Plate lunch to represent Hawaii at ‘Flavored Nation’

Kai Cowell of Kaiulani Spices has been chosen to represent Hawaii at Flavored Nation’s inaugural event, serving the state’s iconic plate lunch (with kalua pig and pineapple rice) to thousands of food enthusiasts – alongside chefs and restaurateurs from 49 other states.

Flavored Nation is a new national food experience, kicking off in the Midwest and bringing with it a nationwide selection tastes and talent.

Through extensive research conducted by a team of culinary experts and food entertainment veterans, Flavored Nation has identified the most iconic food from each of the 50 states. Those 50 dishes – as well as the restaurateurs or chefs who prepare them best – will travel to the St. Louis’ Dome at America’s Center, October 27-29, giving up to 12,000 attendees the chance to feast on “a taste of every state.”

Plate lunch comes from Hawaii’s immigrant culture of the 1880s, when plantation workers would make carb heavy lunches from leftovers to sustain them through the long days in the sugar and pineapple fields, Flavored Nation explains.

Cowell is originally from the Philippines and has lived in Hawaii since 1976. She was born into a family of cooks, attended culinary school and began creating her own spice blends ten years ago at her home on the side of a hill above Honolulu. Today, Cowell’s spice blends – which she uses in her plate lunch recipe – can be purchased online and in stores throughout Hawaii, as well as tasted in dishes at some of Waikiki’s most popular restaurants. Her first cookbook will come out this fall.

Flavored Nation is spearheaded by its executive producer Richard Gore, who has been developing live culinary entertainment since the mid-1990s (back when food events weren’t a thing). He served as president of live events at Food Network and led the development of “Food Network Live” and “Food University™ at Caesars Palace,” in addition to creating “eat-ertainment” marketing campaigns for brands like Heinz, P&G, Unilever, Ikea and Family Circle.

At Gore’s side are fellow food entertainment veterans, David Rosengarten, Jared Bobkin and Bobby Parrish. Rosengarten is a two-time James Beard award winning food writer and was one of the first on-air talents at Food Network. He hosted “Food News & Views” then created and hosted the program “Taste,” which ran for eight years. He’s now Flavored Nation’s head of content. Bobkin is a Detroit-area executive chef who made it to the final rounds of FOX’s “Hell’s Kitchen” season 15. He’s also Flavored Nation’s culinary director, conducting nationwide research with Rosengarten to determine the United States’ iconic foods and top eateries. Parrish, a Chicago native, is a home cook whose online brand FlavCity has a social following of more than 400K. He appeared on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” in 2006 and is now the friendly face of Flavored Nation’s online video series.

“America is incredibly passionate about food, which has moved from our plates to our screens and become a core part of today’s pop culture” said Gore. “For cooks and non-cooks alike, how we speak about food today is not how we talked about it 15 years ago. Food is reviewed, read about and watched on TV; and our social lives often revolve around eating. However, in a nation of documented culinary diversity, most people’s personal food experience is still limited to local geography and some occasional travel. It’s why a Chicagoan can argue extensively about the city’s best deep dish but has never tried chislic or huddish… the iconic foods of South Dakota and Minnesota, respectively. This is the perfect time for Flavored Nation. We want to fuel debate about local favorites and at the same time spur discovery people crave, providing access to 49 other state dishes that, for most, will be brand new.”

The vendors who will be in attendance include chefs and restaurateurs almost as iconic as the state dishes they’ll represent.

“No one wrote a guidebook on how to authentically identify the United States’ most iconic foods,” said Rosengarten. “It’s been an amazing adventure and challenge. Some states, like Louisiana, California and New York, are well known for multiple dishes. For other states, like South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska, I personally drew a blank. Through exhaustive research, consumer input via social media and conversations with state tourism boards, we’ve mapped it out. Now, we’re stacking our roster. Restaurants and chefs can’t buy their way in. This is invite only, and we’ll be bringing the best of the best for an unrivaled culinary experience this fall at Flavored Nation.”

For more information on Flavored Nation, and to purchase tickets, visit www.flavorednation.com. Also follow Flavored Nation on Facebook (facebook.com/flavorednation), Twitter and Instagram (@flavorednation), and share your iconic food passions by using the hashtag #flavorednation.

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Lanikai Brewing Company earns global recognition

Lanikai Brewing Company, the original Kailua, Hawaii brewery focused on creating authentic, island inspired Hawaiian craft beer, has been awarded the distinction of being named as one of the top craft beer breweries in the world by Lonely Planet Food in their newly-released guide book, Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour.

Featuring breweries in 32 countries and across five continents, Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour selected just 36 U.S. breweries from a pool of over 5,300, putting Lanikai Brewing Company in the top 1% of U.S. breweries represented.

Compiled by Lonely Planet’s community of beer-loving travel experts, Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour helps thirsty travelers discover the world’s most authentic and delicious brews, and recommends other local highlights, including museums, galleries, hikes and bike rides nearby.

At just over two years old, Lanikai Brewing Company is continuing to make a name for itself amongst the best in the world in large part due to the attention to detail and the passion for the art of craft beer brewery from the brewmasters. With a focus on using exotic and limited ingredients sourced locally within Hawaii, the Lanikai Brewing Company team creates authentic, island inspired Hawaiian craft beer by foraging on the islands and working with local farmers.

The news of inclusion in Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour is the latest in a series of achievements and accolades for the Kailua based Brewery. For the latest information on new beer releases and upcoming events, please visit Lanikai Brewing Company on Facebook and Instagram, or stop by the tasting room for samples and growler fills. Aloha!

About Lanikai Brewing Company

Lanikai Brewing Company is an island-inspired authentic Hawaiian craft beer company making 100 percent of our brews here in Hawaii. We take our cues from premium, local, rare, and exotic ingredients found across the Pacific to bring you bold and flavorful beers that you will find nowhere else. Pour a nice solid head to breathe in the flowers and fruits, the same aromas carried by our gentle trade winds. It’s paradise in a bomber bottle, best shared with friends.

Lanikai Brewing Company is a community-based brewery, with a tasting room overlooking the production floor. Open Thursdays and Fridays between 4-9pm and Saturdays and Sundays between 12-6pm for samples, growler fills and bottle sales.

Lanikai Brewing Company is located at 175 Hamakua Drive, Kailua, HI 96734.

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Sam Choy to develop student dining at Aloha Tower

Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) today announced a partnership with Hawaii’s famed local chef, Sam Choy, who will help develop the university’s newest student dining facility at its Aloha Tower Marketplace location. HPU is the first university in the state of Hawaii to highlight Hawaii Regional Cuisine, as popularized by Chef Choy, and infuse it into the design of both a menu and student dining space.

“HPU is actively changing the student experience in our downtown community, and I am honored to be a part of a project for Honolulu’s next generation of leaders as well as to participate in the revitalization of the historic Aloha Tower Marketplace,” said Chef Sam Choy. “Food brings people together, and this prime location will welcome students, other members of our island community and visitors from around the world to experience the comforts of Pacific inspired cuisine in an exquisite gathering place.”

“The HPU ohana warmly welcomes Chef Choy and his culinary mastery to further provide unique, landmark services for our students,” said John Gotanda, President of HPU. “Visitors to the campus, who will be welcome to dine in the facility, will accentuate the diverse student experience HPU is known for.”

Though the student dining facility has yet to be named, Chef Sam Choy will be at the helm of that decision as well as crafting the menu and assisting with the selection of food items and vendors. Chef Choy will also assist with space planning, design details, and selecting the management team to handle day-to-day operations of the restaurant. The student dining facility will be located in the last space on the right of the Aloha Tower Marketplace Atrium, providing students and visitors yet another waterfront dining option in the mixed-use commercial residential and commercial center.

Chef Sam Choy has been creating cuisine with fresh, local island ingredients since he was a boy learning to cook alongside his parents. Sourcing and cooking with the traditional foods of Hawaii, Chef Choy’s native intelligence and culinary creativity have led him to co-create and popularize Hawaii Regional Cuisine around the globe.

Nearly 270 HPU students live in waterfront lofts on the second floor of the Aloha Tower Marketplace. On the ground floor, students currently have access to HPU facilities including the Learning Commons, Faculty-Student Lounge, and multi-purpose rooms; HPU offices such as Welcome Center, Student Life, Waterfront Lofts Housing, Student Government Association, and Campus Activities Board; and various retail and dining options. Living at the Waterfront Lofts also provides easy access to many amenities, activities, and public transportation in downtown Honolulu.

