Food La La: Park welcomes new chef

Feb. 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

With my friends Toby Tamaye, Aya Nishihara, and Cory Mitsui. Photo by Ritsuko Kukonu.

The author, second from right, with Toby Tamaye, right, Aya Nishihara, left, and Cory Mitsui. (Courtesy Ritsuko Kukonu)

BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Park Restaurant, located at The Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head, opened in August with a Mediterranean menu, but recently went through a complete change in menu with the arrival of new executive chef Yoichi Saito.

The food is now “American Urban Cuisine with an Asian influence,” taking cues from Chef Saito’s experience working in kitchens around the world, from Japan to New York — and even as executive chef at Roy’s in Pebble Beach, California.

Last week I got to check out Park’s new menu! We started off with some of their popular flatbreads (only $7 during happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. daily) that were on the original menu. They’re now served with new toppings.

The Corn and Mushroom Flatbread is Asian-inspired ($11) with garlic butter, Jack cheese, and Arugula.

corn pizza

Everyone wants a perfect shot of the food before they eat!


The Kaui Shrimp Flatbread ($13) was my favorite of the two. It has juicy pieces of shrimp, garlic butter, and fried Meyer lemon – a nice balance between tangy and savory.

lemon pizza

This was not on the menu, but it is called “The Joshua,” after the Lotus general manager Joshua Gray since it’s his favorite thing to eat for dinner. I can see why because it has tons of prosciutto, shrimp and peppers! You can request it even though it’s not on the menu.

joshua pizza

The Baby Romaine Wedge Salad ($11) comes with thick cuts of Kalua bacon and a creamy Feta dressing.


I love spicy food, so I enjoyed the Jalepeno Garlic Shrimp ($12) appetizer with roasted fennel and green apple, topped with a Serrano pepper garlic sauce.


The Japanese Memphis Ribs ($13) are house-cured with a sweet and sour ginger miso marinade. The spicy pickled papaya relish is a nice added touch.


Now on to the main courses! The Grilled Mahi Mahi ($26) is one of Park’s lighter dishes, with a light olive oil asparagus glaze, cherry tomato jam and herb salsa verde.


I was surprised the Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank ($26) was tender and not gamey at all. It is served with mixed vegetables and potato gratin.

lamb shank

My favorite of the three entrees was the Misoyaki Salmon ($28). It is flavorful with a truffle herb sauce and is extremely soft. It reminded me of salmon from Roy’s, which is one of my favorite things to order there.


The grand finale was the Tiramisu ($8). It looks innocent but is actually filled with rum-soaked ladyfingers. I think this is the first time I could actually taste the alcohol in a tiramisu! It was very intoxicating, in a good way.


Park Restaurant is located at 2885 Kalakaua Ave. in The Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head and is open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, call (808) 791-5161 or visit
Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at

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