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The Obamas Dine with the .01 Percent

President Obama vowed to make reducing income inequality the focus of the final years of his presidency. But first, dinner.

Obama and his wife Michelle ate last night at one of the most exclusive restaurants in the country, Honolulu’s Vintage Cave. The place reportedly features a $295 tasting menu, which means once you start adding in wine, tax, and tip, you’re headed toward a meal for two costing $1,000.

The joint, according to the restaurant’s website, is a feast for the body and the soul.

Something all of humanity shares in common is the cave. It occupies a special place in the heart and mind that connects with the soul . . . however advanced we become, there always lurks in the deep recesses of our hearts a yearning to return to the basics of our ancestral origins.

Vintage Cave Honolulu brings that secret longing to life. Its walls and ceilings are masoned with 150,000 antique style bricks. Its flooring is of granite quarried in the mountains of India. Furniture and fixtures were all custom crafted to create unique and comfortable cavern echoing the underground architecture of ancient Rome.

Well now that’s not quite true. The vast majority of our ancestors did not live in caves. Just because some effete French paleo drew some pictures on a stalactite doesn’t mean the rest of us lived there too.

Maybe they can place their next restaurant in a tree, which in fact we did come from. When they branch out, so to speak.


Here’s a portion of the Cave:

Vintage Cave

It appears there’s running water.

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I’m not longing, generally speaking, to “return” to a cave, whether I came from there or not. Though I wouldn’t mind spending time in this particular cave.

According to Honolulu’s Pacific Business News:

Art valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, by artists such Pablo Picasso and Mordecai Ardon, line walls made of bricks that were specially made for the restaurant and laid by 10 bricklayers flown in from Yugoslavia.

The wine cellar holds bottles that are worth thousands of dollars — the most expensive one is a 2009 Grand Cru Moaopole that costs $16,000 A shot of 50-year-old Macallan single-malt Scotch from the members-only bar costs $6,000. The restaurant has a “private society” member roster of around 550 clientele who have paid either $50,000 or $500,000 to dine at the restaurant . . .  The clients use the credit toward food and drink.

A sample of the tasting menu from a customer on Yelp who partook of the Vintage Cave experience.

1. Smoked brioche with golden Osetra caviar, creme fraiche, marcona almonds
2. Caramel popcorn with habanero and caviar
3. The Ocean- 7 pieces of wonderful ocean goodness
4. Salmon roe with potato purée
5. Charred Hirabara cabbage with anchovy boullion
6. Amaebi
7. Agnolotti with spinach, artichoke and pork belly
8. Brioche – same as #1
9. Jidori egg yolk with truffle
10. Foie gras mousse
11. Smoked duck pastrami sandwiches
12. Chicken glazed onaga
13. Snake river Farms wagyu beef with sancho peppercorn sauce and white Asparagus
14. Intermezzo melon sorbet
15. Yogurt mousse with compressed plum and candied ume with raspberry vinaigrette
16. Petit fours


So, yeah, the Obamas are wealthy people, and if they want to go to this restaurant they have every right to. But when your politics are based in class warfare and you term income inequality the defining challenge of our time,” it sure does reek of hypocrisy to drop $1,000 on a meal during your 17-day Hawaii vacation.

But the term “limousine liberal” is hardly something new.

126 Responses to The Obamas Dine with the .01 Percent

    • How long before the banks reclaim this restaurant? There truly are fools born every minute.
      “Sekiguchi is perhaps best known for building the Grand Wailea in 1991, for an estimated $650 million. The 40-acre resort is part waterpark, part marble-and-mahogany luxury, and part sculpture garden, featuring Fernando Botero’s bulbous, naked bronzes. The resort was finished just when the Japanese bubble burst. Sekiguchi held onto it for a few years before the banks reclaimed the property and sold it at a loss.”

      • Unless Sekiguchi borrowed to build it, the banks have no hold on it. I’m sure it didn’t cost anywhere near what his park cost.

        • Mandy Manners thanks for the clip. I was getting ready to pull up some of the food dishes listed. The ones shown don’t look to appealing, but neither does seafood gumbo.
          I might….. just might… pull up some of the other dishes that Keith listed.

