New restaurant in Kaimuki gets national ink
TOWN, a nearly 13-month-old eatery along Kaimuki's restaurant row, is the only Hawaii entry on this year's Conde Nast "Hot List" of new hotels, restaurants, spas and clubs.
Town, located at 3435 Waialae Ave., is owned and operated by Ed Kenney III, son of veteran Hawaii entertainers Ed Kenney and Beverly Noa.
He can hardly wait to see the list, which will be in the magazine's May edition. The younger Kenney can add it to his collection of other national press, from publications including Food & Wine and Gourmet magazines.
The restaurant has drawn rave reviews since opening at the end of March last year.
"We've had some really bad ones, too," laughed Kenney.
He has never noticed a dip in business after a negative review.
"No publicity is bad publicity," he said, noting that former Honolulu Magazine Editor John Heckathorn, now a Star-Bulletin columnist, ripped the restaurant -- and it wound up winning a category in the magazine's reader poll.
Kenney was formerly the chef at the old Cafe Monsarrat near Diamond Head, which is now Tavola Tavola.
At Town, Kenney creates the menus "and then I have the chef de cuisine and line cooks that execute. I'm still involved in the creative aspect, but I'm not peeling potatoes all day."
He started his culinary career later than many, and has 10 to 12 years in the profession. He was previously a commercial real estate agent.
Does he ever look at the real estate market and wish he'd never left the gig?
"Oh, I would probably be a lot more wealthy, but I would be unhappy," he said, without hesitation.
Conde Nast writers pay their own way and keep their profession anonymous when reviewing a location so they can have the same experience as a regular, paying customer, according to a magazine statement.
Kenney doesn't know what impact the Conde Nast inclusion will have on his business. "I hope it's good."
"We've had so much publicity and business is good, so I'd like to attribute some of it to that."
The rest might be attributed to food, service, value and other minor details.
The "Hot List" issue of Conde Nast will hit newsstands next Tuesday.
Turning to the enemy
Is it just me, or is it terribly funny that the National Association of Broadcasters will use a technology that some say will kill broadcasting to disseminate updates on its upcoming annual convention?
The explosion of iPods, and other personally programmed, hand-held, belt-clipped media devices that have just about replaced portable radios, have had broadcasters, especially the radio industry, figuring out how to me-too capitalize on the phenomenon.
The association will use 5-minute podcasts with footage from featured convention events including highlights of keynote speeches, interviews with award winners, exhibitors and attendees.
The association's spin on its show-updating podcasts is totally positive, as if it is not consorting with the murderous enemy.
"Emerging distribution vehicles such as podcasts offer exciting possibilities to broadcasters and audiences all over the world," said David Rehr, NAB president and CEO, in a statement.
Audiences of one, unless the whole family gathers around the video iPod.
"We are looking forward to highlighting the multitude of groundbreaking events happening at this year's show to viewers around the globe," he said.
It wasn't that long ago when broadcasters would actually use their stations to get the word out.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com