Archive for November, 2008

Chef Mavro Earns AAA Five Diamond Award

Congratulations to Oahu restaurant, Chef Mavro, for earning the AAA Five Diamond Award – the first independent, non-hotel restaurant to do so in Hawaii.

The restaurant is the namesake of George Mavrothalassitis, a James Beard Foundation award winner, and one of the founding members of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, widely recognized as the renaissance of modern fine dining in the state of Hawaii.

Mavrothalassitis was born in Marseilles, France, where he honed his culinary skills and owned and operated two restaurants. He emigrated to Hawaii in 1988, entranced by the state’s beauty, the multi-cultural atmosphere, and the local foods of Hawaii.

He was previously executive Chef at the La Mer restaurant in the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, another Five Diamond Award winner.

This award is a big deal – other past winners include the French Laundry in Napa Valley, Gary Danko in San Francisco, Alinea in Chicago, Alain Ducasse, to name a few.

So, if you find yourself on Oahu, don’t forget Chef Mavro, for a fine dining experience. We imagine that the restaurant’s already popular profile will go even higher, so get those reservations in early!

Congratulations Chef Mavro!

Chef Mavro
1969 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
Phone: 808-944-4714
Reservations required!

Big Waves on the North Shore

Talk about a nice coincidence.

Just in time for the annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the big waves are coming into the famed North Shore of Oahu.

The first “Crown” begins with the Reef Hawaiian Pro, held in Haleiwa at Alii Beach Park, and runs from November 12-23, waves permitting.

Reports indicate waves at 12-15 feet, while forecasts are indicating waves running as high as 15-20 feet.

Conditions are good, and the crowds are large.

The nice thing about this annual spectacle – the admission is FREE.

During these conditions, it is highly advised that swimmers, waders, and amateur surfers stay out of the waves, as conditions can be very dangerous. Respect the waves from a comfortable vantage point on the warm sand.

The Best Saimin in Hawaii?

If you find yourself on the Island of Kauai, and you want to go to a genuine local secret, then you have to visit the Hamura Saimin Stand in Lihue.

What is saimin, you ask? Saimin is a Japanese soup filled with long thin noodles, and filled with all manner of extras. The broth is typically a fish stock, or a combo stock (fish, pork, etc.). The extras typically include char siu (a sweet Chinese pork, generally red in color),ham, green onions, kamaboko (a firm fish cake), soy sauce, mustard, and other assorted vegetables and meats. It is a staple comfort food for local Hawaii Residents. If you remember the “Cup-a-Noodle” soups you ate in college, you get the general idea – however, think of a much larger bowl with freshly prepared ingredients – quite the difference.

Keep in mind that the Hamura Saimin Stand is not fancy at all…… could call it a totally unpretentious hole-in-the-wall. Of course, we all know that some of the best food comes from these kinds of establishments.

It’s a simple place, where you’ll sit on stools at a counter. A waitress will come to take your order, and everything generally moves pretty fast, so be prepared. During regular mealtimes, expect to stand in line to wait for available table space.

At Hamura’s, the noodles are freshly made and cooked on order (not frozen like you’ll find at other restaurants or at the supermarket). You won’t find many other dishes here – the Saimin is the real star. Local residents consider Hamura’s saimin to arguably be the best in the state.

The Saimin runs about $4-$6 per bowl, and is a filling, complete meal in itself. One of the best bargains around! With the low prices, they don’t take credit cards – only cash.

Oh, and if you don’t think such a place has any gastronomical “street cred”, note that it recently won a prestigious James Beard Award for “American Classics”!!!

Tip: For dessert, try the Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Chiffon pie to go.

2956 Kress St.
Lihu’e, Kauai
Phone: (808) 245-3271
Hours: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday.
No reservations.