Archive for January, 2013

Open Table to acquire Foodspotting

January 29th, 2013
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Due to some interest on Twitter, I'm posting the entire release about Open Table's pending acquisition of one of my favorite food social media sites, Foodspotting.

I didn't like the site's redesign, which complicated what started as streamlined and easy. Who knows what this new partnership will bring, but this is the company's rationale:

  1. "SAN FRANCISCO – January 29, 2013 – OpenTable, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPEN), a leading provider of free, real-time online restaurant reservations for diners and reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Foodspotting, an app for finding and sharing great dishes at restaurants, for approximately $10 million in cash pursuant to a stock purchase agreement. The completion of the acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.“We’re proud to welcome the talented Foodspotting team to the OpenTable family,” said Matt Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of OpenTable.   “The Foodspotting team is as passionate about dining as we are, and we’re looking forward to leveraging their unique expertise in the areas of imagery and social sharing to enrich the OpenTable experience for diners and restaurants in new and exciting ways. By adding more visually compelling content to help people decide where to dine and discover dishes they’ll love, we hope to make it even easier to find the perfect table for any occasion.” (more…)

Pie lovers rejoice on National Pie Day

January 23rd, 2013
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piedayNadine Kam photo
The newsroom celebrated National Pie Day with an afternoon potluck pie buffet.

It's National Pie Day. Have you indulged yet?

The holiday was created by the American Pie Council. On this day, the council encourages pie lovers to participate by baking a pie to share with friends, or by going pie shopping at your favorite local bakery.

It provided an excuse for a feeding frenzy at the Star-Advertiser offices, with the sharing of pies, both homemade and purchased. As you can see, some pies were more popular than others, like peanut butter crunch, and actually, the savory chicken pot pies and quiche, rather than dessert pies.

So if you're looking for any excuse to treat yourself, there's still hours to go before National Pie Day ends.

HASR Bistro celebrates grand opening

January 22nd, 2013
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hasrrodNadine Kam photos
Chef Rodney Uyehara was working hard in the kitchen turning out dishes like the spiced ahi nachos and shrimp spring rolls shown here (in more detail, later). He's with Anita Rhee of Mama Nita Scones, who was offering samples of the scones she bakes up mornings in the HASR Bistro kitchen, and taking orders for Valentine's Day.

HASR Bistro owner Terry Kakazu promised to enliven the downtown dining scene with her party spirit and has been delivering since the restaurant's fall opening.

With the busy holiday season out of the way, she finally made time for her own grand opening Sunday, welcoming dozens of friends and well-wishers for an evening of noshing, music and imbibing some of the best selections offered at her next door wine store,  HASR Wine Co., which started her on her oenophile/foodie journey.

hasrterryHASR Wine Co. and Bistro's Terry Kakazu, left, at one of the wine bars with Walter Calinawan.

She's also the owner of Terry’s Place in the Chinatown Cultural Plaza, which has come to be known as a musician’s playground, and there were a lot of musicians in the house taking turns jamming with The Groove and members of the Society of Seven.

Some of the music has gravitated over to HASR, where you can enjoy music in the courtyard from 7 to 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.

Executive chef Rodney Uyehara put together a casual menu of pupu, some on the bistro's menu, some not, many deserving a spot on the regular menu.

Special events coming up include a Chinese New Year Celebration from 5 to 10 p.m. Feb. 1; Mansfield Wine dinner on Feb. 13; and of course, reservations are being taken for Valentine's Day dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Feb. 14.

Here's the performance schedule through February:
Jan. 25: Jeff Rassmusen
Jan. 26: Toma-Natto
Feb. 1: SUMMER
Feb. 2: Gail Mack Duo
Feb. 8: Jeff Rassmussen
Feb. 9: Toma-Natto
Feb. 15: Glenn Mediero
Feb. 16: Gail Mack Duo
Feb. 22: Glenn Medeiros
Feb. 23: Toma-Natto

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The restaurant is at 31 N. Pauahi St. (where Grand Cafe used to be). Call 533-HASR (4277).

hasrriibsChef Rodney's fall-off-the-bone, fork-tender Mongolian babyback ribs were the best I've tasted in a while. This needs to be a regular offering.

hasrchickenWing dings with celery and blue cheese dip.

hasrchipOne of the spicy ahi nachos with avocado, green onions, and missing from this one I tried to make pretty for the picture, bonito flakes.

hasrshrimpLoved the shrimp spring rolls with sweet chili mint sauce, on the lunch appetizer menu at $9 though of course, you're not going to get this portion for $9!

hasrtasteInside HASR Wine Co., guests were able to sample some of the highly allocated wines that gave the business its name.

hasrfoyCathy Foy Mahi was among the singers who joined SOS members for a song. She dedicated "My Funny Valentine" to Terry.

hasrvalAnita Rhee introduced packaging for her scones for Valentine's Day, birthdays, bridal favors (with fresh flowers) and other occasions. Flavors range from her every day apple, caramel and almonds; orange and chocolate; strawberry and chocolate, banana macadamia nut; and more; to special flavors such as currant; lemon and cream cheese; lemon, strawberry and mint; and spiced chai. A Valentine's Day box of 8 scones is $21; 12 scones is $29. An individual scone in a clear purse container topped by a V-Day heart is $3.40 each. You can reach her at mamanitascones@gmail.com, or visit www.mamanitascones.com.

Move over haute dogs, for hankburger!

January 11th, 2013
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truckNadine Kam photos
If you get tired of haute dogs, grab a hankburger out of the Hank's Burgers truck next to Henry "Hank" Adaniya's original enterprise on Coral Street.

As if cornering the market on gourmet hot dogs weren't enough, Hank's Haute Dogs has introduced $4.95 Hankburgers, classic burgers served up weekends from a burger truck in Hank's parking lot at 324 Coral St. in the new Kakaako hot spot bordered by Coral, Keawe and Auahi sts.

After building a great following of monthly burger specials at Hank’s, they discovered demand for their classic hand-formed, char-grilled burger dressed with lettuce, onion, tomato and Hank sauce (the not-so-secret combination of ketchup, mustard and mayo). A combo meal of burger, fries, haute dip and small soda is $8.70.

For those pride themselves on being deciders, you have one option: cheese or no cheese.
The Truck will only serve Hankburgers, soft drinks, natural-cut fries, and haute dips with flavors like chipotle, garlic aioli, wasabi and spicy curry good for both fries and atop the burger.

BYOB welcome!

According to truck signage, service hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays, and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Still trying to clarify, as I received different information from Hank and the guys in the truck. Will confirm via a brief item in the paper on Jan. 16.

hankburgerThe burger is ono, and diced onions and shredded lettuce ensure you get a little of each in each bite as opposed to whole leaf and whole rings, which you tend to pull out with your teeth in one bite with other burgers.