Food-A-Go-Go launched to support Hawaii restaurants during COVID-19 crisis

The Hawaii Agricultural Foundation (HAF), in cooperation with many of its partners, will replace its Localicious campaign over the next few weeks with a campaign to support all Hawaii restaurants who are open for takeout and delivery during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The new initiative – Food-A-Go-Go – asks customers to consider takeout, delivery or curbside pickup as an alternative means of providing meals for their families in order to help our local restaurants that have had to close in-room dining.

Customers can go to FoodAGoGo.org to find the latest up-to-date information on all restaurants that remain open with delivery, takeout or curbside pickup options.  All Hawaii restaurants, from mom-and-pop to fine dining, are welcome to participate and can submit an online form with information on their services. The initial directory was seeded from the “Hawaii Grinds @ HOME” crowdsourced list launched last week.

The launch of Food-A-Go-Go arrives in the midst of Localicious month, HAF’s month-long campaign promoting restaurants who support Hawai‘i’s farmers, ranchers and fisherman; and raises funds for HAF’s K-12 agricultural education programs. As the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the restaurant industry with business closures and staff layoffs, HAF is shifting its focus from Localicious to Food-A-Go-Go. HAF will launch new television and radio PSAs with its media partners, aimed at encourging the public to consider takeout. Community, corporate, media organizations and many others are helping by donating airtime, funding, and marketing support to promote the message.  

“We need to come together now more than ever to support our local restaurant industry and their workers, says HAF executive director Denise Yamaguchi. “Food-A-Go-Go is a completely free resource for restaurants and customers and we encourage the community to do what they can do to support our local restaurants statewide.”

“We 100% support the actions of our government leaders to slow the spread of COVID-19, but the toll these actions are taking on our restaurant and hospitality industry is devastating,” says Jason Wong, president of Sysco Hawai‘i. “Sysco Hawai‘i is proud to support Food-A-Go-Go in an effort to provide an alternative to cooking at home where you can order ready-made takeout meals from your favorite neighborhood restaurants.”

Visit FoodAGoGo.org to find a restaurant and order takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery.

About Food-A-Go-Go

Food-A-Go-Go is a community service by Hawaii Agricultural Foundation and Hawaii Food and Wine Festival supported by Sysco Hawai‘i , Hawai‘i Gas, Hawaii News Now, iHeartMedia, KITV, KONG Radio, 94.7KUMU, KWXX, KNWB, B97 Hilo, B93 Kona, KPOA 93.5, KJKS KISS 99.9, Hawai ʻi Restaurant Association, Digital Illustrations, First Daughter Media, Library Creative, Mākaha Studios.

About Hawaii Agricultural Foundation

The Hawaii Agricultural Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization created to promote agriculture and farming. Established in 2007, HAF’s mission is to support and sustain Hawai‘i ’s agricultural industry by addressing critical needs and services of farmers and the agricultural industry, and by better connecting the farmers with the community and vice-versa. For more information, visit HawaiiAgFoundation.org

New Yorkers get a taste of Hawaii with King’s Hawaiian Breakfast Bungalow

King’s Hawaiian is transporting New Yorkers to the warm shores of Hawaii for a limited-time this winter with the opening of its Breakfast Bungalow, an interactive restaurant located at 1701 Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, where irresistibly delicious breakfast grindz will meet immersive experiences fit for a brunch fanatic.

Open to the public by reservation from Feb. 22 through March 1, the Breakfast Bungalow brings together soft and fluffy King’s Hawaiian breads with the culinary talent of Chef Jaime Young, whose celebrated menu at New York hotspot Sunday in Brooklyn includes some of the city’s favorite breakfast and brunch dishes. Visitors can work up an appetite by exploring several uniquely King’s Hawaiian experiences throughout the restaurant, ranging from an ocean-inspired ball pit where visitors can take a quick “swim” to a mountain top swing in the clouds.

 “We are excited to welcome New Yorkers into our Ohana by bringing them our Breakfast Bungalow when they need it most – the heart of winter,” said Chad Donvito, Chief Marketing Officer at King’s Hawaiian. “We hope our interactive restaurant provides them with irresistibly delicious ideas to start their day and inspires new ways to enjoy breakfast in bread all year long thanks to King’s Hawaiian.”

Chef Young’s signature Breakfast Bungalow dishes include:

  • Coconut S’mores French Toast
    • French Toast made with King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread, served with a Coconut Maple Glaze and topped with Toasted Meringue and Shaved Dark Chocolate
  • Spam-Egg-and-Shoestring-Potatoes Sandwich
    • Spam, Scrambled Eggs, Provolone, Crispy Shoestring Potatoes and Hot Sauce Aioli stacked on a King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Roll
  • Hawaiian Chicken Fried Steak Katsu Sandwich
    • Chicken Fried Steak Katsu with Miso Hollandaise, Scrambled Eggs and Crispy Shallots on King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Sliced Bread

“I’ve been a fan of King’s Hawaiian since the first time I tried their Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and I’m excited to partner with them to bring a taste of Hawaii to New Yorkers,” said Chef Young. “The menu I’ve curated fuses melt-in-your-mouth King’s Hawaiian bread with my passion for great food – including next level breakfast – so whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, you won’t be leaving hungry.”

