Food La La: The quest for lobster pizza
BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Monkeypod Kitchen has been on my list of new places to check out, but since it’s located in Ko Olina I could never get anyone to join me.
Last month, however, I was able to convince my friend Kelly Loui to go with me with promises there will be lobster pizza — so it would be worth the drive!
It only took us a little more than half an hour to get to Ko Olina from town on an early Thursday afternoon. We arrived around 4 p.m. to check out happy hour; the restaurant had a rustic charm to it and the bar area was buzzing with people watching the NBA finals. Happy hour is offered every day from 3 to 5:30 p.m. (excluding holidays) with half-off appetizers and $9 pizzas.
Specialty cocktails are $8 during happy hour (regular price $12). I tried the Rain Tree Elixir (acai spirit, coconut water, lime, simple syrup, and kaffir lime leaves) which was tangy and refreshing. Kelly got the popular Monkeypod Mai Tai (Old Lahaina light rum, Maui dark rum, lime, orgeat, and orange curacao). She said it was strong but mixing the honey Lilikoi foam into the drink gave it a nice sweet and sour balance.
Spicy seared kauai shrimp with Hau’ula tomato gumbo and grilled cornbread ($7 happy hour, $13.95 regular price).
The shrimp was juicy and tasted fresh. The gumbo was bright and zingy with lots of Cajun flavors. Eating the cornbread after dipping it into the gumbo was like having a Mardi Gras party going on in my mouth! I would order this again.
Pumpkin Patch Ravioli with Kiawe squash, goat cheese and spinach ($5 happy hour, $9.95 regular price).
This dish uses simple ingredients but the combination and freshness of it is what makes it great. It was a happy blend of sweetness from the squash contrasted with the tangy goat cheese. Kelly didn’t like that the ravioli was soft and doughy, but I liked the chewy texture of it.
Wood-roasted chicken wings with garlic, chili, & rosemary, and Tzatziki sauce ($7 happy hour, 13.95 regular price).
These flavorful chicken wings came to the table still sizzling hot! The spicy flavor of the chicken went great with the creamy and mild Tzatziki sauce. I could eat these wings all day long, they were quite addicting.
Bourgeois pizza with Big Island lobster, Hamakua wild mushrooms, parmesan and thyme ($24.95).
This was the main reason why I came here! Lots of chunks of lobsters make this a drool-worthy, decadent pizza. The parmesan cheese flavor is strong so it overpowers the lobster a bit, but overall this pizza is worth the $25 splurge (it’s the only pizza not discounted during happy hour).
The food, service, and atmosphere were great here. I would definitely come back again!
Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at email@example.com.
Ko Olina Station, 92-1046 Olani St.
Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily