NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARBULLEITN.COM
Pat Bentley, foreground, and hans-Joerge Morath have front seats in the Bamboo Bar at Jackie's Kitchen where "Lost" fans gather every Wednesday to catch their favorite show. On the screen Charlie's (Dominic Monaghan) in danger.
Jackie’s Kitchen finds ‘Lost’ fans fun
What? You were expecting to read about the hottest, newest places like Stage or, well, I'd better not say just yet because I've already had trouble getting a table and haven't finished my review.
Suddenly there's an explosion of high-profile new restaurants -- a new Roy's is set to open at Waikiki Beach Walk next weekend, the same day chef Mavro holds his blessing for Cassis downtown, while Nobu is due at the end of May, and moving into the Hawaii State Art Museum will be a side project of Town. What an exciting gastronomic windfall!
But, first things first, and, before the current "Lost" season ends, it was time to head to Jackie's Kitchen again, home to Wednesday night TV-viewing parties, where "Losties" can watch their favorite program on flat-panel screens mounted throughout the restaurant and its Bamboo Bar.
The parties started confined to the bar but have spilled over into the front half of the restaurant, with a few preferring the relative quiet of the back dining room.
Pat Bentley and Hans-Joerge Morath showed up at 8:30 p.m. to snag seats at the front of the bar, where the two have become fixtures since the parties began, preferring to be with the crowd than staying home, at the cost of a one-drink minimum.
"I've made some new friends, and you can always hoot 'n' holler together," said Bentley, a sometime extra on the show. "And the food's good," she said, referring to the $4 Rush Hour pupu menu of Kate's crispy won tons, Hurley's (pork) hash and Sawyer's shu mai.
A lot of people come for dinner, and it's best to start early if you want to be finished before the program starts at 9. Tackling a crispy skin chicken ($14.50), for instance, takes effort that might divert your attention from the story, and missing a single line could render a viewer completely lost. Don't even ask me to explain what's going on. With 11 principle characters and two major "Others," it would take a book to explain all their back stories, current status and intricate connections and relationships.
On the other hand, eating a burger is second nature, so I saw a lot of mango BBQ burgers ($9.25) going by. Built of a half-pound of burger with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, mango barbecue sauce, Maui onions and tomato slices, they're big enough for two to split and enjoy. Accompanying sweet potato fries serve as a pupu during the series' nail-biting moments. As you pick through the pseudo-Chinese menu, just keep telling yourself it's bar food, not Chinese food, and all will be revealed.
"And you can win some nice prizes," said Morath, who had scored a Jackie Chan glass for answering one of the trivia questions thrown out by the restaurant staff during a commercial break. Heaven forbid they should interrupt the program. Once "Lost" returns, all talking ceases, and full concentration is directed at screens.
Bentley and Morath's prize-winning status was a source of some rivalry as first-timer Genna Yamauchi, watching with her friends Leila Ishiki, Louise Lau and Mary Ann Souza, said, "We're gonna bring notes next time so we can win the trivia questions."
Out-of-towner Tina Waites -- visiting from Michigan with her husband, Mark, and daughter Jenny Yanez of San Francisco -- mused, "We'd really like to win something. We want some kind of memorabilia."
Theirs was a "Lost" family reunion since Jenny plotted their sightseeing tour of the series' film sites.
"She's a big fan," Tina said. "You can't even talk to her while she's watching the show."
GASPS AROSE from the crowd when Charlie (Dominic Monaghan), received an arrow through the throat after tripping a booby trap in the first few minutes of the program.
Viewers were relieved to find out it was just one of Des-mond's (Henry Ian Cusick) premonitions.
At the end of the program, Bentley was ecstatic. "They didn't kill Charlie, yay!"
Over on the couch, sisters Lau and Souza were quick to start analyzing.
"We were shocked when Charlie was shot," Lau said. "We thought something was going to happen to him this season, but I was thinking it was just too fast.
"We're more confused now. We're trying to find out who this new girl is," Lau said, referring to a woman who appeared to have parachuted in via copter. Fans had been led to expect it would be Desmond's girlfriend Penny.
Being in the bar required more concentration than being at home, Yamauchi said. But she and her couch buddies agreed with Lau, who said, "This is great because now we can discuss it right away instead of waiting until the next day."
Or, trying to discuss it with husbands or boyfriends.
"Mine tells me to stop guessing and just watch the show," Yamauchi said.
"Every time you think something's going to happen, something else comes up," Lau said.
The focus now is on the character Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell), an "Other" who has come to live with the castaways.
"We don't trust her," Ishiki said.
At the same time, characters have a way of switching allegiances and hiding motives.
"She could redeem herself in the end because she wants to get off the island as much as anyone else," Souza said.
The drama and tension keep building. If you choose to tune in at Jackie's, sign up with the host to be entered to win two VIP tickets to the Season 4 premiere with the cast in Waikiki, with the drawing to be held at the end of the season. Only four episodes remain.