Founded in 1965, Hawaii Pacific University has grown to become the state’s leading private, non-profit university, with a student population of nearly 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and nearly 65 countries around the world. It has campuses in downtown Honolulu, Kāneohe, and Makapuu, and on military bases around Oahu. The Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and USA Today have each named HPU among the most diverse private universities in the nation. www.HPU.edu

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Sam Choy Opens Food Truck at Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) welcomed renowned chef Sam Choy to the Hukilau Marketplace this weekend with the opening of his new food truck, Sam Choy & Tita’s Seafood & Poke Truck, in the Roulotte Court of outdoor eateries.

Also opening today at the Hukilau Marketplace were So’Da Bomb and Fia Fia Farms, along with My Island Spa, a massage spa station, all of which was in celebration of the Hukilau Marketplace’s second anniversary. Additionally, guests enjoyed live performances by Vaihi and Roots Rockaz, along with fun keiki activities including inflatable slides and face painting.

Located at the entrance to the PCC, the Hukilau Marketplace highlights the traditions of Laie and the North Shore, featuring local cuisine and retail shops that showcase the unique heritage of the area. Admission and parking to Hukilau Marketplace is free to the public.

“Since Hukilau Marketplace opened its doors, our team has been working to find a unique blend of food and retail offerings for our guests,” said Delsa Moe, Vice President of Cultural Presentations of the PCC. “We are pleased to introduce these new additions to our Roulotte Court.”

Also offered at Hukilau Marketplace are Pounders Restaurant, Hapa Home Store, Na Hoku, Jaseboards and Polynesian Wood Carving.

The Roulotte Court features the following:

  • Sam Choy & Tita’s Seafood & Poke Truck – Owned by chef, restaurateur, and television personality Sam Choy, one of the founders of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. This food truck will offer fresh seafood and ono poke.
  • So’Da Bomb – Owner Kalin Uluave will serve a variety of fountain drinks. Guests can add different pumps of flavors to their favorite soft drink.
  • Fia Fia Farms – A must try is the specialty patented Mango Otai. Fia Fia Farms also has fresh fruits to enjoy and bananas to be freshly picked from the bunch.
  • Tita’s Grill – The popular Kahuku eatery run by the local Ah You ‘ohana (family) offers some of their most popular dishes, including generous plate lunches, loco moco, several varieties of burgers, stir-fry, kalbi ribs, and Tahitian steak frit.
  • Island Scoops – Featuring hand-scooped ice cream in local flavors such as Macadamia Nuts and Haupia, as well as traditional options including Rocky Road and Cookies and Cream.
  • Délice Crêpes – Sweet or savory? Choose from a selection of creative crêpes, such as the S’More with marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers; the Tahiti with coconut; the Butter Cup with peanut butter, chocolate and banana; or customize your own from a choice of 14 crêpes or waffles and 20 toppings.
  • Island Breeze – Concoct unique flavor combinations at the self-serve flavor station. Choose from pina colada, strawberry, mango and banana. Then add condensed milk or a scoop of ice cream to create a truly delectable and refreshing treat.
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Michelin-starred Maru Sushi opens in Honolulu

Maru Sushi, an iconic Michelin-starred sushi bar in Sapporo, Hokkaido, opened its second location in Honolulu tonight. Helmed by the founding owner and executive chef Takeshi Kawasaki, the exclusive nine-seat counter will give diners two course options, each featuring an impressive lineup of Edomae sushi incorporating Hokkaido’s finest seafood bounty.

The sushi bar will offer a $180 course that features 6-7 appetizers and about 14 pieces of nigiri, and a $220 course with 6-7 appetizers and about 16 pieces of nigiri with elevated ingredients. The nigiri count for each course will vary based on market prices for the ingredients, most of which will be flown in fresh regularly from Hokkaido.

The restaurant is developing a finely curated selection of drinks to complement the sushi, including Suntory Malts beer by the draft, as well as a selection of fine wines, sake, and shochu. Reservations will be taken at 5:00 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 7:45 p.m., with the experiencing lasting no more than two hours.

