Aug 28, 2005

The Pineapple Room

Before it went bankrupt, Liberty House used to be the main department store in Hawaii. The flagship store occupied the Diamond Head end of Ala Moana Shopping Center, and there was a nice restaurant on the third floor (there were more casual places to eat on the fourth floor). Six years ago, the third-floor restaurant was taken over by renowned local chef Alan Wong and named The Pineapple Room.

In case you couldn't tell from my post two days ago about our meal there, my husband and I love The Pineapple Room. In fact, we ate there three days in a row (Thursday and Friday for lunch, plus dinner last night). The only reason we're not going today is that they don't serve dinner on Sundays and we already have other lunch plans.

We had the Menu Sampling dinner last night, which consisted of five courses. Here's a sample dinner menu, although our dinner was different from the one listed. Our first course was some ahi sashimi with a carrot and daikon (Japanese radish) salad topped with a yuzu dressing and a slice of myoga. The second course was a piece of panko-encrusted onaga on top of sauteed enoki and shiitake mushrooms, followed by a lobster and corn risotto, then a "beef duo" of tenderloin and short ribs. The finale was a small scoop of sorbet, creme brulee served in a Chinese soup spoon, and a little fresh fruit, all served on a thin slab of cold marble. I opted for the house Plantation Iced Tea (which is iced tea with pineapple juice and a thin slice of pineapple) instead of the wine course.

The food at The Pineapple Room is just as good as, if not better than, the food at Alan Wong's itself. The atmosphere is less upscale and appropriate for families, especially if you go early. Unlike at the flagship restaurant, there's actually some space between tables so you don't have to listen to the conversation going on next to you. We'll be there every day the next time we come, too.

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