March 23rd, 2012

Station Bar and Lounge: Got talent?

Station Bar and Lounge welcomes new and old talent to the stage on Mondays and Thursdays.

Station supports the local music scene via live performances from top artists in Hawaii. With open mic and stand up comedy nights, Station Bar and Lounge is the newest public outlet for local artists.

Smack in the middle of Waikiki and Chinatown, Station Bar and Lounge is the newest addition to Honolulu nightlife. The bar is dark, urban, and intimate. The walls are covered in bold graffiti, and scream “underground.”

Station offers game nights, movie nights, music shows, and special drink offers on industry nights. Don’t worry about being terribly cute here. Station invites patrons in with a come-as-you-are attitude.

“I wanted to make a place for everyone, almost like a Cheers-type place,” says Blane Nishizawa, owner and operator.

For weekly events, check out Station Bar and Lounge on Facebook.

Station Bar and Lounge is located at 1726 Kapiolani Blvd (Across from the Convention Center). Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday 6pm-2am

March 20th, 2012

Bruno’s Forno: Little Italy in Chinatown

Located outside the business district in the heart of Chinatown, Bruno’s Forno is home to the freshest Italian on the island. Everyone (and der mudda) knows if you don’t have fresh ingredients and you are making authentic Italian – FUGEDABOUTIT!

The fungi lasagna is a personal favorite. However, there are no bad selections featured on the menu. Trust me, I’ve tried them all. Every entrée includes a bagged salad with balsamic dressing and fresh baked bread. While patrons enjoy crisp greens, the owner prepares miniature lasagnas. All lasagnas are made to order and baked on site. Feel free to bring your favorite bottle of vino. There is no corkage fee, and cups are provided!

Tip: The tiny café style restaurant resembles an authentic Italian kitchen. Don’t go if you are in a hurry. I would not expect speedy service. This isn’t the Olive Garden. It is a more refined place, where people take their time, enjoy their company, and talk story over wine. It also takes about 20 minutes to make the food from scratch, but it is worth the wait. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Eat It: [X]
Beat It: [ ]
Price: $

February 27th, 2012

Snapshots from Hyatt’s Japengo: Feast Your Eyes On This

In my opinion, sushi is a delicate food. Well, that was my opinion until I dined at Japengo. As an appetizer, I had a tootsie roll. No, it’s not the childhood chocolate candy we remember as the leftover treat from your Halloween candy bag. Japengo’s tootsie roll (see right) consists of soft shell crab, snow crab, avocado, shiitake mushroom, and lobster teriyaki. This specialty roll should have came with a warning: Love at first bite, proceed to the next course if you dare.

I’m no coward, so it was on to the next one with the Singaporean crab. The dish had a sweet gazpacho base that was accompanied by a bit of heat. The house made rolls diluted the spice. The rolls had a doughy texture, and were shaped like cinnabons. As a side dish, I had a small helping of the fried rice. This was a nice touch, and added some vegetables to my entrée.

After a few shots of knockout sake, I attacked my next animal-the emperor prime sirloin. The meat was smothered in sauce, and accompanied by a bowl of white rice. Japengo managed to complicate a simple sirloin, with homemade sauce. Admittedly, this was not my favorite entrée, but hey, this isn’t a steakhouse.

On the other side of the scale, is my absolute favorite: the scallop butter yaki. Topped with black caviar the scallops fall apart with a simple slice of a fork. You can taste the richness of the butter, as it melts in your mouth. Although delicious, be sure to check your teeth for stray eggs, as it could create an uncomfortable situation between you and your company (not that I would know).

A long time ago, I convinced myself I was a bottomless pit. Needless to say, it was time for dessert! Chef Michael Imada (my new hero) kindly created a sampler of all the desserts featured on his menu. The sampler had Coconut crème brule, chocolate profiteroles, Kona coffee chocolate ganache cake, aassorted mochi ice cream and potato cheesecake.

Japengo is located on the third floor of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, located at 2424 Kalakaua Avenue. Reservations are available at 808-237-4180. Intimate seating for two is available, as well as, communal tables, group and private dining. Aside from regular dining hours, Japengo transforms into an after hours lounge on Saturday nights.

