Hawaii Restaurants Among Best for Outdoor Dining

Capische | www.capische.comHawaii is home to 16 of the Top 100 restaurants for outdoor dining, and nine of those are on the island of Maui, according to online restaurant reservations service OpenTable.

The 2012 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in the United States reflect the combined opinions of nearly 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In addition to the Aloha State, California’s great outdoors is clearly great for dining, with 36 winning restaurants in the state, including 11 in the Los Angeles area, eight each in Palm Desert-Palm Springs and San Diego, and five in the Bay Area. Florida restaurants claimed 30 spots on the list, with an impressive 17 in the Miami area and nine wins in the city of Naples alone. Arizona and New York boast four wins apiece, followed by three in Texas, and two in both Louisiana and Virginia. Other states represented include Colorado, Illinois, and Nevada.

“Dining al fresco makes a meal feel more special – and more social,” said Caroline Potter, OpenTable’s Chief Dining Officer. “Whether you’re enjoying a table with a view, terrific weather, or engaging in a bit of people watching, outdoor dining is an event in and of itself. And, the fabulous food at these winning restaurants complements the entire experience, making these tables some of the most coveted reservations.”

The Diners’ Choice Awards for the Best 100 Restaurants for Outdoor Dining is generated from nearly 5 million reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between May 1, 2011 and April 30, 2012. All restaurants with a minimum number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of qualifying reviews for which “outdoor dining” was selected as a special feature.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the Top 100 Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in the U.S. according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be viewed online.

Hawaii Restaurants in the Top 100 for Outdoor Dining

  • Capische – Wailea, Hawaii
  • Duke’s Beach House – Lahaina, Hawaii
  • Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante – Wailea, Hawaii
  • Five Palms Beach Grill – Kihei, Hawaii
  • Gannon’s – Wailea, Hawaii
  • Gaylord’s at Kilohana – Lihue, Hawaii
  • Hau Tree Lanai – Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Hula Grill-Kaanapali – Maui – Hawaii
  • Japengo – Lahaina, Hawaii
  • Nick’s Fishmarket – Wailea, Hawaii
  • Plantation Gardens – Koloa, Hawaii
  • Plumeria Beach House – Kahala, Hawaii
  • Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar – Kihei, Hawaii

The remaining Diners’ Choice Award Winners for the Best 100 Outdoor Dining Restaurants in the U.S. for 2012:

  • A Fish Called Avalon – Miami Beach, Florida
  • Adobe Grill @ La Quinta Resort – La Quinta, California
  • Alexander’s – Naples, Florida
  • BALEENnaples – Naples, Florida
  • Barbatella – Naples, Florida
  • Beachcomber Cafe-Crystal Cove – Newport Coast, California
  • Bimini Boatyard – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Blue Agave Club – Pleasanton, California
  • Blue Coyote Bar & Grill – Palm Springs, California
  • Blue Moon Fish Co. – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Bridge House Tavern – Chicago, Illinois
  • Brockton Villa – San Diego, California
  • Cafe Amelie – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Cafe Luna – Naples, Florida
  • Cafe Malaga – McKinney, Texas
  • Cafe Pinot – Los Angeles, California
  • Cafe Sambal-Mandarin Oriental Miami – Miami, Florida
  • Cafe Santorini – Los Angeles, California
  • Caffe Riace – Palo Alto, California
  • Campiello – Naples, Florida
  • Chart House Restaurant – Miami, Florida
  • Chautauqua Dining Hall – Boulder, Colorado
  • Dada – Delray Beach, Florida
  • Deck 84 – Delray Beach, Florida
  • Edendale – Hollywood, California
  • El Chorro – Paradise Valley, Arizona
  • Geoffrey’s Restaurant – Malibu, California
  • George’s Ocean Terrace – La Jolla, California
  • GG’s Waterfront Bar & Grill – Hollywood, Florida
  • Gigino at Wagner Park – New York, New York
  • Handsome Harry’s Third Street Bistro – Naples, Florida
  • The House at Secret Garden – Phoenix, Arizona
  • House of Tricks – Tempe, Arizona
  • Blue Dragon Restaurant – Kamuela, Hawaii
  • Brown’s Beach House-The Fairmont Orchid – Kohala Coast, Hawaii
  • Jackalope Ranch – Palm Springs, California
  • Jake’s – Palm Springs, California
  • JB’s On the Beach – Miami, Florida
  • JRDN Restaurant – San Diego, California
  • Katsuya-Glendale-SBE – Los Angeles, California
  • La Bottega – New York, New York
  • Latitudes – Key West, Florida
  • Lavendar Bistro – La Quinta, California
  • Lon’s at The Hermosa – Paradise Valley, Arizona
  • Marche Bacchus – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Martinique Bistro – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Max’s Grille – Boca Raton, Florida
  • Metro Lafayette – Lafayette, California
  • Milagros – Redwood City, California
  • MiraMare – Naples, Florida
  • Nine One Five – Key West, Florida
  • Novo Restaurant – San Luis Obispo, California
  • Oceans 234 – Deerfield Beach, Florida
  • Olive and June – Austin, Texas
  • Ophelia’s on the Bay – Sarasota, Florida
  • Ovations at Wolf Trap – Vienna, Virginia
  • Paradise Cove Beach Cafe – Los Angeles, California
  • Perch LA – Los Angeles, California
  • Pier 23 Cafe – San Francisco, California
  • Pier 45 – Rochester, New York
  • Portico Restaurant – Richmond, Virginia
  • Poseidon – Del Mar, California
  • Purple Palm Restaurant – Palm Springs, California
  • Red Fish Grill – Miami, Florida
  • Renato’s – Miami, Florida
  • The Restaurant at Ponte – Temecula, California
  • RESTAURANT at Sunset Marquis – West Hollywood, California
  • Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar – Boca Raton, Florida
  • Sapphire Laguna – Laguna Beach, California
  • Sheerwater Restaurant at the Hotel Del Coronado – Coronado, California
  • Sonoma Wine Garden – Santa Monica, California
  • Spencer’s Restaurant – Palm Springs, California
  • Splashes at Surf & Sand Resort – Laguna Beach, California
  • Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido, California
  • Sundowners on The Bay – Key Largo, Florida
  • Sundy House – Delray Beach, Florida
  • Sunset Cove – Tarrytown, New York
  • Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar – Naples, Florida
  • Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar – Palm Desert, California
  • Trio On The Bay – North Bay Village, Florida
  • The Turtle Club – Naples, Florida
  • Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant – San Diego, California
  • Vic and Angelo’s – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  • Villa Sorriso – Pasadena, California
  • Wilshire – Santa Monica, California
  • Woodshed Smokehouse – Fort Worth, Texas

