Blonde Highlights

Rick Hamada
By Roz Makaula
Friday - August 18, 2006
Alice and Annie Yeung
Alice and Annie Yeung

FOR SOME, celebrating a birthday can mean a lot less fanfare, especially if you think you’re over the hill. Luckily for my friends and me, we believe that blowing out a few candles once a year is a major event. Brandi “Lei” Namahoe of Hawaiian 105 KINE happens to be one of those friends. Most restaurants do something special for patrons on their “special” day. Big City Diner serves up a dessert complete with candle and waitstaff chorus, as does Dave & Buster’s, Bucca de Beppo and Romano’s Macaroni Grill - can you tell we’ve visited these places before for the “birthday song?” This year, we (Sweetie Pacarro, Sunny Lee-Oshiro and myself) took the party to Panya at Ala Moana Center. Owners Alice and Annie Yeung gave Lei the star treatment from their signature martini mixers - lychee, apple (I’m told it’s the only place in town to serve the drink with freshly squeezed fruit) and Godiva chocolate - to the most amazing, personalized Japanese cheesecake birthday creation, complete with chocolate name plate for the birthday girl - oh, so ‘ono! ...

Another place in town offering up star service is the Hanohano Room at the Sheraton Waikiki. Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz enjoyed themselves there recently to celebrate a friend’s birthday among speculation that their trip to Oahu commenced over the purchase of a multi-millon-dollar home in Kailua. Their party of nine that included three keiki sat in the Cobalt Lounge, where Hanohano Room staff member Wayne hosted them - Timberlake asked for him by name. While there, Diaz danced in the aisle with two of the little girls. ... Gucci marked its 85th anniversary with a couple of invitation-only weekend parties last Friday and Saturday. Superman producer Bryan Singer made an appearance at the first soiree in Waikiki. Saturday night’s event at the Ala Moana store attracted photographer extraordinaire Karin Kovalsky, Tom Corvo and KHNL’s Joann Shin. ...

The ARTS at Mark’s Garage has a new director. Erik M. Takeshita now sits at the helm of the exhibition and performing arts space on Nuuanu Avenue. ... The recent Dog the Bounty Hunter wedding special on A&E set a new record for number of viewers with 5.6 million. According to Reuters, the show made A&E the highest-rated cable network of the night in prime time. The Hawaii-based reality show boasts more than 4 million viewers nationally each week. ... After taking some time off this year for a little bit of R&R, entertainer Keahi Conjugacion makes a return to the musical stage for a concert with musician Kiki Hughgo. The duo performs on stage Friday (Aug. 18) at Hawaii Public Radio/Atherton Performing Arts Studio; concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Visit to find out what’s happening on Oahu and to read Blonde Highlights online.

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