Almost an exact replica of the Hokkaido restaurant designed by Takeshi Kawasaki himself, the 647 square-foot Honolulu location exudes a traditional Japanese aesthetic, from the entrance hall lined with thin stalks of bamboo emerging from a bed of white stones to the grey slate tiles leading up to the intimate 250-square foot dining room comprised of a low sushi counter with nine custom-made seats. The space’s interior is dominated by an L-shaped counter and seafood showcase made completely of blonde cedar, as soothing earth tones on the walls complement the warm ambiance. Recessed lights softly illuminate the counter, as a textured silhouette of Diamond Head on the wall subtly hints at the restaurant’s nod to its new home in Hawaii.

“I have spent a lifetime as a sushi chef, constantly challenging myself to become better,” says Takeshi Kawasaki, executive chef and owner of Maru Sushi. “After earning a Michelin star in 2011, and having my son carry on my legacy at the restaurant in Sapporo, my wife and I can fulfill our dreams and comfortably move to Hawaii,”

“Though I may have retired to Hawaii, where I cherish the relaxed spirit of the islands, I still vigilantly maintain a discerning sense of taste and a very high standard for my craft,” Kawasaki adds. “I hope the people of Hawaii will relish the flavors of Hokkaido and appreciate my attention to detail.”

Maru Sushi is located at 1731 Kalakaua Avenue, in a brand new two-story building near the Hawaii Convention Center. The restaurant will open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 5:00 to 10:30 p.m. For more information, please call (808) 951-4445.

About Chef Takeshi Kawasaki

Hokkaido-born Chef Takeshi Kawasaki started his career in sushi at the age of 15, after losing his mother. Attending high school during the day, he spent his evenings learning the trade at a local sushi restaurant. After graduation, he relocated to Kyoto for college, where he continued to work part time at a sushi restaurant. Completing his degree in Kyoto, Kawasaki decided to return home, where he took on a position at the esteemed Sushi Zen in Susukino for 10 years. Patiently waiting for the right window of opportunity, he launched his restaurant Maru Sushi in 1987, and quickly gained a reputation for his premium ingredients and impeccable technique. This eventually led him to earn his first Michelin star in 2011. In 2016, he left his restaurant in Hokkaido to his son, and moved to Hawaii to enjoy his retirement days with his wife, while continuing to spend his evenings continuing his life’s work as a sushi chef at the second location of Maru Sushi.

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Sweet Creams brings ice cream rolls to Honolulu

Another ice cream trend is landing in Honolulu with the arrival of Sweet Creams.

Sweet Creams held its Grand Opening at 1430 Kona Street (next to Ala Moana) today, advertised as the first ice cream store in Hawaii dedicated to serving the popular ice cream rolls that originated in Thailand and has recently caught on in places like New York City, Los Angeles and Boston.

Rolling out flavors such as Strawberry Shortcake, Cookies ‘N Cream, Frozen Hot Cocoa, Pineapple 5-0, and Love You So Matcha, these desserts start with a specially crafted, liquid ice cream base poured onto a pan cooled to around -22 degrees Celsius. Fresh fruit, cookies, candies and more are chopped and woven into the liquid base as it begins to solidify in front of you. After a minute or two, the ice cream is smoothed over the pan, quickly scraped into rolls, and topped with even more fresh ingredients. Customers can also choose custom flavors.

“Not only is it entertaining, the ice cream itself is drawing raving reviews on Instagram and other social sites, and Sweet Creams has already been featured on a couple news stations,” the store says in a release. “Starting out by catering private events, such as birthdays, weddings, and corporate parties, Sweet Creams quickly generated a loyal following through word of mouth.”

With the encouragement of several enthusiastic patrons, co-founders Jeffrey Kao and Bari Carroll – both born and raised in Hawaii – decided to open a store within the first year of business despite having full-time jobs.

“It’s taken countless hours of hard work and dedication, but we really feel like this ice cream concept is going to be a hit,” said Kao. “It’s fun, unique, and we use fresh ingredients without adding in a lot of unnecessary fillers – just the good stuff.”

“We’re doing a lot of interesting things and are excited to roll out new twists as we move forward. The response has been unbelievable so far,” Carroll added.

