Kimchi Turkey Patties

Servings: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
2 cupsEnglish or Japanese cucumbers
1 cupgrape tomatoes (cut in half)
2 tablespoonssesame oil
2 tablespoonsfish sauce
2 tablespoonsrice vinegar
1 1⁄2 cupcilantro (roughly chopped, divided)
16 ouncesground turkey (lean)
1 tablespoongarlic (minced)
1 tablespoonginger (minced)
1⁄2 cupred onion (small, diced)
1⁄2 cupprepared kimchi (squeeze out extra water, small diced)
2 tablespoonskimchi base
1 egg
1 cuppanko
1 tablespoonSraracha (optional)
cooking spray
Srarcha mayo

Instructions
For the patties, place the turkey, garlic, ginger, red onion, half of cilantro, kimchi, kimchi base, egg, panko and Sriracha (optional) into a large bowl and mix well. Form into 6 patties and place onto a baking sheet prepped with non-stick spray.
Preheat grill to high heat.
To make cucumber and tomato relish, slice cucumbers thinly into a small bowl and mix well with grape tomatoes, sesame oil, fish sauce, vinegar and the remaining cilantro.
Grill patties 4 to 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.
To assemble, add desired amount of Sriracha mayo on top of each patty and top with the relish. Enjoy these delicious turkey patties with a salad for a healthy meal.
Suggested Beverage Pairing: Kona Brewing Company Beer Wailua Wheat

How-To YouTube Video

Cedar Plank Grilled Sweet Chili Salmon

Servings: 6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 large cedar grilling plank (14 inches or 2 smaller ones, optional)
6 pieces fresh or frozen salmon fillets (4 to 5 oz. each, skinless & boneless)
1 cup sweet chili sauce
3 tablespoons tempura sauce
1⁄2 cup cilantro (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (minced)
3 lemons (cut into thin rounds, 1/4 inch thick)

Instructions
If using, prepare the cedar plank by fully submerging it in water for at least 2 hours.
Place salmon filets into a shallow pan.
Mix the sweet chili sauce, tempura sauce, cilantro, garlic, and ginger together into a bowl. Pour the mixture over the salmon and marinate in the refrigerator for one hour.
Remove cedar plank from water and arrange lemon slices to cover the top of the plank. Once complete place salmon on top and pour the extra marinate. Preheat the gas grill to medium high heat. Place planks onto the grill for 12 to 15 minutes until salmon is cooked.
If not using cedar planks, grill the salmon on each side for 3 to 4 minutes or roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
Serve on the plank with your favorite side dishes for a summer BBQ.
Suggested Beverage Pairing: Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc

How-To YouTube Video

Corn Beef, Cabbage & Potato Quiche

Serves: 4-6 People
Cooking Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:
1 frozen deep-dish pie crust (9 inch), unbaked
1 cup cooked corn beef, fat removed, small diced
1 cup shredded hash brown (Simply Potato Brand)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, small diced
2 cups cabbage, small diced
1 cups loosely packed Swiss cheese, shredded
1 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
6 eggs
½ cup half & half
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a medium size skillet over high heat add oil, garlic, onions and cabbage cook about 5 minutes until tender, remove from heat and let cool. In a medium size-mixing bowl add corn beef, hash browns, Swiss cheese, Dijon, cooled cooked cabbage mixture, salt & pepper. Mix together well and spread out evenly on the bottom of the piecrust
In medium bowl add eggs, half & half and chives whisk until well blended. Pour over corn beef mixture Place on baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until center is set and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Corn Beef, Cabbage & Potato Quiche

View Hawaii Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Edamame Guacamole

Serves: 4-6 People
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 ½ cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
3 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and small diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
2 teaspoons Tabasco
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Put edamame, garlic, ginger, Tabasco and lime juice in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not smooth. You want some texture in the edamame. Transfer edamame mixture to a medium size mixing bowl and diced avocados, cilantro and season with salt and pepper, mix well to incorporate all the ingredients together. Transfer edamame guacamole into a serving bowl. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or vegetables.

Kona Coffee Infused Soba Noodle Salad

Serves: 4-6 People
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
Sesame Vinaigrette Ingredients
1/3 cup Kikkoman memmi noodle soup base
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon Tabasco
2 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 teaspoon garlic, grated

Soba Noodle Salad
12 cups Kona Sun 100% Kona Coffee, strong brewed
1 pack 8 ounces buckwheat soba
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups Napa cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup diakon, julienne cut
1 cup carrots, julienne cut
1 cup celery, thinly sliced on the bias
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup cilantro, chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions:

In a large pot bring brewed coffee and salt to a boil. Add soba noodles and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once noodles are al dente remove from heat and drain. Next run noodles under cold water to cool them down quickly and make sure to drain well.

To make the vinaigrette whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl and add the vegetables, soba noodles, cilantro and scallions. Toss the ingredients together and serve cold.

soba noodle salad

View Hawaii Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Kona Coffee Panna Cotta with Coffee Blueberry Sauce

Serves: 10 People
Cooking Time: 3.5 Hours

Ingredients:
Panna Cotta
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup ground Wailele Estates, 100% Kona Coffee
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons cold water
10 piece Reynolds foil backing cups

Coffee Blueberry Sauce
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground Wailele Estates, 100% Kona Coffee
1 cinnamon stick
16 oz pack frozen blueberries

Directions:

In a small saucepan, add the cream, ground coffee, sugar, vanilla and simmer for 5 minutes. In a small bowl add the cold water then sprinkle in the gelatin. Let the mixture rest until all the gelatin has absorbed the water, about 2-3 minutes. Once the gelatin has set, add it to the coffee cream mixture and stir until gelatin has completely dissolved. With a fine mesh strainer pour coffee cream mixture into a medium bowl, straining out the coffee grinds. Whisk in the yogurt, coconut milk and Grand Marnier until smooth.  Line a muffin pan with foil cups and equally pour the mixture into 10 muffin tins and place them into the refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Once the mixture has set it will be firm to touch.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan simmer the water, sugar, coffee and cinnamon stick on low heat until the mixture has reduced its size by 50%, about 20 minutes. With the fine mesh strainer pour coffee syrup into another small saucepan, making sure to strain out all the coffee grinds and cinnamon stick. Next add the blueberries and simmer the contents for another 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To assemble the dessert peel off the foil baking cup gently from the panna cotta and place it onto a plate. Next add a few spoonfuls of blueberry sauce and enjoy!

kona coffe panacotta

View Hawaii Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Moroccan Chicken

Serves: 6-8 People
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
8 pieces whole legs, legs and thigh
1 small  white onion, small dice
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
5 bay leaves
1 pound package of carrots, pealed and cut into 1 inch pieces
5 celery stocks, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 ounce package of fresh okra, remove stems and cut into half
6 ounce package of dried Mediterranean apricots
1 cup of Greek olives, remove pit
½ cup of died raisins

Sauce Ingredients
2 14.5 ounce cans of tomato sauce
1 14.5 ounce can of chicken broth
1 ½ tablespoons cumin
1 ½ Turmeric
11/2 smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried minced lemon peel
8 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoon better than bouillon chicken base
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove skin and excess fat from the chicken, and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the chicken into a large baking pan. Add all the rest of the ingredients on top of the chicken. In a separate bowl mix all the sauce ingredients together and stir well. Finally pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables, cover with tin foil and place into the oven. Roast for 1:15 hour and serve with your favorite starch.

moroccan chicken

 

Stage

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service was fantastic at Stage restaurant in Hawaii. The waiters were extremely attentive and we didn’t have to wait for water, bread, wine or any of our needs during the dinner. Our waiter was also very knowledgeable about wine and the menu and really helped us narrow down our decisions during our meal.

Food: Yummy! the food has fenise, creativity and is delicious. Its so rare in Honolulu to be surprised by the food and you are while dinning at Stage at the Design Center. The menu is Scandinavian-m0dern with a touch of Fusion. In addition to a prefix menu  they also have a terrific happy hour Monday-Friday from 5pm-7pm. All the menu items are only $5 each and they also have various drink specials starting at $8. PLUS on Tuesday all bottles of wine are 50% OFF which is hard to beat. They also start you off with an Amuse Bouche which is always lovely and surprising!

Favorite Dishes: Stage Hamachi Sashimi (inspiring dish!), Beet & Goat Cheese Salad, Braised Short Ribs, Chicken, King Salmon, 4 course tasting menu (with entree’s of Miso Butterfish & Filet Mignon pictures of menu below), and of course the wine & bread!

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Stage is nice. The restaurant has high ceilings and interesting artwork. One of the most unique pieces of the restaurant are that they have different tables and chairs which is kind of artistic and trendy. The restaurant has wall to wall windows which overlook Kapiolani blvd which isn’t the best view but does give the atmosphere a spacious feeling.

Consistency: Both times we have gone were delicious but the menu had changed pretty dramatically so we promise to update this section again when we go again to keep you posted.

Parking: Parking is easy at the Honolulu Design Center. Its free which is always nice and has a full floor of parking available. If you go for a busy event night you might have more problems but during times like this they typically add a valet services. No need to get a validation at the restaurant as you dont need to take a ticket upon entry.

Price: ($23-$32) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Reservations Recommend
Take Out 
Available
Happy Hour!
Special Events & Entertainment 

Address:
1250 Kapiolani BlvdHonolulu,
HI 96814
2nd Floor Honolulu Design Center
Tel: (808) 237-5429
Website: http://www.stagerestauranthawaii.com/

Hours of Operation:
Lunch
Monday to Friday
11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Dinner
Monday to Saturday
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Happy Hour
Monday – Friday
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Sundays
Closed

Amuse Bouche at Stage Hawaii

Truffel Amuse Bouche

Stage honolulu restaurant Amuse Bouche

Ahi Amuse Bouche

Stage Hamachi Sashimi picture

Stage Hamachi Sashimi

Beet & Goat cheese Salad from Stage Honolulu restaurant

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Miso Butterfish from Stage menu

Miso Butterfish

Stage Honolulu Filet Mignon Picture

Filet Mignon

 

14 Hands – Hot To Trot

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system  Wine rating system  

Varietal: Red Blend

Vintages: 2010

Country:  Columbia Valley, Washington State

Essence of: Easy drinking red wine with dark fruit flavors & rich aromas of berries, cherries and currants. The wine has light tannins and subtle notes of spice and cocoa which give it a smooth finish.

Best Served With: Enjoy with grilled meats, Pizza, Pasta

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle

HOT 14 HOT TO TROT WINE REVIEW

Bernini

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service is excellent at Bernini. Every time we have been there from the hostess to the bar back they don’t miss a beat. They are always very knowledgeable on the menu and daily specials and quick to meet your needs (fill water, new plates, red peppers, etc).

Food: Bernini’s logo slogan is “Make Your Life Tasty” and boy is that statement true. The food is lip smacking delicious!! its so nice to finally have a good Italian restaurant in Oahu. The menu has items including Antipasti, Roma Style Pizza, Pasta, and Secondo entrees like Chicken “Al Forno”, Angus Beef, Fresh fish. Each dish is full of flavor and very memorable.  One highlight was the half roasted chicken which they cook “Bernini Style” its so popular that if you don’t preorder one they will most likely be out by the time you order!! All the ingredients are fresh and they also have interesting seasonal items to keep the menu fresh making this a lovely place to go for a nice, elegant dinner.

To View Menu Click Here 

Favorite Dishes: “Al Forno” Roasted Chicken, “Norcia” which is bianca without tomato sauce it has Mozzarella, Italian Sausage, Mushroom, Walnut and Truffle Oil, “Ricci di Mare” – Fresh Sea Urchin Spaghetti, “Amatriciana” – Spicy Tomato Sauce Pasta with Homemade Pancetta and Onion, and finally the Roasted Mushroom Salad with Parmigiano. Ummmm makes me hungry even writing these dishes down!

Atmosphere: The ambiance is absolutely lovely at Bernini. Its warm and inviting with wall to wall windows and warm wood furnishings. They have beautiful artwork and dividers made from wine stands which really brings a unique feel to Bernini. We recommend asking to sit in the front room because its more exciting than the back which doesn’t have as much charm. You can also see the pizza oven and part of the kitchen which is always exciting and fun for kids.

Consistency: Bernini is consistently delicious each time we go. One of the best restaurants in Oahu at the current moment. We try to order new things each time we go but its aways hard to move away from the old favorites!

Parking: Parking is not so easy at Bernini. If you have “parkma” you can grab one of the coveted 8 spots out front. If you are not as lucky you can find spots on the street or of course across the street at Ala Moana which is only a block away (good to walk a bit after eating all those carbs anyway!)

Price: Medium ($16-$34) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Reservations Strongly Recommend
Take Out 
Available

Address:
Bernini Honolulu
1218 Waimanu St. Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 591-8400
Email: info@berninihonolulu.com
Website:http://berninihonolulu.com/ 

Hours of Operation:
Dinner Only
Open 5:30pm~11:00pm (Tue~Sun)
Last Order: 10:30pm
Closed on Monday

Bernini mushroom salad

Mushroom Salad

Bernini Norcia pizza picture

Norcia Pizza

Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza at Bernini Hawaii

Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza

Amatriciana pasta picture bernini hawaii

Amatriciana Pasta

Kahuku Corn Pizza from Bernini Honolulu Restaurant

Kahuku Corn Pizza

 

Lemon Roasted Artichokes

Serves: 4 people
Cooking Time: 1.15 hours

Ingredients:
4 whole large artichokes
3 lemons
1 pack Italian dressing mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash the artichoke and then using a serrated knife, cut the artichoke open in half and remove hairs from the choke. Cover a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and then place the artichokes face-up onto the sheet. Next juice one lemon into a bowl and add the minced garlic, olive oil and Italian dressing mix. Stir together well and then apply the dressing to the top of each artichoke. With the remaining two lemons cut off there top and bottom and then cut each lemon into 4 rings as a garnish for each artichoke. Roast for 55 minutes in the oven. Enjoy hot and finish with a squeeze of the garnish lemon to add a burst of flavor to this appetizer.

artichoke

Kona Coffee Granola

Serves: 9 cups
Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
1/2 cup light agave nectar
1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup 100% Kona Coffee, ground
3 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup light olive oil
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds, blanched
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup shredded sweet coconut
1 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup raisins
1 cup cranberries
non stick cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan simmer the agave nectar, maple syrup, sugar, ground coffee, vanilla, and salt on low heat for 5 minutes and then set aside to cool. In a large bowl add oats, almonds, walnuts, coconut, flax seeds and olive oil. Next pour the agave & coffee syrup into a fine mesh strainer over the oat mixture making sure to strain out the coffee grinds. Toss granola mixture together. Spray a large sheet pan (13 by 18 by 1-inch) with non-stick cooking spray and spread out the granola evenly onto the tray. Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to achieve a golden color. Remove the granola from the oven and let it cool. Finally add raisins and cranberries and store in an airtight container. Enjoy as a snack, in yogurt, or with milk for a new twist on breakfast.

coffee granola

Kona Coffee Rub Lamb Sliders

lamb sliders

Serves: 12 sliders
Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 pound ground lamb
8 oz pack button mushrooms, stems removed, caps minced
1/3 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
2 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
12 pieces small buns or rolls
1 small red onion
2 small tomatoes
2 cups Arugula

Kona Coffee Rub:
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seed
½ teaspoon cardamom seed
½ teaspoon fennel seed
½ teaspoon mustard seed
1 tablespoon Fike Farms 100% Kona Coffee-whole beans
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

In large bowl add the ground lamb, minced mushrooms caps, onions, garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, cilantro, and chili sauce together. Mix the ingredients gently being careful not to overwork the meat. Form the mixture into 12 mini burgers and place them onto a cooking sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment paper.

For the Kona coffee rub place all spices (seeds) into a sautéed pan and toast over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the seeds start popping around the pan. In a coffee grinder place whole coffee beans along with the toasted spices, garlic salt and pepper and grind into a fine powder. Add the rub generously to each side of the lamb burgers. Place a large nonstick griddle pan over high heat and when the pan is hot add the burgers. Cook 2-3 minutes each side, depending on your desired level of doneness. Meanwhile, cut your buns or rolls in half and your onions and tomatoes into thin slices. Assemble your burgers with the lamb on the bottom followed by the, onion, tomato, and arugula. Enjoy as a crowd-pleasing appetizer for your next party.

How-To YouTube Video

How To Plan a Hawaiian Menu With A Private Chef

If you are planning a trip to the beautiful islands of Hawaii or just want to create the Aloha experience at home with friends here are some tips on how to plan a Hawaiian themed menu with a private chef.

The first step is to identify if you want to have a traditional Hawaiian luau or more of a Hawaiian regional inspired menu. A traditional luau consists of some basic menu selections, which will make planning a menu with your private chef pretty straightforward but may be challenging to locate all the ingredients if you are not actually in Hawaii.

Traditional Luau foods: Poi (this is a Hawaii stable and is a starch dish made by pounding boiled taro roots and mixed with water until the substance is smooth), Poke (this is raw fish marinated in a variety of condiments such as soy sauce, garlic, ginger, coconut cream, Hawaiian sea salt, seaweed and onions, and other various items depending on the chef), Lomilomi Salmon (this is small pieces of salmon mixed with tomatoes, onions, and other tangy condiments and was first introduced into the Hawaiian Luau by western sailors), Kalua pau’a (Best know as roast pork this is a delicious Kalua pig which is seasoned with salt and cooked underground in tea leaves or banana leaves), and taro rolls (these purple colored rolls are made from the taro flour). Many other dishes are also eaten at luau’s, however, the mentioned items are the most popular and a must have for planning a Hawaiian theme menu with your private chef.

If you decided you would like a more elegant experience you can work with your private chef to plan a menu with regionally inspired Hawaiian dishes. This would include farm to table concepts and be closes to Asian-Pacific / Fusion menu concepts. Ingredients to keep you on track include using: Hawaiian Fish & Seafood – Opakaaka (Pink Snapper), Moi (known as Threadfish), Mahi Mahi (known as Dolphin fish), Ahi (know as Tuna), Opah (known as Moon Fish), Ono (known as Wahoo), Onaga (know as Red Snapper), Mong Chong (known as Monkfish), and Butterfish (known as Cod), Tobiko (Hawaiian Fish Row), Kahuku Shrimp, Big Island Abalone, Opihi (Know as Salt Water Snail), and Big Island Lobster.

Local Fruits & Vegetables: Mangos, Papaya, Leche, Pineapple, Coconuts, Coconut Milk, Molokai Sweet Potatoes, Kahuku Corn, Sea Asparagus, Taro, Nalo Greens, Tomatoes, Chinese Long Beans, Japanese Eggplant, Bok Choy, Hearts of Palm, Big Island Wild Mushrooms, and Macadamia Nuts. Local Condiments: Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Hawaiian Chili pepper water, Hawaiian sea salts, Kona Coffee, Hosin Sauce, Sesame Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Wasabi, 5 Spice, Miso, Tea Leafs and Banana Leafs. A good combination of these ingredients will keep you on track while planning your Hawaiian themed event with your private chef.

Finally, make sure that your private / personal chef feels comfortable cooking Hawaiian inspired or traditional foods. If you are visiting the Hawaiian Islands you should have no problem finding a local chef who can plan an exquisite menu selection for you and your guests. Should you be on the continental united states it may be more difficult but just be patient and with time and by sticking to the food recommendations above you should have no trouble planning your Hawaiian inspired menu and event. Don’t forget to start your dinner with some tropical cocktails like a Mai Tai or Lava Low, showcase local decorative flowers like orchids and play some Hawaiian music like Brother Iz to set the tone for the evening. Now you should be all set to spreading the Aloha spirit and culture with loved ones any time of the year!

Covert Affairs is a private chef company in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ryan Covert is both the owner and head chef of Covert Affairs, which caters to both locals and celebrities alike. His dynamic cooking style is a global celebration with a highlight on Asian-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines, making him the Private Chef Hawaii prefers. For a unique affair on the islands look no further than Covert Affairs Honolulu personal chef services. For a full list of private chef services, customer testimonials, client lists, menu options, to view his published recipes or to read his restaurant and wine blog visit him at – http://covertaffairs.com

 

Chili’s

Overall Review: Cork

Service: The service is good at Chili’s at Kahala Mall which is about the only thing that this restaurant has going for it. Every time we have gone to Chili’s (a handfull of times) the staff have been really friendly but not to bright. The last time when we had really fishy salmon and the waitress though that they caught it fresh in Hawaii (Honey Salmon doesn’t grow here!) but she did take $10 off the total which was appreciated since it was practical uneatable and was priced at $26.

Food: The food is slightly above fast food but priced like it was a first class establishment! The salads look more dead than alive and they charge you an extra $2 for a side salad which is ridiculous when its straight out of a bag, limp and partially brown. All the food and seafood is poor quality but what can you expect when you use cheap ingredients? The food is below average and very inconsistent. The ribs are tasty but there is hardly any meat on the bone. Everything you order is just bland or really bad. Burger King has better food than Chili’s! The biggest problem is that the price tag doesn’t match the food quality so every time you eat at Chili’s you feel like you have been raked over coals. The last time we ate there was so bad that we swore to never go again unless we are drinking margaritas at the bar. Our advice… heat up an Amy’s lasagna or eat an apple and you will have a far better experience than going to Chili’s (its worth waiting for a table at CPK or the Counter. You will end up eating better food and saving money). Chili’s also has a crappy happy hour. Booooo Chili’s!

Favorite Dishes: Dry Rub Ribs (Full Rack don’t get a combo), Santa Fee Chicken Salad, and the Hamburgers.

AtmosphereThe atmosphere is meeeeehhhhh at Chili’s. The tables are old and could use a makeover. The lights are low over the booths and so bright that you feel like you are being grilled at the police station which is really annoying and hard to enjoy dinner (specially if you are sensitive to light and get headaches easliy). Overall the bar has a better feel to it than the regular restaurant but the whole place could use a fresh coat of paint and some new decor besides TVs.

Consistency: They are very consistency overpriced and terrible.

Parking: Parking is easy at Chili’s in Kahala mall. If you go during the day you can park right out front, if you go later at night you need to be a bit lucker or you can always park on the roof or over by Macy’s and walk.

Price Range: Medium-High ($11.99-$26) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Not Necessary
Take Out Available

Happy Hour

Address:
4211 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 738-5773
Website: http://www.chilis.com/EN/Pages/home.aspx

Hours of Operation:
Sun-Thursday:11:00am-10:00pm
Fri-Sat:11:00am-11:00pm

Happy Hour
Mon-Friday 2:30-6pm in Bar only or Patio ($2 off drafts, $2 off appetizers, $1 off glasses of wine, and $2 off margaritas)

Chili's ribs & shrimp

Combo Ribs & Shrimp

Chili's ribs and salmon

Combo Ribs & Salmon

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs

Salad

Side Salad

Chicken Fajitas

Fajita Sides

 

PHO 27

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was ok at PHO 27. The staff was very friendly but it took a long time for us to get our pho which was kind of strange since the broth is pre-made each morning.

Food: PHO 27 has the dishes you would expect from a Vietmamese restaurant including Green Papaya Salad, Soups, Spring Rolls, Pho, Vietmanese Sandwhiches on French Bread (these looked very crispy and yummy), Rice Noodles, and other Entrees like Basil Chicken, Lemon Grass Shrimp, BBQ Pork, etc. The Pho was average and we don’t think they used MSG which is always a plus (some Pho places you instantly get a headache after eating your soup from all the MSG they add). The other dishes were ok but not particularly memorable. Next time we will try the Vietnamese sandwhiches which looked pretty delicious!

Favorite Dishes: Spring Rolls, Vegetable Pho, and Beef Pho.

Atmosphere: The ambiance is really nice at PHO 27 on Waialae. The restaurant has high ceilings and cool lamps and artwork. Its bright and colorful inside and very inviting. The owners definitely thought about everything including tables that hold napkins, chop sticks and other items inside of them for easy access by both waiters and eaters! The only negative thing is they have a huge TV inside which is really distracting when your trying to talk to friend and family.

Consistency: So far we have only been one time to PHO 27.

Parking: Parking is free and super easy at PHO 27 as the restaurant is located in the same complex as Times and Longs which have 2 levels of parking located out front.

Price: Low ($7-$13.50) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Necessary
Take Out 
Available

Address:
3221 Waialae Ave
Suite 21
Honolulu, HI 96817
Tel: (808) 738-0027

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Sunday
Lunch & Dinner
10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls

PHO green papaya salad

Green Papaya Salad

PHO Beef

Vegetarian PHO

PHO Toppings

PHO restaurant pictures

Restaurant Picture

 

Burgundy

Overall Review: CorkCork

Service: The service was surprisingly good at Burgundy. The waitress and bus boy were both very nice and attentive but the restaurant was also half empty so it wasn’t like they had alot to do. One thing to point out is that our waitress told us that the Kajiki was a white light fish like cod and it turned out to be swordfish which we would not have ordered had we known. Upon leaving the restaurant we asked for a take out menu (to write this blog) and they didn’t have any printed but said they would email it to us. We figured this would be the last time we would hear anything from the restaurant but low and behold, by the time we got home we had, in fact received each page of the menu! Excellent services indeed.

Food: The food was average. The dishes we had tasted good, and were interesting but lacked a little wow factor. The menu is french through and through. For an appetizer we had the warm mushroom salad (Salade aux Champignons Chaud) which came on just regular romain lettuce (yawn). The mushrooms were well seasoned but overall it was pretty boring for $12. The french onion soup had delicious broth but no guerrier cheese (or any cheese for that matter) or puffed pastry over the top which is a staple in a good onion soup (both elements missing was disappointing). The best entree was the Wine-steamed “Kajiki” and Fried Vegetables which came with fried celery root, turnips and other unique textural elements. The scallops are so small you might as well order calms. The last thing to mention was that the first time we went we ordered Pomme Frites and they were crispy and delicious (could have been a touch more crispy but pretty good)! the second time they brought us waffle fries. When asking the waitress what happened she said the Japanese owners ordered the wrong item and they didn’t have any money to order new ingredients. This was frankly unacceptable. But not as unacceptable as misspelling chicken on the menu – Confit de Poulet – Preserved Chicken. Yup….It’s featured below for your enjoyment. Shocking we know.

Favorite Dishes: Salade aux Champignons Chaud (Warm Mushroom Salad), Espadon Vapeur en Friture Légumes (Wine-steamed “Kajiki” and Fried Vegetables), and the Pomme Frites (when they were the real deal and not waffle fries!)

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Burgundy is average like the food. They have both indoor and outdoor covered seating. The inside has a small bar and a few tables. The outside seating is covered by a tent / canopy and has a wall separating the restaurant from the street and the cars zooming by on the busy kapahulu. The wall does a good job of keep the restaurant quite. Overall the decor lacks a bit of imagination and could use some art, plants or statues to make it more memorable.

Consistency: In the two times we have been it has not been consistent. The first experience was much better than the second. Its safe to say its consistently inconsistant.

Parking: Parking is pretty easy at Burgundy (if you go early). They have a small parking lot out front with about 10 spots. You can also find street parking near by on Kapahulu.

Price: Medium-High ($18-$48) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Reservations Recommend
Take Out Not 
Available

Address:
1006 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 739-5000
Website: 

Hours of Operation:
Lunch
Monday to Friday
11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Dinner
Monday to Saturday
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

burgundy mushroom salad

Warm Mushroom Salad

burgundy french onion soup

French Onion Soup

Wine-steamed "Kajiki" and Fried Vegetables

Kajiki & Fried Vegetables

Burgundy Pomme Frites

Pomme Frites

 

Assaggio Bistro

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was very good at Assaggio’s Bistro in Kahala. Our waitress was very friendly and attentive and she went out of her way to make sure we had a good experience. The support staff was also very good and they were quick to clear our plates and fill up our water glasses.

Food: The food was pretty tasty but the menu is far to big and overwhelming with over 4 pages of entrees to choose from. The menu has typical italian items that you would expect including plenty of pastas (lignuine, fettchini or rigatoni), house specialites, steaks, veal, seafood, etc. If you go we would absolutly recommend ordering pasta with your entree as we did not care for the potatoes (they were suppose to be crispy but were far from it). A safe bet is to order anything with the fried garlic as both the vegetables we had as an appetizer as well as the fresh fish pasta were both to die for (mostly due to the fried garlic morsels). We recommend skipping the salads as they are not very exciting and kind of a waste of calories and unless your going to share your entree the small size portion is plenty for any0ne!!

Favorite Dishes: Fresh Fish Pasta with Garlic & Butter, Chicken Alla Parmigiana, Fresh Asparagus Sautéed with Olive Oil and Garlic (was delicious but not a lot of asparagus for the price).

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Assaggio’s Bistro in Kahala is nice. The inside has high ceilings and interesting artwork on the walls. It’s has a cozy feeling to it while still having ample seating which is always hard to achieve. The best part is that it has good insulation making it easy to enjoy table conversation without having to raise your voice. Its a good place to bring family for a night out on the town.

Consistency: We have only been once so far to this location but we will update this section after our next visit!

Parking: In terms of parking if you get lucky you can park out front which has about 10 spots that are shared with some other vendors. Or if you cant find parking in the lot or on the street you can always park accross the street at Ala Moana shopping center and walk.

Price: medium-high ($16-$29) per Entree
Corkage Fee: Wine $15 per Bottle (can’t bring wine that they have on their wine list) and for Champaign price starts at $20 per Bottle and goes up depending on the brand.
Reservations Not Needed (Perhaps for a large party its a good idea)
Take Out 
Available

Address:
Kahala Bistro
4346 Waialae Ave. A
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 732-1011
Website: http://assaggiohi.com/

Ala Moana
1450 Ala Moana Blvd. #125
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808)942-3446

Hawaii Kai
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808)396-0756

Miliani
95-1249 Meheula Pkwy
Mililani, HI 96789
Tel: (808) 623-5115

Kailua
354 Uluniu St. #101
Kailua, HI 96734
Tel: (808) 261-2772

Kapolei
777 Kamokila Blvd., Suite A
Kapolei, HI 96707
Tel: (808) 674-8801

Hours of Operation:
Kahala Bisto: Lunch & Dinner
Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-2:30pm & 5:00pm-9:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am-2:30pm & 5:00pm-10:00pm

Ala Moana: Lunch & Dinner
Sunday-Thursday: 11:00am-3:00pm & 4:30pm-9:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:00am-3:00pm & 4:30pm-10:00pm

Hawaii Kai: Lunch & Dinner
Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-2:30pm & 5:00pm-9:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am-2:30pm & 5:00pm-10:00pm

Mililani, Kailua, Kapolei: Lunch & Dinner
Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-2:30pm & 5:00pm-9:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am-2:30pm & 5:00pm-10:00pm
Kailua – Saturday & Sunday – Dinner Only
Kapolei – Sunday – Dinner Only
Monday to Friday
11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Assaggio Bistor Asparagus

Asparagus Close Up

Sautéed Asparagus Assaggio Bistro

Sautéed Asparagus

Assaggio's fresh fish pasta

Fresh Fish Linguine

 

How To Hire The Best Private Chef For Your Rental Estate

The best way to hire a private chef for your rental estate / property is to speak to your luxury booking agent. This could either be the concierge services you are using, the estate manager, or your luxury travel agent. Often times your estate / rental property already has a list of reputable chef’s they can recommend for your culinary needs.

However, being a private chef myself I can also offer some insight and guidance to hiring the best private chef while on vacation. If you are renting the estate you have the right to use whatever chef you like to complete your culinary services while under contract. Although the estate has rules the chefs and outside vendors must adhere to while on the property you can still select another chef that is not “recommended” or “approved” by the estate. Often times rental estates select or recommend chefs which offer a bounce back commission for booking your services. This can often lead to the chef not being the best available or offer the most top-notch dinning experience for you and your guests.

Some tips I can share with you are to always ask if the person recommending the chef has tasted their food. This will absolutely clue you into if they are referring the work for an alternative reason besides offering you the best experience while on vacation. Most estates & vacation rentals goal is to provide the best experience possible for their customers so in most cases you have nothing to worry about and they are referring the chefs they are because they have had wonderful feedback from other clients are trust worthy. Regardless you should ask to see the chefs website so you can assess if this is the right chef for you and your guests based on their style of cooking, brand equity and feel of the website. Look for customer testimonials and specifically estate testimonials, which highlight the private chefs culinary techniques, service standards, and overall customer experience.

In my 17 years experience as a chef in Hawaii many return customers I have serviced are often disappointed with the chef they received while staying at an estate because they didn’t meet or exceed their expectations. The best words of advice I can give anyone looking to hire a private or personal chef while renting a vacation estate is to clearly outline your expectations and make sure that you clearly communicate them with the property. Tell the person in charge that you want to interview or speak to the chefs they recommend yourself to insure they will provide you with the type of services and standards you are expecting. Should you feel any doubt visit reputable private chef websites and look for additional recommendations until you find the chef that is right for you and your family and most importantly never let the estate dictate your final decision as they may have more invested in it than your best interests!

Covert Affairs is a private chef company in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ryan Covert is both the owner and head chef of Covert Affairs, which caters to both locals and celebrities alike. His dynamic cooking style is a global celebration with a highlight on Asian-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines, making him the Private Chef Hawaii prefers. For a unique affair on the islands look no further than Covert Affairs Honolulu personal chef services. For a full list of private chef services, customer testimonials, client lists, menu options, to view his published recipes or to read his restaurant and wine blog visit him at – http://covertaffairs.com

 

Easy Upside Down Pineapple Cake

Serves: 8-12 people
Cooking Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:
1 10oz Jar Hawaiian Sun Pineapple Jam
1 Stick of Butter 4oz
½ Cup Brown Sugar
2 cans Pineapple rings (12 slices)
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
1 Teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
Cooking Spray

Directions:
Melt the stick of butter with the pineapple jam in a saucepot over medium heat and let simmer until they are well incorporated. Spray a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray, Arrange pineapple slices (4 rows of 3) on bottom of baking dish. Next pour the pineapple jam and butter mixture over sliced pineapple and then sprinkle with brown sugar. Meanwhile, make the cake batter accordingly to box directions and add a touch of 5 Spice. Once mixed together pour the cake batter evenly over pineapples and then bake as directed on the box (or until done).

Pineapple upside down cake recipe

Shrimp Ceviche

Serves: 4-6 people
Total Preparation Time: 1:30 hours

Ingredients:
2 lb small shrimp, 61/70 count per pound, peeled and deveined
3 freshly squeezed lime, juiced
½ small red onion, finely diced
2 medium tomatoes, cored, small diced
1 jalapeno stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 ½  teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, small diced
I bag tortilla chips

Directions:

In a large pot, bring 1 quart of salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on size of shrimp. Drain the shrimp and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking for 1 minute. Drain the shrimp from the ice bath and place the blanched shrimp in a glass bowl. Mix in the lime juice, red onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper, mix well.  Add the avocado in last and gently fold in. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips for delicious light appetizers.

Shrimp Ceviche recipe

 

View Hawaii Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

 

Mother’s Day Crepes

Makes: 12 Crepes
Total Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cooking Spray
Filling
1 (13oz) Jar Nutella, chocolate hazelnut spread
1 quart Strawberries, Sliced
2 pints Blueberries
Directions

Directions:
For the batter place all ingredients in a blender and mix for 30 second until smooth, and set aside. For the filling slice the strawberries and combine the blueberries in a bowl and set aside. Heat a 9-inch non-stick pan on medium heat, coat lightly with cooking spray. Ladle a small amount (1/4 Cup or 2 ounces) of the batter onto the pan and then immediately tilt and swirl so the bottom is coated evenly with a thin layer of batter. Cook the crepe for about one minute, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other for another minute. Stack finished crepes on a plate, Continue until all batter is gone. To assemble the crepes, spread about 1 tablespoon of Nutella on the crepe, add about 1/3 cup of fruit mixture, roll up like a burrito and serve.

Mother's Day Crepes Recipe

View Other Oahu Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring into Summer Promotion

Spring Into Summer with my all-inclusive seasonal menu selections which include chef services, food and one server. Enjoy a lovely 4-course menu conceived with Spring in mind. It’s a wonderful way to say celebrate with friends and family or enjoy a special and elegant night at home.

