“We are so excited to bring Olive Garden to Ala Moana Center,” a company spokesperson said. “We’re opening this location through a franchise agreement with Union MAK – a successful, Hawaii-based franchise operator of casual dining restaurants. We look forward to sharing more details soon.”
Hawaii News Now
Union MAK is also the Hawaii franchisee for IHOP and Applebee’s restaurants.
After years of its TV commercials running in Hawaii, the Italian-American restaurant chain filed a $50,000 building permit for suite 3247, which is currently occupied by the Mai Tai Bar… An employee for Bubba Gump’s said the restaurant is closing on Jan. 26 to make way for Or
OpenTable, a leading provider of online restaurant reservations, revealed the Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2019, according to OpenTable diners. Two restaurants in Hawaii made the list: Lahaina Grill and Mama’s Fish House, both on Maui.
From one-of-a-kind dining experiences to local favorites, the list highlights top restaurants across the country based on verified reviews submitted by diners. The annual list comes off the heels of OpenTable’s recent year end dining report, a retrospective look back at this year’s most popular dining trends.
The list illustrates the best restaurants in the U.S., as voted by OpenTable diners, and showcases the platform’s extensive network of dining options for every occasion.
“Whether a restaurant has received national accolades or is built on local fanfare, our Top 100 reflects diners’ favorite culinary experiences across the country,” said Andrea Johnston, COO at OpenTable. “What ultimately ties these restaurants together is their excellent hospitality paired with incredible dishes, which is why diners are applauding them with rave reviews.”
California took second place last year, but in 2019, the Golden State rose to number one with 22 restaurants featured. Florida, New York and Pennsylvania tied for second place with seven restaurants each, and Illinois followed closely behind with six winners. Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, D.C. boasted four honorees each.
Additional states include Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Similar to last year, American and Italian cuisine dominated the list; however, this year French cuisine proved to be a new favorite. Other global cuisines were represented on the list, such as Japanese, Latin American, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern, showcasing a growing appetite for more diverse and globally-inspired flavors.
OpenTable’s list of the Top 100 Restaurants for 2019 in the U.S. is generated from diner reviews collected between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019. All restaurants that have been part of the OpenTable network for at least the last 12 consecutive months with a minimum overall rating and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to an overall score generated by unique data points, such as overall diner rating, user klout, total number of reviews and regional overall rating.
Based on this methodology, the Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2019 list, according to OpenTable diners, are in alphabetical order as follows:
You can find the complete Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2019 here.
* Restaurants with multiple winning locations were counted one time.
OpenTable, OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, with more than 54,000 restaurants globally using its software to seat over 131 million diners monthly. OpenTable helps diners discover and book the perfect table and helps restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to grow their business.
” We poured through data on Yelp and found the top three restaurants (both by ratings and number of reviews) for each state’s most populous city,” the site explained. “We then chose the highest-ranked restaurant of the three based on the reviews.”
For a healthy meal without compromising taste, Top of Waikiki’s Executive Chef Lance Kosaka and his culinary team have created a delectable prix fixe menu that’s also great for your heart’s health.
This mouthwatering three-course prix fixe menu is only available during March and April for $55 per person. It features a mixed grain tabbouleh salad to start with a lemon vinaigrette, topped with pepita seeds, avocado and pomegranate. Enjoy an entrée of walnut-crusted chicken breast with moringa-leaves pesto over curried lentils and cauliflower parsnip puree. Finish your meal with a key lime pie with almond-amaranth crust and fresh berries. Top it off with our Puuwai Fizz ($16) made with Brokers gin, absinthe, simple syrup, lime, raspberries, olive oil and egg whites.
Hawaii’s only revolving restaurant,Top of Waikiki, has entertained guests in the heart of Waikiki for over 50 years. It features breathtaking sunset views of Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head and the Honolulu city lights with a full rotation completing every hour.
Top of Waikiki offers award-winning Hawaii Regional Steak and Seafood, prepared by Executive Chef Lance Kosaka. This three-tier restaurant is the perfect setting for all occasions, including romantic date nights, dinners with family, friends, or private events. The restaurant revolves around an open, sit-down bar where guests can enjoy Waikiki’s best happy hour and feel like they are at the top of Waikiki!
TOP OF WAIKIKI Hours of Operation
Nightly 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Happy Hour Nightly 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the bar
Dress code: resort casual, no beachwear and no sleeveless shirts for men
Poke fans and the island’s best poke shops will converge on Ala Moana Center for the second annual Honolulu PokeFest on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 4–8 p.m.
The Hibachi Poke
The event will take over the shaded parking section between Morton’s Steakhouse and Park Lane luxury condominium on the makai side of the mall. Poke lovers will feast on multiple poke selections from 15 poke shops including Alicia’s Market from Kalihi, Moiliili’s Ahi Assassins, The Hibachi from Kailua, Tanioka’s of Waipahu, downtown’s Aloha Poke Shop and Aloha Cones, Poke on Da Run from Pearl City, Kapahulu’s Hawaii Sushi and more.
Guests will vote on their favorite creation to determine the island’s best poke. The first-ever Poke Pound eating contest presented by nomnom, Hawaii’s newest convenience stores, will award a pair of round-trip tickets to Las Vegas to the fastest poke eater around.
A portion of event proceeds will benefit Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, a local nonprofit organization that educates and insipires communities to care for our coastlines through fun, hands-on beach cleanups. They will be onsite to offer information and education and provide waste management.
Honolulu PokeFest is presented by Frolic Hawaii. It is organized by Events International with support from Anela, AT Marketing and Luna Hawaii.
Ono Loco Tacos is opening a second taco shop location in Wahiawa, adding their authentic Mexican recipes and flavors to the booming culinary scene of Honolulu.
To celebrate the second grand opening, Ono Locos Tacos is hosting a three-day grand opening on April 12, building up to the final day on April 14.
Ono Loco Tacos is Oahu’s only eatery serving Certified Angus Beef and they proudly source authentic tortillas from Los Angeles. The taco shop’s Oaxacan Mole is a rare find on the island.
Weekly specials available at Ono Loco Tacos:
Taco Tuesday: $2 Street Tacos, your choice of meat (excludes fish & shrimp)
Military Wednesday: special discount with valid military ID
5-Star Promotions: Specials for Thursday-Saturday are texted out on Wednesday
Located at 167 South Kamehameha Highway, the family-owned taqueria is open Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the menu includes customer favorites like Street Tacos, Burritos, Sopes, Chile Relleno, Lengua, Nachos, Flan, Mexican Fried Ice Cream and more.
About Ono Loco Tacos:
Ono Loco Tacos is an authentic Oaxacan taqueria determined to provide flavorful, fresh food made with quality ingredients. A family-owned business, the team at Ono Loco Tacos prides themselves on supporting the local community through community church donations, locally sourcing produce and investing time to train young employees for career advancement. Ono Loco Tacos is proud to be Blue Zone certified, giving customers more options to make healthier choices. http://onolocotacos.com
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.
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.
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
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.