Thursday, February 6, 2014

First course: Goofy Cafe embraces local

Nadine Kam photos
Grilled mahimahi with chardonnay butter and local vegetables.

In the old model of national invasions, the conquerors would plow over native cultures and instill their own set of values and traditions. The current tide of Japanese investment in our islands is much more respectful. It would seem they like us, they really do, and many, like Goofy Cafe—which I reviewed Feb. 5 in the Star-Advertiser—are doing what they can to help us negotiate a changing world to preserve what we can of our land, sea and culture.

I feel a similar protective instinct toward China. If I had the proper global standing, I would have told their leaders 20 years ago, look at us and learn from our mistakes. Don't promote the automobile. Don't build super highways. Keep your bikes; promote public transportation. They did the opposite to the detriment of their air and quality of life.

At the front of executive chef Keigo Yoshimoto's menu is Goofy's Traceability Report, as well as its food policy, which is "Local first, organic whenever possible." About 80 percent of its food and condiments are sourced locally, from the basics of Kunia tomatoes, Ewa onions and Big Island Kulana Ranch beef, to rum from Lahaina, and honey and vanilla from the Big Island.

The surf-themed cafe is very comfy, done up in rustic style with a warm wood interior. "Goofy" is a surf/skate/board sport reference to that small proportion of goofy-footed boarders who lead with their right, instead of more common left, foot.

These right-footed folks are viewed as being more artistic and rebellious, terms that reflect nicely on the cafe. Here's a look at a few of the dishes.
Goofy Cafe is at 1831 Ala Moana Boulevard, Suite 201, in front of the Grand Waikikian Hotel. Call 808.943.0077. Open 7 to 11 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch, and 4 to 11 p.m. for dinner. Also

Kale namul.

A special of Big Island abalone ajillo, with plenty of garlic cloves. There is also a Hamakua mushroom version available daily. The textures are similar.

Kahuku corn penne with cream sauce.

Bagna cauda with fresh island vegetables.

Grilled Kahuku corn sticks slathered with 'Nalo herb pesto.

Grilled Shinsato pork chop topped with sliced Hamakua mushrooms and thick, saturated ginger sauce.

Big Island beef loco moco with homemade gravy and brown rice.

Green spaghetti tossed with herb-macadamia nut pesto and Kahuku shrimp.

An 8-ounce Big Island Kulana Ranch ribeye steak served with mild-flavored Maui onion rings and a creamy mash of Molokai sweet potato that tasted richer than the lean steak.

Dark chocolate lava French toast with Big Island honey and Hawaiian chocolate sauce.

Ginger crème brûlée.

No comments:

Post a Comment