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With a can’t-be-beat lineup of rich and creamy ice cream, shakes, cakes, smoothies and more, Cold Stone Creamery remains the perfect retreat for those still hoping to cool off from summer’s lingering heat. See Page 4 | Leah Friel photo

Shift leader Romina Furr drizzles thick chocolate syrup over one of Cold Stone Creamery’s signature creations.

ALSO: Are you ready for ramen? | 12

Romano’s smart pasta dish | 8 Sold on Hifumi’s full-flavored seafood | 9

ono,youknow Larry’s Bakery

Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine

Fendu Boulangerie

The of the By Alana Folen | Photos by Leah Friel

ometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference. For example, a smile to brighten someone’s day or a “please” or “thank you” as a sign of respect can really make a world of difference. So can popcorn smothered in butter, a cherry placed atop an ice cream sundae, or a hefty spread of cream cheese on a freshly toasted bagel. Come to think of it, cream cheese has a way of making everything better. In fact, I recall starting each day as a middle- and highschooler with strawberry cream cheese — and a bit of bagel, of course. And I confess, it was definitely the best part of the day! My cream cheese cravings have subsided a bit since my high school years, but this week, I was back at it — head over heels in love with this widely consumed cheese. Luckily for me, the following Ono, You Know establishments whipped up a few cream cheese masterpieces to indulge in. So without further ado, read on and take part in my weeklong lovefest with cream cheese!


Larry's Bakery Oh, it’s always a sweet, sweet day when Larry’s Bakery is involved. I’m a die-hard sugar fanatic, so paying a visit to this top-of-the-line bakery on Lawehana Street is almost like taking a tour through Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory — only here, you get much more than just chocolate! Cookies, cupcakes, pastries, decadent cakes and more fill the shelves as its alluring aroma roams 2 | D I N I N G O U T | S E P T. 1 6 - 2 2 , 2 0 1 2


through the kitchen. Of course, it doesn’t take long before your sweet tooth is hooked on Larry’s Bakery. Now, when you think of cream cheese you usually think bagels. Well, this time this Salt Lake establishment is sprucing it up with a wonderland of cream cheese creations. “Cream cheese is great to work with,” says Iris Yafuso, who along with her brother, Lance, is the mastermind behind Larry’s

Bakery. “It can go with pretty much anything.” When asked about the bakery’s cream cheese specialties, Iris couldn’t help but rave about Iris’ OMG. Priced at $2 each, this treat of treats most certainly will have you saying, “Oh … my … gosh!” after each bite. Yes, it’s that delicious! Made with a shortbread cookie crust as its foundation, Iris’ OMG features a luscious brownie filled with cream cheese and topped with sprinkles. “We put together this recipe just for fun, and initially we only made one just to sample, but it was so good,” Iris exclaims. Yet, that’s not to discredit Larry’s Bakery’s Cream Cheese Coffee Cake ($7.95) and Cream Cheese Ensaimada ($1.75 each). Both pastries are amazing in their own right. Seriously, what’s not to love about Cream Cheese Coffee Cake? A Larry’s Bakery original, this favorite of mine had been on hiatus from the menu, but has now returned better than ever, thanks to its fluffy Danish dough with cream cheese, drizzled with streusel and a sugar glaze, and sprinkled with almonds. As a devout lover of ensaimadas, I was more than eager to devour this sweet and savory offering, which was topped with buttercream frosting and dusted with powdered sugar. Yum!

Above: Larry’s Bakery employee Nikki Tamashiro and the editor serve up Cream Cheese Coffee Cake ($7.95) and Iris's OMG ($2). Left: Fendu’s Lilikoi Cheesecake ($4.50 each)

Dining Out Dining Out is a weekly advertising supplement published by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

EDITOR Alana Folen Phone: 529.4854

SALES MANAGER Sandi Sakaguchi Phone: 342.8802

SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR Bill Mossman Phone: 529.4863

Visit us at – See page 18


Story by Kyle Galdeira Photos by Leah Friel

the sizzling summer heat continues to linger, diners find comfort in the cool creations available at Cold Stone Creamery. Cold Stone’s collection of tantalizing treats, from rich and creamy ice cream and shakes to cakes, cupcakes and light and refreshing smoothies, are perfect for those looking to beat the heat. With nine franchise locations in Hawaii, including seven

on Oahu and two on Maui, Island residents are minutes away from enjoying what Cold Stone founders Donald and Susan Sutherland dubbed the world’s “perfect” ice cream when they opened the creamery’s first store in Tempe, Ariz., in 1988. As Tod Takahashi, area representative for Cold Stone in Hawaii, explains, the company strives to deliver “the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience” to its

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LEFT Ice Cream Cookies (price varies per location) RIGHT Tod Takahashi, area representative, and Romina Furr, shift leader

customers. Cold Stone Creamery prides itself in providing ice cream made fresh daily, as the smooth and creamy flavors are paired and mixed on the iconic frozen granite stone with more than 35 flavorful choices of “mix-ins,” from fruits to candies and cake pieces. “The ice cream is smooth and creamy, and we also make our fresh waffle cones and chocolate-dipped cones daily,” Takahashi says. “We make everything on a stone — everything’s mixed as you choose. We chop and fold your choice of ingredients with your ice cream of choice. Everything is made to order.” For starters, ice cream is served in three memorable sizes: Like It, Love It and Gotta Have It (prices vary by franchise). Diners may

