Night at the Park

November 13, 2013 | By Yu Shing Ting

Experience new-style Mediterranean-inspired cuisine at the newly opened Park, overlooking Kapi’olani Park.

Tucked away in the Lotus Honolulu hotel on the second floor, just about where Kalakaua Avenue ends between the majestic views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean, is Park—a new restaurant offering Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, prepared with innovative, modern techniques and enjoyed in a comfortable, contemporary setting.

The menu also is very wine-influenced with every dish made for pairing, including selections from a list of 25 bottles for under $25.

From presentation to the interestingly harmonious mix of ingredients, textures and flavors, it’s evident that great attention is put into every detail of each dish. The goal is the perfect bite from beginning to end.

Among the uniquely prepared appetizers is the Grilled Watermelon Salad ($8) with harissa, Stilton blue cheese, arugula, smoked paprika popcorn and a citrus vinaigrette.

There also is the Park Grilled Oysters ($3 each) featuring a smaller, sweeter Miyagi oyster from the deep waters off the coast of Kona. Served raw, it’s flashed in some heat for the butter to melt, features four different types of seaweed, and is garnished with edible sand (made from seaweed flour and brown butter).

And from the bar menu, the Lamb Spare Ribs ($15) are a must-try. Prepared sous vide style, where it’s slow-cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag for 24 hours at a very low temperature, the dish features rosemary orange gastrique, rosemary salt and house-made pickles.

At Park, organic and local ingredients are used as much as possible; and there’s a chef’s garden upstairs with a variety of flowers and herbs, such as nasturtiums, marigolds and radishes.

And while it’s not noted on the menu, the kitchen can create dishes to accommodate vegans and gluten-free diets.

Overlooking Kapi’olani Park, the restaurant’s main dining room is open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome. There also is a private dining room for up to 10 people. Complimentary valet parking is available at the Lotus, or there also is nearby street parking.

Photos: Tony Grillo

Aqua Lotus Honolulu
2885 Kalakaua Ave. (second floor) [D:12 Waikiki Map]
(808) 791-5161
Dinner (main dining room) 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Bar 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Closed Sundays