Mariposa Restaurant (Ala Moana Center)

Since we don’t travel anymore due to mobility issues, David and I have found other ways to entertain ourselves. Lately, we have been dining out every Sunday. We enjoy having lunch or brunch mid-day, because we are more alert at that time. It’s just wonderful that we can do this every week, something to truly look forward to. Oahu has hundreds of restaurants, which are attractive and serve great cuisine. So, expect to see photos of our weekly culinary adventures on this blog every Friday.


Mariposa Restaurant is located on the third level of Nieman Marcus at Ala Moana Center. The best way to access Mariposa is by parking on the oceanside of the mall level parking lot and taking their private elevator up to the restaurant. There is ample free parking.

In 2020, Nieman Marcus luxury department store finally emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Mariposa Restaurant also survived the Covid pandemic at its worst and recently reopened.

Lawrence Nakamoto, age 34, was hired as Mariposa’s Executive Chef in 2017. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu, Hawaii and worked at Elua Restaurant in Honolulu before joining Mariposa. His culinary style is eclectic (Hawaiian, Asian, Italian).

This is Executive Chef Lawrence Nakamoto:

I last reviewed Mariposa in 2017. Forgive me for reviewing it again, but I simply could not resist this opportunity.

This is Mariposa Restaurant (Ala Moana Center) before it fills up with customers. The covered lanai is to the right. We asked not to be seated there, as it was very hot and humid that day. We preferred the cool air-conditioned main room. The fans at the top gently circulated the air:

This is the gorgeous view of Ala Moana Beach Park from the covered lanai:

Here we are:

We started with complimentary Popovers and Strawberry Butter:

This was followed by a small cup of clear Chicken Broth, also complimentary:

I ordered the Chicken Milanese (Chicken breast, sauteed with an herb parmesan crust), Pesto and Marinara Sauce, Israeli Couscous, Green Beans and a Carrot. This was the first time I ate the green-colored Couscous, which is a type of North African pasta. It tasted very good:

David ordered the Grilled Ahi Fish Sandwich, Potato Fries, Salad, and Ketchup. He was asked by the waiter how he wanted his Ahi. David replied he wanted it done “medium.” It turned out very juicy, not dry at all.

Dessert was Mango Cheesecake with a slice of Chocolate on top, Chocolate Graham Crust, and bits of Kiwi:

We loved the wonderful cuisine, which was so beautifully presented, especially those yummy Popovers, which were so airy, light, and delicate! They were so addictive that I ate two. I also loved the Strawberry Butter.

On our way out, I photographed Kawika Kekoa, the featured soloist, who sang mellow Hawaiian pop music while strumming his electric guitar:

Mariposa is a very pleasant place to dine. However, do make reservations, as this restaurant is very popular and fills up quickly.

15 Responses to “Mariposa Restaurant (Ala Moana Center)”

  1. DavidH Says:

    That was another fine dining experience. You said it all. Honolulu has hundreds of great restaurants. It will be some time before we have been to them all.

  2. tomthebackroadstraveller Says:

    this looks like a fabulous place.

  3. marmeladegypsy Says:

    I like the idea of going out at noon — less crowded, possibly, and probably better to eat a large meal at noon instead of in the evening as we tend to do. This looks like another lovely place.

  4. Valerie-Jael Says:

    That’s a good time to go out. We like to go out for meals around that time, too, as we did today! The Mariposa looks wonderful, and the food is making me very hungry again although I had my midday meal today! Have a great weekend, take care, Valerie

  5. Christine Says:

    Wonderful gourmet food

  6. Arkansas Patti Says:

    I still think you should establish yourselves as food critics and get paid plus free meals. These meals look so wonderfully presented but you had me at strawberry butter:)

  7. dkzody Says:

    What a gorgeous room, and the view is amazing. I would be happy to eat anything there just to experience the room and view.

  8. AC Says:

    You have fine tastes, and it’s a good way to compensate for the loss of travelling.

  9. DJan Says:

    It looks wonderful and very plentiful as well.

  10. Elephant's Child Says:

    I love that you continue to travel – through cuisine and culture rather than across the lands…

  11. Doug M Says:

    Your meals looked elegant & delicious! I’m with Arkansas Patti, you should be getting paid for your wonderful reviews. A beautiful restaurant, Gigi I liked your bright dress too.

  12. Tom from Sightings Says:

    Wow, that’s one huge restaurant … and well-spaced tables too! It’s great that you’re able to get out on a regular basis.

  13. Iris Flavia Says:

    Looks like another wonderful place and you two look so happy. Clever way to make up for not traveling anymore, we all need something to look forward to 🙂
    The food looks excellent and would I love to hear the live-music!

  14. Beatrice Says:

    Dining out is indeed a great substitute for not traveling, especially when you can enjoy varied cuisines as you have been doing. The food looked delicious just in the photos, Gigi.

  15. Nancy Chan Says:

    Enjoying good food is a great way of entertaining ourselves. Great place and delicious food. Noon time here is warm for us so we prefer dining out for dinner.

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