Foodgasmic dish: Smoked salmon benedict
I only had three prerequisites when choosing the restaurant for Anthony's birthday brunch; it had to be 1) beachfront, 2) in Kailua-Kona, and 3) not too expensive, since I had splurged on his birthday dinner celebration. After reading countless reviews, Island Lava Java, a small, casual restaurant facing the bay, became the clear winner. Since some pictures on Yelp showed its tables covered in white table cloth, I figured it couldn't be that informal. However, other pictures were taken of a long counter inside the restaurant for orders, implying that wait service was nonexistent and customers instead stood in line. I didn't know what to expect, but everyone raved about the food, so I returned to OpenTable and made our reservations.
On our final day on the Big Island, Ian (our favorite cabbie again!) dropped us off in the parking lot and made plans to pick us up later to take us to the airport. Island Lava Java was packed when we arrived, so I'm glad I had made reservations. Much to my relief, the restaurant had white table cloth and wait service.
We were seated at the exact table we had been eyeing while weaving through the crowd. It was perfect - in the shade, close (but not too close) to the live music, and offered a direct view of the coast on Ali'i Drive, the winding, beach-lined road that I had quickly become fond of.
Anthony and I both wanted the smoked salmon benedict on a buttered croissant (wouldn't you?). Is it ironic or completely predictable that Anthony, the birthday boy, was the one to cede the benedict and order a ciabatta burger instead? Children in Western society (the only society about which I can justifiably make claims) are taught that on their birthday, self-absorption is condoned, even encouraged, and that every desire should be satiated - usually by an eager parent. Perhaps it is a mark of maturation when we become more selfless on our birthday, or at least act more selfless (is there a difference between being and acting selfless?). It is precisely because of that ingrained sense of entitlement that the older we get, the more steps we take to consciously act the opposite way. Somewhere between a spoiled six-year-old and a jaded adult embarrassed by his age lies the better part of decorum.
How did I get from croissants to social norms? I'm not quite sure what point I was trying to make, especially since Anthony probably let me have the smoked salmon because the burger really did sound just as enticing.
|Anthony's burger - not a bad alternative at all|
|My smoked salmon benedict on a buttered croissant, served with potatoes|
Despite the staff ignoring my note on OpenTable that we were celebrating Anthony's birthday, just like at our dinner at Honu's (what's going on, Big Island restaurants?!), our Island Lava Java brunch was the perfect meal to conclude our weekend in Kailua-Kona. After a few more hours of playing tourist, i.e. gallavanting around hotels, checking out tacky shops, and snacking on too many Hawaiian treats, we caught our final cab back to the airport and headed home.