Lilikoi panna cotta

Previewing Mother's Day brunch at Pai with Na Leo Pilimehana

The iconic local group gets ready for their Mother's Day concert
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Na Leo Pilimehana

If you haven't decided on a gift for Mother's Day yet, consider a fabulous concert and brunch package. Popular local group Na Leo Pilimehana is having their annual Mother's Day concert on May 12 at Hawaii Theatre. Tickets start at $35; you can also purchase a $75 VIP package that includes premium seats, an exclusive Na Leo Mother's Day signed CD (released only for this event), a photo opportunity with Na Leo, Ed & Don's chocolate and a red rose.

The annual Mother's Day concert features many of Na Leo's classic songs. Since they recently released their newest CD, "Beautiful Day," the audience can hear those songs as well. This event will include a hula tribute to Aunty Leina'ala Heine Kalama, plus a once-in-a-lifetime performance by former Miss Universe Brook Lee. 

Pai and Na Leo
From left, Pai Chef Kevin Lee, Lehua Kalima and Nalani Jenkins of Na Leo Pilimehana, and Pai manager Justine Lee

Some downtown restaurants, like Pai Honolulu, are partnering with Hawaii Theatre so when you purchase your concert tickets, you can also pre-purchase brunch seating to make it one full day of pampering for mom. (You can also make reservations on your own — information is at the bottom of this post.)

We recently met with Nalani Jenkins and Lehua Kalima of Na Leo to introduce them to chef Kevin Lee and get a preview of Pai's Mother's Day brunch. Here's what you'll have:

pai breakfast sausage
Herb roasted potatoes and Pai breakfast sausage, which chef Kevin Lee makes himself

The fixed menu starts with Pai breakfast sausage, which is hearty and a meal in and of itself. 

Pain perdu
Pain perdu, Pai's take on French toast

Lee bakes the bread for his pain perdu from scratch, then tops it with bacon that he's cured himself in-house, and drizzles it with shoyu-maple syrup. It's too bad that Pai isn't open for brunch all the time, because this would probably be the most popular thing. All of the food at Pai is excellent, but this dish is something we all were fighting over.

smoked salmon Benedict
Smoked salmon benedict with mentaiko hollandaise

Just when you thought you've had luxurious Benedicts, Lee tops them all. He bakes his own English muffins, smokes his own salmon, makes a mentaiko hollandaise and tops it with roe. The whole dish is made from scratch so Lee can ensure that all of the flavors and textures are balanced to his specifications. 

lilikoi panna cotta
Lilikoi panna cotta.

Lee takes panna cotta to the next level with lilikoi. He roasted the strawberries and crumbled almond cookies over it for a little more sweet-tart sensation and a hint of a crust. You can also order a foie gras add-on for the panna cotta to make it more decadent.

Na Leo and Kevin

For Jenkins and Kalima, who don't always get to dine downtown, this was a great introduction to chef Kevin Lee's talents. They're already making plans to come back for dinner!

Mother's Day brunch at Pai is $55 plus tax and tip and there will be a seating at 10 a.m. for people who are planning to go to the Na Leo concert. The second seating is at 12:30 p.m. for late risers. 

Na Leo Pilimehana's Mother's Day Concert
Hawaii Theatre
1130 Bethel St.
1:30 p.m.
May 12, 2019
 

Mother's Day brunch at Pai Honolulu
55 Merchant St.
Downtown
744-2531