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February 7, 2010

Since coming to Hawaii I’ve felt that restaurateurs don’t really take full advantage of the natural setting they are blessed with. Even in Waikiki you find far too many restaurants tucked away inside hotels like old heirlooms locked inside a safety deposit box.

My ideal Honolulu restaurant looks a lot like Mariposa, which is located on the top floor of Nieman Marcus in Ala Moana. It is worth dining at for the ambiance alone. Elegant palm frond fans slowly churn the air around the vaulted ceiling, and the dining space opens onto an elongated lanai overlooking Ala Moana beach park and the marina. This is the Hawaii you’ve been looking for.

The food, when I lunched there, was enjoyable, though not noteworthy. The best thing was actually the puff pastries with strawberry cream that came before the meal. Everyone in our party could have eaten just that and been satisfied. I ordered some kind of beef and mushroom ragout pasta dish that was competently prepared, although a little heavy on the pepper, and I love pepper. Only dessert was a letdown. The mousse I went with was not very mousse-like, a veritable dearth of rich decadence. The other desserts didn’t look much better. Maybe we should have stuck to the puff pastries.

Overall, though, the food plus the experience catapults Mariposa to the top of my list for the ultimate lunchtime destination.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 9, 2011 3:09 am

    Agreed. We love Mariposa, both for the atmosphere and the food. The perfect place to grab lunch.

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