LEFT Small Round Cake (price varies per location) RIGHT No Fair Funnel Cake (price varies per location)

choose from some of Cold Stone’s iconic flavors, ranging from Cake Batter to Cheesecake, Sweet Cream and mainstays such as French Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate. The ice cream comes together with Cold Stone’s tremendous assortment of mix-ins and toppings, and makes such Signature Creations as the Cheesecake Fantasy, Cookie Monster, OREO Overload and Mud Pie Mojo possible. Cold Stone also encourages eaters to form their own Custom Creations from scratch as the ice-cold stone becomes a canvas of colors and flavors. “Hot Stone” favorites are also a hit with new and returning customers, including the Brownie A La Cold Stone (price varies by franchise) — a

warm chocolate brownie topped with French Vanilla ice cream and covered with whipped topping, caramel, hot fudge and pecans. The No Fair Funnel Cake is another

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Pie (all prices vary by franchise. Cold Stone even offers a handy online cake ordering system. Cold Stone Creamery continues its mission of giving back to the commu-

Shift leader Romina Furr drizzles thick chocolate syrup over one of Cold Stone Creamery’s signature creations.

With a can’t-be-beat lineup of rich and creamy ice cream, shakes, cakes, smoothies and more, Cold Stone Creamery remains the perfect retreat for those still hoping to cool off from summer’s lingering heat.


See Page 4 | Leah Friel photo

ALSO: Are you ready for ramen? | 12

Romano’s smart pasta dish | 8 Sold on Hifumi’s full-flavored seafood | 9

LEFT Brownie a la Cold Stone (price varies per location) RIGHT Ice Cream Cupcakes (price varies per location)

“Hot” seller, and includes warm funnel cake topped with French Vanilla ice cream, whipped topping, savory strawberries, strawberry puree and powdered sugar. For those celebrating a birthday or other special event, Cold Stone has it covered with a wide range of signature cakes, cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches. Cakes are available in both round and rectangular forms, and can be custom-designed to feed anywhere from two to 50 or more people. The Midnight Delight and Cake Batter Confetti are just a couple of the crowdpleasing options available, as is the Caramel Turtle

nity with its 11th annual World’s Largest Ice Cream Social that benefits MakeA-Wish. On Sept. 27, $1 from the sale of any Love It or Gotta Have It ice cream, yogurt or sorbet creation will be donated to Make-A-Wish from stores in Hawaii and across the nation. Proceeds will benefit the organization, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to “enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” Stop in and scoop up the flavorful fun at Cold Stone Creamery, and see what the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience is all about.

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Signature appetizers are a tasty work of art


apengo, the year-old Pacific Rim hot spot at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, has appetizers as fresh and pleasurable to look at as its warm, modern interior. The ingredients are the stars of the varied and well-balanced menu, which surely deserves second, third and even fourth visits. The restaurant’s signature appetizer is the Scallop Butter Yaki ($16). The large, pan-seared scallops are flown in fresh twice a week from Boston, topped in butter yaki and torched to a golden brown. Plated on shiso leaves and topped with black tobiko and tubular chives, it’s no wonder why so many of these sweet sea creatures have passed through the kitchen over the past 11 months. The scallops are so juicy they are almost wet, and the slightly peppery flavor and definite crunch of the tobiko adds an important textural change to this

exquisite dish. If you prefer your pupus with a bit of a kick, the Steamed Manila Clams ($15) may be what you’re seeking. The appetizer is sauteed in garlic, shallots, lemon grass, Thai bird chili, kaffir lime leaves, sambal chili sauce and clam juice. The sweet clams are deglazed with Chablis, steamed, tossed with butter and served with cilantro, green onion and crispy shallots. Oh, it’s tasty. Fresh, spicy, sweet, good for sharing and bathed in a broth just dying to be absorbed in the restaurant’s homemade bread, this appetizer is more of a meal than a menu option. That’s not a bad thing. Big is good. In addition to the fabulous paintings, sculptures and other historic pieces at Honolulu Museum of Art, attendees of the August Moon fundraiser got to enjoy Japengo’s Crab and Shrimp Cakes. The art, both edi-

Tengu ($21) Nathalie Walker photos

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Crab and Shrimp Cake ($16)

creaminess to the crunchy creations. And if you’re not a sauce aficionado, no problem, as with JAPENGO any good ingredient they are fine just by themselves. WHERE Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Finally, a Pacific Rim dinner Resort and Spa just wouldn’t be complete withEwa Tower, third floor. out sushi. Two that are especially popular are the Tengu ($21), CALL Japengo’s most popular maki237.6140 style sushi, and the Hanamaki ($18). Both are created in a HOURS reverse California roll-style with Open nightly for dinner, 6-10 p.m. crab, avocado and Japanese Sushi bar and lounge open at cucumber (the Tengu boasts both 5:30 p.m. soft shell and snow crab), and topped with fresh seafood. The Hanamaki boasts ahi ble and not, were a big hit. The while the Tengu has scalCrab and Shrimp Cakes ($16) are lops. Both are topped with constructed of lump crab, chopped shrimp cakes and mixed with gobo and mayo. The soon-to-be golden patties are then panko-coated, pan-fried and served with a pan-seared large New Caledonia prawn. A drag though lemon grass butter provides just the right amount of

a spicy mayo sauce and black tobiko for the Hanamaki and orange tobiko for the Tengu. You can’t go wrong with either. Chef de cuisine Michael Imada says, “We want to keep it simple while highlighting the natural ingredients.” He’s done just that with fresh produce from across the Islands and imported delicacies that have been carefully selected and taken several months to test and incorporate.

