Pau Hana at Moon & Turtle in Downtown Hilo

A dear friend recently celebrated a birthday. A birthday is a calendar entry that reminds me to spend time with those we cherish. What a good excuse to get together for a quick pau hana cocktail–unwind with pals with some laughs as we enjoy good cocktails and food.

We visited one of my favorite downtown Hilo restaurants, Moon and Turtle, owned by friend and fellow Hilo High grad, Chef Mark Pomaski.

Our favorite things were on the menu on this afternoon.  We ordered small plates of Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Smokey Sashimi, Choi Sum, and Ahi Katsu Sliders. Everything was incredibly ono, as always. The Brussels sprouts were flavored with a citrusy, slightly garlicky fish sauce and topped with crunchy iriko. This makes for crispy Brussels goodness~and it’s a vegetable dish so we had no guilt as we inhaled the entire bowl. In fact, we were so excited about eating it that I forgot to take a picture of it. If the smokey sashimi made with locally caught ahi and topped with daikon and the perfectly flavored shoyu is on the menu, I automatically order it. On this night, for five of us, we requested two orders. The choi sum was something I hadn’t had at Moon & Turtle before. I loved the sweet corn topping on the veggie and the abalone/oyster sauce flavoring was light and complemented the dish well.  The ahi katsu sliders is another must-have dish. Each order comes with two sliders so we requested three orders. This is not just any old fish sandwich.  This is a crispy, perfectly cooked ahi katsu on a soft potato roll, served with cool crisp lettuce, sweet tomato, and a perfectly flavor balanced sweet chili aioli.  Several members of our group went home with takeout order of ahi katsu sliders and Brussels sprouts.  (Yes, we think about our husband and children even when we are out with friends.) My husband loves the sliders and was so happy that I brought an order home for him.

Call up a friend today and make your reservation at Moon and Turtle (961-0599).  It’s a great spot to get together with friends because both the small and large dishes are served family style~my favorite style. The more people you bring, the more you can order, and that means the more things you can taste. Don’t wait until tomorrow; enjoy your friends today. Living Hilo Style.

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