Playing Tourist With Guests
Wednesday - June 27, 2007
Top Chef finalist Elia Abroumad
If you’re like most of us, during the summer your home becomes a magnet for friends hoping for a dream vacation in Hawaii. And while we all know how stressful it can be trying to maintain a work schedule when you have houseguests, it’s always fun to take a few hours to see our city through the eyes of a tourist. I get e-mail inquiries on a daily basis via my website, and I’m always being asked to recommend the best places to go for a perfect Hawaii experience.
I’m never sure, of course, what people really want, but I unfailingly recommend some of the same places over and over again.
Can you beat Chart House for a unique experience? I’m not sure. Last summer we headed there once a week, trying to make sure we were seated at the bar before sunset and the 7 p.m. end of happy hour. Guy Maynard is the man who’s created the best Mai Tai in Hawaii (yes, I know there are strong contenders, but try his and I think you’ll agree that it’s fabulous). It’s a blend of Bacardi Gold and Myers Rum.
“There’s no trick to it,” says Maynard, “I just make everything from scratch.”
He even makes his own lemonade. Maynard’s Guy Tai is a sunset orange color and has amazing flavor. There’s none of the sickly sweet, sugary taste usually associated with popular tropical drinks; instead, there’s a wonderfully light, salty after-taste. One sip and you’re ready to sit back and match the colors of the cocktail to the sunset view across the Ilikai Marina. It goes without saying that the sashimi, steak pupu, stuffed mushrooms and dozens of other pupu items at Chart House are as good as they get. There’s a summer promotion running right now when they order two. Check out its website for details: wwcharthousehonolulu.com ...
I’ve been a big fan of Lloyd Kandell and his Don Tiki show ever since they became the self-styled ambassadors of “exotica.” Kandell and his troupe are performing Thursday nights at The Tapa Bar at Hilton Hawaiian Village, where there’s no cover charge! This is an absolute must for out-of-town guests. The show is a combination of the late Martin Denny’s style of music, beautiful dancers and a sensual, made-for- summer theme. When I first came to Honolulu, I worked for almost seven years at St. Francis Hospice, and Denny would come on Tuesday mornings to play for patients, bringing joy to thousands of families over the years. Kandell is committed to keeping the flame alive. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the show for free. www.dontiki.com for more information ...
I bumped into Top Chef final-ist Elia Abroumad last weekend at Hilton Waikaloa’s annual Dolphin Days celebrations and found her to be a charming, sweet and creative chef. She took time to chat with everyone who stopped by her booth, and didn’t seem to mind the endless questions about her pink-streaked hair.
“It’s summer,” she told me. “this is just a fun way to stay cool.”
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