Hawaii eatery is not
a bizarro NYC replica

The Rays Pizza Restaurant Inc. fixing to open in the Paradise Barbecue space at 2260 Kalakaua Ave. is not of the New York Rays.

As an East Coast icon, the latter was sometimes referenced on the TV show "Seinfeld."

The company planning to open a Rays Pizza in Waikiki is based in Arizona, where Agim Kosovrasti is listed as the president and chief executive, and other family members are registered as restaurant owners. The company registered to do business in Hawaii in February.

Reached on Oahu last week, the patriarch said "I like Hawaii," when asked why his expansion would bring him to the islands.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Kauai boy makes good

Kapaa High School and University of Hawaii grad Kurt Osaki may be collecting accolades and calories from locally made plate lunches later this month.

The University of Hawaii Alumni Association has named Osaki among this year's Distinguished Alumni and will honor him and others May 14 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

Were that not enough of an honor, he received a pre-honor honor from the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California -- which he co-founded -- at a board meeting late last week, according to board member Keith Kamisugi, former public relations guy for the phone company formerly known as GTE Hawaiian Tel.

The Chamber "congratulates Kurt for receiving such an outstanding honor from the University of Hawaii Alumni Association," said HCCNC President and Hilo boy Eric Tao.

Osaki received his bachelor of fine arts degree in 1988.

Now, he owns Berkeley-based Osaki Design Inc., a graphic design company specializing in graphics for athletic teams. UH is among his clients, but so are the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the XFL.

The company has also done work for Olympic ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi, who is not from Hawaii but is a "hanai" island girl to most local folks.

Osaki's other interests include partnerships in O Productions, which stages the annual "Sounds of Hawaii" concert in California, and in Hukilau, a Hawaiian-themed restaurant and bar in San Francisco.

Osaki defers credit, calling it "more an acknowledgment of the work, dedication and achievement of my employees, partners, customers, family, friends and my fellow leaders in HCCNC."

Founded in 1999 the organization works to promote "commerce and community and between the Bay Area of Northern California and Hawaii," Kamisugi said.

Erika Engle 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

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