Hanamaki ($18), at left, and Manilla clams ($15)


Seafood Village By Nicole Kato


eafood Village is known for its award-winning Chinese cuisine, and offers early bird specials (before 7 p.m.) that include Steak & Fried Shrimp ($14.95), Steak & Mahi Mahi ($16.95), Sweet & Sour Fish ($13.95), Mongolian Beef ($13.95) and Kung Pao Chicken ($13.95). Each special comes with Egg Swirl Soup, garden salad, steamed rice and an almond float. Dining Out met two lovely couples from Colorado one night for dinner, and all four members agreed that the Seafood Village specials were a superb meal choice during their visit to Oahu. Great food coupled with great service made for an amazing evening in the Islands.

Dominic and Genie Petrocco, at left, and Pat and Walter Hivner enjoy both the food and ambiance at Seafood Village in Waikiki. Nicole Kato photo

Genie Petrocco: “I had the Sweet & Sour Fish. It was very good … very Asian and spicy. Dominic Petrocco: “We had And I like the Egg Swirl Soup the Steak & Fried Shrimp. It was (included in early bird special fantastic! The Mango Pudding before 7 p.m.).” dessert was great, too.” Pat Hivner: “I had the same, Walter Hivner: “I also got the Sweet & Sour Fish. I loved it. The Steak & Friend Shrimp. Great whole meal was just an amazing presentation. I had mine as price for what we got. I just really medium rare, and it was cooked enjoyed the fish. This is what we exactly right. It was served hot, came here for … This is one of and it was good. And the service those restaurants that you want to come back to.” is fantastic.”

SEAFOOD VILLAGE WHERE Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort and Spa 2424 Kalakaua Ave. #103, Honolulu CALL 971.1818 HOURS Open daily, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (Lunch) 5-10 p.m. (Dinner)

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They call it he best thing about pasta is … well, just about everything. You really can’t go wrong. There are so many fun shapes to choose from and so many ways to prepare it. And in restaurants, creative chefs love to embellish pasta in their own signature style, while others steadfastly adhere to traditional recipes. The only problem with pasta dishes on many restaurant menus is the addition of meat, fish, eggs and cheese in nearly every offering. With the word macaroni in its name, Romano’s Macaroni Grill should know a thing or two about pasta and what it takes to make customers come back for more — and it does. The menu offers a simple yet smart concept: Create Your Own Pasta ($14), which offers a choice of pasta, sauce, three vegetables and a meat (or roasted eggplant for vegetarians). And, according to executive chef Nawai Keko‘olani, veggie lovers don’t have to stop at three. In fact, his favorite concoction is fettucini with roasted garlic tomato sauce, mushrooms, eggplant, broccoli and roasted peppers topped with fresh grana padano cheese. Guests can choose as many of their favorite vegetables available — roasted peppers, broccoli, fresh spinach, roasted tomatoes, artichokes, roasted garlic, roasted mushrooms, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and more — as they wish for this dish. Pasta choices include spaghetti, capellini, penne, farfalle and rigatoni, as well as fresh quadratini and whole wheat fettucini. The chef notes that fresh pastas are made with eggs, so ask your server before ordering, or just opt for the high-quality dried variety. “Our dried pastas are specially made for Macaroni Grill,” Chef Keko‘olani says. “You won’t find it in stores.”


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veg’with nout Terri Hefner

Top off your pasta with your favorite sauce: pomodoro, arrabbiata, garlic olive oil, garlic cream, Alfredo, basil pesto and more. Chef Keko‘olani notes that some guests like to mix it up with the sauces, ordering two for the same dish — so have fun! “We try our best to take care of every guest,” he says. “We make accommodations to make guests as

Executive chef Nawai Keko‘olani with Romano’s very akamai dish, Create Your Own Pasta ($14) INSET: Create Your Own Pasta ($14) features such choices as fettuccine with roasted garlic tomato sauce, roasted mushrooms, broccoli and roasted peppers. Nathalie Walker photos

Romano’s Macaroni Grill

WHERE Ala Moana Center 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. CALL 356.8300 HOURS Open daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

happy as possible. After all, they come here to dine.” Macaroni just the way you want it. It’s all in the name. Contact Terri Hefner at


Lunch specials a hit with Max’s younger customers

of tropical ice cream for $1 more, or a mini Buko Pandan for an additional t’s always bound to be the fiesta of $2.50. all Filipino fiestas at Max’s of “You receive high-quality food for a Manila. Located on good price,” Joven adds. Dillingham Boulevard With 127 branches in and in Waipahu Shopping the Philippines, two MAX’S Plaza, this favorite estabbranches in Dubai, two in OF MANILA lishment brings a taste of Canada and eight branchthe Philippines to our es in the U.S., we’re WHERE Island home. lucky to have Max’s to 801 Dillingham Blvd. While dishes such as call our own. Max’s of (also located in Waipahu Crispy Pata, Lumpiang Manila is slated to open Shopping Plaza) Shanghai, Sisig and Pork six more restaurants in Adobo are signature the Philippines and four CALL items off the menu, additional international 951.6297 Max’s of Manila can’t branches. help but revel in its new HOURS So, when it’s a homeMonday-Friday 11 a.m.Max’s Lunch Specials. cooked Filipino meal 9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday Now served Monday that you can’t live with10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. through Friday from 11 out, you’ll find it all at a.m. to 4 p.m., these Max’s of Manila. lunch specials are perfect for those on the go. With six specials to choose from (at $8.95 each, dine-in or takeout), including Chicken Adobo, Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet, Tenderloin Tips, Pork Adobo, Seafood in Coconut Milk and Vegetarian Special, Max’s offers complete meals that are well worth your buck. “We only recently started offering these lunch specials, but it’s been doing very well. A lot of students and the younger generations have been liking it,” says Elizabeth Joven, operations manager of the Dillingham branch. All lunch specials come with steamed or garlic rice; choice of side dish such as Lumpiang Shanghai, Veggie Crunch or tossed salad; and choice of soft Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet ($8.95) | Leah drink. For dessert, enjoy a scoop Friel photo



