HONOLULU PULSE STAFF / firstname.lastname@example.org
It?s a good time to eat out, as Restaurant Week Hawaii kicks off tomorrow, Nov. 12, and lasts through Sunday, Nov. 18. Dozens of restaurants are offering discounts and prix fixe menus in support of new generations of culinary talent during this seven-day celebration of Hawaii?s dining scene.
The seeds for the annual event were planted five years ago, when several of Hawaii?s top restaurateurs and food industry executives got together to brainstorm ways to raise money to build what is now the Culinary Institute of the Pacific. Plans call for a 40,000-square-foot facility with two laboratory buildings, classrooms, offices, a culinary amphitheater and restaurant at the site of the former Cannon Club at Diamond Head.
The number of participating restaurants has grown from about 40 in 2007 to more than 100 this year. They run the gamut, from Shiro?s Saimin Haven and Hank?s Haute Dogs to Hoku?s and Le Bistro (the Honolulu Star-Advertiser?s Critics Choice for best restaurant at this year?s ?Ilima Awards.)
New participants include the Alley Restaurant at Aiea Bowl, Japengo, Prima, V Lounge, Kissaten Caf?, Yuzu and The Whole Ox.
To point readers to some of the best deals and places to try that they might not otherwise visit, we asked the dining and food columnists, writers and foodies on our staff to offer their recommendations. Restaurant Week Hawaii Pocket Guides are available at Ala Moana Center Customer Service while supplies last; for dining reviews and listings of Oahu?s top restaurants, see the 2012-2013 ?Ilima Awards guide.
Chef David ?D.K.? Kodama?s d.k. Steakhouse is known for creative menu items that emphasize local ingredients, generous servings and rich flavors. Take advantage of this offer for a tour of the restaurant?s strengths, including a comfortable vibe that masks a fierce pride in the preparation.
For Restaurant Week, executive chef Jason Miyasaki?s four-course ?Farm to Table? menu ($50; add $12.95 for Chuck Furu?ya?s chosen wine pairings) includes a roasted Kahuku ?Super Sweet? Corn Ravioli topped with b?chamel sauce flavored with Maine lobster and a salad with bacon lardon lyonnaise and a poached egg.
For the main course, choose between a bacon-wrapped tenderloin of Big Island-raised red veal with grilled Waialua asparagus, edamame ragout, morel mushroom demi, Ho Farms cherry tomatoes and pearl onion confit, or fresh opakapaka with linguini, Nalo Swiss chard, Maui onions and Nalo basil pesto beurre blanc, topped with a Ho Farms cherry tomato lomi and Nalo micro greens.
Dessert is a Warm Chocolate Bomb of bittersweet chocolate cake, semisweet ganache and mint chocolate chip ice cream. (Waikiki Beach Marriott, 2552 Kalakaua Ave., 931-6280, www.dkrestaurants.com)
? Elizabeth Kieszkowski, Star-Advertiser
Hiroshi?s Eurasian Tapas
I have never eaten at Hiroshi?s Eurasian Tapas, even though a majority of the people I know consider it a favorite place to celebrate a special occasion or a random Tuesday night.
With Restaurant Week my opportunity has come. And for the price of $42 for a four-course meal, don?t you want to be the first at the door? Bring a friend and sample all the offerings. The main course is a choice between pan-roasted opah and bacon-wrapped filet mignon. (Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., 533-4476, www.hiroshihawaii.com)
? Joe Guinto, Star-Advertiser
If you haven?t tried Japengo yet, there?s no better time. The trendy spot in the former Ciao Mein space on the third floor of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki serves up amazing sushi and other delicacies from Asia and the Pacific.
One of the best offers during Restaurant Week, Japengo?s four-course family-style dinner is a great value at only $35. The evening includes a white dragon roll (crab and unagi in tempura flakes), a Japa?nese-style salad, wafu steak (or fresh island fish) and cr?me br?l?e, with choice of wine, house beer, coffee or tea. And to top it all off, parking is free with validation whether you valet or self-park. (Hyatt Regency Waikiki, 2424 Kalakaua Ave., 237-6140, www.waikiki.hyatt.com)
? Derin Derego, Honolulu Pulse
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