Archive for the ‘Food & Drink’ Category

Senia chefs join Bar Leather Apron for Suntory tasting

By
September 16th, 2016



COURTESY BAR LEATHER APRONBar Leather Apron owner Justin Park, center, is flanked by Senia's Anthony Rush, left, and Chris Kajioka behind the bar at Bar Leather Apron.

COURTESY BAR LEATHER APRON

Bar Leather Apron owner Justin Park, center, is flanked by Senia's Anthony Rush, left, and Chris Kajioka behind the bar at Bar Leather Apron.


If construction and permitting is going as planned, fans of former Vintage Cave executive chef Chris Kajioka only have a few more months to go until his next project, Senia, opens for business in Chinatown.

Before that happens, however, Kajioka and his business partner, British chef Anthony Rush, will join forces with Justin Park of Bar Leather Apron to present an exclusive tasting of products from Japan-based Suntory Whisky along with a selection of specialty cocktails paired with dishes by Kajioka and Rush on Oct. 8.

Bar Leather Apron owner Tom Park (no relation to Justin Park), said earlier this week that less than half of the 50 seats for the event remain at a cost of $250 per person.

“The whisky tasting is (probably) worth $150 alone,” he said via text message. “We’re always so honored to work with Chris and Anthony and their team at Restaurant Senia.

“When we were approached by Suntory to put on a very special, exclusive event, Senia was the obvious choice. We can’t wait to wow our guests!”

Tom Park, who also happens to be a graduate of Iolani School along with Kajioka (and this reporter), said both the food and drink menus will remain secret until the night of the event. But he did send the following shot of a dish he described as “smoked kale and truffle lasagna” and added that it will “all be worth it” for guests willing to trust Justin Park, Kajioka and Rush to take them on an unforgettable culinary journey.

COURTESY RESTAURANT SENIA

COURTESY RESTAURANT SENIA

Want to go? The only way to get a reservation is by emailing Bar Leather Apron directly at info@barleatherapron.com. No phone calls.

Learn more about Senia by following chefs Kajioka (@ckcuisine21) and Rush (@chefantrush) on Instagram, or check out the official account (@restaurantsenia). Bar Leather Apron is online as @barleatherapron; Justin Park (@meanshaka) and Tom Park (@shoedaddy) have personal accounts on Instagram as well.

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Ocean Cocktail Showdown sets final lineup of contestants

By
September 14th, 2016



COURTESY KA'AI FONGMaui resident Ka’ai Fong’s entry in the World’s Best Cocktail Showdown is called the Keokea Park and includes Ocean vodka, fresh red bell pepper juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and Adobo Loco Mangoes Bumbye syrup.

COURTESY KA'AI FONG

Maui resident Ka’ai Fong’s entry in the World’s Best Cocktail Showdown is called the Keokea Park and includes Ocean vodka, fresh red bell pepper juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and Adobo Loco Mangoes Bumbye hot sauce.

When the third annual World’s Best Ocean Cocktail Showdown returns to the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa on Sept. 24, it will be up to a pair of Maui residents to keep the title in Hawaii.

Entries were accepted earlier this year, and each of the six finalists chosen were paired with a celebrity chef and local non-profit organization. A “table-to-farm” theme will be used to pair each chef’s creations with the cocktail created by each finalist.

Maui’s Victor Mendoza was paired with Oahu-based Chef Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Cafe in Kaimuki and non-profit organization March of Dimes. His Farmers Punch utilizes a homemade puree of beets, pineapple, ginger root, Thai basil and fresh squeezed orange juice with Ocean vodka as the base spirit in the cocktail.

Fellow Maui resident Ka’ai Fong and chef Isaac Bancaco from Andaz Maui at Wailea will present the Keokea Park cocktail, made with Ocean vodka, fresh red bell pepper juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and Adobo Loco Mangoes Bumbye hot sauce.

Other finalists include Southern Carolina’s Rochelle Jones, who will partner with chef Gevin Utrillo of Japengo at the Hyatt Regency Maui, and Megan Descheine, who will join chef Sheldon Simeon in support of Maui-based non-profit Na Leo Pulama O Maui. New Jersey contestant Carlos Ruiz will work with Laulima Events & Catering’s chef Lyndon Honda and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, while New York’s Christina Schurr was paired with Freshbox’s chef Will Chen and the Maui Fishpond.

