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’Ulu Ocean Grill – ‘Regional, Seasonal and Artisanal’

November 17, 2014, 8:00 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 12:24 PM
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Located at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the North Kona Coast, ‘Ulu Ocean Grill & Sushi Lounge is shaking things up in the world of Big Island resort dining.

Not only do they offer creatively savor-full menu selections, but they’ve also received numerous awards and accolades, including being named as one of the “100 Best Scenic View Restaurants in America” by OpenTable.

If their billion dollar Pacific Ocean views, stylish modern-Hawaiian deco, and open air dining doesn’t impress you enough, then you must know that their service is top-a-top. The ‘Ulu Team is knowledgable and impressive with their interactive wine pairing guide, explored via iPad, and their expressive menu featuring over 75% locally sourced ingredients. It’s entirely possible that ‘Ulu Ocean Grill could be quickly becoming an important leader for future Hawai’i restauranteurs.

Enticing Makai (ocean) menu items include selections like the Crispy Local Octopus, Kona Mussels and Grilled Sriracha Shrimp. The WOW Heirloom Tomato Salad, Roasted Kekela Beet Salad with Smoked Puna Goat Cheese, and the Big Island Wild Boar Baozi Steamed Buns are obvious choices on the Mauka (land) menu, and so is the Kampachi Sashimi from the Sushi menu.

From the Wood Oven Roasted menu, suggestions like the Local Swordfish and the Big Island Tomahawk Steak For Two sound like a definite crowd pleaser, and the Wild Caught Lobster Tails and Charred Hawaiian Hapu from the Flame Grilled menu sound pretty much melt-in-your-mouth.


Speaking on ‘Ulu’s artistic menu choices, Executive Chef Massimo Falsini stated, “As different as the Mediterranean and Hawai’i may be, there are many common threads here, and the connection between my grandmother’s kitchen and mine here at Hualalai is definitely clear.”


At first glance, you might think this quote seems odd, but when pondered, this is quite a remarkable statement. Comparing the roots of two beautiful culinary cultures like Mediterranean and Hawaiian is in fact, as he said, quite clear. Both food cultures have roots in ocean trade, are drawn upon various subcultures, utilize rare and unique ingredients, and are based upon community; famiglia in Italian, ‘ohana in Hawaiian.

Not only are the dishes flavorful and pretty at ‘Ulu, but adding to this welcomed Big Island goodness is an exclusive weekly event. Every Saturday, Chef Chris Damskey and the ‘Ulu entourage offer Hawai’i foodies and guests (space is limited to 40 guests) an opportunity to partake in a Farm-To-Table Dinner. Here, you’ll find over 160 local farmers and fishermen that supply ‘Ulu’s tasty creations, and guests have many chances to marvel over a host of delicious boutique wine varieties. This luxurious Hawai’i fine dining experience continues on with a four-course prix-fixed meal.

If you’re a food lover, or someone who likes to see a Hawai’i menu that pushes the limits, check out ‘Ulu Ocean Grill & Sushi Lounge. This hip venue definitely has something for everyone. Reservations are recommended and they are open seven days a week. For more information, visit their website.

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