Hawaii Restaurant News Archive
A member of what is considered the second wave of Hawaii Regional cuisine chefs, Goran Streng has opened a charming café on the ground floor of one of Honolulu's new luxury condos. Tango features a range of dishes influenced by Streng's Scandinavian background and informed by his many years on the Islands. Guests will find value-priced salads, soups and entrées nicely prepared and served by a friendly staff. The café is currently open for lunch and dinner with breakfast offered on the weekends. Tango, 1288 Ala Moana Blvd., Hokua Building, Honolulu, 808-593-7288.
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar recently expanded to the Big Island. Located in Queen’s Village at the Waikoloa Beach Resort, Sansei brings to the Big Island its sushi and Asian fusion cuisine, already popular at its sister restaurants on Maui and O’ahu. The menu will also feature dry-aged steaks. The 6,200-square-foot restaurant is the largest Sansei on the islands. Sansei Waikoloa, Queen’s Village, Waikoloa Beach Resort, Waikoloa.
Livening up the dining scene in the beach town of Kailua is the newly opened Formaggio Grill, a sister restaurant to the original Formaggio in Honolulu. Formaggio Grill exudes a casual vibe albeit at a rather substantial price tag. Martinis start at $12 and entrées range from the mid-twenties and up. The menu is a confusing mish mash of cuisines and we'd recommend this spot primarily for the convivial scene as opposed to the food. Formaggio Grill, 305 Hahani St., Kailua, 808-263-2633.
Beach Bums Bar & Grill recently opened at the Shops at Ma’alaea. Located in the former Blue Marlin Harborfront Grill & Bar space, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features casual (and kid-friendly) fare including sandwiches, burgers, fish tacos and more. Beach Bums Bar & Grill, Ma’alaea Harbor Village, 300 Ma’alaea Rd., Ma’alaea, 808-243-2286.
Ono Gelato Company opened shop in the heart of Pa’ia town. Its gelato is made from natural and organic ingredients from local farmers, and includes flavors such as Maui pineapple, liliko’i (passion fruit), and Kula strawberry. Ono Gelato Company, 115D Hana Hwy., Pa’ia, 808-579-9201.
E.W. Drive In has opened up in the former Fiesta Time location on Wailuku’s Lower Main Street. The menu, highlighting East-West flavors, includes plate lunches, seafood, spaghetti, sandwiches, Asian-style noodles and more. Two of its owners, Harold Sambrano and Shawn Villamor, come from Ming Yuen, a notable (and sadly, long closed) Chinese restaurant. Co-owner Jocelyn Kanaele from the Four Seasons Hotel creates desserts and pastries including mini-tarts and pies made-to-order. E.W. Drive In, 1132 Lower Main St., Wailuku, 808-243-8800.
Wei Wei Bar-B-Q & Noodle has opened a second location. Located in the Pukalani Terrace Center, the restaurant brings its homemade noodles, roast duck and char siu to upcountry Maui. In addition to the regular menu, the Pukalani location offers a brand-new buffet, which allows customers to create their own combination plates. Wei Wei Bar-B-Q & Noodle, Pukalani Terrace Center, 55 Pukalani St., Pukalani, 808-573-8838.
Island Cuisine, a casual eatery featuring local-style fare, has opened in Pa’ia. Owner Kit Kalajakawan, originally from Thailand, uses Maui-raised beef and locally grown produce, and also creates all sauces from scratch. The menu includes Thai-inspired dishes such as curry chicken, papaya salad and barbecue chicken, and also reliable plate lunch standbys such as loco moco, fish tacos and barbecue short ribs. Outdoor seating is available. Island Cuisine, 65 Hana Hwy., Pa’ia, 808-579-9491.
Real Fruit Ice Cream Hawaii has opened on Front Street in Lahaina. Owners Hailey McPhee and Jake Ramey utilize a unique soft-serve ice cream-maker they discovered on a trip to New Zealand. The ice cream machine combines the customer’s fruit of choice with Maui-made Roselani vanilla ice cream to produce a soft-serve dessert (and no fruit chunks). The fruit selection includes mango, liliko’i (passion fruit), strawberry and more. Real Fruit Ice Cream Hawaii, 819 Front St., Lahaina, 808-250-1801.
Honolulu is not home to many Greek restaurants so the opening of a spot which offers up Greek food is a welcome event. The Fat Greek has very limited parking and diners will have to brave traffic to order from the menu which features Greek standards at not-so-inexpensive prices. Fat Greek, 3040 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, 808-734-0404.
Breakfast lovers were happy to see the opening of another outlet of the IHOP chain in Pearl City, located in the Times Square Center. IHOP, 98-1262 Kaahumanu St., Pearl City, 808-486-4467.
Mala Wailea, located in the old Hula Moons restaurant space at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, had a soft opening in mid-January. Breakfast, featuring a hearty buffet or entrées such as eggs Benedict or huevos rancheros, is currently being served. Dinner service features similar fare to its sister restaurant, Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina. This includes local ingredients and organic products. The restaurant, led by Shep Gordon and partner chef Mark Ellman of Maui Tacos fame, has had a slew of celebrity backers including Alice Cooper, A&M Records co-founder Jerry Moss, and Hollywood producer Dick Donner. Mala Wailea, Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 3700 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, 808-875-9394.