Stumbling upon

By Alana Folen

at Hifumi By Ali Resich


Fresh Local Whole Steamed Mullet (1-1.25 pounds, $13-$19) Nathalie Walker photo

hether you’ve always loved to visit the Chinese Cultural Plaza or you are exploring China- enjoyed two ways: local-style with black town’s impressive center of shops and bean sauce, garlic and a touch of hot oil and restaurants for the first time, Hifumi shoyu on top, or Chinese-style with a mix Japanese Restaurant comes as a surprise to of ginger, mushrooms and green onion. all who first see it. That’s because it’s one “With the whole fish, the bone gets more of the only Japanese eateries located inside flavor and the fish is more juicy,” says the conglomeration of Chinese culture. Ching. “We want people to enjoy all the But as longtime waitress Elsie Ching softest parts of the fish.” describes, Hifumi abides by the philosophy And you’ve never seen shrimp quite like that “as long as you have good food, it doesn’t the ones featured in the Shrimp Special matter where you are, you’ll stay in business.” ($9.25, regular; $12.95, jumbo). The regularIt seems she is right, seeing as the restau- sized tempura-battered creations seem outrarant has been in business for more than 44 geously plump, so customers are beyond satyears. And many locals who frequent the isfied when they bite into the gargantuan plaza agree that it’s nice to have options when jumbo versions. Each plate of shrimp (three you are looking to switch up the routine. pieces) comes with four vegetable tempura “We have our own disas well as house-made tinct style of flavors, and tempura sauce. all of our sauces are our Like most of the estabHIFUMI JAPANESE lishment’s own recipes,” says Ching. meals, shrimp RESTAURANT “We’re known for our and steamed mullet spetonkatsu and our steamed cials come with miso fish because it’s so soft. WHERE Chinese Cultural Plaza soup, tsukemono, tea 100 N. Beretania St. #113 We also have sashimi, ahi and rice that you can — all fresh.” refill free of charge. CALL 536.3035 Speaking of Hifumi’s Ching also says the seafood, the establishment restaurant’s MSG-free HOURS Tuesday-Sunday, currently has some specuisine and the use of 11 a.m.-2 p.m., lunch cials you’ll want to dive fresh oil every day con5-8:30 p.m., dinner into. Fresh Local Whole Closed Monday tribute to its clean tastes. Steamed Mullet (about It may seem like a fish out NOTES Parking inside Chinese $13-19) presents an of water, but there’s nothing Cultural Plaza approximately 1-1.25 shrimpy about Hifumi pound catch that can be Japanese Restaurant.

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... dining out ...


t Camellia Buffet on McCully Street, you get the best of both worlds: a great selection of fresh raw meat for all you meat-lovers, and the sheer pleasure of cooking it to your liking.

F E AT U R E ........ ............


These qualities make Camellia a great alternative to traditional buffets, in which food often sits out for a long time. Manager Kelly Park notes that the most popular dishes are the kalbi during lunch and the sirloin steak during dinner. And the keiki enjoy the orange chicken. “But recently, people have been asking for shrimp, and they also like our oil sauce (served with salt and pepper at night),” she adds. Is quality more important than quantity? Or is it the other way around? At Camellia, which has been serving Korean food for almost 30 years, it doesn’t really matter because you’re sure to be getting the freshest all-you-can-eat cuts of meat and vegetable selections. The establishment features main dishes such as kalbi, beef, chicken and pork, 25 different types of side dishes (including kim chee, macaroni salad and kim chee cucumber), soups (miso and seaweed), fruits and more. Items such as shrimp, sashimi, flap-meat sirloin steak and frozen yogurt are only available during dinner. Not a total meat-lover? That’s OK, because the buffet also features a vast array of veggies, including carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and bean sprouts. And the restaurant takes its customers into consideration. Every so often, Camellia Buffet likes to switch up the more than 50 items available in the buffet so patrons won’t get bored of the same ol’ thing. In addition, Camellia makes its own mandoo (dumplings). And the sauce on those spicy chicken wings? That’s homemade, too. (And yes, the kim chee also is made in-house. After all, it wouldn’t be a Korean-owned restaurant

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... dining out ...


F E AT U R E ....................


without homemade kim chee, right?) If you’re wondering why you can’t get enough of the marinated meats, that’s probably because the taste of Camellia’s secret sauces has a strong hold of your taste buds and simply won’t let go. Lunch costs $17.95 for adults and $13 for children, ages 4-8, and is served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner costs $25.95 for adults and $15 for children, ages 4-8, and runs from 2:30 to 10 p.m. seven days a wee. That’s right, you can eat all you want every day of the week. If you don’t have the time to sit down and grill your own meat, that’s OK. Camellia has a takeout menu (with already-cooked food that’s ready to eat): kalbi ($11.95), bulgogi ($9.95), spicy pork ($9), chicken ($9), combination ($11.95), fried mandoo ($9), bibim bap ($10) and bibim kooksoo ($10). Since Camellia Buffet is often busy, especially around dinnertime, reservations are recommended. And with so many food choices, Camellia is the perfect place to bring the whole family or large group of friends. Make sure you bring a hearty appetite when you visit Camellia so you can sample a little bit of everything.