Spring All-Inclusive Menu Selection for May & June 2012 

  • 6-7 people – $125 per person
  • 8-12 – $100 per person
  • 12+ – contact me to request a custom quote  

Small Bites

Surf ‘N’ Toast, Crab, Wasabi Ailoi, Mint Stuffed Cucumber Cups, Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers, Olives, Feta Cheese, Mint

Starter – Soup & Salad

Watermelon Gazpacho, Grilled Kahuku Corn Relish & Golden Beet Carpaccio, Baby Arugula, Herb Goat Cheese, Lemon Vinaigrette

Entrée – Surf & Turf

Garlic and Basil Marinated Grilled Fresh Catch, Oven Roasted Tomato Relish Braised Beef Short Ribs, Zinfandel Demi, Cauliflower Risotto, Grilled Asparagus

Dessert

Wild Berry Shortcakes, Strawberry Coulis

Coconut

Download – Spring Into Summer Menu

Quinoa Salad

Serves: 4-6 people as a side dish or light lunch
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:
2 cup quinoa
4 cups water
1 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 red pepper roasted, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large lime juiced
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Rinse the quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove the bitter coating on the grains. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed. Once cooked let the quinoa cold down in the refrigerate. Once the quinoa has chilled, gently stir in the tomatoes, roasted pepper, onion, cilantro and garlic. Season with lime juice, coconut oil, salt, and pepper and mix together. Enjoy with your favorite poultry or as a light lunch.

quinoa salad

View Other Oahu Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Spring Gazpacho

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:
12 medium size vine ripen tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 English cucumber, peeled and cut into small dice
I pack (8oz) currant tomatoes, wash, remove tops and quarter
1 large ripe mango, peeled and cut into small dice
¼ 1easpoon fine ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 ½ tablespoons fresh chives, small diced

Directions:
Wash, core and quarter the vine ripen tomatoes. Add the vine ripen tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add quartered currant tomatoes, diced cucumbers, diced mangos and minced chives to the pureed tomato mixture and stir until well incorporated. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Enjoy cold with crusty bread or crunchy croutons.

Spring Gazpacho

Turkey Chili

Serves: 6-8 people
Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pack (1.25lbs) Lean Ground Turkey, Foster Farms
1 medium size white onion, small diced
1 medium size green bell pepper, small diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 5 large cloves)
15-oz can of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15-oz can of light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15-oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
15-oz can of tomato sauce
6-oz can of tomato paste
2 (7-oz) cans of fire roasted diced mild green chilies
3 tablespoons Ketchup
1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
1-½ tablespoons Chili Powder
2-teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
Place a medium size stockpot over medium high heat, add and cook the ground turkey, onions, bell pepper and garlic together for 5 minutes. Once the turkey and vegetables have cooked, add in all other ingredients and reduce the heat to low and let the chili simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with brown rice, corn bread. For a festive approach to your family dinner make it a chili party by having a number of chili toppers, such as shredded cheese, chopped red onions, green onions, cilantro, tortilla chips, and sour cream. If you have chili leftovers it’s great in omelets too.

Turkey Chili

View Other Oahu Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA


Kona Rub Coffee Pork Loin

Serves: 4-6 people
Total Preparation Time: 1:30 with marinating time

Ingredients:
2.5 LB Pork Loin

Rub Ingredients:
1 Tablespoons 100% Kona Coffee Freeze Dried Instant
1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Granulated Garlic
1 Teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice Blend
1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons of Hawaiian Salt
1 Teaspoon of Sugar

Directions:
Remove pork from bag and rinse under cold water. Take a cooking sheet and cover with heavy duty tin foil. Place the pork on top of the sheet and generously code the pork with the rub on both sides. Use your hands to make sure its rubbed into the meat well. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for one hour. Preheat the grill on high and grill pork for 10-12 minutes on each side. When pork is done cooking let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy with vegetables, roasted potatoes, rice or quinoa for dinner.

Kona Rub Pork Loin

View Other Oahu Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

Cooking Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Hawaiian Passion Fruit Jelly
3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Add passion fruit jelly, rice vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper into a blender and blend for 20 second or until the jelly becomes liquefied. Next slowly add the olive oil into the blender and continue to blend. This delicious vinaigrette brings the flavors of the island to your favorite salad

Hawaiian Passion Fruit Jelly Recipe

 

Easter Brunch Casserole

Serves: 6-8 people
Cooking Time: 1:20

Ingredients:
1 pack English muffin (6 whole muffins)
6 ounces ham, thinly sliced
15 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped Basil
18 large eggs
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté about 8 minutes until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the mushroom and onions cool. Spray a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cut the English muffins in half, Line the bottom of the baking dish with 1 layer of bread (6 halves), Arrange half of ham evenly over bread. Sprinkle half of the goat cheese, Swiss cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, and mushrooms on top of the ham. Next add a second layer of English muffins. Layer remaining ham, goat cheese, Swiss cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, mushrooms and onions on top of bread. Whisk eggs, milk, mustard, and salt in bowl and a pinch of pepper. Pour egg mixture over bread and press down on the bread with a spatula allowing the bread to soak up egg mixture.

Bake about 1 hour until center is set and golden brown. Remove from oven and cut into squares to serve.

Easter Casserole Recipe

 

View Oahu Personal Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Dave & Busters

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is not bad at Dave & Busters at Ward Centers but its all about timing and location. The bottom restaurant has pretty good service and is more formal while the upstairs is not quite as reliable but it is almost like an extension of the bar, much more casual. Regardless where you sit the staff is usually pretty friendly and young (this isnt always a good thing). We have had some pretty bad serivcie as well… but its pretty rare so we will leave the gorey details out.

Food: Dave & Busters certainly isn’t going to win any awards for mouth watering food but it is consistant. It’s like dinner food, its good but its not something you fantasize about later and can’t wait to go and order again. The typical things you find on the menu are… (you guessed it) Hambergers, Fish, Sandwiches, Salads, Ribs, Fries, Wings, Steaks… bar food that could use a bit more seasoning overall! The best part is that there is something for everyone. They do have happy hour and some special events like Taco Tuesday which is fun and worth checking out for some drinks, music and grinds with friends. 

Favorite Dishes: French Fries, Spinach Dip, Fire Grilled Salmon, Baby Back Ribs, Chicken Fingers (for the kids) and Apple Pecan Salad.

AtmosphereThe atmosphere is nice both upstairs and downstairs. Downstairs dinning is quieter and nice and bright with large glass windows and high ceilings. Upstairs is more of a game room / bar feel like a dark whole in the wall. The seating upstairs is booth style and is more of what you would expect at a traditional arcade. Dave’n’Busters also has a top roof bar which is very nice and tropical with a cool breeze and partially covered roof.

Consistency: They are very consistency average. You get what you are expecting most of the time but there have been a few low points in the past 5 years, and fewer high points were they surprise you with something “out of the box” delicious.

Parking: Parking is one of the best reasons to go to Dave’n’Busters at Ward Centers. They have ample parking at Ward Centers for free. If you get frustrated on a busy weekend (the movie theater is right next to the restaurant so some weekends can get a bit crazy) for $5 you can park in valet on the second floor of the parking structure.

Price Range: Medium-High ($9-$30) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Accepted Downstairs
Take Out Available

Happy Hour!
Special Events & Entertainment

Address:
1030 Auahi St
Honolulu ,HI 96814
Tel: (808) 589-2215
Website: http://www.daveandbusters.com

Hours of Operation:
Sun-Tues:11:00am-1:00am
Wed:11:00am-2:00am
Thur:11:00am-1:00am
Fri-Sat:11:00am-2:00am

Happy Hour
Mon-Fr 4:30-7pm
1/2 Price Cocktails
Beer & Wine Specials

Late Night Happy Hour
Sun-Thurs 10pm-Close
1/2 Price Cocktails
Beer & Wine Specials

Power Hour
Mon-Fr 4:30-7pm
60 minutes of video
game play for only $10

Cheeseburger dave and busters

Cheeseburger

parmesan sandwich dave and busters

Parmesan Sandwich

Steak Salad dave and busters

Steak Salad

Chicken Salad at Dave & Busters

Southwest Chicken Sala

BBQ Chicken Salad from Dave'n'Busters in Hawaii

BBQ Chicken Salad

Dave'n'Buster chicken fingers

Chicken Fingers

 

How to Find The Best Personal Chef on Vacation

Being a personal chef in Hawaii I have had first hand experience working with both good and bad chefs. Many of my clients are world-wide travelers and have told me that they wished they had some insider tips to finding a reputable and trust worthy chef while on vacation. I have put together a list of 3 steps on how to find a personal chef that you can trust and full-fills all your service needs and expectations while on vacation.

The first tip is to not just randomly search online for a chef, but rather to visit the American Personal & Private Chef Association website. This association has a vigorous approval process which insures its chefs have professional training as well as an established business. The association has a good reputation and national database which covers every state in the USA. Go to the website and select the location you will be vacationing in to view the chefs that are affiliated with this organization. Make sure you contact chefs, which are on the island you will be visiting or live on. Next you will want to view a few chef’s websites and beginning the information gathering stage. Important things to look for on the website are credentials which qualify that individual to be your personal chef. Good credentials include affiliations with prestigious organizations and attending a reputable culinary school. A trained professional chef understands about food contamination and proper cooking techniques, which insure the food is fresh, and bacteria free. Make sure the website contains privacy policies, terms & conditions and a clearly defined cancellation policy, which protect your interests.

Next you will want to read some clients testimonials so you can get a first had glimmer of what your experience will be like. The testimonials should be clearly outlined with client names and give you a sense of security about the quality and service of the personal chef you are selecting. Look for video and written client testimonials from reputable organizations and persons, which will increase your sense of security with the chef you are hiring and insure your vacation is stress free.

The final step is asking for a quote. Once you have viewed all the website information and are satisfied with the reputation and style of the chef or chefs call them and ask them what locations they service as well as for an estimate of costs. This stage is important because depending on where you are staying the associated costs for labor may vary. For example, If you are staying in Honolulu, you want to make sure your chef services Honolulu. After receiving estimates and menu ideas select whichever chef fits of style of communication, budget, and required services.

If you follow these steps above you can feel confidant selecting the right chef even if you have never meet them face-to-face. The most important thing is to trust your gut and go with the chef that takes care of all the details. The chef you select should offer to contact your estate rental for a visit to make sure the kitchen is fully equipped and stocked with food before you arrive. Aloha and I hope you enjoy your stress free vacation!

Covert Affairs is a private chef company in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ryan Covert is both the owner and head chef of Covert Affairs, which caters to both locals and celebrities alike. His dynamic cooking style is a global celebration with a highlight on Asian-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines, making him the private chef Hawaii prefers. For a unique affair on the islands look no further than Covert Affairs Honolulu personal chef services. For a full list of private chef services, customer testimonials, client lists, menu options, to view his published recipes or to read his restaurant and wine blog visit him at – http://covertaffairs.com

 

Guava BBQ Sauce

Makes about 4 ½ cups of sauce
Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
1 10oz Jar Hawaiian Sun Guava Jam
1 cup Hoisin Sauce
2 ½ cups Ketchup
3 tablespoons Chili Sauce
5 large Garlic Cloves
3 tablespoons Kikkoman Tempura Sauce
1 bunch Cilantro, washed
4 tablespoons Chopped Ginger

Directions:
Add all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Use as an island inspired sauce for your next BBQ. Great with chicken, pork, ribs, beef or lamb chops.

Guava BBQ Sauce

Bodega Elena de Mendoza

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system  Wine rating system  

Varietal: Malbec

Vintages: 2009

Country:  Mendoza Argentina

Essence of: This Malbec is full of dark intense jammy fruit flavors and delightfully earthy undertones. The tannins are moderate on the pallet and the wine has a long finish with tangy berry and cherry flavors and just a touch of spice. Very nice!!

Best Served With: Enjoy with grilled meats

Price Range: Under $10 per bottle

 

Bodega Elena de Mendoza wine review

Castle Rock

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system  Wine rating system  

Varietal: Pinot Noir

Vintages: 2009

Country: United States, Monterey Country

Essence of: This Pinot Noir is elegant and medium-bodied, with aromas of cherry, tea and herbal spice. On the palate the wine offers flavors of black cherry, plum and spice. It is smooth with a silky texture with mild tannins.

Best Served With: Enjoy with lamb, chicken, veal, salmon and light pasta dishes

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle

castle rock wine review

 

Gordon Biersch

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is usually  good at Gordon Biersh but it can be slow when it gets really busy you just have to hope you get a good waiter. The appetizers come out pretty quickly so order some for the table when you site down so you don’t get fussy (Oh and a few drinks!).

Food: The food is pretty good at Gordon Bierch in Honolulu. It’s nothing fancy or really exciting but its classic American food and it delivers on its promise. The ingredients are fresh and prepared with care. It’s a great place to go with kids and their is truly something on the menu for everyone.  They also have a great Happy Hour Mon-Wed (4-6:30pm) with discounted appetizers only $5-$11 range and $1-$2 OFF Lagers, Ales and Wines by the glass. To top it off you can get a premium cocktail for only $5 making this a local favorite hangout.

Favorite Dishes: Southwest Egg Rolls, Gorgonzola Pear Salad, Southwest Chicken Sandwhich, Fresh Fish, Cajun Pasta, New York Strip (with Gorgonzola!), Burgers, Garlic Fries, Beers of course!

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Gordon Biersch is awesome AND it was the first brewery in Hawaii. They are located right on the water and the view is both pristine and amazing. They have live music most evenings and its always a happening place to go with friends for dinner or pupus after work. Even lunch is nice and relaxing… it’s the perfect place to go for a stay-cation and enjoy Hawaii like you where on holiday.

Consistency: It’s pretty consistently fun and good. Whenever you go you get what you are expecting and our nieces and nephews love it.

Parking: The offer validated parking at Gordon Beirsch for 3 hours. If you valet you still have to pay a percentage of the total even WITH a validation so keep that in mind.

Price Range: Medium ($10:50-$28:50) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Happy Hour
Live Music Entertainment

Address:
1 Aloha Tower Dr # 1123
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 599-4877
Website:
http://www.gordonbiersch.com/default.aspx
Check website for detailed live entertainment schedule each week.

Hours of Operation:
Restaurant Hours:
Sunday-Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Happy Hour:
Monday-Wednesday: 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Cob Salad

Crab & Artichoke

Chicken Sandwich

Holiday Shepherd’s Pie

Serves: 6-8 People
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
2.5 lb Ground Beef
1 Medium Sweet White Onion, Diced
6 Large Cloves of Garlic, Minced
7 Shitake Mushrooms
2 Packs 3.5oz Bunapi Mushrooms
2 Cans Campbell’s Golden Mushroom Soup
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
2 Teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger

Topping Ingredients:
1 Small Size Kabocha, Peel & Dice
7 Small Russet Potatoes, Peel & Dice
½ Stick Butter
½ Teaspoon Salt & Pepper
5oz Bag of Sargento Artisan Parmesan Cheese, Pre Shredded

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450°. First you must wash, peel and dice both the russet potatoes and kabocha squash, place them into a pot with a touch of salt, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drawn the water out and then add the butter, salt & pepper and mash together well. Set the potatoes aside. Next take the meat and place it into a pot on the stove on medium to high heat. Cook the meat until its brown and then remove from the heat and pour out excess grease. Then add the onion, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, beef base, salt and pepper and mix together. Next add the Campbell’s soup along with ½ a can of water, stir the ingredients well. Finally take a 13” x 9” Pyrex dish and pour the meat mixture inside on the bottom. Then grab your mashed potatoes and smear evenly on top of the meat mixture. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

holiday Sheppard’s pie

View Other Oahu Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Nothing To Wine About!

Wine rating systemWine comes in many white and red varieties including but not limited to – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling,  Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon and is used as both a food accompaniment (enhancer) or as a flavor agent in stocks or braising. Wine has been used throughout history in various religious celebrations as well as family gatherings to bring people closer together to enjoy life and culture. Being a Private Chef I’m a lover of all wine and how it enhances the taste and flavor of food. Below are some tips on how to explore both red and white wine in your cooking techniques.

Red Wine Cooking Tip: Using red wine is a fantastic way to add depth and richness to your sauces. Start by reducing the wine to cook out the alcohol flavor. Then add other ingredients such as garlic, onions and some type of stock. Let flavors infuse by allowing to simmer for about 30 mintues. Serve over any dish to add your unique flavor profile.

White Wine Cooking Tip: Use white wine to create a fantastic butter sauce. By using the same wine you are going to serve with dinner you can add a second note of flavor by adding a splash of that same wine to your sauce, risotto, or sautéed seafood.

Health Benefits: Red wine in particular is packed full of polyphernols which have antioxidant characteristics and if consumed in moderate amounts are directly associated with decrease in cardiovascular death (heart attack) by 30-50%. Red wine also contains resveratrol which is found in the grape skins and seeds and increases the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and prevents the LDL (bad cholesterol) from forming – meaning it can help reduce blood clots or blood vessel damage caused from fat deposits . Wine has been said to reduce the risk or help with the following conditions: Cardiovascular Disease, Blood Clots, Plaque formation in the arteries, Lung Cancer (in men), and Alzhimer’s Diseases. So why not join the vine vine and enjoy a small glass of wine daily its nothing to WHINE about. Cheers to your health!

 

wine benefits

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

PETITE PETIT

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system  Wine rating system Wine rating system  Wine rating system

Varietal: 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot

Vintages: 2009

Country: United States, California

Essence of: PETITE PETIT is a delicious and rich flavor and color. It is a substantial, dense, full-bodied, whopper style of wine loaded with pure black fruit and vanilla flavors that coat the palate. The finish is smooth, dry and lingers on the tongue.

Best Served With: Everything – cheese, meats, chocolate, life in general goes will with this wine.

Price Range: Under $25 per bottle (most common pricing between $13-$22) 

Petite Petit red wine review

Harbor Pub & Pizza

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The Service was average at Harbor Pub & Pizza. The waitress was friendly and remembered our order which is all I guess we can really hope for a hole in the wall bar. The place could have used a good scrub down (specially the bathrooms yikes!) but overall it was ok. That being said, we have had friends who have had pretty bad service so its really a crap shoot.

Food: The food is ok at Harbor Pub & Pizza in Waikiki. They are known for their pizza (hence the name of the establishment) and what’s nice is you can order a half / half of different kinds of pizza so everyone at the table wins! They also serve brunch which is nice but if you go we would recommend sticking to the pizza & salads.

Favorite Dishes: Spinach & Garlic Pizza, BBQ Chicken Pizza, and Greek Salad

Atmosphere: Ok to be perfectly honest its a dive bar. Nothing fancy about it and thats ok because it doesn’t promise to be. They have a small bar and about 5-7 tables in the back. There are a few large TV’s which they play sports and surfing on so its a good place to go if you are super hung over and want to hid from the world and not be seen my anyone you know.

Consistency: We have been a few times for drinking and its consistently a hole in the wall. However, it’s fun and has a good crowed. This is the type of place you go for a very low key drink and snack and you def get what your expecting as long as you don’t expect to much!

Parking: Harbor Pub & Pizza has validated parking or you can park in metered spaces across the street close to the Ala Moana Harbor.

Price Range: Medium ($15-$25) per Entree
NO BYOB
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available – ADD $0.50

Address:
1765 Ala Moana Blvd # 1
Honolulu, HI 96815-1486
Tel: (808) 941-0985
Website:http://www.harborpubpizza.com/Welcome_to_Harbor_Pub_Pizza.html/

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Sunday – 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Happy Hour – 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

greek salad from harbor pub restaurant

Greek Salad

Spinach and BBQ Chicken Pizza from Harbor Pub

Spinach & BBQ Chicken Pizza

harbor pub restaurant review

Ambiance

 

I Love Olive Oil

Olive OilOlive Oil has been consumed since before 4000BC and is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed fresh as it is i.e.  juice from pressing olives. There are a few varieties of olive oil from extra virgin to extra light, which vary on quality and  process. I’m going to share some private chef tips on when to use each type of olive oil for optimal cooking and food enhancement.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Tip: Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality because it is the least processed form and is procured from the first pressing of the olives and contains no more than .8% acidity. This type of olive oil has the most superiors taste and should be used for finishing foods such as to create salad dressing, soups, pasta, or to just enjoy bread with some balsamic. Basically you shouldn’t use Extra Virgin olive oil to cook anything as it is really a waste, it should be added before you serve a hot item or to cold preparations to enhance the food.

Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Tip: Virgin olive oil is from the second pressing of the olives and has an acidly level of less than 2%. Pure olive oil undergoes some processing such as filtering and refining which results in a product which lacks strong flavor. This type of oil should be used for sauces, or anything sauteed such as fish, or vegetables because extra virgin olive smokes when it gets to hot and burns which damages the flavor of the olive oil. Use virgin to saute items as a vehicle to enhance the other items flavor no to be the lead flavor.

Extra Light Olive Oil Tip: Light olive oil undergoes more processing and retains only a mild flavor of the olive and in some cases is even mixed with other oils. My tip is just say no to light olive oil. It doesn’t contain the same antioxidants, flavor, and isn’t lighter in calories so just seems like a waste of time to use.

Health Benefits: Olive oil has a multitude of health benefits because it is a monounsaturated fatty acid and has antioxidative properties. Studies have shown that olive oil can help fight heart disease by controlling the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while increasing the HDL “Good” cholesterol levels. All olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, however, the least processed extra virgin olive oil is the most healthy because it contains the highest levels of antioxidants, including vitamin E, carotenoids, and oleuropein which is said to strengthen the immune system. Olive oil is a healing fat and is delicate on the stomach because its easy to digest and can have positive effect on ulcers and gastritis because it activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones naturally in the body. Olive Oil has been said to reduce the risk or help with Colon Cancer, Ulcers, Gastritis, Heart Disease and Cholesterol. So substitute butter for oil and say I-love olive oil!

Olive Oil

Autumn Couscous Salad

Serves: Serves 6-8 People
Cooking Time: 25 Minutes

Ingredients:
10 oz Box of Near East Original Couscous
6 oz Bag Apricots, Chopped
½ Cup of Dried Cranberries
2 Cups of Watercress, Cropped
½ Cup Sliced Almonds, Toasted
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Follow couscous instructions on the side of the box. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350° and take out a cooking sheet. Place almonds onto cooking sheet and place into oven for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Once couscous is cooked and cooled down to room temperature add apricots, cranberries, watercress and toasted almonds. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss ingredients together. Enjoy as a side dish or light lunch.

Autumn couscous salad recipe

View Other Hawaii Private Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

 

Pork Chops with Apple Miso Sauce

Serves: 6-8 people
Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
4 (8oz) Pork Chops
1 Cup Apple Juice
4 oz Unsweetened Apple Sauce
2 Tablespoon White Miso Paste
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
1 Teaspoon fresh grated ginger
4 Tablespoon unsalted Butter

Directions:
Preheat your grill and season pork chops with salt & pepper on both sides. Meanwhile take a small stockpot and place on burner with high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, apple sauce, apple juice, and miso and bring ingredients to a boil. Now reduce heat and add cold butter continuing to stir ingredients until the butter is dissolved. Place pork chops on the grill turning them one time (about 5 minutes per side depending on thickness of pork chop). Cook until desired doneness and spoon over a generous helping of apple miso sauce to each chop. Serve with favorite side dish or steamed brown rice.

Apple Miso Pork Chop Recipe

View Other Hawaii Personal Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Chart House Waikiki

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service was applaudable at the Chart House in Waikiki. From the hostess to the table back the staff really was professional, friendly and worked like a well oiled machine. We never had empty water glasses or dishes on the table the whole night and it was really refreshing. They also gave us a complementary Mudd Pie since it was me and my wifes one year anniversary which was delicious and very thoughtful.

Food: The food was delicious and we ate every single morsel of food they put in front of us. The menu has traditional items you would expect to have at a steakhouse including lots of seafood and proteins. The food was really flavorful and worth the price (the Alaskan crab legs where a bit steep at $66.50 for 4 claws but they where super tasty and if you are looking to treat yourself for a special occasion go for it). We recommend getting a few appetizers and sharing with the table to try a few different items. One nice thing to point out is each entree comes WITH a starter salad or soup and side dishes one starch and one vegetable which is really nice and not a-typical for steakhouses who charge ala cart for these items. Finally they also have happy hour from opening to 7pm and 10pm to closing so its a great place for afterwork or late night pupus and drinks with friends.

Favorite Dishes: Sizzling Szechawn Shrimp, Escargot, Whole fried fish (yummy could have eaten two), Crab Claws (great but very expensive $5 per a bit), and the Chart House Waikiki Mudd Pie (best we have ever had!).

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Chart House is just fantastic. The restaurant is right on the water and overlooks the yacht harbor in Waikiki. Its beautiful to watch the boats during the day and at night. The decor is old hawaiianan and the inside of the restaurant is dressed in warm wood tones. Some nights they have live entertainment and ALWAY a full bar! One positive note is that the restaurant is large enough so intimate diners don’t have to be bothered by the rowdy bar goers.

Consistency: We haven’t been to eat at the chart house in a long time but have had good pupus and drinks in the past few years. However, with this surprisingly great dinning experience it won’t be long until we go again.

Parking: The chart house has a parking garage which validates and they also have metered parking out front.

Price Range: Medium-High ($19,95-$69.50) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Available

Happy Hour & Daily Specials! 

Address:
1765 Ala Moana
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 638-2471
Website:
http://www.charthousehonolulu.com/index.html

Hours of Operation:
Dining Room: Monday–Thursday, 5:45 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 5:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
Happy Hour (everyday)- Opening to 7:00pm & 10:00 pm to Closing
Lounge Opens
Monday thru Friday 4:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday 5:00 pm
Closes:
Sunday–Thursday, 12:30 a.m. (Food Served until 11:30 p.m.)
Friday & Saturday, 2:00 a.m. (Food Served until 12:30 p.m.)

chart house waikiki escargot

Escargot

chart house waikiki restaurant sizzling shrimp

Sizzling Shrimp

chart house waikiki clams

Clams

chart house whole fried fish

Whole Fried Fish

Chart House Alaskan King Crab

Alaskan King Crab

Chart House Waikiki Mudd Pie

Mudd Pie

 

Hauntingly Good Pumpkin Pancakes

Serves: Makes 8-10 (4-inch) Pancakes

Cooking Time: 25 Minutes

Pancake Ingredients
20 oz Box of Bisquick original pancake mix, 2 Cups
1 Cup of Quaker Oats
1 Cup of 2% Milk (or for lactose intolerant use Almond Milk)
1 Can 100% Pure Pumpkin, 1 cup
2 Egg
1½ Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
Pam Original nonstick spray

Maple Syrup Ingredients:
1 ½ cups of Maple Syrup
1 Orange, Zested
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:
Preheat a sauté pan over medium heat. Meanwhile in a large bowl combined all the pancake ingredients and stir together well by hand or with a hand blender. Once the pan is hot spray it with the Pam and spoon about one 1/3 cup of pancake mixture onto the pan. Repeat until all the batter is used and you have 8-10 golden brown pancakes. Next take your favorite maple syrup and put it into a measuring cup and add the orange zest and vanilla extract. Place the measuring cup into the microwave and heat for 30 seconds or until hot. Serve pancakes with hot syrup for a Halloween or festive fall brunch.

Hauntingly good pumpkin pancakes

The Love of Tomatoes!

Tips for TomatosTomato’s can be eaten in a variety of different ways including raw, cooked, stewed, fried, juiced, or as a sauce. Although tomatoes are classified as a fruit when using them in a culinary fashion they are considered a vegetable because of their savory flavor. One of my favorite private chef tips is to use tomatoes in both there raw and cooked form because the texture, flavor and overall taste is so unique in both preparations.

Cooking Raw Tomato Tip: Add a little salt to your raw tomatoes and they will become much brighter and plump in flavor. Try a piece of Wassa complex carb hard bread, Tomato and light Cheese for a healthy breakfast start to your day.

Cooking Cooked Tomato Tips: Roasting tomatoes in the oven gives them a rich and full flavor.  Try roasting some vine tomatoes in the oven with olive oil and salt for about 45 minutes, peal the skin off once complete and blend to create delicious sauces, dips or spreads to accompany your meals!

Health Benefits: The tomato is excellent for your health and is often praised for benefiting your heart as well as many key organs because it contains one of the most powerful natural antioxidants called lycopene. Lycopene is not naturally found in the body but has the ability to flush out free radicals that build up and cause cellular breakdown and cancer. No other fruit or vegetable has as high a concentration of this powerful antioxidant as the tomato and studies show that eating specifically cooked tomatoes (more lycopene in cooked than raw) can help prevent numerous types of cancer, heart disease, and even neurodegenerative disease. Just 1 cup (or in our case pint glass!) of powerful has 59 calories, 29% of your daily vitamin c, 17% of your daily vitamin a, lycopene, calcium and iron making it a great low fat snack or condiment. Tomatoes have been said to help with or reduce the risk of Prostate cancer, Heart, Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Colon Cancer, Reduce Blood Pressure, Rectal Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Mouth Cancer, Neck cancer, and Neurodegenerative diseases.

Mixed Tomatoes Images

 

Cha Cha Cha Salsaria

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is very good at Cha Cha Cha Salsaria in Hawaii Kai. The staff is really genuine and super nice. Both times we have been so far they where very attentive and you could really feel that they where excited to service you. Unfortunately the manager we can’t say the same thing about. We had two coupons which we thought expired in 2012 but turned out to expire in 2011. It was 5 weeks expired and we asked if we could use just one of the two by any chance (totaling $25). We understand they are expired but we ordered plenty of food and drinks and they already got the money from us for the GC’s so its not like it would have hurt them financially to let us use at least one of them. The server was so sweet and really stuck up for us. The manager however had a stick up his you know what!

Food: The food is hit or miss at Cha Cha Cha. The cobb cajun shrimp salad was terrific and the salsa was to die for (both types both Pineapple and regular) where fresh and had a really good bite. The enchilada and tacos however where pretty average. The enchilada casing was kind of gummy and even the salsa verde wasn’t very memorable. They do have a Happy Hour Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm and brunch on Sundays which is nice so maybe come for drinks (the perfect margarita was terrific) and just enjoy some pupus and the view. 

Favorite Dishes: Cobb Cajun Shrimp Salad, Free Salsa, Margarita

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Cha Cha Cha Salsaria is by far the best thing going for this restaurant. It’s located on the Harbor in Hawaii Kai right next to The Shack and is just beautiful. The restaurant has both inside and outside seating and guests are invited to grab a menu and find there own seats which is nice and feels empowering. The inside has mexican themed artwork and a cute little bar. It’s absolutely a good place to meet friends for a casual bite or drinks while enjoying the sunset and beautiful Hawaii weather.

Consistency: Both times we have been the margaritas and shrimp salad where just delicious. The other items where nothing special but may have been consistent we are not sure because we didn’t give them a second chance. We hear that brunch is good so will try that and update this review.

Parking: Cha Cha Cha’s has free parking at the Hawaii Kai shopping plaza so you shouldnt have trouble getting a spot unless you go on the weekend and fight with Safeway shoppers.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($7.95-$18.95) per Entree
Corkage Fee $10 per Bottle
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Happy Hour Deals!

Address:
77 Keahole St. C-1A
Honolulu, HI 96825
Tel: (808) 395-7707
Website:
http://www.chachachasalsaria.com/

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday Brunch 9 a.m. to 2 pm
Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm and All Night On Tuesday

Cha Cha Cha's chips and salsa

Chip & Salsa

cha cha cha  restaurant enchiladas

Chicken & Beef Enchiladas

cha cha cha restaurant review tacos

Pork Taco

Cha Cha Cha Cajun Shrimp Salad

Cajun Shrimp Salad

cha cha cha in hawaii kai fish tacos

Fish Tacos

cha cha cha perfect margarita

Perfect Margarita

PETIRROJO

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating systemWine rating system

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintages: 2009

Country: Colchagua Valley, Chile 

Essence of: A full body wine with a aroma of dried fruit and alcohol. The wine has flavors of raspberry, cherry, blackberry and notes of spice.  The tannins are pronounced and we recommend letting the wine breath before enjoying.

Best Served With: Lamb, Beef, Pork, Chocolate and Broiled Meats

Price Range: Under $10 per bottle

PETIRROJO Red Wine Review

 

4 Tropical Creme Brulee Flavor Creations

Ingredients
1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water

Flavors
2 single serving packets of Nescafe Tasters Choice Instant Coffee
3 table spoons of The Perfect Puree Of Napa Valley – Passion Fruit Gourmet Concentrate
Half Package of Chaokoh Coconut Milk Powder
1 Package of Land Lakes Cocoa Hot Cocoa Mix

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a saucepan set over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Next remove it from the heat and cover it and let sit for about 15 minutes. After its sit remove the vanilla bean and set it aside for another use.

Next take out medium size bowl and whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended (it will start to lighten in color once ready). Now take the cream and add a little at a time to the mixture stirring continually. Now divide the mixture into 4 equal parts (in different bowls) and add the flavor components (one to each bowl) listed above. Next pour the liquid into 12 (4-ounce) ramekins (if you have different size ramekins thats ok you will just have fewer creme brulees). Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Now for the fun part… Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 15-30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top.

creme brulee tropical delights

Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 12 remekins and spread evenly on top.

Adding sugar to creme brulees

Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top.

Chocolate Creme Brulee Recipe

 

Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Passion fruit creme brulee recipe

Enjoy! for additional fun you can put the creme brulee flavors into chinese spoons, add sugar, and then torch them for parties or smaller treats. You can also serve them with a fresh fruit topping. This is one of Private Chef Ryan Covert’s specialties and always a hit for guests and locals alike.

Monsoon India

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was good at Monsoon India for the most part. Our waiter was really polite and all the staff was friendly and pleasant.

Food: The food at Monsoon India on Ala Moana Blv in Honolulu was average but nothing sensational. The menu has typical indian items such as Curry, Tandoori breads such as Naan and Roti, Samosas, Tandoori Meats, Paneer, Biriyani , and other indian classics. The grilled meat Kababs assortment we tried had chicken, shrimp and lamb and was overall very dry. The Naan was super crunchy and was missing the chewiness it typically has which is great for mopping up yummy sauce & curry. The Vindaloo curry was the best thing we tried with Mahi Mahi and had great heat, however, there was only 2 tiny little pieces of fish and the rest was all potatoes. Also something to point out was they didn’t have that yellow rice option with saffron on the menu and only had Basmati rice which was ok but a bit oily overall. 

Favorite Dishes: Papadamu, and Fish Vindaloo

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is nice at Monsoon and homey. It has some indian artwork and other ethnic touches . The restaurant is small and only has about 10-15 tables total. The restaurant overlooks the Ala Moana blvd street which isn’t to pretty but does bring alot of light and airiness into the restaurant ambiance.

Consistency: We have only been once since it changed from Bombay India to Monsoon India and if we return we will update this blog… however, we still feel that Cafe Maharani is the best Indian food in Hawaii so will most likely not come back to Monsoon India anytime soon to satisfy a Indian food itch!

Parking: Monsoon Restaurant has validated parking available at the Discovery Bay building, on the Ocean side of Ala Moana Blvd in Honolulu. You shouldn’t try to find street parking because the parking at the Discovery Bay is super convenient and the elevator goes directly to the level with the restaurant.

Price Range: Medium-High ($14.95-$27.50) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
1778 Ala Moana Blvd
Suite 213
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 941-5111
Website:
http://monsoonindiaoahu.com/site/

Hours of Operation:
Dinner – 7 Days a Week
5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Lunch – 7 Days a Week:
12:00 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Monsoon India Naan bread

Garlic Naan

Monsoon India restaurant in waikiki appetizers

Papadamu

Monsoon India Tandori meat mixture honolulu

Tandoori Kababs

Fish Vindaloo at Monsoon India restaurant in waikiki

Fish Vindaloo

Restaurant review of Monsoon India in Waikiki

Decor

 

Plumeria Beach House

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was good at Plumeria the Kahala Hotel. The staff are very professional and helpful going above and beyond to accommodate customer needs.