Beachhouse has opened with executive chef Rodney Uyehara in the kitchen sending out Modern American cuisine. While the concept is a fine-dining steak and seafood house, the use of local ingredients and Uyehara's deft hand at creating fresh riffs on classic steakhouse dishes ensure an only-in-Hawaii experience. The newly refurbished dining room at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort is coolly elegant in hues of surf and sand with a soaring cream ceiling. Prefer an ocean view? Choose the expansive lanai and watch the sunset fade into a lush tropical night. Regardless of where you sit, you'll hear the ocean and dine very well indeed. Beachhouse, Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort, 2365 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki, 808-923-2861.
Kapalua Adventure Center Café has opened in the former Vino restaurant space. Open for breakfast and lunch, the café offers healthy, light fare including organic salads, sandwiches and hot entrées. The café is part of the new Kapalua Adventure Center, where visitors can book on-resort activities such as a zipline tour, a ropes challenge course, and hiking tours. Kapalua Adventure Center Café, 2000 Village Dr., Kapalua, 808-665-4386.
Pizza Madness, a new pizzeria and sports bar, has opened in the heart of Kihei. Open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., the menu features a variety of pizzas and beers on tap along with three large screens to watch the latest game. Pizza Madness, 1455 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, 808-270-9888.
Home Maid Bakery & Deli, known for its crispy manju and other island-style baked goods, opened up a second location. Located in the former Sub Paradise, the bakery is conveniently closer to the Kahului Airport, making it easier for visitors to pick up Maui baked goods to bring back home. Home Maid Bakery & Deli, 395 Dairy Rd., Kahului, 808-877-8779.
Merriman’s Kapalua is scheduled to open in June at the oceanfront site of the former Bay Club at the Kapalua Resort. Led by chef Peter Merriman, one of the pioneers of Hawaii Regional cuisine, Merriman’s Kapalua will be a “Farm to Table” restaurant featuring locally-grown, raised and caught foods, with a majority of organic produce coming from nearby Kapalua Farms. The wine list will feature more than 250 selections, including organic and biodynamic wines. Chef Merriman is also planning to open two restaurants in Kauai in 2009. Merriman’s Kapalua, Kapalua Resort, Kapalua.
The popular husband and wife chef team Michael and Dana Pastula has brought Café O’Lei back to its original home of Wailuku. Located in the new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Pono Center, the restaurant will be serving breakfast and lunch, including familiar favorites such as baked Maui onion soup en croute and blackened mahi mahi. Offering indoor and outdoor seating, the restaurant will be a boon to the area, which has been undergoing revitalization. This is the third Café O’Lei location, with the other two in Kihei and the Dunes in Kahului. Café O’Lei, 62 Market Street, Wailuku, 808-986-0044.
Featuring upscale dining with ocean views, Pulehu Restaurant is now open in the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas. The restaurant will offer a breakfast buffet and a la carte selections, and for dinner, fresh island fish, meats such as steak, chicken and lamb prepared with your choice of sauce, including port sauce, mushroom cognac cream, and mango fennel chutney. Diners can watch the chef action in the show kitchen, or sit outside next to the lush koi ponds. Pulehu Restaurant, Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas, 6 Kai Ala Dr. Lahaina, 808-667-3200, www.westinkaanapali.com.
Maui finally has an Indian restaurant with the opening of Shangri-La By The Sea, located in the Menehune Shores condominiums. Shangri-La offers authentic Indian cuisine for lunch and dinner. Specialties include chicken tikka masala, palak paneer, and lamb saag. They also have a tandoor oven for baking fresh naan bread and tandoori meats. Shangri-La By The Sea, 760 S. Kihei Road. Suite 109, Kihei, 808-875-4555.
Four new eateries, including one named after former Van Halen singer (and part-time Maui resident), Sammy Hagar, are planned for the Kahului Airport, according to restaurant group HMSHost. Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill is scheduled to open in early 2008, while Jamba Juice, California Pizza Kitchen ASAP, and Burger King are currently under construction. Kahului Airport, 1 Kahului Airport Rd., Kahului.A number of eateries are planned for the new Lahaina Gateway Center, including the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, and Genki Sushi. The restaurants are scheduled to open in early 2008. Lahaina Gateway Center, Honoapi’ilani Highway at Keawe St., Lahaina.
The Little Oven, a boutique bakery concept, has opened in the Ala Moana area of Honolulu. It has unusual hours for a bakery–it is open from 6 p.m. to midnight Wednesdays through Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The idea behind the hours is to take advantage of the lively night scene in the neighborhood. Early reports suggest trying the parfaits which feature exotic flavored katen (Japanese-style jelly sweets) or a slice of the malt ball cake. The Little Oven, 1467 S. King St., Unit 1-A, Honolulu, 808-947-6836, www.liloven.com.
The popular South Maui block known as the “Kihei Triangle” welcomes a new restaurant in the former Tastings location. Fat Daddy’s Smoke House offers barbeque fare like ribs, beef brisket, BBQ beans, cornbread and more. Fat Daddy’s Smoke House, 1913 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, 808-879-8711.
