Build your base

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By Bob Sigall, Special to the Star-Advertiser Merry Christmas! Every year at this time, I issue my Rearview Mirror Annual Awards for those who have made a contribution to Hawaii. Some of them made history, some researched it, some preserved it and some shared it. All have added to the richness that is our Hawaii. Here’s Part 1. I’ll conclude Jan. 1. >> Leslie Wilcox: Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Leslie Wilcox has worked in journalism for 48 years, first at the Kalani High School paper, then the Hono­lulu Star-Bulletin, KGMB, KHON-TV and, for the last 14 years, at PBS Hawaii, where she was president and CEO. She created “Long Story Short With Leslie Wilcox,” a PBS Hawaii interview program that recorded over 330 interesting islanders...

By William Cole Dec. 8, 2020 The annual reflection on Japan’s surprise attack on Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 — a cataclysmic event that triggered America’s involvement in World War II — is usually livestreamed from Pearl Harbor. But this year, due to COVID-19, the 79th observance was broadcast for the first time without a critical presence: that of the aging eyewitnesses and other veterans who are able to relate firsthand the peril and uncertainty that the Unites States endured on Oahu and during the war years. Nor were any members of the public on hand. Last year a dozen stooped Dec. 7 survivors, about 30 other World War II veterans and some 2,000 members of the public attended the commemoration on the...

By Bob Sigall, Special to the Star-Advertiser Dec. 11, 2020 Every December, I look back on the year and write about the interesting things I learned writing Rearview Mirror. This week I wrap up with Part 2 of that highlights series. Marine Corps Air Station Ewa I was surprised to learn that the first military base attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, was the Ewa Marine Corps Air Station. Japanese strategists saw the Ewa plain as the main approach (and exit) to Pearl Harbor, and decided it had to be attacked on the way in. They destroyed 24 planes at MCAS Ewa, killed four Marines and wounded 13 others. MCAS Ewa was founded in early 1941 and was later incorporated into Barbers Point Naval Air...

By Allison Schaefers Dec. 16, 2020 The reopening of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, the state’s largest hotel property, and the start of COVID­­-19 vaccinations in Hawaii are major milestones on the still long and winding road to tourism recovery. HHV’s Tuesday reopening is expected to return some 250 to 300 employees to work. It also has allowed many of the property’s contractors, including Hatsuhana Japanese Restaurant Hawaii, Lappert’s Hawaii, Blue Water Shrimp, CJ’s New York Style Delicatessen, Rocky Japanese Steak Teppan Restaurant and Round Table Pizza, to resume operations. But by week’s end only two of the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s five towers will have opened: the Rainbow Tower on Tuesday and The Ali’i tower, a celebrity playground where Michael...

By Dave Reardon It is consolidation in one sense, expansion in another. MW Restaurant is moving to Velocity Honolulu, where chef-owners Michelle Karr- Ueoka and Wade Ueoka will also reopen their lunch venture, Artizen by MW. The two-floor location in the Symphony building on the corner of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard previously housed Italian restaurant Viaggio Honolulu upstairs and an espresso bar downstairs, in addition to a high-end car dealership. For more information check out Crave in the Star-Advertiser...

STORY BY: ANNE LEE | PHOTOS BY: LAWRENCE TABUDLO Since opening in January 2018, Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar has thrived under the direction of regional executive chef Hiroyuki “Hiro” Mimura, who started at Appetito’s sister restaurant Taormina 13 years ago. He now oversees the culinary direction for both establishments, but this week shares what’s new at Appetito heading into 2021. AL: How did you get into the restaurant industry? HM: I loved to cook and especially eat. I was double my size, I was crazy fat! I also was in eating competitions and won a lot of them, and held records in some of the competitions. I started cooking Italian food in Tokyo for about four years but really wanted to learn how...

STORY BY: NICOLE MONTON | PHOTOS BY: JADE DYNASTY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Next month, Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant at Ala Moana Center will celebrate its 10th anniversary, and that longevity in Honolulu’s iconic open-air mall is all thanks to its desire to invest in genuine Hong Kong-style cuisine. Jade Dynasty’s chefs, for example, have trained with the best of the best in Hong Kong and returned to Hawaii with an abundance of knowledge and culinary mastery that’s evident in the extensive menu. “Good food, good service and a clean environment are what we always try to accomplish,” shares general manager Gary Chan. And, longtime customers can rejoice because also on the agenda are daily dim sum hours from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For...

STORY BY: ANNE LEE | PHOTOS BY: LAWRENCE TABUDLO Hula Grill Waikiki is the sister restaurant of Duke’s Waikiki, located upstairs at the beautiful Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. This location has been around going on 17 years, and general manager Drew Crocker shares the similarities Hula Grill has with Duke’s Waikiki — both are owned by TS Restaurants — as well as what makes it unique. Hula Grill incorporates handcrafted local products in a more intimate dining experience. You see a lot of different hula-themed figurines and artwork — even the social distancing signs reflect the dance. The hula culture is embraced in this restaurant, and recognizes all the legends with its annual E Ola Mau Ka Hula awards. When Drew was in...

STORY BY: PAIGE TAKEYA | PHOTOS BY: LAWRENCE TABUDLO The Counter Custom Burgers has been an anchor at Kahala Mall since it opened back in 2009. Eleven years later, new owner Jon Muranaka is hoping it sails to even greater success. He’s been in charge since Oct. 2, and acknowledges that now is a less than orthodox time to be a new restaurant owner. “It was about the opportunity,” he says, adding that he had been in talks with the previous ownership for a year prior, and that this was something he had been keen on doing for a long time. For right now, Muranaka is learning the ropes (you can find him doing just about everything on a typical day: seating guests, washing...

By Mindy Pennybacker Brush has been cleared and a fence will be installed on a 200-yard-long strip of city-owned land running alongside Kamehameha Highway across from popular Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore, city officials said. Work started last week and will continue this week as part of an initial effort to increase safety, provide better beach access, and improve traffic conditions along the section of highway, the Honolulu City and County Department of Parks and Recreation said in a news release Monday. There has historically been a notorious traffic bottleneck at the section of two-lane road, where hundreds of thousands of visitors a year park on the dirt strip and cross the street to view the honu, Hawaiian green sea turtles, that...