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  #26  
Old July 8th, 2007, 07:20 PM
Erika Engle Erika Engle is offline
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Default Re: New Establishments

Hey MonkeyMan!
re: "I wonder if any of them remember when Jack Cione brought in a bunch of pigs and was raising them on that property? Waaaay back."

I worked in radio back then and it wasn't Jack Cione, but the infamous Gary Henig. The name of the business?

As he said to me ON TAPE (a soundbite I kept for many years):

"The dirty-nasty Tiki Torch, where naked ladies used to dance right in front of your face!"

He got so much gov't/community opposition for his strip bar and developed business problems ... and put the pig(s) on the property to thumb his nose at everybody. He eventually went away.
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  #27  
Old July 9th, 2007, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: New Establishments

Aiyah! My bad! But I remembered the incident!
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  #28  
Old July 10th, 2007, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: New Establishments

I have to say, I was as excited as many of you to know there was another place for lunch at Pier 38, Uncles. After seeing the video and walking by there before they opened I had high hopes and couldn't wait to eat there. Well let me say this, Nico has nothing to worry about and if anything will become even busier. First though, it is a lovely establishment in terms of decor and interior. There are flat screen TV's mounted showing fishing DVD's, Hawaiian music, they warehouse overhead ducts are murals of fish underwater. The seats are comfortable (and expensive, Smith & Hawken) - they have these at Windward Mall and I know shipping from that company is outrageous so I've been trying to think about how these places are getting them, maybe some wholesaler, anyway they're finished teak and very glossy and quite comfy.

You order your food at the counter from chalkboards posted overhead. Flashing pagers are given like Nico's to let you know to pick up your food. They print is kind of small and hard to read and is multi-colored which is pretty but not so practical. Of course they have at least 4 different fresh fish options prepared in as many ways in addition to the fish and chips style. I ADORE Nico's F&C, I love his wasabi cilantro sauce on the side and the malt vinegar, the fish (whatever type) flavor characteristics shine through his crunchy not overly thick batter. Uncle's was a mass of bland unseasoned panko smothering what should have been a delicious Opah. I'll give them credit that the little baskets they serve in are most attractive and unusual and if you love french fries your arteries will clog with joy because they give massive amounts. Served with a bland not even worthy of a bottle tartar sauce and a cocktail sauce that made myself and my companion cringe upon tasting. It's supposed to be wasabi but I'm not sure that would describe it, it was memorable in not a flattering way.

My friend ordered right behind me, a tuna fish sandwich ($9.50) and a take out order of Opah prepped with the olive oil and herbs. Almost 20 minutes after I had received my meal, 5 skinny sticks of overcrusted Opah, her sandwich was a cold tuna salad (which she expected), it was served on a large hamburger type roll that I'll grant was toasted, at some point because it was cold and probably prepped earlier. She ordered a side salad and the dressing was mediocre fat free from a bottle no doubt. The tuna salad seemed like it was mixed with cole slaw which gave it texture from the carrots and maybe more creamy than I would like due to the dressing. At that moment all I could think of was how good a tuna melt would have been. Her carry out of Opah was two huge slabs of fish that were dry and tasteless with white rice and again, that stinkin' same tartar sauce. Nico does such a great job of making so many different sauces to accompany his dishes, bravo! And as we tried on of the pieces of fish our immediate response was "this is not Opah" and it wasn't. It was overdone Mahi, we later found out that the other fish was indeed Opah but unfortunately flavorless despite the attempted preparation.

They do serve beer and wine and fountain drinks. I did not take time to look at the fresh fish and poke available for purchase adjacent to the counter ordering area although from far away it looked attractive.

The prices are almost double of Nico's, I wouldn't mind paying more if it were flavorful and worthy of the amount. My F&C were $13.65 (with tax)
and I was most disappointed, I saw the prep on the video and was watering at the mouth to try some. The fish dish was $14.95 and I don't think it will carry for what the outcome was. I can say I've been there and finsh with
Nico, you'll see me again and again and again, you've nothing to fear!
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  #29  
Old July 10th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: New Establishments

Mahalo for letting us know what you thought of Uncles. PK and I will be going there soon. I love Seafood. Especially, Fish. It's in my daily menu.