The latest addition to the Tony Roma’s chain is now open on the second story of the historic Kishi Building in Lahaina. The famous family-style ribs restaurant features a shaded patio overlooking Front Street, a full bar and an interior dining room with booths and Hawaiian artwork, and ocean views throughout. Tony Roma’s, 736 Front St., Lahaina, 808-661-7600.
Ka`anapali Bar & Grill is now open in the former Mango Café spot. They are open daily from 6 a.m.-8 p.m., offering American food with island accents, in an open-air dining room with shaded patio overlooking the golf course. Kaanapali Bar & Grill, 2290 Kaanapali Pkwy., Kaanapali, 808-667-7480.
Uncle's Fish Market & Grill at Pier 38 is a restaurant venture from one of the state's foremost suppliers of fresh fish, Fresh Island Fish, so it's no surprise that the menu centers around fresh fish. Uncle's Fish Market & Grill, Pier 38, 1135 N. Nimitz Hwy., 808-275-0063.
Nobu Waikiki is the spot to see and be seen in Honolulu this summer. Visitors and local residents alike are flocking to the first Hawaii outpost of celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's chain restaurant. Many of Nobu's standard dishes are similar in flavor to what locals have known for years, but the quality of ingredients and execution raises the bar.
Hawaii's own celebrity chef with a chain of restaurants, Roy Yamaguchi, has opened Roy's Waikiki at the new Waikiki Beach Walk on Lewers Street. Diners will find the classic dishes the Roy's chain is known for as well as new creations from executive chef Jason Peel. Roy's Waikiki, 226 Lewers St., 808-923-7697.
Ed Kenney, co-chef/co-owner of Town in Kaimuki, has opened a new spot in downtown Honolulu on the first floor of the Hawaii State Art Museum. He calls this lunch-only eatery Downtown and the menu features the same clean, contemporary cuisine, made primarily with locally grown and organic ingredients, as his first restaurant.
One of Honolulu's most noted sushi chefs, Manabu Kikuchi, has opened his own place, Gaku Sushi Izakaya (1329 S. King St.). Kikuchi gained a loyal following during his years as head sushi chef at Imanas Tei. Gaku Sushi Izakaya allows diners to experience Kikuchi's innovative take on sushi and Japanese cuisine.
One of the original 12 Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs, Philippe Padovani, has joined forces with Donato Loperfido (you may recall Loperfido as the chef-owner of the Manoa spot, Donato's, which closed in 2006) to open a restaurant and wine bar in the spot recently occupied by L'Uraku (1341 Kapi'olani Blvd., Honolulu). The new restaurant will be called 'Elua Restaurant & Wine Bar. The chefs have come up with a unique strategy—Padovani and Loperfido will not be working together in the kitchen, but will alternate cooking responsibilities. This approach allows both to pursue their other business interests. In Padovani's case it is his gourmet chocolate business with outlets in downtown Honolulu and the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa and a promised gourmet coffee line. In Loperfido's case it is a quick-service Italian restaurant called Pasta et Basta at Restaurant Row. Pasta et Basta is a good outlet for Loperfido's growing import business which features gourmet foodstuffs and wines from Italy. In case you were wondering, 'Elua means "two" in Hawaiian. Targeted opening date for 'Eula is early May.
The Dog & Duck Irish Pub has opened in Kihei’s Kalama Village. The pub will be open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and will also serve brunch on the weekends. The Dog & Duck Irish Pub, 1913 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, 808-875-9669.
DUO has opened in the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, to replace Pacific Grill. The poolside restaurant features chef Noel Badillo’s inventive menu of fresh seafood, Prime steaks and local produce, paired with a distinctive collection of wines by the glass. DUO, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, 808-874-8000.
Nobu Waikiki, the Rockwell Group-designed restaurant of celebrity chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, has opened at the Waikiki Parc Hotel. Japanese cuisine-master Matsuhisa creates his innovative dishes with indigenous delicacies, global flavors and classic Japanese techniques. Waikiki Parc Hotel, 808-921-7272.
All of Honolulu has been buzzing since chef George Mavrothalassitis, owner of the renowned Chef Mavro, announced he was opening a casual bistro-style spot to be called Cassis Honolulu in the Harbor Court space recently vacated by Palomino. The cuisine? Mavrothalassitis is talking about "Hawaiian bistro classics" described as classic fare with a Hawaii regional cuisine twist–think steak with curried frites and li hing mui tarte Tatin. The kitchen will be helmed by Ben Takahashi who is a longtime protégé of Mavrothalassitis from his days at La Mer. Most recently Takahashi was executive sous chef at Mauna Lani Resort at Kalahuipua'a on the Big Island. Takahashi will be assisted in the kitchen by Nolan West who has spent the past four years in the kitchen at Chef Mavro. The expansive venue boasts stunning views of the harbor and Mavrothalassitis has brought in noted kama'aina designer, Mary Philpotts, for the renovation. When will Cassis Honolulu open? If the project stays on schedule, Monday, April 30 is the date to mark on your calendar. Cassis Honolulu, Harbor Court Building, 66 Queen St., Honolulu, 808-545-8100.
Alan and Diane Beaurline, former owners of Kihei Wine & Spirits, have opened a wine and gourmet goods store, Wailea Wine Shop, in the Wailea Town Center. Their new venture also offers a limited selection of cheese and seafood, including diver scallops and ceviche. Wailea Wine Shop, Wailea Town Center, 161 Wailea Ike Pl., Wailea, 808-879-0555.
