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Roy's Restaurant Review: This is where it all started: if there was one chef in the vanguard of Hawaii Regional cuisine, it was Roy Yamaguchi. Born in Hawaii, raised in Japan, educated in some top Los Angeles kitchens, Yamaguchi did as much as anyone to put Hawaii on the world culinary map. It's instructive to remember that when one orders a seared ahi dish in Phoenix or Orlando, it was first served in the U.S. at this flagship restaurant in 1988. Over the years Yamaguchi's reputation and his restaurant empire have grown beyond all expectation. Yamaguchi's corporate obligations and personal interests mean that he is rarely in any one place for long. Executive chef Chris Garnier and the staff here keenly understand the expectations of both regulars and first-time diners who are often on a culinary pilgrimage. You'll find options like honey-mustard short ribs; blackened ahi with spicy soy mustard butter sauce; and grilled salmon with Japanese citrus ponzu. The Yamaguchi tradition of Asian flavors married to classic French technique is alive and well in Hawaii Kai. The wine list is surprisingly food-friendly, innovative and unexpected. Well worth a visit for the intensely flavored food, clever wine choices and lively ambience.