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Hawaiian Food Returns to Treetops

Treetops Restaurant reopens in Mānoa after a yearlong hiatus.


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Photos: Lennie Omalza

 

After a yearlong renovation, Treetops Restaurant at Paradise Park in Mānoa Valley has reopened. The birds aren’t back, but the restaurant once again offers a solid option for your typical local party or baby lūʻau. The remodeled version includes a rebuilt kitchen, ADA-compliant bathrooms, a stage and a small lounge.

 

The main attraction here is the buffet, which gives access to a salad bar full of fresh veggies, plus a selection of dishes you’d expect to see at a lūʻau: kālua pork, lomi salmon, long rice and so on. There’s also both regular kimchee and cucumber kimchee, which was a nice surprise, especially since the cucumber kimchee is fresh and crisp.

 

While the kālua pork is moist and tender, the lomi salmon tastes more like lomi tomato, sprinkled with bits of salmon. The fried rice looks and tastes different from typical “local” fried rice. But that might be because it’s not oily, which is a nice departure from many versions of this dish. Treetops’ version of chicken long rice is also different from what we’re used to. Unfortunately, this time it was soupy, very green and somewhat tasteless.

 

 

The desserts, on the other hand, look simple but have just the right amount of flavor to tickle the taste buds. Treetops offers cake in three flavors: banana, coconut and chocolate. Each comes in a moist, dense square, topped off with a thin layer of frosting on each. The cakes themselves are very light, with most of the sweetness in the frosting. The fudge-like and haupia frostings are delicious, but we especially like the version atop the banana cake, which tastes just like Runts banana candy.

 

Another thing Treetops does well is the service. After we were greeted by two pleasant employees upon entering, we were given the option of dining indoors or outdoors. Once seated, our waiter quickly took our drink orders and checked on us several times throughout the visit. (He even offered to model in our photos!) There were also employees constantly checking the buffet line, ensuring everything was fully stocked. For $19.95, it’s a step up from your average baby lūʻau.

 

Treetops Restaurant is located at 3737 Mānoa Road, 988-6838.

 

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