Dante’s Italian Eatery has opened in the Lahaina Cannery Mall. They have family-style salads and pastas cooked by former Carelli’s chef, the Italian-born Mauro Gramuglia. Dante’s Italian Eatery, Lahaina Cannery Mall, 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy., Lahaina.
The Yard House is the first in a series of notable restaurants to open this year in the Waikiki Beach Walk, a brand-new 94,000-square-foot shopping and dining complex. Yard House is most noted for its vast selection (the list approaches 200) of draft beers and its classic rock music. Yard House, Waikiki Beach Walk, 226 Lewers St., Waikiki, 808-923-9273, www.yardhouse.com.
A tea boutique has opened in Kahului, just behind the Latitudes lighting store. China Tropics Teas & Collectibles honors all varieties of loose-leaf teas, with special emphasis on traditional teas and the tea drinking ceremonies of China. Owners Colin Kimura and Marie De Lima also plan to host midday tea tastings on Saturdays, starting in March. China Tropics Teas & Collectibles, Kahului, 808-873-8028.
Ruth's Chris Steak House will open their second location on Oahu in the Waikiki Beach Walk on March 19. This new 6,000-square-foot space will feature an expansive U-shaped bar and lounge area and a variety of seating options from roomy tables to comfortable banquettes for dining. The interior pays homage to the old Waikiki and Hawaii with artwork featuring vintage prints of hula dancers and surfers. This marks the fifth location statewide since the first Hawaii Ruth's Chris Steak House on Restaurant Row in Honolulu opened in 1989. Additionally, there are two Ruth's Chris Steak Houses on Maui—one in Lahaina and the other in Wailea. The Big Island Ruth's Chris Steak House in Kamuela opened in October 2006. Ruth's Chris Steak House, Waikiki Beach Walk, 226 Lewers St., Waikiki, 808-440-7910.
E&O Trading Company (Lahaina Cannery Mall, 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy., Lahaina, 808-667-1818) opens July 20. They will offer dinner Tuesday-Sunday, serving pan-Asian cuisine drawing on flavors from India, Southeast Asia and Northern Asia.
Philly’s Blue Plate Diner (Azeka Makai, Kihei) is now open in the former Cevoli’s Motorcycle Café location. They will highlight Chef Francis “Phil” DeMott’s American comfort food with a southern flair.
Ma’alaea Grill (300 Ma’alaea Rd., Ma’alaea, 808-243-2206) now returns to its previous location at The Place, as former owners Michael and Dana Pastula take over their old spot. They plan on featuring live entertainment and a menu that includes rotisserie duck, island fresh seafood and local ebi burgers.
Zack’s Deli & General Store is the new gourmet deli at Keawakapu Beach, featuring 450 wines and 25 gourmet cheeses, specialty meats, salads and hot deli take-out items, as well as Kosher foods. It’s owned by Simon Vodjani, whose other Maui eateries include Five Palms Beach Grill and Canoes and run by chefs Rey Baysa and Romeo Paet (the former executive chef of Wailea Marriott). Zack’s Deli & General Store, Mana Kai Resort, 2960 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, 808-879-1561.
Matteo’s Pizzeria is now open in the former Lobster Cove/Harry’s Sushi Bar location. Chef-owner Matteo Mistura comes from Italy and worked previously as chef at Ferraro’s. Partner Mike O’Dwyer, originally from Ireland, is also owner of Mulligan’s on the Blue. Matteo's offers an Italian-Irish menu for lunch and dinner, featuring pastas, meatball sandwiches and pizza. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Closed Sundays. Matteo’s Pizzeria, 100 Wailea Ike, Wailea, 808-874-1234.
Aaron Placourakis—owner of upscale Maui restaurants Nick’s Fishmarket, Sarento’s and Son’z at Swan Court—has opened Blu in the old Café O’Lei location. Chef George Gomes’ protégé Maka Kwon heads the kitchen at this oceanfront, two-story establishment which features such Mediterranean and Indian fusion delights as naan bread with curry hummus and tandoori chicken. Blu, 839 Front St., Lahaina, 808-661-9591, www.blurestaurant.com.
Nobu Waikiki, the Rockwell Group-designed restaurant of celebrity chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, is slated to open in December at the Waikiki Parc Hotel. Japanese cuisine-master Matsuhisa will draw on local culinary tastes. Waikiki Parc Hotel, 808-921-7272.
West Maui Baking Co. (Emerald Plaza, Lahaina, 808-661-6699) has opened its west side location across from the Cannery Mall, featuring a full selection of breads, pastries and coffee drinks. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mulligan’s On the Blue (100 Kaukahi St., Wailea, 808-874-1131) now has a sister restaurant, Mulligan’s at the Wharf (Lahaina Wharf Cinema Center, Lahaina, 808-661-8881), in the old Pancho & Lefty’s spot on the second floor.
Café is now open next to the Bohemia consignment
boutique, at Kahului’s old train station. It offers
picnic lunches in the courtyard, with eclectic snacks and
sandwiches based on a Camelot theme, like the King Arthur:
Brie, avocado, tomato pesto and melted mozzarella on a French
baguette. 101 Kaahumanu Ave., Kahului, 808-893-2500.
