Archive for May, 2014

Designers' last supper

By
May 29th, 2014



Designers Eric Chandler and Takeo, center, gathered a few friends for a last supper May 22 at Likelike Drive-Inn, with apologies to Da Vinci. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

DESIGNERS ERIC CHANDLER AND TAKEO, CENTER, GATHERED A FEW FRIENDS FOR A LAST SUPPER MAY 22 AT LIKELIKE DRIVE-INN, WITH APOLOGIES TO DA VINCI. THEY ARE RETIRING TO WASHINGTON.

Where would you go for a last supper if you were leaving town for good or for an extended period of time?

LIKELIKE DRIVE-INN'S FAMOUS NEON SIGN WAS THE BACKDROP FOR THIS PHOTO OF NADINE TANEGA, WHEN SHE WAS MISS HAWAII USA 1994. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

LIKELIKE DRIVE-INN'S FAMOUS NEON SIGN WAS THE BACKDROP FOR THIS PHOTO OF NADINE TANEGA, WHEN SHE WAS MISS HAWAII USA 1994.

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.

THE DESIGNERS MET IN 1970S HONOLULU. CHANDLER GREW UP IN SEATTLE BUT HAD MOVED TO JAPAN. TAKEO HAD GROWN UP IN JAPAN BUT MOVED TO SEATTLE. SO THEY HAD A LOT TO TALK ABOUT.

THE DESIGNERS MET IN 1970S HONOLULU. CHANDLER GREW UP IN SEATTLE BUT HAD MOVED TO JAPAN. TAKEO HAD GROWN UP IN JAPAN BUT MOVED TO SEATTLE. SO WHEN THEY MET, THEY HAD A LOT TO TALK ABOUT.

THE DESIGNERS THANKED THEIR FRIENDS FOR DECADES OF SUPPORT, WITH AN INVITE TO VISIT THEM IN BUCKLEY, WASH.

THE DESIGNERS THANKED THEIR FRIENDS FOR DECADES OF SUPPORT, WITH AN INVITE TO VISIT THEM IN BUCKLEY, WASH.

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!

ON THE MENU, FOLLOWING CORN CHOWDER AND A TOSSED SALAD, WAS BAKED SHORTRIBS.

ON THE MENU, FOLLOWING CORN CHOWDER AND A TOSSED SALAD, WAS BAKED SHORTRIBS.

I ESPECIALLY ENJOYED THE DRIVE-INN'S FRIED RICE TOPPED WITH AN OVER-MEDIUM EGG.

I ESPECIALLY ENJOYED THE DRIVE-INN'S FRIED RICE TOPPED WITH AN OVER-MEDIUM EGG.

YOU HAVE TO BE REALLY LOCAL TO ENJOY WHOLE OPELU TOPPED WITH SOY SESAME SAUCE, CARROTS, SHIITAKE, GINGER AND GREEN ONIONS.

YOU HAVE TO BE REALLY LOCAL TO ENJOY WHOLE OPELU TOPPED WITH SOY SESAME SAUCE, CARROTS, SHIITAKE, GINGER AND GREEN ONIONS.

KITV'S PAMELA YOUNG SCARFED DOWN DESSERT OF BAKED CUSTARD PUDDING SO FAST, THE STAFF BROUGHT HER SECONDS. THIS DESSERT AMOUNTS TO TRUE BLISS.

PAMELA YOUNG SCARFED DOWN DESSERT OF BAKED CUSTARD PUDDING SO FAST, THE STAFF BROUGHT HER SECONDS. THIS DESSERT AMOUNTS TO TRUE BLISS.

THE GROUP GATHERED FOR ONE LAST PHOTO WITH THE NEON SIGN AS BACKDROP.

THE GROUP GATHERED FOR ONE LAST PHOTO WITH THE NEON SIGN AS BACKDROP.

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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Dip into Little Sheep

By
May 28th, 2014



The Yin Yang broth at Little Sheep features one-half original beef-and-chicken stock based herbal broth, and one-half spicy broth. The broth cost is $3.95 per person. On the right is an order of thin-sliced lamb shoulder, 12 ounces currently at $15.95.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

THE YIN YANG BROTH PICTURED HERE AT LITTLE SHEEP FEATURES ONE-HALF ORIGINAL BEEF-AND-CHICKEN STOCK BASED HERBAL BROTH, AND ONE-HALF SPICY BROTH. THE BROTH COST IS $3.95 PER PERSON. ON THE RIGHT IS AN ORDER OF THIN-SLICED LAMB SHOULDER, 12 OUNCES CURRENTLY AT $15.95.

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot celebrated its grand opening with a media tasting May 14 at Ward Centre.

I felt relieved to see a restaurant worthy of the large, glossy space. The first Little Sheep restaurant opened in 1999 in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China. Today there are more than 300 locations, spanning Asia and including five restaurants in Canada and 15 across the United States.

With a track record like that, you assume a certain degree of professionalism, but there were a lot of service issues on this night and on a followup visit, as if ingredients are not prepared to go as at other hot pot or shabu shabu restaurants.