Food: The food is pretty good at this restaurant but more recommended for lunch rather than dinner. They have an interesting assortment of dishes with an American / Japanese / Global /Fusion flare to them. The menu has a good assortment of pupus, salads, soups, sandwiches and entree’s so sure to be a hit with both kids and adults. They also have a really large buffet for breakfast on the weekends which is so so (not as good as it used to be since they got ride of the fresh crab legs and other delicious sushi options) but its still a nice place to go for a family gathering or to take some visiting friends.

Favorite Dishes: The Kahala Hamburger is really good and served with a fried egg (you can also ask for it with salad instead of fries which we recommend because its very heavy), same goes for the Garden Burger very good, plumeria fish tacos, lunch special of the day and salads.

Atmosphere: The best thing about the Plumeria restaurant is the ambiance and the view! its breathtaking and overlooks the pristine ocean. The table layout allows for you to site both indoor and outdoor (under tent) and is very well organized and has excellent acoustics (not to loud even when its a full house). Also the Kahala hotel has live dolphins and have great shows making this a good place to bring kids for an after lunch experience.

Consistency: Its consistently average… nothing really that you crave or would go out of your way to go to eat… but the view is always amazing and a great experience each time you visit.

Parking: The Kahala Hotel has valet parking which you can get validated by eating at Plumeria and only pay $5 or you can also park yourself in the visitors garage which is free with validation for a few hours.

Price Range: ($16-$45) per Entree for Dinner  ($12-$28 for Lunch)
Corkage Fee $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted and Recommended for Dinner
Take Out Available

Address:
Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 739-8760
Website:
http://www.kahalaresort.com/dining/plumeria-beach-house.cfm
restaurants@kahalaresort.com

Hours of Operation:
Opening Hours
Breakfast
(Continental or Full Breakfast Buffet, a la carte menu available as well)
6:30am – 11:00am
Lunch
11:00am – 5:30pm, a la carte menu
11:30am – 2:30pm, Curry Lunch on Wednesdays
Dinner
5:30pm – 10pm

Plumeria Kahala Hotel Restaurant Review

Hamburger

Plumeria sorbet

Sorbet

plumeria review

Garden Burger

Izakaya Nonbei

Overall Review: CorkCork

Service: Izakaya Nonbei used to be one of our all time favorite Japanese restaurants in Hawaii, however, last year it was sold and has changed substantially. One of the past owners is still working for the restaurant and she assured me that the cook was the same (although the main chef was her father so we are not sure how they could be if they moved?). When the food arrived about 30% of the dishes where as good as we remembered but the rest of the food was disappointing. When we asked to return a horribly overcooked fish she took it back to the kitchen and then returned it to us saying “the chef touched it and said its moist inside”…. first and foremost no one wants to hear that someone touched there food and then expect them to continue to eat it! secondly we know overcooked fish when we see and taste it. It was disappointing service for sure. Specially when the past owners where so nice and the food was impeccable.

Food: The food was so so. Someone who has never been to the Old Nonbei may think its great, but after years of patronage we feel the food has suffered in the transition. Some of the items are still good so if you are in the neighborhood and in the mood for sushi or Japanese by all means go….. but if you have been an old Nonbei fan say so long and just move onto another Japanese restaurant. Even the green tea was different – must be a cheaper brand.

Favorite Dishes: Karei Karaag (Cabbage & Small fish) Eggplant & Mushrooms, Miso Rice Cake, Small Fried Shrimp Appetizer and the ice Otokoyama sake of course!

Atmosphere: The new Nonbei ambiance is kind of modern inside. They have ground floor tables as well as regular tables and the inside is very small (about 5-6 tables total) plus the small sushi bar. The real killer is that they have a huge flat screen TV on the wall which really detracts for the restaurants classiness. Honestly who wants to go to a nice restaurant and have to watch TV? its distracting and doesn’t belong in this restaurant at all.

Consistency: Well the old Nonbei was incredible consistence for years, however, this new location isn’t going to get a second chance from us anytime soon. If we do for some reason feel generous we will go back and update this restaurant review!

Parking: Nonbei has a small parking lot out front with about 10 spots in total. When full it can be super hard to get in and out but at least they do have some parking. Otherwise you can always park across the street at Safeway and walk across the street.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($6-$25) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
3108 Olu St.
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 734-5573

Hours of Operation:
Dinner Mon, Wed-Sun 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Closed Tuesday

Izakaya Nonbei - fried flounder fish hawaii

Whole Fried Flounder

Izakaya Nonbei restaurant review fish

Fried Shrimp

Izakaya Nonbei cold tofu dish

Cold Tofu

Izakaya Nonbei Eggplant & Mushroom

Eggplant & Mushroom

Izakaya Nonbei Small Fish & Cabbage

Cabbage & Small Fish

Izakaya Nombie miso rice cake

Miso Rice Cake

 

Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service at Salt is typically very good. Every once and a while you will get slow service upstairs but most of the time its excellent. The staff is very knowledgeable (especially the bartenders!) and very nice overall.

Food: The food is very good at Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar on Waialae avenue. The menu consists of tapas, a few burger/ sandwiches and seasonal entree items. The tapas are not spanish in theme but more like a mixture of fusion and italian with items like cheese & meat plates, ahi bites, stuffed tuna peppers, fried egg, fresh beet and arugula salads, squid ink pasta (a favorite of ours), Taco, Butter Gnocchi and some other interesting and unique items like the pork stuffed calamari. It’s the type of place you go with a group and share so you can try a little of this, and a little of that. They also have a large wine list (but where out of a few key choices) – keep in mind the corkage fee is a whopping $50 per a bottle! the highest so far in Hawaii we have encountered so you are better off drinking what the restaurant has to offer which is a lovely assortment of drinks including Whiskey Business, and the Chilango which is a tequila drink with grape fruit juice, oranges and mexican chili flakes for a kick. They are soooo good and on Happy hour they are only $6 per drink.  Also we noticed that sometimes it was cheaper to drink the wines by the glass than to order a bottle which was pretty strange so watch out for that as well. 

Favorite Dishes: Beet Salad, Cheese & Fig plate, Butter Gnocchi, Taco, Squid Ink Pasta (when they have it), Fried Egg, Daily Crudo, Chevre cheesecake with Caramel Popcorn and the drinks of course!

Atmosphere: The ambiance is nice at Salt. THe downstairs i like a big sushi bar which seats facing the kitchen and the only table seating is upstairs and is very limited, only about 6-8 tables. The artwork is black and white photographs that where cool a few years ago (trendy) but a little out of touch now… they also have some interesting colored pig paintings which give the room a pop of color and really work with the black and white decor.

Consistency: Since it opened Salt has become a regular bar for us and our friends. They are open late and consistently the food, drinks and service are wonderful! The seasonal menus are very exciting and we love trying new things and bringing new people to experience Salt.

Parking: You can park in the Kaimuki shopping center for a pretty minor fee of about $1 per an hour (or on the side closest to Big City Dinner they have metered parking which is more expensive but also close by). If you are lucky you can find some street parking on Waialae but its not easy!

Price Range: Medium ($5 – $21) per Tapa
Corkage Fee $50 per Bottle!
Reservations Accepted Upstairs & Recommended (bar is open seating)
Take Out Available

Address:
3605 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 744-7567‎

Hours of Operation:
Dinner & Tapas – Monday-Sunday: 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Salt Kitchen restaurant review meats

Assorted Meats

salt kitchen in hawaii cheese plate

Assorted Cheese’s

Salt Kitchen mixed appetizers beat salad and tuna

Daily Crudo & Beat Salad

Salt Kitchen calamari stuffed with pork

Pork Stuffed Calamari

Salt Kitchen in Hawaii popcorn goat cheese cake

Popcorn Goat Cheese Cake

Salt Kitchen Tapa Bar bread pudding

Bread Pudding

Squid Ink Pasta at Salt

Squid Ink Pasta

Turkey Meatball Lollipops

Serves: 6-8 People
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 (1.25lb) Pack Foster Farm Ground Turkey (93%/7% Lean)
1 Pack Fresh Turkey Italian Sausage Hot & Spicy
1 Small Sweet White Onion, minced
1 ½ Cup Aged Gouda Cheese, grated
2 Eggs
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
10 Basil Leafs, minced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, minced
1 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
½ Teaspoon Salt
Serve with – BBQ Sauce or Store Bought Tomato Sauce
Lollipop Sticks (Optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400° and then start by grabbing a large mixing bowl and adding the ground turkey meat. Now take the Italian sausage out of its casing and combined the meats together. Next add all the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl including the onion, garlic, eggs, basil, parsley, cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper and salt and use your hands to blend everything together well. Next take a small muffin tin or baking sheet (if you use a baking sheet make sure you line it with tin foil first) and spray with Pam or any non-stick cooking spray. Now start forming your mixture into meatballs about a golf ball in size and place them into the muffin tin and bake in oven for 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool for a minute or two. You can either serve these meatballs as a fantastic pupu with BBQ dipping sauce (on lollipop sticks for fun) or use them in a traditional spaghetti and meatballs entrée with your favorite tomato sauce.

Turkey Appetizers recipe close upTurkey Meatball Lollipops Recipe

Jade Dynasty

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service was good at Jade Dynasty. Our waiter was a little pushy but in a nice way. He was attentive and went out of his way to let me know all the items on the menu that contained MSG which I really appreciated and made me trust this chinese restaurant above others in town. The last time we went , however, the food took forever to arrive! after about 50 minutes we had only recieved 2 dishes and had to ask for the rest in a doggy bag to make an appoinment.

Food: The food was good at Jade Dynasty overall. The vegetables where really well seasoned and cooked. For lunch they have traditional dim sum selections and you can also order off the menu. For dinner there is no dim sum but they have lots of  items include chicken (lemon, cold, general tao’s, kung po, etc), peking duck, noodles, rice, pork, seafood (fresh crab, shrimp, prawns, whole steamed fish, lobster etc) , tofu and of course chinese vegetable dishes! We found the food very tasty overall but the most memorable items where the Choy Sum and Stir-Fry String Beans as they where extra crispy and fresh. 

Favorite Dishes: Dim Sum – Fresh shrimp & spinach dumplings, signature shrimp dumplings, seafood bean curd roll, steamed BBQ pork buns, Dinner – Stir-fry minced meat with string beans and chii sauce (yummy!), Choy Sum with garlic sauce, and the curry Singaporean rice noodles.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is very clean and grand inside. The ceilings are extremely high and decorated with chandlers giving the restaurant an open feeling as well as reduce the noise factor when busy during the dim sum rush. The decor is black, gold and red and they have very limited artwork inside. The restaurant is large overall and has plenty of tables for larger groups as well as booth seating, in fact they have 7 private rooms available making this a great place to book a party!

Consistency: We have only been twice so far, once for dim sum and once for dinner… so far so good on the food! the owners of the Jade Dynasty also own 20 restaurants in Hong Kong so they must know what they are doing. However, the second time the service was super slow sooo hopefully that was just a fluke

Parking: Jade Dynasty is located at the Ala Moana shopping center so there is plenty of free parking at your finger tips. The restaurant is located close to Mai Tai bar and the parking right outside Norstroms on the third level. We recommend parking there and then taking the elevator or escalator next to Pearl to the restaurant on the fourth floor (3 above ground).

Price Range: Low-Medium ($2.95 – $7.95) for Dim Sum & ($11.95-$48.00 or Market Price) per Entree
Corkage Fee $5-$10 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available
Happy Hour Drinks Till 6pm

Address:
Ala Moana Shopping Center 4th Fl
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 947-8818
Website:
http://jadedynastyhawaii.com

Hours of Operation:
10:30 a.m.- 5.pm for Dim Sum
5 p.m – 10 p.m for Dinner Daily
Happy Hour Drinks Half OFF Till 6pm

Jade Dynasty Choy Sum Ala Moana

Garlic Choy Sum

Jade Dynasty restaurant review hawaii

Singaporean Noodles

Jade Dynasty Pork Green Beans

Pork String Beans

  

Peppermint Greek Yogurt Frozen Pie

Serves: 6-8 People
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Freezing Time: 4-6 Hours

Ingredients:
1 Oreo Pie Crust
8 oz Kraft Cool Whip
2 Cups of FAGE Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
1 Teaspoon of Peppermint Oil
2 (1.4 oz) York Peppermint Patties
15 Peppermint Mints

Directions:
Let the cool whip defrost to room temperature and then put it into a large mixing bowl along with the Greek yogurt and peppermint oil. Next take a food processor and pulverize all the peppermints. Put half of the peppermints to the side for the pie topping and add the rest to the mixture. Now break up the York patties into small pieces. Set half aside for the topping and mix the rest into the bowl with the other ingredients. Pour the mixture into the Oreo Pie crust and top it with the remainder of the York Patties and Peppermints. Place into freezer overnight and enjoy for a holiday dessert.

peppermint cool whip pie recipe

View Other Oahu Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Yellow Tail Shiraz

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Syrah/Shiraz

Vintages: 2008

Country: South Eastern Australia

Essence ofVanilla & Oak undertones are apparent on the noise and pallet once the wine opens up after a minute or two. The overall taste is earthy and pleasant for the price. It’s a tad sweet and has mild tannins. The color is dark and rich almost magenta and this is a good option for a heavy drinking nights with friends as the price is right!

Best Served With: Grilled Meats, Tomato Based Dishes, Spicy Food like Curry

Price Range: $4-$6

Yellow Tail Shiraz Wine Review

 

Fivash Cellars – Woodshop Red

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: A Red Blend of 55% Merlot, 40% Syrah and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Vintages: 2007

Country: Walla Walla Valley Washington, USA

Essence ofBeautiful full dark fruit flavor with strong tannins and notes of earthy minerals. Nice clean finish on the pallet.

Best Served With: Grilled Meats like Chicken, Steak or Ribs, Also suggested for pairing with Tomato based dishes like pasta & pizza.

Price Range: $30-$35

FIVASH CELLARS WOODSHOP RED - 2007 Wine Review

 

Oven Roasted Vegetables with Prosciutto Crisps

Serves: 2-4 People
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Head of Broccoli, Wash, Cut into smaller pieces about 2 inches
3 Large Carrots, Peeled, Cut into 2 inch pieces
1Large  Kabocha Squash, Cleaned, Cubed (leave peel on)
1 White Onion, Cut into 2 inch pieces
4-6 Pieces of Prosciutto
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425° degrees. Get out a large cooking sheet and cover with heavy duty tin foil. Place all the vegetables onto the sheet and season generously with salt & pepper. Next take some extra virgin olive oil and drizzle on top of the vegetables. With your hands mix the vegetables together so the olive oil is distributed throughout them evenly. Next take out the strips of prosciutto and place them on top of the vegetables. Place into the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked to desired level and prosciutto crisps are crispy. Serve as dinner with some brown rice or along with a protein as a side dish. This dish is great for any vegetables you have left over in the refrigerator!

Oven Roasted seasonal vegetables

Uncle Bo’s

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was really excellent at Uncle Bo’s on Kapahulu. The waitress was a real pro, full of smiles and very candid. She was on top of her game and didnt miss a beat from the moment we sat down till the moment we paid the check. In fact, we had a coupon and forgot to read the fine print indicating we had to come after 8pm she spoke to the manager on our behalf (so we could redeem our voucher) and we really appreciated all her help and attentiveness. The only not so memorable in a good way service was the hostess who tried to seat us in the back room because we didnt have a reservation. The restaurant had plenty of empty tables out front so it was a bit particular that we had to ask a few times not to site in the dark, cold back of the restaurant especially when arriving for dinner so early at 6:30pm. The manager finally interviewned and told her she could seat in front with everyone else! ha ha ha

Food: The food was not so great at Uncle Bo’s its average but nothing really stands out as delicious or memorable which you look for from a restaurant and keeps you coming back time and time again. Everything we ordered was very overly sweet including the Baby Back Ribs, Clams and Pork Kabobs. You can find a good assortment of pupu’s, pastas, pizzas, seafood & poltry entrees at Uncle Bo’s with a asian-pacific meets italian theme to it. We also ordered a “Crab  Salad with Avocado” but where disappointed when it only had 3 small little pieces of crab a few pieces of avocado and the rest was all ham and a traditional cob salad. It was very boring and miss marketed for sure. The best thing we ordered was the Spicy Tuna Wraps, they where creamy and very tastily but not even remotely spicy.  

Favorite Dishes: Spicy Tuna Wraps

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Uncle Bo’s is nice. The restaurant has high ceilings and interesting artwork. The restaurant used to be Anti pastas so one wall has some interesting stanglass windows with garlic and other italian themed pictures covering it. The feel is trendy especially with the dark walls, floor and hanging chains. The front of the restaurant is lovely, however, the back of the restaurant has a completely different ambiance with low ceilings and rather dark / constricted. Our recommendation is to make a reservation and request the front seating area or go another time. The bar only has about 4-5 stools so its more of a place to mingle while waiting for a table than to grab a quick bite.

Consistency: We go to Uncle Bo’s every once and a while but it has been about a year since the last time we went. We are not particular impressed any time we have been with the food but it was convenient with the kapahulu location and late hours to grab pupus with friends, however, now that the new Side Street opened down the street i’m sure we will not be back to Uncle Bo’s for a good  long while (the pork chop at side street is to die for!).

Parking: Uncle Bo’s does not have free parking but there is a small private parking lot right next to the restaurant which costs $5 or you can find metered street parking which is free after 6pm and usually pretty easy to come by at night. If you have troubles across the street is another paid parking lot with ample spots as well.

Price Range: Medium ($12-$27) per Entree
Corkage Fee $10 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
559 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 735-8311
Website: http://www.unclebosrestaurant.com

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Sunday: Dinner – 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

uncle bo's crab and avocado salad

Crab & Avocado Salad

Uncle Bo's clams restaurant review

Clams

Uncle bo's ahi bites

Spicy Ahi Wrap

uncle bo's baby back ribs

Baby Back Ribs

uncle bo's kebabs

Pork Kebabs

uncle bo's restaurant

Decor

 

Sushi Sasabune

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service is exceptional at Sushi Sasabune on King Street. The waiters are veterans and always remember the guests who keep on coming back. They are friendly, knowledgeable, polite and quick which is all you can ever ask of a good restaurant.

Food: The food is to die for! the key phrase is “Trust Me” at Sushi Sasabune because you don’t order par-say but rather the chef brings you select items which are the freshest and most delicious he has to offer, dish by dish until you are full. If you are a regular you can also request different dishes (on his tasting menu) but you have to eat a few times to get aquatinted with the food enough to do be able to ask for them by name. The sushi is so fresh it melts in your mouth and is presented on top of warm sushi rice giving it a unique and memorable taste. Each bite is a true celebration. Enjoy!! 

Favorite Dishes: Blue crab hand roll, the squid stuffed with blue crab, the scallop and salmon duo, everything!

Atmosphere: The ambiance is very nice at Sasabune. The restaurant is small and quaint with a sushi bar and about 5-8 tables. The decor is very clean yet trendy for a Japanese restaurant and showcases a few beautiful pieces of artwork and black, red and gold color scheme.

Consistency: Each time you go to Sasabune you can feel secure that it will fantastic. The consistency is top notch and we have never had a dish that wasn’t superb or fishy fish.

Parking: Sushi Sasabune has a small parking lot out back that may be shared with some other restaurants in the area but typically you can always find a spot. If not and its not during rush hour you can find parking on king street.

Price Range: High – Dinner about $125 per Person
Corkage Fee $15 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Not Available

Address:
1417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814 ‎
Tel: (808) 947-3800

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sat: 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Tue-Fri: 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Sushi Sasabune - squid stuffed crab

Squid Stuffed Blue Crab

sushi sasabune restaurant review hawaii

Scallop & Kelp Salmon

sasabune review

Unagi & Tamago

sushi sasabune restaurant review

Lobster

Sushi Sasabune hawaii

Tuna Duo

Trust Me Hawaii

Sushi Master

Covert Ultimate Cheeseburger

Serves: 4 People
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients
Meat Mixture:
1.5 lb of Lean Ground Beef Sirloin
½ Small White Sweet Onion, Small Diced
½ Cup of Cilantro, Chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoon of Oyster Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
2 Teaspoon of Aloha Soy Sauce (Low Sodium)
2 Teaspoon of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Garlic Salt
Cheddar Cheese, 4 Slices (or favorite cheese)
1 package of Hamburger Buns, Whole Wheat

Condiments: (Recommended but Optional)
1 Avocado, Sliced
1 Tomato, Washed and sliced
1 Small Red Onion, Sliced
4 lettuce Leafs

Directions:
Preheat Grill. Combined all the meat ingredients into a bowl and mix with your hands until ingredients are evening blended together. Divide the meat into four equal parts and form patties with your hands. Place each patty onto the grill and cook to desired temperature (it’s recommended to cook meat all the way through). Meanwhile wash and slice your favorite condiments such as avocado, tomato and red onion and set them aside. Place the slice cheese on top of each patty about 2 minutes before they are cooked while also placing the buns on top of the grill to heat up the bread. Compile burger and enjoy with potato chips and salad.

Ultimate Covert Hamburger recipe

View Other Hawaii Private Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

JJ Bistro & French Pastry

Overall Review: Cork

Service: The service was less than impressive at JJ Bistro on Waialae Ave. The restaurant is family owned and the staff was friendly but very slow to take our order or bring us food. In fact, the items we ordered trickled in one at a time which was strange especially when you want to eat at the same time i.e. appetizers and then entrees together, as a table.

Food: wow the food was bad at JJ’s and overall very lack luster. Everything was eatable but we only ate it because where so hungry…. practically starving! We started with the Kang Lao soup which was in a beautiful bowl but very watery and needed a bit more thickness or flavor to it, followed by the pizza which was so oily the whole bottom of the plate was covered in it. The pizza tasted ok but nothing better than we could have ordered from Dominos! The next dish we received was the vegetarian quiche which was by far the most disappointing dish specially for a french bistro! I mean how hard is it to make a quiche? it was just terrible. The last dish we received was the baked opakapaka and although it wasn’t fishy the sauce was extremely watery and had a strange flavor. We def wouldn’t return to JJ’s unless we where sticking to desserts because they looked pretty good. 

Favorite Dishes: None….. 🙁 bummer

Atmosphere: Ummm the atmosphere was very strange at JJ’s. The artwork is a mix match of all kinds of stuff and really quirky overall. Also the walls where really dirty which was a bit gross to look at while trying to enjoy your meal.

Consistency: It was the first time we have been and most likely the last! we went because we had a Groupon and thought it would be fun to give it a try but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Parking: JJ Bistro has a small parking lot behind the restaurant with some stalls for guests. On the weekend you can also park in the other retailers space because they are closed for the weekend. Besides the parking lot you can try to find street parking which is metered.

Price Range: Low ($5-$9.95) per Entree (Prix menu – $24.70)
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
JJ French Pastry
3447 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808)739-0993
Email: JJFrenchPastry@Gmail.com
Website: http://jjfrenchpastry.com

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday 9am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday 9am – 9:30pm
Sunday: 12:00pm – 8:00pm

JJ Bistro & French Pastry restaurant review quiche

Vegetarian Quiche

JJ Bistro & French Pastry restaurant review

Baked Opakapaka

JJ Bistro & French Pastry pizza

Chicken Pizza

 

Café Kaila

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service was good at Cafe Kaila in the Market City Shopping Center. The place was totally packed for lunch and we had to wait for a table / counter space to free up but the staff was very nice and extremely accommodating. They went above and beyond to make sure the got my wife’s custom order right which was really great. They also brought out waffle samples to the hungry and waiting customers out side the store which where delicious and crispy.

Food: The food was really good at Cafe Kaila! They serve breakfast all day which is always a winner and lunch starting at 11am. Items you can expect to find on the menu include fluffy omelets, egg scrambles, waffles, pancakes, salads, sandwiches, soups, pastas and some other lovely entree’s. The food was very fresh and tasted great. 

Favorite Dishes: Egg white omelet with smoked salmon, onion, capers and cream cheese (ask for the Lox Scramble as an egg white omelet and add the cheese), Lox Scramble also good, and the chicken avocado salad was great.

Atmosphere: Cafe Kaila is lovely inside. It’s a very quant restaurant with a light wood and a pleasant ambiance. The artwork is of french & italian paintings of scenic sites and nature. Overall the atmosphere is very nice and since the establishment isn’t to large its not very loud even when every table & counter space seat is filled. The restaurant is very popular so be prepared to wait 20 minutes for a table if you go during the high peek lunch hour or early for breakfast…

Consistency: Every time we have been so far it has been consistently delicious AND great service! we feel very good about this restaurants prospects 🙂 and come on who doesn’t love breakfast all day? or at least until 3pm!

Parking: Cafe Kaila is located in the Market City Shopping Center on Kapiolani blvd (at the end) in the same area as the Foodland and next to the Fun Factory. The shopping area has limited parking which is shared with all the stores / restaurants but if you are patient or lucky you can always find a spot unless you go on a weekend in which case it can be more challenging.

Price Range: ($-$) per Entree
Corkage $5 per a Bottle
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
Market City Shopping Ctr
2919 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 732-3330

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sun 7 am – 3 pm

Cafe Kaila chicken and avocado salad

Chicken & Avocado Salad

Cafe Kaila egg white

Lox Scramble as Omelet

Cafe Kaila soup

Daily Soup

 

Home Bar & Grill

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was good at Home Bar & Grill on Kalakaua ave. Both our servers where really nice, cute and really stayed on top of our groups service. Often times with a large group the service can be slow or some people’s dishes / drinks are not right but this was not the case with Home Bar & Grill which was just great.

Food: The food at Home Bar & Grill is typical bar local style cuisine. Items you can expect to find on the menu include grilled meats, fries, poke, kim chee, salads, loco moco, burgers, seafood and even chicken gizzards. The menu also includes a Home Bar & Grill Burger Challenge featuring three 8oz kulana burger patties with cheese, bacon, sauteed onions, mushrooms, fried egg and a pound of fries. If you can finish it in 15 minutes you get it for FREE. Its a fun local spot with good bar food variety and flavor-full food. 

Favorite Dishes: Pork Chop, Parmesan Truffle Fries, Garlic Soy Beans (edamame), and the tater tot nachos.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is the old Slammers and they didn’t really do much to change the inside of the restaurant. It’s kind of run down looking with miss matched chairs and tables. The ambiance is dark and is the type of place you would meet some friends late night for grindz or maybe even a secret lover! haha

Consistency: This was the first time we went but will update this section next time. We do have some friends who say its consistently good for drinks and pupu’s after work though!

Parking: They have a valet parking private lot out front with a few limited spaces….or you can try to find street parking but be careful late at night because the area is a bit ghetto after dark.

Price Range: L0w ($9-$26) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
1683 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 942-2237

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sun: Dinner & Pupu’s 2 p..m – 2 a.m.

Home Bar & Grill

Rib Eye

Home Bar & Grill pork chop

Pork Chop

home bar and grill restaurant review

Truffle Fries

Champa Thai

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The staff sooooo nice and they feel like family since we used to go at least once a week (although in the past year have gone less and less). Often times its very busy and takes a while to order and get a bottle opener (HINT: bring your own or buy a screw top wine).

Food: The food has traditionally been always excellent, however the past few times we have been for both lunch and dinner the food was not as good. It must be related to the chef for the day…… The menu has transitional Thai favorites like spring rolls, curries, noddles and so forth. Be warned they use MSG in the food so if your allergic tell them when you order to leave it out. The food is so good you really won’t even notice a difference.

Favorite Dishes: Pad Seiew Chicken, Thai Beef Salad, Chicken Larb, Green Papaya Salad, Tum Yum (perfect for a cold),  All Curry with Fresh Fish is a sure thing!

Atmosphere: It’s a good place to bring a date or go with friends. It’s very casual, quaint, quiet (no loud music), nice art, and an overall lovely little restaurant.

Consistency: Out of the 5 years I have been going to the Waialae restaurant only 2 visits have not been consistently fantastic until just recently the past 3-4 times we have gone its been less than delicious so we moved this rating from 5 corks down to 4 (but maybe should go to 3 even). I would still recommend this restaurant but hopefully they haven’t changed all the chefs because it always used to be fantastic. Only thing we can say is each chef has their own “style” but for the most part it has been consistently good over the past half decade.

Parking: As far as parking goes there are 3 itty bitty little free spots behind the restaurant but you can always park on the street, the bank across the street or take the bus :)… this place is so good it’s worth walking!!

Price Range: Low-Medium ($8-$20) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!

Reservations Accepted & Recommended Only For Large Parties (+6 or more)
Take Out Available

Address:
Champa Thai Restaurants
2452 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
Ph: (808) 732-0054
http://www.champathai.com/

Take-Out and Reservations:
At Pearl Kai Center –(808) 488-2881
At Waialae Ave. — (808) 732-0054 At Kailua– (808) 263-8281

Hours of Operation
Monday – Saturday • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm • 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sunday • 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Link To Website: http://www.champathai.com/

Champa Thai restaurant review

Green Curry

Champa Thai papaya salad

Green Papaya Salad

champa thai restaurant review hawaii

Sweet Chili Fish

Blue Water Grill

Overall Review: Cork

Service: Yikes…. the service was terrible at Blue Water Grill in Hawaii Kai. The evening started out with us calling and booking a reservation at 7:30pm that night. When we arrived we where informed that it would still be at least 30 minutes before we could be seated. I inquired why they didn’t tell us to come at 8pm if there where busy and the hostess was frazzled and didn’t really have an answer… hummmm get it together guys! Then once we where finally seated an hour later not only was the restaurant empty (like tables everywhere) but our waiter was less than impressive and kept forgetting things or was MIA for most of the evening.

Food: The disappointments kept on coming when we received our food. By the time we where seated both the local fresh fishes dishes they where out of as well as the lamb. They blamed all the issues on the Groupon deal they did but we felt that they should have been more “on their game” knowing that their deal was expiring July 4th and that MAYBE this weekend people would come and use the GC before it expired!! The food was lack luster, under seasoned and overall pretty bad. The salmon came with mushy and overcooked rice, the ribs where dry and served over a watery slaw which made all the french fries wet, the Filet Mignon was cut into two thine pieces of meat (not a thick piece like it should be) and even our friends hamburger which is impossible to screw up wasn’t so great. 

Favorite Dishes: Seafood-Artichoke Dip, and our drinks.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is the best thing going for the Blue Water Grill. The restaurant is overlooking the water / harbor of Hawaii Kai and has a beautiful view. The is an ideal place to go for drinks and to watch the sunset. The decor is warm inside with high ceilings and light wood floor and fixtures.

Consistency: We have only been once so far and will never go again. If we do for some strange reason we promise to update this section.

Parking: Blue Water Grill has free parking out front if you are lucky enough to find a spot. The parking lot is in the Hawaii Kai shopping center and is shared with all the other restaurants & vendors including Safeway, The Shack and many others.

Price Range: High ($20-$30) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted (but even if you have one you may still have to wait!)
Take Out Available

Address:
377 Keahole St
Honolulu, HI 96805
Tel: (808) 395-6224
Website:
www.bluwatergrillhawaii.com

Hours of Operation:
Lunch & Dinner:
Mon-Thu: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Happy Hour – Monday to Fridays 3:00-6:00 p.m. daily.

 

Blue grill restaurant review

Seafood-Artichoke Dip

Blue grill mango-guava baby back ribs

Baby Back Ribs

blue grill hawaii kai salmon

Salmon

 

Yakiniku Hiroshi

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service was absolutely top notch at Yakiniku Hiroshi in Waikiki. They had about one server / table back per a table and it made a huge difference in the overall dinning experience. We didn’t have to wait even one minute for a refresh of our water/tea or to add other items to our order.  They also quickly removed old plates which is always appreciated.

Food: The menu at Yakiniku Hiroshi comprises of a large variety of meats, seafood, noodles and a terrific assortment of vegetables. One of the best things about this restaurant is they have a very high standard of meat and only accept the top 1% of USDA graded beef. The best selections on the menu are Gold & Platinum grades of Wayu Beef raised in Idaho and known as some of the best high quality American Kobe Style beef available.  The vegetable side dishes that came with the sample menu (for 2 people) where delicious and included choy sum, kim chee, diakon kim chee, bean sprouts, roasted garlic, rice, seaweed, and even a side salad. The food is good but its also very expensive for the amount of food you get for each dish so we recommending going with a big group so you can afford to try lots of items on the menu. They also have an excellent wine list with over 200 selections!
Download Yakiniku Hiroshi Menu

Favorite Dishes: The Smaller Premium Sampler which was $45 per a person was great and if you prefer they will substitute the beef tongue for another meat variety fresh that day (we got a thinly sliced pork which was very yummy).

Atmosphere: The ambiance was very nice at this establishment and they two seating areas downstairs (5 tables) and upstairs (10 tables). The tables are very clean and new-age for Yakninku and utilize a charcoal burning brazier which is smokeless and really enjoyable. The only thing we where not to keen on was the music which was very poppy and didn’t really mesh with the relaxing atmosphere.

Consistency: We have only been once so far but would like to visit again soon.

Parking: Yakiniku Hiroshi offers validated parking for 3 hours at the Waikiki Trade Center which is one block away from the restaurant.

Price Range: Medium-High ($10.50-$65) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Not Available

Address:
339 Royal Hawaiian Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Tel: (808) 923-0060
Website:
http://www.yakinikuhiroshi.net/flash.htm

Hours of Operation:
Open Daily for Dinner: 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.

 

Yakiniku Hiroshi honolulu restaurant review

Premium Package

Yakiniku Hiroshi Korean BBQ

Vegetable Sides

Waikiki Japanese BBQ restaurant

BBQ Pork

 

Green Chili Cheesy Pig’s in a Blanket

Serves: Makes 48 Pieces
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:
14 oz Hillshire Farm Little Smokie’s
2, 8 oz Cans of Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 Cup Pre-shredded Cheddar Cheese
4 oz Green Chili’s, Diced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°, Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll cans of the dough; separate into 16 triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles. Place ½ teaspoon of chilies on top of the each individual piece followed by ½ a teaspoon of shredded cheese. Now add one Smokie link to each piece of dough toward the end and roll until the dough is completely wrapped snuggly around each smokie. Place the finished pigs in a blanket onto the cooking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve a party appetizer at your next BBQ for a sure fire crowed pleasure.

pigs in blankets recipe

View Other Oahu Private Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Yanagi Sushi

Overall Review: CorkCork

Service: The staff was nice but not exactly helpful or very fast. In fact, it took over 20 minutes to get our credit card back which felt really strange when we paid. They did fill our water glasses quickly and clear old dishes but it wasn’t like they interacted with us. Typically if you notice a guest didnt eat more than one bit of a dish you would ask if they wanted something else of if anything was wrong with it. They just took it away and brought the check!

Food: The food was very disappointing at Yanagi Sushi on Kapiolani blvd. This restaurant has been a stapil in Honolulu for years and has always had good Japanese food in the past. However, its been at least 5 years since we have been last and the food has really suffered during that time. Out of the 4 items we ordered only one was good or even eatable. The Pork Cutlet (Tonkatsu) was really chewy and cut into super large pieces making it very hard to eat. The shrimp tempura had a tiny thing little shrimp inside and so much batter on its all you could taste. Finally the chicken teriyaki was covered in fat and really grimly tasting. The only thing we even could eat was the butterfish (which was good) and the miso soup. Even the end of the experience was a bummer because the ice cream was very icy and overly sweet. 

Favorite Dishes: Butterfish Miso-yaki and Miso Soup

Atmosphere: The ambiance is nice inside Yanagi Sushi but it is in need of a facelift. The tables are super old and the floor has seen better days. With a little work this place to be polished again. One nice attribute is that the walls showcase famous visitors and friends of the owners and make the restaurant quaint and have a unique family feel.

