Archive for the ‘Honolulu’ Category

Wine Bar Brasserie du Vin – Honolulu

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Brasserie du Vin, Honolulu (photo credit: Brasserie du Vin)

Brasserie du Vin, Honolulu
1115 Bethel St.
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Moderate

A French-style wine bar in the interesting, if not ideally located, Chinatown district of downtown Honolulu. You have the option to choose from a selection of 25 open wines by the glass and taste classic bistro dishes such as frisée aux lardons, escargots, and moules frites (these mussels are from New Zealand and can be quite “tough”). I would avoid any complex cooking here, and stick to wine bar fare such as: charcuterie, cheese, olives with bread and other light selections. For 30% of the bottle cost they will open any bottle from their wine list and pour a 6 oz. glass, which is really not bad as this is approximately 170 grams of wine per glass.

It is definitely a congenial place with an outdoor patio, dining room and bar. It could not be farther removed from Paris in every possible way; albeit you can still see a glimmer.

Michel’s at the Colony Surf – Honolulu

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Colony Surf Hotel
2895 Kalakaua Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815
Continental cuisine
Credit cards: All Major

View of the SeaGranted, many hotels and restaurants in Honolulu have excellent vistas of the coast, although Michel’s at the Colony Surf has unquestionably the best panorama of the ocean and shoreline of Waikiki as any of any of them due to its positioning. It is especially striking in the early evening and I urge you to telephone them and book a table in advance, or just walk in and sit at the bar. Please do not think that I am inferring that this is the only reason to go to Michel’s, although it is as compelling a motivation as I can conjure up right now; to sit with a drink in hand, watch the sun go down and enjoy this pleasant experience especially if there are a few or hopefully many puffy clouds in the sky, to make the sunset more spectacular, relax and just enjoy looking at the sun as it finally disappears under the horizon. This is the main attraction; on the other hand, you will be quite content with the menu, if you order carefully, as over the years the restaurant has been offering serviceable French cuisine under the direction of an assortment of chefs who have always produced cooking that is more or less satisfactory.
The wine list has improved of late, so have a good time!

Tokkuri-Tei – Honolulu

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

611 Kapahulu Ave, Ste.102
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel.(808) 739-2800
Mon-Fri 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Mon-Sat 5:30 p.m.- Midnight
Credit Cards: MC, V

With the exception of the wreathing masses that will eat any junk food put in front of them, Hawaii is certainly not regarded by the savvy diner as a culinary destination by any means. It is always a challenge to find even passable food and the prices are always high for any restaurant no matter what the quality. With this in mind, we were so happy to find this down-to-earth sushi place, Tokkuri-Tei on Kapahulu quite a few years ago. My wife is Japanese, so I trust her search and find methods. We have tried other more elaborately decorated sushi bars but when it comes to sushi, in the end result nothing really matters but the freshness and quality of the fish. In this department the owner, Kazuhiro Mitake, who personally makes his own selections every morning from the fish market, always comes back with the best quality fish. Besides his great knowledge of aquatic vertebrates he also knows a great deal about sake and offers a large selection of noteworthy bottles.

It is advisable to book a seat at the sushi bar or even the tables as it can become very busy on most evenings.

La Mer – Halakulani Hotel – Honolulu

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Diamond Head from Halekulani TerraceLa Mer
2199 Kalia Rd.
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel. 808-923-2311
Hours: Dinner nightly
Attire: Jacket and Tie suggested
Credit cards: All Major
Prices: Very Expensive

The Halekulani Hotel is considered among the best in Honolulu, it happens to be my favorite hotel and when you add the restaurant and bar, House without a Key where when the sun goes down you can hear true, old Hawaiian music and hula dancing as interpreted by a former Miss Hawaii, Kanoe Miller. During the day this beautiful restaurant overlooking the sparkling Pacific, serves a casual lunch and as of 2007, they mix in my opinion, the Number One Mai Tai on the island. La Mer - Beachside RestaurantYou are right, I have not tasted them all and certainly I am not about to, but over the years I have covered a lot of ground. However, no Mai Tai surpassed the ones made by the dark-skinned, Hawaiian bartenders with shocking white hair who were resident for years at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s “Mai Tai Bar” on the terrace by the sea. They made the meanest Mai Tai I have ever tasted. They were delicious, and slipped down very easily; one would have you babbling and if you were brave enough to consume another you would be so to speak “under the table”.
Now, on to La Mer, which is the best top-quality, French restaurant in Honolulu that also happens to have a magnificent view to go along with it. Hawaiian Music and Hulu DancingIt goes without saying that the restaurant is very expensive, though food products are expensive in Hawaii, due to importation of almost everything from the mainland, and a great deal of this has been first imported from somewhere else, and you are consuming these delicacies in the best hotel in the city as close to the beach as you can get with becoming wet. Chef Yves Garnier who previously was a chef in a top restaurant in Monaco and did the tour of a couple of Ritz-Carltons and to his credit has created a menu inspired by Provence, (South of France) that translates easily to the Hawaiian climate.

Chez Paul – Maui

Monday, May 5th, 2008

It has been reported that Chef Patrick Callarec has moved to Bali. When we receive information on who has taken over his restaurant in Maui, and what, if any restaurant he is involved in on the island of Bali, we will pass it on via this blog immediately.

