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Hale ‘Aina Happenings in October

Check out the latest news from some of our Hale ‘Aina Award-winning restaurants.


Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto is closing his restaurant, Morimoto Waikīkī, at the Modern Honolulu on Dec. 8.
Photo: Courtesy of Morimoto Waikīkī


Morimoto Waikīkī leaving The Modern Honolulu, 40 Carrots hosts a special sake dinner and there’s a new chef de cuisine at The Pig & The Lady. See what else is happening at some of our 2017 Hale ‘Aina Award-winning restaurants.


1. Morimoto Leaving, New Restaurant Opening

This just in: Morimoto Waikīkī, the concept restaurant by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, is leaving The Modern Honolulu after six years on Dec. 8. Replacing it will be what the hotel is calling a “new and exciting dining experience,” with details to be announced soon. The current restaurant employees will be offered positions at the new restaurant, the hotel confirmed. “I’m proud of what the team has achieved and wish the Modern Honolulu all the best on the next endeavor,” Morimoto said in a press release. “It was a difficult decision to part ways and I know their guests are in great hands with the team there.” Morimoto has announced he’s opening two restaurants—Morimoto Asia and Momosan Waikīkī—at the newly renovated Pacific Beach Hotel.


2. For the Sake of Sake Dinner

Chef Jon Matsubara of 40 Carrots has created a special dinner centered around sake for just tonight—Oct. 13—at Bloomingdale’s at Ala Moana Center. Feast on a four-course meal paired with different Japanese rice wines, with dishes including a clam dip caviar with sake-marinated ikura and Hokkaido scallop tartare with sea urchin aioli and pickled wasabi. Matsubara will share the drink’s cultural significance, explain his choice of pairings and show you how to properly enjoy different types of sake with food. Cost is $110 per person. Reservations are required. 800-3638


3. Avenue’s Bar + Eatery Up For Sale

Avenue’s Bar + Eatery in Kaimukī, which serves gastropub fare including juicy burgers and fries, is up for sale.
Photo: Kawehi Haug


Open less than six months, Avenue’s Bar + Eatery in Kaimukī, which is run by the owners of the popular 12th Ave Grill, is for sale. The space the gastropub occupies on Wai‘alae Avenue was formerly the site of Hale Ōhuna by chef Lee Anne Wong; that restaurant lasted just three months. According to the owners, Kevin Hanney and Denise Luke, who lease—and don’t own—the space, they had enough presence in Kaimukī and felt a little stymied in that location by not wanting to compete with their other restaurants. (They also own nearby Koko Head Café.) The restaurant will remain open until it sells.


4. Arancino Celebrates National Pizza Month

Get this off-the-menu pizza frutti di mare, with calamari, shrimp, octopus, mussels and clams, at Arancino Di Mare this month only.
Photo: Courtesy of Arancino


October is National Pizza Month, and Arancino is celebrating with three off-the-menu pizzas this month at its three locations. The Kāhala restaurant is offering a pizza affumicata speck with smoked prosciutto and mozzarella. Arancino Di Mare has a pizza frutti di mare, with calamari, shrimp, octopus, mussels and clams. And the restaurant on Beachwalk has pizza with mortadella, fresh mozerella and bufala and roasted pistachios. All pizzas are $25 each. If you order one of these pizzas and tag #arancinopizzamonth on Instagram this month, you’ll have a chance to win a $100 gift card to any of Arancino’s restaurants.


5. New Desserts at The Pineapple Room

Peanut butter and jelly—in a frozen pie? Chef Alan Wong and pastry sous chef Tracy Paulson have created a few new sweet endings—including the frozen PB&J pie—at The Pineapple Room at Ala Moana Center. This pie is filled with peanut butter mousse and grape jelly, then topped with a meringue. Each slice is served with fresh popcorn topped with a house-made caramel sauce, reminiscent of Cracker Jacks. You can even buy the whole pie (though the restaurant requires a 48-hour notice for orders). Other desserts include a lemon meringue pie in a glass and a Hanaoka Farm liliko‘i panna cotta. 945-6573, alanwongs.com


6. P&L Hires New Chef De Cuisine

There’s been a lot of movement at The Pig & The Lady. Sous chef Brandon Lee was promoted to chef de cuisine at Piggy Smalls, which opens at Ward Village on Oct. 14. So, P&L brought on a new chef de cuisine, Keaka Lee (no relation), last month to helm the popular flagship restaurant. Born and raised in the Wai‘alae-Kāhala area, Lee graduated with a culinary and pastry arts degree from Kapi‘olani Community College and worked at both 3660 on the Rise and Alan Wong’s Honolulu. He moved to New York City to work at the award-winning Gramercy Tavern and both Untitled and The Studio Café at the Whitney Museum as their sous chef before moving back to Hawai‘i with his wife, Heather. “It’s such a privilege to be working with a chef of his caliber,” executive chef Andrew Le says. “Chef Keaka brings a quiet confidence and a supreme work ethic to the team.”


7. Order Christmas Baskets Now from Artizen by MW

Planning to be too busy to bake during the holidays? We feel you. Order a Christmas basket of goodies from Artizen by MW in Downtown instead. Baskets range in price from $25 for Artizen cookies, gingerbread cookies, matcha Russian tea cakes and furikake bagel chips, to $100 for the ultimate basket that includes caramel mac nuts, fudge brownie cookies, banana bread and MW coconut chai tea. Remember: James Beard nominee Michelle Karr-Ueoka is the pastry chef and part-owner, so you know these baked goods will be gift-worthy. In fact, you might want to order a basket for yourself. We won’t judge! 524-0499


For a complete list of our 2017 Hale ‘Aina winners, click here.




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