Liliha Bakery Opens on Nimitz Highway

Liliha Bakery Second Location

Every day, thousands of Honolulu commuters have driven past the old Sam Choy’s restaurant space on Nimitz Highway in Iwilei, dreaming of the day when they would be able to stop and pick up some sweet, delicious coco puffs on their way home. And while the original opening in May had to be postponed, today that day has come. Liliha Bakery, a local institution going back more than half a century, has finally opened its second location. In addition to a massive array of baked goods, the Nimitz Highway location also features a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. And compared to the cozy accommodations in Kalihi, the new space can seat over 100 hungry diners.

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San Francisco Chef Anthony Yang to ‘Pop Up’ in Honolulu

Ante MeridianSan Francisco-based chef Anthony Yang, formerly of Per Se and Michael Mina, will headline ‘Ante Meridian’ later this month in Manoa.

‘Ante Meridian’ will offer a four-course prixe fixe brunch menu highlighting a mix of seasonal local ingredients and San Francisco flair.

The event will ‘pop up’ at an intimate location in Manoa at the corner of Lowery and East Manoa Road. There will be two seatings on Saturday, July 12 and one seating on Sunday, July 13. Tickets are $45 and each seating is limited to 30 diners, so chairs are expected to fill up fast.

Reservations are available on EventBrite. The menu, according to the reservation page, is as follows:

  1. Kona Coffee Flavored Granola, Local Organic Yogurt, Taro/Date Jam
  2. Macadamia Nut Brioche Bread Pudding, Brown Butter Roasted Pineapple, Vanilla Creme Fraiche
  3. Koshihikari Rice Porridge, Togarashi Braised Pork, Homemade Pickles, Poached Egg, Furikake
  4. Black Truffle Waffles, Maple Syrup

The pop up event is being promoted by Under My Umbrella and presented by The Pili Group.


  • Who: Anthony Yang & Pili Group
  • What: Ante Meridian 808 Brunch Pop-Up
  • When: Saturday, July 12 (10 am and 1 pm) and Sunday, July 13, 2014 (10 am)
  • Where: 2970 E. Manoa Road Honolulu, HI 96822
  • Cost: $45/person, tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite:

About Ante Meridian

Over a year ago, Anthony Yang began to host pop-up brunch events for his coworkers and friends while working at Michael Mina Restaurant in San Francisco. Keeping with the brunch concept, Yang used the Latin term, Ante Meridian (am), meaning “of, relating to, or taking place in the morning” as the name of his events.

As time went on he expanded his concept of serving an a la carte menu at a bar to a loaded four course menu in a Victorian house in the Mission District of San Francisco known as The Naked Kitchen. The event now takes place twice a month and sells out within hours of releasing the menu. The concept has been so successful Yang has launched an evening event call, you guess it, Post Meridian.

For more information on Ante Meridian and Chef Anthony Yang, visit his Facebook page Ante Meridian SF.

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Hank’s Haute Dogs among nation’s best

Hank's Haute DogsProving that Hawaii is not just the state known for Pineapple and Spam, Hank’s Haute Dogs has been hailed by — online worldwide authority on dining, travel and lifestyle — as one of the Top 10 Hot Dogs to eat in America.

Highlighted as one of the “exotic choices” of hot dogs on the menu, Hank’s Lobster Dog is seared in butter then dressed with garlic-relish aioli, lettuce tomato and pickled takuan radish. Also recommended is Hank’s famous Fat Boy.

“Cast all cares about calories aside and opt for the ‘Fat Boy,’” says The Fat Boy is Hank’s best dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried served with mayo, tomato and lettuce.

Hank’s Haute Dogs serves their nationally recognized haute dogs seven days a week at its 324 Coral Street location.

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Madre Chocolate wins ‘best bean-to-bar’ award at Big Island festival

Likao KulaMadre Chocolate has won again at the Big Island Chocolate Festival to add to its growing suite of awards, this time bringing home the best bean-to-bar chocolate award in a competitive field for a 70 percent dark chocolate bar crafted with cacao sourced from the Likao Kula Farm, Holualoa, Kona.

