First of all, sorry but I didn't have my dica with me so no pics.... =(
Had dinner at Pearl last night which is located in the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Was originally gonna go to Macaroni Grill cuz I scored a gift card from there and had never been there before but when we got there, they said it was a 45-60 minute wait so we said forget it. But on the way to Macaroni Grill, we had passed by Pearl and I had remembered reading an article about its food in the paper a few weeks ago so we decided to check it out.
Pearl is a restaurant/lounge/nightclub. I think it's a restaurant till 10pm, which is when they dim the lights and crank the music. We had a seat at one of the elevated tables with stools near the main bar at the entrance. The interior design was pretty stylish and eye pleasing.
The food is served tapas style, which is pretty much pupu style. Small portions so you can sample a whole bunch of different things. We started off with 3 things...the Pearl salad, the mini Kobe burgers, and the crab cakes.
The Pearl salad was uninspiring. I forget what kind of lettuce it was but the leaves were too "stemmy" and not leafy enough. I really enjoy goat cheese too but the cheese that came with this salad didn't have enough bite to me. And the dressing was lacking as well. I won't be ordering this salad again.
The other two dishes, however.....wow! Muy ono! The mini Kobe burgers were delicious. The tender Kobe patties are served with a sliver of avocado and a slice of tomato on a roll bun. It comes with fries as well, but only 6 of them, hand cut and nicely stacked log cabin style with a spicy dipping sauce in the middle. This dish was definitely winnahs.
The crab cakes were really good too. Tons of dungeness crab meat packed nicely into a little bun about 2" in diameter. Flaky, crisp, juicy, and drizzled with a tangy sauce. Ono!
At this point, we were getting a little full but was so impressed by the two dishes we liked we decided to order one more. We decided on the Wok Fried BBQ Prawns (small portion). This dish came with 4 prawns surrounding a mound of Chinese style rice, all marinated in a spicy Chinese style BBQ sauce. The sauce was very good, but a bit too spicy, even for my Korean palette. But the prawns were tender and tasty.
For dessert, we got the Glazed Apple Bananas which came with macadamia nut brittle and a small scoop of vanilla sherbert. Not too sweet, not too rancid, but just right!
As for the service, our waitress (Crystal) was very friendly but a bit ditzy at times. After we made our initial order, she came back about 5 minutes later and asked us, "what did you order again?" Uh....okay.....But she was very cute and the kind of look that I'm positive Wayne's World will appreciate. We also ordered a drink each. I had a glass of Reisling which they called "Asian Persuasion" and my friend had a virgin cocktail. Surprsingly, the bartender walked over to our table and gave my friend a 2nd drink of her order at about halfway through our meal, free of charge! Cool!
The total damage for the evening was about $53. With tip, it came to about $62. And $13 of that was our 2 drinks. So we're talking about a very affordable dinner out for some pretty good food. All of the tapas selections are under $10 and the entree selections are a little more but you can order small portions of those.
After this initial visit, I'd recommend Pearl for a nice dinner outing. Good ambience, passable service, and good food for a reasonable price. I'd much rather go here than somewhere like a Ruby Tuesday's where the damage would be similar. I think it's ideal for a date situation as well cuz it's a little dark, but not too dark where your girl might get a little anxious about wondering what the level of your relationship is. The restaurant gives off that casual vibe, while teasing you with a hint of possible hooking up. Perfect! Check it out!
And once again, sorry no pics. I know that they would've really helped...