Consistency: About 15 years ago this was a consistently good restaurant but after the experience we had today we wouldn’t go back for Japanese food ever. There are so many great restaurants like Imanas or Sushi ii you can go for the same price if not cheaper than Yanagi Sushi to have a delicious Japanese feast.

Parking: Yanagi Sushi has valet parking out front which is convenient. All you need to do is pull up, pass over your keys and tip the boys a few dollars when you leave and you are all set!

Price Range: Medium-High ($8.95-$37.50) per Entree or Combo
Corkage Fee $15 per Bottle of Wine or Sake
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
762 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 597-1525
Website: /
http://www.yanagisushi-hawaii.com

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: 11a.m. – 2p.m.
Dinner: Monday – Saturday: 5:30p.m. – 2p.m. Sunday: 5:30p.m. – 10p.m.

Yanagi Sushi restaurant review

Combo Plate

Yanagi Sushi Butterfish Review

Butterfish Miso-yaki

Yanagi Sushi pickles

Pickles

 

Roy’s

Overall: corkage corkagecorkage corkage corkage

Service: The service is top notch at Roy’s. From the moment you arrive till your exit from the restaurant you are treated as a prince / princess. The waiters are attentive, courteous, and extremely professional at this 5 start dinning establishment.

Food: The food is modern asian pacific cuisine and items you can expect to find on the menu are Sushi, Salads, Seafood, Meats and of course desserts. The fresh fish is sensational and truly captivates the essence of the islands. The meats are also very tender and the short ribs just fall off the bone. There hasn’t been anything we have tried on the menu that we sent back or didn’t think was terrific. Another nice touch is instead of giving you a big basket of bread to start  you receive a bowl of well seasoned edamame which is a nice light start to your decadent meal.

Favorite Dishes: Beef Carpaccio, Baby Back Ribs, Salads, Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish (OMG delicious!!), Short Ribs (Fantastic!), Chocolate Soufflé, and Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Roy’s in Waikiki is stunning. Both the inside and outside seating area’s are and tropical feeling. The art is also asian influenced which ties into the dinning experience very well. The inside area is rather large but has good acoustics. The only negative thing the restaurant was freezing cold. The outside is much more casual feeling and also has a bar which is perfect for some pupu’s or drinks while enjoying Waikiki.The Hawaii Kai location is in Hawaii Kai and has a similar decor. The restaurant is located upstairs and is also lovely.

Consistency: The consistency at Roy’s is fantastic. Each time you come you can be sure to have a delicious dish with the same amount of food, seasoning and taste as you remembered it.

Parking: Roy’s has validated parking at the hotel around the corner on Beach Walk at the Embassy suites for $6 for 4 hours (you can forget about finding street parking! don’t even try… its not happening). At the Hawaii Kai flagship location you can park for free at that Hawaii Kai Towne Center.

Price Range: High ($24-$33) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Take Out Available
Reservations Accepted & Recommended

Address
Roy’s – Honolulu (Hawaii Kai)
6600 Kalanianaole Highway
Honolulu, HI 96825
Tel: (808) 396-7697

Roy’s – Waikiki Beach
226 Lewers Street
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 923-7697
Website: http://www.roysrestaurant.com/

Hours of Operation:

Hawaii Kai: Dinner Only
Mon – Thu: 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Fri: 5:30 p.m – 10 p.m.; Sat: 5 p.m – 10 p.m.; Sun: 5 p.m – 9:30 p.m.

Waikiki Location: Lunch & Dinner
Daily: 10:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish Roys Waikiki Restaurant Review

Misoyaki Butterfish

Opah From Roy's in Waikiki Restaurant Review

Chinese Opah

Salad


Covert Affairs Private Chef Tasting Party

few weeks ago Covert Affairs private chef services in Hawaii had a small tasting for local estate managers, business owners, and event planners. The purpose of the tasting was to showcase some of Chef Ryan’s new cuisines and also allow the guests to experience his culinary expertise and be able to knowingly endorse his company to their elite cliental. The event took place a clients home overlooking the ocean and was the perfect setting for networking and to relax with good food while enjoying a beautiful Oahu summer sunset.

The Tasting Menu Included…..

Lemon Grass Shrimp

Lemon Grass Poached Shrimp with Wasabi Cocktail Sauce….

Asian Beef Empanada

Irresistible Asian Beef Empanadas….

Pork Bow Buns

Asian Braised Pork Bow Buns

Edamame Hummus Recipe

Edamame Hummus Pita Crisp

Watercress Salad

Watercress Salad with Thai Marinated Hikama, Asian Pear, Mango, Cherry Tomatoes, and Avocado with a Sesame Miso Vinaigrette…..

After the small bites and starters the guests enjoyed some wine and conversation while the main entree was platted. Chef Ryan’s selected a client favorite his Braised Short Ribs to top off the savory dishes.

Short Ribs

Falling Off The Bone Braised Short Ribs Over Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Edamame

Covert Affairs’s offers guests a dynamic a global celebration with a highlight on Asian-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines making him the private chef for any special event or theme dinner! To top off the evening Chef Ryan prepared guests a sampling of two desserts.

Black Rice Pudding

Black Coconut Rice Pudding….

panna cotta

Leche Panna Cotta, Guava Coolie & Blueberries

The event was a huge success and the guests enjoyed themselves thoroughly…. No one left without a full stomach and a ear to ear smile. Click here to read some of my client testimonials

Low Fat Turkey Chili

Serves: 6 People
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 pack (1.25lbs) Lean Ground Turkey, Foster Farms
1 medium size white onion, small diced
1 medium size green bell pepper, small diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 5 large cloves)
15-oz can of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15-oz can of light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15-oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
15-oz can of tomato sauce
6-oz can of tomato paste
2 (7-oz) cans of fire roasted diced mild green chilies
3 tablespoons Ketchup
1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
1-½ tablespoons Chili Powder
2-teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
Place a medium size stockpot over medium high heat, add and cook the ground turkey, onions, bell pepper and garlic together for 5 minutes. Once the turkey and vegetables have cooked, add in all other ingredients and reduce the heat to low and let the chili simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with brown rice, corn bread. For a festive approach to your family dinner make it a chili party by having a number of chili toppers, such as shredded cheese, chopped red onions, green onions, cilantro, tortilla chips, and sour cream. If you have chili leftovers it’s great in omelets too.

Low Fat Turkey Chili Recipe

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Luibueno’s

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service was a bit slow at Luibueno’s in Haleiwa but since the restaurant is in the North Shore  I guess its more normal and we should cut them a little slack. They are a bit less “rushed” on the country side of the island so I guess its to be expected. The staff was very nice / friendly  and they did get our order right. The only really strange thing was you have to wait outside of the restaurant to be seated which was a little awkward.

Food: The food was a traditional mix of Mexican & Spanish. The menu consists of a large variety of Paellas, Ceviche, Salads, Soups, Burritos, Quesadillas, Entrees and of course TACOS! The menu has lots of fresh fish and seafood items which is nice to see specially since we are in Hawaii. The beans and rice could have used a little seasoning but the seafood was very fresh and well worth the price! They also offer Benuo Happy Hour deals on drinks and a lite menu selection everyday between 3-5pm & 9:30-10:30pm so try it out after work!

Favorite Dishes: Fisherman’s Warf Tacos (without the white sauce) but we would recommend just ordering two taco’s ala cart instead of the plate because we where not to impressed with the rice & beans.

Atmosphere: We really enjoyed the atmosphere at Luibueno’s. It has a unique feel with wooden tables both facing the window on an upper level, interior seating on the lower level and bar seating. Each wall has very nice artwork and a good flow to the layout. The restaurant isn’t very big but they do a good job of positioning the tables so many people can be seated without feeling really crammed or like you are sitting on top of your neighbor. The high ceilings add a nice ambiance to the establishment and make it a pleasant place to have a drink or grab a bite with your friends or family.

Consistency: This was the first time we have been to Luibueno’s because we got a Living Social coupon but we will update this section next time we visit which we are sure to because the fish tacos where just delicious.

Parking: They have free parking at Luibeno’s outside in the Haleiwa town center shopping area.

Price Range: Medium ($10.50-$25.95 / Market Price) per Entree
Corkage Fee $10-$15 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Live Music Wednesday Night from 6-9pm.

Address:
In the Haleiwa Town Center
66-165 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, Hi 96712
Tel: (808) 637-7717
Website:
http://luibueno.com/

Hours of Operation:
7 days a week
11 am-12 am
Bueno Happy Hours
3-5pm & 9:30-10:30pm

luibenos restaurant review in north shore

Fisherman's Warf Tacos

luibuenos mexican restaurant

Decor

lubuenos bar in north shore

Bar

 

To Impress Pita Chips

Servings: 1 Pita (or 4 pieces) per personal

Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Pita Bread (one per person)
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper

Directions:
Brush the pita bread with olive oil and season with salt. Cut into 4-6 pieces and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min or desired crispness. Serve with Edamame Hummus or any other cheese spread.

Edamame Hummus Recipe

Papa John’s Pizza

Overall: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The services is great at Papa John’s. From the delivery boys to the pizza makers the team at Papa John’s do a good job specially for a fast food restaurant. In fact, we had a pretty bad experience with a new location and after writing to corporate was pleasantly surprised to receive 2 free large pizza cards in the mail – now thats good service!

Food: The pizza is good at at Papa John’s. From thin crust to regular the dough is not oily and the ingredients are fresh as promised. The chicken wings and other items are not as much of a slam dunk but if you are in the mood the honey Chipotle Wings are pretty tasty.

Favorite Dishes: Thin Crust Pizza with Chicken, Peppers, and Onion, Hawaiian Pizza

Atmosphere: Well since we NEVER eat at Papa John’s its really hard to say but I have been into a few locations and they are always clean which is a plus for the ambiance. Really its not a place you want to site and eat unless maybe its raining outside or if you are hungry after some drinks on your way home and itching for some slicest.

Consistency: The Kapiolani blvd location has always had the best and most consistent pizza in our option. After we moved to a new district we have struggled with pizza consistency and often times the wrong ingredients are on the pie or its cold when it arrives which never used to happen…. so i guess it depends on your location and the management!

Parking: Most Papa John’s locations have some designed spots for pickup or are in locations where they have ample parking so if you are swinging by after work don’t worry you should be in good shape no matter what.

Price Range: Medium-High ($16-$26.99) per Large Pizza (Papa Johns always has Daily Specials so Ask!)
Take Out Available
FREE DELIVERY

Address:
Papa John’s Store #1752
611 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 733-7272

Papa John’s Store #1751
1646 Kapiolani blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808)592-7272
website:
http://www.papajohns.com/index.html

Hours of Operation:
Open Daily 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Papa Johns restaurant review

Thin Crust Specialty Pizza

Candy Ginger & Apricot Cranberry Relish

Serves: 12-14 people as a condiment
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1-tablespoon olive oil
1 medium size onion, small diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 7oz pack Mediterranean apricots, small diced
3 tablespoons minced candy ginger
1 cup orange juice
2 15 oz cans whole cranberry sauce
¼ teaspoon Chinese 5 spice (optional)
½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 orange, zested

Directions:
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil, onions, garlic, kosher salt and cook for 5 minute or until the onions are soft and translucent. Meanwhile, chop the apricots and candy ginger into small pieces and place into the saucepan, add orange juice. Cook the mixture until the juice is adsorbed completely into the mixture (about 5 more minutes). Once the orange juice is cooked down add in Chinese 5 spice and cranberry sauce. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl and let cool down. Once the cranberry sauce is cool to the touch, add in chopped cilantro and orange zest. Great for the holiday – serve with Turkey, Chicken, or Lamb.

Cranberry Relish Recipe

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SARENTO’S – At The Top Of The Ilikai

Overall Review: CorkCork

Service: The services started off really good at Sarento’s at the top of the Iliaki hotel with the wine sommelier who came right with our bred and wine list…. but after that it was down hill.  At first we thought they where trying to give us a “relaxed” experience when we waiting for 10-15 minutes before even receiving a menu but then once the meal started the same service inadequacies carried through. After we ate our entrees it took at least 20 minutes for them to clear our plates and even longer to receive a check which we eventually had to asked 3 different waiters for because we needed to get to a show on time and our waiter was MIA.

Food: The food was very disappointing at Sarento’s! The menu looked really good but only 1 of the 4 things we ordered was very good. The menu is traditional Italian with lots of protein entrees and pastas but nothing was particularity mouth watering in fact, the seafood fra diavolio linguine pasta was a bit overcooked and the seafood it came with was pretty fishy. The stuffed pork chop was extremely dry (and it was stuffed with cheese so you would hope it would have a little moisture) and the best thing about ordering that dish was they brought my wife extra veggies on the side because she didn’t want the potatoes and they where really well cooked. Overall we ate the food because it was expensive and we where hungry but I would have been more satisfied eating at California Pizza Kitchen any day of the week. Another thing we feel compelled to mention is this pupu called the Ossa Bucco Potstickers which had a really strange and bitter taste & even worst aftertaste… we only ate the filling so stay far away from that if you go!

Favorite Dishes: The best thing we had besides the bread & hummus they served on the table was the Ahi Bruchetta which was very fresh and with a little salt quite memorable, light and delicious.

Atmosphere: The ambiance is the best thing going for Sarento’s and it has an unbeatable view over the ocean, diamond head and city of Honolulu. Each table has a unique view and really there is no bad seat in the establishment. One thing to mention is when we called to make our reservation they mentioned it was “Jazz night” and did we want to site in the Jazz section for an extra $10 cover charge. We declined the offer and then when we  were seated found ourselves smack dab right behind the wall where the Jazz was playing. The band was very talented but the music was so loud we had to scream to each other across the table! they should either start the live band after 9pm or keep it a bit down so its still background music for the guests (specially if you ask not to be in what they call the “Jazz Section”).

Consistency: I would love to say we would be back to update this section but you couldn’t pay me enough money to give Sarento’s another shot in the near future. Maybe in a few years we will give it another whirl!

Parking: Sarento’s has valet parking at the Ilikai which they validate for you so you only need to pay $2 (plus tip) or you can park in the self parking lot in the Marina Parking off Hobron also for $2 with validation.

Price Range: Medium-High ($20-$38 or Market Price) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
No Take Out Available

Live Music (Piano)

Address:
The Ilikai Hotel
1777 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
Tel: (808) 955-5559
Website:
http://www.tristarrestaurants.com/sarentos_top_of_i/

Hours of Operation:
Dinner Hours:
Sun – Thu 5:30pm – 9pm
Fri – Sat 5:30 – 9:30pm

Cocktails & Bar:
Sun – Thu 5pm – 11pm
Fri – Sat 5pm – 12am

Sarento's restaurant review hawaii

Ahi Bruchetta

sarento's at the ilikai hotel

Seafood Fra Diavolio

Stuffed Pork Chop

 

Sockeye

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintages: 2008

Country: Columbia Valley, Washington

Essence of: Notes of black cherries, plum, currant, cocoa and leather with lingering cedar notes. This full structured wine is supported by ripe tannins, providing a long and smooth finish.

Best Served With: Pepper Steak, Grilled Meat, Pasta and Pizza

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle

Sockeye Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Mai Tai’s Bar

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is hit or miss at Mai Tai’s Bar in the Ala Moana Shopping Center but typically (during the day and early evening) its pretty good. Only when it gets late at night does it get a bit harder to get good service as it gets so packed. That being said, more than one time has our pizza come out cold or later than all the other dishes but whenever you complain they always are quick to rectify the mistake by getting you a replacement item fired ASAP and then taking the dish off your bill which is really excellent service and absolutely does make you feel alot better about the whole situation. The reason we think is because they share a kitchen with Forest Gump so the waiters have to travel a farther distance between retrieving the food and servicing the guests.

Food: The food is good for typical bar food and they have a playful assortment of local favorites and standard bar items like seafood appetizers including popcorn & coconut shrimp, ceviche, ahi, sliders, salads, sandwiches , and great flatbread pizzas on the menu. For a great deal on drinks and pupu’s you have two chances for Happy Hour everyday from 4pm-7pm and then again from 8pm-11pm. Happy Hour deals include $4 Martinis, Wine, on the Rocks $3-$8 Pitchers of Beer and $5 select appetizers

Favorite Dishes: Flatbread Pizzas, Avocado Spring Rolls, Sliders, and Edamame

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Mai Tai’s is wonderful. They have the perfect outdoor but indoor seating and it really relaxing and a great place to enjoy the outdoors and beautiful Hawaii weather during the day and the night. The tables and decorations have a Tiki & Hawaiiana theme and the waitresses all sport matching aloha wear outfits which brings the whole ambiance of the restaurant up a notch.

Consistency: Mai Tai’s is pretty consistently good. As mentioned before they also have a tendency to bring out the food not completely hot so be prepared for that (and remember to send it back!). Other than that they have great food, a full bar and a consistently cool atmosphere to be enjoyed!

Parking: Mai Tai’s has lots of free parking because it is located on the top floor of the Ala Moana Shopping Center making this a great place to meet after-work or anytime for some drinks and pupu’s with friends.

Price Range: Low ($7-$12) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Live Local Music Twice A Day Every Day
4pm – 7pm & 9:30pm – 12:30am

Address:
1450 Ala Moana Blvd • Honolulu, HI 96814
4th Floor, Ocean Side
Tel: (808) 947-2900
Website: h
ttp://www.maitaibar.com/honolulu/about.php

Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
NFL Sundays 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Happy Hour Everyday: 4-7pm & 8pm -11pm

 

Mai Tai's restaurant in Ala Moana review

Garlic Edamame

BBQ chicken flat bread pizza from Mai Tai's in honolulu

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Outdoor bar in Ala Moana

Decor

 

Quick Corn Bread Flax Seed Oatmeal Waffles with Blue Agave Syrup

Serves: 4-5
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
16-ounce Marie Callender’s low fat original Corn bread mix
¼ cut whole ground Flax Seeds mill (“Bob’s” or self grounded)
½ cup Quaker Quick oats
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoon Vanilla
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 cup Water
Pam Cooking Spray

 

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Stir together well. Preheat a Belgian waffle iron, spray with Pam and add 5 ounces (a little more than ½ a cup) of the waffle mixture. Cook until golden brown. Serve with organic blue Agave sweetener and fresh berries. Or, for a sweeter option use your favorite syrup.

 

quick corn bread waffles with organge

Sushi ii

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service was slow at Sushi ii but only because it was completely packed full of people. They only had one waitress but she was very nice and full of smiles. We also appreciated that as soon as we where seated she alerted us we wouldn’t receive any food for at least 35 minutes regardless if we ordered sushi or hot items which was just fine with us but nice to hear so you are prepared all the same!

Food: The food was very good at Sushi ii. They have a full sushi bar as well as very interesting hot entree dishes like whole fried fresh fish (flounder, Moi or whatever is freshest), lots of protein & seafood items including lamb, scallops, shrimp, oysters, sashimi carpaccio, and soft shell crab, as well as salads and unique desserts. You should have no problem finding something you will love at this restaurant and each dish has a unique twist making it memorable. Do keep in mind that most dishes are fried so its not a place to go while on a diet.

Favorite Dishes: Fried Whole Moi (we ate everything but the spine bone!), Nori popovers with Furikake Butter (best popovers in town even over BLT and Mariposa they are interesting and unique), Ehu Carpaccio, Beet Salad, Mom’s Minoage (Shrimp wrapped in shoe thin potatoes and fried), Scallops, Sushi was also delicious. Banana dream pie dessert (light and fluffy) the only thing we didn’t like was the Soft Shell Crab as it was extremely overcooked… but seems like you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!

Atmosphere: We loved the ambiance at Sushi ii on Keeamoku street! The restaurant is very quaint and only has only about 6-7 tables inside in addition to the sushi bar. The walls are bright orange and it has good acoustics and although packed we where able to hear everyone at the table without yelling over loud music or neighbors conversations…..  it was very enjoyable!

Consistency: We have only been once so far but have many friends who swear by Sushi ii and just rave about its consistence. We promise to update this section next time we go which is sure to be soon!!

Parking: Sushi ii is located in the Samsung Plaza across the street from Walmart. They have free parking with validation. Otherwise you can usually find parking on the street or around the block next to Ross if they are completely full.

Price Range: ($8-$20) per Entree
Corkage Fee $5 per Glass (i.e. $5 for each person who is drinking)
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
Samsung Plaza
655 Keeaumoku St, Ste 109
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 942-5350

Hours of Operation:
Wed-Sat 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Wed-Sun 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Fried Fish from Suhi ii restaurant

Fried Moi

sushi ii restaurant review

Banana Dream Pie

Sushi ii hawaii mom's minoage

Mom's Minoage

 

Root Beer Can Chicken

Serves: 4 people

Cooking Time: 3 1/2 Hours

Ingredients:
1 (5-6 Pound) Whole Chicken
1 Can Root Beer
1 Gallon Size Heavy Duty Ziplock

Marinate
1 12 ounce Can Root Beer
½ Small White Sweet Onion, Chopped
½ Cup of Cilantro, (leaves and stems)
10 Cloves of Garlic
4 Tablespoons Ginger, Chopped
2 Tablespoon of Oyster Sauce
2 Teaspoon of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
¼ cup Toasted Sesame Seed Oil
½ Cup Hoisin Sauce
½ Cup Aloha Soy Sauce (Low Sodium)
1 ½ Tablespoons of Chinese 5 Spice

Directions:
Place all marinate ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Remove neck and giblets from cavity of chicken and rinse it with cold water to remove any extra blood from the chicken. Place the chicken into a gallon size ziplock bag and add the marinate making sure to reserve 1 cup for basting later during grilling process. Place chicken into a large bowl and put into the refrigerator for two hours, turning the bag over after the first hour has past to insure it’s well marinated. Preheat grill to medium heat only one side of the gill (for indirect grilling). Open a root beer can, dump out half the contents and lower the chicken on to the open can, so that the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its cavity. Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill, using the legs and beer can as a tripod to support the chicken on the grill and keep it stable. Cover and grill for 1 hour and 30 minutes, basting the chicken every 30 minutes with the remanding marinate. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken, and the internal temperature of the grill. A 5 lb chicken will usually take around 1 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into a meaty portion and registers 160°F – 165°F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, a way to tell if the chicken is done is to poke it deeply with a knife (the thigh is a good place to do this), if the juices run clear, not pink, the chicken is done. Once complete using tongs carefully lift the chicken with a metal spatula under the bottom of the root beer can and place it onto a tray. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Carefully lift the chicken off of the can. If it gets stuck, lay the chicken on its side, and pull out the can with tongs. Complete the meal with your favorite side dishes.

Root Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Cartlidge & Browne

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintages: 2008

Country: California, USA

Essence of: When I first open this wine I had aromas of dried strawberries and tons of alcohol, it was overwhelming. I took a sip and was disappointed. The tannins are very harsh and overpowered the fruit in the wine, not well balanced at first / Bits recommended to let this wine sit and breath for 15 to 20 min the flavors begin to settle down and the fruit comes into place. / Notes of cedar and bits of vanilla and spice come out once the alcohol subsides, but the tannins remain very apparent with a lingering long finish.

Best Served With: Gamey & Grilled Meats

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle

Cartidge and browne wine review

II Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was average at ll Lupino in Waikiki. Both times we went to this restaurant the staff was friendly but very slow to respond to our needs. For example the first time we went the waiter never came back to fill up our wine glasses and we also asked for another menu to order additional items and he forgot twice (was missing in action for most of the meal). The other time we requested Parmesan cheese and peppers for our pizza and waited for over 10 minutes for the items to arrive (by the time we had eaten half our entrees) and the excuse was “we had to grade fresh Parmesan for you” well if its an Italian restaurant we would recommend doing that each day since its pretty probable someone will want it! Overall don’t go to this establishment if you are in a rush or not willing to wait for food, drinks and everything else you may want.

Food: The food was good at II Lupino and is the new Italian restaurant from the chef / creator of  Wolfgang Steakhouse. The food was good but not each dish knocked our socks off by any means. The pasta was the most memorable of all the food and we can’t wait to go back and try some different ones from the menu. The salad was extremely boring and the first time we went we ordered the white pizza (with spinach and mushrooms)  which wasn’t our favorite, however, the last time we went our friend ordered one for the table and asked for them to drizzle some truffle oil over the top and it was 100% better. (NOTE: if you love prosciutto for $8 they will add fresh slices to any pizza).  They also have Happy Hour specials – Pizza’s for $10, Wine by the glass for $5, Beer $4 and snazzy cocktails for $7 between 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm daily so try it out after work for some Pau Hana with your friends.

Favorite Dishes: Prosciutto Panini (for lunch), White Pizza (ask for truffle oil!) Linguine alle Vongole with(Linguine with Clams) served with White Wine, Ravioli all’Anatra (Slow-cooked Duck Ravioli with a Duck Ragu and Parmesan cheese) Yummy! Our recommendation just stick to the Pastas and you can’t go wrong.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is very nice at II Lupino Italian Restaurant. They have both ample indoor and outdoor seating both are extremely nice and have a causal yet elegant decor. The outdoor seating is lovely because it overlooks the Royal Hawaiian Gardens which are beautiful. The color scheme of the restaurant is a stunning yellow and black with rock walls creating a truly memorable dinning experience.

Consistency: We have been twice so far and both times the pasta was delicious and the rest of the items where OK but certainly nothing to write home about. We haven’t been for breakfast or dinner thus far so will update this section after we experience it first hand.

Parking: The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center has a parking lot (for cars under 6.2 feet tall) and II Lupino validates  so the parking is free for 3 hours after you eat which is nice if you wish to do a little shopping or take a stroll in Waikiki while in town.

Price Range: Medium ($12-$38) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended For Dinner
Take Out Available

Happy Hour Deals!

Address:
Royal Hawaiian Ctr
2233 Kalakaua Ave
Ste 110, Bldg B, Level 1
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 922-3400
Website:
http://www.illupino.com

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Every Day, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Lunch: Every Day, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Dinner: Sunday – Thursday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Friday – Saturday: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Happy Hour: 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. daily

II Lupino Restaurant review honolulu Funghi Pizza II Lupino Restaurant in HonoluluLinguine alle Vongole II Lupino hawaiiDecor

 

Portuguese Sausage, Mushroom & Five Cheese Egg White Frittata

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
12 Large Eggs, Whites Only (3 eggs per person)
½ Small Red Onion, Diced
8 oz Package pre-shredded Kraft Italian style five-cheese blend
1 Package of Mushrooms, Sliced
1 Package of Portuguese Sausage (Hot, Medium or Mild Heat)
Pinch of Salt and Black Pepper
Nonstick Cooking Spray

Directions:
Preheat oven to bake at 400 degrees. Spray a 12-inch non-stick oven safe skillet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat pan over medium heat. Cut the Portuguese sausage into small pieces. Add the sausage to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. While cooking separate the egg whites from the yokes and discard the yokes. Place the egg whites into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and black pepper and whisk the egg whites together for 30 seconds or until foamy. Cut the onions and slice the mushrooms. After the Portuguese sausage is cooked blot away the excess oil on the pan with a paper towel. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook for a 1-2 minutes. Now add the egg whites to the skillet and place the cheese on top (do not stir the eggs). Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Complete the dish by divide the frittata among plates evenly. Serve with toasted English muffins or whole-wheat toast.

Portuguese Sausage, Mushroom & Five Cheese Egg White Frittata recipes

View Other Honolulu Private Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Tenyaku – Asian Yakiniku

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was good at Tenyaku but not refined. The restaurant was very new (only a few months old) so hopefully they will smooth out the rough edges. The staff was friendly and very attentive the only thing we had to wait for our drinks for quite a while and the waiter didn’t bring all our dinner items at the same time (i.e. he forgot about our rice which came with the meal and we had to bring it up to him after all the meats, fishes and other items arrived also at different times) which made it harder to enjoy everything together.

Food: The food was ok and they have typical Korean Yakiniku and Shabu-Shabu menu selections including some noodle and side dishes. Some items where pretty tasty but overall it lacked a little imagination and the wow factor that makes you want to return to a restaurant time and time again. One of the things we look for with a great Korean restaurants are vegetable/kimchi sides are very dynamic and tie the Yakiniku together. The sides where one of the best things on the menu, however, they only had three and it was kind of boring for the price tag attached to Korean BBQ meats. The bibimbap was also ok and did get nice and crunchy on the bottom but needed salt and some more pizazz overall. The best thing we had was the meat and they did cook ours in the back instead of making us do the Yakinkiu ourselves which is a nice option if you are not in the mood to BBQ yourself! so our advice is if you try this establishment go for Happy Hour either from 11am-3pm, 5pm-6:30pm, & 9pm-last call and get the 20% OFF meat options and keep it simple (TIP: Don’t order the set menu for two people…. its a better deal to order off the menu and we only really liked 2 items we received)

Favorite Dishes: The Premium Kalbi & Kone Kalbi Short-Rib meat and Tofu soup where the best dishes. The vegetable side dishes were also good but they only had 3 dishes (Fish cake, Kimchi and Bean Sprouts) which is less than many other of the best Korean restaurants in town which offer 5+.

Atmosphere: The restaurant was very clean and well taken care of which was great. The owner was also present which added to the ambiance and she even came over to ask us how our experience was going and thank us for coming. Tenyaku has a large inside with at least 20-25 tables. They also had a sushi bar so if you want to eat alone or not have Yakinku its a great option. The inside didnt have any memorable artwork or decor but cleanliness is always a very good asset.

Consistency: We have only been once (and went because we got a Groupon) and to be quite honest don’t think we will try again. However, if we do go with some friends we promise to update this section and hopefully with some great news as we know what to order and what to stir clear from.

Parking: Tenyaku Restaurant is located on Keeamoku and has about 8-10 free parking spots in front of the restaurant which is great but also share with the bar “Champions”located  next door. TIP – if you are planning to go for an early bird dinner and catch Happy Hour Tenyaku opens at 5pm so Champions is a good place to pop in for a drink while you wait (and you can park in the same lot!)

Price Range: High-Medium ($19.59-$39.50) per Yakiniku Entree (Sides / Other Entrees $6.50-$20)
Corkage Fee $10 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Not Available

Happy Hour Specials!

Address:
Tenyaku
1108 Keeaumoku St
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 593-8281.
Website: /
http://tenyakuhawaii.com/index.htm
Visit Website for a 10% OFF Coupon!

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Saturday: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Happy Hours: 11am-3pm, 5pm-6:30pm, & 9pm-Last Call

Tenyaku restaurant in hawaii review

Kimchi - Vegetables

Tenyaku keeamuku

Bibimbap

Tenayku shabu-shabu

Kalbi

Giovanni Pastrami

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is good at Giovanni Pastrami in Waikiki. The bar has very friendly and attentive bartenders/waitstaff are full of smiles and very attentive to your needs. They can also mix up a mean cocktail!

Food: Giovanni Pastrami’s menu consists of hot and cold deli sandwiches which are delicious, pizzas, appetizers, pastas, soups, salads, burgers, hot dogs and typical bar food. Another great appeal is that they server breakfast all day until closing at midnight which is always a winner if you are itching for some eggs and bacon. The food is ok for bar food and a perk is that they have a fantastic Happy Hour with free cheese pizza with any alcohol purchase between 3-5pm, $5 appetizers and deals on drinks ($3-4 beers, $4 well drinks, $1 off wine).

Favorite Dishes: Reuben Bites (with pastrami), Sliders, Fries, Rueben Sandwich (with corn beef!) and Pizza

Atmosphere: The ambiance is that of a sports bar. They have both table seating and bar seating but both are completely surrounded by flat screen TV’s on all the walls which are really distracting if you are trying to eat but perfect for this type of establishment where everyone has their eyes peeled to a sports game of some sort.

Consistency: Giovanni is consistently average. It’s the type of place you go to for a happy hour drink or to valet your car and grab a quick validation to go somewhere else for dinner in Waikiki. Its absolutely consistently great for a drink!

Parking: One of the very best things about Giovanni Pastrami is that they have valet parking at the Wyndham hotel right next to the bar. After 6pm its $6 to park for 4 hours but after that jumps up to $3 per a half hour so be careful or you can quickly run up a huge bill. Before 6pm you can park for $3 for a flat rate all day. . 

Price Range: Medium ($13.95-$27) per Entree
No BYOB
Reservations Accepted But Not Required
Take Out Available
Happy Hour Deals!

Address:
227 Lewers St
Ste 118
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 923-2100
Website: www.giovannipastrami.com

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sun: 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Happy Hour Deals: Mon-Fri 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Giovanni pastrami restaurant review

Rueben Bites

Sports bar restaurant review

Rueben Sandwhich

Giovanni Pastrami outdoor

Entrance

Berry & Apricot Easter Cereal Treats

Serves: 10-12 people
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1:15 minutes

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Butter
1 (10.5 ounce) Package Miniature Marshmallows
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (12oz) Box Special K Red Berry Cereal
1/2 cup Dried Blueberries
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1 pack (6oz) Dried Apricots
Optional: Themed Easter Cookie Cutters

Directions:
Grease a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray. Chop the apricots into small pieces and set aside. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine butter, vanilla extract and marshmallows. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to stir the mixture every 30 seconds until smooth. Remove the mixture from the microwave and add and the cereal, blueberries, cranberries and apricots. Stir well. Pour the mixture into the cooking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and press contents evenly into pan with your fingers or a spoon (to create the hard bar texture). Let the treats cool for about 1 hours until the mixture is firm to touch. Cut into squares or for a festive look use decorated Easter themed cookie cutters to make bunny or egg shape treats.

Berry & Apricot Easter Cereal Treats Recipe

View Other Hawaii Private Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Golden Duck

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is really good at Golden Duck Chinese restaurant in Kahala. The food comes out of the kitchen lightning fast so if you where planning a leisurely meal don’t order everything at once. The staff is very friendly,  attentive and make you feel welcome.

Food: The food is good at Golden Duck. If you enjoy fresh seafood then we definitely recommend going to this Chinese restaurant because its taste and its cheap at only $13.95 for live lobster and $20.95 for live crab! The other items are OK but don’t stand out like the crab and lobster. Golden Duck has typical Chinese food including Peking Duck, Stir Fried Green Beans & Pork, Noodles, Soups, Vegetables, and most likely anything you are craving / classic favorites.

Favorite Dishes: Fresh lobster with black bean sauce, Fresh crab with ginger and onions, Choy Sum with oyster sauce, Fried string beans with pork (Tip: order rise instead of noodles they are a little oily and overcooked)

Atmosphere: The ambiance isn’t anything exciting. The restaurant is big and has plenty of seating for all size parties which is great. The decor is very clean feeling because the wall and furniture are both bone white but they do have some plants and artwork which brighten it up a bit.

Consistency: We have been twice so far and both times the fresh seafood was delicious! similarly the noodles dishes were not so great.

Parking: One of the best things about Golden Duck is that it has tons of free parking located in the back of the restaurant.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($11-$30) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
4230 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 737-7188

Hours of Operation:
Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner
Sun – Thu: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

golden duck chinese restaurant in kahala review

Lobster in Black Bean Sauce

golden duck restaurant review

Crab in Ginger Sauce

Golden duck soup

Sweet & Sour Soup

Grayson Cellars, Lot 10

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintages: 2009

Country: California, USA

Essence of: The 2009 Grayson Cabernet Sauvignon shows a dark violet color with deep, rich aromas of ripe, dark cherries, blackberries and hints of black pepper / This full bodied wine provides a round mouth feel with a long, lingering finish of hints of toasted French oak and a dry finish / I went through the whole bottle in one sitting, it’s THAT good. Really there many negative attributes for this wine and since its it’s only a 2009 vintage I wonder what it might be like in 2-3 years!

Best Served With: Grilled & Braised Meats, Tomato based Pastas and Pizza

Price Range: Under $12 per bottle 

Grayson Cellars wine review

Easter Sunday Stuffed Chicken Breast

Serves: 4 people
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
4 Skin on Boneless Chicken Breast
4 Tablespoons Premade Pesto
4 Slices Pre-Packed Prosciutto
4 Slices Swiss Cheese
Pinch of Salt & Pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°. Season each chicken breast with salt and pepper. Gently peal back the skin being very careful not to rip or tear it, and season underneath with salt and pepper. Next take 1 tablespoon of the premade pesto and smear it on top of each chicken breast (under the skin). Followed with a piece of prosciutto and a slice of Swiss cheese. Once complete, fold the skin back over the ingredients and place each breast onto the non-stick sheet pan. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked. Serve with pasta, salad, or any favorite side dish.

