Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Romano’s Macaroni Grill Waikoloa starts breakfast service

Hawaii Island residents and visitors staying in the Kona and Kohala Coast areas have another option for a great breakfast.  Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Waikoloa recently began offering a menu of signature breakfast items daily from 8:00am until 11:00am.  The restaurant is responding to a growing demand in the area for a quality breakfast at a reasonable price.

The new menu features a variety of items, including two versions of Chef Shane Torres’ Italian twist on scrambled eggs and 3 variations on the frittata, which is a classic Italian open-faced omelet. Breakfast standards like steak and eggs, French toast, and yogurt & granola will also be offered, as well as a list of specialty breakfast cocktails.  And, of course, it’s not breakfast in Hawaii without a side order of Spam!

Romano’s Macaroni Grill is conveniently located at the Queens’ Marketplace 201 Waikoloa Beach Drive in Waikoloa with ample onsite parking.
For more information, please visit http://www.macaronigrill.com.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

First Hawaiian International Auto Show continues today and tomorrow

Looking for something to do this weekend? 

Here’s a great event that continues today and tomorrow at the Hawaii Convention Center

When:               March 26 - 28, 2010
Where:              Hawaii Convention Center
Time:                Saturday, March 27: 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
                        Sunday, March 28: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Admission:        $7.00 (Adults 13 & over)
$4.00 (Children 7 - 12)
FREE (Children 6 & under)

There are hundreds of the newest cars, SUVs, trucks and hybrids housed under one roof.
There are also specialty displays, as well news on the latest automotive technologies and trends.

Representatives from dozens of manufacturers will be on-site to answer your questions and provide up-to-date information. Visit HiAutoShow.com for more information.

Here is a photo of one of the Scion cars that’s on display at the show followed by a list of the modifications that the owner has done:

WickedbB 2005 Scion xB


Exterior ( JDM ):
·          bB badge
·          bB rear step guard
·          bB Zenki head lights
·          Garson clear side markers
·          Garson chrome fender trim
·          Topline front face finisher on TCM grill
·          Essam wind visors
·          Chrome handle overlays
·          Red and clear tails

·          Red Genie lip kit ( ONLY one on the island )
·          One off grill made by eight08customs using 3 different grills: Full bloom type grill/ molded NISH eyelids/ and billet inserts
·          Spirit type wing
·          Varad scanning red LED lighting kit
·          Scionpro chrome hatch handle

Interior ( JDM ):
·          bB dash console
·          bB floormats
·          Garson D.A.D. coasters
·          Garson neck pads
·          Window curtains
·          Crystal A/C knobs
·          Bubble shift knob
·          Napolex Laylight
·          Cargo cover
·          Junction Produce Fusa

·          Custom made black seats with red inserts and Coach trim by Fred’s auto top shop
·          Custom matching door panel inserts
·          Custom wrapped Coach pillars
·          Custom wrapped Coach glove box
·          Custom black headliner
·          Orataro red VIP front and rear tables
·          OBX red pedals
·          OEM under dash red lighting kit
·          OEM red/black steering wheel
·          OEM armrest
·          Razo shift knob with custom made matching red insert
·          Red dash trim kit
·          TRD floor mats
·          Dakota Digital guages

Stereo and Ice:
·          Panasonic in dash DVD/CD/TV tuner
·          4 Starvision headrest monitors
·          Alpine mids and tweeters
·          JL Audio 500 x 5 amp
·          2 JL Audio 10 W1s
·          Custom sub floor/amp rack/plexi/ and LED lights by Progressive Auto sounds

·          Tein hood dampers
·          AEM cold air intake
·          AEM battery tie down
·          AEM chrome engine cover
·          Polished strut bar
·          Under The Hood Inc. mirrors
·          Optima battery
·          Red wire loom dress up
·          Red lighting kit

·          18x8/18x8.5 chrome SSR Vienna Krais ( Discontinued ) wrapped in 215x 35 Fusions

·          One ton garage 10mm spacers
·          Evolved concepts -3 degree camber shims

Air suspension:
·          Easystreet struts with Cusco camber plates
·          Slam specialties rear bags with FBI brackets
·          Viair 420 compressor
·          3 gallon alluminum tank
·          SVC valves
·          Strup axleback

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nā Hōkū O Hawai’i Music Festival Scheduled for May 27 – 30.

Nā Hōkū O Hawai’i Music Festival Scheduled for May 27 – 30.

New event which promotes the power of music.