Diners can also read more about the Diners’ Choice Awards for the top restaurants for outdoor dining in the U.S. by visiting OpenTable Chief Dining Officer Caroline Potter’s “Dining Check” blog.

About OpenTable Reviews

Originally launched in November 2008, the OpenTable Reviews program helps diners find restaurants that best fit their dining occasions. Diners who recently honored an OpenTable reservation are invited via email to submit restaurant feedback using an online form. Visitors to OpenTable.com can access reviews for thousands of OpenTable restaurant partners across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The OpenTable Reviews program has generated more than 15 million reviews by verified diners, establishing OpenTable.com as one of the largest and most trusted sources for restaurant reviews.

About OpenTable, Inc.

OpenTable is a leading provider of free, real-time online restaurant reservations for diners and reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants. The OpenTable network delivers the convenience of online restaurant reservations to diners and the operational benefits of a computerized reservation book to restaurants. OpenTable has more than 25,000 restaurant customers, and, since its inception in 1998, has seated more than 325 million diners around the world. The Company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and the OpenTable service is available throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. OpenTable also owns and operates toptable.com, a leading restaurant reservation site in the United Kingdom.

Source: PR Newswire/Capische.com

Island Brew Coffeehouse grand opening on Saturday

Island Brew Photo from FacebookIsland Brew Coffeehouse will hold its grand opening at Hawaii Kai Shopping Center this Saturday.

Social media will be a key way the independently owned coffee shop will find customers and fans, and the first 50 people to check in via Facebook, Yelp and FourSquare will receive a free coffee drink. A separate drawing will provide three winners with a month of free house blend “Island Brew” coffee.

Island Brew Coffeehouse is a community coffee shop in Hawaii Kai owned by four East O’ahu residents, serving premium coffee and healthy food choices with a focus on fresh, local and organic products.

Island Brew was launched in March 2012 by two couples — one whose dream included owning a coffee shop and the other who wanted to build a community-oriented business in Hawaii. The two came together by chance and coincidence through a mutual friend, and they created Island Brew.

“We focused our renovations to create an open atmosphere where people receive great service and feel comfortable,” said Pei-Yu Baez, Island Brew’s co-managing partner. Her husband, Rafael Baez, is a co-owner. “We want to become a part of our community by promoting family businesses and buying local as much as possible.”

Island Brew is partnering with Hawaii coffee growers and businesses. It is also working with schools and nonprofit organizations to promote community service and environmental sustainability.

The shop is also kicking off a partnership with Malama Maunalua, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring Maunalua Bay. People who sign up for the next volunteer opportunity to pull mudweed from the bay will receive a free mini-pastry. It is also looking at partnering with other organizations as a regular program to help the community.