Easter Sunday Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe

View Other Honolulu Private Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Crunchy Asian Slaw

Serves: 6-8 people
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
Slaw

1 bunch watercress, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 head red cabbage, sliced thin
1 large carrot, Peel off skin, julienne fine
1 red bell pepper, julienne fine
1 Asian pear, peel off skin, julienne fine
1/2 bunch mint leaves, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Dressing
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Honey
3 tablespoon ginger, grated fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce

Directions:
Marinate chicken with 1 cup of sweet chili sauce and bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until done. Remove and chop up into strips and set aside for slaw. In a medium bowl, whisk together and set aside the rice vinegar, sesame oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, honey, lime and sriracha.
In a secondary larger bowl, mix the washed and chopped watercress, red cabbage, carrots, red bell peppers, Asian pear, mint, and cilantro. Just before serving add the chicken and toss with the dressing mixture and serve as a light lunch or crispy side dish.

Crunchy Chicken slaw recipe

View Other Honolulu Private Chef Ryan Covert’s Recipes Featured in KTA

Top 5 Tips For Planning Your Next Party!

Insider Tips for Hiring a Private Chef in Hawaii

1. Know Your Dinning Preference – The first step to having a great experience with a private chef in Hawaii is to understand what type of event you would like to have. This includes whether you not you would want to have a platted dinner, buffet style or only passed hor d’oeuvres. This effects the overall feel of the party and can set the tone for the event. Other preferences might include whether or not you would like to have a wine paring planned with your dinner or a themed party cocktail.

2. Know Your Budget – Understanding your budget is important and sharing this information with your chef is crucial to ensuring your experience is enjoyable and stress free. When deciding on your budget you should take into consideration the costs of labor, food, beverages, rental equipment (this includes flatware, tables, tents, glasses, linens, etc), and state taxes. Calculating costs can be done based on a “per-head” cost or based on your reallocated savings. Speak to your private chef about your needs up front will help you feel in control and make sure everyone is on the same page.

3. Pick A Theme – Picking a theme for your cuisine is key to having a cohesive party for your guests and setting your private chef on the right track. The theme should be consistent and can include menu, drinks,  decorations, and entertainment. Some great ideas for party themes are a Mexican Fiesta, Hawaiian Luau, A Night In Paris, Swedish Midsummer, Italian Pasta & Pizza Party, Soul Food Slam, All-American BBQ, Chinese New Year, Easter Brunch, or even a group cooking class.

4. Pick The Right Time – Depending on your theme and dinning preference picking the right time for your event can make a huge difference for your guests and your overall experience. If you are having a Pupu party you should plan the guests to arrive 30-40 minutes before the sun sets so they have time to enjoy the scenery but not so early that its blazing hot and the food integrity may be compromised. Similarly if you are hosting a baby shower luncheon you should plan for your guests to arrive at 11:30am and end at 1:30pm. Picking the right time is important to discuss with your private chef so they can plan for staffing and make sure all the food & tables are set up and ready to go before the first guests arrive.

5. Schedule A Face-To-Face Meeting – Finally schedule a face-to-face meeting with your private chef at your home so you can walk through the kitchen and your floor plans so the chef can get a first hand glimmer of your expectations and you can overcome any objections that may arise before the big day. Objections may include if you need rental equipment, extra power cords, where you want to set up the bartender, how many guests you want to have and the seating arrangements. Finally your private chef will want to view the kitchen appliances and accessories to make sure they don’t need to bring any extra pots, pans or equipment to execute your agreed upon menu.

delicious Scallops

Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant

Overall: CorkCork

Service: The service is always ok at Los Chaparros Mexican restaurant on Beretania street. It’s a small restaurant and they usually only have one server for the entire facility so it can take a while…. TIP don’t go to this restaurant if you are in a rush or you will be sorry! that being said, the staff is always very friendly and happy to see you when you arrive.

Food: The Mexican food at Los Chaparros is so so. One nice thing to point out is they use white meat for the chicken which many Mexican restaurants don’t. The food was ok but nothing that is extremely memorable or leaves you smacking your lips for more. Overall the food could use a little more seasoning and even the chips and salsa needed a little love. You can find anything you could want from a Mexican Restaurant on Los Chaparros menu including Tacos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Carnitas, Carne Asada, Fajitas, Burritos, Chimichanga’s, Chili Rellenos, etc.

Favorite Dishes: The Fish Tacos, Enchiladas with salsa verde

Atmosphere: This restaurant doesn’t have the greatest ambiance. It’s very dark and kind of gloomy. They tried to brighten it up with flags and colored walls but the overall feel is washed out and a bit dated. The music is traditional and awesome… it really adds a nice touch to the experience but watch out for the table directly under the speaker it is so loud you can barely hear yourself think!

Consistency: We have been a few times and its always consistently ok. Prob won’t go back again anytime soon now that the new Mexitlan restaurant that opened in Kaimuki and is much more fun and authentic!

Parking: YES Los Chaparros has free parking. The lot is directly in front of the restaurant and is fairly limited in size (at least 5-8 spots). The restaurant is on the right hand side of Beretania street so make sure not to miss the restaurant or you have to take a long detour back.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($7-$17.50) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
2140 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 951-6399
Website: http://www.loschaparros.com/about_us.htm

Hours of Operation:
Tue-Thur, Sunday
Lunch: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Dinner: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday
Lunch: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Dinner: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
CLOSED MONDAY

Los Chaparros Mexican restaurant in Hawaii carnitas picture

Carnitas

Los Chaparros Mexican enchiladas in hawaii

Chicken Enchiladas

Los Chaparros restaurant review on beretania street

Inside Decor

ARMADOR – Odfjell Carmenire

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah

Vintages: 2002

Country: Sonoma Country

Essence of: First flavors are of plum followed by touches of blackberries, raspberries, liquorish, coffee and tobacco / Deep rich dark color / Smooth finish with long flavors of fruit and spice on the palette.

Best Served With: Grilled, braised or roasted meats and poultry

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle

Amador Odfjell Carmenire Wine Review

Teddy’s Bigger Burger

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork Cork

Service: The staff was super friendly at Teddy’s. They are fast on their feet and full of smiles. They where quick to whip down the tables between eaters despite how busy and managed to get the food out in a timely manner. We give Teddies Bigger Burger on Beretania Street two thumbs up.

Food: The food is pretty tasty at Teddy’s Bigger Burger in Honolulu. The food is what you would find in a common dinner with ice cream, onion rings, burgers and fries. What makes Teddy’s so good is that the burgers are made fresh to order and from 100% ground chuck. The chicken on the combo was also very juicy, moist and well seasoned. The buns were fresh and soft and all the ingredients from salads to fries where high quality. They also have a happy hour Monday – Thursday 2pm-5pm for $1 OFF any combo order.
Teddy’s Bigger Burger Menu For Download

Favorite Dishes: Baco Salad (7oz hamburger, avocado, cheese, tomato, bacon), Chicken Combo Sandwhich, Fries

Atmosphere: We really like the atmosphere at Teddy’s Bigger Burger. They are fun and designed like an old dinner. The color scheme is red, yellow and black and from the tables to the art on the walls the casual and hang loose 50’s theme keeps this restaurant young, trendy and fun.

Consistency: We only have been once so far but the restaurant was absolutely packed! we promise to update this section again next time we visit Teddy’s for a quick burger fix.

Parking: The Teddy’s location on Beretania has a good sized parking lot with over 10 spots making this an easy restaurant to go for lunch or a quick bite while shopping in town.

Price Range: Low ($4.99-$11.99) per Entree
No Corkage Fee! (But you have to bring your own bottle opener)
Take Out Available

Happy Hour Deals

Address:
Waikiki
134 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 926-3444
Website: http://teddysbiggerburgers.com/

University
2424 S. Beretania Ave #101
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 949-0050

Kailua
Kailua Village Shops
539 Kailua Rd., #101
Kailua, HI 96734
Tel: (808) 262-0820

Hawaii Kai
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy., E124
Honolulu, HI 96825
Tel: (808) 394-9100

Hours of Operation:
University, Hawaii Kai, Kailua Locations:
Mon-Thu: 10am – 9pm
Fri-Sun: 10am – 10pm

Waikiki Store:
Hours of Operation
Mon – Sun: 10am – 9pm

teddy's bigger burger restaurant review hawaii

Cheese Burger Combo

Teddy's Burger Hawaii

Delux Burger

Fire Cracker Chipotle Corn on the Cob

Serves: (4 people)

Cooking Time: 24 minutes

Ingredients:
4 Fresh Sweet Corn, husk, Remove hair and wash
2 Pepper from a can of Embasa Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, Remove seeds from peppers and mince
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
2 Table Spoons Cilantro, Chopped
½ Teaspoon of Chili Powder
½ Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Stick of Salted Butter, Room temperature
Pinch of Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)
Heavy Duty Tin Foil

Directions:
Preheat grill. Combined all ingredients excluding the corn into a bowl starting with the butter. The butter should be room temperature so soft to touch and easy to mix (if its not room temp place it into a microwavable safe bowl and heat it for 15-20 seconds). Stir the ingredients together until they are well mixed. Place each piece of corn individually onto a piece of tinfoil. Smear about 1 tablespoon of the firecracker butter onto each side of the corn and then tightly wrap the tinfoil around each piece of corn (like you would a burrito). Reserve the remainder of butter to spread on grilled corn. Place each piece of corn on the grill for 15-20 minutes with the lid down, stopping to turn the corn each 5 minutes to insure each side receives the desired chare. Remove the tin foil and spread on the remaining butter onto cooked corn. Serve with favorite BBQ entrée and surprise your friends with a new twist on a classic American dish this 4th of July.

fire cracker corn recipe

Kirin Restaurant

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service at Kirin Restaurant on Beretania Street was ok. The staff was very friendly and curious but at times slow to respond. They never came around to refill our water glasses (the entire meal) even though they where completely empty. It also took a pretty lengthily amount of time to order and pay the check so if you go for lunch or dinner plan extra time before catching a movie or a plane.

Food: The Chinese food was good at Kirin Restaurant! the noodles and rice dishes where both very tasty and not oily. The dim sum was also pretty good but we thought the dumplings wrappers where way to thick (and the filling to little). The menu has both dim sum and the typical proteins, seafood, noodles, rice and vegetables such as Flat Noodles, Kao Bao Chicken, Tea Smoked Duck, Fried Rice, Dim Sum, etc. Something that makes Kirin Restaurant stand out is that they make the dim sum fresh to order (and without MSG should you ask).

Favorite Dishes: Stir fried rice noodle with shrimp and curry, Chinese style pickled cucumber, Tofu Dim Sum, and Chicken Fried Rice. (TIP: Don’t order dumplings they are extremely doughy)

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is very nice at Kirin Restaurant. The layout of the tables is very open so you are not to close to your neighbors and they have beautiful artwork on the walls. Even the tables are nice and made out of old wood giving this restaurant ambiance a warm homely feel.

Consistency: Both times we have been have been consistently good. Being a private chef in Hawaii I always appreciate good noodles & rice dishes because most places use to much oil or over cook the noodles. Both times we had items we where not crazy about but overall the food has been good and we are excited to go back.

Parking: Kirin restaurant on Beretania has some free parking outside about 9 spots. Or the new longs (old Star Market) is right across the street and you can park there (buy some wine) and walk across the street to dinner.

Price Range: Low ($8.95-$46) per Entree & ($2.95-$4.50) per Dim Sum
Corkage Fee only $2 per person!
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
2518 S. Beretania St
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 942-1888

Hours of Operation:
Lunch & Dim Sum Hours
Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Dinner Hours
Monday-Friday: 5 p.m. – 12 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 5 p.m – 10:30 p.m.

Kirin Restaurant Review

Rice Noodles

Kirin Restaurant chinese food in hawaii

Beef & Choy Sum

Kirin chinese restaurant

Tofu Dim Sm

ETHOS – Chateau Ste. Michelle

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Chardonnay

Vintages: 2003

Country: Columbia Valley, Washington

Essence of: Oh has this wine aged with grace! This well-balanced chardonnay is both elegant and complex. Concentrated fruit with mineral aromas and loads of oak, refined with a soft finish.

Best Served With: Cheese, Seafood, Salads, Pasta, Pizza

Price Range: Around $35 per bottle

ETHOS chardonnay 2003 wine review

All American Watermelon Salad

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time:25 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Small Seedless Watermelon, Cut off the rind and cut into small 1 inch cubes
1 (5 oz) Package of Arugula
1 (4 oz) Package of Feta Cheese, Crumbled
1 Box of Cherry Tomatoes, Wash and cut in half
1 Small Cucumber, Peeled and Sliced
1 Cup whole fresh mint leaves, julienned

Vinaigrette Ingredients
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Lemon Zested
1/4 cup or 2 lemons, juiced
1 large Shallots, minced
1 tablespoon Honey
1/2 Cup olive oil
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

Directions:
In a medium size bowl, zest one lemon and add the juice of both lemons. Next whisk in the orange juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. Place the watermelon, cucumber, feta, cherry tomatoes, arugula, and mint in a large bowl or platter and drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat lightly and toss evenly. Serve immediately for a light lunch or refreshing starter to your meal.

 

watermelon salad recipe

 

Grilled Citrus Chimichurri Flank Streak

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 large Flank Steak (2-3lbs)
Chimichurri Marinate:
1 cup Olive Oil
1 bunch Italian Parsley
1 bunch Cilantro
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
8 tablespoons Kikkoman Tempura Sauce
6 large garlic cloves
1 medium size lemon (zested and juiced)
1 medium size lime (zested and juiced)
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Directions:
Combine all marinate ingredients into a blender or food processor and mix together well. Set aside ½ cup of marinate to complete the dish. Place remainder of marinate into a bowl with flank steaks. Marinate for at least 30 minutes (or as long as you can) in the refrigerator. Remove steaks 10 minutes before grilling. Grill on high heat until desired temperature. Rest meat for 10 minutes, then pour remaining marinate over cooked steak and enjoy with favorite side dishes.

Citrus Grilled Steak Recipe

View Other Honolulu Private Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Banana-Cream Stuffed Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 loaf (24 ounce) Cinnamon Raisin Bread (Or any bread)
6 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoons Spiced Rum Captain Morgan’s (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick of butter (to cook with and top French toast)

Banana-Cream Filling
1 box (8oz) Cream Cheese
2 Ripe Banana’s
1 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
1 ½ Tablespoons Granulated White Sugar

Directions:
Filling:
Add room temperature cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. Peal bananas and mash them into the mixture. Add maple syrup and sugar and mix well until smooth and set aside.
French Toast:
Remove precut bread from package and set slices side by side. Take the filling and spread 1 large tablespoon of filling on top of 8 of the 16 pieces of bread. Create sandwiches by piecing together the filled and empty slices. Once complete you should have 8 pieces of French toast sandwiches. Now mix the milk, vanilla, eggs, cinnamon and rum to a bowl. Lightly dip both sides of the sandwich and place onto a preheated sauté pan along with melted butter. Cook each piece well on both sides until lightly brown. Finish with favorite maple syrup and blueberries.

Banana-Cream French Toast Recipe by private chef hawaii

View Other Hawaii Private Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Bogle Wine Yards

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintages: 2008

Country: California

Essence of: Ripe cherry and plums get your attention, while vanilla and spice lure your palate / This Cabernet is structured very well and has incredible balanced / The tannins are silky and luscious with a long pleasant finish.

Best Served With: Enjoyed this wine with a variety of meat dishes prepared in light or rich sauce or simply grilled, also good with aged cheeses.

Price Range: Under $12 per bottle

Bogle wine review

Lemon Arugula Pesto Linguine

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
2 boxes (1lb) Barilla Linguine
1 (5 ounce) package of fresh Arugula
2 lemons (zest of both lemons and only one lemon juiced)
8 cloves garlic
2 cup olive oil
1 ½ cups pine nuts, toasted (Can substitute with Almonds or Macadamia Nuts)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Parmesan Cheese to top pasta

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°, place raw pine nuts onto a sheet pan and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool. Combine the arugula, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and olive oil into a food processor and blend in until smooth. Remove the pesto from the processor and put it into a large bowl. Cook Pasta to box directions. Add cooked pasta into bowl with pesto and mix well. Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Lemon Arugula Pasta Recipe

View Other Honolulu Private Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Mai Lan Vietnamese Restaurant

Overall Rating: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service was pretty good at Mai Lan Vietnamese restaurant in Honolulu. It appears to be family owned (always nice touch!) and our waitress was full of smiles even as she told us they are open 365 days a year…now that’s service! Also the second time we went we brought our own wine and since we ordered the crab (the most expensive item on the menu and worth every dollar) they let us drink our wine for free (normally corkage fee of $8) which is really great service.

Food: Yummmmy is all that we can say about the fresh crab curry with french bread. It is $32 but incredibility delicious and enough for 2 people! I would go back in a heart beat for that crab and its always nice to see them catching your little crustaceans fresh from the tank. Items you can expect to find on the menu include Vietnamese cold noodles, broken rice dishes, curry, soup, specialties, entrees, salads, etc. The restaurant also gives you fresh Ramutan’s for dessert which is really a nice way to finish the meal.
Download Mai Lan Vietnamese Menu in Honolulu

Favorite Dishes: Fresh Crab Curry with French Bread, Ramutan’s (TIP: Don’t order the spring rolls we found to be little mushy inside)

Atmosphere: The ambiance could use some work at Mai Lan. Nothing really is very interesting on the inside and the restaurant has about 14 not to fancy tables plus a special room of to the side for larger parties. The artwork is pretty nice.

Consistency: Both times we have been the crab was so delicious we are already counting the days before we can return again for a fix.

Parking: Mai Lan does offer free parking next to the restaurant but the lot only has 6-8 spots. We recommend taking a taxi cab (the corkage fee is so cheap you can drink 2 bottles of wine!) or car pool with friends.

Price Range: Medium ($8.50-$32) per Entree
Corkage Fee ONLY $8 per Bottle!!
Reservations Accepted For Large Parties
Take Out Available

Address:
1224 Keeaumoku Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 955-0446

Hours of Operation:
Open Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m

mailan crab review hawaii private chef

Crab Curry

Manlan spring rolls

Beef Wrap

Cantaloupe Asian Pear Jell-O

Serves: 8 people
Cooking Time: 1-2 hours

Ingredients:
1 Small Cantaloupe about 1.5 1bs
2, 3oz Boxes of Lemon Flavored Jell-O
1 Small Asian Pear
1 Box Blueberries (Optional)
8, 6oz Clear Plastic Cups or Glasses (Optional for Individual Servings)

Directions:
Carefully cut away the cantaloupe peal and discard the seeds. Cut the melon into small piece, toss into a blender and blend to a fine puree. Measure 2 cups of water and heat up in the microwave until it reaches a boil. Pour the hot water into a bowl with the lemon Jell-O mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Add the cantaloupe puree and set aside. Next wash and peal the Asian pear and dice into small pieces. Wash the blueberries and add all the fruit to the puree. To complete the dish you can either pour the entire mixture into a glass dish/bowl or distribute evenly between the individual plastic cups or glass cups. Place into refrigerator for 60-90 minutes or until firm. This is one of my Hawaii prive chef low fat favorites!

Lemon Jello for Cantaloupe Recipe

Greg Norman

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintages: 2007

Country: Limestone Coast, South Australia

Essence of: Vibrant and complex aromas of spicy, red berry fruit, cinnamon and clove spice / The same abundant, vibrant fruit is reflected on the palate which also shows a hint of licorice, sweet cinnamon spice, and subtle cedar French oak

Best Served With: Grilled Meats, Chicken Dishes, Pizza, and Pasta

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle

Greg Norman Wine Review


Lulu’s Waikiki

Overall Review: CorkCork

Service: The service is pretty good at Lulu’s. However, both times we have been recently they got our order wrong. They always correct the dish with lots of apologies but still its annoying to wait for your food to come out while everyone else at the table has lunch / dinner. It’s either the servers or the kitchen line but it shouldn’t be hard to make a salad without dressing!

Food: The food is run-of-the-mill American food. It’s not really exciting or always very good but its inexpensive and they have something on the menu for everyone. Menu selections include great appetizers to share with table, sandwiches, burgers, salads, pastas, steaks and seafood, etc. They also serve traditional breakfast with omelets, pancakes, local favorites like Loco Moco (and keep a few breakfast items on the lunch menu for those late risers which is considerate).

Favorite Dishes: Kalua Pork Nachos, Chicken Tenders, Grilled Chicken Sandwhich, Mahi Mahi Sandwhich, Grilled Island “Catch” Salad, Long Island Cobb Salad, and the Cajun Fries.

Atmosphere: We really like the atmosphere at Lulu’s in Waikiki! The ambiance is by far the best thing going for this restaurant along with its location. The restaurant is on the second story with large windows and a fantastic unobstructed view of the ocean & Waikiki strip. The palm trees are beautiful and its a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the sunset with friends for a causal lunch, dinner or pupu’s after work.

Consistency: The consistency is not so good. It’s rare they don’t get an order wrong or put a different ingredient on your dish from the last time you went. In fact, last time we ordered the Mahi Mahi sandwich and salad and they used Swordfish which was the “Fish of the Day” on both so either someone got confused or they ran out and figured we where tourists and wouldn’t notice. I mean they should at least point it out some people don’t eat Swordfish and may appreciate the opportunity to change their order for something else in stock.

Parking: The only place you can park even close to Lulu’s is in the Kapiolani beach park right across the street. Don’t forget they replaced the meter parking with the pay ticket station so their is no need to bring a bucket of quarters with you anymore (TIP: the machine only accepts credit cards).

Price Range: Low-Medium ($10-$24) per Entree
NO BYOB
Reservations Not Accepted (Expect for large parties)
Take Out Available

Address:
LULU’s WAIKIKI
2586 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
aloha@lulushawaii.com
Tel: (808) 926 – 5222
Website:
http://www.luluswaikiki.com/

Hours of Operation:
Open Daily 7 a.m. – 4 a.m.
Serving Breakfast (7am-11am), Lunch (11am-5pm) and Dinner (5pm-11pm)

Lulu's restaurant in waikiki fish salad picture

Fish Salad

Lulu's restaurant in waikiki fish sandwhich picture

Mahi Mahi Sandwhich

Low-Fat Papaya Berry Yogurt Bowl

Serves: 2 people
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Large Papaya
½ Cup Strawberries (or any Seasonal Berry)
½ Cup Blueberries (or any Seasonal Berry)
1 Cup of Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Granola
Optional: Agave Syrup

Directions:
Cut the papaya in half and scrap out the black seeds and discard. Fill the inside of the papaya with the vanilla yogurt. Wash and cut berries and place them on top of the yogurt. Sprinkle granola to the top and if you want to add a little extra sweetness try some natural agave syrup. Enjoy for breakfast or a healthy lunch.

Papaya Bowl Picture

Curry Deviled Eggs

Serves: 10-12 people as a appetizer
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:
12 Egg Carton of Large Eggs
4 Tablespoons Light Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoons Minced Cilantro
¼ Teaspoon Sriracha Chili Sauce
3 Teaspoons Mild Curry Powder
¼ Teaspoon Salt & Pepper
Optional Garnish: Cilantro leafs

Directions:
Begin by hard-boiling the eggs and then placing them in a bath of ice water to chill. Once cool, peal off the shells and cut the eggs in half-length wise and carefully separate the yokes into a bowl and the egg whites onto a platter. Now add the mayonnaise, cilantro, curry powder, sriracha, salt and pepper to the egg yokes and mash together with a fork. Place the egg yoke mixture into a quart size plastic bag and cut a small portion of the corner tip off making a pastry bag. Now squeeze egg yoke mixture into the center of the egg whites. Serve chilled perfect for an appetizer or a must have item on your Easter buffet or a Superbowl Sunday Party!!

Deviled Egg Image Recipe

HARASZTHY – Old Vine

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: 90% Zinfandel, 10% Syrah

Vintages: 2008

Country: USA

Essence of: Full bodied with smooth tannins/ Aromas of ripe fruit, cherries and blackberries with notes of vanilla, spice and oak/Deep rich color/ Easy drinking and very enjoyable wine, especially for the price.

Best Served With: Roasted Duck, Grilled Meats, Braised Meats, Pizza, Tomato Based Pasta

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle

Hazaszthy old vine zinfandel review and label image

Genke Sushi

Overall Rating: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is good at Genke Sushi restaurants in Hawaii. The staff is super friendly and very attentive. In fact, at the Kapahulu location in particular we have had the best service and before you even realize you need something your waiter is either bringing it or right by your side to fulfill your request which is always great when you go out.

Food: The food isn’t anything super fancy or even very creative but its good and cheap! Genke Sushi has a fun conveyor belt which rotates around the diners with various sushi rolls and food items like salads, edamame, etc. It is really a great way to enjoy a quick meal because while ordering off the menu you can grab an appetizer roll to hold you over. Basic items you can expect on the menu include Miso soup, Sashimi, Teriyaki Bowls, Salads, Udon Noodles, etc.
Genki Sushi Menu For Download

Favorite Dishes: Spicy Tuna Hand Roll, California Hand Roll, Salmon Cream Cheese Roll, Softshell Crab Roll, Tempura Roll, Edamame, and Miso Soup

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Genke Sushi is very open and clean. The conveyor belt is the focus on each location (as it should be!) but Genke Sushi does a good job of building restaurants which are warm and inviting. The logo guy is unforgettable and is featured throughout art in each location making Genke Sushi a unique place to take out-of-town guests.

Consistency: Genke Sushi is very consistent. Each time we go we always eat the Ahi Tuna hand roll and it tastes exactly the same each time.

Parking: Each Genke Sushi location has free parking! the location in Honolulu which is hardest to park is the location on Kapahulu which only has about 10 parking spots, however, you can generally find a spot on the street or in Safeway’s lot across the street.

Price Range: Low ($1.50-$4.80) per Dish
No BYOB!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
Kapahulu
885 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 735-7700
Website: /http://www.genkisushiusa.com/

Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.#2096
Mall Level
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 942-9102

Ward Center
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
Building 3, Bay 3
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 591-5600

Many more Genke Sushi locations! check website for full list
Hours of Operation:
Sun-Thurs: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Takeout Available Daily: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Genke Sushi Resturant Review in Honolulu Hawaii

Zarpado

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Melbec

Vintages: 2009

Country: Mendoza, Argentina

Essence of: Bold and ripe juicy flavors of plum and blackberry/Vivid purple color/ High alcohol and slightly spicy nose/Medium tannins with a long finish/ Its recommended for a better drinking experience let this wine breath for 30 minutes to mellow it out before enjoying.

Best Served With: Enjoy with Grilled Meat, BBQ, Grilled Vegetables, or Pizza & Pasta.

Price Range: Under $10 per bottle

Zarapado red wine review image

Migawon Korean Resturant

Overall Review: Cork

Service: Well the service at Migawon on Kapiolani blvd was overall pretty bad. The moment we walked in we were greeted with smiles (most likely excitement because no one else was in the restaurant) but it didn’t last long. At one point we asked for some napkins and the lady pointed to the corner table where they were located! I mean really? its not like they didn’t have the time to service the only customers in the restaurant. Also they barely spoke English and it took two of them to figure out what we wanted.

Food: The food was pretty competitively priced with other Korean BBQ places in town, but Migawon only gave you 5 lousy kimchi sides which were not very good and very disappointing. In fact, we only asked them to refill one of them (the bean sprouts) which is not what you want when you spend $20+ per a person. The menu was pretty typical they had both BBQ options and regular menu items including stews, pancakes, bi bim bap, etc. It was memorable…. but not in a good way.

Favorite Dishes: BBQ Chicken, Boneless Kalbi, Lettuce & Seaweed (for wrapping meat and rice).

Atmosphere: WOW the atmosphere at Migawon is just awful. It’s dirty, has zero personalty and was thrown together with a mish-mash of tables and chairs. The music was like a techno pop which was really strange for a Korean restaurant and flies/gnats were flying around us the whole meal which is super unappetizing.

Consistency: We have only been once and we will never return. Honestly this place is not long for this world. I can’t imagine it being around for longer than 3 months.

Parking: They do offer parking but its really unclear where that was exactly. We ended up paying to park down that back ale off of Kalakaua and Kapiolani.

Price Range: Medium ($20-$27) per BBQ Entree
NO BYOB
Reservations Accepted (Not Recommended)
Take Out Not Available

Address:
1726 Kapiolani Blvd.
#101
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 947-5454

Migawone Korean BBQ in Hawaii Picture

BBQ Combo Plate

Nobu

Overall: CorkCorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service at Nobu is exceptional. Each waiter is very professional and you know you are sure to get stellar service when you go for dinner or drinks. The sushi bar in particular has excellent service and it is fun to watch the sushi masters create each roll.

Food: Wow the food is above and beyond delicious at Nobu! each bite is packed with unique clean flavors that dance on your tongue. Nobu has a wide variety of dishes from sushi to salads with exotic global flavors. Each dish created by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is well balanced and the sashimi is so fresh it melts in your mouth. No matter what you order its  sure to be memorable and super yummy. They also have a fantastic happy hour Monday-Friday 5-7pm in the lounge area with special dishes, $4 beers and $8 martinis.

Favorite Dishes: Spider Rolls, Nobu Tacos (Lobster and Crab), Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, Eggplant with Misa, Miso Black Cod, Salmon New Style Sashimi, Shitake Salad, Sakitini (Sake Martini – cold and fresh), EVERYTHING

Atmosphere: We just love the atmosphere at Nobu. The restaurant is very grand with high ceilings and red/ gold color scheme. The lamps are also very trendy and have a modern meets antique feel to them. The tables are dark wood and there are both circular tables and booth seating available. Although the restaurant is large its not very noise which makes it the one of the best restaurants in town. The bar/lounge area is also lovely and very chic feeling. Its nice to go for a drink before dinner or even to have dinner at the bar with a friend.

Consistency: This restaurant receives my top personal chef approval for being one of the best Japanese restaurants in Hawaii. Each dish is always consistently tasty and you know what to expect.

Parking: Nobu offers Validated parking at the hotel.

Price Range: Medium-High ($18-$46) per Entree
Corkage Fee: Wine $25 per bottle, Champagne $35 per a bottle
Reservations Recommended
Take Out Not Available

Happy Hour in Lounge

Address:
Nobu Waikiki
2233 Helumoa Road
Honolulu, HI 96815
waikiki@noburestaurants.com
Phone: +1.808.237.6999
Fax: +1.808.237.6990
Website: http://www.noburestaurants.com/waikiki/experience/introduction/

Hours of Operation
Sunday – Thursday: 5:30 p.m – 10:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Monday – Sunday: Bar Lounge 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Nobu restaurant review in hawaii

New Style Sashimi

Nobu's miso black cod

Miso Black Cod

Wahoo Fish Taco’s

Overall: CorkCorkCork

Service: The table service was good at Wahoo’s in Kahala and was a welcome change from the location at Ward Center where you have to service yourself. The staff is friendly and in-line with the company vision.

Food: The food is ok at Wahoo’s Fish Taco’s. It’s really basic food nothing special or so good that you can’t wait to go back but it is very inexpensive and good for the price. They also have alot of specials each day including Taco Tuesdays with $2 tacos, as well as other Happy Hour items making it a fun place to go with friends.

Favorite Dishes: Wahoo’s Salad, Fish Tacos, Chicken Tortilla Soup

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Wahoo’s is fun and casual. It’s a mix between a local hangout and fast food joint. Both locations have great layouts with both indoor and outdoor seating options. The Ward location is more like a fast-food restaurant but the Kahala one is more upscale and has a full bar and table seating. It’s a great place to go for happy hour and grab some drinks with friends PLUS they have free music at each location during select times (see hours of operation below)

Consistency:Its consistently ok at Wahoo’s. The fish is fresh and tastes consistently not fishy which is always a plus.

Parking: Both locations have free parking lots and or street parking (at Ward metered and in Kahala free).

Price Range: Low ($10 and under) per Entree
No BYOB!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Happy Hour Deals!
Live Music!

Address:
Ward Area
940 Auahi St.
Honolulu, HI 96814
808.591.1646
Website:
http://www.wahoos.com/index.php

Kahala
4614 Kilauea Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808)732-9229

Hours of Operation:
Kahala
Fri-Sat 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Dinner & Lunch
Live Music: Tue, Fri: 7 – 9:30 p.m.
Ward Center
Sun – Thu: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri – Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Live Music: Wed 6 – 9 p.m.

Wahoo's fish tacos in hawaii restaurant review

Wahoo's Fish Salad

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

Morimotos

Overall Review: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service at Morimotos is not much to sing about. Both times we have eaten it was slow from taking the order, to receiving our drinks as well as our food. Its fair to say this is a type of restaurant that you go to enjoy a non-rushed lengthy meal, however, some things you don’t want to wait a 30 minutes for including your wine.

Food: The food was good but overall a bit disappointing. Knowing that Morimoto is an iron chef we were expecting some really out of this world dishes but nothing really stands out as the best. The food is artistic and very well plated which makes the experience interesting. The food was overall good but we felt his best dishes were the ones that concentrated more on flavor than jazz.  The only negative thing we can say was that the first time we ate at Morimotos we got sick on the Pastrami Sashimi which was disappointing especial when you pay $20 for the dish.
Download Morimotos Menu In Waikiki

Favorite Dishes: Tofu, Gioza, Bisque, Caprachio, Morimoto Sashimi

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Morimotos is just beautiful. Both outdoor and indoor venues are zen and well designed. The green and dark wood tones are well balanced and the overall feel of the restaurant is trendy. The outside is much more enjoyable with lounge music, couches and fire pits for mingling. The inside has enlarged images of orchids and moss embedded clear tables. we recommend sitting outside because the indoor seating is so loud you can barely hear your dinning companions without screaming.

Consistency:Well the first time we didn’t have a very good experience with getting sick, however, when we went back again for dinner the food was good. I think the dinner menu is more exciting than the lunch menu so we would recommend going for an early dinner and sharing some dishes with friends.

Parking: Parking is complimentary with validation at The New Edition Hotel. Don’t forget to stop at the downstairs bar on the way out for a custom handmade martini! delicious…

Price Range: High ($30-$40) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per bottle of Wine or Champagne
Reservations Recommended

Address:
1775 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 943-5900
Website: http://www.morimotowaikiki.com//

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast 6:30am-10:00am
Lunch 11:00am-2:30pm
Dinner 5:00pm-10:00pm (Friday and Saturday until 11:00pm)
Sushi Bar and Bar 5:00pm-10:00pm

Morimotos yellow tail pastrami picture from Waikiki

Yellowtail "Pastrami"

Morimoto Smoked Sashimi picture from Waikiki

Morimoto Smoked Sashimi

Lemongrass & Ginger Poached Shrimp Cocktail & Wasabi Pineapple Sauce

Serves :4-6 people as appetizer
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
2 lb Bag Frozen Shrimp size (13/15 or 16/20 Uncooked Headless, Peeled & Deveined Shrimp with Tails.)
Poaching liquid
6 Cups Water
1 Lemon, cut into rings
3 Lemongrass Stocks, ends only (about 3 inch) chopped finely
1 Head Garlic, cut in half
3 Tablespoons Ginger, chopped finely
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
Cocktail Sauce
1-12 ounce Bottle Chili Sauce
1 Tablespoon prepared Wasabi Paste
½ cup Dole 100% Pineapple Juice Concentrate

Directions:
Carefully cut away the cantaloupe peal and discard the seeds. Cut the melon into small piece, toss into a blender and blend to a fine puree. Measure 2 cups of water and heat up in the microwave until it reaches a boil. Pour the hot water into a bowl with the lemon Jell-O mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Add the cantaloupe puree and set aside. Next wash and peal the Asian pear and dice into small pieces. Wash the blueberries and add all the fruit to the puree. To complete the dish you can either pour the entire mixture into a glass dish/bowl or distribute evenly between the individual plastic cups or glass cups. Place into refrigerator for 60-90 minutes or until firm.