This award, which Madre has won for three years running, was judged by chocolate luminaries “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of the Chocolate Haven and former executive pastry chef at Le Cirque, chef Donald Wressell of Guittard, chef Vincent Bourdin of Valrhona USA, and chef Stanton Ho of Amoretti.

David Elliott and Nat Bletter, cofounders of Madre Chocolate, were ecstatic at the news of the win, and credit much of the chocolate’s exceptional flavor to the hard work of the cacao grower, Gini Choobua, with whom they have collaborated over the last few years to perfect a post-harvest fermentation technique that highlights exquisite gooseberry and brazil nut notes in the cacao her farm produces.

Choobua’s farm is located at 1600 ft. – extremely high altitude for cacao production. The cold nighttime temperatures at this altitude are considered by many to be an obstacle to producing premium quality cacao, but Choobua has combined innovative techniques and careful study to defy the odds and produce incomparable cacao with a beautiful complexity of flavor. And the cool temperatures at this latitude and altitude do give the cacao a highly desirable quality: it produces an exceedingly creamy chocolate with an incredibly luscious texture due to the unique qualities of the natural cocoa butter found in the high altitude cacao beans.

Madre Chocolate has won 11 awards in the past two years, including an International Chocolate Award in London, making it the only award-winning chocolate company to use U.S.-grown cacao and the first Hawaiian food producer to win two “Good Food Awards.”

“We’ve been fortunate to win national and international awards that help bring recognition for the world-class cacao and chocolate that’s now being produced in Hawaii,” said the company’s “Chocolate Flavormeister” Nat Bletter.

Bletter added that “the representation and quality of locally-made chocolate at the festival is really impressive and is growing every year.”

Madre strives to connect chocophiles with the roots of chocolate, leading a variety of delightful chocolate events on a weekly basis, from cacao farm and chocolate factory tours to bean-to-bar chocolate making classes, whiskey and chocolate pairings, traditional mole-making classes, and an intensive cacao boot camp aimed at training a new generation of chocolate makers. This is what makes Madre Chocolate one of the only U.S. grown chocolates that is exported around the world for everyone to enjoy.

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Whole Foods Hawaii backs taro documentary

I Am HaloaTwo Whole Foods Market Hawaii locations, at Kahala Mall and in Kailua, will be supporting the “I am Hāloa” film project in upcoming Community Support Days.

On Wednesday, May 21 at Whole Foods Kahala and Wednesday, June 11 at Whole Foods Kailua, shoppers are invited to shop in support of the project with five percent of the days’ net sales donated to Hawaii Maoli for “I am Hāloa,” the nonprofit fiscal sponsor of the independent film.

Whole Foods Market stores nationwide organize Community Support Days throughout the year.

On each of the two Community Support Days, Daniel Anthony, film documentary subjects Lahela Paresa, La’ahiahoaalohaokekaimalie Kekahuna and Taylor Anne Meali’i Fitzsimmons and other members of the pa`i`ai community will demonstrate the ancient practice of hand-pounding steamed taro into pa`i `ai and will offer samples to customers to taste.

“We are so pleased to support this important project and expand the partnership that began with Daniel as a supplier of pa`i`ai in our seafood departments,” said Dabney Gough, Marketing Team Leader at Whole Foods Market Kahala.

“Our team members are particularly excited to support the work of ‘I am Hāloa’ because their mission aligns well with our core values, and complements our own task force to bring Hawaiian staple foods such as kalo and ‘ulu into our Whole Foods Market kitchens. These projects inspire us not just to understand the culture of the community where we live and work, but to be active participants in improving the health of our friends and neighbors,” said Shannon Cardellina, Marketing Team Leader at Whole Foods Market Kailua.

“I am Hāloa” tells the story of three 17-year-old Kamehameha high school seniors, Lahela Paresa, La’ahiahoaalohaokekaimalie Kekahuna and Taylor Anne Meali’i Fitzsimmons, who embark on a 90-day journey of self-discovery under the guidance of their kumu and kalo ku’i practitioner, Daniel Anthony. Together they will travel throughout the Hawaiian Islands to better understand their ancestry and to re-establish a lifestyle link to the first Hawaiian, Hāloa. For 90-days they will commit to cultivating, harvesting and eating kalo (taro / poi) for three meals a day. During these 90-days the young women will travel from Oʻahu to Kauaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Moku o Keawe, Kahoʻolawe, and Lānaʻi to learn from some of the most respected leaders in Hawaii about the past, the present, and the future role that Hāloa could play in guiding the people of Hawaii.