Sweet Creams will be open daily from 12pm to 9pm at 1430 Kona Street, next to Manichi Ramen and the main bus stops at Ala Moana.

About Sweet Creams

Sweet Creams is the first ice cream store in Hawaii dedicated to the popular ice cream rolls craze that originated in Thailand. Using fresh, local fruits and ingredients, we offer a unique ice cream treat in a fun and exciting way. No freezers needed! Each ice cream roll is handmade in front of you and provides a unique and entertaining experience. We look forward to having you try our exciting new take on ice cream – from Hawaii, for Hawaii! For more information, visit sweetcreamshawaii.com or our store at 1430 Kona Street, Honolulu, HI – open daily from 12pm to 9pm.

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Dave & Busters Honolulu Expands Menu

Dave & Buster’s Honolulu introduced new menu items this month, inviting football and basketball fans as well as gamers to enjoy the new offerings at a family-friendly dinner and lunch restaurant.

“We love seeing our guests enjoy great food, while they watch their favorite teams,” said Matt Luckett, General Manager of Dave & Buster’s Honolulu. “Our new food and drink selections are sure to be a hit, whether they come to watch sports, play games or hang out with friends.”

Dave & Buster’s Honolulu has added two new appetizers, a sandwich, a burger, an entree and three new cocktails.

The first of the two new appetizers is the Ancho Caesar Lettuce Wraps, made with thinly sliced marinated chicken breast, shredded Parmesan, bacon, avocado, diced tomatoes and Ancho Chile Caesar dressing, all atop romaine hearts. The second is Grilled Smoked Chicken Wings, made with twelve hardwood smoked chicken wings and served with four dipping sauces: buttermilk ranch, Thai chili, Sriracha honey soy and creamy Carolina Reaper hot sauce.

The new Angry Orchard Hard Cider Pulled Pork Sandwich is made with slow-roasted pulled pork and cider barbecue sauce, served with fresh buttermilk ranch slaw. The BBBacon Burger, also new, is the ultimate take on a bacon burger, with a seared and seasoned half pound burger, applewood smoked bacon, peppered bacon pork belly and smoked Gouda sauce, served on a brioche bun with seasoned fries on the side. Another new entree is the Crispy Nashville-Style Hot Chicken, which includes two crispy, hand-battered chicken breasts marinated in Nashville-style hot sauce, served with parmesan creamed spinach and loaded mashed potatoes with sharp cheddar sauce.

For cocktail lovers, three specially crafted drinks will be available for the first time at Dave & Buster’s Honolulu, including the Georgia Peach Smash, Wildberry Burst Smash and Mango Passion Smash. The Georgia Peach Smash is made with Crown Royal, DeKuyper Peachtree peach schnapps and fresh peach puree. The flavorful Wildberry Burst Smash is a mix of BULLEIT rye whiskey, Toorani Mixed Berry and some sweet n’ sour. Finally, the Mango Passion Smash recipe puts together Maker’s Mark, Monin and passion fruit.

Dave & Buster’s Honolulu diners appreciate the fun atmosphere and drink and food menus. Sports fans can watch a variety of games and families can enjoy the arcade. Dave & Buster’s Honolulu also serves as a private party and corporate function venue.

About Dave & Buster’s Honolulu

Back in the late 1970s, Buster opened a restaurant known for its tasty food and friendly service. A few doors down, Dave opened an outrageous place for entertainment and games where adults were irresistibly drawn for fun. The two young entrepreneurs noticed people rotating between their establishments, and an idea started to form: What if they put both under one roof? Dave & Buster’s Honolulu is Hawaii’s only Dave & Buster’s location, proudly serving the island of Oahu. For more information on Dave & Buster’s Honolulu, please visit www.daveandbusters.com/honolulu.

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New Book Blends Hawaii Recipes, Culinary Nostalgia

foodtowritehomeRestauranteur Bill Tobin, co-owner of Tiki’s Grill & Bar in Honolulu, has released a new book, “Food To Write Home About: Hawaii,” describing it as a “love story about the food and people of the place he has come to call home for the last 26 years.”

