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Rock Steady

BY Eliza Escano | October 25, 2018 | Feature Features National

ROCKsalt Restaurant Spices Up West Maui.
The Sizzling Shaking Beef dish, $32, with Asian greens, pickled radish and fried garlic

ROCKsalt restaurant’s namesake lends homage to Hawai‘i’s bounty of volcanic sea salts and the mythical Pu‘u Keka‘a or Black Rock that anchors the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Ka‘anapali.

Executive chef Lyndon Honda dares diners to be more adventurous, with offerings like the smoky and unctuous rillettes of char siu duck confit topped with pickled pineapple and served with green-tea baguette. Or huevos a la flamenca, an egg dish baked in a sofrito with olives, blood chorizo and melty ribbons of manchego. “There’s a real sense of discovery for the guest, and of honor for the chef, when you get to create new, memorable experiences for people,” says Honda.

When Honda joined the Sheraton team in May 2017, the O‘ahu-raised toque reimagined what was previously Black Rock Kitchen into a concept that reflects his philosophy, style and 28 years of honest hustle. Having led kitchens at Maui Brewing Company, restaurants for Cohn Restaurant Group and the culinary teams of Na Hoaloha Ekolu group, Honda and his team rolled out an exciting cultural shape-shifting menu last summer. Any chef that leaves a healthy stick of cinnamon butter to sinfully melt in the center of a cast-iron-baked, Chipotle-spiced cornbread is aiming for greatness.

Thrive with beautiful plant-based inspirations like harissa-roasted root vegetables tempered with drizzles of saffron yogurt. Or swipe breaded tofu across a bright mojo verde sauce, but only after a few squeezes of calamansi. The house char siu also marinades the mesquite-smoked tako, or octopus, sous-vide to tenderness, resting atop a golden fried bao. And slivers of beef sizzle on a skillet with the umami trifecta of sweet soy, vinegar and garlic, laden with greens and blushing circles of pickled radish.

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