According to contest organizers, the winning drink will be featured on beverage menus at the Sheraton Maui for one year, and a portion of the proceeds from every drink sold will be donated to the organization paired with the winner. In addition, $15 from every ticket sold to the event will be donated to participating non-profit organizations, with guests given the ability to pick the non-profit that they’d like to donate to.

Tickets for the World’s Best Ocean Cocktail Showdown are $60 in advance; $70 the day of the event. VIP admission, which includes early access with an open bar and light pupu, is $95 in advance and $105 at the door. Visit honoluluboxoffice.com.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Kona Brewing adds Hanalei Island IPA to its lineup

By
September 1st, 2016



DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM Honolulu Beerworks employee Tash Thanarat pours a glass of Dango Yo Mango at the Kakaako brewpub.

DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Honolulu Beerworks employee Tash Thanarat pours a glass of Dango Yo Mango at the Kakaako brewpub.

Hot on the heels of two recent limited edition beers spotlighting local mango as the featured ingredient, another Hawaii-based brewery is getting fruity with a new offering that will eventually get national distribution.

Last week, my Barfly column in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (current subscribers can click here to read) shared details about Honolulu Beerworks’ Dango Yo Mango pale ale, which uses fruit from a 80-year-old orchard on Molokai and despite selling out quickly last month will return to the Kakaako brewery’s lineup once owner and brewmaster Geoff Seideman can get another delivery of mangoes.

I also gave readers a heads-up on Lanikai Brewing Co.’s Mango Bomb triple IPA, a one-two punch of sweet mango and bitter hoppiness that clocks in at 11.4 percent alcohol by volume. Family, friends and fans of the brewery from Kailua and Haleiwa crowdsourced the fruit used in this beer, and it’s interesting to see how well the juicy, sweet flavors stand out despite the presence of what tastes like an insane amount of hops added during brewing.

And now it’s Kona Brewing Company’s turn as they pay tribute to Kauai with the release of their Hanalei Island IPA made with a blend of passionfruit, orange and guava juices. Introduced exclusively at the company’s Hawaii Kai and Kailua-Kona brewpubs this week, other local restaurants and bars will get access to kegs of the brew later this year and a national release planned for 2017.

“It was a natural progression to develop a beer that incorporated fruits ... to distinctly represent Hawaii,” said KBC head of brewing operations Sandi Shriver in a release announcing the new beer. “Hanalei Island IPA is an extremely drinkable beer that will appeal to those new to beer as well as the more seasoned connoisseurs.”

According to the brewery, the new beer is sweet — but not too sweet, thanks to a bitterness from the use of Azacca and Galaxy hops during the beer-making process that results in an IBU (International Bitterness Units) measurement of 32 and 4.5 percent ABV. KBC describes it as a “session-style ale” that should pair well with seafood, tacos, pizza or pasta.

Kona Brewing’s Oahu brewpub is located at Koko Marina Center, 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy. Hawaii island residents can visit the brewery’s original brewpub location at 74-5612 Pawai Pl. in Kailua-Kona. Call (808) 396-5662 or (808) 334-2739, respectively.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Gordon Biersch offers guide to help with food, beer picks

By
August 24th, 2016



COURTESY GORDON BIERSCHGordon Biersch Honolulu brewmaster Jeff Liles with some of the beers he's responsible for producing at the Aloha Tower restaurant.

COURTESY GORDON BIERSCH

Gordon Biersch Honolulu brewmaster Jeff Liles with some of the beers he's responsible for producing at the Aloha Tower restaurant.

It’s unfortunate so many craft beer fans look at the corporate ownership of Gordon Biersch and somehow take that to mean the rank-and-file brewmasters at each restaurant don’t know to make beer worth getting excited about.

In reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Long before Honolulu residents enjoyed beer brewed on-site by other locally owned businesses, Gordon Biersch set up shop at Aloha Tower Marketplace and has consistently served quality beer in the same location for the last 20 years.