        • Correct on both, Mandy – but it was more of a rhetorical question from me. I meant my comment to infer a pattern of behavior. Leopards don’t change their spots.

    • Happy New Year to all on WHD. Thank you all for what you share, which I read daily.

      Clicking the above link about this Chef Chris Kajioka, I couldn’t help recall that just last week Sam Kaas, long time Obama chef resigned from the White House? Maybe the first family was auditioning new culinary talent.

        • To spend more time with his Wife! But Underneath the reason is another reason! Sometimes “green” can mean more than energy! Like a little “jealous” or “green with envy”? Or “Hard to please” got a little “hard to take”?

  1. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
    (Matthew 6:21 KJV)
    They have every “right” to enjoy this dining experience.
    For me – it’s just food. We have to eat to live, so I freely admit I do not understand this if it is about the food.
    But I would bet it’s not about the food – it’s about doing something most people cannot. We all want to believe we are special in some way. Dining establishments like this obviously make some people feel special.
    Interesting isn’t it?

    • DING DING DING. It’s about doing something exclusive. Food is food. Being the workout person I am (obsessive)- my mantra is always “food is fuel.” I know I’m a bit weird, and I do enjoy treats and good eats. But – FOOD IS FOOD. There comes a point where it’s not worth it.

      But I agree with 100%. This about being an elitist. No way around it. I’m gonna guess our first family are the types who would order the most expensive bottle of wine on the menu just because.

  2. I would also wonder a couple of things:
    1. How an environmentally conscience president could support having bricks made with flown in work (what about main street) or using granite from India (what about the carbon footprint)?

    2. How does this measure up to Michelle’s school lunch program requirements?

  3. What hypocrites they are, stunning. My prayer for 2015 is they just go away in disgrace. Watching the Obama’s wave from the helicopter just like Nixon did would make me so very happy.

  4. I’ll skip the sermon on the pretense and hypocrisy of B&M, though there is plenty to say…

    Every time I read an article about a high end tasting menu, I’m struck by how awful some of the dishes sound. I mean “Agnolotti with spinach, artichoke, and pork belly”? Gross. It sounds like a part of the human body. Give me a good steak and I’ll call it good.

    • Agnolotti is similar to ravioli.

      As for the steak, how about that wagyu? The peppercorn is from Japan, but at least the beef is from the United States.

    • That’s actually one of the most normal-sounding: pasta with meat and vegetables. Pork belly is no weirder than pork loin or pork shoulder or beef ribs or leg of lamb.

  5. Happy New Year All! Waiting for an Obama devotee to throw up a Bush equivalent. But, Obama is a man of the people…dontcha know. Stay the course, people, stay the course.

  6. Do the Obama’s actually pay for these meals or do we, the American taxpayer?

    Another instance of the liberal democrat “do as I say, not as I do”.

    The masks are off – we now get to see the Obama’s for who they truly are….elitists who live off of others.

    • Good question. It could be said that we the taxpayers paid for this meal in any case.
      Governments are not profit makers – therefore our paid taxes finance everything for our public servants – unless a spouse or family member has a private sector occupation that contributes to the support of the family.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if the dinner was free since having the Obamas come to your restaurant seems to be worth thousands in publicity.

      Of course we paid for the gas and security and street closures and local security and stuff.

  7. OK, Keith, you forgot to mention if this was “date night” for O and Mooch or did they go with good friend, Bobby Titcomb, and his latest paramour? They would only hang out with people who can afford such a ghastly sounding meal!

  8. What it means:
    1. Toast with fish eggs, sour cream and chopped nuts.
    2. Sugared popcorn with hot Mexican peppers and fish eggs.
    3. Hunks of assorted fish.
    4. Fish eggs on mashed pototoes
    5. Burnt cabbage with fish broth.
    6. Raw shrimp.
    7. Dumplings with spinach, artichokes and bacon.
    8. Dinner roll.
    9. Black egg yolk smeared on mushrooms.
    10……… you get the picture: rich people scammed out of thousands for peasant food with fancy names.