Lemongrass and ginger poached Shrimp cocktail with wasabi and pineapple cocktail sauce

View Other Honolulu Personal Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Frontier Red Lot 92

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Blend of Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Mouvedre

Vintages: 2008

Country: California

Essence of: Lush red & black fruit flavors / Hints of enticing spice, vanilla, chocolate and oak notes / Easy drinking wine

Best Served With: Chicken or pork dishes, grilled meats, pasta & pizza

Price Range: Under $12 per bottle

Frontier Red Lot 92

Roasted Beet & Shaved Fennel Caprese Salad

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:
3 Large Red Beats
1 Fennel
4 Cups Fresh Arugula (Or Substitute – with Spinach or Mixed Greens)
8 oz Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese
4 Large Basil Leaves
4 Medium Vine Ripen Tomato’s
1 ½ Table Spoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper

Directions:
Remove tops from beets and wash them in cold water (leave skin on the beets). Place beets into a baking pan, season with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil over them. Cover with tin foil and place beats into the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove beets from the baking pan and peal off the skin under cold water. Cut beats into slices. Remove the top from the fennel and wash the bulb in cold water. Cut fennel in half and then into slivers. Season fennel to taste with salt and pepper. and set aside. Clean tomatoes and cut along with cheese into slices. Layer fennel, tomatoes and mozzarella on top of Arugula (or desired greens). Add beats to the very top and finish with favorite balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Roasted Beet & Shaved Fennel Caprese Salad Recipe

View Other Oahu Personal Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Easy Lemon Soufflé Pancakes

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Box Lemon Cake Mix (Betty Crocker or any boxed cake mix)
1 Lemon
1 Cup Oatmeal
6 Egg Whites
1/8 Cup Olive Oil
1 ¼ Cup Tap Water
Maple Syrup
Optional: 1 Box Fresh Raspberries

Directions:
Separate eggs into a bowl and whip until stiff. Set the egg whites aside. Now add into a bowl the cake mix, water, oatmeal and oil. Zest the lemon and squeeze its contents into the bowl and mix everything together until blended. Now fold in the egg whites. Preheat a non-stick skillet on medium heat and cook pancakes to your liking. Best served with fresh raspberries and maple syrup.

Easy Lemon Soufflé Pancakes Recipe

View Other Oahu Personal Chef Ryan’s Coverts Recipes Featured in KTA

Berries & Basil Simple Syrup

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time:
20 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups Fresh Seasonal Berries (i.e. Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, or Blackberries)
1 cup White Cane Sugar
5 Large Basil Leaves
1 cup Tap Water

Directions:
In a sauce pan combined water and sugar on high heat. Bring the contents to boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add stir in basil leaves. Set aside and let cool completely. Wash and clean the berries and place them into a glass or bowl. Pour a little basil syrup over berries and serve alone or with lemon sorbet.

Berrys & Basil Simple Syrup Recipe

Toad Hallow – Eye of the Toad Rose

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating systemWine rating system

Varietal: Rose Pinot Noir

Vintages: 2009

Country: Sonoma County

Essence of: The Eye of the Toad Rose’ 2008 version has light strawberry and cherry flavors that are immediately apparent along with spice, pepper and just a wisp of green herbs / It’s bone dry, as well as delicate and elegant on the palate / Closes with great finishing acidity.

Best Served With: Great with Spicy Foods, Thai, Sushi or with antipasto and light appetizers.

Price Range: Under $10 per bottle

Rose Pinot Noir Wine Lable Image

Shokudo

Overall: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is so so at Shokudo. The food is either really fast or super slow and you never know how long it will take for lunch. Its my recommendation to take your time and only go to Shokudo if you are not in a rush so you can really enjoy the food and atmosphere no matter how busy the kitchen is.  The waiters are really friendly and conversational which makes the restaurant a nice place to go.

Food: The Food at Shokudo is very tasty. Its typical Japanese food with a global twist and menu items include Sushi, Tempura, Noodles, Pupus, Salads, and Rice dishes. The food is pretty basic but they do have some “out of the box” items which make this restaurant unique and memorable. The best way to enjoy the innovative cuisine is to share the dishes family style. They also have bento boxes for Lunch at a very reasonable price and the bar is open late night serving food until 12pm on the week days and 1pm on Friday & Saturday night.
Shokudo Menu For Download

Favorite Dishes: Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice (extremely good – instead of cold rice they serve the sushi on puffed cooked rice), Spider Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Fries, Edamame, Tempura, and Fresh Homemade Tofu

Atmosphere: In Japanese Shokudo means “dinning room” and we would have to agree that the ambiance of Shokudo is wonderful. The restaurant has high ceilings and two unique sides and designs with booth seating and regular table seating. The restaurant also has a private room in the back for large parties. Shokudo is a great place to bring a date because its trendy, and you can feel comfortable and in style dressed casually or island chic.

Consistency: The consistency is pretty good at Shokudo. Its a good place to take out of town guests or meet friends for reasonable priced pupus after work.

Parking: Validated parking entrance on Kona Street, behind the restaurant. Or you can park in the Ala Moana shopping center and walk over.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($5-$25) per Entree
Corkage Fee $15 per bottle Wine (no other liquor is permitted to bring yourself)
Reservations Not Required  (but recommended for dinner if you have 3 people or more in your party)
Take Out Available

Address:
Ala Moana Pacific Center
1585 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 814
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
E-mail: InfoSHOKUDO@hawaii.rr.com
Reservations: (808) 941-3701
website: http://www.shokudojapanese.com/

Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Last call at 12 midnight
Friday – Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Last call at 1:00 a.m.

Shoduko restaurant review from hawaii private chef ryan

Spicy Tuna Roll

Shokudo Temura review

Shrimp Tempura

Fries

Twisted

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintages: 2008

Country: California

Essence of: Flavors of bing cherry and ripe blueberry / hints of soft vanilla and smoky oak notes / a abrasive noise of alcohol, jammy fruit, and earthly characteristics I would recommend to let this wine breath for 5 min before you suck it up! Once you get past the strong noise the wine becomes easy drinking 🙂

Best Served With: Tomato based dishes, aged cheeses, grilled meats, grilled portabella mushrooms or mushroom dishes.

Price Range: Under $12 per bottle

twisted wine image

Ginger Braised Pineapple

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:
1 Ripe Fresh Pineapple
1 Vanilla Bean (Or Substitute with 1 Table Spoon Vanilla Extract)
1 Bottle of Sweet Riesling (Or Substitute with Apple Juice)
2 Table Spoons Fresh Ginger (pealed and diced)
½ Cup Brown Sugar
2 Cups Tap Water
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Directions:
Peal pineapple, remove core and cut into 6-8 rings. Place all ingredients including pineapple into a stockpot. Cover the pot and simmer on medium heat for 1 hour or until pineapple is tender. Remove pineapple rings from the liquid. Best served warm with favorite ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet.

Trying to watch your weight? Substitute ice cream with fresh seasonal berries!

Braised Pineapple Recipe

Bella Mia

Overall: CorkCork

Service: The service is ok at Bella Mia. The staff is friendly and its a family owned business which is always nice. Both times we have been the service staff was welcoming and full of smiles. I wouldn’t say the service is fast but the food comes out quickly and the overall its pleasant.

Food: The dishes are huge at Bella Mia and absolutely large enough to share or for you to bring home for a second meal. They have everything you would imaging a from a NY-Italian restaurant including pasta, pizza, and a few salads. The marinara sauce and hot bread they serve you is delicious! its hot and the sauce is so good you could drink it. I would recommend going for lunch and having a salad and the bread as an appetizer it would be a perfect meal. The pasta was pretty good as well but was a bit overcooked.

Favorite Dishes: Greek Salad, Free Bread and Marinara Sauce

Atmosphere: The motif of Bella Mia is that of a casual, family style NY Italian restaurant. The table clothes are the traditional checkers of red and white. They have a pizza window and fun pictures and nick knacks around to give the ambiance that of a comfortable family-dive restaurant. Its the type of place you can bring kids and they can spill marinara sauce all over the floor without a second thought. The tables and chairs are miss matched which adds to the charm of this Italian family business.

Consistency: Both times we have been the food was consistently OK.

Parking: Parking is easy at Bella Mia because the restaurant is in the Kaimuki Shopping Center. You can find ample parking (most of the time) for only $1 for the first hour.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
1137 11th Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 737-1937
Website: /

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Bella Mia greek salad picture form honolulu hawaii

Greek Salad

Bella Mia Restaurant in Hawaii

Bella Mia Restaurant

Murphy-Goode – The Fumé

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system
Varietal: : Sauvignon Blanc

Vintages: 2008

Country: Sonoma County

Essence of: Flavors and aromas of bright citrus and tropical fruits expressed leaving a rich feel in your mouth / a vibrant wine/ with nice acidic qualities/ notes of grapefruit and tangerine.

Best Served With: Seafood, oysters on the half-shell, chicken or pork dishes, salads

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle

Muprhy-Goode White Wine Review

Phuket Thai

Overall: corkagecorkage

Service: The service is friendly at Phuket Thai but also very lazy as every single glass we say in the establishment was dirty. In fact, the wine glass they brought me even had old (or new) lip stick on it! its pretty disgusting and specially when the restaurant isn’t busy the staff should have enough pride in the establishment to whip the water-marks or what-not off the glasses.

Food: The food is not very good at Phuket Thai. It’s rather old tasting, very run of the mill stuff. Sometimes its above average and some times its not. I’ll put it this way….we wouldn’t recommend it to friends, or go again if we can help it, but if a group wants to go then recommend the Phuket Thai in McKully Shopping Center its much better than the new location at Ward.

Favorite Dishes: Fish patties, spring rolls, curry. Don’t order the laab or basil chicken – NO GO – also papaya salad was pretty sad.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere in Phuket Thai’s are pretty nice. You feel like your in a more upscale Thai restaurant and not a hole-in-the-wall. The ambiance is ambient, with pretty artwork and green/dark furniture and color pallet. During the day its more casual than at night and a place where families bring kids and eat a relaxing lunch. The new Ward area Location (with the worst food) is nicer than the Mccully location and has ample more tables.

Consistency: These restaurants are consistently average. Sometimes they are pretty darn good…. or at least decent…. but this last time we went it was just terrible and everything was old tasting.

Parking: The parking is just perfect at both Honolulu locations. The Mccully shopping center has free parking both in front of the restaurant (limited) as well as under the center (better parking). The Kamakee location has a parking lot right next to the restaurant which you need to pay $1 and get a ticket but then like validating a parking ticket Phuket Thai gives you a token to redeem your fee.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
Corkage Free $10 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted and Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
Mccully Shopping Center
160 Kapiolani Blvd #109
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 924-8194

Website: www.phuketthaihawaii.com

401 Kamakee St
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 591-8421

Mililani Town Center
95-1249 Mehuela parkway #A6
Tel: (808) 623-6228

Hours of Operation:
Mccully Shopping Center:
Open Daily: 11 a.m. – 10:15 p.m

Kamakee:
Open Daily: Sun-Thur: 11 a.m. -10 p.m.
Friday-Sat: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Mililani:
Mon-Thur 11 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.
Friday-Sat 11 a.m. -10 p.m.

Green Papaya Salad Hawaii personal chef blog

Green Papaya Salad

Chicken Larb from phuket thai

Chicken Larb

Wine Guerrilla – Russian River Valley

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah

Vintages: 2008

Country: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County

Essence of: Raspberry & Blueberry/ Easy drinking wine and easy to open  (screw cap!) / Vibrant acidity, with Peppery undertones and nuances of Vanilla, Oak & Spice, well balanced / Mild Tannins.

Best Served With: Grilled Meats, Pasta and Pizza

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle 

Wine Guerrilla Russian Valley Label Image

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup

Serves: 4-6 People
Drink Paring: Pinot Grigio
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 Whole Cantaloupe
2 Lemons
1 Small Japanese Cucumber
¼ Cup Tap Water (Or Substitute with Milk or Cream)
¼ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Pepper
Mint for Garnish

Directions:
Peal and cube cantaloupe into small pieces and set aside in a bowl. Zest one lemon and set aside. Now juice both lemons and place into a blender along with the water (or milk/cream for a creamier option). Add a few pieces of cantaloupe to water at a time into the blender and puree until smooth. Peal, de-seed and dice the cucumber into small pieces. Pour the soup into bowl, add cucumber and lemon zest to the soup. Set aside and let chill in the refrigerator. Garnish with mint. Serve as appetizer or light refreshing summer lunch.

Cantaloupe Soup Recipe

Mexico Resturant

Overall: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is usually excellent at Mexico restaurant and the food comes out of the kitchen really fast. The best waiter is actually Mexican so if you see him there its worth your while to site in his corner as he can really “work a room.” Only one time have we had a really crappy waitress who left our food sitting on the window ledge for a good 10 min before serving it cold and soggy which has pretty disappointing.

Food: The food is average-good. Its not the best Mexican food we have ever had, however, its one of the best in Hawaii for sure. They have all the traditional dishes, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and a full bar stocked with tequila and a variety of beers. The chips and salsa are really good and they must make them fresh daily so try not to fill up before your huge entree arrives. One thing that is really nice about Mexico Restaurant is that they offer some healthy options including grilled fish tacos & burritos served with salad instead of fried with beans & rice.

Favorite Dishes: Fresh Burrito, Tamale, Mixed Fajitas (Come out sizzling and large enough to share!), Salsa, Chips,  Beans & Rice, and ALL the salads (TIP- if you like Crab is da fresh kind!).

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is one of the best things about this restaurant. Its really spacious and themed to perfection. The bar is very quaint and the tables, art and vibe is totally Mexican through and through. It’s a nice place to meet with friends or have a bite with your family as its kid friendly and overall very casual.

Consistency: The consistency is good. We have been 4-6 times and its pretty consistent. The food is just average Mexican food and nothing fancy so if your itching for a fixing…. Mexico restaurant is a good place to come even though its a bit out of the way.

Parking: There is free parking at Mexico Restaurant. The lot, however, is super small and can be difficult to park in during lunch or peak dinner time when the place is packed. Most often for dinner they have a valet guy outside to help customers so if you need help it may be available and will need it to get out of that lot in the dark… especially after a margarita or two!

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
Corkage Fee $10-$20 per Bottle
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Live Music! Thur, Friday, Saturday Night

Address:
1247 N School St
Honolulu, HI 96817
Tel: (808) 845-9059

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Mexico Restaurant review

Enchilada's

Mexican Resaurant and bar review

Bar Area

Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Overall Review: corkagecorkagecorkageCork

Service:The service as Gaku is exceptional. The staff is not only helpful but extremely professional. Each time we go to Gaku we are welcomed into the restaurant with smiling faces and the type of service which you hope to receive every time you go out.

Food: The food is absolutely Delicious! they have a wide assortment of Japanese treasures including sushi, hot appetizers, tempura, and many other classic meat and seafood dishes. The specials are always excellent so ask your waiter whats fresh – each waiter tries all the specials on the menu daily and are well versed on each dish.

Favorite Dishes: Tuna Baked King Crab (OMG soooo delicious), Onyasai vegetables, Hamachi Tartar, and Cold Glass of Sake

Atmosphere: Gaku has a wonderful ambiance. It’s a small restaurant, with intimate lighting. You feel like you are in Japan, a magical place where anything could happen. The only down side is that this intimate restaurant only has about 10 tables and it is very popular so you will have to wait to get a seat almost any day of the week. They do take reservations before 7pm each night but you still need to call a few days in advance.  Also something to note is that half of the tables are ground seating which is fun but not so good if you have a bad back (Tip: when you make a reservation request one of the 3 tables in the front room.)

Consistency: Each time we go to Gaku we are left full and happy. The food is excellent and always consistent. Only one or two times has a dish varied in flavor.

Parking:Parking is free at Gaku, however, there are only a few stalls in the back (about 10). When your driving to Gaku for the first time be on the look out for the restaurant on the right hand side of the street because if you miss it you have to backtrack around the block because king street is one-way. The parking is located directly after the door to the restaurant. If the lot is full you can park on the  street and walk after rush hour.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
Corkage Free $25 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted Before 7pm & Recommended
Take Out Not Available

Address:
Sushi Izakaya Gaku
1329 South King Street
Telephone: 808.589.1329

Hours of Operation:
Lunch served 11:30 am – 4:00 pm Monday – Saturday
Dinner served 4:00 pm to late, Monday – Saturday

Grilled Sweet Chili Chicken Wings

Servers: 4 to 6 people
Cooking Time: 2 Hour

Ingredients
3 pounds Chicken Wings
Marinade

3 Tablespoons Garlic
3 Tablespoons Ginger
2 Tablespoons Tum Yum Paste (optional)
5-ounce Kikkoman Tempura Sauce
12-ounce bottle of Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 Bunch Cilantro

Directions
Place all marinade ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. In a large bowl or pan evenly incorporate half of the marinade over the chicken wings and mix well. Reserve the remaining marinade for later. Place the marinated wings back in refrigerator for one hour. For best tasting wings marinate over night. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grilled chicken wings tend to flare up quite a bit on the grill, so it’s a good idea to get a squirt bottle and fill it with water (or glass of water ready) just in case. If you see a flare-up, just squirt it down with a little water so it doesn’t char the wings. A squirt bottle is the favorite tool of many grillers I know! Pick up a cheap one at the supermarket if you don’t have one already, it’s the cheapest and most important tool you can have near the grill for these more fatty meats.

Grill over medium high heat until crisp and lightly charred about 20 minutes. While grilling preheat oven to 400 degrees, Once you achieved a nice grill marks, place wings in a oven safe dish and pour remaining marinade over wings and place in oven to cook for another 20 minutes or until well cooked. Serve with your favorite side dishes such as brown rice or potato salad.

Wine Guerrilla – Dry Creek Valley

Overall: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah

Vintages: 2008

Country: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

Essence of: Lots of Jammy fruit notes of Blackberry and Black Currants / Easy drinking wine and easy to open (screw cap!)  / Well balanced with a nice acidic quality, Nuances of Vanilla, Oak & Spice / Mild Tannins, with a long finish

Best Served With: Grilled, braised or roasted meats and poultry

Price Range: Under $15 per bottle 

Wine Guerrilla - Dry Creek Valley Label

Mexitlan Grill – OUT OF BUSINESS

Overall: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service is excellent at Mexitlan Grill which is a relief since the restaurant is extremely small in size (about 8 tables total). The service is very friendly and attentive making it a very enjoyable restaurant for both a quick bite for lunch or dinner out with friends.

Food: The food is authentic Mexican through and through. It’s wonderful to finally get a good Mexican restaurant in Honolulu that has more than just some run-of-the-mill burritos,  enchiladas and tacos. The restaurant proteins include fresh Fish, Lobster, Beef Tongue, Shredded Beef, Asada, Cochinita, Orange Pork, Chicken and more!  The salsa is fresh and once you start eating it you will want to put it on everything.  In fact, last time we ate at Mexitlan we got to experience them roasting the tomatoes fresh for the salsa because part of the grill opens up into the dining area…it was authentic and fun to watch.

Favorite Dishes: Chili Relleno (yum!), Fish Wrap, Tacos – Chicken, Beef Tongue, Cochinita, and the Enchiladas.

Atmosphere: The first thoughts that come to mind are – quaint, traditional, and charming. Even though the restaurant is small and doesn’t have any views they really decorated it perfectly and it doesn’t feel claustrophobic or crowed. Mexitlan has  beautiful artwork and authentic decorations which give the overall ambiance an A+.

Consistency: The food is consistently good. The restaurant is very new so we only have eaten at this establishment a few times but everything was very good and we are excited to go back again soon!

Parking: There is a private lot at the Kaimuki Shopping Center which has plenty of parking for about $1 per hour. If you are lucky you can also score 3 free street parking in front of Big City Diner and walking through the restaurant.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Accepted For Dinner (only recommended for 5 people plus)
Take Out Available

Address:
1137 11th. Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 737-5678

Hours of Operation:
Open Daily For Lunch & Dinner: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Closed Mondays

Mexitlan resturant in Hawaii review

Enchilada Chicken Mole

Mexitlan restauarant review

Fish Wrap

Easy Apple & Mango Crisps

Servers: 12 (6 ounce) individual Crisp or large 13 x 9 x 2 Baking Dish
Cooking Time: 1.5 hours

Filling Ingredients
4 large granny smith apples, medium size dice
2 large ripe mango, medium size dice
1 lemon zest and juiced
1-teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup white granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)
1-tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons corn starch
Topping
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix
1/2-cup butter, melted
1-tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 300° degrees. Peel, core and dice the apples and mangoes. In a large bowl place diced apples and Mangos along with the remaining filling ingredients and toss together. Spray bottom and sides of desired baking dish or individual ramekins with cooking spray. Arrange the fruit mixture evenly in the baking dish or ramekins and set aside. To prepare the topping add oatmeal cookie mix, melted butter and vanilla to a medium size bowl and mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over fruit filling and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown. If you notice during the cooking process that the topping is getting to dark, cover with tin foil and place back in the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature with a favorite ice cream. For a lighter approach try serving with low fat frozen yogurt or non-fat Greek yogurt.

Food for thought: Did you know that ½ Teaspoon of Cinnamon equals the same amount of antioxidants in ¼ cup of Blueberries.

Easy Apple Pie

Razor Edge

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Shiraz

Vintages: 2008

Country: McLaren Vale, South Australian

Essence of: Jammy fruit characteristics, reminds me of Welch’s Concord Grape Juice at first but then it opens up with hints of ripe Cherry / Earthy undertones and hints of Coffee / Medium Tannins

Best Served With: Grilled Gamey Meats such as Lamb, Duck, Wild Boar, Dear or Elk

Price Range: $15 per bottle 

Razors Edge wine lable

Richo

Overall: corkage

Service: The service was laugh out loud bad! it was just ridiculous. I mean they where very nice but terribly at serving. In fact, it took me three try’s to get them to remove an almost empty dish (the salad and all that was left was some pathetic limp lettuce doused in dressing). Its so annoying when they leave complete dishes to clutter your already small table. Also they brought us cold towels and pointed out they are usually hot – and our waiter didn’t know the different between Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris so it took a while to get even a drink at this establishment.

Food: Most absolutely the worst Korean food we have ever had. They also don’t have the BBQ grill on the table or even the portable grilling option which is rather strange for a Korean restaurant… the owner did say it was part Japanese so maybe that’s the Japanese influence? At any rate it was surely missed specially when the other food was less than impressive.

Favorite Dishes: Note – nothing was really good but these where not as bad: Seaweed Springrolls (tasty and creative but very oily), Bulkogi Salad (lean meat but way over dressed) , Leek Chijimi (like a pancake this was the best dish) – Do not order the Tofu Salad the tofu was rancid or the pickle / kimchi sampler it was awful.

Atmosphere:The Atmosphere of Richo is wonderful! they have floor table seating on the edge of the restaurant which are unique and can be fun for a date. The main seating tables and chairs which are also very modern and elegant in dark tones. The sushi bar sites at the back of the restaurant hiding the kitchen and creating a nice focal point for the guests facing that direction. The bathrooms where very clean and smelled great. If the food was better this would be a great place to go with its dim lighting and an overall aesthetic appeal.

Consistency: We will never go again to Richo. It was so bad it doesn’t even deserve another chance. If you want a good recommendation don’t wast your money or calories on this restaurant.

Parking:Parking is a breeze at Richo which was nice seeing how the food and service where so unacceptable. They have free parking in there lot located to the left of the door and once that fills up you can park in most of the stalls in the lot to the right of the entrance. It shares a few slots with some vendors but at night they are all closed so the entire lot is free for Richo guests.

Price Range: Medium-High ($8-$50) per Entree
Corkage Free $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available (But they don’t have a take out menu)

Address:
Richo Korean Cuisine
3008 Waialae Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 734-2222


Toasted Head Untamed

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Syrah, Zinfandel Petite Sirah

Vintages: 2007

Country: California Red Wine, USA

Essence of: Fresh Blackberry, Raspberry and Cherry / easy drinking wine / well balanced with nuances of Vanilla, Cedar and Spice, mild tannins and undertones of Coffee and Chocolate

Best Served With: Grilled & Braised meats, Tomato based Pasta and Pizza

Price Range: $12 per bottle (or less)

Toasted Head UnTamed Red

Smoked Salmon Frittata

Serves: 4-6 people
Total Time: 25-30 minutes
Drink Paring: Covert Bellini

Ingredients:
12 Large Eggs, Whites Only (3 eggs per person)
6oz Smoked Salmon
1 large Vine Ripened Tomato, Diced
½ Small Red Onion, Diced
8 oz Package pre-shredded Kraft Italian style Five-Cheese Blend
2 Tablespoons Cappers
2 Tablespoons Fresh Dill, Chopped (optional)
Pinch of Salt and Black Pepper
Pan Spray

Directions:
Spray a 12-inch non-stick skillet pan with cooking spray. Heat pan over medium heat. Separate the egg whites from the yokes and discard the yokes. Place the egg whites into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and black pepper and whisk the egg whites together for :30 seconds or until foamy. Pour egg whites into skillet and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until egg has set and looks firm. Now layer smoked salmon evenly over eggs, followed by diced tomatoes, red onions, cheese and cappers. Cover the pan with lid and cook about 5 min without stirring or flipping eggs until the whites are set (light brown on the bottom) and cheese is melted. To complete the dish add fresh dill to the top and divide the frittata among plates. Serve with toasted English muffin or favorite toast.

Smoked Salmon Fritata recipe

Mariposa

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is very professional at Mariposa. The staff is very well trained they hire excellent  servers for the most part. They give you just enough attention that you feel taken care of but not rushed. You absolutely must have a reservation during rush lunch hour (12-1pm)  if you don’t want to wait for a table for ages.

Food: The food is used to be better at Mariposas! We used to think that everything and anything you order was cooked and seasoned to perfection but lately its been so-so and its harder to find something that you want to order on the menu. The menu consists of American and Asian-Pacific classics like Salads, Sandwiches, Pasta, Fresh Fish and other seasonal delights. Also Mariposas treats each diner to a little sip of turkey consomme followed by a huge flaky and delicious popover to hold you over before your appetizers / entree make their debut (these are still very good). They also removed our favorite passionfruit non-sweetened ice tea from the menu which was disappointing. Our advice is go for lunch and stick to the salads!

Favorite Dishes: Crab Salad, Applewood Salmon Salad, Mariposa Burger,  Lobster BLT, and Seared Diver Scallops.

Atmosphere: I just love the ambiance at Mariposa’s and Nieman Marcus in general. The restaurant is located on the third floor and has a beautiful view of Ala Moana beach park and ocean. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating which is nice for versatility. The restaurant is large and in-charge with tropical vibrant art and beautiful ceiling fans. The moment you walk into Mariposa you feel like you are in a luxurious and tropical hot spot of food and culture. I find lunch a nicer overall experience than dinner – the day light and the lunch crowd are more casual and its an overall more pleasant experience than dinner.

Consistency: Again lately Mariposa hasnt been so memorable. Its been consistntly ok but the atmopshere is amazing and we still enjoy going. I hope that it returns to its usual mouth watering food. I think they need a menu refresh and until that happens we are lowering them from a 4 star to a 3 star.

Parking:Parking is as easy as pie since Mariposa is located at the Ala Moana Shopping Center in Nieman Marcus. Literally you can enter the mall from any entrance point and find ample   parking somewhere – best news it’s free! Another option if you are looking to impress someone or late for a date you can use the valet service offered at Nieman Marcus.

Price Range: Medium ($14-$24) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Reservations Recommended
Take Out Available
Hale ‘Aina Award Winner!

Address:
1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 951-3420
Website: /
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/info/store.jhtml?storeId=31/AM&rest=200074&_requestid=27352

Hours of Operation:
Open for Lunch & Dinner Daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m

Mariposa restaurant review in hawaii by private chef ryan covert

Shrimp Salad

Mariposa Crab Salad

Crab Salad

Mariposa restaurant review in hawaii

Seafood Pasta

Mariposa Salmon Entree

Salmon

 

Wine Guerrilla

Overall Wine Review: Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system Wine rating system

Varietal: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah

Vintages: 2008

Country: Sonoma County

Essence of: Dried cherries and black currants / easy drinking wine AND easy to open ( screw cap) / well balanced with a nice acidic quality, nuances of vanilla, oak and spice, mild tannins, with a long finish. Yummy!

Best Served With: Grilled, braised or roasted meats and poultry

Price Range: $15 per bottle (or less) 

Wine Guerrilla

Avocado & Alaskan King Crab Salad

Serves: 4 people
Wine Paring: Point Grigio

Ingredients

1 ½ Pound Alaskan King Crab
1 Medium Size Ripe Mango, Small Dice
1 Clove Garlic, Finley Chopped
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Lemon, Zest and Juice
2 Ripe Hass Avocado
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

Directions

Remove crab meat from shells, cut into bite size pieces, and place in a bowl set aside. Peal off the skin of the mango and cut into small dice, place in a bowl and set aside. Meanwhile place a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic, cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the garlic is golden brown. Add crab meat, lemon juice and lemon zest to the garlic mixture and toss together, reheating crab meat for 2 minutes.  Cut the avocados in half-length wise, remove the seeds and peel off the skin, then cut strait down into thin slices and place avocados onto plates. Season avocados with salt and pepper and place crab meat mixture over avocados. Garnish with diced Mangos on top of Crab meat- serve immediately.

crab and avocado salad

Indigo’s

Overall:corkage corkagecorkage

Service: Service is always pleasant at Indigo’s. The staff wears cool Balinese looking uniforms which match the decor of the restaurant which is always fun. The bar tenders in particular are always very attentive and make the best drinks! overall the staff is very good unless you go on First Friday when the crowds take over.

Food: The food at Indigo’s is a bit of a mesh between Asian, Mediterranean and French with an modern island spin. The menu has a good variety of dishes including interesting hot appetizers, salads, fish, and poultry – It is recommended to go for lunch and try the buffet instead of going for dinner. The lunch menu is very limited but if you get the buffet it is a good deal and you won’t be disappointed (note you cannot order from the dinner menu at lunch). They also have one of the most fantastic happy hours in town with over 30 Martinis to choose from all for only $4. It truly is Martini Madness and a great place for Pau Hana with friends after work (beers $3 and discount on Appetizers as well).

Favorite Dishes: For Lunch – Roasted Tomato Garlic Crab Soup (YUM!), or the best is to get the $15.95 lunch buffet – delicious assortment of cooked vegetables, seasonal composed salads, fresh fish, chicken, noddles, potatoes, pizza, hummus and at times warm appetizers. For Dinner – Tempura Ahi Roll, Watercress Salad, and Steamed Fish with Sizzling scallion oil

Atmosphere: Love Love Love the atmosphere at Indigo’s! Its so unique that nothing on the island compares to it. The restaurant has various seating areas all showcasing a different experience. The main dinning area has high ceilings and very modern tropical art & furniture. My personal favorite is the outdoor patio seating which feels a bit like Bali and you can enjoy a glass of wine as you can gaze over the garden outside. There are also two other bar areas and the Green Room is a wonderful place to meet friends after work and enjoy happy hour (Martinis to dye for! – big and cold) or for the late night crowed they have a dance room in the back.

Consistency: Lunch and Happy Hour are consistently terrific at Indigo’s. Great place to take an out of town guest if you go downtown for any reason!

Parking: Yup parking is not pleasant downtown but there are ample municipal parking structures you can select from. The cheapest one is located on Beretania on the right hand size of the street right after you pass Nuuanu Street (NOTE: this parking garage closes at 12pm and your car will be locked in so if you park here – make it an early night). Also Indigo’s has a valet service for $5-$6 dollars which is attractive at night when its harder to find a parking space.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
Corkage Fee $15 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Catering & Take Out Available

Happy Hour!

Address:
1121 Nu’uanu Avenue,
Honolulu, HI 96817
Tel: (808) 521-2900
Website:
www.indigo-hawaii.com
For more information on INDIGO catering please call 808.521.2900 or contact Bob Grossberger at Indigobob@hotmail.com.

Hours of Operation:
Lunch
Tue-Fri: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Happy Hour
Tue-Fri: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sat: 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Dinner
Tue-Thu: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Bar
Tue: 5 p.m. – Midnight
Wed-Sat: 5 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Closed Sun and Mon

12th Ave Grill

Overall: corkagecorkage

Service: The service was so-so. The waiter took his time taking our orders and wasn’t very knowledgeable about the menu – in fact he even had to come back twice to inform us the items we ordered where no longer available. I mean if you only have 5 desserts and 3 are out how hard is it to remember what you DO have? Its not rocket science!  Also if your not going to put the wine we ordered on the table for us to fill up ourselves than it would be reasonable to think the waiter would frequently check back on our glass status…. unfortunately this was not the case. We give it a big two thumbs down on the service.

Food: ummm where to begin…. about half of the food we ordered was pretty good and half was uneatable and just plan laugh out loud bad. The scallops from the specials menu where undercooked and rubbery. The pecan pie sandwich was burned and actually so unappetizing we sent it back. Another person ordered the Afogado which was believe it or not… pre-made and had freezer burn all over it…. I mean it’s ice cream – does it really need to be pre-glassed? How lazy can you get! Also when the menu noted it should come “drowned” in an expresso shot one would think it would be a warm fresh shot that was poured over the ice cream. Not a little frozen glob of cold espresso stuck to the  bottom of the glass – that’s just GROSS. On the positive note we did have two good entrees including the Opah fresh catch of the day and the BBQ Spare Ribs which just feel right off the bone and where delicious. The sides where few and far between, and over seasoned but it was the best thing we ate that night. The menu does change seasonally and 12th Ave Grill offers a lot of daily specials – however, being a personal chef I can say its better to have less specials and really make sure your core dishes are properly executed than to have new dishes all the time that are missing crucial elements or not cooked properly.
Download 12th Ave Grill Menu in Honolulu

Favorite Dishes: Fresh Fish of the Day, BBQ Maui Cattle Co. Short Ribs, and Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Atmosphere: The 12 Ave Grill is a cute little restaurant. The atmosphere is warm – with light/cheery wood furniture, orange dim lights and small in diameter. The restaurant also has a small unique bar seating area which is charming and nice if you are solo or + 1. The worst thing about this restaurant is the noise factor. It has such bad acoustics that when full its really hard to hear the people at your table without screaming at each other. Not very pleasant and def not recommended for a first date where you want to get to know someone better. (TIP: if you decide to try it out – go early or go late – too avoid a full restaurant so you can at least hear yourself think! or…. and its recommended to go somewhere else!)

Consistency: Consistently the dishes are pretty bad. It’s been 4 years since we have been and I would be lying if I said it would we would return before another 4 passes at least!

Parking: Parking is pretty easy at 12th Ave Grill. The restaurant is located close to the Kamuki shopping center on the side street between Koko Head Ave and 12th Ave. So the best place to park is the maniciple parking lot right next to it which has metered parking. If you can’t find a spot you can go to the other parking lot (where the Big City Diner is located) which has ticketed parking ($1 per hour).

Price Range: Medium-High ($18-$32-Market Price) per Entree
Corkage Fee $15 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
1145C 12th Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 732-9469
Website: http://www.12thavegrill.com

Hours of Operation:
Open for Dinner:
Mon-Thurs: 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sun: Closed

Spare Rib from 12th Ave Grill in Honolulu, HI

Spare Rib's

Scallops from 12th Ave Grill in Honolulu, HI

Scallops

12th ave fresh fish opha

Fresh Opha

Kincaid’s

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service was excellent at Kincaid’s. Our waiter was professional, courteous and very helpful throughout our entire dinning experience. He was well spoken and we felt taken care of the moment we sat down. In fact, he went above and beyond to give us the fresh baked bread coming out of the oven and one of the dishes we ordered was fishy and our server took it back right away, apologized profusely and offered to replace it and give us free dessert. That’s exactly the type of service  you want to have at a restaurant! attentive and trustworthy (like I wasn’t worried he would spit in our food in the back).

