Perhaps lesser known, the Big Island (Hawaii) presents you with incredible fresh fish, local farm-to-table produce, and some very inventive twists on local-style recipes. We had dinner at Rays on the Bay—the name referring to the manta rays that come out and feed just offshore here. We took in spectacular ocean views, and even better food to boot. At the top of my shortlist was the Aloha Pupu Platter consisting of ahi poke, seared sesame crusted ahi (sashimi grade 1) and guacamame, an interesting yet delicious spin on guacamole made with edamame beans, chili, lime, and tofu. Another not to be missed dish was the fresh cold water Kona lobster. It was sweet, tender and prepared with a brown butter stuffing in the tail shell. If you're a dessert hound, I recommend the upside down pineapple cake served with buttermilk ice cream. All offerings are grilled over Kiawe (think Hawaiian mesquite) and if your dish does not come with fresh Hamakua mushrooms, be sure to ask for a side dish of these little gems, they are like eating mini steaks.
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