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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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