Mother of Pearl has a tiki bar theme complete with kitschy island decor and tropical print furniture. To be honest, if you were to go to the restaurant having not ever read the menu, the decor would set you up for the expectation that the food will also be tacky and typical, in the toasted-coconut-on-everything kind of way. And there are certainly aspects of the menu that reflect the decor, like a cocktail served in a cup that looks like a shark's mouth and sprayed with some sort of red syrup that looks like blood. But the food and drinks, generally speaking, are much more refined than the decor itself.
Jen and I decided to go for the types of dishes we wouldn't be able to get anywhere else, so we got the steamed buns, fried pancake balls, and jackfruit hashbrowns. I got a non-alcoholic mocktail because I can't personally handle booze first thing in the morning. It was nice to have an interesting drink option sans alcohol, though this drink would have been delicious with tequila or vodka added.
The drink: Pepper Keenan (pineapple + green peppers + pomegranate molasses)
The meal: Kalua Jackfruit and Shiitake Buns (ginger aioli + five spice ketchup)
Panikeke Lapotopoto—Fried Pancake Balls (ambrosia fruit + coconut cream + pineapple rum sauce)
Jackfruit Hashbrown (sweet + spicy ketchup)
Overall impression and rating:
This is the kind of place you go to when you're looking for adventure or a relatively inexpensive place to do some early day-drinking with friends who want to laugh and get down with some fun, different food. Though I personally had some issues with my meal, I paid close attention to how beautiful the food looked at our surrounding tables, and I wish I could have experienced some of the other dishes like the banana pancakes, guacamole with plantain and taro chips, and cantaloupe gazpacho. I think it really depends on what you order here, but I imagine that other people might give this a higher rating based on different dishes. I would definitely bring my vegan friends here for brunch.