May 29th, 2014
Where would you go for a last supper if you were leaving town for good or for an extended period of time?
For designers Eric Chandler and Takeo, who are retiring to Buckley, Wash., they could have gone to any of their upscale haunts. But their destination of choice was Likelike Drive-Inn, site for a last supper with friends that took place May 22.
It was a logical choice for the designers, who recalled many a late-night strategy meeting held over roast pork or oxtail soup, with Miss Hawaii USA hopefuls. Their frequent mantra was, "Life is short, eat dessert first," when it came to Likelike's hot fudge sundae, custard and lemon chiffon pies.
On the menu created by chefs Kenny Tateyama and Chris Okuhara were some Likelike classics, such as corn chowder and fried rice—served for the occasion with an over-medium egg on top—and specialties such as baked short ribs with Spanish sauce and steamed opelu served whole local-style in a soy-sesame sauce and topped with slivered carrots, shiitake, ginger and green onions.
Among the guests enjoying the company of the always entertaining designers were news anchor and television personality Pamela Young, former Miss America (1992) and Miss Hawaii (1991) Carolyn Sapp, former Miss Hawaii USA Nadine (Hogan) Tanega (1994), former Miss Hawaii Pam Kimura (1992), Drs. Angela Pratt and Caroline Hee, Marian and Jack Morrison, Iwalani Tseu, Steven Ai, Johnny Kai and others.
Young compiled a video of some of the footage of the designers she'd put together through the years, mentioning that she must have worked on well over two dozen stories about their work and projects over the years for television, just as I had done in print.
In the last formal story I wrote about their imminent departure on April 10, I mentioned that in over 40 years time they had helped more than 50 community groups — from the Chinese Chamber of Hawaii's Narcissus Festival, the Chinese Women's Club of Honolulu, Cherry Blossom Festival, Travel Women Hawaii — to produce annual fashion shows. Their expertise will definitely be missed in the fashion community.
At any rate, even in retirement, the two can't survive not working, so were already talking about plans to collaborate with Seattle-area schools, indigenous tribes and the Seattle Museum, as well as try their hand at farming Washington apples. I expect one day I'll be writing here about their organic cider and apple sauce!
Likelike Drive-Inn is at 745 Keeaumoku St., and has been a Honolulu fixture since 1953.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.