Sunday, August 03, 2008
Kona Brewing Company
We had lunch at the Kona Brewing Company, one of our last year's favorite restaurants; see A Brew Pub in the Middle of the Pacific. Today we tried the tuna appetizer, fish sandwich, and lilikoi cheesecake. The local ahi tuna was very good -- they humored me and cooked it a little more than raw. The fresh fish in bun is swordfish. I hope that these local fish are more sustainable than the long-distance sushi fish I was reading about in The Sushi Economy.
Lilikoi is Hawaiian for passionfruit, and it's wonderful. I just checked on the history of this plant: it seems that no one knows its native origin. It's popular in climates like this, but the plant species can be invasive. Here in Hawaii, besides the delicious cheesecake, I've enjoyed lilikoi salad dressing, lilikoi cream cheese, and lilikoi-flavored ice cream and fruit drinks.
Hawaii always offers a multi-ethnic dining experience. Even the brewpub offerings point to Hawaii's complex history. Here's an example: Aloha-brand soy sauce, which -- the bottle says -- has been made here since 1948.
Other items on the brewpub menu include pizza, quesadillas or sandwiches with local-style pork, and various sandwiches, along with the beer, of which some is brewed on premises. It's a nice outdoor atmosphere, with shade provided by overlapping orange umbrellas, and waiters in (what else?) Hawaiian shirts.
Thinking about what's global and what's local is a real conundrum in Hawaii. Everything is both!