The Hanalei Center patio provided amazing views of cloud-capped mountains lined with multiple waterfalls. Ama could have served me a pail of gruel, and I still would have been pretty content. Char siu mazemen was a step up from gruel.
Chef Jim Moffat and business partner Jondy Malone build on the considerable success of tapas mainstay Bar Acuda with Ama, an adjacent Japanese restaurant that doesn’t fit with their backgrounds, but has still proven to be a hit. They take sourcing seriously, buying produce from local farms and noodles from Sun Noodle in Honolulu that service many top ramen shops on the islands. I opted for Char Siu Mazemen ($18) featuring springy alkaline noodles topped with minced pork belly, pickled red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, Fresno chiles, and garlic chips. The “dry” ramen was fairly well balanced, though my wife found the dish too sweet. I added a soft egg ($2) that was sliced in half and touted a gooey medium-cooked yolk that melded seamlessly with the sauce.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.