Time (Hana Hwy., Paia) is planning to open its third
location the second week of February in Paia, across from
Fire Dragon Bistro Orient and Design Shop (3750 Wailea Alanui Dr., Waliea) is expected to open in the Shops at Wailea mid-December. Restaurateur Walter Bissett and designer Bernard Tristan Foong hope to create a unique fine dining experience fashioned after old-style Hong Kong noodle houses, accented with Asian textiles.
Son’z Maui will open in the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. Tri-Star Restaurants, which includes Sarento’s and Nick’s Fishmarket in Wailea, is planning to open Son’z in November. Son’z will feature an extensive appetizer menu, classic entrées like steak, lobster and fresh fish, as well as an impressive wine cellar and the Hyatt’s romantic waterfall and swan lake surroundings. Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, 200 Nohea Kai Dr., Ka’anapali, 808-661-1234.
Spago’s former executive chef Adam Condon and bar manager Ted Woody will open Ted and Adam: The Place in Ma’alaea, serving “eclectic” cuisine with Mediterranean and European influences, along with rotisserie items and hand-tossed pizza. Ted and Adam: The Place in Ma’alaea, 300 Ma’alaea Rd., Ma’alaea, 808-243-2206.
Also soon to open in Kihe is Café O’Lei at the Rainbow Mall (1280 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, 808-891-1368), as well as Fred’s Mexican Café (2511 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, 808-891-8600) in the old KKO spot on December 15, while just upstairs, Moose McGillycuddy’s is scheduled to open in February.
Mulligan’s owner Mike O’Dwyer will open The Wailea Pizza Company late November/early December at the soon-to-be-constructed Wailea Town Center (Wailea Ike Pl., Wailea, 808-874-1234). The new Pizza Co. will feature Italian pizzas, breads and pastas.
Lahaina Store Grille & Oyster Bar (744 Front St.) is opening at the end of October. A two-floor restaurant offering Maui's only rooftop dining and a 47-foot raw oyster bar, Lahaina Store will also feature an exhibition kitchen with four chef's tables and a total of 350 seats, with a prime location right in the heart of bustling Lahaina Town.
Three new restaurants have opened on King Street in Moilili. Leading the pack is Spices (2671 S. King St., 808-949-2679), a casual pan-Southeast Asian spot where Lao chef-owner Pony Norindr is wowing a multicultural crowd with his Laotian curry (infused with dillweed) and Burmese khao soi soup noodles. A couple doors down is Bistro Sun (pictured), "Italian Fusion Style" (2671 S. King St., 808-946-7580). This offshoot of a 32-year-old Osaka restaurant serves an eclectic menu of Japanese (kikuni), Italian (spaghetti carbonara) and French dishes (escargots) along with some hybrid concoctions that defy labeling (like the Gorgeous Antonio pilaf topped with roast beef and cheese). Nearby is Aki-no-no (2633 S. King St., 808-947-1001), a traditional Japanese restaurant that doesn't mess with the cuisine.
The new E&O Trading is the Honolulu branch of a fledgling chain started in San Francisco by Chris Hemmeter, Jr. (yes, the son of the late developer of the Hyatt Regency). Taking cues from Southeast Asia and India, chef Barney Brown (he made his name at San Francisco's Betelnut restaurant) delivers Pan-Asian Lite in a Spice Route-meets-Disneyland setting—just the way J. Crew catalog shoppers like their Asian food. A fun cocktail menu is where you'll find pomegranate
margaritas—E&O is already a pauhana hotspot. Pictured are executive chef Brown, partner Daniel Torres, Chris Hemmeter, Jr. and partners Kenwei Chong, Mike Hadley and Micah Broude. E&O Trading, Ward Centre, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., 3rd Fl., 808-591-9555.
Honolulu has seen a slew of new restaurants—from stylish to super casual—open recently, spicing up the dining landscape. Kapahulu has always been a food zone with old favorites like Ono Hawaiian Foods and Helen's Chinese Kitchen, but two new arrivals make it a destination. First there's 808 Kapahulu (808 Kapahulu Ave., 808-737-8081), a design oasis serving contemporary plates in a sexy setting. Just weeks old is Yakiniku Toraji (949 Kapahulu Ave., 808-358-3970), the first Hawaii offshoot of a Tokyo chain. This isn't your grandpa's yakiniku; following in the footsteps of Momomo and Kai, Toraji puts a stylish, contemporary spin on familiar foods, in this case, Korean-style grill-at-the-table yakiniku.
In Discovery Bay, right across from the Ilikai, is Shanghai Bistro (1778 Ala Moana Blvd., 808-955-8668), a sleek room of wall-to-wall teak. While the restaurant touts "contemporary Chinese," the food is really just well-done Hong Kong and Chinese-American dishes like whole fried sea bass and kung pao chicken. A great drinks menu makes the front of the room one of the best cocktail lounges in town.
Choon Chun Chicken BBQ (1269 King St. at Birch St., 808-593-4499) is a humble corner joint with two flat-screen TVs on the walls showing Korean soap operas and talk shows—a big hint that the food will give you a real taste of Seoul. The specialty is dak kalbi, or barbecue chicken. It’s really a giant at-your-table stir-fry of the said bird and a mountain of fresh vegetables. The hot sauce will have you ordering more Hite Premium beer and soju.