The first annual Nā Hōkū O Hawai’i Music Festival will fill the Hawai’i Convention Center and locations throughout Waikīkī in late May. The ambitious four-day music festival develops and augments a living knowledge of Hawaiian music, arts, and crafts through workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions and performances of the highest quality and authenticity.


Thursday, May 27
• 10 am – 5 pm Nā Hōkū O Hawaiʻi Music Festival Registration
                       Festival Lounge & Official Festival Merchandise Store Opens
• 5 pm – 8 pm  Nā Hōkū O Hawaiʻi Music Festival Opening Reception at Hawaiʻi Convention Center

Friday, May 28
• 8 am - 5 pm  Vendors & exhibitors, general sessions, and workshops
                       Workshops include slack key, haku mele, composition, musical arrangements, meet the
                       artists, producing a CD, slam poetry, chant, music and healing, artists sessions, panels and more

• 6 pm – 8 pm Live entertainment on 25 stages in Waikīkī
                       Stages include:
                       • Outrigger & OHANA Properties
                       • Starwood Hotels Waikīkī properties.
                       • Hilton Hawaiian Village
                       • Aston Waikikī Beach Hotel
                       • Halekulani Hotel
                       • Royal Hawaiian Center
                       • Kuhio Beach Hula Mound
                       • Chais

Saturday, March 29
• 8 am – 5 pm Vendors & exhibitors, general sessions, and workshops
• 11:30 am – 2 pm HARA Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon
• 6 pm – 8 pm Entertainment on 25 stages in Waikīkī

Sunday, May 30
• 8:30 am – noon Coffee Hour, networking, vendors & exhibitors (all day), general sessions, and workshops
• 5:30 pm – 7 pm Pre-Nā Hōkū Hanohano Pupu Party
• 6:30 pm – 7 pm VIP Red Carpet Arrivals
• 7:30 pm – 10 pm Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards
• 10 pm – midnight After Party

Tickets are on sale at www.nahokufestival.com.

Log in and hit BUY TICKETS. Tickets are sold individually for the awards shows, workshops and parties; the best values are the All Events Pass and the Nā Hōkū O Hawai’i Festival VIP Package.

The All Events Pass is $525 now through March 31, after April 1 is $555.
Additional ticket options are also available.

Join the Nā Hōkū O Hawaiʻi Music Festival Community and get up-to-the-minute updates and information on artistsʻ participation, tickets, travel packages, sponsors, and workshops at www.nahokufestival.com.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

2nd Annual Filipino Film Fesitival

Hawaii is a melting pot of many different ethnicities and Filipinos are one of the groups that continue to grow in numbers.  Originally emigrating to work on the sugar plantations, many are still coming to Hawaii seeking a better life.

The new census may reveal some interesting numbers but, as of 1990, there were 168,682 Filipinos residing in Hawaii, about one-sixth of the total population.

Targeting this group, The Doris Duke Theatre is hosting the 2ND ANNUAL FILIPINO FILM FESTIVAL – sponsored by the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii.  Of course, you don’t need to speak and understand the language or be of Filipino ancestry to enjoy these great films ... they're subtitled.

The line-up of includes:

Last Supper No. 3 was the winner of the Best Film award at the 2009 Cinemalaya Film Festival, the Philippines’ Oscars.
2009, 83 mins.
Tagalog with English subtitles
• April 20 & 21 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Based on a true story, this film is a hilarious satire about Wilson Nañawa’s nightmarish but hilarious odyssey through the Philippines’ corrupt legal system.

2009, 110 mins.
Tagalog with English subtitles
• April 22 & April 23 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m,. 7:30 p.m.
After 30 years in prison, the aging Pedro re-enters the world and encounters Simon, a young, ambitious policeman, who earns extra cash as the driver of a colorum FX, an illegal taxi owned by his godfather.

2009, 88 mins.
Tagalog with English subtitles
• April 24 & 25 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
A powerfully charming indie teen romance about wealthy, rebellious teenager Niña and hearing-impaired orphan Kiko.

2008, 114 mins.
• April 27 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Set in Davao during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines, this film is based on the historical events written in the diary of Lt. Col. Anastacio Campo, Diary of the War: Memoirs of WWII.

2005, 105 mins.
• April 28 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
In this clever, fast-paced film two small-time criminals attempt to kidnap a teenage girl who dreams of stardom, while her mother tries to marry her off to a local politician.

2009, 90 mins
Tagalog with English subtitles
• April 29 and 30 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
A family is forced to reunite and put up with each other during the wake for their dead father in this brilliantly cathartic, entertaining comedy, which was a hit at the 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival.  

