The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Scottsdale Eats – Hula’s Modern Tiki

Boom Boom had a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona last month and I decided to tag along like when we went to Naples, FL  two years ago. But this time, the Pieholes came along so that we could hike, take over the hoity-toity pool area, and other general tomfoolery.

Boom Boom had a work function so we were on our own for dinner.   It being the Southwest, we obviously had to have some Southwest/Mexican food and we did that for lunch.  But I’ll save that post for later.  For dinner, we went to the Old Town area of Scottsdale to check out –

Hula Sign

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This location just opened up earlier this year (the original is in neighboring Phoenix).  It’s describes itself as “a modern twist on the classic tiki restaurants and bars of the 50s and 60s.”  The menu is filled with Polynesian and Asian-style food with a heavy dose of seafood and, of course, a huge selection of tropical cocktails.  I went with the One-Eyed Pyrat –

Pyrat rum, cock ‘n’ bull ginger brew, pineapple juice

Pyrat rum, cock ‘n’ bull ginger brew, pineapple juice

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I liked it a lot – basically a Dark and Stormy but with some pineapple juice.

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Here’s what we ate.

Hula Ceviche

Hawaiian Ceviche – fresh white fish, citrus juice, coconut milk, chili, cilantro, garlic, wonton chips

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Crispy Coconut Spring Rolls - with pineapple-horseradish dipping sauce

Crispy Coconut Spring Rolls – with pineapple-horseradish dipping sauce

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Duke’s Luau Pork Plate - slow roasted pulled pork with soy glaze, pineapple, rice, slaw

Duke’s Luau Pork Plate – slow roasted pulled pork with soy glaze, pineapple, rice, slaw

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Hula Salad

Cajun Ahi Caesar – fresh seared ahi, cajun spices, mango, caesar, parmesan, crispy wonton chips

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Hula Tacos

Hula’s Baja Fish Tacos – white fish, panko and togarashi encrusted, fried, taco slaw, avocado, island remoulade

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Hula Tuna

Lemongrass Encrusted Ahi Tuna – exotic, lime-ginger cream sauce, rice, slaw

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They have several different preparations for fish and diners have the choice of species – Ahi Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Butterfish, and Hapu.  I wanted to go with the Hapu, which was described as delicate and mild, but they were out of it.  My second choice was the Butterfish but the waitress urged me to go with the tuna.

I really should have told her to keep her flippin’ opinion to herself.  It tasted fine but was cooked medium-rare and I prefer my Ahi so rare that it can still do a couple laps with Michael Phelps. And I’m not sure the crust and the sauce were a good fit for tuna as well.   It tasted alright, but I was sitting there wishing for something else – either a different fish or a different preparation of the tuna.   I did sneak tastes of the other dishes and the fish tacos and salad were exceptional.

The wine list wasn’t extensive, but it was serviceable.  I ordered a glass of the Pine Ridge Chenin-Blanc Viognier which had beautiful aromas of grapefruit and tropical fruit.  It was crisp enough for the fish and slightly off-dry which worked well with the spiciness of the sauce.

Overall it was a fun night with very good food and lively atmostphere.  I’m not sure I’d go there for a romantic dinner, but with a group there was enough on the menu for everyone.

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Hula's Modern Tiki on Urbanspoon

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

2 comments on “Scottsdale Eats – Hula’s Modern Tiki

  1. Liza M.
    May 20, 2014

    Dark and Stormy with pineapple juice? Hmmm…I might try to recreate that.

  2. a2sicilian
    May 20, 2014

    Sounds yummy and fun. Agree on the drink. A few months ago had a cocktail-sized Moscow mule and really like that, too. Speaking of fish tacos (above), I’ve been making that same slaw from the fish tacos a la Black Pearl on grilled fish tacos and the kids loooovvve it (us too). Their new favorite meal. Marinate them first in WFM chipotle lime marinade which gives fish (tilapia, snapper, etc) a smoky flavor and grill. Make a quick remoulade out of mayo and chipotle sauce, buy cole slaw mix and mix with a dressing of lime, sesame oil, rice vinegar, add in cilantro, tomato, green onion, red bell pepper…soft shell corn tacos…great dinner last night, and quick.

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This entry was posted on May 20, 2014 by in Dining, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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