The coffee house, with waterfront views of the marina, offers a variety of coffee grown in Hawaii and around the world, including Jamaican Blue Mountain, Sumatra, Guatemala and Kenya. The Hawaii coffee beans are freshly roasted locally by Charles Asselbaye, Island Brew’s co-managing partner who is also a coffee roast master.

“Our focus is to provide the best quality coffee while remaining environmentally conscious and sustainable,” said Asselbaye, whose wife Amy Asselbaye is the fourth partner of Island Brew.

Island Brew uses compostable “to go” cups made from corn and “to stay” ceramic cups and glassware. It offers freshly baked decadent desserts and pastries, acai, flat breads, waffles and bagels, sandwich staples and healthy options, including gluten free, high protein and organic choices.

Island Brew is open weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • What: Island Brew Grand Opening
  • When: Saturday, May 18, 2012, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Where: Island Brew Coffeehouse
    Hawaii Kai Shopping Center
    377 Keahole Street, C5 Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

For more information, visit Island Brew on Facebook or follow @IslandBrewHI on Twitter. Photo from Island Brew on Facebook.

Hawaii ranked fifth for ‘locavore’ options

Farmers MarketHawaii ranks fifth in the nation for its commitment to raising and eating locally grown food. This according to the 2012 Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index, based on figures from the USDA and U.S. Census Bureau.

The top state in the index was Vermont, which is where Strolling of the Heifers is based.

“Locavorism is on the rise everywhere, so there’s no stigma in being closer to the bottom of the list,” founder and executive director Orly Munzing said in a statement. “Our research shows that CSAs and Farmers Markets, as well as Farm-to-Plate programs, which bring local foods into schools and other institutional food systems, are becoming more numerous every day in every state.”

The top ten states for locavorism, according to the index are:

  • Vermont
  • Iowa
  • Montana
  • Maine
  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Idaho

Hawaii’s rank was based on data [PDF] showing 85 farmers markets and 135 CSAs serving a population of 1,295,178, or 16.99 options for every 100,000 people.

“The average carrot sold in a supermarket travels more than 1800 miles to get there,” Munzing said. “Wouldn’t you rather eat a carrot grown nearby, by a farmer you can meet? And wouldn’t you like that to be true of most of your food, whether it’s meat, dairy, vegetables or fruits?”

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Cafe Julia Opens at Downtown YWCA

YWCA of Oahu

Cafe Julia, the new restaurant at the YWCA of Oahu on Richards Street, opened for business this week. The new eatery is managed and operated by the Shinyou Group, LLC, which is also going to handle catering operations as Laniakea Catering.

Cafe Julia is located in one of the most beautiful historic buildings downtown and named after its architect, Julia Morgan. Morgan was one of only a handful of female architects in America during the 1920s when she first began work on YWCA Laniakea Center. She is best known for designing the Hearst Castle, or San Simeon, in California. The YWCA Laniakea Center is listed as one of Morganʼs eight favorite buildings and is registered as an official historic building in the State of Hawaii.

Cafe Julia @ YWCA will be open Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch. Takeout service is available. While the building is rich in history, Cafe Julia @ YWCA promises to serve a modern, fresh, wholesome and dynamic menu in a fun and vibrant atmosphere.

Laniakea Catering will cater to business functions and weddings. The Fuller Ballroom is downtownʼs newest and largest meeting space accommodating up to 150 people and is equipped with modern AV amenities. Events can also be held at the beautiful outdoor courtyard or any off-site location.

About Shinyou Group, LLC

The group is made up of four partners: President Bruce Watanabe, Emerson Ribao, Lance Kosaka and Derek Watanabe. Each partner has more than 20 years in the restaurant and catering business. Ribao is vice president and general manager. Ribao was previously general manager for Kobe Steakhouse for over 20 years. Lance Kosaka will serve as executive chef. Chef Lance began his career at Alan Wongʼs Restaurant in 1995 before moving to The Pineapple Room where he was executive chef for the past four years. Chef Derek Watanabe will lead Laniakea Catering. Shinyou hired Ken Weir as catering sous chef and Noelle Nahale as pastry chef.

About YWCA of O‘ahu

The YWCA of O’ahu is a membership organization supporting more than 2,500 women and girls through housing, career development, leadership training, economic advancement and health and wellness programs. Founded in 1900, it is the oldest and largest women’s association in Hawaii. The Shinyou Group will give a percentage of the proceeds from the restaurant and catering to support YWCA programs.


For questions and general information please contact Bruce Watanabe at (808) 551-3458. For catering and events, please contact Ashley Pique at (808) 485-9464.