“I am Hāloa” will explore the inherent values and conflicts that come with incorporating Hāloa into modern lifestyles and the innovative, savory new ways this ancient, sacred food is revolutionizing global cuisine through a sustainable kalo culture. These three young women will work with several of Hawaii’s top slow-food-minded chefs who believe in cooking with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Chefs include Lee Anne Wong, Ed Kenney, Mark Noguchi and Andrew Le, who are committed to incorporating pa’i’ai into the menus of their progressive kitchens.

Production began on “I am Hāloa” on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. Its intensive shooting schedule continues for the next 90-days traveling throughout the islands with valued community, cultural and agricultural leaders. The public is welcome to track the documentary progress online at, on twitter and instagram at @iamhaloa and on Facebook at:

Ongoing donations are welcome in order to help send the girls to Hawaiʻi Island, Kahoʻolawe, and Lanaʻi. All donations from the website are tax deductible and will be received by Hawaii Maoli a 501(c)3 Non-profit organization under the leadership of Executive Director, Maile Alau.

Whole Foods Market was founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, and is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market’s company motto is “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet.” Thanks to the company’s more than 78,000 employees, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has more than 360 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Submitted by Whole Foods Market Kailua/E-PR.

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Teddy’s Bigger Burgers breaks into Manila

Teddy'sTeddy’s Bigger Burgers is growing internationally, announcing nine locations in the Philippines. The Hawaii-born company confirmed its largest partnership to date, covering the next three years in Manila. The launch date of the first store is Friday, July 18, 2014, located at Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

A potential location for one of the remaining eight future Teddy’s is Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila.

Spearheaded by the High Jap Group, the Philippines opening of Teddy’s is expected to be a success with the local demographic, according to HJG’s Ricky Laudico.

“Opening in the Philippines is beyond anything we could have imagined when we started our first little burger joint,” said co-founder Rich Stula.

Other co-founder Ted Tsakiris adds, “The progress we are seeing with Teddy’s is excellent. We’re excited to launch Team Philippines!”

Eaters in the Philippines will soon taste Teddy’s handmade, 100-percent ground chuck patties, served in an iconic, lively ’50s-themed diner setting. Other classic Teddy’s menu options include turkey, chicken or veggie burgers, fish or pastrami sandwiches and salads, as well as extra thick shakes made with fresh ice cream.

Teddy’s currently operates 11 locations in Hawaii. On the mainland, Teddy’s recently opened locations in Washington and Iowa, and soon, California and Texas. Teddy’s also has a location in Japan, and will add to their international growth by breaking ground in the Philippines.

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers franchises are currently available in all territories domestic and select international markets. Territories are being awarded now to qualified franchise prospects. Please visit for information about opening a franchise in your neighborhood.

The Teddy’s brand is built on the premise of a fun, ’50s style, high-energy burger joint that features burgers, old-fashioned extra-thick shakes, excellent customer service, unique local flavors and custom concoctions in every franchise.

Submitted by Hawaii Pacific Entertainment.

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Cable Show Casting Would-Be Restaurateurs

Photo by Poiseon Bild & Text

A “major cable network” is looking for people who are moving from the hustle and bustle of a busy city to the Hawaiian tropics to open a restaurant.

The casting team is looking for people who have leased or purchased a restaurant (or are about to lease or purchase a restaurant) in Hawaii.

“We are searching for new restaurant owners to be featured on an episode of a brand new tropical TV series and we want you and your restaurant to be a part of it,” reads the casting call. “If you have moved from the contiguous U.S., are a new restaurant owner, or [are] about to close a sale or lease on a restaurant space in Hawaii and are interested in participating, please submit your information ASAP.”

Filming is scheduled to begin in January 2014.

To apply, email phone, email, city of residence, and the location of restaurant, along with photos of the restaurant and you and your family or you and your business partner.

Photo courtesy Poiseon Bild & Text/Flickr.

