Our Picks


POSTED: Friday, February 06, 2009


Stonegrill Hawaii

Restaurant Row / 537-4573

Many of the Yosh patrons at Restaurant Row have no clue that they are dealing with a new entity, Stonegrill Restaurant. The restaurant is still serving dishes, like furikake salmon and mochiko chicken, familiar to Yosh customers, though the recipes have changed to that of owners Lea and Joungwon Seg, who are most excited about introducing the Stonegrill concept to Hawaii.

The sizzle is nothing new to those familiar with yakiniku dining, but instead of the gas or charcoal grill, a smooth, inch-thick volcanic stone tile is heated to 752 degrees, which quickly cooks steak, chicken and fish to desired doneness.

It's only been a few weeks that the stone grill has been available, and only for weekday lunches at that. If you're working and worried about time, it takes no more than 35 to 45 minutes to cook and finish a meal.

The beef tenderloin ($19.99) will cost you the most, but it is terrific when prepared on the stone grill. The selling point for purists is the healthful aspect of cooking without oil or much tampering at all. The high temperature sears the meat and locks in natural juices without much shrinkage or the possibility of picking up cooking compounds associated with oils, gas and sugars.

The light treatment worked well with the steaks and fish, but I found the chicken to be left dry by the process and in need of some extra help from a sauce. A sweet chili sauce was provided but was not my idea of a sauce that enhances chicken. I would have preferred something more savory, with a homemade touch. On the other hand, a light peppercorn sauce accompanying steak and salmon worked well. Use it for dipping or slather it on during the cooking process.

If you can't spring for the tenderloin, New York steak ($9.99) will also fulfill a craving for red meat. All meals come complete with steamed vegetables, a tossed salad and choice of rice or mashed potatoes.

I hope more people try it. I, for one, hope they'll be able to stick around.

Breakfast 7 to 11 a.m. and lunch 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.


Plantation Village hosts lunar new year festivities

Relive the plantation days and celebrate the new lunar year—for free—at Hawaii's Plantation Village.

Ongoing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday will be mochi pounding demonstrations, a household rummage sale, games for the keiki, catch-and-release fishing and ethnic foods, including Portuguese malasadas and Filipino puto.

Special performances on tap include a Chinese lion dance (10 a.m.), Portuguese dance by Josephine Carerra (10:30) and, at 1:30 p.m., a modern take on the traditional tinikling dance by student members of the University of Hawaii Katipunan Club.

The village is located at 94-695 Waipahu St. Call 677-0110.



Pro bowl celebrations at Sunset on the Beach

The NFL Pro Bowl festivities are part of Waikiki's Sunset on the Beach event again this year, so it's only appropriate that a football-themed movie will be screened on Friday and Saturday.

Just as the sun disappears, “;The Express: The Ernie Davis Story”; will be projected on the 30-foot screen on Queen's Beach. It's the true story of the Syracuse University player who was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

The local Latin band Son Caribe will provide live entertainment on Friday, and on Saturday, a full schedule starts at 6 p.m., with Kawao, Ten Feet, Rebel Souljahs and a special appearance by the NFL cheerleaders. As always, the screenings are free.

Call 923-1094.



Celebrate Whale Month at Waikiki Aquarium

The Waikiki Aquarium continues its partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in celebrating Whale Month in Hawaii with “;Whale Wednesdays in Waikiki.”;

On Feb. 11 and 25, from 10 a.m. to noon, keiki can learn about Hawaii's humpback whales while enjoying fun and educational activities sponsored by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Educational activities highlight whale behavior and biology, while hands-on arts and crafts include humpback whale hat-making.

Activities take about a half-hour and will be continuously offered throughout the two hours. Aquarium admission is $9; $6 residents, military, students and seniors; $4 disabled and youth 13 to 17; $2 children 5 to 12; and free for children 4 and under and Friends of Waikiki Aquarium members.

Call 923-9741 or visit www.hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.



Hotel series showcases top isle entertainers

Ala Moana Hotel's “;Pakele Live”; series continues every Thursday night through March, showcasing Hawaii's top entertainers, both in music and dance.

Running 6 to 8 p.m. every week, the series showcases the talent of Waipuna next Thursday, with upcoming concerts featuring, in order, Kupaoa, Steven Espaniola, Hema Pa'a and a Jennifer Perry CD release party with Herb Ohta Jr. and friends. Additional dates and performers will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Cocktails and pupus are available for purchase at the hotel's Pakele Lounge.

The show is streamed online at http://www.PakeleLive.com, and “;Pakele Live! with Tony Solis”; airs on Oceanic Time Warner Cable's OC16.

Call 944-4346.