About the theater:  The Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts is a popular venue for independent, documentary, and world film and video.  The theater has a seating capacity of 280, enhanced Dolby sound systems, Harkness Hall projection screen, Meyers Concert Sound System for musical performances, elevated stage, air conditioning, and complete audio and video facilities.  The entrance is located at the rear of the museum on Kinau Street.

The box office is located at the museum's main entrance
Monday 10 am-3 pm
Tuesday - Saturday 10 am-4 pm
Sunday 1-4:30 pm

Ticket information ... click here 

For more information, call (808) 532-8700

Where to go to celebrate Easter?

Where to go to celebrate Easter?

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Catalaya orchid photo for your enjoyment

Hawaii is the perfect place to raise orchids.  The catalaya thrives in bright filtered light … not direct sunlight.

I took this photo at the Ewa Orchid and Plant Show in 2009. I just love the lime green color.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The wonders of (Maui's) Lavender

Nestled on the slopes of Maui’s Mt. Haleakala at about the 4,000 ft. level is where you will find Alii Kula Lavender – a farm with about 55,000 lavender plants and more. Created by Mr. Alii Chang, Alii Kula Lavender (AKL) offers the only Lavender Lifestyle experience on Maui including the best lavender scones and lavender tea.

AKL offers daily tours of the farm, wonderful lavender products for sale in the gift shop (including the tea and scone mix) and a gorgeous location for weddings and receptions.  I attended a wedding reception there a few years ago and, although it did rain, it was still very, very beautiful.

Lavender, known to have a regulating effect on the nervous system, soothes, calms and de-stresses.

Here’s a great lavender tip from AKL:

Mix a few drops of Lavender Essential in a medium-size bowl of water. Soak a wash cloth in it then wring it out. Heat the washcloth in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds, remove and apply to an inflamed area for soothing relief. The washcloth can also be placed in the refrigerator until cool and placed on the forehead to relieve a headache. Placing a dab of Lavender Essential oil directly to the temple helps ease migraines.

Lavender Essential Oil is available at Alii Kula Lavender.
Phone: 808-878-3004
FAX: 808-878-2645
E-Mail: customerservice@aklmaui.com

For more information on Maui, visit the Maui Visitors Bureau website here.

Images courtesy of Alii Kula Lavender

Win a 3-night hotel stay from Aqua Hotels

Win a 3-night hotel stay from Aqua Hotels & Resorts

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chef Mavro “Back from Bora Bora” with Flavors of French Polynesia

Hawaii’s celebrated Chef Mavro recently returned from his first trip ever to French Polynesia that included a short stop in Papeete, Tahiti followed by a stay on the idyllic island of Bora Bora

What caused him to leave his beloved Oahu?  An invitation to join the maiden voyage of the very luxurious Seabourn Odyssey on a cruise to Bora Bora and to give a cooking demo and prepare a dinner featuring Hawaii Regional Cuisine.  Once there, Mavro had no choice but to soak up the culinary flavors of this idyllic island as return flights to Honolulu are only once a week! 

“I told myself if I’m going all the way to French Polynesia I’d better come back with some new flavor ideas! By good luck I stepped off the ship just as a cooking demo of poisson cru and poe dessert was getting underway at the harbor tourism office!” noted Mavro.

The exciting French/Polynesian flavors of Bora Bora inspired Chef Mavro to create a special three-course menu, “Back from Bora Bora,” for only $59.  

The menu started on February 23 and ends March 20 and  includes an irresistible version of Poisson Cru (surprise pairing with the Tahitian beer Hinano), followed by a main course of Pineapple Glazed Pork with umara puree, and finishes with a flavor-packed dessert of Poe of Taro.

Of course the $59 includes all the Chef Mavro extras of pre-appetizer, pre-dessert and hand-crafted candies.

This special menu is available by reservation from Tuesday, February 23 until March 20

Three courses ($59)

POISSON CRU (left photo)
bigeye ahi, lime juice, tomato, cucumber, carrot, sweet onion, fresh coconut milk

PORC LAQUE A L’ANANAS (middle photo)
pineapple glazed Island pork, vanilla sweet pototo (umara) puree, fresh coconut spinach

POE DE TARO (right photo)
baked taro pudding with banana ice cream

Chef Mavro restaurant is located at 1969 South King Street in Honolulu.

Open Tuesday-Saturday from 6-9:30 p.m.  

