RSS
Print This Post Print This Post

REAL La Dolce Vita – Kona Grill With Kim & Sandra

Kona Grill

REAL La Dolce Vita

Kona Grill

East Meets West

By Kim Burns & Sandra Halliday

Photography by James Corwin Johnson

This Pacific inspired cuisine compels you to stay in the present moment and to meditate on the goodness of eating a healthy meal.

Aloha! Like the welcoming state that inspired their name, Kona Grill offers global food. Originating in Scottsdale, Arizona, their Hawaiian and Japanese style menu features contemporary American favorites, sushi, and specialty cocktails.

Josh Tolmach, our host and restaurant general manager, started our food adventure with 2 delectable cocktails to awaken our digestive juices. Kim had the Bee’s Knees IV, which consisted of Stolichnaya vodka, ginger, liqueur, raspberry, honey syrup, and lemon. It was a delicious elixir that heightened the senses with a very unique taste. Sandra had the Red Sangria, a fruity blend of Bogle Merlot from California, Martell Cognac, hibiscus syrup, lemon, orange, and soda. The fruity aroma of black cherry and plum in the Merlot combined with the tropical and zesty citrus flavors was the perfect prelude to the symphony of flavors that was to follow.

Without much hesitation, Josh presented us with a trio of the most colorful dishes from the menu’s entrée selection. The Sweet-Chili Glazed Salmon had shrimp and pork fried rice, steamed broccoli, and French beans sautéed with thinly sliced garlic. A beautiful arrangement of translucent seaweed on top of the salmon garnished the dish. Getting flavor out of French beans is no mean feat. The chef accomplished magic by making the greens taste incredibly tender through the imaginative marriage of salt and seasoning.

Direct from Hawaii, The Pan-Seared Tuna plate consisted of perfectly cooked jasmine rice, sweet ginger-chili sauce, and baby bok choy. Teasing our olfactory senses with its delicate flowery perfume, the jasmine rice intensified our anticipation of savoring the dish placed before us. The freshness of the ingredients combined with its Asian-inspired use of seasoning and greens immediately took us back to a Hawaiian vacation amidst deep blue Pacific waters, green mountains, coconut trees, and tasting the freshest catch of the day.

Our favorite entrée was the Macadamia Nut Chicken. Lightly encrusted chicken sits on top of house-mashed potatoes accompanied by sautéed French beans, shoyu cream, and pineapple-papaya marmalade with black sesame seeds. Shoyu sauce, which is a mixture of soya beans and wheat, has a sweet alcoholic sherry-like flavor. It is used here instead of traditional soy sauce to impart a mild sweetness to the protein.

All our entrees were beautifully presented and were good size portions, which made it possible for us to share generously and to enjoy each other’s food.

From the selection of Kona Rolls, our host recommended the spicy Checkerboard Roll. A favorite of their regular customers, it has habanero-seasoned raw tuna and yellowtail, avocado, and asparagus. Spicy motoyaki sauce dots adorn the rolls. If you’ve never had motoyaki sauce, you must try it.

It’s a blend of umami-loaded Kewpie Mayonnaise and white miso, which brightened the dish in both sight and flavor.

Hawaiian poke is a raw fish salad served in a bowl with a variety of flavorings and toppings. The word poke simply means “chunk” in Hawaiian and the dish began its humble origins with fishermen seasoning the cut-offs of their catch to eat for a snack. Kona Grill’s Original Poke is an offering of sushi rice, chunks of raw tuna and salmon, avocado, red onion, cucumber, and seaweed salad. A sweet sesame sauce provides robust seasoning.

Our sweet conclusion to a most spectacular meal came in the form of a large slice of Carrot Cake—a luscious presentation of 3 layers of shameless decadence with cream cheese frosting and a caramel sauce with toasted walnuts; and the Butter Cake with raspberry sauce and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The acidity of the red raspberry sauce added color and kept the sweetness in check—a perfect yin-yang balance here. Josh tells us that Kona Grill’s sauces are made from scratch. They taste as fresh as they look with their vibrant colors.

Most of the options on the menu is made to order. This flexibility allows the chef to modify the dishes according to the customer’s dietary needs when requested.

Our Asian-inspired meal concluded with hot tea. Josh presented to us a box displaying an assortment of Organic China Mist teas. We tried the Earl Grey, Spring Jasmine, and the relaxing Sweet Chamomile Citrus teas. Our favorite was the Spring Jasmine with its scent of night blooming jasmine. Tea was served in a Japanese cast iron cube pot. Seeing it immediately transported us to a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in Kyoto and reminded us to be mindful of staying in the present moment. What a tranquil end to an unforgettable dining experience!