Longtime brewmaster Jeff Liles started at Gordon Biersch Honolulu as a server before he was tapped to study the science of making beer at California’s American Beer Guild. You might not see him from your barstool overlooking Honolulu Harbor, but his influence flows freely from each of the restaurant’s taps. Along with perennial favorites like the Golden Export, Marzen and Coconut Stout, beer fans who haven’t paid Gordon Biersch a visit lately should be excited to see even more variety these days, including their versions of a German kolsch, Belgian triple and Czech pilsner.

Besides the beer, Gordon Biersch is also making the effort to better educate its customers on food pairings. Instead of just overwhelming customers with a menu full of different items, the chain developed a new guide with recommendations of different food items to go with each type of beer served.

According to Gordon Biersch senior director of brewery operations Tom Dargen, the new guide “will enhance the dining experience for our guests and offer them insight into the Gordon Biersch brewing process.”

While brewmasters in different markets are encouraged to develop their own take on each of Gordon Biersch’s featured beer styles, the new pairings guide is designed to connect each beer with chef-driven menu items featuring made-from-scratch recipes that were introduced in 2015.

Categories in the pairings guide include:

» Hoppy: Beers that emphasize the contribution of the hop flower that are higher in bitterness with accentuated spicy, fruity, herbal, floral or piney aromas.

» Fruity and Spicy: Unique flavors from fermentation are the hallmark of this category. Fruits such as apples, bananas, cherries and oranges can be combined with spices of pepper, cloves and coriander.

» Light and Refreshing: Select this type of beer style when looking for a refreshing beer that will cleanse the palate; these types of beers will also complement lighter dishes.

» Malty: These beers highlight sweet, caramel, toffee and nutty characteristics and are the perfect companion to almost all foods in that they offer great balance.

» Dark: Beers that derive their dark color and sweet flavor from the use of roasted malts. This style of beer best complements chocolate and other dessert-like flavors.

Want more help in learning how to pair food with beer? Gordon Biersch Honolulu will host a special beer and menu pairing from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the restaurant. Call (808) 599-4877 for more information.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Ruth's Chris partners with Grey Goose for cocktail pairing

By
August 17th, 2016



Tickets are still available for a special cocktail dinner featuring Grey Goose vodka on Thursday at all three Ruth's Chris Steak House restaurants in Hawaii.

“We are extremely honored to be pairing with Grey Goose to bring this exceptional dining experience to Hawaii,” said Ruth's Chris Steak House Vice President Jay Kaneshiro in a release announcing the dinner, which will take place simultaneously at the chain's Hawaii locations at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. “Grey Goose uses only the finest ingredients in its vodka, and has maintained a level of craftsmanship that is unparalleled, matched only by its extraordinary passion and singular commitment to quality.

Priced at $95 per person, the dinner includes the following five courses, plus cocktails:

» First Course: Smoked Duck Breast Salad with Black Mission figs, apricots and micro greens with Saint Germaine vinaigrette; with Le Grand Fizz, featuring Grey Goose and St. Germain Elderflower liqueur with fresh lime juice and soda water.

» Second Course: Dry Chili Rubbed Salmon with Vermouth and Tarragon Beurre Blanc over baked fennel; with Pear & Cardamom Collins, made with Grey Goose La Poire, cardamom syrup and fresh lime with pear slice garnish

» Third Course: Stuffed Chicken Breast with dried fruit and thyme, with natural jus made with fresh ginger and roasted fingerling potatoes; with Le Melon Mule, made with Grey Goose Le Melon, ginger beer and fresh lime.

» Fourth Course: Filet Mignon with roasted Parmesan cauliflower and Chèvre and Blue Macaroni and Cheese with fire-roasted corn; with Ruth's Dirty Goose Marini, made with Grey Goose, Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, olive juice and stuffed olives.

» Dessert: Mini chocolate almond cake and chocolate almond bark; with Francois' Coffee Cocktail made with Grey Goose Cherry Noir vodka and fresh coffee, Kahlua, Creme de Cacao and almond liqueur.