In addition to the exclusive menu items created by Chef Young, guests can enjoy the option to build a custom creation that’s all their own using King’s Hawaiian products, including Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, Original Hawaiian Sweet Sliced Bread or Original Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread, and more than 50 toppings and sauces.

Please visit www.BreakfastBungalow.com for additional details on the experience, prices and hours, and to purchase tickets, which include both the experiences and food. For more information about King’s Hawaiian, please visit www.KingsHawaiian.com or find the company on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

About King’s Hawaiian

Founded more than 60 years ago in Hilo, Hawaii, by Robert R. Taira, KING’S HAWAIIAN is a family-owned business that for three generations has been dedicated to providing irresistible, original recipe Hawaiian foods made with Aloha Spirit. A priority for the company is sharing the Hawaiian Way – a uniquely Hawaiian approach to hospitality based on graciousness, generosity, and a commitment to making everyone feel a part of the KING’S HAWAIIAN ‘ohana’ (extended family). KING’S HAWAIIAN makes the #1 branded dinner roll in the United States, along with other great Hawaiian foods including hamburger buns, hot dog buns, sandwich bread and more. The company operates baking facilities in Torrance, California, and Oakwood, Georgia. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.KingsHawaiian.com, or find KING’S HAWAIIAN on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

About Chef Jaime Young

Jaime Young grew up in Long Island, New York. He started his culinary career at Johnson & Wales University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in culinary nutrition. After graduation, Jaime pushed into fine dining where he worked at celebrated restaurants such as Eleven Madison Park and Atera in New York City. Today, Jaime is the Executive Chef and Partner of Sunday Hospitality, which includes Sunday In Brooklyn in Williamsburg and Rule Of Thirds in Greenpoint (opening in 2020), as well as Sibling Rival and Pilot at The Hoxton in Downtown Los Angeles.

Valentine’s Day dinner for two special offered at Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Chicken Scaloppine

Italian has become the language of love. Romano’s Macaroni Grill, the national restaurant chain with award winning Italian food, has made it easy for couples to enjoy a special Valentine’s Dinner, for only $55, February 7-16.

After a stroll on the beach, couples can unwind with a three-course prix fixe menu for two, at either Honolulu or  Waikoloa Macaroni Grill locations, with a choice of one antipasti, two entrees, and one dolce (dessert) to share only for $55.

Antipasti selections include Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Stuffed Mushrooms, Calamari Fritti, Signature Mac + Cheese Bites, Bruschetta and Goat Cheese Peppadew Peppers. Entrees include Chicken Scaloppine, Grilled Salmon, Chicken Parmesan, and Shrimp Scampi or (at additional cost) Fettuccine Alfredo (with Chicken or Shrimp), Porterhouse Steak or Braised Lamb Shank. Enjoy one of these desserts to share: Romano’s Cannoli, New York Style Cheesecake, Decadent Chocolate Cake or Tiramisu.

Shrimp Scampi

Romano’s Macaroni Grill is conveniently located at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu and Queens’ MarketPlace, Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii.

For those who are busy, Macaroni Grill Hawaii also offers online ordering, with family-friendly bundling options, including a special Feast for Five. Gift cards are also available. For a limited time, Macaroni Grill is offering a 25% off sale on digital gift cards for guests who apply the promo code VALENTINE at checkout. See macaronigrill.com.

Decadent Chocolate Cake

About Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Romano’s Macaroni Grill is an Italian restaurant brand founded in 1988. Inspired by Italian country cuisine, Macaroni Grill believes in an open kitchen that allows guests to see its ingredients and preparation techniques that blend Italian traditions with progressive culinary inspiration in a polished casual atmosphere. Named the No. 1 Italian Restaurant Chain in America by a Nation’s Restaurant News consumer survey, Macaroni Grill has 83 company-owned locations in 22 states, plus 21 franchise locations in the U.S. and 7 other countries.

Olive Garden coming to Hawaii. Really!

Olive Garden confirms plans for first Hawaii location at Ala Moana Center

“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.

Olive Garden to open at Ala Moana Center

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

Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Olive Garden files where they plan to do business in Hawaii

Olive Garden spokesperson told KHON on January 8 that they’re excited to bring the restaurant to Hawaii, but they weren’t able to share any details.

KHON

Lahaina Grill, Mama’s Fish House make Open Table top restaurants list

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.

