Hale ‘Aina Happenings in January

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

James Aptakin Wins Big

James Aptakin
In the Winner’s Circle round, Aptakin and his team created this brown-butter duck-fat-seared halibut with lobster tom yum broth, lobster truffle duck-fat mashed potatoes, stone-crab ceviche salsa and lobster chili oil.

Chef James Aptakin, formerly of MAC 24/7, won the Seafood title at the World Food Championships last month and, with Team Hawai‘i, won the title of Reserve Grand Champions. They were less than one point away from the top prize of $100,000 but wowed the judges with their shrimp scampi, hamachi, Creole seafood tower and seared halibut, which judge Vic Vegas praised as a dish he would pay $100 for. “James and his team did a science experiment with that fish dish and brought it all the way up here (holds hands way above his head).” Congrats, chef!



Alan Wong Goes to Iceland

Want to cruise from New England to Iceland with one of Hawai‘i’s best chefs? The next Connoisseur’s Cruise with Alan Wong starts May 19 in New York and sails to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine and Nova Scotia before spending four days crossing the Atlantic, finally stopping in Ísafjörður and Reykjavik. See why all your friends are booking flights to the Land of Fire and Ice and one-up them with this interactive cooking experience.

seawindtours.com/chefalanwong, 949-4144


Hakkei and Yakitori Glad Closed

After almost 11 years in business, Japanese restaurant Hakkei closed its doors for the last time on Dec. 25, due to the chef moving to the Mainland. Yakitori Glad on Kapahulu Avenue also closed in December, so the main restaurant chain in Japan can expand in time for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.


Super Bowl Offerings at 12th Ave Grill

Come Feb. 5, you’ll want all the food hot and ready to go by the time your friends come over to watch the game. Let 12th Ave Grill take care of things. The restaurant is offering takeout (to be picked up as early as Feb. 2) guava-smoked baby-back ribs, kim-chee skirt steak and sides that can serve up to 15 people, including pineapple coleslaw, baked beans, mac and cheese, liliko‘i mochi cake and more. Orders must be placed and paid for 48 hours in advance.

12thavegrill.com, 732-9469


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