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News for Restaurants in Hawaii
April 2009 Archive

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Azure restaurant has opened in The Royal Hawaiian hotel in Honolulu. Under the direction of executive chef Jon Matsubara, the oceanfront restaurant specializes in market-fresh island seafood. Other menu options include Kobe carpaccio with Manchego cheese, baby arugula and wasabi aioli, and grilled mountain lamb chops with Marcona almond and Meyer lemon crust with a spiced Zinfandel reduction. Dinner nightly. Azure, The Royal Hawaiian, 2259 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-923-7311.
New in Waikiki is Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber, located at the newly-renovated Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel. The restaurant is singer/songwriter Buffet's first in Hawai‘i, and seats about 400. The island-inspired menu features local favorites, fresh seafood, and also tropical cocktails. Also onsite is a surfing museum, showcasing artifacts and memorabilia from Hawai‘i's renowned sport. Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber, 2300 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-791-1200.
Mexican restaurant Los Pelones is now open in the Lahaina Cannery Mall, replacing Compadres which had closed. Owner Steve Austin is featuring a similar menu of Mexican favorites, and is also continuing Taco Tuesdays, which was a popular Compadres draw. Los Pelones, 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy., Lahaina, HI 96761, 808-661-9900.
Newly opened on Baldwin Avenue in Makawao is Market Fresh Bistro. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant uses fresh ingredients from local farmers and providers, and also grows some of their own. Market Fresh Bistro, 3620 Baldwin Ave., Makawao, HI 96768, 808-572-4877.
Green Banana Café is now open in Paia. Run by Dean Wong, who is also the house manager of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, the café has an eco-friendly vibe and features organic products. The second floor media lounge offers computers with internet access, offering a great meeting area for the funky north shore neighborhood. Green Banana Café, 137 Hana Hwy., Unit B, Paia, HI 96713, 808-579-9130.
Lemongrass has opened at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center. Located in the former Auntie Pasto's space, the Vietnamese restaurant is run by owner Laura Nguyen, who once had a similar establishment in Lahaina. Lemongrass, Queen Kaahumanu Ctr., 275 W. Kaahumanu Ave., Kahului, HI 96732, 808-871-5999.
Kodama is also planning to open Quattro, a Latin-infusion concept restaurant soon. Quattro will be in the former Hirohachi space in Kihei. Eric Arbogast, former chef of Kodama's Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar will be heading up the kitchen. Quattro, 881 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, HI 96753, no phone.


News Bytes

Maui Vodka Debuts
A new high-end vodka called Pau Maui Vodka is now available at some local fine dining establishments. Created by master distiller Mark Nigbur, the vodka is made from Maui Gold pineapple juice and is distilled in the old Maui Land & Pineapple Cannery in Kahului. Hand bottled in small batches---only 250 cases a month are produced---a bottle retails for $100. For more information, visit
Changes in Kapalua
The Kapalua Adventure Center Café has been renamed Café Kapalua. The casual eatery still features the same organic-friendly menu, highlighting ingredients from local farms,, eco-thinking wines, as well as a specialty coffee bar. Café Kapalua, 2000 Village Rd., Lahaina, HI 96761, 808-665-4386.
Popular Italian Eatery Expands
Little Dante's Italian Eatery, located in the food court of the Lahaina Cannery Mall, has a new dining area. The walk-up counter is still available, but now, patrons can experience fine dining in a private area with full service. The dining area, which will feature the eatery's renowned authentic Italian fare, is open for dinner only from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Little Dante's Italian Eatery, Lahaina Cannery Mall, 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy., Lahaina, HI 96761, 808-661-3838.

Chef Shuffles

Chef de cuisine Jojo Vasquez of The Banyan Tree restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, has left to pursue other opportunities. Rumor has it he may be opening an establishment on O'ahu with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Chefs Ryan Urig and Matthew Srebrow, both who have been at the Banyan Tree for many years, have taken over and will be introducing new menus. The Banyan Tree, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, 1 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Kapalua, HI 96761, 808-665-7250.


Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for Hawaii to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from the past. Kincha, R.I.P.

Aaron's Atop the Ala Moana, which is owned and managed by Tri Star Restaurant Group, has closed. The restaurant had been located atop the Ala Moana Hotel for 25 years, but decided not to renew their lease due to the softening economy. Aaron's Atop the Ala Moana, Ala Moana Hotel, 410 Atkinson St., Honolulu, HI 96814, no phone.
Nick's Fishmarket in the Waikiki Gateway Hotel has closed, citing the downturned economy and a failed effort to find an investor. The restaurant had been in business for 40 years. The closing does not affect the Nick's Fishmarket Maui, which has a different owner. Nick's Fishmarket, 2070 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, no phone.
Bentos & Banquets by Bernard, run by popular Maui caterer Bernard Paet in the heart of Wailuku town, has closed. Paet cited declining business and rising costs. Paet consolidated the business with his other local restaurant, Cupie's Drive-In in Kahului. Bentos & Banquets by Bernard, 85 N. Church St., Wailuku, HI 96793, no phone.
Giovani's Tomato Pie Restaurante, a casual Italian restaurant located at the entrance to Ka'anapali, is closed. Jonny's Burger Joint, located in the same building, has also closed. Two new restaurants, more details coming, are scheduled to open in this location by May. Giovani's Tomato Pie Italian American Ristaurante, 2291 Ka'anapali Pkwy., Lahaina, HI, 808-661-3160. Jonny's Burger Joint, 808-661-4500.
Lahaina Store Grille & Oyster Bar, known for fabulous sunset views from its rooftop dining area, has closed. The large restaurant, which boasted 10,000 square feet of space, had opened in 2005. Lahaina Store Grille & Oyster Bar, 744 Front St., Lahaina, HI 96761, no phone.
Kincha has closed at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa. The Japanese restaurant, which sprawled across 5,500 square feet, was known for its kaiseki dinners. Resort staff cited the overall weakness of the visitor industry for the closing. Kincha, Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, 3850 Wailea Alanui, Wailea, HI 96753, no phone.

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