Hittin’ the Sauce

residents have long loved Chai’s Island Bistro, an indoor-outdoor café known for
its tasty Pacific Rim cuisine and relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant works just
as well for a downtown business lunch as it does for a romantic evening for two.
fill the dance floor at “The Sauce,” the weekly late-night scene at
Chai’s. Photos: Rae Huo

turn off the lights, add an outdoor bar and bring in two DJs-one throwing down
hip hop inside, another spinning mellow, electronic stuff outside-and you’ve got
a scene called “The Sauce.” Since owner Chai Chaowasaree launched the Friday event
in July, it’s become the hottest late-night spot in Honolulu.

The club
scene is a somewhat familiar bag to Chaowasaree, who lured night owls to his restaurant
a few years back with the short-lived “Red Carpet” parties. This summer, his youthful
wait staff convinced Chaowasaree to give it one more shot. He agreed, partnering
with promoter Blaise Sato of Architechs Hawai’i, which has blessed Honolulu with
such hip affairs as “Feng Shui” at the Hyatt Regency Waikïkï.

we started ‘The Sauce’ in July, I thought we’d do about 200 people a night, but
it turned out to be 600 to 870,” Chaowasaree says. “It’s amazing. A lot of restaurants
don’t even do that in a week.”

From 10 to 11 p.m., you can sample free püpü
from the outdoor satay bar. onsider it a light dinner, or a buffer for your stomach,
especially if you’re about to indulge in some high-quality libations. Want to
break a sweat? Go ahead and groove to the likes of Nelly and Kanye West inside.
Rather just chill? Hang out at Chai’s expanded outdoor area, bobbing your head
to the ambient, deep electronic goodness that fills the night air.

probably see Chaowasaree there. Not reveling, of course, just greeting guests,
filling drink orders and clearing dishes, as he’s known to do the rest of the
week. “When I was younger, I used to go out to the club every night,” Chaowasaree
says. “But if I do that now and go to work the next day, I’ll pay for it.”

the heck. It’s a small price for a great time.



Akina, Hawai’i Opera Theatre’s general and artistic director, recommends Alan
Ball’s Six Feet Under-The Complete Second Season. “I survived this summer’s production
of The Mikado by contrasting Gilbert and Sullivan’s wit and humor with that of
the American television series, Six Feet Under. No family is quite as poetically
and modernly dysfunctional as this family of undertakers living the remains of
the American dream. The plight of this family is wonderfully helpful at forgiving
our own day-to-day dysfunctions … and even helping us realize that being human
is the greatest gift we have to celebrate.” Warner Home Video, 2002.


host of Star 101.9’s Bizarro Morning Show, recommends Elephunk by Black Eyed Peas.
“I can’t stop singing the hook from the song, ‘Let’s Get Retarded.’ There is just
so much funk-great grooves and beats. Not to mention that Fergie, the female singer
who is known for her smooth voice and hip-hoppin’ moves, has the best abs on the
block.” A&M Records, 2003.


Morales, local author and two-time HONOLULU Magazine fiction contest winner, recommends
Hector Tobar’s The Tattooed Soldier. “At MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, homeless
immigrant Antonio Bernal comes across a soldier, who ruined his life in Guatemala.
Now on more equal footing, their battle, a battle that the soldier doesn’t realize
he’s fighting, a battle which will culminate during the Rodney King riots, is
re-ignited. The Tattooed Soldier is remarkable not only for giving a human face
to historical events, but for giving one to evildoers, as well.” Penguin Books,