Call 944-4714 or email chef@chefmavro.com.

p.s.  If by some slim chance you don't know who Chef Mavro is ... 
George Mavrothalassitis is chef/proprietor of Chef Mavro restaurant in Honolulu and a founding member of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. He holds the prestigious James Beard Foundation award as the Best Chef in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. The restaurant earned the Five Diamond rating from AAA (American Automobile Association) for 2009.  The prestigious Gayot restaurant critics bestowed their only “18/20” rating in Hawaii, and also named Chef Mavro as the only Hawaii restaurant in their Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. 2008-2009.

For more information, visit http://www.chefmavro.com/index.html 

Images courtesy of Chef Mavro

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Photo of the day: 'Sizzlin' Maui Kula Onions ... up close

The annual Maui Onion Festival takes place in May.  The deep-fried onion rings are 'da best'!

For more info, click here

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Edmeades Winemaker Dinner at d.k Steak House in Waikīkī on Thursday, March 25th

Edmeades Vineyards’ winemaker extraordinaire Van Williamson returns to d.k Steak House for a special dinner on Thursday, March 25th.

Without a doubt, Van Williamson produces some of the tastiest, most provocative, interesting, and singular Old Vine Zinfandel out of California today. No one does it better. Van is also certainly one of the most colorful, “down to earth,” unique winemakers, which is why he is one of d.k.’s absolute favorites. It’s going to be QUITE a night!

For the dinner, Executive Chef Jason Miyasaki has designed a delectable four-course menu specifically matched to Edmeades’ prize Zinfandels.

Price is $75 per person including wine pairings; please note, price does not include tax and gratuity.

This is a popular and special “one-night-only” event, so please make reservations early by calling the restaurant at 808-931-6280.

d.k Steak House is located in the Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 2552 Kalākaua Avenue and features gorgeous ocean views.

Dinner is served nightly from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. FREE 3-hour self parking with validation.

The winemaker’s dinner menu will be offered in addition to d.k Steak House’s full dinner menu.

Winemaker dinner menu:

filled with Ricotta and Parmesan Cheeses, Nalo Basil, and Sweet Maui Onions, served with Kamuela Vine-Ripened Tomato and Truffle Jus

2007 Edmeades Zinfandel “Mendocino”
Ala Carte Glass: $7.50 Ala Carte Bottle: $37

2nd Course
Sicilian Red Veal Sausage, Roasted Garlic & Pepper Aioli, Spicy Waimanalo Greens, Sun-Dried Hau‘ula Tomatoes and
a Toasted Garlic Crostini

2006 Edmeades Zinfandel “Zeni”
Ala Carte Glass: $11 Ala Carte Bottle: $55

Main Entrée
with Red Wine & Hamakua Ali‘i Mushroom Risotto, steamed Waialua Asparagus, Crispy Leeks, and Au Poivre Sauce

2007 Edmeades Zinfandel “Ciapusci Vineyard”
Ala Carte Glass: $12 Ala Carte Bottle: $60

Bittersweet Chocolate Cake, Semisweet Ganache
and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

2005 Edmeades Late Harvest Zinfandel “Perli Vineyard”
(Van’s personal favorite with which to end the evening!)
Ala Carte Glass: $7.00 Ala Carte Bottle: $35

Coffee or Tea

$75 per person

For information on Marriott Waikiki Beach, click here

For additional information on d.k. Steak House, click here

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Honolulu Academy of Arts extends museum hours

Honolulu Academy of Arts extends museum hours

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Visit a National Park: Oahu

According to the National Park Service, there are eight national parks in Hawaii:  five on the Big Island (Hawaii Island), one on Maui, one on Molokai and one of Oahu - each worthy of a visit. Kamaaina and visiors explore Hawaii’s national parks to marvel at the awesome natural wonders, visit ancient and recent Hawaiian settlements and pay homage to America’s past.

For this installment, we visit the national park on O‘ahu:

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, was established in 2008 by President Bush to honor American engagement in World War II by 9 sites in 3 states.  Five of these sites are on O‘ahu:

USS Arizona Memorial and Visitor Center (see photo below)
USS Utah Memorial
Six Chief Petty Officer Bungalows on Ford Island
Mooring Quays F6, F7, and F8, which formed part of Battleship Row
Admission to the USS Arizona Memorial is free. 

Free tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis (these tickets are not reservable) for timed programs to the memorial.  Timed programs include a 23-minute documentary film about the attack on Pearl Harbor and the boat trip to the USS Arizona Memorial.

Programs begin at 7:45 a.m. The last program each day begins at 3:00 p.m. The wait time for a program may be as long as two hours depending on the season.