I'll be back with my report.

Auntie Lynn
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  #30  
Old July 10th, 2007, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: New Establishments

Wow, thanks for the great writeup, leashlaws. Of course I imagine most of us are curious enough to see for ourselves (read: learn the hard way), but it's nice to read a first-hand account!

Speaking of new establishments, here in the building where I work, "Licious Dishes" is in its first month of operation. It's not a restaurant, but one of those places where you pick up a batch of means for the week, then take them home. The twist being, the emphasis on vegan dishes. Raw, organic vegan dishes. Not everyone's taste, I imagine, but for the time-crunched health conscious (or those on newly restricted diets due to health issues), it may be a good choice!

Last edited by pzarquon; July 10th, 2007 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Fix da link!
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  #31  
Old July 10th, 2007, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: New Establishments

Pz, the link goes to Pacific Business News.

I'll go check the place out.

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  #32  
Old July 10th, 2007, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: New Establishments

Here ya go, Auntie!
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  #33  
Old July 10th, 2007, 10:26 PM
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Here ya go, Auntie!
Mahalo TutuSue!

They have a great idea for the working folks. Hmmm...if I had a place, I probably do something similar but with my kind of Homestyle KauKau. Ready to eat, affordable and onolicious.

Just a thought...foa now.heheheh

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  #34  
Old July 10th, 2007, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: New Establishments

I have photos, but not where I am right now, so later.

Leashlaw's write-up is great, especially the description of the interior, but I disagree with a few things, and here's why.

It looks like the signature draw is going to be what Leashlaw described above but did not order: at least four catches of the day and four options for preparation. You choose your fish, you choose your preparation, and you plunk down your 12 to 16 dollars. For my fish, I ordered the ahi, and for the preparation, I went with the saute, which was in a wine-butter sauce. The portion was reasonable for the price (two medium-sized cuts of ahi). It came with rice (brown rice not an option) and cole slaw. I found the cole slaw to be positively yummy. The cabbage was shredded roughly (not pulverized like at KFC), but the carrots were grated finely. I can't explain why, but this is exactly the way I always wished cole slaw was made. I want big, crunchy strips of cabbage and tiny flecks of carrot, and that's what I got. For the first time in my life!

The fish was delicious; about what you can usually expect of the catch-of-the-day at Nico's. I do not like fish very much, but I love Nico's because of how fresh everything is. So for quality of fish, I'll call it a draw. You pay a little more for what you get at Uncle's, but you also get more fish. My total, with a soft drink from the soda fountain, was $16.02.

I do think Nico's will suffer a slight loss in business. If I were a tourist looking for a memorable dining experience, I'd have looked at both places and chosen Uncle's. This is assuming I didn't read any of the reviews, and I seldom do. $15 for lunch is about what I expect to pay anyway, and I want to sit down with friends somewhere cool and nice, and the interior of Uncle's is very, very inviting. As a devoted (two or three times per week) fan of Nico's, this is totally fine with me!

I flirted (I mean, I spoke) with the cutie who rung my bell (I mean, rung up my order) and she said they were still playing around with business hours. If Uncle's stays open past 6 (currently, I think they're open until 8), it will occasionally get my business where Nico's wouldn't, just because I often eat late.

The food was good. I liked the atmosphere. The service was decent. I'll definitely go there again when Nico's is closed.
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  #35  
Old July 11th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Default Re: New Establishments

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Originally Posted by pzarquon View Post

Speaking of new establishments, here in the building where I work, "Licious Dishes" is in its first month of operation. It's not a restaurant, but one of those places where you pick up a batch of means for the week, then take them home. The twist being, the emphasis on vegan dishes. Raw, organic vegan dishes. Not everyone's taste, I imagine, but for the time-crunched health conscious (or those on newly restricted diets due to health issues), it may be a good choice!
remember the waffle place in manoa (where boston's pizza is now located)? they had a similar thing but sadly are no longer there. maybe that part of the business (prepared meals) is still going on somewhere...
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  #36  
Old July 13th, 2007, 06:34 PM
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New health center opening at old KC Drive Inn site

Thank goodness it's THAT, and not one more of those darned storage facilities, which is what it looked like it was going to be while under construction. Dayton Asato told me a doctor purchased the land from them, which makes sense for him to turn into a medical center.