Downtown, Betty Pang is giving diners a taste of Malaysian nonya cooking at the cubbyhole called Green Door Café (1145 Maunakea St., entrance on Pauahi between Maunakea and Smith Sts., 808-533-0606). It's just Betty (and sometimes her partner, Oahu Country Club chef Glenn Nitta) at the stove, so it can take a while to get your order. So come when you're not in a rush and indulge in extra-rich chicken curry—get an order of roti canai to dip—or specials like fried pomfret (monchong to locals).
A new hotspot has opened in Chinatown. Soul de Cuba (1121 Bethel St., Honolulu, 808-545-2822) has taken the dining scene by storm with its warm ambience, Latin music, colorful Santeria-themed artwork and humble yet satisfying home-style Cuban fare. The owner, Jesus Puerto, is partner in another Soul de Cuba, but that one is in New Haven, Connecticut.
Right next door to Soul de Cuba, restaurateur Dave Stewart (Indigo, Bar 35) will open his new venture, Du Vin, by early September. Essentially a wine bar, Du Vin will serve Mediterranean-inspired tapas to complement what is expected to be one of the most distinctive wine lists in town. Du Vin promises to be a stunner with a 4,000-square-foot space featuring three distinct areas including an open-air courtyard that evokes the feeling of a backstreet café in Provence. We will keep you posted on this one!
Arguably Hawaii's favorite steakhouse, Ruth's Chris will open its first location on the Big Island in September at the Shops at Mauna Lani (68-1330 Mauna Lani Dr., Kohala Coast, 808-887-0800).
Kailua-Kona is the first American outpost of one of Tokyo's most intriguing restaurants, Fujimamas. Opened in 1998 by Texas-born chef Mark Vann and restaurateur Lisa Smith, Fujimamas created a dining sensation in Tokyo with its Asian fusion dishes. While Fujimamas Kona (75-5719 Alii Dr., Kailua-Kona, 808-327-2125) is not a clone of its sister restaurant, the two share a style and culinary philosophy that emphasizes modern flavors, artful presentation and fun in dining.
an upscale nightlife venue and fresh seafood purveyor, is coming
soon to the Ala Moana Center. The three-story space will include
bar, entertainment, dance and terrace areas while the kitchen
will turn out the signature “Seafood Plateau” dish
of fresh catches and an array of pupu-style choices. Inventive
cocktails will include “Hibiscus Love Potion #5,”
a mix of vodka, hibiscus tea and Pearl’s homemade lemongrasss
syrup. Pearl will be open 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Thursday and 4
p.m.-4 a.m. Friday-Saturday. $10 cover charge on the weekends.
Pearl, Ho’okipa Terrace, Upper Level 3, Ala Moana Shopping
MAC 24/7, which stands for "Modern American Cuisine open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” will offer American and local standards from steak to omelet’s to saimin when they open at the Radisson Waikiki Prince Kuhio Hotel in early November 2006. Chef de cuisine Pedro Rivera will be in charge of the kitchen and we understand that everything on the menu will be available around the clock. Radisson Waikiki Prince Kuhio Hotel, 2500 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu, 808-922-0811.
you've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Nobu at the Waikiki
Parc Hotel slated to open late autumn 2006, you'll have to
wait a bit longer. The new hoped-for date is in spring 2007. Waikiki
Parc Hotel, 2233 Helumoa Road, Honolulu, 808-921-7272.
P.F. Chang's China Bistro opened in early September and by all accounts is doing a very brisk business. One big plus in their favor is that they take reservations unlike some of the other popular national chains. The restaurant is located in the brand-new condo development, The Hokua. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, 1288 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, 808-596-4710.
Paia Flatbread Co., featuring all-natural wood-fired pizzas, is now open in the former location of SandBar & Grill. Paia Flatbread Co., 89 Hana Hwy., Paia, 808-579-9115.
Market Street Café has debuted in the former location of Squeaky’s. The newly renovated restaurant features an eclectic menu of Asian lettuce wraps, opakapaka Provençal and Thai chicken pizza, and is being run by Leslie Lai, the previous owner of Hana Hou Café. Market Street Café, 197 N. Market St., Wailuku, 808-244-4100.
Satura Cakes, a small bakery enterprise with roots in Silicon Valley (their tag-line reads "Never another ordinary bite"), has brought its Japanese-style pastries, cakes and baked goods to two locations in Honolulu. Satura Cakes was founded by a young Japanese engineer who was distressed at the poor quality of American cakes and pined for the European-influenced treats of his homeland. Custom wedding cakes are a specialty. Satura Cakes, Harbor Court, 55 Merchant St., Honolulu, 808-537-1206; and Ward Center, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, 808-537-1206.
The Waikiki Prince Kuhio Hotel is home to MAC 24-7. MAC stands for "modern American cooking," and with its round-the-clock service, it joins the rather small handful of full service 24-hour restaurants on the island of Oahu. The entire menu is focused on comfort foods designed to appeal to tourists and locals including pancakes, seafood pasta dishes and classic diner favorites like the ubiquitous mac 'n’ cheese. 24-7, 2500 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu, 808-921-5564.