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Traditional ramen that’s oh, so good


OSAKA RAMEN WHERE Pearl Kai Shopping Center 98-199 Kamehameha Hwy. #B9, Aiea

saka Ramen celebrates its one-year anniversary this month with a special offer of four-piece Salt & Pepper shrimp for only $2 (with purchase of a regular meal, from now through Sept. 30). Located at the Pearl Kai Shopping Center in Aiea, owners Michelle Huang and Zhen Wei Lin love to eat Japanese noodles and wanted to give people a place to enjoy traditional ramen. “The secret to our ramen is the soup base,” says Huang. “We use recipes from Japan. Our Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.25) has a homemade pork soup base that is cooked for about eight hours so you can really taste the pork flavor. And our Miso

CALL 488.8836 HOURS Sunday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 2

1 Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.25) 2 Chicken Katsu Ramen Combo ($8.95) 3 Osaka Ramen owners Zhen Wei Lin and Michelle Huang with Miso Ramen ($6.50; add four pieces of Salt & Pepper Shrimp for $2) Leah Friel photos

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Ramen ($6.50) is made with a homemade soup base and miso sauce from Japan, so the flavor is miso and it tastes good.” Also popular are Salt & Pepper Shrimp with Charsiu Fried Rice ($9.50), Spicy Tan Tan Ramen ($7.50) and Chicken Katsu Ramen Combo ($8.95), which consists of mini miso ramen, chicken katsu on the side, charsiu fried rice and fourpiece homemade gyoza filled with pork and mixed vegetables. For added flavor, sprinkle some freshly crushed chili garlic (available at each table) on your noodles or gyoza sauce. The menu is categorized by ramen, curry, fried noodles, cold soba and udon, appetizers, combo meals, udon and spicy ramen. In addition to great taste, Osaka Ramen also is known for its great prices. The Vegetable Ramen, Wonton Ramen, Shoyu Ramen, Miso Ramen, Gyoza Ramen, Charsiu Ramen and Mabo Tofu Ramen are all priced at $6.50. Almost all combo meals are $8.95, and all curry combo plates are $9.25. Also, from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, get four pieces of gyoza free with the purchase of a regular meal; and from 5 p.m. to closing there’s a happy hour drink special of $2 beer (Heineken, Budweiser, Kirin, Bud Light, Bud Light Lime and Bud Light Platinum). Everything on the menu is available for takeout, and there’s plenty of free parking available. “The flavor of our ramen is the same as in Japan,” adds Huang. “So many people like it. If you like ramen, come and try it. It’s good.”


Belting Out Superb Sushi By Jaimie Kim


ith its interactive “kaiten” sushi (sushi served on a belt) and bright decor, Genki Sushi’s friendly atmosphere is an ideal setting for anyone looking to have fun and enjoy an unpretentious bite of sushi. “We want our customers to come in and have a good time,” says David Moon, director of purchasing. Though the restaurant has ventured to locations on the Mainland and throughout the world, Genki Sushi continues to satisfy its local fans. “Because we are in Hawaii, we try to cater to the local taste,” says Moon. “A lot of the things we sell at the moment you can’t get in Japan or in the Mainland stores.” This includes allowing customers to share suggestions for future menu items via customer cards, phone calls to its headquarters or people just wanting to offer a quick comment to the restaurant manager. New items such as Spicy Won Ton, which features spicy tuna atop a won ton chip, were suggestions made by customers. Ten new items have been added to the menu, including Pipi Kaula Nigiri and what Moon says has become a new favorite, Kalbi Nigiri. Longtime favorite Spicy Tuna Bowl continues to make

its presence known with seven variations, including spicy stuffed mushrooms, a deep-fried spicy roll and a spicy tempura roll that is piled with spicy tuna. And with prices ranging from $1.50 to $4.80 (with the exception of two specials that are only $7.50), customers can look forward to not cringing at their bill.

Above Velma Fleming, Jodee Spencer and Lydia Kwok with a few customer favorites. Left Spicy Tuna Bowl ($7.50)

GENKI SUSHI WHERE Ward Centre 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu (and various locations) CALL 591.5600 HOURS Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Some location hours vary; call for details WEBSITE

File photos

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tableside @ Kaka‘ako Kitchen Left: Cashier Tara Yamashita with the Frizzled Shrimp($8) Right: Frizzled Shrimp($8)


ince opening in 1995, Kaka‘ako Kitchen has satisfied the appetites of many of Hawaii’s hungry with its upscale cuisine, sold to walk-in customers, and its highly desired catering menu, perfect for weddings, birthday parties and business events. Located on the ground level of Ward Center, Kaka‘ako Kitchen is open daily. Call 596.7488 for more information.