Food: The food is seafood & steak through and through. The menu also has the classics like Fish Tacos, Salads, Calamari, Artichoke and Crab Dip, Oysters, Steaks, Pork Chops, Fresh fish and a bunch of daily specials. They often add and change the menu which keeps it interesting. Kincaid’s also has a good Kama’aina special a 3-course meal for only $25 between 4-6pm daily. They also host happy hour between 3pm-7pm & 10pm-close daily.
Download Kincaid’s Menu in Honolulu

Favorite Dishes: Steamed Manila Clams (Delicious and not fishy at all!), French Fries, Mediterranean Salmon (on lunch specials menu), Home Grown Baby Greens with Maytag Blue Cheese Spring Rolls (ask for light on the dressing but very interesting and tasty dish!), Bread (TIP: ask for the butter on the side they smear it all over the top of each piece)

Atmosphere: The ambiance of Kincaid’s is that of a sailing restaurant sporting a stunning view of the Ward Center harbor. They also have various sailing pictures and instruments as the featured art to tie the theme together. The tables and chairs are super dated. With a serious makeover and this restaurant could really have a unique and upscale feel.

Consistency: Its been over 4 years since we have eaten at Kincaid’s so we promise to update this section once we return. However, the consistency between the dishes was so-so. We had two really great dishes, one OK dish, and one “send it back” dish which doesn’t say alot about the restaurants overall consistency – or lack there of!

Parking:Parking is a breeze at Kincaid’s. They have ample outdoor parking at Ward Warehouse and the overall Ward area but it is also a very popular mall with the movie theater across the street. If you can’t find a spot try the parking garage in the Ward Warehouse building – its huge and your sure to find something.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
Corkage Fee $13 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Happy Hour!

Address:
1050 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 591-2005
Website: www.kincaids.com/

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Mon-Sun 11am-4pm
Dinner: Mon-Sun 4pm-10pm
Bar: Sun-Thurs 11am-12am, Fri-Sat 11am-1am
Happy Hour: Daily 3pm-7pm and 10pm-close
First Seating: 4pm-6pm

Kinkaids MayTag blue cheese picture in honolulu, hawaii

Maytag Blue Cheese

Kincaid's fresh fish

Daily Fish

Imanas

Overall Review: corkage corkagecorkagecorkageCork

Service: The staff is so nice at Imanas. As soon as you walk through the front door you are greeted and ushered in. They have exceptional service and really make you feel special when you eat there by constantly bowing and smiling.

Food: The food is super good at Imanas. They have almost everything you could ever want from a Japanese restaurant including Shabushabu, Sushi, Sashimi, Grilled and Fried dishes. What they don’t have is a tempura selection or individual meal box selections like many other Japanese restaurants do just an FYI before you plan a visit.  The food is light, refreshing and very moderately priced. We recommend ordering many different dishes and sharing so you can try different items and flavors. (TIP: Order a cold glass of Otakayama Sake, It is sooooo good and makes the food and evening all that much better!)

Favorite Dishes: Thinly Sliced Founder, Spicy Tuna Roll, Avacado & Salmon Roll, Spider Roll (OMG delicious!), Fried Gobo and Seafood, Butter Fish, Seasoned Burdock, Assorted Oshinko,  Fried Tofu with Miso Sauce (TIP: if you like it HOT get this dish its served with hot muster that really pack’s a punch!) and the Beef Shabushabu is also very good but has a minimum of two orders

Atmosphere: The restaurant is absolutely stunning! the tables are beautiful and the entire ambiance is very zen from the second you walk into Imanas. The warm wood colors make you feel welcome and safe almost as if you where at home or a close friends for dinner. The natural elements create dynamic shadows on the floor and walls making the atmosphere absolutely lovely! This is a perfect restaurant for both an intimate date, or family gathering. The sushi bar is also fun to sit at if you are only 2 people and the seats are exceptionally comfortable (or that could be the sake talking).

Consistency: Imanas is wonderfully consistent. we have been going for years and have never been disappointed by any dish we have eaten making this a first class Japanese restaurant to try.

Parking: The restaurant does have a small 10-12 stall parking lot directly in front of it which has free parking but it is extremely hard to find a spot there – specially during key dinner time 6:30-7:30. However, there is also an extremely convenient paid parking lot to the left of the restaurant which is only about $1 per hour (they do not accept validation).

Price Range: Medium ($5-$20) per Entree  (Sushi $3-$9.50 per roll)
No BYOB
Reservations Accepted Before 7pm & Recommended
Take Out Not Available

Address:
2626 S. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 941-2626

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Saturday 5 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Closed Sunday

Imanas japanese restaurant review

Seafood Gobo

imanas miso butter fish in Hawaii

Miso Butter Fish

Imanas japanese restaurant in hawaii shabu shabu

Shabu Shabu

]

SOUL – Cuisine with Aloha & Spice

Overall: corkage

Service: The service was the best thing about SOUL. The restaurant is a mesh of full service and plate lunch get it yourself service. You are seated by a waitress and given menus, water and a very pleasant smile! then once you decide what you want to eat you need to go and order at the counter, pay and then be re-seated. Once your order is complete the waitress brings it out to you and also clears the table. Both waitresses where absolutely jewels. Both exceptionally friendly and helpful – to bad the food was crap!

Food: We where soooooo very excited to try this place as the menu was mouth watering… sadly it was some of the worst food we have had in a while! they should name the restaurant Soul – Cuisine with Salt & Frozen Ingredients! The cuisine menu is a mixture (as promised) of Southern food and Hawaiian comfort food. Staple items on the menu include Seafood Gumbo & Grits, Pulled Pork, BBQ Ribs, Fried Chicken, Feta & Crab Mac & Cheese (sounds delicious), Jambalaya etc. The food was all pretty bad, the ribs where fatty and chewy  – everything was kind of old tasting and very salty. The trout was fishy, the salad was over dressed and the mash potato’s where even cold… they tasted like glue….. everything was pretty disgusting! The salad we ordered was the best thing and lets face it, it is pretty hard to screw up mixed greens! that being said, the salad was named “Avocado and Papaya Salad” which would indicate more than 1 piece of papaya and 1 little piece of avocado. False advertising 4 sure!  and overall the restaurant is pretty darn expensive for the shabby quality of ingredients served.

Favorite Dishes: To put it bluntly – we didn’t like anything. The best thing was the wine we brought with us!!  The Avacado & Papaya Salad was the best thing we ate (see Food above). The Fried Chicken did look delicious, but we didn’t try it this time around. Our waitress did say her favorite thing was Shrimp and Grits but – again…. can’t recommend anything from this visit!

Atmosphere: We enjoyed the atmosphere at Soul very much. It is a cute little dive with a fun personality and was pretty clean. You can site either outside (about 3 tables) or inside (about 10 tables) which is nice for variety. They had interesting art and the overall place feels pleasant once inside. They also had great music – not loud at all and very easy going Island style beats.

Consistency: Well we have only been once and after such terrible food it will be extremely hard to go back and give this restaurant another shot. In the spirit of fairness and for the benefit of our readers we will go again and update this review at that time….. so stay tuned!

Parking: Well as all restaurants in this little mini mecca of Kaimuki there is very limited free parking for the 6 restaurants guests. If you go early and are lucky you can snag a spot (no more than 20 in front and back). If you are unlucky or go after 6:30 you can park for $5 at the lot across the street and hope you don’t get a ticket (which has happened to us before). Good luck!

Price Range: Medium ($12-$22) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
St Louis Dr & Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 735-7685.

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. .
Sunday: Brunch – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinner – 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Aloha and Spice ribs review

Spare Ribs

Soul Location

Formaggio’s Wine Bar

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service was good at Formaggio’s and they had plenty of staff on hand. The waiters however, where not very good listeners and they brought us the wrong pizza not once, but twice during our dinner! Also on a previous time they brought us the wrong wine which was double the cost of the bottle we had asked for.

Food: The food is pretty darn tasty. They have good size portions for sharing with the table and the food is Italian-American-French. Typical items you can find on the menu are Pizzas, Salads, Panini’s, Fondue, Lobster bisque, Escargot, Foie Gras Crostini’s, Onion Soup and other good food to eat along with wine. The restaurant has over 50 wines by the glass and its fun to sample a few instead of committing to a full bottle. (TIP: double, triple check the wine you order. On more than one occasion they brought us the wrong bottle or the price was misleading on the menu!)

Favorite Dishes: Salmon Carpaccio (yum!) , Boneless Short Ribs in Red Wine (falls right off the bone!), Mixed Green Salad, Cheese Sample Plat, Pancetta & Pesto Pizza.

Atmosphere: Love the atmosphere at Fomaggio’s. It’s very cozy with intimate lighting, low ceilings, and the flicker of candle light on each persons table. The restaurant feels like a wine cellar or somewhere exclusive and is small in size. You could dress up, or dress down for Formaggio’s depending on who you are going with.

Consistency: Both times we have been to the Honolulu location have been pretty consistent. The bill was wrong on both occasions also but the wine and food where better than average and the overall experience was positive.

Parking: Formaggio’s has free parking which is extremely convenient and directly in front of the restaurant. They have plenty of spaces and the easy accessibility from all the highway, Kapiolani blvd, and Kapahulu makes this a great place to meet friends after work.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($8-$22) per Entree
Wine: Medium-High ($27.97-$95) – Average Bottle $50
NO BYOB
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Live Music Friday & Saturday Night!

Address:
2919 kapiolani blvd
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 739-7719
Website: formaggio808.com/ /

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Thu: 5:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Fri* 5:30 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Sat* 6:00 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday: Closed for Private Parties
* Live Music 9:30pm

The Yard House

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkageCorkCork

Service: The service is excellent at the Yard House despite how extremely busy it is. Regardless if you sit at the bar or a table the staff is attentive, friendly, and don’t leave you hanging for more drinks or whatever condiments you may need. The service does tend to be better earlier in the day/night and after it gets past 10pm it can be more challenging to flag down some staff if you are in the external bar seating. Our recommendation is to come early and once you are finished with dinner or pupu’s then migrate to the bar for more fun and faster drink service. Also… be ready to wait for your table. The Yard House is always busy and be prepared to wait for at least 45 min for a table during peak eating hours.

Food: The food at The Yard House is pretty good. It’s nothing fancy but each dish is tasty and fresh. It’s prefect American style food to share with friends any time of the day and they also have a great happy hour late night and after work for drinks (Domestic Beer $3.50, Martini $6.25, Wine $1,50 off per glass) and half off appetizers and pizza. They also have a gluten sensitive menu for those with this growing food allergy.

Favorite Dishes: Chicken Lettuce Wraps (da best!! – also good in vegetarian version), Moo Shu Egg Roll,  California Roll,  Spinach Cheese Dip (but don’t order that if you are on a diet its packed with tons of calories but is delicious specially after a few drinks), New York Steak Salad, Pizza’s, Burgers and Seared Ahi Steak Sandwhich

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at the Yard House is that of a fast-pass restaurant / bar. The decor is reminiscent of a trendy rock sports bar with tons of important beers, wide screen TV’s, double sided bar, and of course table seating. You always need to fight for a seat whether squeezing in at the bar or waiting the estimated 45-1.5 hours for your table. The music is always good at the Yard House if you like rock and your sure to have a good time with friends any time you meet at this hip venue.

Consistency: The Yard House is consistently good. The food and service are pretty standard and you know what to expect each time you visit.

Parking: Is pretty tricky at The Yard house for sure – there isn’t  street parking on Lewers but you can park at the valet at Embassy Suites Hotel on Beach Walk (NOTE  It costs $6 with validation not including tip!). Our recommendation is to take a cab and this way you can enjoy a few drinks, and not worry about parking in the heart of Waikiki!  

Price Range: Medium ($11-$34) per Entree
Corkage Fee $10 per bottle
Reservations Not Accepted For Dinner (Lunch reservations accepted and recommended)
Take Out Available

Great Happy Hour Deals!

Address:
226 Lewers St
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Tel: (808) 923-9273
Website: http://www.yardhouse.com/default.aspx/

Hours of Operation:
SUN – SAT
11:00am – 1am or later

Happy Hour & Late Night
Monday – Friday 2pm – 5:30pm
Sunday – Wednesday 10:30pm – Close

Yard House restaurant review in waikiki

California Roll

Yard House chicken wraps

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

The Fat Greek

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The Fat Greek is a plate lunch type of establishment so there is no table staff and you need to order from the counter, take a number, and wait for your order to be called. The staff is friendly and responsive to guests needs for example when a friends order came out with a big black hair on top they took it back and made him a new one without a hesitation. Sometimes they can be slow and food does tend to trickle out randomly.

Food: The food at The Fat Greek is typical Greek with a Mediterranean twist. The food in general is pretty healthy as most dishes contain lean protein, fresh vegetables, lemon and olive oil rather than fried foods. The Fat Greek has the typical Greek / Mediterranean dishes you would be “craving” such as Falaffel, Shwarmas, Souvlaki, Gyros, Greek Salads, Lamb, Hummus, and great pita bread.

Favorite Dishes: Greek Salad, Spanokopita, Soulvaki (Don’t get the fish its not as good as the meat), Daily Special (always great specially the fresh salmon or Moussaka), Greek Fries  (TIP: for the love of god DO NOT order the chicken soup it’s terrible!)

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at The Fat Greek is that of a querky yet quaint local dive. It has an odd charm to it and has great outdoor seating but is not exactly fancy or even trendy. The place is pretty clean and they have plenty of seating so its a good place to go with kids or friends for a quick bite, but certainly not recommended for a lengthily meal or an intimate first date.

Consistency: We have only been twice but both times have been consistently OK . It’s not like anything you eat knocks your socks off or anything but its not bad and if you are in the mood for Greek and not close to Kahala (so you can eat at the Olive Tree Cafe)  this is a good dinning option.

Parking: The Fat Greek does have some parking available but not that many stalls and they are shared with other neighboring restaurants like Sabrina’s, Aloha with Spice, and Cafe Tajmahal so you need to be lucky or very patient to get a spot. You can also park across the street in the out door parking lot but its a flat rate of $5 and last time we parked there and paid we STILL got a ticket! those old machines are unreliable and rather expensive for being located on Waialae.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($7-$19) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
3040 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 734-0404
Website: http://www.thefatgreek.net

Hours of Operation:
Open 11:00 am to 10:00 pm daily

Fat Greek Salmon Special picture in honolulu, HI

Salmon Plate Special

Fat Greek Restaurant Hummus picture in Honolulu Hawaii

Hummus

Keo’s

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is ok – sometimes better than others. The staff is friendly and they fill the water up quickly so that’s always good! They also put the wine in a big ice bucket so it stays perfectly chilled during your dinning experience which is always lovely.

Food: The food is pretty run of the mill Thai. Nothing on the menu is so good that it haunts me at night but its pretty tasty and when we go to Keo’s with friends the plates go back to the kitchen empty.

Favorite Dishes: Thai Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Green Papaya Salad, Fish Patties, Basil Chicken, Green Curry, and the Pinot Gris 🙂

Atmosphere: The atmosphere makes this restaurant and brings the entire experience up. The entrance and inside of Keo’s is enchanting with orchids and Thai wood carvings surrounding the seats. The decor is tropical with a artsy flare. The only really strange part of the decor is the owner loves these large metal statues and they are everywhere inside the restaurant and extremely out of place since they are not Thai at all  (mostly statues of animals and women) but it does add a unique element to this particular Waikiki classic.

Consistency: Keo’s is actually not very consistent. It really depends on who is cooking that day and each dish can literally come out tasting and looking different from visit to to visit. Basically one thing has remained the same that over the last 10 years the food has gone from great to just about average.

Parking: Every time we have been to Keo’s in the past they had free valet parking, but this last time they allowed guests to park in their lot themselves which was very convenient.  The parking lot is just down the street making this a great place to meet & eat in Waikiki if you are visiting out-of-towners.

Price Range: Medium ($11-$20) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per bottle of white and (seriously) they said $22 for Cabernet!! haha so the owner must not like red wine very much.
Reservations Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
Keo’s Thai Cuisine
2028 Kuhio Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii,96815
Tel: (808) 951-9355
Website: www.keosthaicuisine.com

Hours of Operation:
Dinner Nightly: 4pm – 10:30pm

Side Street Inn

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is wonderful at the new Side Street Inn on Da Strip! from the moment the valet opened the car door, to the moment we were seated the service was excellent. The staff was smiling, happy, and down right pleasant through the entire meal. Its rare to find such good service and it commendable!

Food: The food is served family style so its the perfect place to go with lots of friends & family for pupus or dinner. The menu is very typical of a local style restaurant with lots of Asian and Island flavors, lots of meat dishes, appetizers and overall good grindz.  Each dish was served hot, fresh and in a timely manner so its no wonder the place was packed!

Favorite Dishes: Nalo Green Salad (big and delicious), Pork Chops, Hoisin BBQ Baby Back Ribs (all ribs are just delicious!), Garlic Soy Beans, and drum roll….Peanut Butter Crunch dessert. Sooooo freaken good!  (Tip: Don’t order the fried rice, its very heavy and not very crispy)

Atmosphere: The new side street in has a great atmosphere. The restaurant has ample seating and airy high ceilings prefect for absorbing all the noise. The Side Street in has both booth and table seating making it a very homey, bright and modern restaurant you can feel comfortable wearing anything in.

Consistency: We have only been to this new location once but the food is consistently tasty with the other Side Street Inn location on 1225 Hopaka St.

Parking: Oh the parking… yes not our favorite part of the evening seeing as the only convenient place to park is the valet service provided by the restaurant at a $5 fee without tip! Don’t get me wrong… I’ll pay for valet but if I eat at the restaurant I hope to get a better deal than $7-$8 per a visit. Of course you can always find free street parking on Kapahulu if your lucky.

Price Range: Medium ($8-$20-Market Price) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
614 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 591-0253 or 596-8282
Website: www.sidestreetinn.com

1225 Hopaka St.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel:(808) 591-0253 or 596-8282

Hours of Operation:
Hopaka St – Sunday – Saturday 2:00 pm – 2:00 am
Da Strip – Please call restaurant as hours for new location are TBD

Sidestreet In Whole Fish Picture

Steamed Fresh Fish

Side Street Pork chop product review

Pork Chop

Du Vin

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The overall service is so so at Du Vin. The staff is very friendly but not fast by any means and historically we have had better service for dinner than lunch.

Food: The food is pretty good. It’s Italian french inspired and they use a lot of yummy ingredients such as Arugula, Prosciutto,  Assorted Meats, Cheese and Fresh Fish so its hard to go wrong. For lunch and dinner they always have great specials and a Prix Fixe menu for only $25 a person. The deal comes complete with the daily appetizer, entree and dessert. (FYI: Du Vin doesnt allow any substitutes on these items)

Favorite Dishes: Moules frites, Escargot, Roasted Beet Salad, Crostini of warm Gorgonzola Dolce and Prosciutto, Pork Chop, Fresh Fish of the day

Atmosphere: Du Vin is absolutely one of the most wonderful restaurants in all of Hawaii when it comes to its Atmosphere. The restaurant screams Italy or Spain with its series of small connecting rooms all with intimate lighting and indoor/outdoor seating options. The Salon is the place you want to sit after work with your mates and have a glass of wine, cheese selection, and unwind. The Patio is the romantic place to sit with a date or close friend under the stars. The Cask Room you may find yourself in for a wine tasting or a family reunion. This room can be rented out for large functions and has a beautiful old bar at its center.

Consistency: The restaurant is pretty consistent. Sometimes the bread is a bit old but they heat it up which helps it taste fresher. On first Friday Du Vin gets extremely busy so for better food and better service come sometime during the week.

Parking: Du Vin is located in the heart of Honolulu so there are numerous public parking garages or if you have parkma (parking karma) that day you may snag a street spot. If not its recommend parking at the China Town lot of Beretania and walking to the restaurant but remember to check because some lots close up after 12am!

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
Corkage Free $25 per Bottle
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
1115 Bethel Street
(Across from Hawaii Theatre)
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tel: (808) 545-1115
Website: www.brasserieduvin.com/

Hours of Operation:
Lunch served 11:30 am – 4:00 pm Monday – Saturday
Dinner served 4:00 pm to late, Monday – Saturday

Du Vin Restaurant review

Daily Special

Du Vin review by hawaii private chef

Shrimp Salad

California Pizza Kitchen

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service at CPK is excellent. They are very attentive, make great recommendations and always make you feel at home. If you are in a rush its recommended to grab a seat at the bar, its fast and you won’t have to wait to be seated!

Food: The food at CPK is always perfect. The food is Californian-Italian-American and has a very good selection of salads, pizza and pasta with international inspiration. They are constantly adding new food to the menu and offer fresh seasonal specials. It’s the type of restaurant where everyone leaves happy and is a good place to go with family or friends!

Favorite Dishes: Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Field Green Salad, Waldorf Chicken Salad, Tricoloré Salad Pizza, Thai Chicken Pizza, Thin Crust Pizzas!

Atmosphere: The ambiance at all CPK’s are very contemporary. The ceilings are high and the color scheme is black and yellow. The restaurants are casual and you can feel comfortable wearing anything to one of there establishments. The bars are also very nice and the seats are comfortable.

Consistency: This is one of the most consistent restaurants we have been to. All the ingredients are weighted out and you always get exactly the same size and taste every time you go.

Parking: Depending on which location you visit parking is usually always available. The Kahala and Ala Moana Mall locations have ample parking and for the Waikiki location its best to park at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center parking across the street.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$25) per Entree
Corkage Free $5 per Bottle
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
Ala Moana Shopping Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 941-7715
Website: www.cpk.com

Center of Waikiki
2284 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 924-2000

Kahala Mall

4211 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 737-9449

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Sunday: 11am-11pm

California Pizza Kitchen restaurant review

Sicilian Pizza

California Pizza Kitchen Hawaii Salad

Field Green Salad

Tricoloré Salad Pizza from California Pizza Kitchen in Kahala

Tricoloré Salad Pizza

Olive Tree Cafe

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The Olive Tree is a seat yourself restaurant and  the service is fantastic. The service providers are friendly, pleasant and very quick to take your order and clear tables. A great idea if you are concerned about waiting for a table is to call in advance for take-out. You can typically pick up your order 15 min after ordering, walk straight to the front of the line and be home before a table opens up!

Food: The Food at the Olive Tree is traditional Greek. It’s fresh, flavorful and always delicious.  It’s hands down the best Greek food in Hawaii and a fun affordable place to go with friends, family and even a date.

Favorite Dishes: Fresh Fish Slovaki (TIP: If you are trying to not eat bread order this dish without the pita and ask for extra salad!), Lamb Slovaki, The Daily Special, Hummus, Babaganoush, Olives and Feta Cheese, and the Dolmas.

Atmosphere: The Olive Tree has a wonderful, hip ambiance to it. It is a seat yourself restaurant and you can select a table out doors or in doors depending on availability and the weather. The restaurant plays authentic Greek music to add to the experience. It is extremely busy so its recommended to have one person hunt for a table while the rest order inside or you could wait forever.

Consistency: The restaurant is very consistent and you always get what you are expecting. Being a private chef in Honolulu I have first hand experience what restaurants retain the integrity of their dishes time and time again.  Over the past years we cannot think of one instance where we had bad food at Olive Tree Cafe!

Parking: The Olive Tree has free parking if for about 10 cars. The parking is directly in front of the restaurant but also shares with Subway. If you are not lucky enough to find a spot you can park on the street outside of the Kahala post office.

Price Range: Low ($8-$15) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!

Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
4614 Kilauea Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816-5309
Telephone: (808) 737-0303‎

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Sunday: 5pm-10pm

The Counter

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service The Counter is very good while seated at the counter, however seating in the main restaurant can prove challenging. They only have one or two waitresses and they struggle to keep up with the drinks and orders which gets old real fast.

Food: The food is pretty good at The Counter. When you go, you go for only two things, Hamburgers and French Fries.  Each eater is given a check list to “create” there burger in a bowl or on a bun upon arrival and they have endless toppings to choose from including a special topping of the month to tantalize its customers. We recommend ordering some fries for the table to share they are not only  delicious  but come out fast (TIP: If you seat at a table these table treats could keep you from eating the silverware or getting the grumpy)

Favorite Dishes: Turkey Burger – In a Bowl – Mixed Greens – Red Onion – Jalapenos – Blue Cheese – Cranberries – Avocado, Hamburger – On a Bun – Mixed Greens, Tomato, Grilled Onion, Jalapeno Jack Cheese, Roasted Garlic Aioli (on the side), The “Fifty-Fifty” Sweet Potato Fries & Regular Fries

Atmosphere: The Counter has a great atmosphere and the concept of the restaurant is to build your ultimate personal burger in a trendy diner. The layout is clean, bright and feels a bit industrial. The music is fresh and they often play sports at the bar making it a great place for a quick bite or after-work drink.

Consistency: When The Counter first opened we felt the food was better cooked and the service was faster. As time as moved on its gotten a little more generic and not as good as it used to be, however, if you are in the mood for a burger I can’t think of anywhere else better to go.

Parking:The Counter is located at the Kahala Shopping Center right next to Whole Foods. It’s easiest to park on the second floor of the parking garage then walk down the stairs to the restaurant.

Price Range: Low ($8.95-$12) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $15 per bottle

Reservations Not Available

Address:
4211 Waialae Avenue E-1
Honolulu HI 96816
Telephone: 808-739-5100
Fax: 808-739-5102
Email: kahala@thecounterburger.com
Website: www.thecounterburger.com

Hours of Operation:
Sunday-Thursday: 11am-9pm
Friday-Saturday: 11am-10pm

The Counter in hawaii restaurant review

Chicken Burger

The Counter burger salad in hawaii

Turkey Burger Salad

Kaimana Beach Hotel – Hau Tree Resturant

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service was so so at the Kaimana Beach Hotel. The staff is def union and we had some old timers serving us. They where all very friendly, local and personable, however, they where not very fast or gave good recommendations. That being said they did refund our crappy appetizer which we appreciated.

Food: The food is ok. The fresh fish was good and brought the overall dining experience up.  The vegetables where cooked perfectly and the portion size was way above average and I would defiantly go back for the dish.

Favorite Dishes: Fresh Opakapaka with steamed vegetables (TIP: Do not order the Chefs Ocean Trio! gross)

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is prob the best thing going for this restaurant. Yes the furniture is VERY dated – think 60’s – bright pink table clothes that are super run down and rinky-dink tables and chairs. However, the restaurant sites ocean front and is shaded by a beautiful Hau Tree where Robert Louis Stevenson use to sit and write. At one time this restaurant was most likely IN and charming but now it looks like it needs a serious make over! If you visit either look up at the tree or out over the ocean and no where else!

Consistency: We have only been once for dinner so far but once we return promise to update this portion.

Parking: The restaurant is located at the Kaimana Beach Hotel so you can valet the car and get validation. Or you can park at Kaimana Beach park and walk.

Price Range: High ($25-$39) per Entree
Corkage Fee:
Reservations Accepted

Address:
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel.
Hau Tree Restaurant
2863 Kalakaua Ave. Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 923-1555 / Fax: (808) 922-9404
Website: http://www.kaimana.com/hautreelanai_2.htm

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: 7 am – 10:45 am
Lunch: 11:45 am to 2 pm (Mon. – Sat.)
Sundays Lunch: 12 pm – 2 pm
Dinner: 5:30 pm – 9 pm

Pineapple Room

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is the only thing really lacking at this restaurant. Typically the staff is very helpful and friendly however, super slow to take your order and follow up with drink refills and other requests (i.e.  by the time  extra ketchup arrived at the table we had already devoured the fries!). The bar has much better service and if your aiming for more of a eat & shop experience that’s where you should sit.

Food: The food is delicious at Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room! The food is inspired by fresh local grown ingredients and diverse cultures in Hawaii. The food is fresh and definitely speaks to Pacific & Hawaii Regional Cuisine.

Favorite Dishes: Garlic Stir-fried Soy Beans, Steamed “Chinese Style” Onaga, Any Fresh Fish Dish, “Pineapple Room” Ceaser Salad (like a chopped salad with Kailua Pork), Seared Ahi Steak & Tofu Salad (TIP: ask for two pieces of Tofu instead of the Ahi Steak its the star of the dish), Kailua Pig “BLT”, Hamburger with French Fries (ask for them extra crispy), and the Chocolate Crunch Bar.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere of the pineapple room is light, tropical and elegant. They do an excellent job of including  Hawaiian textures and prints into the featured artwork as well as the furniture/kitchen. The restaurant has wonderful windows that give nice day light to the dinning area. You can also sit at the bar if you like which is faster and and also very pleasant but not quite as Hawaiian in its feel.

Consistency: The pineapple rooms food is consistently good and the service is consistently slow!

Parking: One of the many advantages of going to this restaurant is its located in Macy’s at Ala Moana Shopping Center. To avoid the parking frenzy that can occur at this shopping hub we recommend going directly to the third floor of the garage and park as close to Macy’s as you can. Parking is free anywhere in the mall and the roof is usually pretty open (TIP: If you are a shade junky beware the third floor is not covered!)

Price Range: Medium ($15-$26) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $15 per bottle
(NOTE: You cannot bring wine that restaurant serves on there wine list)
Reservations Recommended

Address:
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu HI, 96814
Phone Number: 808.945.6573
Fax: 808.945.5246
Website: www.alanwongs.com/

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: (weekends only)
Sat: 8AM-10:30AM Sun: 9am-10:30am
Lunch: Mon-Sat: 11AM-4PM Sun: 11am-3pm
Dinner: Mon-Sat: 4pm-8:30pm


Pineapple room hawaii

Salmon Rissotto

Pineapple Room Restaurant review

Onaga Fresh Fish

Fresh Fish of the day review private chef hawaii pineapple room

Daily Special

BLT

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service was top notch at BLT. They have plenty of staff and I never had an empty glass of water throughout dinner. The waiter was extremely nice and also very helpful in answering questions we had about what was in each dish.

Food: The menu at BLT is classic Steakhouse meets French bistro. They have a very diverse menu and wonderful raw seafood selections. BLT spoils you with two table appetizers starting with grilled bread and warm pate, followed by hot popovers covered with cheese. They have everything you would expect on a traditional Steakhouse menu in addition to a Chefs Daily Special 3 course menu which everyone at our table took advantage of for only $60 per a person! The dishes where inspiring, had very generous portions and an island pacific flare to it.

Favorite Dishes: The free appetizers of course! From our 3 course dinners – Spicy King Crab Dumplings in Miso Soup, Tenderloin, Crusted Shutome, and Coconut Parfait with Guava Curd and Pineapple Soup was the most delicious dessert we have had in a while.

Atmosphere: BLT has a wonderful atmosphere. The restaurant has both with indoor and outdoor seating perfect for any occasion. The ambiance is beautiful with walnut floors, dark leather banquettes and highlighted with tropical art and murals. The restaurants design has fantastic flow from room to room and even the bar area is separated enough from the main restaurant that it creates another interesting dinning experience and really helps reduce the traffic and noise to the dining room.

Consistency: We have only been once so far but promise to update this section when we go again which will be soon since it was so delicious!

Parking: BLT is located in Waikiki so parking is challenging on the street and Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center is a bit of a walk. We recommend valeting your car as the restaurant validates and you can even enjoy a free bottled water while waiting for your car after dinner (or after dinner drinks upstairs).

Price Range: High ($29-$50) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $25 per bottle
Reservations Recommended

Address:
Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
223 Saratoga Road
Honolulu, HI 96815
Telephone: 808-683-7440
Website: http://www.bltsteak.com/

Hours of Operation: Open For Dinner Only
Sunday – Thursday: 5:30PM – 10PM
Friday & Saturday: 5:30PM – 11PM

BLT restaurant review

Pâté BLT Starter

BLT in Waikiki review

Tenderloin Special

Apartm3nt

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service was exceptional at Apartment 3. Even when the night crowd started to filter in our waitress was on top of her game. As she bobbed and weaved through people she never forgetting our orders or missing a beat. The bartenders are also top notch and mix up some delicious drinks.

Food: Apartment3 has a very interesting menu and takes modern play on traditional comfort foods such as Ratatouille, Mac & Cheese and French Onion Soup and integrates locally and sustainably ingredients to make dynamic and bold dishes. Happy Hour is one of the best in town with $5 specialty drinks, $4 drafts, and $5 pizzas to name a few. (TIP: Tuesday night is Happy Hour All Night!)

Favorite Dishes: Beet Salad (amazing!), The Yard Sale, Cheese & Honey, Stacked Ratatouille, and The Parma thin Crusted Pizza. (TIP: All the appetizers are large enough to share and only $5 each for happy hour – making it one of the best deals in town!)

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is very cozy, classy and inviting. The room is very dark, lounge like and features a fireplace in the bar area. Apartment 3 also has pool tables and a special room for private parties. The main dinning room is off to the side of the bar and not quite as exciting as the lounge but has nice booth seating if your looking for a more intimate dinning experience. It’s not a very casual place so if you want to fit in you should dress to impress anytime after 8pm.

Consistency: The food and experience has been consistently strong since they opened. It continues to be one of our favorite places to go meet people after work as they have such a great happy hour, good music and friendly staff.

Parking: Apartment3 is located at the Century Center which has about 20 guest stalls which you can park in. The restaurant/bar also validates so the parking is free which makes this a very convenient place to go 🙂

Price Range: Medium ($9-$24) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
(For Dinner in the Main Dinning Room Only)

Address:
1750 Kalakaua Ave
3rd Floor
Honolulu, HI 96826
Phone Number: (808) 955-9300
Email: hello@apartmentthree.com
Website: www.apartmentthree.com

Hours of Operation:
Tue – Fri: 6pm – 2am | Sat: 7pm – 2am
Happy Hour Daily till 8pm (All day Tuesday)
Food served until 12:30am

Mermaid Bar

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service can be slow at Mermaid Bar but the staff is really friendly and as long as you are not in a rush its a great option for lunch.

Food: The food is Contemporary and seasonally inspired. The menu selection is simple with soups, salads and sandwiches but the Mermaid bar offers unique twist on the classics making it dynamic. Also the desserts are made fresh daily and irresistibly good if you are in the mood for a afternoon coffee and pastry to share with friends.

Favorite Dishes: Custom – Build Your Own Salad, NM Sampler, Turkey Chili and the Spa Wrap. (TIP: Oxtail Soup is the special every Thursday and is delicious but they always sell out so go no later than 12pm or be prepared to order something else!)

Atmosphere: Mermaid Bar is a contemporary, small, bright and airy restaurant. It’s the perfect place to go for lunch while your out shopping. The restaurant is very casual and has excellent day light. The art is also very unique and trendy.

Consistency: The restaurant has consistent good food. Often times the salad size varies along with the number of toppings but the food is fresh, good and what you are expecting every time.

Parking: The restaurant is located at Ala Moana Shopping Center in Neiman Marcus so you can park for free anywhere at the mall. Neiman Marcus also offers valet parking.

Price Range: Low ($10-$14) per Entree
Corkage Fee $ per Bottle
Reservations Not Accepted

Address:
Ala Moana Shopping Ctr, Level Two
Neiman Marcus
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone Number: (808) 951-3428

Website: www.neimanmarcus.com/store/info/store.jhtml?storeId=31/AM&rest=200078&_requestid=42697

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sat – 11am-3:30pm
Sunday Closed

Mermaid Bar Restaurant in Ala Moana review

Salmon Salad

mermaid bar at Neiman Marcus

Smoked Salmon Panini

oxtail soup special for thursday

Oxtail Soup

Kaka’ako Kitchen

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is excellent at Kaka’ako Kitchen. They have a very low employee turnover rate and all the staff goes above and beyond their job descriptions to provide provide excellent and personable service.

Food: The food is really good at Kaka’ako Kitchen. It’s a favorite spot of locals and they serve great plate lunches which are always fresh and hit the spot every time! You can also order your plate with either fresh Nalo greens, crispy fries, or macaroni salad depending on what your in the mood for and what fits into your dieting.