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‘Chefs for Hope’ to Raise Funds for Haiyan Relief

Chefs for Hope - Haiyan Relief FundraiserA group of local chefs, entertainers and food and beverage industry professionals will stage “Chefs For Hope,” a fundraiser for survivors of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

“The images of destruction are unbelievable,” says chef Chai Chaowasaree, who is leading the efforts, along with Pacific Rim Concepts’ Lee-Ann Choy. “People have lost everything and entire towns have been washed away.”

Confirmed participants include 12th Ave Grill, Alan Wong’s, the Beachhouse at the Moana, Cafe Laufer, Centerplate, d.k Steakhouse, HASR Bistro, Hawaiian Spring Water, Hiroshi’s, Japengo, JJ Bistro & French Pastry, Kakaako Kitchen, La Tour Cafe, Mariposa, Michel’s at the Colony Surf, Morimoto, Nico’s, Nori’s, Ola at the Turtle Bay Resort, Paradise Beverages, Poke Stop, Rakuen Sushi Bar/Mercury Pub, Roy’s, SALT, Sansei Sushi Bar & Restaurant, Side Street Inn, Southern Wine & Spirits, Tango Contemporary Cafe, The Pacific Club and World Sake Import Beverages.

The event will be held Monday, Nov. 25 at the Neal Blaisdell Center. VIP tables of 10 cost $5,000; reserved seating for 10 is priced at $1,500; and $100 for individual grazing tickets. One hundred percent of ticket sales will be donated to the Salvation Army. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for VIP and reserved seating, and 6:30 for general admission.

Tickets are available at the Neal Blaisdell Box Office Monday-Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and at Chef Chai at Pacifica. For more information, call 585-0011.

Event sponsors include Accel Rentals, Current Affairs, Events International, Hon Graphics, Nursery Associates, Pacific Rim Concepts, LLC and Royal Party Rentals.

Ticket Value: Hard Tickets sales
6:30 P.M. (Public Entry)
$150.00 general seating
$100.00 for individual grazing tickets

*5:30 P.M. (VIP Entry)
*$500.00 VIP tickets sold by the Promoter
*Tickets also sold at Chef Chai at Pacifica
Ages: 21 years and up / No one under 21

Payment Accepted by cash, Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express. No feen selling Hard Tickets.

Source: Neil S. Blaisdell Center

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Restaurant Week features new Honolulu eats

Highway InnThis year marks the sixth anniversary of Restaurant Week Hawaii, scheduled for November 18-24, 2013. The seven-day celebration of the cuisine scene in Hawaii will feature a variety of restaurants offering prix fixe menus and special discounts.

Diners can choose from fine dining to casual eateries, including several new participants: Brasserie Du Vin, Restaurant Epic, Grand Café and Bakery, Highway Inn @ Kaka’ako and The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood.

Returning favorites include Angelo Pietro Honolulu, d.k Steak House, Hoku’s, Longhi’s Ala Moana, Mariposa, Tiki’s Grill & Bar, Vino and Wai’olu at Trump Waikiki.

This year, diners will have easy access to restaurant menus and reservations through a smart phone optimized site, sponsored by American Savings Bank.

For more information on Restaurant Week Hawaii or to see the full list of participating restaurants and their menus, visit

Restaurant Week Hawaii Pocket Guides will be available, while supplies last, at Ala Moana Center Customer Service and at participating restaurants.

Restaurant Week Hawaii is a benefit for the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head, Hawaii’s only advanced culinary program for students from all islands, as well as abroad.

Photo courtesy Highway Inn.

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Voting Opens for Hawaii’s Best Green Restaurant


The Nature Conservancy’s 2013 “Nature’s Plate Awards” celebrates the efforts of eateries that emphasize both sustainability and taste. Supporting these restaurants also helps support all the food producers: the farmers, ranchers and fishermen and women who work hard to minimize their impact on the environment.

The public is invited to vote on which sustainable, organic or farm-to-table restaurant will take home this year’s 2013 People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Award. The finalists for Hawaii are:

  • Greens & Vines
  • Hilo Bay Cafe
  • Hukilau Lanai Restaurant
  • Kohala Burger & Taco
  • Town Restaurant

Participants have until 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on October 15, 2013 to vote for your choice of the restaurant that serves the best food while working hard to protect the Earth.

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