Mauna Kea Beach Hotel to Bring Balance Back and a visit to FORC

I have been feeling unbalanced lately. Work has been overwhelming and I’ve been needing a break. My friend got a great rate at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and we decided to get away for a weekend. In preparation for this quick weekend getaway, I made sure my Lettuce Grow farmstand had plenty of water, my cars had plenty of gas since my kids would be at home and using the cars, and my bags were filled with lots of snacks for me and my friends. I packed salami, cheese, fruits, nuts and some drinks.

We left after work on a Friday and headed out to the sunny side of the island, checked in at the beautiful Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and took a deep cleansing breath as we popped a bottle of champagne to kick off the weekend. We had dinner at Manta where we enjoyed a couple of seafood platters for our appetizer as we watched the sunset. I had the lobster tempura and garlic fried rice for dinner. The lobster was light and crispy and I’ll never be able to resist garlic fried rice.

The next morning, after breakfast, I went walking on the oceanfront Ala Kahakai Trail from Kauna’oa Bay to Hapuna Beach which runs along the edge of the resort and the ocean. I disconnected from work and connected with friends and we confirmed that Honey BBQ Fritos pairs quite nicely with champagne, seltzers, and white wine.

We loved our dinner that evening in Waimea at FORC. If you can go in a group of at least 5 people who love eating, you’ll be able to order more food and share everything family style. The food we enjoyed were:

  • Grilled Oxtail vina d’alhos style that was served with a delicious potato
  • Grilled Local Pork Tinono
  • House Baked Portuguese Bread
  • Spring Green Caesar Salad
  • Goat Tacos
  • Ho’io Salad
  • Alii Mushroom Poke
  • Garlic Fried Rice (Yes — I can’t resist it.)
  • Charred Sweet Potato
  • Peppercorn Clams
  • Sashimi Appetizer
  • The entree — “Beef Tomato” A humungous local beef shank marinated in bay leaf, ginger, and white wine then braised overnight.
  • My favorite dish of the evening was the Maluhia Butterleaf Lettuce with a brown butter lilikoi dressing, goat cheese, cucumber, radish, and candied mac nuts. In fact, our table ordered either 3 or 4 orders of this salad because we all loved it so much! I think this must be the favorite of many other people since when we talked about it with our server, they came out with a printed copy of the lilikoi dressing recipe! Some of the ingredients in this recipe calls for a quart of lilikoi, 1/2 cup dijon, a pound of butter so I’ll have to figure out how to scale it down so I can enjoy it at home. Or — I think I’ll just have to go back to FORC and order it.
  • We also had desserts. Apple streudel and some kind of delicious shortbread cookie with chocolate.

I’m so grateful for this wonderful weekend in this amazing place with awesome friends that helped me recharge and rejuvenate my energy. Living Hilo Style on the west side.

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