Chef Mavro and Alan Wong
We were in Honolulu 8 years ago, and had a spectacular dinner at Alan Wong's that we still talk about. This past Saturday night we were in Honolulu again just over night due to an itinerary change on our cruise. Alan Wong's only had voice mail at 5 pm, and did not call us back. We thought about trying Sam Choy's Diamondhead, but my husband was a little wary, so he did his own searching and came up with Chef Mavro. All I can say that it was at least as great a meal as Alan Wong. We had the 6 course meal paired with wines. What I really liked was the fact that they allowed me to substitute the steak dish from the 4 course, for the lamb on the 6. We also upgraded the 2 wines that had a connoiseur wine. The pairings worked so well with each dish. The amuse that was served to start was delightful. This was followed by a fois gras terrine with pickled kumquats. The way the wine set off the flavor of the kumquats was amazing. The glazed hamachi with pickled veggies was next. The lobster over a corn stew, followed by the steak, a goat cheese terrine, and the dessert, were just each more delicious than the last. What I have come to realize is that our greatest meals are those that we do not expect to be that great, and are pleasantly surprised. I know that it is not un the price category for many, but if you really want a special meal while in Honolulu, I highly recommend this.
Glad that you had a wonderful meal. Previous trip, we had one, just as you describe. We left wondering if AW's was still our favorite, or had Chef Mavro supplanted them. Last trip was no contest, and I knew that many things were wrong with that night.
Based on earlier experiences, I am glad that they are "back on their game," as the potential is certainly there.
I just posted (late) my review, and it was not a pretty picture. Your trip, later than mine, indicates that we hit on a very bad night.
Thanks for making me feel good again,
re: Bill Hunt
This is slightly off-topic, but I wonder if your meal at CM might have been around the same time the debacle that was Cassis (Mavro's short lived second spot) was coming to a head? Not an excuse of course, but a possible explanation as to why they were not on their usual game. Good to know that all is right with the CM universe once again! Thanks to robinsilver for the report.
It was not long after Cassis closed. I had seen the notice on CH, a few weeks before we departed for the Islands, and wondered about this myself. It was not, in any way bad, just not up to our previous visit. Perhaps we had too high a set of expectations. Regardless, we'll definitely dine there on the next trip to O`ahu.
I actually hated to post my earlier review, as I had given CM such a glowing review, just 18 mos. prior.
Do not think we'll be back, before '09, as we have a small window and plans for Maui in Dec. That should give the staff time to sort things out. I'm still sorry that we did not make it to Cassis, even though the CH reviews were less than stellar.
We were in Honolulu a year ago for a convention, complete with Waikiki predictability and often mediocrity. Highlight was Hole-in-the-Wall food tour (Chinatown plus). The program did not include any upscale anything, which was the whole point, but the foodies who ran the tour praised Chef Mavro to the skies.