First there was the banking bailout. Then, the auto. Unfortunately, no one bailed out one of my favorite restaurants on Kaua’i (or anywhere, for that matter). Blossoming Lotus closed its doors for good on New Year’s Eve.
My husband and I stopped by on the last day of the year for the restaurant’s $22 per person, first-come, first-served, mahalo buffet. The restaurant opened at 6:00 p.m. When we drove by at 6:15, there was a line out the door, down the block and around the corner. I wasn’t the only one sad to see this small business shutter its windows.
Some say there were too many cooks in the kitchen. Others say it was rent-related. It doesn’t really matter why the award-winning restaurant closed. The kitchen no longer emanates the garlic, red bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, seal salt, Nama shoyu and cashews that made the Nut Cheez for my favorite Senorita Bombia’s Enchilada Casserole. No one is blending Ancho chilis, sundried tomatoes, lime juice, and roasted Jalapeno peppers with tofu and layering this chili sauce with the blue corn tortillas in the casserole either.
Except for maybe me, some day, in my own kitchen, with the Blossoming Lotus “Vegan World Fusion Cuisine” cookbook I picked up before they closed. One glance at the recipe, though, for my entrée of choice, and I realize I’ll have to start preparing it in October in order to be ready for a New Year’s Eve treat.
And, yet, there is good news on the island. I just paid $2.29 for a gallon of gas. Airfare to Hawaii is cheap. Hotel rooms are going for a song. Make your travel plans.