Hukilau – Savor the food and the view!

A trickling waterfall will guide you up the path that leads to the Hukilau restaurant at the Fallbrook Golf Club. Breathe deeply and you can sometimes smell the fragrance of the fresh grass. Step in the restaurant and a large fireplace welcomes with its wavering flames. Sit at a table, adorned with fresh flowers, and you will be able to view the hills through a large wall of glass.

This Gird Valley establishment changed ownership last July and the new owners, Jack and Bonnie Lamberson, are working hard to make some positive changes. One of the recent changes is the addition of piano music by Don Desborough from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Another is the installation of a wide screen television set in the main dining room.

“Regulars” can breathe a sigh of relief because the existing menu will remain with its delicious Hawaiian entrées, outstanding sandwiches and creative omelets. Additions to the popular menu will come slowly, beginning with a Chicken Caesar Salad and a Fruit Salad with raspberry vinaigrette.

They are also keeping the ever popular “Two for One Burgers” on Wednesday and their one dollar tacos on “Taco Tuesday.” Something new, however, will be prime rib and rib eye steaks offered on Friday as well as on Saturday.

I was particularly impressed with the Seared Ahi Tuna Salad, which is a deep dish brimful of baby greens, tuna, mango, strawberries, pineapple and oranges tossed with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Fruity sweetness from the raspberry is just the catalyst to bring the salad to life. The strawberries are large and very sweet; and the ahi tuna is abundant. The entire salad is a breath of fresh air!

The Coconut Shrimp has been a favorite of mine for quite a long time. It’s really an appetizer, but can be a meal when served with Huiklau’s exotic “Mango Salsa” made with just the right amounts of diced mango, cilantro, red bell peppers and onions.

The shrimp served in this dish give a whole new meaning to the word “jumbo.” They are “panko crusted,” which makes a difference in the flavor. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that is crushed into large flakes which give the food a light, crunchy coating, almost like corn flakes. The coconut shrimp is not complete without the mango marmalade sauce. This sauce adds zip to the shrimp with a subtle chili flavor.

Lupe Rodriquez, head of the food and beverage department, has been an employee of the establishment for almost 20 years. He has been working closely with the owners to ensure that the quality of both the food and service remains high.

“We pride ourselves on the amount of food we put on the plate,” he commented. “We also give the best food service, food and prices.”

The restaurant is adept at handling large crowds in the main dining room – several local clubs and associations have taken advantage of their facilities. Small events (up to 20 diners) can be held in the Eagle Room at no extra charge.

The Hukilau restaurant at the Fallbrook Golf Club is located at 2757 Gird Road in Fallbrook, Calif. The telephone number is (760) 728-8334 and the web address is: fallbrookgolf.com/hukilau.html. Watch for a Valentine’s Special complete with table-side flaming Bananas Foster for dessert!

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