Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Blossoming Lotus

As you are no doubt well aware by now after weeks of gloating and anticipating, and then reporting live just to rub it in a little more, I recently had the sublime opportunity to visit Kauai. Yes, I will be posting photos once I have the patience to sit down with the computer and download them, okay, settle. Settle! But for now, you will have to just deal with a super-duper restaurant shout-out, m’kay?

Before the trip, I was so graciously provided some hot tips by the ever-adorable Calivalleygirl on things to do and see in Kauai, and one of the things she highly recommended, even as a self-proclaimed meat-eater, was the Blossoming Lotus Restaurant. Assphincter boy says what? What? A meat-eater liking a vegan restaurant enough to visit twice and even recommend to others? I had to see this (and eat this) for myself. Especially since yours truly is trying to integrate more raw vegan food into her usual steady diet of chocolate, wine and snark.

Let me start by saying how beautiful this place is on the inside. It looks like what you would expect a super cool zen master who lives in a chic section of Bali’s living room to look like. And the servers are so sweet and caring and, unlike a lot of restaurant personnel I have encountered, they treated us like we were their best friends and they had all the time in the world for us, gently explaining what this or that strange term was, even though I’m sure they’ve had to do it a thousand times before. There was a certain, oh how do you say, a light? that came from within the staff there. They were glowy. And they played some kick-ass funk oldies like "Play That Funky Music White Boy" and "You Dropped a Bomb On Me. Baby." But I digress. Let’s talk food.

We had this red-pepper hummus thing with pita slices that was really tasty and kinda spicy. Ooooh, and the lemonade with passionfruit was the bomb. I have never had it made that way, and I am quite the lemonade snob. I hate the pre-made sugary crap, it blows. This was real lemonade with real fruit, nice and tart and refreshing and nothing getting in the way.

Derek and I decided to get two things and do sharesies. Now, my fave sammich in the WORLD is a well-made Reuben. By well-made, I mean in a decent deli with quality meats and breads, ALWAYS turkey pastrami since I don’t eat pigs, and always on toasted sourdough. Well this place has their version of a Reuben. I was skeptical, I mean, pounded tempeh instead of pastrami, are they serious? But oh man it was so messy and delicious with lots of saurkraut and Russian dressing. I was so bummed when I got full and couldn’t finish it dudes, I wanted that thing in my belly so bad! We also shared the Rama's Red Curry, which is Okinawan purple sweet potato in a creamy red coconut curry sauce. It was unique, but not in a unique-ew! kinda way. It was tasty and different, like an exotic dish in a fancy Indian restaurant. And sometimes different is good. True flavor is good. It keeps you on your toes.

Most astounding was sitting across from a total meat-eater and not hearing one single complaint during the entire meal, but instead a steady chorus of mmmmm’s and aaaahhhh’s and chompin’ and sippin’ his hibiscus/lavender iced tea.

Oh, and the best part? Rather than feeling sluggish and full and tired afterward, you feel kinda bouncy and peppy and stuff, and ready to go off and do some more chillaxin’. Next time I visit Kauai, you will find my butt there, scarfing up whatever they give me.

Blossoming Lotus
4504 Kukui St.
Kapa'a, Kauai , HI 96746
Telephone: 808-822-7678


bee said...

I'm getting hungry just reading about it!

CaliValleyGirl said...

I think one of the best things about that place is when the check comes. You are like...what? Only that? I mean, you get this gourmet meal, which if you had had their meat equivalents at another restaurant on the island, they would have totally gouged you. And yes, everything about that place is great. And the carob cake? Is sooo crazy good. And I am such a meat eater...I mean, I gross my bf out with the tartar and bloody steak I eat, but Blossoming Lotus is just such good food. I will have to try the reubens. Good tip!
I am so glad you liked it!