Favorite Dishes: Fried Rice (only served at breakfast), Furikake Mahi Wrap, Seared Ahi Chop Salad, Furikake Tempura Catfish (extra delicious!), Sweet Chili Chicken, and Fresh Catch of the Day. (TIP: The salad dressing is to-die-for and you can also purchase a bottle for $7 to take home)

Atmosphere: The restaurant is one where you order at the counter, pay, take a number and then they bring your plate to where you select to sit. There are both outdoor (covered) and indoor seating available and its a great place to go for a quick bite. The atmosphere is laid back and it’s the perfect place to people watch.

Consistency: The food is consistently excellent and exactly what you expect it to be every time! We have never been disappointed with the food.

Parking: The good news is parking is free at Ward Center. The bad news is you have to fight for your spot! It’s recommended to park in the lot across from the movie theater and walk across the street or tackle the parking structure.

Price Range: Low ($8-$12) per Entree
No Alcohol Permitted
Phone & Fax Orders Accepted!

Address:
1200 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
Telephone: (808) 596-7488
Fax: (808) 596-9114
For Catering: (808) 596-7491
Website: www.wardcenters.com/dining/merchants/kakaakokitchen.html

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday – 8am-9pm
Friday-Saturday – 8am-10pm
Sunday – 8am-5pm

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

Overall: corkage corkage

Service: The service was pretty good and the staff was both friendly and attentive. The only negative thing that happened was for Happy Hour when we first sat down our servers shift was ending and it took a while for our new server to take over (at least 20 min!) during which time they lost our initial order which was annoying. That being said, once the change over happened our server was on top of his game.

Food: The food was really disappointing. When you go to a restaurant of this caliber you expect everything to be cooked to perfection but it was not. Throughout the meal we where constantly reminded that if you want a good steak go to Hy’s!
Download Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Menu In Waikiki

Favorite Dishes: Happy Hour: Steak Tartar & Ahi Tartar (both only $5) where the best dishes of the 4 they offer from 5:30-6:30pm. Dinner: Canadian Bacon! Yummy! it’s so good you can just go and eat that for dinner, Sauteed Spinach, Ribeye Steak, Apple Strudel (straight out of the Swiss Alps).

Atmosphere: The atmosphere of the restaurant is elegant with dark floors, high ceilings and beautiful views of the Royal Hawaiian lanai area and Waikiki. The restaurant isn’t particularly large but they managed to squeezed a ton of tables into the space which makes uncomfortable and the acoustics are terrible. The floor was so incredibly slippery that it was like an ice skating rink, be careful and for god sake hold on!

Consistency: Both times we have gone, the food has been terribly inconsistent and throughout the meal we have had a range of food i.e. Fries that where soggy than crispy, potato chips where stale then burned, sliders and steak which was raw and then totally overcooked.

Parking: Wolfgang is located in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center so its best to park in the mall and make sure to get your ticket validated for free parking or it can cost you a small fortune to park!

Price Range : High ($28-$60) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Take Out Available
Reservations Recommended

Address:
2301 Kalakaua Avenue
Royal Hawaiian Center, 3rd Level
Honolulu, HI 96815
Phone Number: (808) 922-3600
Website: www.wolfgangssteakhouse.com

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Thu: Lunch & Dinner
12 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Fri-Sat: Lunch & Dinner
12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sun: Dinner
5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Sat-Sunday: Brunch 11 a.m. -3 p.m.

wolfgang's steakhouse restaurant review

Bar Chips & Blue Cheese Dip

Wolfgang's steakshouse review

Filet Mignon Prefix Menu

wolfgang's steakhouse hawaii

Apple Strudel

Himalayan Kitchen

Overall: corkagecorkage

Service: We where served in a timely manner but the staff was not very helpful or particularly friendly. We asked our waitress and water boy’s opinion on dishes, one didn’t answer and the other recommended something that was oily and basically inedible!

Food: The food was not very good. It was ok but most likely because they used MSG in the food. We had to mix the curry, rice and bread all together to make anything taste good at all.

Favorite Dishes: Papadan, Chicken Curry, and Jalapeno & Garlic Nan.

Atmosphere: A cool artsy restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating. The ambiance is bright, homely and has a ethnic feel to it. The restaurant has beautiful artwork from the Himalayas which really adds something special to the decor and is very inviting.

Consistency: We have only been once so far but the food was consistently boring throughout the meal.

Parking: The Himalayan Kitchen is located in the Kaimuki shopping center which is has a good amount of spots. The restaurant does not validate parking but its not expensive at all to park there so no worries.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$18) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Needed

Address:
Kaimuki
1137 11th Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone Number: (808) 735-1122
Website: www.himalayankitchen.net

Panya Bistro

Overall: corkage corkagecorkage

Service: The service is not very good at Panya Bistro. More than once our server forgot our appetizer which was disappointing. It also appears they only have two servers working at a time making it almost impossible to get a refill on your drink, and even paying the check can become a chore!

Food: The food is good. The menu is very interesting and borrows items from around the globe. You can a wide range of foods such as Vietnamese Summer Rolls, New England Clam Chowder, Spaghetti, Char Siu Ramen, or even Miso Soup and Curry! (Tip: Panya is also a walk-in bakery with cakes, breads and wonderful pastries!)

Favorite Dishes: Thai Style Rib Eye Steak Salad, Tofu Salad, Panya Burger, Homemade Gyoza, and Green Beans.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is very trendy, small and chic. The decor is minimalistic and the bar has a beautiful recycled counter top and cool glass bottles illuminate on the wall. The restaurant is small and very popular so it can be hard to go with big groups.

Consistency: Panya’s food is contestant and a good recommendation for a trendy lunch date with a friend.

Parking: Panya has a great location right next to Longs in Ala Moana Shopping Center. Parking is free anywhere in the mall and typically you can find parking on the second floor (close to Sears & Longs) and walking to the Bistro/Bakery.

Price Range: Medium ($8-$18) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per Bottle
Take Out Available
Reservations Not Needed

Address:
Panya Bakery, Bistro & Bar
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Ala Moana Center, 2054B
Honolulu, HI 96814 USA
Phone: (808) 946-6388
Website: http://panyabakery.com/

Hours of Operation:
M-Sat: 7:30am-11:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-10:00pm

Taco Ricos

Overall: corkage

Service: The staff was really nice but the restaurant didn’t have a bathroom, bottle opener, or any sour cream. Also they ran out of fish tacos and they never offered us any water during our short meal there. The second time we went they did have the fish but it was precooked and cold. The staff was also pretty slow so don’t go here if you are in a rush!

Food: The food is simple and what you would expect from a traditional street Mexican vendor. The tacos are small, round, and wrapped in double corn tortillas. The restaurant has a great condiment bar with interesting toppings and home made salsa. The meat tacos where dry and old tasting (you can get a variety plate of 5 tacos for $9) but the fish was delicious and made the trip worth while. That being said… last time we went the fish tacos where to wet and not so good for the price.

Favorite Dishes: Fish Tacos (it’s fresh catfish!), (from the condiment bar – Salsa Verde, Pickled Red Onion, Cilantro)

Atmosphere: The ambiance is overall pretty ghetto. The inside is very minimalistic and a really cool exterior paint job. The music is custom mixed for the shop and really adds to the authentic Mexican experience. Taco Ricos is definitely the kind of place you could wear anything to or be as drunk as you want without consequence. The restaurant only has 2 tables and some bar seating so its more of a eat and run type of establishment.

Consistency: Taco Ricos is not very consistent. Its really hit or miss but the last two times have been big misses so we don’t recommend this restaurant very highly.

Parking: Taco Ricos is on Kapahulu street so the best place to park is on the street which is metered.

Price Range: Low ($5-$12) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
(TIP: They don’t have a wine opener so drink beer or bring a screw top wine)

Address:
Tacos Ricos
525 Kapahulu Avenue
Phone: (808) 834-8222

Pyramids

Overall: corkage corkage

Service: The service is pretty good but the best part is the costumes they make the staff wear. They are both tacky and hilarious!!

Food: If your itching for some Middle Eastern food Pyramids is your best bet on the Island. The menu is traditional with selections like Shawarmas, Moussaka, Hummus, Falafel, Baba Ganoush along with other Middle Eastern favorites. We recommend going for lunch where they have a $12 buffet as dinner can get a bit pricey. The buffet is enough food to eat like a king and you can try a little of everything! The only thing to keep in mind is that Pyramids does not provide belly dancing entertainment for lunch.

Favorite Dishes: Spanakopita, Hummus, Lamb Kebabs, Chicken Shawarma and Chicken Salad.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is about the best thing going for this restaurant. Its fun, well decorated, causal and for dinner they have live entertainment! The overall experience is very lively and if you are in the mood for something different you can’t beat the staff costumes and the middle eastern decor.

Consistency: It’s consistently OK – would only go if wanted some free entertainment and was in the mood for some belly dancing!

Parking: Street parking can be challenging as the restaurant is located on Kapahulu but they do have free parking behind Pyramids if you circle around the block. Make sure to let them know you parked in the designated lot when you are seated since there are no parking stubs to validate.

Price Range: Medium ($16-$25) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $10 per Bottle
Take Out Available
Reservations: Not needed for Lunch but recommended for Dinner
Entertainment Provided!

Address:
758 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816-1196
Phone: (808) 737-2900
Website: http://habibihawaii.com/pyramid.html

Hours of Operations:
Monday-Saturday
11 a.m.- 2 p.m (Lunch & Buffet) 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m (Dinner)
Sunday: 5 p.m.- 9 p.m (Dinner only)

Town

Overall: corkage corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is so so – that being said we have had much better service for dinner than for lunch.

Food: The food is contemporary, fun and delicious! The trend is organic and island fresh with an Italian /Mediterranean twist. Town often changes the menu which keeps things entertaining. The entree dishes are not big enough for sharing but it is recommended to order few appetizers for the table to sample for fun if you are not exceptionally hungry. (TIP: If you go for lunch and are craving a salad be warned its the size of a small appetizer! you need to order the “Big” salad or stop at Tamura’s for some Poki on your way home!)

Favorite Dishes: Ahi Cake, Arugula Salad, Fresh Fish, Hand Cut Pastas & Gnocchi are quite good.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is very hip and chic. You can sit both outside (dog friendly) or inside. The acoustics are not so great so if the restaurant is full be ready to yell to your friends to be heard. The restaurant is both casual and classy so you can dress up if you like or go as you are depending on your dinning engagement and company.

Consistency: Dinner is consistently good but we have had a few painfully slow and not very good lunches.

Parking: Town has a 30-car private parking lot in the back but you need to have “parkma” to get a spot as its also shared with another restaurant. You can also find ample free street parking is once the lot is full typically without problems.

Price Range: Medium ($15-$30) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $15 per bottle
Take Out Available
Reservations Recommended

Address:
3435 Waialae Ave
Honululu, HI 96816
Call For Reservations: (808) 735-5900
or Email: info@townkaimuki.com
Website: http://www.townkaimuki.com

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday – Saturday: 6:30am – 11:00am
Lunch: Monday – Saturday: 11:00am – 2:00pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm, Friday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 10:00pm

P.F. Chang’s

Overall: corkage corkagecorkage

Service: The service is hit or miss at P.F. Chang’s. Typically its not that bad but every once and a while you can get less than acceptable waitstaff.

Food: The food is pretty good. The menu is American Chinese and P.F. Chang’s has all the basic standards you would expect like Lemon Chicken and Mongolian Beef. Nothing really exciting but all the food is good. They have a special lunch menu which is a good deal and attractive if your going for a business engagement and are short on time. P.F. Chang’s also has a Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 3pm-7pm with half of appetizers and Drink specials – $3 draft beers, $6 Drinks, $2 OFF wine

Favorite Dishes: Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Dumplings, Hot & Sour Soup, Spicy Green Beans, Kung Pao Chicken, Buddha’s Feast, Cantonese Chow Fun, Marinated Sea Bass and Dirty Martini (they are so big they count as food!)

Atmosphere: Both locations have a similar landscape and are both very beautiful inside. The concept is fresh, contemporary and bright. Guests can be seated both outside and inside which is nice for breezy summer days or brisk winter nights. The high ceilings and art help make these restaurants dynamic.

Consistency: Both Hawaii P.F. Chang’s are consistent.

Parking: If you are going to the Waikiki location the best place to park is at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. If you are going to Ward Center the best place to park is at the Hokua condominium where the restaurant is located. P.F. Chang’s will validate parking at both these places.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$25) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $10 (Cannot Bring Wines that are on P.F. Chang’s Wine List)
Take Out Available
Reservations Not Needed

Great Happy Hour!

Address:
Hokua Restaurant
1288 Ala Moana Blvd Suite 110
Honolulu, HI 96814
Serving lunch and dinner daily.
For reservations please call: (808) 596-4710.
Website: http://pfchangshawaii.com/

Hours of Operation:
Monday through Thursday and Sunday 11am – 10:30pm
Friday and Saturday 11 am – 11:30pm

Happy Hour Monday-Friday: 3pm-7pm

Waikiki Restaurant
Royal Hawaiian Center
2201 Kalakaua Ave Suite 116
Honolulu, HI 96815
Serving lunch and dinner daily.
For reservations please call 808-628-6760.

Hours of Operation:
Monday through Thursday and Sunday 11am – 11pm
Friday and Saturday 11am – midnight

Big City Diner

Overall: corkage corkagecorkage corkage corkage

Service: The service is always very good at all the Big City Diners. The staff has a lot of Aloha and you always feel right at home.

Food: The food is excellent. The menu screams classic American “diner” but with a local flare. There is something for everyone at the Big City Diner and its sure to become your families favorite! They also have an excellent Happy Hour Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm with your favorite dine-in pupus at 50% OFF and $1 OFF big beers, house wines and well drinks. Big City Diner also features a weekly menu selection of $10 entrees which are delicious, fresh and make the menu really exciting.

Favorite Dishes: Ultimate Vegetable Omelet, Bloody Marys (designated as breakfast food), Fresh Fish & Eggs, Fried Rice, Ramen, Salmon Salad, Paniolo Chicken Salad, Taco Salad, Upcountry Veggie Sandwich and many others!

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is nothing fancy but that’s part of the charm. Its a place where you can never be under dressed and is perfect for spending time and a quick bite with friends and family. Each location has the same homely environment and they even have a treasure chest and balloons for the keiki’s! yay!

Consistency: Each location is excellent and we never leave disappointed.

Parking: For the Kaimuki location the best place to park is at the Kaimuki shopping center. For the Ward Center location directly across from the movie theater is a good place to start looking for parking or in front of Nordstrom’s Rack. If you are in a rush you can valet on the second floor of the movie theater parking lot for $5.

Price Range: Low ($8-$20) per Entree (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
No Corkage Fee!!
Take Out Available
Reservations Not Needed

Addresses:
Big City Diner – Kaimuki
3569 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu – (808) 738-8855
Website: http://bigcitydinerhawaii.com/

Visit For Menu’s & Daily Offers!

Big City Diner – Ward Center
1060 Auahi Street, Honolulu – (808) 591-8891

Plus locations in Pearlridge, Waipio and Kailua!

Hours of Operation:
Sun-Thursday: 7AM-10PM
Fri-Sat: 7AM-12AM (midnight is last seating)

Big City Diner Tofu Omelet

Tofu Omelet

Big City Diner In Hawaii

Wings

Michel's at the Colony Surf

Overall Review: corkage corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is always excellent. The staff is attentive, professional and well dressed! You also see your waiter throughout the dinner as Michel’s is lucky enough to have table service (i.e. they make the salads, soups and desserts at your table fresh).

Food: The food is delicious at Michel’s. The best part about eating at this elegant restaurant is that they have table side service which makes for a captivating and interesting evening. The food is extremely rich so its recommended to share a main dish or just eat a few appetizers for dinner.
Michels Restaurant Menu For Download

Favorite Dishes: All these items are made at your table! – Hickory Smoked Salmon Appetizer, Lobster Bisque, Caesar Salad, and Cherries Jubilee. French onion soup is also wonderful!

Atmosphere: Michels is hands down the most beautiful restaurant in Hawaii. The view is magnificent and super romantic. Its best to go as the sun sets and ask to sit closest to the water. That being said you won’t be disappointed with any table at the restaurant.

Consistency: Historically we have had excellent food and only once in the last 4 years where we disappointed by a watery lobster bisque and over cooked steak. Every other time has been delicious and consistent.

Parking: It’s located at at the Colony Surf so you may valet your car there or park at the Kapiolani Beach Park (near the fountain) and walk.

Price Range: High ($30-$70) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $25 per Bottle
Take Out Available
Reservations Recommended

Address:
On the Beach at the Colony Surf
2895 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
Reservations: (808) 923-6552
For Parties & Weddings: Call Amber: (808) 728-3463
Website: http://michelshawaii.com/default.asp

Hours of Operation
Monday-Sunday: 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Hickory-Smoked Salmon Picture from Michels in Waikiki

Hickory-Smoked Salmon

Sweet Maui Onion Soup picture from Michel's in Waikiki

Sweet Maui Onion Soup

Michel's in Waikiki table side service picture

Table Side Service

Hy’s Steakhouse

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage corkagecorkage

Service: The service is always excellent. The staff is friendly, attentive and professional. Your waiter is also very present through the experience as Hy’s has table service (i.e. they make the salads and desserts at your table fresh).

Food: Caesar Salad, New York Strip (medium), Baked Potato, Sauteed Spinach, Cherries Jubilee, and the House Merlot.

Atmosphere: The “Library” is beautiful, romantic and very classic in its architecture. The ceilings are very high and the booths are charming. You may end up seated in the top room which doesn’t really feel like Hy’s classy atmosphere but the food is still good. It’s recommended when making reservation to request “Library” seating.

Consistency: Always consistently delicious! being a personal chef in Hawaii I always appreciate and acknowledge consistency. When you go to many restaurants the food is different depending on who is in the kitchen and its having excellent consistency that  separates a good chefs and restaurants from bad ones.

Parking: It’s located at at the Waikiki Park Heights hotel so you can valet your car.

Price Range: High ($30-$70) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $25 per Bottle
Take Out Available
Entertainment – Live Music preformed Weds – Sat nights
Reservations Recommended

Address:
2440 Kuhio Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Phone: (808) 922-5555
Website: www.hyshawaii.com

Hours of Operation:
Mon – Fri: 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Sat, Sun: 5:30 – 10:00 pm

Tango

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is so so – it’s not really good, and it’s not really bad, it’s just slow…and you are at the mercy of your server. Often times they ignore you all together but its really hit or miss, we have also had very good service at Tango. Historically it has been much better for lunch than for dinner.

Food: Food is fresh and well executed. The presentation and menu have a very strong Scandinavian flare and its something you won’t find at any other restaurant in Hawaii. Frequently they run out of dishes and in all the times we have gone they have never had the Rhubarb dessert that’s on the menu since they opened!

Favorite Dishes: Salmon Salad, Gravlax Sandwich

Atmosphere: Very small restaurant and crowded so be ready to sit close to your neighbor. The atmosphere is nice and airy and the restaurant has loft ceiling. Modern art complements the bright space. Very noisy when full.

Consistency: You get what you where expecting every time. The dishes are also consistently good between one anther, so trying something different isn’t quite as much of a “risk” at a restaurant like this which is nice.

Parking: It’s located at The Hokua condominium building next to P.F. Chang’s at Ward Center. Tango validates parking so be sure to remember your ticket stub.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$25) per Entree
Corkage Fee $15 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted for Parties over 6
Take Out & Catering Available

Address:
Tango: Contemporary Cafe at The Hokua
1288 Ala Moana Blvd Suite 120
Phone:808-593-7288
Website: www.tangocafehawaii.com

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast : Mon – Fri: 7 am – 10 am   Sat & Sun: 8 am – 10:30 am
Lunch : Daily, 11 am – 4:30 pm
Dinner : Daily, 5 pm – 9:30 pm

Tango restaurant review hawaii

Gravlax Sandwich

Tango french onion soup

French Onion Soup

Arancino

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: At the Beachwalk location the service was pretty poor. It took 20 min to get the bottle of wine that we ordered and consistently had to ask to refill the waters. It was painfully slow but the waitstaff was very friendly at least and apologetic. The Arancino’s at the Marriott was also not much better but that may be because it was an off time to each and we sat outside.

Food: Arancino’s has a very traditional Italian menu and you shouldn’t have trouble finding something to order with all the options! The food at the Beachwalk location was cooked perfectly and although the pasta portion was rather small it tasted amazing. When we visited the Arancino’s at the Marriott the Prosciutto pizza had more fat than meat and the salad sampler was literally a bite of three types of salad. Def not worth the money so order something else.

Favorite Dishes: Spaghetti all’ arrabbiata (in the menu this is Penne pasta but we substituted with spaghetti and its very tasty), Insalata alla caprese, Tiramisu, and the Prosciuttto e rucola pizza (at the Beachwalk location this was really delicious but not at the Marriott).

Atmosphere: The Beach Walk store is a very small, quaint restaurant and the tables are situated very close together. Not ideal location for an intimate dinner experience. The Marriott location has nice outdoor seating which is great for people watching in Waikele and has great shade for those hot Hawaii days.

Consistency: Well between the two restaurants it wasn’t very consistent at all and the ingredients where definitely not the same quality. However, The pasta excellent good both times and was good enough to warrant a revisit.

Parking: For the Beachwalk location is situated in the heart of Waikiki so parking is tough but you can always park at the Royal Hawaiian Center and walk a few blocks or Arancino validates the Bank of Hawaii parking structure on the weekdays for 2 hours and on the weekends its free to park all day! For the Marriott they have guest parking and validate for 3 hours so you can also enjoy the beach after a meal or walk through Waikiki after dinner. If you wish to valet the car it costs $10 without tip and with validation from Arancino.

Price Range: Medium-High ($15-$35) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $15 per Bottle
Reservations Recommended
Takeout Available

Address:
255 Beachwalk
Honolulu, HI 96815
Phone Number: 808-923-5557

2552 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815-3662
(808) 931-6273
Website: www.arancino.com

Hours of Operation
Marriott
Breakfast – 7AM-10:30PM
Lunch – 10:30AM-2:30PM
Dinner – 5PM-10:30PM

Beachwalk
Lunch – 11:30AM-2:30PM
Dinner – 5PM-10PM

Sabrina’s

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: Sabrina’s is very warm and personal since its owned by a husband and wife from Italy. Service can be slow but your are there to relax so don’t plan a meal if you have a plane to catch!

Food: The pasta is homemade and delicious as well as the salads but the meat dishes are not the highest quality and can be rather tough. Stick to the pasta and risotto. The portions are a good size and its recommended to get a few things and share with the table.

Favorite Dishes: Ink Pasta (OMG YUM!), Caprese Salad, Prosciutto and Melon, Chef Specials (ask for these they are always good!).

Atmosphere: Small and quaint, pictures and post cards from Italy on the walls, homely feeling but not elegant by any means. The restaurant feels warm and personable and a nice place for a first date or a gathering with friends.

Consistency: The pastas, risotto and salad dishes are consistently delicious!

Parking: There is free parking in front of the restaurant but the lot is shared with other neighboring vendors so parking can be extremely hard to find. You can pay $5 across the street by City Mill if you are not lucky enough to find a spot in the free lot but its a real ripe off! Go early and take your chances with the free spots they usually fill up after 7pm.

Price Range: Medium-High ($15-$30) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!

Reservations Accepted & Recommended

Address:
3036 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone Number: (808) 739-0220

Sabrina's ink pasta

Ink Pasta

sabrina's caprese salad

Caprese Salad

sabrinas italian restaurant blog

Mushroom & Pork Rigate

Cafe Tajmahal

Overall: corkage

Service: Family run business and they are running it into the ground! the waitress obviously doesn’t understand service and was probably still in high school. After a second attempt we had a another lousy experience the waiter was slow and didn’t clear any of the dirty plates away from the tables! The experience was basically its worth forgetting.

Food: The food is just awful at the Cafe Tajmahal! The menu has the basic things you would expect at an Indian restaurant not executed well at all. The Vegetable Samosa was the best thing and it was burned on the outside. The Vegetable Masala was acceptable but pretty tasteless both times, the yellow rice comes out white, and the fish Masala was really fishy. In fact, even the most staple Indian dish – Naan Bread was terrible! both times it was doughy, oily and most likely not made in a traditional oven.

Favorite Dishes: Vegetable Samosas, Sauces that come on the table, and and Vegetable Masala.

Atmosphere: Lacking, definitely could use a makeover and some TLC. The kitchen is really loud and they play the same Indian movie on a loop on two flat screen TV’s which is really distracting.

Consistency: Although we said we would never give this restaurant another chance we did in the spirit of fairness (when we went the first time it had just opened and since then have heard good things about the food) and now strongly reinforce our original opinion that this restaurant has consistently terrible food.

Parking: There is free parking in front but the lot is shared with other restaurants at the same location so parking is hard to find and the lot is difficult to get in and out of. You can pay $5 across the street by City Mill if the parking lot is full. Our tip go early (before 7pm) and snag a free spot!

Price Range: Medium ($11-$20) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!

Reservations Not Accepted

Address:
3036 Waialae Ave, #B-4
Honolulu, HI 96816
phone number: (808) 732-6496

Cafe Tajmahala restaurant review

Chicken Tikka

Vegetable Masala

Yellow Rice

Cafe Maharani

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: Service is always pretty good. The staff is really friendly but it takes forever to get a seat (well worth the wait!!) . A good tip is to bring an extra bottle of wine because they let you drink it while you wait in the back. It makes the time go much faster!

Food: The food is traditional Indian and served family style in interesting dishes. The menu has good variety and the platters are large so share with your friends. We would recommend a few appetizers, followed by a Vegetable dish, Masala, and Meat dish like the Tandoori platter. Don’t forget the Naan and yellow rice to slurp up the last drops.

Favorite Dishes: Papadum, Tandoori Chicken, Vegetable Masala (special dish), Fish or Chicken Masala, Yellow Rice, Naan Bread with Cilantro & or Onion, Curries are also very good but occasionally the meat is tough.

Atmosphere: The moment you walk into Cafe Maharani you are transported to India with the authentic art and bright color pallet. The restaurant is very small, unique and quaint but also very busy so expect to wait for a while (Tip: buy an extra bottle of wine to drink while you wait in the back of the restaurant) they do not take reservations.

Consistency: Consistently Fantastic! This is by far the best Indian restaurant in Hawaii. Being a personal chef in Oahu I always pleasure in looking forward to going to a restaurant of this caliber. The food is delicious and always consistent.

Parking: Parking can be found at the Down To Earth parking lot up the ramp for free or on the street. We take a cab so we can enjoy the no corkage fee and have a wonderful evening.

Price Range: Medium-High ($15-$30) per Entree
Bring Your Own Alcohol/Wine
No Corkage Fee!

Reservations Not Accepted

Address:
2509 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96826
Phone Number: (808) 951-7447
Website: www.cafemaharanihawaii.com/

Hours of Operation:
Open daily from 5 pm to 10 pm

Furikake Crusted Tofu

Furikake-Crusted-Tofu

Servings: 6 Servings
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
42 ouncestofu (firm)
1 tablespoonwasabi paste
salt
pepper
1⁄4 cupall-purpose flour
3 eggs
8 Diamond Bakery Furikake Crackers
1⁄2 cuppanko
4 tablespoonsnori komi furikake rice seasoning
1 teaspoonnanami togarashi (Japanese 7 spice assorted chili pepper)
1 cupcanola oil

Instructions
Cut the tofu into a total of 12 equal pieces.

Drain the tofu on paper towels to absorb moisture. Coat the tofu with wasabi paste, salt & pepper to taste. Next begin preparing stations to crust the tofu by placing the flour into a bowl. Place eggs into a separate bowl and blend together well. Then, place furikake crackers into a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs, or coating consistency. Combine the crackers crumbs, panko, nori komi furikake and nanami togarashi into a large bowl and stir together.

To coat the tofu, roll it into the flour, then into the egg wash. Lastly, coat tofu slices well with crumb mixture on each side for the crust. Heat canola oil in a frying pan on medium high heat and pan fry tofu for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

How-To YouTube Video

Easy Tzatziki Dip

tzatziki-dip

Servings: 5 Cups
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
3 cupsnon-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 cupsJapanese cucmber (washed, peeled, small diced)
2 clovesgarlic (minced)
1⁄3 cupfresh dill (finely chopped)
1 lemon (zest & juice)
1 1⁄10 ouncepacket ranch dressing mix

Instructions
In a medium mixing bowl, combine yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, dill, lemon zest and juice and the packet of ranch dressing mix. Stir until well combined.

Transfer to serving bowl and surround with assorted fresh vegetables, pita chips or your favorite crackers.

Tzatziki Dip also makes a great sauce for grilled fish or chicken.

Curry Roasted Cauliflower

Serves: 4-6 People
Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
2 heads of cauliflower
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet in heavy-duty foil and then spray with nonstick stray. Next wash, dry and cut the Cauliflower into bit size pieces. Mix together in a bowl the olive oil, curry powder, garlic salt and regular salt & pepper. Toss the cauliflower into the mixture and then place it onto the baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy with roasted chicken, grilled steak, or salmon.

How-To YouTube Video

Balsamic Spring Lamb

KTA-Chef-Ryan_Spring-Lamb

Servings: 7 Servings
Cooking Time: 6 hours

Ingredients
1 cupbalsamic vinegar
1⁄2 cuplow sodium soy sauce
1 ouncepacket ranch dressing mix
1⁄2 cupolive oil
2 teaspoonsred pepper (crushed)
1 tablespoongarlic (minced)
1 tablespoondried oregano
3 tablespoonsDijon mustard
1 small red onion (small diced)
2 teaspoonssalt
2 teaspoonspepper
4 1⁄2 poundsboneless leg of lamb

Instructions
Prepare marinade by placing balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, ranch dressing mix, olive oil, red pepper, garlic, oregano, dijon mustard, red onion, salt and pepper into a large bowl and mix together well. Remove the netting around the lamb and set aside (do not discard). Unroll the lamb and lay it fl at in the marinade. Let lamb marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Once marinated, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Take lamb out of the marinade (reserve marinade) and roll back into roast shape and reapply the netting to help it keep its shape while baking. Place lamb onto a baking dish and pour reserved marinade over lamb. Bake in the oven for 2 to 2½ hours or until desired doneness.

The perfect entree for your Easter celebration.

How-To YouTube Video

Watermelon and Strawberry Jell-O

WatermelonStrawberryJello_20130626

Servings: 12 Servings
Cooking Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Description
Delight family and friends with this light and refreshing summer treat. Try your own variation with different fruits and Jell-O flavors!

Ingredients
4 cupswatermelon (seedless; puréed)
2 cupswater (boiled)
3 cartonsMelon Fusion Jell-O (3 oz. size)
1 poundfresh strawberries (washed, tops removed, sliced)
1 Plexiglass baking dish (3 quart size; 2″ H x 13″ W x 9″ D)
14 clear plastic cups or glasses (6 oz. size; for individual servings)

Instructions
Cut the watermelon into small pieces and blend into a fine purée. In a small saucepot bring 2 cups of water to boil. Pour the hot water into a large bowl with the Jell-O and stir until completely dissolved. Add the watermelon purée to the Jell-O mixture and stir well to incorporate the gelatin. Add the sliced strawberries evenly to the bottom of the baking dish and pour Jell-O mixture over the strawberries. Place into refrigerator for 1½ hours or until firm. Delight family and friends with this light and refreshing summer treat.

How-To YouTube Video

Kona Coffee Panna Cotta

Servings: 10
Cooking Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Description
Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. This recipe is accompanied with a Coffee Blueberry Sauce which makes for an exceptional and elegant finish to your meal. An ideal dessert for any coffee lover!

Ingredients
1 cupheavy cream
1⁄3 cup100% Kona Coffee (ground)
2 tablespoons100% Kona Coffee (ground)
1⁄3 cupsugar
2 tablespoonssugar
1 tablespoonvanilla extract
water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2¼ teaspoons)
1 cupnon-fat Greek yogurt
1 cupunsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoonGrand Marnier (orange liqueur)
10 piecesfoil baking cups
1⁄2 cupsugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 packagefrozen blueberries (16 oz.)
1 tablespooncornstarch

Instructions
In a small saucepan, add the cream, 1/3 cup of 100% Kona Coffee, 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract and simmer for 5 minutes. In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons cold water then sprinkle in the gelatin. Let the mixture sit until the gelatin has absorbed the water, about 2 to 3 minutes. Once the gelatin has set, add it to the coffee cream mixture and stir until gelatin has completely dissolved. With a fine mesh strainer pour coffee cream mixture into a medium bowl, straining out the coffee grinds. Whisk in the yogurt, coconut milk and Grand Marnier until smooth. Line a muffin pan with foil cups and equally pour the mixture into 10 muffin tins and place them into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Once the mixture has set it will be firm to touch.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan simmer 1 cup water, ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons coffee and cinnamon stick on low heat until the mixture has reduced its size by 50%, about 20 minutes. With the fine mesh strainer pour coffee syrup into another small saucepan, making sure to strain out all the coffee grinds and cinnamon stick. Next add the blueberries and simmer the contents for another 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Then add the cornstarch and 1 teaspoon water and mix well to thicken sauce.
To assemble the dessert peel off the foil baking cup gently from the panna cotta and place it onto a plate. Next add a few spoonfuls of blueberry sauce and enjoy!

How-To YouTube Video

Steak Poke

Servings: 6

Ingredients
4 ouncesNew York steaks
salt
pepper
2 cupsgrape tomatoes (cut in half)
1 red onion (small, sliced thin)
2 clovesgarlic (minced)
2⁄3 cupssoy sauce (regular or low sodium)
2 tablespoonsrice wine vinegar
2 tablespoonsTabasco (optional)
1 bunchcilantro (roughly chopped)

Instructions
Season the steaks on each side with salt and pepper. Grill or pan sear steak on high heat to desired doneness. Allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes.
Dice the steaks into large chunks or poke size pieces trimming off excess fat. Place into a medium size mixing bowl along with the tomatoes, onion, garlic, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Tabasco, if using, and cilantro; toss together.
Serve with steamed rice and a salad of fresh greens for an easy dinner.

Steak-Poke

Grilled Sesame Cauliflower

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
1 large head of cauliflower (cut into large florets)
4 tablespoonsfish sauce
6 tablespoonssesame oil
3 limes (juiced)
2 tablespoonsSambal Oelek chili paste or hot sauce
1⁄2 cupgreen onions (finely sliced)
1 tablespoonblack sesame seeds (toasted)

Instructions
Wash and remove leaves from the cauliflower and cut into florets. Make sure the florets are large enough so they won’t fall through the grill racks.
For the marinade, place the fish sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and Sambal Oelek chili paste into a small bowl and mix well. In a large bowl, place cauliflower with half of the marinade and toss until evenly coated.
Preheat your gas grill on medium-high. While the grill is preheating allow the cauliflower to marinade for ten minutes. Grill cauliflower until tender and charred, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Once grilled place back into the bowl and pour in the remaining marinade.
Next add green onions, sesame seeds and toss to evenly coat. Serve this zesty healthy side with your favorite main dish.
Suggested Beverage Pairing: Kendall-Jackson Avant Chardonnay

How-To YouTube Video

Pineapple Baked Brie

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
17 1⁄2 ouncesbrie cheese
1 cupsweet chili sauce
2 cupsfresh pineapple (diced small)
1⁄3 cupred onion (diced small)
1⁄2 cupwasabi almonds (roughly chopped)
1⁄3 cupcilantro (roughly chopped for garnish)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Unwrap and discard the paper from the brie. Place the wheel of brie into a baking dish. Pour the sweet chili sauce over the brie, then add the pineapple and red onions.
Place the baking dish into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is soft and starts to lose its shape. Take out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
To finish, top the baked brie with an even sprinkling of the almonds and cilantro. Serve with your favorite crackers or French bread crostini.

Pineapple-Baked-Brie