For those traveling on Kamehameha Highway bound for the North Shore or the Leeward Coast, there is a new restaurant in Pearl City. Souvaly Thai features well-prepared Thai dishes in a casually elegant setting. Owner Souvaly Khamphoui is ethnically Laotian, so you will find a few Laotian offerings as well as the ever-popular Vietnamese beef soup, pho. Souvaly Thai, 803 Kamehameha Hwy., Pearl City, 808-455-5888.
Ice Cream for a Cause
More Brews for Maui
New Face for Chinese Mainstay
Coffee & Wine Only
Fish & Poi to Change Name
Welcome to Lanai City
Ten Years of Dining Excellence
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Restaurants Reopen
Honolua Store Expands Food Offerings
Christmas Day Fire Damages Charley’s
Giada Features Maui Restaurants
New Dinner Menu at SeaWatch
Save Your Appetite
A Dog By Any Other Name
Josselin Fans Rejoice
Downtown Choices Delight Diners
Music & Dinner
The Early Sizzle
Theme-Dining a Deux
What’s New at Blue
Do the Demi
Off to Tips Up!
& Bernard Add Breakfast
Canoes Restaurant now has a sushi bar, featuring chef Vinny Pharakhone. The new sushi bar is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 1450 Front St., Lahaina, 808-661-0937.
in the New Year
on the Buffets
Tap into Tapas
Menu at the Tropica
the Rocks for Lunch
Sistina: Little Italy
Only at Hoku's
Adds the Faves
Tree Boasts New Menu
Things Up at AK's
Jason Iwamoto is the new executive chef at Roy’s Bar & Grill Kihei. Chef Iwamoto was the sous chef at Roy’s Kahana Bar & Grill and also worked at David Paul’s Lahaina Grill. Roy’s Bar & Grill Kihei, Pi’ilani Shopping Center, 303 Pi’ikea Ave., Kihei, 808-891-1120.
Mia Gaines-Alt, formerly of Feed the People restaurant in Oakdale, Calif., is the new chef at the Hula Shores restaurant in the Hotel Moloka’i. Chef Gaines-Alt, best known for her stint on the second season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” cooking show, brings comfort food to the menu of local favorites. Hula Shores, Hotel Moloka’i, Kamehameha V Hwy., Kaunakakai, 808-553-5347.
Longtime Maui chef and resident Romeo Arruiza is now the executive chef for Honolua Store in Kapalua. Honolua Store recently expanded their breakfast and lunch menus after the store renovated and upgraded their kitchen and deli. Chef Arruiza has more than 30 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, and was most recently the lead cook and menu creator at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas.
Craig Erickson is the new executive chef at Napili Kai Beach Resort’s signature oceanfront Sea House Restaurant that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sea House, Napili Kai Beach Resort, 5900 L. Honoapiilani Hwy., Napili, 808-669-1500.
Beverly Gannon has taken over as chef at Henry Clay’s Rotisserie at Hotel Lanai. The hotel’s new owners, Mary Charles and husband Tom Kiely, contacted the acclaimed chef, who also owns Joe’s and Haliimaile General Store, to consult on the restaurant’s makeover. Henry Clay’s Rotisserie, Hotel Lanai, P.O. Box 520, Lanai City, 808-565-4700.
Paul Luna is the new chef at Ferraro’s in the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Chef Luna hails from Sassari, Sardinia, and plans to keep his menu clean and simple, as well as incorporating foods from Sardinia, Corsica and the Greek Islands. Ferraro’s, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, 808-874-8000.
The closing of Vino on Maui has brought chef de cuisine Keith Endo to the Vino in Honolulu. Look for his Italian-focused cuisine which is designed to complement the extensive wine list (many by the glass) selected by master sommelier Chuck Furuya.
That didn't last long. Diamond Head Grill once again has a new chef; previous chef Eric Sakai was there less than six months. In the kitchen now is Mariano Lalica, one of the owners of long-closed Meritage. Most recently he was the executive chef at The Plaza Club. The menu is in flux, but a focus on French and Italian dishes with an emphasis on seafood is the reported direction.
Former Four Seasons chef Judah Secunda will be joining the kitchen at Mulligan’s on the Blue, 100 Kaukahi St., Wailea, 808-874-1131.
Executive chef Michael Gallagher has left Sea House Restaurant in order to pursue cookbook publishing and wholesale food distribution. Sea House Restaurant, Napili Kai Beach Resort, 5900 Honoapiilani Hwy., Napili, 808-669-1500.
Diamond Head Grill in the W Honolulu—Diamond Head has yet another new chef in the kitchen. The position has changed hands so many times in the past few years, we have lost count. It is to be hoped that the new chef, Eric Sakai, a CIA graduate and devotee of the Alice Waters school of culinary thought, will be there for a good long time. Though only 24-years-old, his previous employment was at notable San Francisco restaurants Acquerello and Rubicon. The menu has shifted to Regional Italian under Sakai's direction. Diamond Head Grill, W Honolulu—Diamond Head, 2885 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, 808-922-3734.
Stella Blues Café welcomes a new pastry chef, Michele Tarquinio, who bakes fresh herb bread daily and is adding chocolate bread pudding and sour cream apple crisp to the menu. Stella Blues Café, 1279 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, 808-874-3779.
