The Full Moon Cafe is a surprising gem. The restaurant is in a quiet, slightly offbeat location, a block from the main drag in downtown Hilo. We found the interior to be bright and charming, and the service was very good. The food would best be described as Hawaiian-Asian fusion, with a strong emphasis on local ingredients. The menu is relatively limited (on this day we had a choice of four appetizers and four main courses, but it changes daily). The food was outstanding and the flavors really popped! Our appetizer (aka "small") choice was Crispy Brussels - the best brussel sprouts any of us have ever tasted. They were accompanied by very crisp baby anchovies, which were delectable even to the non-anchovy lovers in our party. We chose three different main courses; all featured very different flavors, and all were delicious. The market Mahi was fresh and perfectly cooked, and the accompanying spaetzle and local vegetables were mouth watering. The twice cooked beef was crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and well seasoned with a good use of brussel sprouts and arugula. The oyster sauce sauté was also delicious and featured very fresh local vegetables. We appreciated a table-side greeting by the chef, who brings his expertise to Hilo from NYC. One opportunity for improvement was the wine list, which was sufficient but fairly limited.
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