Reservations for Thursday's Grey Goose dinner are still available at Ruth's Chris locations at Waterfront Plaza on Oahu, The Shops at Mauna Lani on the Big Island and The Shops at Wailea on Maui. Visit www.ruthschrishawaii.com for more details.

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10 places to drink a mai tai in Honolulu

By
August 5th, 2016



web1_Justin-Park-Mai-Tai-2015

Now in its eighth year, the Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival at the Royal Kona Resort on Hawaii island has evolved into a showcase of what talented mixologists can create when given time to elevate a classic cocktail recipe.

Last year’s winning bartender, Justin Park of Bar Leather Apron in Honolulu, took home a $10,000 check after presenting his mai tai in a custom tiki-style display box that included a puff of kiawe wood smoke as it was opened.

“I took elements of Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic for my version,” Park said, in reference to the two bartenders credited with originally developing the cocktail some 75 years ago. “This contest brings a better understanding of what the mai tai can be. It’s not just pineapple juice and high-fructose corn syrup.”

The 2016 Mai Tai Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. Aug. 13 with a Battle of the BBQ, featuring a number of Hawaii island chefs competing for top honors as well as a People’s Choice award. At 2 p.m. Henry Kapono returns to the festival for a free poolside concert before the mai tai competition kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Admission to the festival is free; the Royal Kona Resort is at 75-5852 Alii Drive. Call 329-3111 or visit donsmaitaifest.com for more information.

Can’t make it to Kona next weekend? You don’t have to leave Oahu to try some of the best mai tais Hawaii has to offer. Here are my top 10 places to go for a mai tai.

1. Bar Leather Apron
745 Fort St., #127A
(808) 524-0808

Owner Justin Park's version of the World's Best Mai Tai ($16) is a multi-dimensional adventure for your palate. Between the raisin-infused rum and housemade orgeat syrup, you'll spend the first half of the drink happily trying to decipher all the different tastes dancing across your tongue.

2. Bevy
661 Auahi St.
(808) 594-7445

It’s a testament to how good Bevy owner Christian Self’s recipe is when a cocktail he created six years ago is still one of the most requested by customers. The drink named World’s Best Mai Tai in 2010 is served the exact same way today, with a mix of Bacardi rum, orange curacao, falernum, lemongrass syrup and fresh lime juice topped with a candied ginger foam.

3. Mai Tai Bar
The Royal Hawaiian, 2259 Kalakaua Ave.
(808) 923-7311

The best place for a history lesson to go with your cocktails is the hotel where Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron was commissioned to create a mai tai especially for its guests. The Royal Scratch Mai Tai ($12) is still served the same way it was originally conceived nearly 65 years ago, with fresh pineapple and orange juice added to the original recipe’s rum, orange curacao and orgeat. But I’m also a fan of the Vic’s 44 ($12), which adds fresh lime and mint to cut some of the sweetness from the juice and give it more tartness.

4. House Without a Key
Halekulani, 2199 Kalia Rd.
(808) 923-2311

I love that the House Without a Key serves its Mai Tai ($14) over crushed ice, since the bartenders here showcase the mix of light and dark Bacardi rums and lime to the point where you’re not entirely sure there’s pineapple juice in your glass. And not only are the mai tais pretty at the Halekulani; drinking a few at House Without a Key provides some of the best oceanfront views in Waikiki.

5. Haleiwa Beach House
62-540 Kamehameha Hwy.
(808) 637-3435

The Ku’ula-Kai Mai Tai ($13) made its debut at Haleiwa Beach House just a few months ago when the restaurant opened in Haleiwa. Utilizing light and dark Old Lahaina Rum as its base along with fresh pineapple and orange juice, this version of the classic cocktail substitutes dry curacao for the traditional orange curacao and gains a lot of almond flavor from the Taylor’s Velvet Falernum Orgeat used in the drink.

6. Mai Tai Bar Ala Moana
Ala Moana Center
(808) 947-2900

I’ve got a soft spot for the Mai Tai Bar Ala Moana’s Icy Mai Tai ($8). Be sure to ask for a dark rum float, and if you feel like living on the edge, order a can of Red Bull to go with it. I’ll stir in the rum, take a few sips to create extra space in the glass, then refill with Red Bull, sip and repeat. The energy drink makes it a little less icy — which helps prevent brain freeze! — and provides a little extra kick from all the caffeine.

