The Hale Aina Awards Gala

Chef de cuisine Kevin Chong and his crew from Chef Mavro toast their wins.

"IT'S GEORGE-ROY-ALAN AWARD night," event co-host Guy Hagi joked. On Nov. 18, with wife, Kim Gennaula, the anchor couple of KGMB9 announced the winners of the 24th annual Hale 'Aina Awards to a packed house in the Monarch Ballroom of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. For the second year in a row, the honors for best restaurants around the Islands were announced prior to our January issue. This year, three winners and two finalists were named in 27 categories, including Little Restaurant You Love and Best New Neighbor Island Restaurant. Restaurant of the Year had three winners only: gold, silver and bronze, won by, respectively, Alan Wong's Restaurant, Roy's Restaurant and Chef Mavro. This is the fourth consecutive Restaurant of the Year win for Alan Wong, who also won awards for Best Service and Best Desserts.

Restaurant of the Year winner Alan Wong, with staffers Leigh Ito (left) and Kathy Kawashige.

Following the award announcements, guests moved to the Ocean Lawn to feast on delicious fare from six award-winning restaurants, including Orchids, Hoku's and Stage. Ruth's Chris Steak House's veal osso buco ravioli, a crowd favorite, was well worth the wait in line.

Didn't see your favorite restaurant among the winners? Look for this summer's issues of HONOLULU Magazine for your chance to vote for your favorite restaurants for next year's Hale Aina Awards. And check back to our website later in the year to buy tickets to the 2009 awards before they sell out.