The book chronicles Tobin’s culinary journey as told to award-winning travel writer Brian Berusch, and includes recipes from 21 Hawaii chefs, from up-and-coming talent to legends like Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, and Chef Mavro.

Tobin moved to Hawaii from a small farming town in Nebraska to attend college, and quickly fell in love with the people and culture, making it his home and starting a family.

Presented in a unique format, the 176-page tome melds photos by Olivier Koning with correspondences from a loving son to his mother. Readers follow Tobin as he tastes his way through paradise and evolves his palate, just as a life in the restaurant world unfolds before him. Readers will experience what it means to embrace new flavors and allow them to inspire.

As the story progresses, the conversation inevitably veers toward the innovative chefs who are turning the perception of “Hawaiian cuisine” on its head. Leaving “Asian fusion” fare in the dust, this new crop of globally savvy culinary talent is utilizing local ingredients to create a completely new category of Hawaiian cuisine.

Tobin reflects on the ingredients and dishes that transported him from the farmlands of Nebraska to Honolulu, and Brian Berusch gets inside the kitchens (and minds) of Hawaii’s top chefs. What’s revealed in the book blends nostalgia and comfort with groundbreaking dishes—each of which is detailed in recipe format.

Food To Write Home About includes a wide range of chefs from the State of Hawaii, starting with some of the most recognized forefathers of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. Also included are a number of second and third generation chefs who trained under these notable chefs, now having branched out on their own and incorporating global practices and techniques.

Some additional chefs included in the book include: Ed Kenny, Andrew Le, Lee Ann Wong, Chris Kajioka and more.

Food To Write Home About is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com or can be purchased at Tiki’s Grill & Bar. It will be available in additional retail outlets on the island of Oahu. You can visit FoodToWriteHomeAbout.com/ to purchase as well.

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Moku Kitchen Brings ‘Upcountry Downtown’ to Kakaako

upcountry-downtownCreating an “upcountry downtown” vibe, Moku Kitchen will blend the best of both worlds as the latest addition to SALT. Handcrafted Restaurants LLC offers a new kind of dining experience for Honolulu foodies. Inspired by Chef Peter Merriman’s passion for made-from-scratch cooking using locally sourced ingredients, the new restaurant will open its doors to patrons at SALT on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

“Moku Kitchen incorporates the rich heritage of farming and ranching in Hawaiʻi into contemporary cuisine, blending the past with the present, which complements the vision of our developing business community perfectly,” said Kelley Nakano, General Manager of SALT. “SALT is proud to be an avenue for both innovative and creative representations of urban Hawaiʻi that at the same time honors the traditions of our past, and we are excited to have Moku Kitchen as the newest addition to our thriving community.”

Having achieved an immense amount of success with the establishment of the much loved Monkeypod Kitchen—which has locations in Ko‘olina, Oʻahu and Wailea, Maui—Moku Kitchen will continue in the tradition of making everything from scratch. The concept for the new restaurant is simple, but refreshing: Bring “Upcountry Downtown”—using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The unique, chef-driven concept features a visible kiawe wood burning pizza oven, an exposed expo rotisserie roaster, and a menu of flavorful dishes and local favorites such as Saimin and Dry Mein that everyone will enjoy. Additionally, Moku Kitchen offers 36 craft beers on tap served at 29 degrees, and is home to an incredible keg wine systems, with 12 biodynamic and sustainable wines available on tap.

With over 7,000 square feet of open space, both indoor and outdoor seating, a daily offering of live music, and a breathtaking mural by Pow! Wow! Hawaiʻi’s own Kamea Hadar in the backdrop—Moku Kitchen is a place where food connoisseurs can come together to sample mouthwatering dishes in a dynamic setting. Standout menu items include Rotisserie Roasted Duck with Ginger and Shoyu, Ma‘o Organic Farms Kale Salad, a Pulled-Pork Sandwich with Homemade BBQ Sauce, and a wide selection of kiawe wood fired pizzas.

SALT is an exciting development brought to life by the eclectic and diverse community of retail shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants that thrive in this innovative epicenter. Every tenant is specifically curated, and contributes immensely to this flourishing new neighborhood that is reinvigorating Honolulu. Moku Kitchen—along with other business owners, residents, artists and creatives at SALT is helping to reclaim urban Hawaii through innovation and imagination, and all of O‘ahu is invited to come experience “Upcountry Downtown” in the heart of Kaka‘ako. For more information on Moku Kitchen, please visit: www.mokukitchen.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/MokuKitchen, or on Instagram @MokuKitchen.