    • Can you imagine seeing this version of the menu posted on the restaurant window. You can dress up the menu with fancy $50 words but it still sounds and probably looks disgusting. I’d have to spend several hours in the throne room after their meaI.

      • I think going to a place like this is more important to Michelle than Obama. I think he’d be happy with a big fat ole drippy meatball sub.

        The Bush first ladies’ memoirs were very down home and comfortable in comparison to following the Obamas. Little anecdotes like foreign leaders spending time with the GWB’s at the ranch and having George grill steaks for them. Or Camp David was always one of the favorite destinations of foreign leaders to work and play.

        The Obamas hang with thugs.

    • Your description of # 2 sounds good, but how about:
      “Screaming Yellow Zonkers with roe, roe, roe your vote.”?

      BTW: The Weekly Standard (via Time) noted that membership in The Cave runs either $50,000 or $500,000.

      Fighting for that middle class with a laser focus…

  9. Didn’t see broccoli or carrots on the “tasting menu”
    Actually, of the 16 items on the menu, I don’t think that any comply with Michelle’s healthy eating standards.

    Hypocrisy at its finest.

  10. While he is dining in utter luxury at the Honolulu Vintage Cave on the taxpayer’s dime, I wonder if he is thinking of his half-brother who is still living in a Kenyan mud hut. Charity begins at home – something Obama obviously doesn’t believe in. Funny how he is bringing in millions of impoverished third worlders to give them a better life, but ignores his own relatives. It was just a stroke of good luck that Obama didn’t end up with his extended family in Kenya. And very bad luck for us!

    • Hell… FNC will not even report on the wealthy-elite hypocrisy of the Obamas. (expensive resaurants, shutting down beaches/golf courses, staged “family” photo-ops… etc.)

  11. Dictators always live the highlife on other’s peoples money (and backs) so no surprise here.

    I have no idea what some of the menu items are which obviously makes me a stupid American who deserves to have my income redistributed to the more intelligent Progressives.

  12. This group is so selfish, self-centered and egotistical! I wonder how many friends they will have when they are no longer in the White House.

    I am more angry that they closed the Hanama Bay park. Since it is normally closed one day a week, they should have gone then.

    Closing Bellows Beach too just jabs a finger in the eyes of ordinary people.

    They need to think more of others than of themselves. If someone cannot put his/her own desires behind what is best for the people they govern, they should not run for office.

  13. Happy New Year to Keith and everyone here!

    Keith’s article is right on target regarding the hypocrisy the Obama’s to show and the MSM continue to ignore.

    Joseph Curls article about GW and Laura not leaving for vacation in TX until after Christmas was another great article. What a classy couple to be more worried for staff than themselves vs the narcissists that are occupying the WH.

    I truly hope our country can find another class act like the Bush’s again!

    Happy New Year!

  14. So Obama and his friends were not concerned about the restaurants carbon footprint. Bricks, flooring and workmen flown from all over the world, just for a highfalutin, overpriced eatery.

  15. Obama is rarely trumped when it comes to pretentiousness — but I think the description of The Cave and the connection to our soul might just do it. The connection to the Roman underground probably appeals to the “Renaissance Man of the European Effete Obama” . Eurotrash dining companions or the same old thugs and sycophants?

    Me, Being Kind. Given the wealth of possibilities to take this oh so far.

  16. And also — what is a cave — except vintage? If it is not vintage — then I guess it is a cheap knock off? I am now getting really confused? Must be the rarefied air.

  17. Sekiguchi –” a man of self-made wealth” Oh dear, does” You didn’t Build” that Obama know this? Or is that just for demagoguing?

    “Sekiguchi, but the instant my questions turn personal, Sekiguchi’s tone becomes slightly more brisk, he stands up, thanks me politely and leaves the room.” Aloof — no personal stuff — and Crazy. Crazy– like Howard Hughes crazy? Or just meglomaniacal like Baraculus I?

    OK I’ll stop — but you gotta’ admit — it’s a goldmine — and even more so since Obama is too self absorbed to admit to the mockery — or simply will not deign to do so. In his mind — Winning.

    Me. — see beggars and horses and new and rich.

  18. Thank you Thank You Thank You Keith.

    Long and hard day for me and then this! I could not stop laughing reading that article and imagining the Obama’s in that milieu.