7. Monkeypod Kitchen Ko Olina
92-1048 Olani St.
(808) 380-4086

It’s worth a trip to Ko Olina for a Monkeypod Mai Tai ($13), which includes a special housemade macadamia nut orgeat syrup and honey-lilikoi foam. This one looks beautiful in the glass when the bartender presents it — and tastes even better once you stir in the foam.

8. BLT Market
383 Kalaimoku St.
(808) 729-9729

The Market Mai Tai ($16) utilizes guava juice to give it a little twist on the original, but it’s still got plenty of kick. Ask your bartender for a plastic cup and you can even take your drink out by the pool deck to enjoy the view looking towards Kalakaua Avenue and Waikiki Beach.

9. Tommy Bahama Waikiki
298 Beach Walk
(808) 923-8785

Get to Tommy Bahama Waikiki during happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m. daily and you’ll pay just $7 instead of $12.50 for the house mai tai, made with four-year-old Flor de Cana rum and housemade sour. The bartenders here follow the classic recipe, and at happy hour prices you can afford to kick back a bit longer and enjoy the view from Tommy Bahama’s rooftop lounge.

10. Chart House Honolulu
1765 Ala Moana Blvd.
(808) 941-6669

The Guy Tai, named after longtime head bartender Guy Maynard, attracts repeat customers from around the world — and rightfully so. Maynard uses housemade sweet and sour with healthy pours of Bacardi Gold and Myers rum, gives it a light shake and serves the drink over crushed ice. Be careful… this one packs a punch!
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Palate Craft & Eatery opens in Chinatown this weekend

By
July 27th, 2016



JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COMPalate Craft & Eatery is located in the former Sol de Cuba location across from Hawaii Theatre in Chinatown.

JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COM

The view of Bethel St. from inside Palate Craft & Eatery, located across from the historic Hawaii Theatre in Chinatown.

There will be a new place in Chinatown for craft beer and cocktails starting this weekend, thanks to the efforts of three veteran Honolulu bar owners.

Troy Terorotua and Lisa Kim, co-owners of Real a Gastropub and Brew’d Craft Pub, have partnered with Pat Kashani to open Palate Craft & Eatery in the former Soul de Cuba space on Bethel St. Kashani, who operated Tropics Cafe Bar and Lounge at the Ward Farmers Market where Real now sits, currently owns Tropics Taphouse at Puck’s Alley and Tropics Ale House on Hawaii island.

Palate will feature 16 taps serving a rotating lineup of craft beer and hard cider. In addition, three types of wine and ready-to-drink Moscow Mule cocktails will be available on tap; opening weekend wines include Angeline Sauvignon Blanc, Coppola Director’s Chardonnay and Diseno Malbec.

Here’s the current beer lineup as of Wednesday; keep up with the latest changes by visiting Palate’s website or Facebook page.

» Alpine Beer Co. Hoppy Birthday Session IPA
» Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
» Ballast Point Sextant (Nitro) Oatmeal Stout
» Ballast Point Victory at Sea Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter
» Big Island Brewhaus Golden Sabbath Blonde Ale
» Brasserie Dupont Deux Amis Saison / Farmhouse Ale
» Brouwerij Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet Belgian Tripel
» Deschutes Brewery Armory XPA Pale Ale
» Charles Wells Brewery Banana Bread Beer
» Elysian Brewing Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale
» Gigantic Brewing Co. Kiss the Goat Doppelbock
» Green Flash Brewing Co. Sea to Sea Kellerbier
» Knee Deep Brewing Co. Stoutella Milk Stout
» Kona Brewing Company Makana Wela Smoked Beer
» Lagunitas Brewing Co. Hop Stoopid IPA
» New Belgium Brewing Co. Fat Tire Red Ale

Beverage director Nicolas Carter, who arrives at Palate by way of award-winning mixologist Christian Self’s Bevy in Kakaako, also shared a taste of housemade pineapple soda made with fresh fruit, star anise and vanilla when this reporter stopped by unannounced on Tuesday. The soda is exclusive to the restaurant; Carter needs to come up with a cocktail that uses the stuff, and soon — it’s that good.

