Hale ‘Aina Happenings: Here’s What’s New with Hawai‘i Restaurants in January 2020

Where we’re eating Sunday dinner, why you should buy poi mochi doughnuts now and a new look and location for a 72-year-old local favorite.

Sunday Supper at 12th Ave Grill

Buttermilk Fried Chicken dinner at 12th Ave Grill
Photo: Steve Czerniak


If you’ve never joined the feast on Sundays, here is the lineup of February’s Sunday Suppers at 12th Ave Grill. Celebrate the win, or mourn your loss, after the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 with buttermilk fried chicken with caramelized Kula onion mash, biscuits and cinnamon apple strudel with salted caramel and vanilla whip. The following Sunday, diners will be served Thai-style steamed fish with coconut jasmine rice and kaffir lime and lemongrass-scented tapioca pudding on Feb. 9, slow-braised Maui Cattle Co. shortribs and mushroom pot pie on Feb. 16, and seafood cioppino and Meyer lemon zeppoli on Feb. 23.

$31–$36 per person, Sunday, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23 at 5 p.m. 1120 12th Ave., (808) 732-9469, 12thavegrill.com 


SEE ALSO: First Look: Chopchop Rotisserie, a New Restaurant in Waikīkī by 12th Ave Grill’s Kevin Hanney


Liliha Bakery Anniversary Specials


A post shared by Liliha Bakery (@lilihabakery) on


Happy 70th Liliha Bakery! It’s celebrating its anniversary this month with a deal we can’t resist scooping up: a dozen poi mochi doughnuts for $11.70. The chewy glazed treat usually goes for $1.95 each. Go now. The discount ends Friday.

Multiple locations, lilihabakery.com


Spanish and French Wine Dinner at The Pig & The Lady


The first wine dinner of the year at The Pig & The Lady comes with an assortment of tapas (chorizo-stuffed dates anyone?), steak tartare brioche, seafood paella, a French onion shortrib and ends with a mille-feuille de queso.

$80, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 6 p.m. 83 N. King St., (808) 585-8255, thepigandthelady.com/wine 


New Executive Chef at The Kāhala Hotel & Resort

Jonathan Mizukami Profile Photo
Photo: Courtesy of the Kāhala Hotel & Resort

Former Vintage Cave and Chef Mavro chef Jonathan Mizukami has taken a new role as the executive chef of Hōkū’s Restaurant, Plumeria Beach House as well as the Kāhala Hotel’s other restaurants and catering operations. The Maui native graduated from the University of Hawai‘i Maui College and worked in the kitchens of Alan Wong’s, Roy’s Nicolina on Maui, Per Se in New York City, Alinea in Chicago and others before joining The French Laundry for 10 years.

5000 Kāhala Ave., (800) 367-2525, kahalaresort.com


New Hours: Easy Que

Kalbi Brisket at Easy Que.
Photo: Robbie Dingeman


If you haven’t stopped for barbecue by the Hale ‘Aina award-winning husband and wife team behind Over Easy, you may not know that you can get it all day. Last month, Easy Que stopped closing between the lunch and dinner hours. Now it’s open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with its full menu offered all day. Happy hour with $3 Brussels sprout chips, $7 chili cheese tots and $3 off slushies begins at 3 p.m.

767 Kailua Road, Suite 106, Kailua, (808) 762-3089, overeasyhi.com/easyque 


SEE ALSO: First Look: Easy Que in Kailua 


Open Again: Highway Inn Waipahu

New Highway Inn Interior
Photo: courtesy of Highway Inn


After 35 years on Leoku Street, Highway Inn has moved a little closer to home. The 72-year-old spot for classic Hawaiian food opened this month on Moloalo Street, which is just a few blocks from the first location the Toguchi family opened on Farrington Highway in 1947. The menu is the same but now there’s a bar, more seats and a spot for live music. Local performers will take the stage Fridays at 6 p.m. Right now, the restaurant opens at 10 a.m. The owners expect to begin opening for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in February.

94-830 Moloalo St., Waipahu, (808) 677-4345, myhighwayinn.com/location-waipahu


SEE ALSO: These 3 Family-Owned Eateries Are Bringing Local Favorites to Wider Audiences


Valentine’s Day Treats from MW Restaurant


Up your Valentine’s Day game with gifts from one of our favorite pastry chefs. Michelle Karr-Ueoka’s team at MW is taking preorders for heart-shaped macarons for $5 and chocolate cakes for $10. Order by Feb. 10 and you can pick up from either MW or downtown at Artizen, located in the same building as the Hawai‘i State Art Museum. While you’re calling, consider the Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu, which will be offered for more than a week with a chef’s choice of appetizers, your pick of entrées including mochi-crusted Kona kampachi, Bristol Bay scallops, Ludovico Farm chicken and one of five desserts.

Valentine’s Day preorders will be taken until Feb. 10. Pick-up days are Feb. 12–14. Special menu is $69 per person and will be offered Feb. 7–16. 1538 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Suite 107, (808) 955-6505 ext. 2, mwrestaurant.com 


HONOLULU Magazine’s gathering the top breakfast and brunch restaurants for BrunchFest presented by American Savings Bank. It will be a morning of delicious sweet and savory bites, bloody marys and mimosas, lawn games, entertainment and more. Join us for a relaxed Sunday Funday vibe on March 8, 2020 at the Ho‘okupu Center. Click here for ticket details.


Upcoming Hale ‘Aina Events:


Jan. 27—Local-inspired Spanish Wine Ovation Dinner at Stage 

Feb. 8—Herringbone Lei Po‘o Brunch

Feb. 12—Sips by the Sea at 53 By The Sea