Set in a drab shopping mall (feels just like LA) is Hilo Bay Cafe, a favorite for fresh favorites with a unique island twist.
The room is upscale by Hilo standards and downright ugly (but trying) by any others. The warm service certainly helps make up for it and the food is comforting and tasty.
The menu is a cross section of new American favorites using locally sourced ingredients.
Roasted eggplant Parmesan custard with rosemary bread has to be ordered based solely on the description. Creamy deliciousness and a unique twist on an old favorite, The Monster is a happy camper to start.
Crab cakes with local mixed greens, wontons, chili aioli, tomato and sesame dressing is next on the docket. Mostly crab and not filling, they are a nice rendition. The greens are appreciated here, a full salad of freshness with a lovely dressing.
Fish and chips with caper tartar sauce is the entrée choice. Not overly fried, you can actually taste the fish which is a nice change of pace and the fries are nice and thick just the way The Monster likes them.
For dessert, locally made pineapple sorbet and Tahitian vanilla ice cream are a sweet end to a truly satisfying meal.
The place gets crowded quickly, testament to the food. One quibble would be the price (on the high side for Hilo), but the adage holds true, you get what you pay for.
Why go? Eggplant Parmesan custard.
Monster rating: 3½/5 Monsters
315 Maka’ala Street, Suite 109
Hilo, HI 96720