Chef Joey Macadangdang returns to Roy’s Kihei (303 Pi’ikea Ave., Kihei, 808-891-1120) after his stint running Pineapple Grill (200 Kapalua Dr., Kapalua, 808-669-9600).
General manager/owner Ted Woody and executive chef/owner Adam Condon have moved on from Ted & Adam’s The Place, now simply called The Place. Principal owner Tanya Dorn remains and plans to continue the restaurant with the same menu and hours. 300 Ma’alaea Rd., Ma’alaea, 808-243-2206.
Chef Guillaume Burlion is jump-starting the W
Honolulu Diamond Head hotel's once tired Diamond
Head Grill. The classically trained Frenchman (he worked at
Paris landmarks Le
Pré Catelan, Maxim's and Hôtel
de Crillon) had rave reviews as the chef of Nashville's Wild
Boar. Now he turns his attention to Hawaii's local ingredients
in dishes such as pineapple tomato salad in a shiso vinaigrette
and potato-crusted opah. W Honolulu Diamond Head, 2885 Kaläkaua
longtime pastry chef for Alan
Wong's, Mark Okumura, has left the restaurant
to take over the bakery operation at Raymond Siu's 99 Ranch Market
location. The bakery supplies pastries and baked goods to Continental
Airlines as well as walk-in customers.
The Wailuku (1132 E. Main St., Ste.) and Ma’alaea (300 Ma’alaea Rd.) locations of Fiesta Time are now closed. The owner, Raul Jaimes, is focusing on the remaining location in Pa’ia, which continues to dish up quick Mexican food.
Watchers of the local restaurant scene were saddened but not surprised by the sudden closing of Cassis by Chef Mavro after being open for less than a year. The restaurant never attracted enough diners to make it a viable business venture for chef-owner George Mavrothalassitis, whose first restaurant, Chef Mavro, celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
E&O Trading Company in Lahaina closed its doors after being open for less than a year. The Honolulu location, offering Pan-Asian fare, is still open and going strong. E&O Trading Company, Lahaina Cannery Mall, 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy., Lahaina, 808-667-1818.
The Maalaea restaurant Blue Marlin Harborfront Grill & Bar is now closed so that the owner may pursue other interests. Blue Marlin Harborfront Grill & Bar, Maalaea Harbor Village, Old Maalaea Rd., Maalaea, 808-244-8844.
L'Uraku, which enjoyed nearly a decade of success, has closed its doors. The restaurant was never quite able to find its way after chef Hiroshi Fukui left in 2005 to open Hiroshi's Eurasion Tapas. Taking over the location after remodeling and renovation will be the new 'Elua Restaurant & Wine Bar.
Perhaps as a result of so many openings, we are seeing a growing number of restaurant closings. Notable closings include action star Jackie Chan's restaurant Jackie Chan's which was in the Ala Moana Shopping Center and both T.G.I.Friday's, one was located at the corner of Ward Ave. for nearly 18 years and the other was in Waikiki. 808 Kapahulu closed last year.
The sun has finally set on Sunset Grill. The restaurant stayed afloat for a number of years under its original ownership. When it was sold a couple of years ago there were hopes that it would find favor with the dining public again. It did not.
The Bistro at Century Center was a bastion
of classic French fine-dining in a town long dominated
by Hawaii regional cuisine when it comes to high-end
restaurants. So the precipitous closing of The Bistro
startled many and the ensuing battle between the
owner of the restaurant and the building's board
members, which has been carried out in an unusually
public fashion, captured the attention of people
who would never have noted a restaurant closing.
Rather than recite the "he said, he said"
nature of the disagreement, we'll just say that
we hope the restaurant finds new digs soon.
it reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation,
Chinese restaurant Zuihao has closed
its doors after only six months, due to high rent
and poor sales in Maui’s notoriously slow
Reilley’s Steak and Seafood closed its doors on March 31.
The Kapalua Bay Hotel closed on April 9, including its restaurants Gardenia Court, Plumeria Terrace, and The Bay Club
Padovani's Restaurant & Wine Bar has closed as of the end of the year 2005. The location in the Alana Doubletree Waikiki Hotel has just been too much of a hard sell (Roy's also failed in that spot years ago). Philippe Padovani will concentrate on his chocolate business.
The ambient tapas restaurant Bamboo Chi (100 Wailea Ike Dr., Wailea) closed its doors after six months, ending its reign as the latest “it” lounge in Wailea.
Swan Court in the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa closed, and is being gutted for a new restaurant to take its place.
Ku Ono (2511 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei) and Ma’alaea
Grill (300 Ma’alaea Rd., Ma’alaea) closed at the end
WM—The Restaurant (3350 L. Honoapiilani Rd., Honokowai, 808-667-7898) has closed its doors.
Current News View archived news: July 2014 | June 2014 | May 2014 | April 2014 | March 2014 | February 2014 | January 2014 | December 2013 | November 2013 | October 2013 | September 2013 | August 2013 | July 2013 | June 2013 | May 2013 | April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013 | January 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | July 2012 | June 2012 | May 2012 | April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011 | February 2011 | January 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | March 2008