
Talking to our adorable waitress we learned some of the changes, including a stunning lava fire pit with seating downstairs, the new menu and updated staff uniforms were a result of a month closure after the effects of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier this year. The Big Island had big damage as well, with Hualalai closing the area we were in for a month to repair giving an even more inviting atmosphere, completed with a wonderful staff to ensure every visitor enjoys their time in this little piece of island paradise. Cheers!