1 | Lisa Pagaduan, Jaime Nerona and Tony Archuleta 2 | Marcy Uyehara and Kimi Takazawa 3 | Joseph and Robert Wood with Christina Hagen 4 | Nathan Kam and Hale Takazawa

Lawrence Tabudlo photos



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O SAM CHOY’S BREAKFAST LUNCH & CRAB WHERE 580 N. Nimitz Hwy., Honolulu CALL 545.7979 HOURS Breakfast and lunch: Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 5-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5-10 p.m

ver the past 15 years, Sam Choy’s Breakfast Lunch & Crab has become a staple of local cuisine, providing a cross range of flavors that seem to sum up Hawaii on a plate. From seafood galore to a fusion of international dishes, the restaurant always presents enticing Island fare, and plenty of it. This month will be no different as the Nimitz Highway eatery unveils its Hawaiian Crab Baked Dinner Buffet ($29.95, adults; $14.95, keiki; not combinable with other discounts or offers), which will be available Monday, Sept. 17 through Sunday, Sept. 30. “It’s a blown-out buffet that signifies Sam Choy’s — always bountiful!” says head chef Aurelio Garcia when describing



the abundant table of tastes. “This restaurant is famous for seafoods, and not only seafood, but steaks and Hawaiian cuisine.” There’ll be no shortage of surf and turf to represent the establishment on the buffet line, with

1 Huli Carved Beef (part of the buffet). 2 Garlic Chicken (part of the buffet) 3 Steamed Snow Crab Legs (part of the buffet) 4 Sam’s Fried Rice (part of the buffet) 3


some clear show stoppers such as Steamed Snow Crab Legs with Drawn Butter and a beautifully tender Huli Carved Beef. It also will feature local favorites such as Sam’s Fried Rice with bacon, char siu, onion, shoyu, rice, egg and green onion, as well as Garlic Chicken made with a mouthwatering blend of shoyu, liquid smoke, black pepper, a hint of brown sugar and “lots of garlic,” according to Garcia. The head chef was able to put his personal touch on the menu with entrees such as Guava Barbecued Baby Back Ribs. “We are now serving baby back ribs (on the regular menu), which is a char siu baby back rib,” Garcia says. “So for the buffet, I came up with the guava and discovered

that it’s very popular. I think we do it well.” A savory bite of Crispy Maui Onion provides the perfect balance of flavors to the sweet and slatherable guava barbecue sauce. The buffet also will present Boneless Shortribs Kalbi with Crispy Onions, Pork Loin Roulade with Pineapple Papaya Marmalade and Fresh Island Fish Tempura Style. A slew of sides, plethora of salads — including Potato Mac — pasta and beef action stations as well as desserts will round out the spread. A limited regular menu will be available during weeks when the dinner buffet is served, allowing the diverse array of Hawaii’s best tastes to take center stage.

Nathalie Walker photos

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with Christina O’Connor



Treats Savory Sushi rule


t a restaurant that is named after one of the most universally renowned cuts of beef, customers naturally will expect excellence from Kobe Steak House and Sushi Bar. And they certainly will find it at the Waikiki restaurant, which serves up teppanyaki treats and savory sushi. Nestled in between Hilton Hawaiian Village and Ilikai Hotel, the restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy good food and a lively atmosphere when you’re in Waikiki. In the main dining room, the chefs expertly prepare each meal tableside, teppanyaki-style, as diners watch. “To me, it’s one of the original concepts of seeing your food before it’s even cooked and prepared,” general manager and owner Roy Nakamura says. “You get to see it in its natural, fresh form … It’s one of the oldest concepts, but I guess that it has (returned), and it is what people expect now when dining.” For a taste of teppanyaki, try the Chicken and Shrimp ($29.95), which Nakamura says is one of the most popular dishes. If that doesn’t already have your mouth watering, the other half of what Kobe has

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obe Steak House and Sushi Bar has been a popular gathering place for the last 40 years. As one of Waikiki’s mainstays, it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Roy Nakamura and wife Lynn purchased Kobe about two years ago — and they are loving every minute of it. “It’s a headache, but it’s a really good headache,” Nakamura says, laughing. Nakamura had been a longtime staffer with the restaurant, where he first started as a bartender. And although the eatery has a long history, the Nakamuras have been putting their own spin on the restaurant, adding or changing certain features. Recently they hired a new sushi chef, Jason Manibog, to add new flavors and flair to the sushi bar. Manibog started working at Kobe about a month ago — and Nakamura says the new chef's presence is something that guests should look forward to. “Every chef has their own personality and touch with sushi,” Nakamura says. “Jason has got a local style, and a great flair. He is very creative. I think he will be a good addition to Chef Eiji. He has a fresh approach. His creations are really nice and a little different.” While Kobe's approach to sushi has typically been more traditional fare, Manibog has a modern, fusion style. Nakamura also anticipates that in addition to putting his own style on each of Kobe’s tasty sushi dishes, Manibog also may be creating his own dishes in the coming months. Nothing is officially in the works yet, but the owner is already dropping hints. “I am pretty sure he has some stuff in mind,” Nakamura says.

Above Emperor Combination ($23.95) Right Sushi chef Jason Manibog Left Hamachi Sashimi ($13) Leah Friel photos

1841 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu

Kobe Steak House and Sushi Bar

941.4444 Open daily, 5:30 to 10 p.m. (last order)


to offer — the quality concoctions in its sushi bar — certainly will. Tucked away in the restaurant’s lounge area, the sushi bar provides a peaceful area to enjoy a sushi dinner. “The lounge is a really intimate, quiet place to escape to,” Nakamura says. One of the most popular sushi dishes is the Spider Roll ($13), which features soft-shell crab. Another must-try is the Salmon Skin Roll ($9), which is filled with grilled-to-perfection salmon skin. For another delectable delight, try the Hamachi Sashimi ($13) which features seven slices of fresh hamachi. “Hamachi is a very delicious fish,” Nakamura says. “And we serve a really good slice.” But if all of those options are making it too difficult to choose, it’s best to go with the Emperor Tray ($23.95), which boasts assorted sushi based on the chef’s selection. Nakamura says that maguro, hamachi and salmon typically will be three of the featured items, and the rest will vary.