Road B
820 Olowalu Village (Honoapi’ilani Hwy.) Map
Lahaina, HI 96761
Lunch Daily 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner Daily 5:30pm-8:30pm
Credit Cards: All Major

Chez Paul has been popular since before I first visited Maui in 1972, and excellence is assured due to the skills of Patrick Callarec as the chef-owner, who worked for various Ritz-Carlton Hotels before coming to Hawaii to work as chef for the Kapalua Maui, and eventually opening Chez Paul. A few highlights of the menu follow:
Chilled fennel-and-potato soup,Les Aubergines Et Tomates Du Pays Roties Au Four Et Herbes De Provence
Oven roasted eggplant and olowalu tomatoes with provence herbs.
Bloc De Foie Gras De Canard Imported duck liver terrine, accompanied with toasted brioche.
Caviar De Beluga Sur Glace Vive One once beluga caviar served on ice with classic garnishes.$95
Cappuccino De Bisque De Homard Au Cognac Cappuccino of lobster bisque with cognac.
Poisson Des Isle Au Champagne
Chez Paul’s classic preparation of fresh island fish poached in champagne with leeks and capers.
Les Belles Tomates D’Olowalu Au Basilic
Slices of fresh village tomatoes with a basil shallot vinaigrette.
Tournedos Aux Trois Poivres Sautéed prime cut of filet mignon with a green, pink and black peppercorn brandy cream sauce.
Roast venison in season.
The wine list is predominantly French – Thank you – and well chosen selections.

Roy’s – Honolulu

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

6600 Kalanianaole Hwy.
Tel. 808-396-7697
Honolulu, HI 96825
Credit Cards: All Major
Pricing: Moderate-Expensive

On the mountain side of the Kalanianaole Highway in Hawaii Kai, Roy’s occupies both floors of a two story building in the Corporate Plaza. On the ground floor the bar and café seem relatively quiet, although a walk up a flight of stairs and you are awakened straight-away to find yourself in a large dining room humming with activity. The open kitchen, where Roy, in times past, worked on the line most evenings, and the sinuous bar frequently occupied at the time by a friend and inveterate chain smoker and drinker, Marty Kupps, a one time music-biz promoter, who would ogle the female “action” such as it was.  Marty claimed that he never gave “payola” to any disk jockey, and I suppose it might be true if you overlooked the endless cocktail hours, lunches, and dinners he entertained them with at the best restaurants in town; so in the strict sense he was correct.

He, in fact, caused the restaurant to delay enforcing a new non-smoking law until he left town a few days later for Los Angeles. Unfortunately, he never returned to Hawaii due to a fatal fall from his balcony.
Roy Yamaguchi was born in Japan to Hawaiian parents, and later training under French master chef, the late Jean Bertranou at L’ Ermitage in Los Angeles. He started working at Chef Bertanou’s second restaurant on La Cienega Blvd, his first being located on South Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. Roy is credited with shaping what is now officially known as contemporary Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. Weaving flavors together from Italy, Japan, Thailand, California and the South of France his menu spans the great distances between these countries. Chef Yamaguchi’s powerful techniques, used to blend ingredients from east and west to sauce dishes from his ultra-modern menu, are light-years away from other local chefs perfunctory efforts. The service is serious and the plates are decorated passionately.

Other Roy’s enterprises in Hawaii are:

Roy’s – Waikiki Beach
(808) 923-7697
226 Lewers Street
Honolulu HI 96816

Roy’s Kahana Bar & Grill in Lahaina
(808) 669-6999
4405 Honoapiilani Highway
Lahaina HI 96761
On Kauai, along with the lush flora and fauna,is one of the islands attractions.

Roy’s Poipu Bar & Grill
(808) 742-5000
2360 Kiahuna Plantation Dr.
Koloa HI 96756 is one of the islands attractions.

Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill
(808) 886-4321
250 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Waikoloa HI 96738

Roy’s – Kihei
(808) 891-1120
303 Piikea Ave., Bldg. 1
Kihei HI 96753

Roy’s – Ko’ Olina
(808) 676-7697
92-1220 Aliinui Drive
Kapolei HI 96707

Auntie Lei’s Aloha Roll
Spicy Tuna Topped with Hamachi, Salmon, Avocado & Ginger Ponzu

Sunrise at Haleakala
Tuna, Hamachi, Salmon, Avocado ↦ Asparagus Tempura Roll,
Dynamite Butter

Lakanilau Roll
Seared Kobe Beef wrapped around Snow Crab, Tempura Asparagus and

Lobster California Roll
Lobster, Avocado, Cucumber & Tobiko


Roy’s Classic Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi
Lobster Cognac Butter Sauce

Hibachi Style Grilled Atlantic Salmon
Japanese Citrus Ponzu Sauce

Roy’s Original Blackened Island Ahi
Spicy Soy Mustard Butter Sauce

Roy’s Classic Trio of Hibachi Grilled Salmon
Roy’s Original Blackened Island Ahi
& Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish
Citrus Ponzu Sauce, Spicy Soy Mustard Butter, Sizzling Soy Vinaigrette

This is just a glimpse of the broad menu.

Wines, Whites
Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon,Chateau Ducasse Bordeaux, France
Sauvignon Blanc, Brancott Marlborough, New Zealand
Sauvignon Blanc, Geyser Peak “Block Collection” Russian River
Pinot Blanc, Lucien Albrecht, Alsace, France
Pinot Gris, Ponzi, Oregon
Pinot Noir Rose, Etude, Carneros
Chardonnay, Au Bon Climat “Roy’s” Santa Barbara
San Angelo Pinot Grigio Montalcino, Italy

Red Wines
Banfi “Centine” Sangiovese Italy
Saint Hallet “Faith” Shiraz Barossa, Australia
Cabernet, J. Lohr “Seven Oaks” Paso Robles

These few selections are representative of a list that holds few bargains.

All branches offer a selection of wines by the glass.