Kona Grill was built on the promise of providing exceptional experiences and meals that create memories. That aspiration was accomplished in our adventure at the Sarasota Lakewood Ranch location in a most delicious, and nutritious, fashion. We have no doubt that Kona Grill will soon become one of your favorite places to eat, drink, and practice your gastronomic Zen.

Don’t forget to let them know Kim and Sandra sent you!

Kona Grill
UTC Mall (Rear of Mall)
150 University Town Center Dr. Suite #150
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 256.8005
www.konagrill.com/locations/sarasota-fl

Dining Hours:
Mon-Thur – 11a-10p
Fri-Sat – 11a-11p
Sun – 11a-9p

Happy Hour:
Mon-Thur – 3p-11p
Fri – 3p-12a
Sat – 2p-5p and 9p-12a
Sun – All Day

Click HERE to download a PDF of the review.

Copyright © 2017 REAL Exclusive Magazine
Links to this article are encouraged

Share

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply


Featured Properties

Ads

REAL HAPPENINGS

Ready...Set...SAVINGS!

Ready...Set...SAVINGS!

Van Wezel Offers Daily Show Discounts Till Christmas. Van Wezel is running a sale a day on 12 di[...]
December 13, 2018 Deck The Halls

December 13, 2018 Deck The Halls

Enjoy A Self Guided Tour Of Ca’ d’Zan. All decked out for the Holidays, Ca’ d’Zan will be open d[...]
Pantone Announces Color Of The Year

Pantone Announces Color Of The Year

Living Coral Is It For 2019. The official selection for the coming year is Living Coral, or spec[...]
December 7, 1941 Day Of Infamy

December 7, 1941 Day Of Infamy

Remember Pearl Harbor. The Day of Infamy that launched the epic conflict with Japan took place a[...]
Tow To Go Celebrates 20 Years

Tow To Go Celebrates 20 Years

Every 49 Minutes A Drunk Driver Kills Someone In The U.S. In 1998, John Saputo - CEO and Preside[...]
December 14, 2018 Jazz At Two

December 14, 2018 Jazz At Two

Sarasota Jazz Project Performs. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota as they present Jazz at Two at Un[...]
December 6, 2018 Mellon Grant Arts Events

December 6, 2018 Mellon Grant Arts Events

New College Announces December Mellon Grant Arts Events. Dance, music, choreography, Asian film[...]
2018 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival OFFICIAL Wrap Up

2018 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival OFFICIAL Wrap Up

Suncoast Charities For Children Thanks Sarasota Board Of County Commissioners. Suncoast Charitie[...]
December 7, 2018 Jazz At Two

December 7, 2018 Jazz At Two

Greg Nielsen and Friends Performs. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota as they present Jazz at Two at[...]
November 22, 2018 Some Thanksgiving Fun

November 22, 2018 Some Thanksgiving Fun

The Directions Say To Have The Bird Chill In The Sink For A Few Hours... Happy Thanksgiving[...]
November 22, 2018 Happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2018 Happy Thanksgiving

Gather With Friends And Loved Ones To Give Thanks For Life's Blessings. The Pilgrims made seven [...]
November 30, 2018 Jazz At Two

November 30, 2018 Jazz At Two

Skip Conkling and Dixie Mix Performs. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota as they present Jazz at Two[...]
November 23, 2018 Jazz At Two

November 23, 2018 Jazz At Two

Billy Marcus Trio Performs. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota as they present Jazz at Two at Unitar[...]
November 19, 2018 Ringling By the Bay

November 19, 2018 Ringling By the Bay

Ringling By the Bay Features Kettle Of Fish. Join The Ringling at Bolger Campiello on Sarasota [...]
November 11, 2018 Veterans Day

November 11, 2018 Veterans Day

Tomb Of The Unknowns And Veterans Day. Official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day center aro[...]
243rd Anniversary Of The United States Marines

243rd Anniversary Of The United States Marines

All Men Are Created Equal Then Some Become Marines. The official birthday of the United States M[...]
November 16, 2018 Jazz At Two

November 16, 2018 Jazz At Two

Valerie Gillespie Ensemble Performs. Join the Jazz Club of Sarasota as they present Jazz at Two [...]
Third Annual Women’s Sports Museum Gala

Third Annual Women’s Sports Museum Gala

Gala Hits A Homerun For Women’s Sports Museum. More than 200 guests attended the 3rd Annual Wom[...]
November 9, 2018 City Of North Port Real Estate Summit

November 9, 2018 City Of North Port Real Estate Summit

The City Of North Port Hosts Third Annual Real Estate Summit. On Friday, November 9, 2018, from [...]
November 30, 2018 Active Shooter Presentation

November 30, 2018 Active Shooter Presentation

Skills To Enhance Your Survival In An Active Shooter Incident. The Manatee Sheriff's Office is o[...]
Translate »