According to Terorotua, Palate’s kitchen will be under the direction of chef Jamal Lahiani and feature a lineup of elevated bar fare at night starting this weekend, with a variety of lunch items expected to be available in the coming weeks. Following a “friends and family” soft opening tonight, Palate will be open from 4 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Wednesdays and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Palate Craft & Eatery is located at 1121 Bethel St. Call (808) 524-2337. Follow the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Three places to celebrate National Tequila Day on Oahu

By
July 21st, 2016



COURTESY ESQUARED HOSPITALITYThe Karma Cherry Margarita makes its debut Sunday at BLT Steak Waikiki.

COURTESY ESQUARED HOSPITALITY

The Karma Cherry Margarita makes its debut Sunday at BLT Steak Waikiki.

Looking to start an argument with your friends? Ask them where to find the best Mexican food in Hawaii.

Some people think it’s impossible for authentic Mexican flavors to successfully make it thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean to restaurant kitchens here. Others — myself included — believe you just need to know where to look.

Good thing tequila tastes the same no matter where you serve it. With National Tequila Day coming up on Sunday, here are some places to visit and enjoy a cocktail made with the liquor... or maybe a few shots with some salt and lime!

BLT STEAK WAIKIKI

Head to Waikiki on Sunday for your first chance to try BLT Steak’s newest cocktail, created exclusively for National Tequila Day. The restaurant is partnering with Karma Tequila, which is owned by local big wave surfer Reef Mcintosh, to offer the Karma Cherry Margarita ($16) made with the brand’s silver tequila, Luxardo cherry juice and fresh lime. The drink will be available at the restaurant through September.

BLT Steak is located in the Trump International Hotel Waikiki, 223 Saratoga Rd. The restaurant’s bar opens at 4:30 p.m. Sunday; call (808) 683-7440 for dinner reservations.

BUHO CANTINA

A few blocks away from BLT Steak at Buho Cantina, tequila fans have the option of choosing cocktails made with brands like Avion, Cabo Wabo, Casamigos, Cazadores, Milagros, Olmeca Altos and Patron. You can’t go wrong with a margarita, but consider a Spiced Strawberry ($12) made with fresh strawberry or a Smoking Cadillac ($12) with chili pepper-infused tequila and guava puree.

Buho is on the rooftop of the Waikiki Shopping Plaza, 2250 Kalakaua Ave., and opens at 11 a.m. Sunday. Call (808) 922-2846.

MEXICO CANTINA

With three Oahu locations — 1247 N. School St. in Kalihi, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. on the second floor of Ward Centre and 600 Kailua Rd. in Kailua — Mexico Cantina offers one of the largest margarita menus on Oahu, serving up more than a dozen varieties of the drink. My guilty pleasure is the Li Hing Mui Margarita ($10), but you’re sure to find your own favorite among the different options available.

Both the Kalihi and Kailua locations open at 10 a.m. Sunday; the Ward Centre restaurant opens at 11 a.m. Head to the Kalihi restaurant for happy hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, or check out the Kailua restaurant from 3 to 5 p.m. and Ward Centre from 3 to 6 p.m. for drink specials at those locations.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Longhi's, Merriman's, Vino make Wine Spectator list

By
July 8th, 2016



STAR-ADVERTISER / 2015Vino was one of the Hawaii restaurants honored by Wine Spectator magazine this year. The restaurant reopened in its current location in 2015.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2015

Vino was one of the Hawaii restaurants honored by Wine Spectator magazine this year. The restaurant reopened in its current location in 2015.

Wine Spectator released its 2016 Restaurant Awards this week, highlighting the best places to visit for a glass of wine in all 50 states and 72 countries around the world.

Restaurants are recognized with one of three awards: the Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence and Grand Award. In 2016, there were 3,595 restaurants recognized; 1,093 were presented with the Best of Award of Excellence, with just 88 establishments earning a Grand Award.

