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STORY BY: NICOLE MONTON KOROMO katsu & curry bistro might be the new kid on the block — opening its doors at Pearlridge Center Makai in February — but already it’s garnered quite the following for high-quality ingredients, housemade panko and traditional Japanese curry. “In Japanese, ‘koromo’ means coating or covering and refers to the care we take in preparing fresh house-made panko and frying our katsu to perfection,” explains president and co-owner Tom Jones. The winning combination of tender meat and crispy coating is what keeps locals, foodies and critics all coming back again and again, as is the chance to indulge in the variety of tasty sauces and side dishes. “Our focus is on high-quality ingredients like Duroc pork, fresh chicken, oysters...

STORY BY: GINGER KELLER Duke Kahanamoku is well-known and loved across the islands. Whether you know him as the person who reinvented surfing, an Olympic gold medalist, Hollywood actor or have simply stopped to admire his larger-than-life statue at Kuhio Beach, there’s no arguing that the Waikiki native left monumental footprints upon Hawaii’s shores. Found in the midst of Kahanamoku’s childhood playground is a restaurant that strives to emulate his legacy. “We try to be like how he was and how he did it back in the day,” says Keli‘i Gouveia, general manager of Duke’s Waikiki. “For example, our service, we try to be as good as we possibly can and engaging as we can. We try to match his aloha spirit...

STORY BY: ANNE LEE What makes the M and the W in MW Restaurant? Husband-and-wife team chef Wade Ueoka and pastry chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka. Together, they bring nearly four decades of hard work and dedication to their culinary masterpieces, for which they’ve received multiple awards and accolades. Through the pandemic, they’re still making strides to bring comfort foods to customers, and support local farmers and the community. Their love for cooking also joined them together in marriage, led them to open a restaurant and encouraged them to adopt a four-legged fur child named Echigo. For more information check out our  Dining In feature in the Star-Advertiser...

Story By: Nicole Monton | Photos by: MARK GALACGAC It might be known as the International House of Pancakes, but IHOP Hawaii locations are a step above the rest. “We seamlessly give service with aloha because it is so deeply ingrained in the culture,” says director of marketing Debra Espino. Recently, in fact, that aloha spirit was on full display when a couple of guests went out of their way to applaud the service they received. “(They) demanded my attention be directed to one of our servers, Essence, an amazing woman I consider my own ‘auntie,’ who had made their meal with us so warm, intimate and personal — and that she deserves a raise,” says Espino with a laugh. “It’s the people here that...

Story By: Nicole Monton | Photos by: The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club It’s happy hour all day, every day at Mahina & Sun’s at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club. That means everything on the lanai menu is discounted — and remains as delicious as ever. For lighter fare, the Kale Salad ($9) is full of fresh texture, thanks to the bread crumbs and crispy greens that are mixed with Parmesan, cured egg yolk and an anchovy dressing. Sharing is an option with the Margherita Pizza ($15) that comes with ripe tomatoes and basil, as well as the vegan-friendly Avocado Tacos ($9) that are served with shishito, pickled red onions and smoked yogurt. New on the menu are a Fruit Plate ($4);...

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ALOHA STEAK HOUSE Tucked away on the first floor of the Aqua Oasis Hotel on Lewers Street in Waikiki, you will find one of the tastiest and most affordable tomahawk steaks in Hawaii at Aloha Steak House. I had the pleasure to share this with my friend Maki Konikson — and just to clarify her name is Maki and not Maki-Ko. Many times she is referred to as Hawaii Maki-San, Ambassador of Hawaii to Japan, bridging the gap to the Japanese whether they are tourists or locals, to all of the best that Hawaii has to offer. Not only is she famous, but she is also a local business owner here in Hawaii. She knows...

By Review by Nadine Kam, Special to the Star-Advertiser In normal times, restaurant popularity is a good thing. In COVID-19 times, the price of popularity is the risk of putting oneself in harm’s way. It took Fooki nine months to open, but soon after doing so on July 3, increases in coronavirus cases led to a decision to close the dining room for the safety of customers and employees. The restaurant had been open just three weeks, but the rush for a taste of Taiwanese cuisine had led to overcrowding at the doors and demands to seat parties larger than the 10-person maximum mandated by the state. So for now Fooki is open for takeout only, which is a shame, because so many...

By Star-Advertiser Staff THINK PINK You know milk, dark and white chocolate, but how about ruby? Chocolate made from the ruby cacao bean is the latest Honolulu Cookie Co. flavor. A 16-piece box is $18.95, or purchase by the piece for 95 cents, while supplies last. Stores: 214 Sand Island Access Road, open Fridays only; and International Market Place, Saturdays only; the Royal Hawaiian Center store reopens Saturday with daily hours. Or order online at honolulucookie.com. Read the rest of the story at Crave in the Star-Advertiser...

By Star-Advertiser Staff TRY NEW BREAKFAST DISHES AT MOMOSAN Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s Momosan Waikiki has reopened and is offering dine-in and takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ramen and sake bar has a new breakfast menu. It includes Wa Cho-Shoku, Spam Musubi, Onigiri and Tokyo Chicken. Popular ramen and sushi items such as the Spicy Tuna Roll are back. Sit-down breakfast is 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., lunch is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner is 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (no reservations). Takeout and delivery is available; call 922-0011. Zuppler and GrubHub are available for contactless payment and delivery. The restaurant is in the Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach at 2490 Kalakaua Ave. TAQUERIA EL RANCHERO TO OPEN IN KAPOLEI Taqueria el Ranchero is slated...

Story By: Nicole Monton Koko Marina Center and its food-centric tenants are open for takeout and limited sit-down options, and all invite hungry families to stop in for good eats. “We are open for business, but please practice social distancing and wear a mask when shopping and dining,” urges director of marketing Krysti Peacock. “However, with the rapidly changing situation, it is best to call to confirm before dining.” Noteworthy is Harbor Village Cuisine, which has set up outdoor eating areas and restarted its dine-in service in addition to its ongoing terrific takeout service. Diners can receive 10 percent off before 3 p.m., and $10 gift certificates will be given out for every $50 spent after 3 p.m. Call the restaurant at 395-2311...