Living Hilo Style Inaugural Dinner at Moon and Turtle

October 15, 2015

10/16/15 9:26 p.m. update:  This group of amazing women donated a grand total of $995 to Easter Seals Hawaii!!!

Living Hilo Style partners, Anne and Jenn, worked with good friend Wendy, to plan the inaugural Living Hilo Style event.

A couple of months ago, Jenn, Wendy and I–three Hilo pals, got together and talked about planning a dinner where we could bring 30 of our closest friends together and enjoy good food while celebrating our existing friendships and making new ones.   More importantly, we wanted to use the power of our friendships to do awesome things for our community.  Living Hilo Style was born out of our desire to combine all our loves into one venture; our love for friendship, food, our community, while having lots of fun.  Through Living Hilo Style, we hope to support our local businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, and worthy causes who make Hilo such a fabulous place to live.  We love the people and the community of Hilo and want to share our love for Hilo with you.  (We also know that Hilo people love to travel and we will bring our non-Hilo adventures to you too.)

Back to our inaugural event.  As we brainstormed, we chose to work with Moon and Turtle who recently garnered the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Neighbor Island Restaurant at the 2015 ‘Ilima Awards and bronze recognition for Best Big Island Restaurant at last month’s Hale ‘Aina Awards. Chef/owner Mark Pomaski, a Hilo High alumnus (and my youngest brother’s classmate and wrestling teammate #GoViks #HiloPeople), pursued his dream of opening a restaurant in his hometown.  Soni Pomaski, Mark’s fabulous wife and co-owner of the restaurant, worked closely with us to make this an awesome experience for all the diners.  Soni says, “These types of events are exciting for us, we are able to create dishes with more finesse and detail than we would normally be able to run during our regular service. They give Mark a chance to play with ideas he has and it’s great for our crew as well. It is fun and we look at it as the  ‘Moon’ aspect of the business, with the ‘Turtle’ being our normal day-to-day service.”  Chef Mark and Soni partnered with our good friend, Kadota Liquor owner, Ryan Kadota to pair each dish with a different drink to bring out the best during our five-course dinner.

On to the food.

Amuse–Pastrami-cured Ahi Sashimi, Smoked Salmon Caviar , Dijon, Rye, Edible Potpourri.  This dish was full of flavor and very reminiscent of pastrami was inspired by Mark’s NYC experiences especially eating at Carnegie Deli that many of you are familiar with.  I never expected to have sashimi taste like pastrami!  YUM–I can’t decide if I like it because it is sashimi or because it reminds me of pastrami.  I just know I like it!

First course-Ono Ceviche-Style Sashimi–Flavors of calamansi, garlic, and celery.  Paired with Koshihikari Echigo Beer (#HISeafoodMonth) This was my favorite dish of the evening.  Chef Mark’s experiences working with a chef from Peru, the birthplace of ceviche, inspired him to bring those flavors to us.  So refreshing and light.  Perfect combination of flavors.

Second course-Soft-Shelled Crab Sunomono–Local cucumber, wakame, ogo, pickled sweet onion, dashi ponzu.  Paired with a bubbly cocktail named Tahitian Lime French 75–Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut, Seagram’s Extra-dry Gin, Tahitian lime juice and sugar.  Chef Mark really showed off his fantastic knife skills with this dish.  So delicate and delicious.

Third course-Clear Soup–Kauai prawn puffs, enoki mushroom, local spinach, Hawaiian seafood dashi.  Paired with Kiku-Masamune Kaho-Gura Junmai Dai-Ginjo sake.  (#HISeafoodMonth) Chef Mark brought his experiences from his time working at Nobu NYC to this dish.  I could eat this soup as a meal.  Just add some rice and it is total comfort food for me.

Fourth course-Pan-Roasted Uku with Hamakua Mushroom Tapenade–Flavors of lemon, parsley, and soy with warabi, semi-dried heirloom tomato, and mushroom rice.  Paired with My Essential Wine, Rosé, France 2014.  Ryan’s best quote of the evening came as he convincingly described the virtues of drinking rosé. “Rosé everyday,” he said.  Then took a sip from his glass and finished with the statement, “Real men drink pink.” Ryan rocks! (#HISeafoodMonth). The person pictured below is clearly not Ryan Kadota–the person pictured is one of our fantastic servers this evening.

Dessert-Short ‘n Sweet Coconut Shortbread Moon Cookie and Hawaiian Crown Milk Chocolate Turtle.  (Cute!!!  Moon and Turtle!)  When the dessert course came out, I was busy mingling and didn’t get a picture of the moon and turtle-themed dessert.  But it was yummy and the perfect last sweet taste to end the evening.

The food was great, but the best part of the evening was getting together with friends, longtime and new, while supporting the Easter Seals of Hawaii.  This group of fabulous ladies opened their hearts to our community and gave generously to our cause of the evening.  The final collection totaled $995!  Look for future events we plan to offer to you.  Let us know if you want to be on our contact list to be notified of future events.

A fun night was had by all. Good friends, loud laughter, delicious food. Doing good while living well. What more can we ask for. Living Hilo Style.

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