Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pearl - Ala Moana Center

I feel I've been letting my devoted readers down.  First, I went on a 10-day hiatus while I was celebrating the holidays back home. Second, now that I'm back, I have been lazy and haven't written anything.  I suppose it will just take some time to get back into the swing of things.  I will start with a restaurant review.  Last night a friend of mine (sort of, she is actually friends with my roommate, but I have met her and hung out with her a few times) had her birthday.  She decided to get everybody together for drinks and appetizers at a swanky club called Pearl (1450 Ala Moana Boulevard - see map here)  It's located in the Ala Moana Shopping Center, which is a HUGE outdoor mall.  The shopping center/mall is actually really nice.  The layout of the mall, however, is a complete nightmare.  It's not your typical mall with a couple stories laid out in a square.  No, leave it to the Hawaiians to screw up a mall.  I have been to this place 3 times now and I have gotten lost every single time.  In order to get there, you have to walk through weird underground parking garages.  Then, once you're in, corridors and walkways just randomly end without notice or change floors randomly or are cut off by escalators.  There is a fourth floor that can only be accessed on one side of this mega mall.  It's a nightmare trying to find something specific.

That brings me to Pearl.  Pearl is classified on the mall directory as a nightclub.  Let me just say I hate nightclubs more than I hate museums.  So the plan was to go for a drink and then head home.  I search for this stupid place for like a half an hour before finally finding that you have to walk down a weird alley with no stores and just guard rails in order to find it.  It is actually on the top level of one of the parking garages.  If you're having trouble picturing it, that's normal.  I have been there and still can't picture it.  Anyway, I finally get inside and it's not really a nightclub at all (at 7pm, anyway).  I would call it more of a lounge (similar to Indigo in Chinatown).  Attention Martini Lovers: they have $5 happy hour martinis that are pretty good.  Happy hour is from 4-8pm and all their appetizers are also $5.  You can also get beer for $3.  The food was pretty good.  I had the tropical shrimp (Crispy fried coconut crusted shrimp served with a spicy pineapple relish) and they were delicious.  I tried someone else's stuffed mushrooms (filled with crab meat and vegetables baked with parmesan cheese) and they, too, were delicious.  The service was decent, but not great.  We had a big group and we were the only ones in the place and people still had to search around to get refills on drinks.

The place was a great happy hour spot and I would recommend checking it out if you're walking around the mall doing some shopping.  Otherwise, there's no real reason you should make a special trip.

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