PRIMA Hawaii “pops up” at Portland’s Iorio restaurant on August 20

Posted: August 4, 2012 by Nathan Kam in Eating and Drinking, On The Job
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Photo courtesy of PRIMA Hawaii

A part of my job in travel public relations I enjoy is the ability to bring the excitement of Hawaii to cities across North America. This month, my client the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is supporting one of Oahu’s hottest and newest restaurants, PRIMA, which is “popping up” at Iorio restaurant on Monday, August 20 at 6:30 p.m.. It’s a great opportunity to bring a new taste of Hawaii to Portland and share the story of the exciting culinary evolution taking place in the Hawaiian Islands.

Rising star chefs and co-owners Lindsey Ozawa and Alejandro “Aker” Briceno, along with chef de cuisine Kevin Lee, of PRIMA will offer an eight-course modern American menu honoring Hawaii’s ethic diversity, while featuring handmade pasta and creative preparations using the freshest fish, beef, and produce from the Aloha State and Portland area. This is the first time Iorio owners Chris Thompson and Hilary Benson are opening up their establishment for such an event. The menu (subject to change) looks like this:

Smoked Fish
Avocado Puree, Heart of Palm, Purslane, Olive Oil

Coppa di Testa “Adobo”
Green Mango, Peanut, Radish, Patis, and “Fried Rice”

Cavatelli
Oregon Mushroom, Snow Peas, Hijiki, Bamboo Shoot, Hijiki, foie gras butter

“Panang” Curry Clams and Dungeness Crab
Dried Shrimp, Potato, Lime, Chili, Ikan Bilis

Venison Sausage
Celery root puree, Mango Mostarda, Brussel Sprouts

“Cassata”
Ricotta Mousse, Almond Cake Powder, Lime Butter, Financier Chip, Apricot Sorbet

“Kulolo”

Petit Fours


Chefs Alejandro “Aker” Briceno (far left) and Lindsey Ozawa (far right) of PRIMA celebrate the opening of The Whole Ox Butcher and Deli chef/owner Robert McGee in Kakaako.

The chefs will be joined by Dave Power, owner of The Feral Pig on Kauai and one of Hawaii’s most respected bartenders, who will offer a selection of craft cocktails that will pair nicely with the menu. Power’s “from scratch” approach to cocktails using the freshest local ingredients, homemade bitters, and other creative influences has put him among the elite of Hawaii’s bartending scene.


Dave Power (right) and me exploring Menehune Ditch and Makaweli Poi Factory earlier this year. BTW, this dude’s cocktails are pretty amazing.

Since opening in September 2011, PRIMA quickly asserted itself as one of Oahu’s top restaurants with its casual ambiance, commitment to sourcing the best quality ingredients from Hawaii and around the world, and approachable food that is familiar to the average diner, yet innovative in flavor combinations, technical preparation, and artistic plating that real “foodies” can appreciate. Ozawa and Briceno have cooked in some of the top kitchens across the country, including the award-winning Nobu Waikiki. They are also co-owners of V Lounge, a destination for some of the best kiawe-fired pizzas in Hawaii, and previously operated Melt, a popular food truck serving gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches that closed last year. Lee left his position as sous chef at New York’s Dovetail restaurant to join the PRIMA kitchen last year. There’s definitely firepower and talent here.

There will be one-seating only, so space is limited. Cost is $65 per person, plus gratuity. Cocktails and beverages are additional. For reservations, call Iorio at 503-445-4716.

This promises to be a great evening of delicious food and inspiring stories that will have diners leaving with a fresh, new perspective on Hawaii cuisine. I hope to see you there!

PRIMA Hawaii “Pop Up” at Iorio
Monday, August 20, 2012 | 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $65/person, plus gratuity. Cocktails and beverages extra.
912 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503-445-4716

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