Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dear Reader Looking for Hamakua Alii Mushroom Recipes

To all two of those readers:

I don't have any new recipes. I haven't seen any mushrooms in the market to buy, but I also wasn't looking very hard for them.


I do have a Hamakua Alii mushroom idea!

A couple weeks ago, we went to V Lounge, one of our favorite happy hour spots in Honolulu. I'm not sure if this is unique here, but the character of the place changes over the course of the evening. Monday through Saturday, at 5:30 pm when we get there, the two booths are already full with couples or quads. One or two of the other tables have couples. They are either professionals like us or tourists. By 7 or 7:30 pm, when we're ready to leave, groups celebrating an occasion, or families - young children in tow - troop in.

I've never been there at 10 pm when it's crazy-packed with pre-clubbers, or 4 am when they push the last of the post-clubbers out the door. So, you decide which group you fit in with, and come!

Back on topic. What do you drink there? It's up to you. The happy hour prices on selected items are insane! And now they have a wine list (not happy-hour priced, but it looks varied and interesting!)

What do you eat there? Have one or two of the specials - they are always good and super-delicious. We had roasted cauliflower with pesto, anchovies and a touch of melted gorgonzola - heaven! Groan-inducing. I could attempt to duplicate it, but I don't have a kiawe (mesquite) oven. The other special was roasted mortadella with grainy mustard and sauerkraut. So yummy!

Other specials have included moi (farm raised fish) - #ohsogood! - also Waimanalo prawns and roasted beets.

But we always - ALWAYS! - have the Prima pizza. These are thin-crusted pizzas with charred edges. The Prima has fresh mozzarella, an egg yolk, truffle oil, other good stuff and - YES! - Hamakua Alii mushrooms, thinly sliced lengthwise.

I think it's the combination of the mushroom texture with the truffle oil umami that make this taste like abalone to me. Trust me when I say: IT TASTES GOOD!

If you can't make it to V Lounge, then you might try this at home. And please let me know how it turns out.

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