According to Wine Spectator, honored restaurants must offer wine lists that feature a “well-chosen assortment” of selections with a “thematic match to the menu in both price and style.” Best of Award of Excellence recipients provide “more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions.”

No Hawaii restaurant earned a Grand Award in 2016, which recognizes “the world’s best wine programs” and includes independent inspections of each winning restaurant’s wine program, wine cellar, customer service, ambience and cuisine. Multiple restaurants received the Best of Award of Excellence designation, including Il Lupino, La Mer and Wolfgang’s Steakhouse on Oahu and Maui’s Lahaina Grill, Longhi’s Lahaina and Wailea, Merriman’s Kapalua and Nick’s Fishmarket.

To make things easier for mobile users and those traveling to new cities, this year Wine Spectator launched a free Restaurant Awards app and dedicated website with a complete list of winners. The list will also be available in Wine Spectator’s August issue, which is due to hit store shelves July 19.

WINE SPECTATOR 2016 RESTAURANT AWARDS

Hawaii Island
» The Fish Hopper, Kailua-Kona
» Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill, Kailua-Kona
» Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar, Kohala
» Merriman’s Restaurant, Waimea
» Ray’s on the Bay, Kailua-Kona

Kauai
» Beach House Restaurant, Koloa
» Gaylord’s, Lihue
» Merriman’s Fish House, Koloa

Maui
» Fleetwood’s on Front St., Lahaina
» Gannon’s, Wailea
» Gerard’s, Lahaina
» Hali’imaile General Store, Makawao
» Honu Seafood & Pizza, Lahaina
» Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, Kihei
» Lahaina Grill, Lahaina
» Longhi’s Lahaina, Lahaina
» Longhi’s Wailea, Wailea
» Mala Ocean Tavern, Lahaina
» Merriman’s Kapalua, Kapalua
» Morimoto Maui, Wailea
» Nick’s Fishmarket, Wailea
» Pacific’o, Lahaina
» Pulehu, Lahaina
» Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Lahaina

Oahu
» Beachhouse at the Moana, Waikiki
» BLT Steak, Waikiki
» Chart House Waikiki, Waikiki
» D.K. Steak House, Waikiki
» Fresco Italian Restaurant, Waikiki
» Hoku’s, Kahala
» Il Lupino Trattoria and Wine Bar, Waikiki
» La Mer, Waikiki
» Morton’s, Ala Moana
» Teppanyaki Ginza Onodera, McCully
» Vino, Kakaako
» Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, Waikiki
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Ocean Vodka seeks 'World's Best Cocktail' in third annual contest

By
June 22nd, 2016



COURTESY OCEAN VODKA / JESSICA PEARLOcean Organic Vodka is searching for the "World's Greatest Cocktail" using their product as the main ingredient.

COURTESY OCEAN VODKA / JESSICA PEARL

Ocean Organic Vodka is searching for the "World's Greatest Cocktail" using their product as the main ingredient.

Just a few days remain to come up with your version of “The World’s Best Cocktail” using Ocean Organic Vodka.

Now in its third year, the competition kicks off online with submissions accepted through midnight Saturday via the company’s website and email (recipecontest@oceanvodka.com). Six contestants will be selected to take part in the finals, which are set for Sept. 24 at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa — and yes, airfare and accommodations will be provided for all finalists.

The theme for this year’s contest is “Farm to Table,” and all submissions will be judged on the following:

» Completed application
» High-resolution photo of cocktail
» Taste
» Presentation/interpretation of theme
» Use of fresh ingredients
» Creativity
» Representation of Ocean Organic Vodka

According to the contest rules, submitted applications must include a full recipe and preparation method for a single serving of the drink. No more than 2 ounces of alcohol in total can be used in the recipe; no more than five total ingredients, including alcohol, and Ocean Organic Vodka should be the main ingredient. No pre-infused alcohol allowed.

Along with the trip to Maui, the winning recipe’s creator will also receive a $500 first place prize and the drink will be featured on all Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa cocktail menus for one year.

Unlimited entries are allowed; must be 21+ to participate. See complete contest rules at www.oceanvodka.com.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

Posted in Food & Drink | Comments Off on Ocean Vodka seeks 'World's Best Cocktail' in third annual contest

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