A Pupu Platter Of News

Jo McGarry
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Wednesday - July 02, 2008
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D.K. Kodama's newest Sansei restaurant on the Big Island
D.K. Kodama’s newest Sansei restaurant on the Big Island

I got the chance to check out D.K. Kodama’s newest Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar at Waikoloa this past weekend. Everyone had warned me that the place gets pretty busy, and they weren’t kidding. Half off the cost of food (including sushi) after 10 p.m. and karaoke on Saturday nights means the restaurant and its tiny bar have been rockin’since opening a couple of months ago.

“We’re very fortunate,” says managing partner Tom Alejado in that typically humble Sansei way.

I don’t think luck has anything to do with it. The food’s great, the location is prime, the wine list is fabulous and the staff could-n’t be friendlier ...

Desert Island Restaurants CEO Randy Schoch (Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Romano’s Macaroni Grill) has a great eye for a good location.

Look for a new Romano’s Macaroni Grill to open in the same Queens Shops location later this year ...

Roy’s Hawaii Kai has reopened and the newly renovated space is beautiful. There’s a new menu in place to complement the new décor. “We opened 35 days after closing for renovations,” says president of Roy’s Restaurants, Hawaii, Rainer Kumbroch.

Go this weekend and catch the Fourth of July fireworks and fundraiser for “Go For Broke” ...

Master mixologist Francesco Lafranconi is in town this week and will be a celebrity bartender at Lewer’s Lounge Friday from 9 to 11 p.m. Francesco has created some of the gorgeous drinks at RumFire (including my favorite, the deconstructed pina colada), but in addition to his talent for cocktails, he is passionate about the history of spirits in both the U.S. and beyond. Ask him the origin of a drink and he’s likely to wax lyrical about the bartender who created it, the first person who drank it and the state of the world economy during the time it was conceived. Great stuff when you have time to sip a cocktail and enjoy good conversation. Both are something of a dying art, I fear ...

I was feeling a little guilty about using the annual Dolphin Days Festival of Food Wine and Music as a bribe with our two sons Max and Finn. They’re both of an age where they remember the great time they had at Hilton Waikoloa Village last year and they’re supremely capable of behaving well with incentives, so I’ve been using it to great effect. I’m not, however, the only person who’s apparently been using the annual festival as a parenting tool. Musician, manager and producer Blue Johnson is an annual guest at Hilton Waikoloa’s Saturday night jazz fest. Blue has worked with Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, Lee Ritenour, Kenny G, George Benson and B.B. King, and every year he promises his son Ming that if his grades stay good enough he’ll “take you to Hawaii” to Dolphin Days. This summer, Ming was accepted by 11 American universities and offered a full scholarship by the top seven (including Princeton, Brown and UC-Berkeley). “He’s here,” said Hilton Waikoloa’s PR director Leanne Pletcher. “Blue had to admit that a full scholarship to Stanford was a pretty good grade, and Ming got his trip to Dolphin Days.” Let’s see, the cost of a college education vs. the promise of a trip to Dolphin Days each year ... I’m keeping up the pressure on the boys!

Happy eating!


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