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News for Restaurants in Hawaii
April 2011 Archive

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Alejandro "Aker" Briceno may have serious pastry chef credentials (Miami's afterglo, Las Vegas' Nobu Las Vegas and most recently at Nobu Waikiki), but his heart beats to the San Marzano red sauce of a traditional pizzaiolo. In Briceno's hands, the fine balance of dough, sauce and ingredients cooked in a kiawe-fired wood burning oven reveal what pizza is meant to be. Only open in the evenings and until the wee hours of the morning (4 a.m.), V Lounge is the place for those seeking pizza nirvana. Please note that there is no pizza on Sundays though the bar is open. Open daily.
Jin Din Rou is a rather stylish restaurant (an outpost of a Japanese chain modeled on a Taiwan restaurant) known for its varieties of xiao long bao---dim sum packets stuffed with fillings and a savory soup broth which were popularized in Shanghai. The restaurant provides directions on how to eat these delightful morsels, and we strongly recommend you heed the advice or you will likely have an unfortunate incident of soup squirting across the table. We liked the original as well as the foie gras dumpling. The menu features other Chinese standards, but to our minds, the dumplings are the reason to dine here. Jin Din Rou, 1491 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96814, 808-947-1133.
Wolfgang Zwiener, the restaurateur behind Wolfgang's Steakhouse, has opened Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar, also located in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. The menu features pizzas, pastas and Italian specialties such as chicken scaloppine and osso buco alla milanese. Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar, Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, 2201 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-922-3400.
The rumors that the old C & C Pasta location at 3605 Waialae Avenue was being eyed by 12th Avenue Grill chef-owner Kevin Hanney for a new spot are true. Over the past few months, Hanney has been working on a new venture which will be called SALT. We're not sure if the name is an acronym, but the proposed concept sounds savory---a kitchen which crafts small plates and a bar with a decent list of beers and wines. SALT, 3605 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816, n/a.
Oahu's Waianae Coast is home to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. The property features multiple pools, a spa and a snorkeling lagoon, as well as four restaurants. 'Ama'Ama offers contemporary Island-inspired cooking, Makahiki serves a buffet in an open-air dining area, The 'Olelo Room dishes up continental breakfast, and Off the Hook is the beachside lounge. Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawaii, 92-1185 Ali'inui Dr., Kapolei, HI 96707, 714-520-7001.
The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa will debut three new restaurants in 2011. Opening in late April, SHOR will feature ocean views and serve up a menu of steaks, sustainable seafood and local produce. Asian-fusion sushi spot Japengo and poolside bar SWIM are both scheduled to open in September. Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, 2424 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-923-1234, 800-233-1234.


News Bytes

Chef Mavro Chef Mavro Introduces New Spring Menu
George Mavrothalassitis of Chef Mavro has introduced a new menu for the spring season. Dishes include marinated bigeye ahi with picholine olive tapenade, quail egg-sauce verte and espelette; roasted Colorado lamb loin with brick crusted "moussaka," braised baby turnips and harissa-lamb jus; and, for dessert, Valrhona chocolate crémeux with an espresso brownie, ice cream and pistachio "sand." Chef Mavro, 1969 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96826, 808-944-4714.
Nico's at Pier 38 is Expanding
The synergy created by its location at the fishing docks, access to the freshest fish at the next-door fish auction, and the talents of French-born and -trained chef-proprietor Nico Chaize made Nico's at Pier 38 a hit from practically the first day. Nearly seven years and many gourmet plate lunches later, the restaurant is preparing a new location (with the same view), which will feature half indoor and half outdoor seating (dare we hope for table service?), a full bar and hopefully, shorter lines. Look for the opening of the new spot sometime in late 2011. Nico's at Pier 38, 1133 N. Nimitz Hwy., Honolulu, HI 96817, 808-540-1377.
Cooking Demos at the Polynesian Cultural Center
The Polynesian Cultural Center offers cooking demonstrations two times a day. Guests will learn tips and techniques for preparing Polynesian fare like laulau, taro and sweet potato chips. For more information or to make reservations, visit or call 800-367-7060. Polynesian Cultural Center, 55-370 Kamehameha Hwy., Laie, HI 96762, 800-367-7060.
Chef's Poke Action Station Added to Buffet at Kuhio Beach Grill
Kuhio Beach Grill at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa has added a Chef's Poke Action Station on Tuesdays to its Hawaiian "Local Grinds" dinner buffet. Diners can customize their poke with ingredients such as ahi, marlin, shrimp, tako (octopus), salmon and tofu. Kuhio Beach Grill, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 2552 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-922-6611.

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