hai’s Island Bistro has long been known for its fusion of Pacific Rim cuisine and live Hawaiian music in a breezy, yet upscale setting. Since the bistro opened in 1992, customers have fallen in love with internationally acclaimed chef Chai Chaowasaree’s artful combination of Eastern and Western flavors. Always turning to local markets, he highlights a diverse range of local ingredients to put an Island spin on conventional fine dining. And nothing blends more harmoniously with an exquisite meal than the sweet sounds of countless local music legends who have graced the stage at Chai’s. On Friday, Sept. 21, Na Palapalai’s traditional melodies will resonate in the walls of the Aloha Tower Marketplace eatery. The group features Kuana Torres Kahele, the ever-talented musician who took home six Na Hoku Hanohano awards earlier this year for his album, Kuanaloa. Enjoy Na Palapalai’s set from 7 to 9 p.m. while you feast on unforgettable Island fare. The restaurant showcases other musicians throughout the week as well, with performances by Robert Cazimero on Wednesdays, Olomana’s Jerry Santos Thursdays, the Brothers Cazimero Fridays (except Sept. 21) and Danny Couch Saturdays.

Contact Christina O’Connor at

From top: Spider Roll ($13) Salmon Skin Roll ($9) Emperor Tray ($23.95)

Na Palapalai members Ioane Burns, at left, and Kuana Torres Kahele entertain guests this Friday at Chai’s Island Bistro. (Courtesy photo)

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ono,youknow 1 Larry’s Bakery’s William Koep 2 Larry’s Bakery’s Cream Cheese Ensaimada ($1.75 each) 3 Iris's OMG ($2 each) at Larry’s Bakery

4 Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine’s Deep Fried Crab Meat Cream Cheese Won Ton ($3.75 for four pieces, $6.95 for eight pieces) 5 Armando Bauzon, Ho Ho’s director of sales, with a plate of Deep Fried Crab Meat Cream Cheese Won Ton





– From page 2

All you need now is a freshly brewed cup of joe and you’re ready to take on the day! Larry’s Bakery 4369 Lawehana St. #3 422.0059

Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine My cream cheese cravings then led me to Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine, located in the heart of Kapolei, where its allyou-can-eat buffet draws you right in. Sure, visions of chow mein, salt and pepper shrimp, snow crab and beef broccoli were dancing through my head, and orange chicken, egg rolls and fried rice are usually enough to make my mouth water. But this time, it was the restaurant’s Deep Fried Crab Meat Cream Cheese Won Ton that got my

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undivided attention. I know, I know. Deep Fried Crab Meat Cream Cheese Won Ton may not be your standard Chinese fare, but you know what? I’m all about going against the norm. “This appetizer consists of a large deep-fried won ton pi filled with imitation crab meat, cream cheese, celery and onions,” explains director of sales Armando Bauzon, noting that these morsels of goodness are available as part of Ho Ho’s dinner buffet or served a la carte ($3.75 for four pieces, $6.95 for eight pieces). “These cream cheese won tons always go fast in our dinner buffet.” So forget the calories and fulfill your cream cheese fantasies with these bad boys. The creamy filling and crisp, deep-fried won ton pi is a marriage of flavors that will last a lifetime.


desserts,” Koep says. “It’s the opposite of Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine your typical New York Cheesecake. It’s 590 Farrington Hwy. very light.” This work of art is delicately prepared 692.9880 and almost too exquisite to demolish in just a few bites, as it’s comprised of an Fendu Boulangerie I always feel at peace when I enter almond cookie crust paired with a blend beautiful Manoa Valley. The cascading of cream cheese and marscapone cheese, waterfalls and double rainbows are a sight passion fruit puree and a hint of vanilla. to behold. And while there might not be a Lastly, it’s garnished with a passion fruit pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you glaze and a medley of fresh fruits such as strawberries, kiwis and blueberries. may find something just as divine. “Cream cheese bakes well and has a Enter Fendu Boulangerie. Located in Manoa Marketplace, Fendu boasts a nice staple texture to it,” Koep adds. plethora of baked goods, including “Lilikoi Cheesecake has been on our breads, pizzas, pastries and more that are menu for a long time, and it makes for the perfect after-lunch or dinner dessert.” made fresh every day. Owner and chef Niel Koep knew about Fendu Boulangerie my cream cheese frenzy and prepared a Manoa Marketplace Lilikoi Cheesecake ($4.50 per piece) that 2752 Woodlawn Drive #5119 is over-the-top onolicious. 988.4310 “This one of our most popular

KITCHEN INSIDER ave you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant? Well, much of the credit goes to the many chefs, owners and managers who work diligently day in and day out to make sure Hawaii’s diners have a memorable dining experience. This week, Dining Out got the inside scoop from Fukuya owner Arrison Iwahiro, who provided us with an exclusive glimpse into his South King Street delicatessen and catering service.


Who or what inspires you as an owner? I enjoy carrying on the family business. Fukuya has been around since 1939, so it’s very rewarding to me to serve customers just like my parents and grandparents did many years ago. Back in the day there were many okazuyas around, and we’ve seen some close throughout the years for one reason or another, so I feel grateful that we’ve stood the test of time. It’s also cool to see the loyal customers who have been coming back for many, many years. I’ve seen parents bringing their children, who then grow up, come visit us when they’re back from college, then get married and have families, and I see them bringing their kids, too. To see them sharing this place from generation to generation is really special. What's your most popular dish? We have a few dishes that are really popular across the board, whether it’s people coming in for okazu or catering. The shrimp tempura and miso butterfish are always favorites, and so are our chicken dishes like mochiko chicken and fried chicken. The nori chicken is becoming more and more popular too. People also really like our sushi. I would say

File photo

about 90 percent of our catering orders include our assorted sushi platter. Shoyu pork is another popular catering dish. Is there a dish that you create that’s not on your menu, but available upon request? When we take catering orders, we work with people as much as possible to customize and accommodate catering requests. For example, many people ask if we can cater short ribs or prime rib, which we can. Another thing that is becoming more popular is that people are asking for vegetarian options, such as a healthy veggie stir fry.

occasion is really nice.