There seemed to be no logic to timing, method or organization involved in food delivery. Some tables received everything immediately. For me, soup was a long time coming. The vegetables and side dishes took a long time to materialize during my first visit, and on a second incognito outing it took an hour-and-a-half to materialize. But the meat came quickly, such that on both visits, we had gobbled up most of the meat before the vegetables, dumplings and noodles, etc., ever arrived.

You fill out a checklist to order, so make sure to doublecheck that list before you leave. When I was there, three items never made it to our table.

Others who visited after my review appeared in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser said service improved, but was optimal if you were a Mandarin speaker and if you yelled angrily — and not at just one person, but two or three servers and a manager.

I hope these issues are settled soon, because I really enjoyed the food, especially the lamb, fresh veggies, roe-filled fishcake, enoki mushrooms and condiments. I also like that it's spacious, so you don't feel crammed or have to worry about navigating around people to get refills on sauces.

Ingredients that can be added to the pot include, from left, assorted vegetables, noodles, fish cake, sausages, scallops, tripe, more noodles and shrimp dumplings. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

INGREDIDIENTS THAT CAN BE ADDED TO THE POT INCLUDE, FROM LEFT, ASSORTED VEGETABLES, NOODLES, FISH CAKE, SAUSAGES, SCALLOPS, TRIPE, MORE NOODLES AND SHRIMP DUMPLINGS.

Pork wontons, shrimp dumplings and scallops. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

PORK WONTONS, SHRIMP DUMPLINGS AND SCALLOPS.

All the ingredients simmer in the pot. Included are choi sum, fishcake, noodles, enoki mushrooms, lamb, tofu, won bok, and more. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

ALL THE INGREDIENTS SIMMER IN THE POT. INCLUDED ARE CHOI SUM, FISHCAKE, NOODLES, ENOKI MUSHROOMS, LAMB, TOFU, WON BOK, AND MORE.

Little Sheep CEO Michael Wu. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

LITTLE SHEEP CEO MICHAEL WU.

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot interior. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

LITTLE SHEEP MONGOLIAN HOT POT INTERIOR.

The restaurant's logo. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

THE RESTAURANT'S LOGO.

At the condiment bar. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

AT THE CONDIMENT BAR.

More condiment bar offerings of green onions, garlic, chili oil and red chili sauce. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

MORE CONDIMENT BAR OFFERINGS OF GREEN ONIONS, GARLIC, CHILI OIL AND RED CHILI SAUCE.

Some people like to keep their sauces and condiments separated. I like to throw everything together, including a base of sesame sauce, chili with oil, and sa cha sauce topped with garlic, cilantro, chopped chili peppers and green onionS.(Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

SOME PEOPLE LIKE TO KEEP THEIR SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS SEPARATED. I LIKE TO MIX EVERYTHING TOGETHER, INCLUDING A BASE OF SESAME SAUCE, CHILI WITH OIL, AND SA CHA SAUCE TOPPED WITH GARLIC, CILANTRO, CHOPPED CHILI PEPPERS AND GREEN ONIONS.

Little Sheep is at Ward Centre, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. (above Genki Sushi). Call (808) 593-0055.

———

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instragram and Rebel Mouse.

One One offers super smoothies

By
May 18th, 2014



PHOTO BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comA MANGO-STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE FROM ONE ONE SUPER MARKET IN LILIHA.

PHOTO BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

A MANGO-STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE FROM ONE ONE SUPER MARKET IN LILIHA.

The scenery along Liliha Street doesn't change much, so when new signage goes up, it's noticed right away. Last week, I noticed Hoy Tin Chop Suey has a new neighbor, near the corner of Liliha and Kuakini streets.

One One Super Market popped up with colorful photos of fresh fruit, veggies and smoothies perfect for the warm summer months ahead.

The smoothies use produce sold within the market, everything from avocados to soursop, and are priced at a low $3.59 ($3 is the introductory price through the weekend). The only downside is a bit of a language barrier because the proprietors speak very little English.

In addition to the fresh produce, you can also browse the racks for basic pantry fare such as Asian sauces and spices.

———

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; see her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instragram and Rebel Mouse.

Lox of Bagels on the move

By
May 16th, 2014



There be lots of bagels at Lox of Bagels, now open at a new Dillingham location. Among bagel selections are sun-dried tomato, cheese and spinach flavors. You'll also find the classic plain New York-style bagel, cinnamon raisin, and poppyseed among the 20-plus varieties available. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER>COM

THERE BE LOTS OF BAGELS AT LOX OF BAGELS, NOW OPEN ON DILLINGHAM BLVD. AMONG THE SELECTIONS ARE SUN-DRIED TOMATO, CHEESE AND SPINACH; YOU'LL ALSO FIND THE CLASSIC PLAIN NEW YORK-STYLE BAGEL, CINNAMON RAISIN AND POPPYSEED AMONG THE 20-PLUS VARIETIES AVAILABLE.

Lox of Bagels has opened a new location on Dillingham Boulevard at Kokea Street, bringing the Sand Island business closer to central Honolulu.

The bakery operation will also be moving over, scheduled to become fully operational in a month, before closing the Sand Island kitchen later this summer.