    –This — He sets it over potatoes pureed with half their weight in butter

    And some part of the article discussing this culinary creativity and fashion — MOTUS better be previewing the new line.

  19. Forgive my abuse of multiple posts.

    But thank you, thank you , thank you Keith. I read the entire article and imagined the discussion between Baraculus I and Mooch.

    Long and hard day and this was the just the tonic of hypocrisy mixed with hilarity. Thanks.

  20. I don’t understand why people are criticizing the restaurant or the menu.

    Creating potato purée is not merely mashing potatoes: it’s a time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure.

    Sure, caviar is fish eggs, but Osetra caviar is the second-highest priced caviar. Marcona almonds are grown in Spain.

    The chef is a brilliant young man from a middle-class family. Starting with a degree from the CIA, he has worked his way through the culinary trenches. He is everything this nation should celebrate.

  21. Michelle pushes her food on her plate onto her fork with her fingers, pushes food on her plate with a spoon too. Barry chews food with his mouth open, and both sit AWAY from the table instead of smack up to the table, and they rest their elbows on the table too!!!

    This is why the Secret Service is apathetic to the First Family, they’ve SEEN the lack of table manners and are scandalized into dumb silence.

      • I know they eat like monkey. They have no dinner manners or class period.
        If they were at my dinner table I’d call them out and tell him to shut his mouth and get their elbows off the table!!!

  22. The Obama’s aren’t all THAT wealthy.

    They reported $481k AGI in 2013. Don’t know too many families at that income level (with a hefty mortgage and saving for 2 impeding college educations) spend a small mortgage payment on a meal.

    Although, I doubt they paid at all. I’m sure their was a big Kahuna at the club that paid the bill for the sake of their clubs prestige.

  23. I don’t even know what some of those meals are. I was wondering when was the last time our Mslim president ate pork? Can someone look into
    that? Thanks.

  24. Soooo what’s new. They know without a doubt that they are better than the rest of us “STUPID” people. We only are good enough to pay the tax bill so these a**holes can do their thing. This country is going downhill as fast as it can go. The last 5 presidents have just about ruined us.
    Old fiddler

  25. The 0bamas fancy themselves American royalty. $1000 meals, million dollar vacations, etc. Many of Moochelle’s vacations have been on the taxpayer’s dime because 0bama claimed they were “official business” (she would spend a couple of hours of the week-long vacation meeting with some dignitary). The 0bama children were listed as “support staff” to get them on the taxpayers’ payroll.

    If Bush had pulled scams like that the media would STILL be telling us about it.

  26. Yes, the Obamas are wealthy people and they can eat anywhere they want. And we know how they got wealthy, Barack´s phony “constitutional law” courses at the U of Chicago, his community organizing, his Bill Ayers-written books, and, who can forget Moochelle´s $300,000 no-show job at a Chicago hospital.

    But even so, why do we have the impression that it was the good ol´ American taxpayer who paid the bill?

    Moochelle isn´t called Moochelle for nothing. Who can forget her lavish trips through the courts of Europe and Marbella, India, etc?

    But we will soon be rid of these fools–the sooner, the better.

    • Yes, the Obamas are wealthy people and they can eat anywhere they want. And we know how they got wealthy, Barack´s phony “constitutional law” courses at the U of Chicago, his community organizing, his Bill Ayers-written books, and, who can forget Moochelle´s $300,000 no-show job at a Chicago hospital.

      The Obamas are reaching, pretentious, phonies–nothing more, and they will be remembered for that artificiality and hypocrisy, with Moochelle trying to tell the rest of us how to eat. The Obamas are nouveau riche, and you can interpret that as a racist comment if you want.

      But even so, why do we have the impression that it was the good ol´ American taxpayer who paid the bill?

      Moochelle isn´t called Moochelle for nothing. Who can forget her lavish trips through the courts of Europe and Marbella, India, etc?

      But we will soon be rid of these fools–the sooner, the better.

  27. The same old game, anything for attention, he loves that we know about his expensive restaurant, likes to rub it in and I doubt he paid for the dinners.