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Eating Out – Weekend Review

January 24, 2010

sushi tower

We visited two Big Island restaurants this weekend:  Fujimamas in Waimea and the ‘new’ Ohana Grill at the old Kaikodo building in Hilo.


This was my third visit to Fujimamas.  I really, really want to like this restaurant.  The interior is nice and the location is good for us as we drive through Waimea.  We stopped by for lunch on a cool, breezy Friday afternoon.  I ordered the Crispy Skinned Teppanyaki Salmon with Tobiko Shiso Salsa and Sushi Rice Salad.  I’d had it once before and knew it was a safe choice.  Still on my list as a good option.  Our tempura-style Four Tower Sushi Roll, however, left much to be desired.  The observation was made that it “felt heavy” and “oily.”  We’ll probably avoid that menu item in the future.

Major fail, from our perspective, was the lack of appropriate background music.  There was too much clatter from the kitchen and the street noise is very noticeable.  We appreciate attention to detail–and the right music at the right volume can make a dining experience stand out, at least from an aesthetic perspective.

I’m sure we’ll make it back, but I was hoping for that “we MUST come back here” feeling.

Ohana Grill

We stopped in at Ohana Grill for cocktails and appetizers on Saturday night.  As veterans of the Restaurant Kaikodo era, it is hard for us to adjust to the changes.  The service was pleasant, but not up to fine-dining standards by any stretch of the imagination.  The crabcakes we ordered were ok (but didn’t touch Hilo Bay Cafe or Cafe Pesto).  What was really odd was that we had to pay two tabs, one for our drinks and one for the food.

The musicians were playing low-key Hawaiian style dinner music, which was a nice touch.  The location of the salad bar, though, was a major distraction.  I turned once from my seat to watch the music as the band returned from a break, but right in my line of vision was someone wandering around the salad bar.  (The salad bar is set up where the Chinese wedding bed used to be.  A little jarring, especially since I have fun memories of some (very PG!) evenings in the “wedding bed” with friends.)

I’m sure we’ll make it back, but, again, no urgency.

We are still waiting for a new place–outside the resorts–that will “wow” us.  Any recommendations?


A few photos of Fujimamas:

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