The new location will offer Lox of Bagels 20-plus varieties of New York-style bagels, plus edibles such as bagel sandwiches, bagel dogs and specialty Bagel Puffs, bagel dough stuffed with fillings and baked. Some of the classic Bagel Puff combos are a cinnamon raisin puff with plain cream cheese; sesame seed puff filled with azuki bean paste; or a plain bagel filled with peanut butter and cream cheese.

According to company president Terumi Drake, among favorite sandwiches are the chicken salad bagel sandwich ($6.75) with the works: lettuce, tomato, sprouts, onions, mayo and mustard, as well as the namesake Manhattan Delight ($9) combo of lox and cream cheese.

Expansion plans don't stop there. Another Kapiolani location is expected to open in July, with a new café concept, and will be dubbed Café Grace by Lox of Bagels.

Seems promising!

Kahu Wendell Silva performed a blessing before the grand opening of Lox of Bagels May 15. Standing beside him are district manager Stacy Kim, left, and company president Terumi Drake. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

KAHU WENDELL SILVA PERFORMED A BLESSING BEFORE THE GRAND OPENING OF LOX OF BAGELS' NEW LOCATION ON THURSDAY. STANDING WITH HIM ARE DISTRICT MANAGER STACY KIM, LEFT, AND COMPANY PRESIDENT TERUMI DRAKE.

Samples of bagel sandwiches include the popular chicken salad bagel combo, shown here in the foreground on a spinach bagel. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

SAMPLES OF BAGEL SANDWICHES INCLUDE THE POPULAR CHICKEN SALAD BAGEL COMBO, FOREGROUND.

Employees Marina Higa, left, and Celina Velasco show off their Lox of Bagels T-shirts featuring a salmon leaping over a bagel. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

EMPLOYEES MARINA HIGA, LEFT, AND CELINA VELASCO SHOW OFF THEIR COMPANY T-SHIRTS.

Building sandwiches in the kitchen. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

BUILDING SANDWICHES IN THE KITCHEN.

A bite of the pepperoni cheese pizza bagel. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

A BITE OF THE PEPPERONI CHEESE PIZZA BAGEL.

Let's not forget the yummy cream cheese options such as the honey, guava, strawberry and cinnamon walnut flavors shown here. There are many others, including jalapeño cheddar, spinach herb, cucumber dill and garden vegetable. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

LET'S NOT FORGET THE YUMMY CREAM CHEESE OPTIONS SUCH AS THE HONEY, GUAVA, STRAWBERRY AND CINNAMON WALNUT FLAVORS SHOWN HERE.

Bagel art fills the new cafe. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

BAGEL ART FILLS THE NEW CAFE.

Lox of Bagels is at 1111 Dillingham Boulevard, Suite E6. Hours are 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Call (808) 200-7259.

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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Kai Coffee opens in Waikiki

By
May 15th, 2014



Kai Coffee Hawaii's café latte. (Courtesy Sarah Honda)

COURTESY SARAH HONDA

KAI COFFEE HAWAII'S CAFE LATTE.

BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Kai Coffee Hawai'i opened its doors this morning at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa.

Owner Sam Suiter aims to bring the "Total Cafe Experience" to fans of great coffee, including single-origin pour overs made to order.

During the grand opening, Kaeo Skeele demonstrated the art of the pour over, with Maui Yellow Caturra Raisin coffee, made from coffee beans aged on the tree.

Baristas consider the pour over to be the cleanest and purest way to make and appreciate coffee. Infusing the ground coffee for the correct length of time with a low-tech hand pour produces a fuller, fruity taste, often with floral notes.

In keeping with the desire to present minimalist but high-quality fare, the new coffee bar will also feature sandwiches and pastries from downtown Honolulu's The Baker & Butcher. Among the offerings will be BLT, poached tuna, curried chicken salad, trip tip beef, and veggie sandwiches ($9); a salted caramel brownie "sandwich ($4.50)," chocolate croissants ($4), and fresh-baked cookies ($2.25).

Kai Coffee Hawai'i owner Samuel Suiter and wife Natalie. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

KAI COFFEE HAWAI'I OWNER SAMUEL SUITER AND WIFE NATALIE.

Among dessert selections at Kai Coffee are these salted caramel brownie "sandwiches." (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

AMONG THE DESSERT SELECTIONS ARE THESE SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIE "SANDWICHES."

Yummy chocolate chip cookes from The Butcher & Baker. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

YUMMY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES FROM THE BUTCHER & BAKER.

You might find fruit tartlets such as these raspberry-topped treats. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

YOU MIGHT FIND FRUIT TARTLETS SUCH AS THESE RASPBERRY-TOPPED TREATS.

Coffee and tees available for purchase. (Star-Advertiser photo by Nadine Kam)

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

COFFEE AND TEES AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.

Kai Coffee Hawai'i is in the Pualeilani Atrium Shops on the ground floor of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa, 2424 Kalakaua Ave. Call (808) 778-3213.

The Baker & Butcher is at 1111 Bishop St., Suite 112. Call 537-4140.

———

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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