Reid, 8. September 2007, 11:20

Now on to ‘Elua (where the old L’Uraku was on Kapiolani)

I haven’t been enthusiatic about writing about this place. Perhaps, it’s because my original experience at a Padovanni restaurant was so memorable, and this recent experience so forgettable.

The service was not very good. We considered cancelling because they insisted that they could not accomodate one additional last minute add on. The restaurant didn’t seem really crowded when we got there, although it filled up later. The waiter didn’t seem very knowledgeable about the food either, although that wasn’t a big issue.

The main problem was the food, particularly at the prices they set. I had a veal dish, which was strongly recommended by the waiter. Yes, it was OK, but nothing that would make me come back. I also had the suggested wine with the dish, which I didn’t care for. Let me back up. I started with the terrine of foie gras, which I didn’t care for. The taste was kinda bland. Maybe that’s who it supposed to taste, but I didn’t care for it. The wine paired with the dish was OK. (It was almost $30!)

The other dishes just seemed OK, too. A lot of people got a fish dish that had a Thai curry type of sauce, which looked good, but I didn’t get to try it. My niece had a paparadelle with wild board ragut. Good, but nothing great.

By the way, “Elua divides the menu in two: on one side you can get dishes prepared by Phillpe Padovanni and the other by the chef from Donato (can’t recall his name). The Donato’s food tastes very similar except it seems a little more expensive. If you like the food, I’d go to his Basta Pasta, which is very similar (if not the same) at a cheaper price.

Finally, the ambiance was really dull and drab. There were lots of dark wood and high leather backed chairs that made the place feel like an old cigar room/men’s club. I don’t know, but I didn’t like the vibe.

I have no desire to return to this place.

1 Response to “‘Elua”

  1. pen

    What a difference a year makes!

    I really enjoyed my meal here. They have a special seasonal prix fixe menu, but my friend and I elected to eat off of the Padovanni side of the menu. We split the seared foie gras and fresh roasted fig salad as an appetizer. Big pieces of rich, buttery foie gras. The plump figs were soft with just a tinge of sweetness. Both played off the basalmic vinegarette deliciously. *sigh*

    I had the beef tenderloin in port sauce. It came with slices of fingerling potatoes, baby carrots and string beans. Yum. My friend had duck confit deep-fried! on a bed of lentil ragout. Crispy duck skin on top of melty-duck fat. Hard to go wrong.

    For dessert my friend had the lilikoi panna cotta, which was silky smooth and topped with a tart lilikoi syrup. I had the chocolate mousse-like “cake” but there was not actual cake. More like a dense, but light mousse. All together (not including tip or tax, but including coffee and iced tea), we spent $100. Not bad, I thought. I am definily returning!

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