Hawaiian Moons has one of the finest food bars on the island. They serve up a mean salad bar and have a tasty hot meal buffet as well. They also happen to serve a tasty-looking clientele that makes noontime grazing a cross between buffet-style eating and accidentally rubbing elbows and other body-bumping parts a two-for-one fun combo. The swirling cosmic dance of reaching for your Mediterranean olive mix while artfully maneuvering between a hippy dad pushing an infant toddler in a shopping cart and a pierced Surf Diva makes the food foraging just that much better.
I went by Hawaiian Moons again at 4 p.m. on a recent Wednesday and counted seven people at the tables. I saw several quarter-turn dip and swerve moves that looked a lot better than the nearby beachfront dance floors. But watch yourself, or it’s “Oops! Your organic fair-trade chocolate imported from the Brazilian rain forest just got in my freshly ground almond/tahini peanut butter!”
The salad portion of the buffet is well done with a combination of crunchy sprinkles of fresh veggies in rainbow colors: purple cabbage, green peppers, orange carrots, bright red beets. It looks like the food is just oozing with crispy, crunchy nutrient goodness. But it’s the little extras that make this salad bar extra good. There are vegan croutons, a complete selection of nut and seed sprinkles, nine different dressings (try the Cardini’s Caesar, the original Caesar dressing) and some surprises like organic egg salad, tuna salad, dolmas, four different olive choices, organic homemade salsa, a to-die-for almond couscous and about 20 more items that add to this do-it yourself adventure.
The hot bar menu rotates daily. The carrot soup is exceptional. The teriyaki free-range turkey is also excellent, and the squeeze bottle of extra teriyaki sauce to moisten the meat is appreciated. The spinach feta puffs and the egg rolls both have a tendency to dry out on the steam table, so be a little wary.
With so many choices, trusting your senses will leave you well rewarded. There are also usually a few Thai noodle dishes and a few miscellaneous Indian curries tossed in for good measure, but all in all, I’d say the salad bar trumps the hot bar. The cool thing is they let you mix and match your plate for the same price for both hot and cold items.
The price is a reasonable $6.29 by the pound. You can expect to pay $10 to $12 for a bountiful and satisfying lunch or dinner including a cold drink nabbed from their grocery aisle and maybe a little bit of that fair trade chocolate imported from the Brazilian rain forest.
If you think about it, it’s like simplifying the shopping: instead of going to the grocery store to buy all of the ingredients, they simplify the process by doing all of the prep work. With such a heavy rotation of daily specials, you can eat at this buffet and never get bored with the menu. MTW