About SALT

Named after the pa‘akai (Hawaiian for “salt”) ponds that once dotted the low-lying wetlands of this area, SALT is Honolulu’s innovative epicenter for local culture, food, shopping, and events. Comprising 85,000 square feet of a dynamic mixture of local small business and national brands, SALT is an urban city block designed for exploration and engagement for retail, restaurants, and services. This groundbreaking gathering place in the heart of Kaka‘ako is where new makers and new ideas converge.

Owned by Kamehameha Schools, revenues generated from SALT fund educational opportunities for more than 48,000 learners and caregivers annually through three campuses on the O‘ahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i island; 30 preschools statewide, literacy instruction and support in more than 200 public school classrooms; financial and educational support for 17 Hawaiian-focused public charter schools; and collaborations with 50 additional organizations throughout the state. www.saltatkakaako.com

About Handcrafted Restaurants LLC

A partnership between Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine founding Chef Peter Merriman and Restaurateur Bill Terry, Handcrafted Restaurants LLC is a multi-concept restaurant company that is dedicated to operating world-class, full-service restaurants in premiere cities and resorts. Handcrafted Restaurants LLC celebrates the craft of food, drink and merrimaking while integrating itself into local communities by supporting local farmers and fishermen, creating new jobs, and keeping impact on the environment as minimal as possible. Handcrafted Restaurants LLC seeks to develop connections between residents, guests, the land, and one another by focusing on locally sourced ingredients, sustainable business practices, and socially conscious values.

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Stripsteak Waikiki unveils Aloha Lunch menu

Stripsteak-Waikiki-Lobster-Tacos-David Murphey.jpg

Stripsteak Waikiki has launched a new, Aloha Lunch menu with special prix fixe options featuring fresh seafood and locally-sourced ingredients accompanying Michael Mina’s contemporary steakhouse cuisine. The Aloha Lunch starts at $37.50 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) and highlights a selection of healthy and light starters paired with popular entrées where guests are able to choose one appetizer and one main dish.

Light bites featured in the prix fixe offerings include local favorites such as, “Instant Bacon” with kurobuta pork belly, tempura oyster and black pepper soy-glaze, Chilled Lobster Tacos with Maui gold pineapple, avocado cream and red bell peppers; and Thai Calamari Ceviche with green papaya, carrots, crushed peanuts and “leche de tigre.”

Popular main entrée selections featured in the Aloha Lunch special include Michael’s Ahi Tuna Tartare with kale salad, Asian pear, toasted pine nuts, sesame and mint; Free-Range Chicken with Okinawan potatoes, baby spinach and Hau‘ula tomato-curry sauce; and the Stripsteak Burger with caramelized Maui onions, Nueske’s bacon, American cheese and a side of Michael Mina’s duck fat fries.

Guests also have the option of ordering á la carte selections including an assortment of fresh seafood flown in daily including shellfish, sushi and sashimi. From the broiler, options featured on the lunch menu include hearty cuts of Moyer Farms Steaks served with fries and Citrus Grilled Fish served with quinoa pilaf. Lunch libations are mixed daily into unique concoctions including the bartender’s special selection served in a Lunch Punch.

Located on the International Market Place’s Third-Level Grand Lanai at 2330 Kalākaua Avenue, lunch is offered daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with expansive indoor and outdoor seating ideally suited for business lunches. Kama‘āina are eligible for a 10% discount until the end of November with proof of residency. Reservations are highly recommended. Validated valet and self-parking is available at the International Market Place.

Stripsteak Waikiki opened on Aug. 25 and the Aloha Lunch special is the precursor to the restaurant’s participation in this year’s Restaurant Week Hawai‘i from Nov. 14-20, with more details to be released later this fall. Daily lunch service is followed by afternoon pau hana, available at the bar from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information, please visit STRIPSTEAKWaikiki.com, Facebook.com/STRIPSTEAKRestaurant and @STRIPSTEAKHI on Instagram and Twitter.

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