Mama's Fish House

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:

Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2019

Acquerello – San Francisco, California
Addison Restaurant – San Diego, California
Ambra – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Anjelica’s Restaurant – Sea Bright, New Jersey
Antebellum – Flowery Branch, Georgia
The Artichoke Restaurant & Bar – Vinita, Oklahoma
Artisan – Elkhart, Indiana
Arturo Boada Cuisine – Houston, Texas
Atera – New York, New York
Bar Mingo – Portland, Oregon
Barrique Venice – Venice, California
Benu – San Francisco, California
Bibou – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Birdsong – San Francisco, California
Bistro 31 – Dallas, Texas
Bistro Barbes – Denver, Colorado
Bistro Daisy – New Orleans, Louisiana
Bites at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples – Naples, Florida
BOCA – Cincinnati, Ohio
Brassica Kitchen – Boston, Massachusetts
Brewery Bhavana – Raleigh, North Carolina
Buccan – Palm Beach, Florida
Bull & Bear Steakhouse – Orlando, Florida
Cafe Monarch – Scottsdale, Arizona
Cafe Provence – Prairie Village, Kansas
Carlos’ Bistro – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Chimney Park – Windsor, Colorado
Clark’s Oyster Bar – Austin, Texas
Collage Restaurant – St. Augustine, Florida
Crawford & Son – Raleigh, North Carolina
The Crossing – Clayton, Missouri
CRUST – Miami, Florida
The Dock – Newport Beach, California
Double Knot – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Eatt – Las Vegas, Nevada
Elizabeth’s Gone Raw – Washington, D.C.
The Family Jones Spirit House – Denver, Colorado
Fishing With Dynamite – Manhattan Beach, California
Geronimo – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Girl & the Goat – Chicago, Illinois
Guiso Latin Fusion – Healdsburg, California
Hachi – Carson, California
Hannas Prime Steak – Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Holdfast Dining – Portland, Oregon
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – Multiple Locations*        
Joel Robuchon – MGM Grand – Las Vegas, Nevada
Kai | Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass – Phoenix, Arizona
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens – Fulton, California
Kenzo Napa – Napa, California
The Kitchen Restaurant – Sacramento, California
Krave Restaurant – Tequesta, Florida
KUSAKABE – San Francisco, California
L’Auberge Chez Francois – Great Falls, Virginia
L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon – New York, New York
Lahaina Grill – Lahaina, Hawaii
Le Diplomate – Washington, D.C.
Le Yaca – Virginia Beach, Virginia
The Little Owl – New York, New York
Mabel Gray – Hazel Park, Michigan
Mama’s Fish House – Paia, Hawaii
Maple & Ash – Chicago, Illinois
Mercato Stellina Pizzeria – Bellevue, Washington
NANCY – St. Simons Island, Georgia
NoJa – Mobile, Alabama
Noord – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ocean 44 – Scottsdale, Arizona
Olce Pizza Grille – Cedars, Pennsylvania
Oriole – Chicago, Illinois
Partage – Las Vegas, Nevada
Petrossian Restaurant & Boutique – West Hollywood, California
Phoenicia – Birmingham, Michigan
Quince – San Francisco, California
Rainbow Palace – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The Restaurant at Convict Lake – Mammoth Lakes, California
The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge – Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Restaurant Guy Savoy – Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, Nevada
Riccardo Trattoria – Chicago, Illinois
Rosmarino Osteria Italiana – Newberg, Oregon
RPM Steak – Chicago, Illinois
Scalini Fedeli – New York, New York
Seven Hills – San Francisco, California
Sotto – Cincinnati, Ohio
St. Anselm – Washington, D.C.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards – Santa Rosa, California
Steak 44 – Phoenix, Arizona
Steve & Cookie’s By the Bay – Margate, New Jersey
Sushi House – Leawood, Kansas
Sushi Kaito – New York, New York
Table 128 Bistro + Bar – Clive, Iowa
The Table at Season To Taste – Cambridge, Massachusetts
Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro – Birmingham, Michigan
Tempura Matsui – New York, New York
Terrapin Creek Cafe & Restaurant – Bodega Bay, California
Terzo – San Francisco, California
The WineSellar & Brasserie – San Diego, California
Tomo Sushi & Ramen – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Two Fish – Haddonfield, New Jersey
Vernick Coffee Bar – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Willow Restaurant – Portland, Oregon
Yopparai – New York, New York

You can find the complete Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2019 here.

* Restaurants with multiple winning locations were counted one time.

About OpenTable

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.

Marukame Udon tops restaurant list for Hawaii

The website Reviews.org compiled data from Yelp to determine the top restaurant for every state of the U.S. For the Aloha State, Marukame Udon took first place.

” 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.”

Photo by Popat L.

Top of Waikīkī highlights heart-healthy menu

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.

For details and reservations, visit topofwaikiki.com.

ABOUT TOP OF WAIKIKI

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
  • Restaurant reservations available at topofwaikiki.com or by calling (808) 923-3877
  • Validated parking available in the Waikiki Business Plaza and Waikiki Shopping Plaza

Ono Loco Tacos opening in Wahiawa

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

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.

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.