Local eatery sizzles onto the Hot List
Downtown@the HiSAM makes it to Conde Nast Traveler list
Chef Ed Kenney has made it to the Conde Nast Traveler
Hot List again, this time for his second restaurant, Downtown@the HiSAM
Downtown was the only Hawaii business to make the magazine's "hot tables" list in Conde Nast Traveler's 12th annual May "Hot List" issue. In 2006, Kenney's restaurant, Town, made history by becoming the first Hawaii restaurant to make the list.
"I'm amazed and dumbfounded," Kenney told the Star-Bulletin. "There were a lot of good restaurants that opened this year. I'm very happy about it."
Downtown opened for lunch about 10 months ago at the Hawaii State Art Museum. Like Town, Kenney's first restaurant in Kaimuki, Downtown features salads and entrees made from mostly locally grown produce.
Kenney and his chef/partner David Caldiero, run both Town and Downtown. Kenney's motto is: "Local first, organic when possible."
The top-selling items at Downtown include the seared ahi clubhouse sandwich, as well as the supersize salad, which features a versatile combination of organic greens from Ma'o Farms, along with tomatoes, beets, fruits, nuts and cheese.
Downtown has 71 dining seats, with room for 40 more at the Downtown ASAP! takeout counter, which attracts a daily lunchtime crowd of tourists, downtown workers and politicians from the nearby Capitol.
Kenney also offers takeout in alternatives to Styrofoam -- in cornstarch plastic or bagasse (sugarcane fiber) -- which are biodegradable.
Last year, the Star-Bulletin's own Nadine Kam gave Downtown a four-star rating (excellent) all-around, in food, service, ambiance and value.
Conde Nast's editors rank hotels, restaurants, spas and nightclubs for its annual hot list, choosing from among hundreds of new properties around the globe according to a strict set of criteria.
The 2008 list features 136 new hotels and resorts, 105 new restaurants, 28 new nightclubs, and 76 new spas whose design, service, and amenities transcend industry standards.
Full reviews of each hotel, restaurant, nightclub and spa are featured in Conde Nast Traveler's May issue, which hit the stands yesterday.