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News for Restaurants in Hawaii
December 2012 Archive

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Doraku Sushi, a hip chain of sushi hot-spots owned by restaurateur Kevin Aoki, has opened its second Honolulu location. Doraku Sushi Kakaako is located in the Pacifica, a new condominium project. Executive chef Hideki Yoshimoto will continue to offer many longtime favorites at this new location, like his unique sushi rolls and cooked items such as lobster tempura, garlic steak and brownie tempura. There are a variety of sashimi platters ranging from $14.75 to $31.95, as well. One of Yoshimoto's specials is the New Zealand oyster shooters with a quail egg, uni, ponzu sauce, sesame oil, chili oil and grated daikon, which has become a "must try" at the new venue. His panko-crusted hamachi, created for the Aoki family, is also a new favorite that will be added to the Waikiki restaurant menu. In addition, Doraku offers two happy hours, from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. and 10 p.m. till closing, with specially priced drinks and food. Dinner nightly. Doraku Sushi, Pacifica, 1009 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814, 808-591-0101.
Vintage Cave Honolulu, a new upscale restaurant, has opened in Ala Moana Center in Shirokiya's basement. According to its website, it is "Private Society Elevating Art, Culture and Pleasure," with a series of 18 original Picasso drawings and other artwork on the walls. Executive chef Chris Kajioka oversees every aspect of the menu; the pastry chef is Rachel Murai, previously of Nobu Waikiki. There is no menu, just one tasting flight for $295 and $100 for wine pairings. This tasting menu, however, is comprised of 25 to 35 courses, most consisting of one to three bites, made with ingredients sourced from around the state (and the world) according to what's available and what's in season. Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat. Vintage Cave Honolulu, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Ste. 2250, Honolulu, HI 96814, 808-441-1744.
HASR Bistro has opened in downtown Honolulu in the space formerly occupied by Grand Cafe. It's owned by Terry Kakazu, who also owns HASR Wine Co. next door and Terry's Place in the Chinatown Cultural Plaza. Executive chef Rodney Uyehara, previously the chef de cuisine at Beachhouse at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, is creating his take on rustic French dishes for the new venue, including soufflés, salad niçoise, organic chicken confit, cassoulet and more. As with Terry's Place, live local entertainment will also be featured, and if you bring a bottle from HASR Wine Co. next door, the corkage fee will be waived. Lunch Mon.-Sat., Dinner Tues.-Sat. HASR Bistro, 31 N. Pauahi St., Honolulu, HI 96813, 808-533-4277.


News Bytes

Il Lupino Executive Chef Nicola Sayada Passes Away
Longtime Hawaii resident and chef Nicola "Nic" Sayada passed away December 4 after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 68 years old. Sayada grew up in Iran and migrated to San Francisco in 1964, and trained at the San Francisco Culinary School before moving to Honolulu to work at Nick's Fishmarket. He also was executive chef at The Black Orchid, Maharaja Night Club and Cascada at Royal Garden. Before coming out of semi-retirement to open Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar, he worked as a personal chef for 10 years. Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar, Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, 2233 Kalakaua Ave., Ste. 110, Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-922-3400.

Chef Shuffles

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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.

After more than 14 years at Aloha Tower Marketplace, chef/owner Chai Chaowasaree has closed Chai's Island Bistro and plans to reopen in the Pacifica Building in February 2013. December 31 was his last day at Aloha Tower. The new restaurant will be located on the ground floor of Honolulu Pacifica Building at 1009 Kapiolani Blvd., and healthier cuisine will be a focus. "There will be no butter at my new restaurant," says Chaowasaree. "I want to teach people how to eat healthier since, as they say, you are what you eat." Chai's Island Bistro, Aloha Tower Marketplace, 1 Aloha Tower Dr., Honolulu, HI 96813, no phone.

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