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First Look: Ravish at The Modern Honolulu

Ravish, the newest farm-to-table foodie destination, replaces Morimoto Waikīkī.


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Duck

The Ravish duck.
Photos: Courtesy of Ravish

 

Ravish, the newest farm-to-table foodie destination in Waikīkī, fills the void left by Morimoto, which recently left its space in The Modern Honolulu. The room itself is largely the same, but the mixed-media artwork is fresh and hip, and there appear to be a few more cozy nooks for casual pūpū and cocktails.

 

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We recently checked out Ravish as part of a media release launch dinner, sitting outside to take full advantage of the sunset as we sampled a preselected menu.

 

Executive chef Fred DeAngelo, formerly of the award-winning Ola restaurant on the North Shore, leads the team. Both he and chef Keith Pajinag seem to follow a “less is more” philosophy: Use fresh, seasonal, local ingredients and fish, add a few cosmopolitan flavors, then get out of the way. Their “Pacific Inspired, Soul Infused” cuisine incorporates South American flavors with Pacific Asian foods.

 

Bar

 

We sampled the caramelized cauliflower with burrata, duck prosciutto and pine nuts. Be sure to get an element of each flavor in each bite. The beef tartare, topped with a quail egg and served with crispy, salty toast, is mixed tableside, a nice touch. The hamachi with jalapeño and ponzu sauce is a wonderful riff on local and South American flavors, as is the crab with chorizo crust and Buddha Hand preserve. The Ravish duck includes a mini-confit and slices of very tender seared duck breast with guava hoisin. The braised pork belly is melt-in-your-mouth soft and drizzled with a unique lavender honey that we were still talking about 15 minutes later. We finished with the Chocolate and Gold, a pillowy dark chocolate cremeux on a delicate crust that is somewhere between cookie crumbs and candy, accompanied with praline and topped with gold leaf. Our Spanish Tempranillo wine paired nicely with the Earl Grey gelato that accompanied the dessert. Guests who ordered the vegan menu gave two thumbs up to the coconut sorbet with candied mac nuts, again beautifully plated.

 

Ravish table spread

 

How much will dinner run you? Entrées fall in the $15 to $30 range, with fish and oysters at market rate. The sushi and sashimi small plates range from $3 to $14. Multicourse tastings are also available, including a five-course prix fixe for $40, and a chef’s sashimi tasting for $60.

 

The drink menu features a dozen innovative cocktails created with local ingredients, courtesy of mixologist Davin Alexander. We like the Don’t Skip a Beat, which features freshly juiced beets, house-made ginger syrup and shiitake-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon. They’re pricy$14.

 

Cocktails

Don’t Skip a Beat ($14).

 

That’s a drink price that’s getting more common around town, but it pushes Ravish over to the special-occasion end of the spectrum for local folks. Take an out-of-town guest or a client who wants to see the sunset. The attention to detail, the view, the food and drink, and the free valet parking make this spot a good option for dinner in Waikīkī without the usual hassle of Waikīkī. It also makes a good option if you’ve got foodie friends who happen to have dietary restrictions, as everyone can enjoy something on the menu. There are many vegan dishes available, and we were asked about any food allergies/preferences before our orders were taken.

 

Celebrating? Swing by the Raw Bar and Char Grill station to see the fresh offerings of the day. Start with the beef tartare because it’s that good and having it mixed tableside lends a romantic touch. Order the ceviche or try the Three Little Pigs—belly, cheek and rib with scrumptious lavender honey glaze. Finish with the Ring of Fire—a dark chocolate, flaming after-dinner drink with Kahlua, Bailey’s and mezcal, topped with a marshmallow and toasted at the table.

 

Coconut dessert

THE COCONUT SORBET WITH CANDIED MAC NUTS.

 

The Modern Honolulu, 1775 Ala Moana Blvd., nightly 5 to 10 p.m., happy hour 5 to 7 p.m. 943-5900, ravishhonolulu.com

 

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