What is the biggest compliment you've ever received as an owner? We have great customers, really loyal. When they say, “We wouldn’t go anywhere else,” that makes us feel special. It’s really nice to know that people like what we are putting out. Sometimes, I will have people tell me that they have plans to have us cater their milestone birthday, then I find out it’s a few years away! The fact that they are thinking they want us to be a part of their special

If you could serve food to a celebrity, who would it be and why? What dish would you serve? I would have to say Paul McCartney. He’s one of my favorite musicians. I think if he were to walk into my restaurant, I would make him a plate that would include miso butterfish, shrimp tempura, shiso musubi, cone sushi, chow funn, nori chicken and macaroni potato salad. I know it’s a big plate, but I would want him to have a little of every-


Name Arrison Iwahiro Title Owner of Fukuya Training/education Grew up in the kitchen, learning everything from grandparents and parents. Years at restaurant 30-plus


2710 S. King St. | 946.2073 Open Wednesdays – Sundays, 6 a.m. – 2 p.m. After-hours catering service available. D I N I N G O U T | S E P T. 1 6 - 2 2 , 2 0 1 2 | 1 9


REVAMPED MENU awaits DINERS at D&B’S Story By Kyle Galdeira • Photos by Leah Friel

hether one enjoys shooting hoops, playing Fruit Ninja on the Million Dollar Midway, or simply relaxing as the top college and pro football games play out on large, high-definition televisions, there inevitably comes a time when food takes top priority at Dave & Buster’s. This iconic cornerstone of Victoria Ward Center, which still serves as Hawaii’s one-stop shop for dining and entertainment, launched its improved menu at the beginning of the summer. While many of the restaurant’s signature steaks, salads and pastas are still on the menu, the food is now presented with a bit more flair. “The inspiration for our food is to give it a fun appearance, and some ‘pop’ on the table, and make it more appealing to the eye,” says kitchen manager Kevin Parkhurst. “Everything is a little bit bigger on the plate.” The Pretzel Dogs ($9.99) are an extremely popular addition to the menu, as the meaty all-beef franks are wrapped in sweet pretzel dough, baked fresh and served with a spicy habanero dipping sauce. Another new Hot Sugar appetizer on the revamped menu is the 5:15 Donut Holes ($19.99), a hearty pupu platter named for the ($7.39) time of the afternoon when the first customer entered the first Dave & Buster’s establishment. The dish includes five Buffalo Wings with a choice of Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing; five Chicken Quesadilla Wedges with salsa; five Pretzel Dogs; five Crispy Fried Shrimp with spicy habanero sauce; and a hearty stack of fresh barbecue potato chips. The South Philly Burger ($12.99) definitely answers the question: “Where’s the beef?” This new item includes a half-pound burger, which is seared, seasoned and loaded with thin-sliced steak


The South Philly Burger ($12.99)

The Lawnmower Salad ($12.49)

imported directly from South Philadelphia, then grilled to perfection. The piled-high creation is topped with peppers, onions, mushrooms and melted white American cheese, and served on a toasted brioche bun along with over half-pound of seasoned fries. On the healthier side, the Lawnmower Salad ($12.49) is layered using fresh romaine and green-leaf lettuces, grilled chicken, diced garden vegetables, boiled eggs, bacon bits, bleu cheese crumbles and a choice of dressing. “We’ve gone to the layers on the Lawnmower Salad, and that’s actually my favorite because I like to eat a little healthier,” says Parkhurst. “It’s a lot; you need to bring your appetite or share it with a friend.” For dessert, the Hot Sugared Donut Holes ($7.39) steals the show, as diners are treated to a basket of warm, sugar coated plain and chocolate donut holes with raspberry and chocolate dipping sauces. “We are a place to come and have fun, watch the games on T.V., eat with the kids and enjoy yourself,” says Parkhurst, who has been at the restaurant for a little more than four years, and has seen the establishment and its staff continue to grow. “If you haven’t been to Dave & Buster’s lately, you need to come back and try our food and experience the new feel of our menu items.” Stop by Dave & Buster’s for the following special events and promotions: Taco Tuesdays on the Sunset Lanai every Tuesday at 5 p.m., and featuring $1 tacos and additional food and drink specials; Happy Hour specials, including halfpriced cocktails, $1 off 22-ounce beers and wine by the glass, and available Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., and Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to close; and special comedy presentations including the Gregg Hammer Comedy & Dinner Show ($45, Oct. 12 and Nov. 23) and Da Braddah’s Comedy & Dinner Show ($49.99, Oct. 26 and Nov. 30). Also, to book a company holiday party or gathering at Dave & Busters, call special events manager Kendra Murray at 589.5006.


The 5:15 ($19.99)

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Kitchen manager Kevin Parkhurst with The 5:15

WHERE: Victoria Ward Center, 1030 Auahi St., Honolulu, 96814 • CALL: 589.2215 HOURS: Sunday through Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. • WEB: • NOTE: Log on to Dave & Buster’s Hawaii Facebook page for more information on promotions and happenings:

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