Definitely worthy of including a visit during your stay.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Photo of the day - Flamingos

I took this image in 2009.  Flamingos are part of the menagerie of wildlife on display at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa.

Parent's magazine recently named Hilton Hawaiian Village to their best family beach resort list

Friday, March 5, 2010

What’s Blooming/What’s Bearing Fruit – with David Orr

Everyone in Hawaii has plants and flowers in their yard. Flowers in my yard include stephanosis (below left), gardenia, ohai alii, white ginger, agapanthus, crepe myrtle, false heather, cat’s whiskers, bird of paradise and a few others (below right). You will also find orange, pear and mountain apple trees growing and bearing fruit. All of this is doing quite well on a lot that’s about 7000 sq. ft. You can just imagine what an 1800 acre valley might have and that’s what you can see when visiting Waimea Valley and taking the one-hour walk.

Waimea Valley is offering an authentic cultural window into the lifestyle and customs of the Hawaiian people, confirmed their 2010 walk schedule for “What’s Blooming/What’s Bearing Fruit” with David Orr. The one-hour walks take place on the first and third Sundays of each month.

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll with Botanical Collections Specialist, David Orr, as he takes visitors on a journey through the Valley, highlighting beautiful blooming plants and fruits along the way.

The walk is included in the price of admission, no additional fees.

Meet at the Waimea Valley Visitor Center.

Walks start promptly at 2:00 pm and end at 3:00 pm.

Participants should bring a snack, insect repellent, sunscreen, hat, water and sturdy shoes.

Waimea Valley is located at 59-864 Kamehameha Highway (across from Waimea Bay) on Oahu’s north shore.

For more information visit www.waimeavalley.net or call (808) 638-7766.

2010 General Admission Fees to Waimea Valley:

Visiting Adult $13.00
Visiting Child $6.00
Visiting Senior $6.00

Kamaaina/Military Adult $8.00
Kamaaina/Military Child $8.00
Kamaaina/Military Senior $5.00

Photos taken using my Blackberry Bold 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Contemporary Museum within a historic 1920’s Honolulu estate

Located within and around a historic 1920’s Hawai‘i home, The Contemporary Museum (TCM) is the only museum in the State of Hawai‘i devoted exclusively to contemporary art. Exhibitions and educational programs are presented at two venues: main museum – utilizing the home and grounds of the historic Cooke-Spalding house in Makiki Heights and a smaller collection that is presented downtown at First Hawaiian Center, 999 Bishop Street.

While the historic home is now a museum, one can just imagine what a wonderful place it must have been for the children who grew up there with it's beautiful views and swimming pool.

A visit to TCM is definitely something that would appeal to anyone interested in:

Architecture – the beautiful Cooke-Spaulding house was built in 1925 but additions to the estate have maintained its original character.

Gardens – you will find an authentic Japanese garden, meditation garden, sculpture garden, stroll garden and more. 

Contemporary art – a collection which comprises nearly 3,000 works including paintings, sculpture, photographs, works on paper and fine crafts (ceramics, wood, glass, metal and fiber) spanning the period from 1945 to the present day are housed here. The collection contains major works by some of the most important artists of the period, including Josef Albers, Andy Warhol, Mark Tobey, Louise Nevelson, Jim Dine, David Hockney and others. The museum also has a collection of 26 boxes and collages by Joseph Cornell.

Light lunch – If you time your visit, you can also enjoy a wonderful lunch or coffee and dessert at the delightful Contemporary Café. This is where visitors can sit indoors in a gallery-like atmosphere amid changing displays of art or outdoors in a garden setting. Recently TCM started a new "Lauhala and Lunch" picnic service available through the Café. A great idea, the lunch for two is packed in a picnic basket and complimentary lauhala mats are also available to use. You just drop off the basket and mats at the front desk after your picnic is finished.

Unique gifts – No visit to any museum is complete unless there is time for a stop at the museum shop. Here, glass chicken bowls, desktop dartboards and heart-shaped water bottles are just a few of the one-of-a-kind gifts you'll discover.

TCM offers docent-guided tours, programs and special events. For general information on hours of operation, collections, history, historic homes preservation, special events and more, visit http://www.tcmhi.org/mi.htm.

TCM at Makiki Heights is located at 2411 Makiki Heights Drive in Honolulu, in a quiet residential neighborhood on the slopes of Mount Tantalus. Free parking for a limited number of cars is available in the lot fronting the museum. Handicapped parking is also available. Visitors may also come to the museum on The Bus: #15 stops right in front of the museum.

Images courtesy of TCM 

A history museum that may also interest you:  Hawaii's Plantation Museum