Brown's Beach House

Some years back we did a kahanes meet the kahunas Passover seder in Hawaii. The Kahane are the Jewish high priests and the kahunas the Hawaiian ones, so it sort of made sense. We stayed at the Orchid at the Mauna Lani on the Big Island of Hawaii and had an excellent meal. One of the interns in the kitchen was Israeli, so he knew what to do. We didn't even need the matzoh we hand carried from the mainland.

The real treat of the trip, however, was Brown's Boat House which is a slightly less formal restaurant out on the lawn with a view of the waves at sunset. Hotel restaurants can vary greatly, but Brown's was something really special. Every dish was perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned.

Our usual appetizer was the caesar salad with spicy grilled shrimp, but we almost managed to try and adore the ahi tuna sashimi and the fried calamari. Ahi tuna always seems to taste its best on the big island, with a hearty flavor that seems to fill one's mouth. Though ahi tuna is so light that one can eat plates full of it, for sheer taste satisfaction it can be more potent than beef wellington.

We also had wonderful pork chops which were delicious with mashed sweet potatoes and pickled onions. The Pacific lobster with pan fried wontons was also a real treat.

Since our last visit, the Fairmont chain has taken over the Orchid from Starwood, so we cannot say if the food is unchanged.  We hope not, since Brown's was an excellent restaurant and we hope that this has not changed.

UPDATE 16 September 2005 - Friends of ours report that Brown's is as wonderful as ever. They had dinner on the beach and loved the food, loved the torchlight, loved the sunset.

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