Eat It: [X]
Price: $$

February 21st, 2012

Roy’s: The Before and After Plate

Multi award-winner Roy Yamaguchi has been a chef for nearly three decades, and with 31 restaurants around the world it is safe to assume he knows good food. I have been to Roy’s (Florida location), and had a lovely experience. I was excited to experience Roy’s where it first debuted in Hawaii.

Lucky for me, Roy’s Waikiki is the only Roy’s location with a sushi chef on island. I was able to taste the flying dragon roll. Artfully rolled, the unagi, avocado, miso butterfish, macadamia nuts, and spicy wasabi sauce was a perfect compilation. I enjoyed the roll as an appetizer, along with the edamame Roy’s generously gives to every table before the meal.

After experiencing life in New York and Hawaii, it has become evident to me, that islanders know how to properly prepare and cook fish. For my next dish, I wanted to try an item that was simple, yet signature ‘Roy. The Roy’s Original Blackened Island Ahi is the freshest fish I have tasted on the island. Spicy soy mustard and butter accompany the island ahi, which is completely original and rich in flavor.

The gluttonous approach of my meal continued with the Roy’s classic macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi. The macadamia nuts masked the fish flavor just enough, and the lobster sauce was a delicate force that perfected the dish. The dish was completed with a whole potato cut in half, and asparagus.

For dessert, I ordered the melting hot chocolate soufflé and pineapple upside down cake. Oh my, where do I begin? The hot chocolate was very rich. It was housed in a heavy chocolate cake. After penetrating the chocolate house with my spoon, it melted the ice cream and transformed the chocolate into a fudgy texture. The pineapple upside down cake was not what I expected. I usually put pineapple upside down cake in the same bracket as fruitcake. This, of course, was until I experienced pineapple upside down cake at Roy’s. The pineapple did not have a sugary, overly sweet taste. It was freshly chopped and had a naturally raw flavor. The cake itself was light and sweet. Truthfully, it was one of those cakes that could stand alone-without frosting or fruit. Simply Amazing.

Roy’s is unique in restaurant quality. Accompanied by European influence, the aloha spirit is translated well through menu selections and hospitality. The overall experience was very inspiring. I look forward to my next dining experience at Roy’s. It is always refreshing to find fusion that is a mix of flavors, yet holds a distinct taste-all of its own.

For reservations or locations, visit roysrestaurant.com.

Eat it! [X]
Beat it [ ]
Price: $$$

February 15th, 2012

Mitch, by Paul Mitchell

Styled by Geremy Campos

For years, hair has been a symbol of individuality, expression and culture. It is undeniably the most important element in a man’s style. Primping and grooming are no longer just synonymous with women. Men are quickly surpassing women in the discovery of new trends and techniques. Unfortunately, a man’s hair can go from hot to not in a matter of weeks. Quality cut and products are key components in proper hair maintenance. According to Ryan Camacho, owner of Ryan Jacobie Salon, it is important to find a product and style that is functional.

To prove men’s products are important, Camacho chose an elite group of men that share a working domain (Chinatown), to represent various Mitch products. Mitch, by Paul Mitchell is a line of products specifically for men, and is designed for high performance grooming. Courtesy of Ryan Jacobie Salon and Paul Mitchell, David Crans, Justin Park, Gary Payne, Chris and Chad Kahunahana, and Brandon Reid have discovered a Mitch product, designed to fit their everyday needs.


Manifest, better known as the first and last bar you attend every First Friday, is owned by Brandon Reid. As a young entrepreneur, Reid’s daily tasks are full of surprises. Whether he is fixing a cappuccino machine or meeting and greeting patrons, Reid’s classic ’50s chic hair is created using Construction paste. The paste has an elastic hold for texture and flexibility.


Chris and Chad Kahunahana are the owners of Nextdoor HNL. Their nights consist of pouring drinks and setting the stage for Honolulu’s hottest talent. Their signature looks are made possible by Reformer. With crowds and temperatures rising, Reformer is used to achieve sustainable hair in any circumstance. Reformer is a pliable putty styler and can be used to bulk up fine or thin hair.

With a mix of city and sun, Honolulu has become an eclectic city for showcasing men’s hair. Aside from Waikiki and its international influence, the most interesting place to view the latest trends in men’s hair is downtown Honolulu. Desired looks can be achieved with time and effort.

For tips, trends, and styles visit Ryan Jacobie Salon on 918 Smith St. Ryan Jacobie Salon now offers a special menu for men ranging from $12 to $45.