Just a few blocks makai on Kapahulu, the new Safeway Center is making progress. The main structures are completed. It's gonna' be HUGE. I can't wait for it to open. Of all the supermarkets, Safeway is my favorite for fresh deli and bakery items.
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  #37  
Old July 13th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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Also, across Aala Park. Another Medical Building will be built! That huge area fronting Beretania, College Walk and Aala Street.

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  #38  
Old July 14th, 2007, 03:31 PM
ploal5333 ploal5333 is offline
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Default Re: New Establishments

This website,Urban Planet, shows the sketches of some of the aforementioned construction: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/lo...hp/t27055.html
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  #39  
Old September 30th, 2007, 11:21 PM
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Have any of you tried the new sit-down restaurant in Aiea Bowl? I think it's called The Alley, and my friends have been hearing some good buzz about it for a couple of months or so.

We checked it out last night. The "tasty chicken" keeps coming up in conversation, so my friends and I all ordered that. The dinner plates offer a two-selection mixed plate (prices vary depending on the selections). One friend ordered just the tasty chicken; another ordered the tasty chicken with garlic shrimp; I had the tasty chicken with furikake ahi.

All our plates came with a choice or rice (white or brown) or mac salad, plus tossed salad. The tossed greens were quite good; I was really impressed with the tangy-spicy dressing.

The tasty chicken is very similar to Mitsuken's garlic chicken, deep-fried with a sweet garlic sauce. It was good, but I'm glad I didn't order a whole plate of it. The furikake ahi was similar to the dish with the same name at Nico's. I paid nine bucks for this plate, which I consider a very good deal. I didn't try my friend's shrimp, but they looked really, really good.

The desserts are supposed to be very good, too, but my friend's first choice was not still available (something very chocolatey), so she had the lemon crunch something something cake. It was okay.

The friend who ordered the shrimp and dessert also ordered a side of fries, and they were quite good. Better than your standard dish of fries.

Looks like there's a walk-up take-out, but I didn't take the time to compare offerings or prices.

The new restaurant at Aiea Bowl is definitely worth a try.
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  #40  
Old September 30th, 2007, 11:47 PM
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So we checked out the Varsity (old Magoo's) last Friday and I managed to take a shot or two, and they were of the two most important parts of the bar -- the beer and the bathroom:



Such an improvement. Yes, that's paper towels and vanity mirrors you see. Nick, an employee that looks like he could be Elvis' Costello's son, checked the bathroom every hour to make sure everything was stocked up and the sink counters wiped down.



I paid $7 for my pitcher of Killian's Irish Red, but I'm not sure if the price is the same across the boards. I want to say that it's not $5 anymore, but that's quite alright with me. You can't tell from this photo, but the bar countertops are real countertops and not a piece of wood with multiple coats of paint. The hundreds of tables and chairs in the place are all brand new and not second-hand.

We didn't order anything to eat, but there was an Indian Curry counter on the premises. There are other things to eat, but I'm not sure what else is there. I'll keep an eye out next time. The wall that separated the kitchen from the rest of the bar at the old Magoo's has been knocked down, making more room for more tables and chairs and people.

All in all, the place looks more inviting and not so intimidating. I can't wait to go back next weekend.
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  #41  
Old October 1st, 2007, 01:54 AM
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So we checked out the Varsity (old Magoo's) last Friday



All in all, the place looks more inviting and not so intimidating. I can't wait to go back next weekend.
That's alot of draft taps. Brings to mind the Yard House on Waikiki's Beach Walk. How many do they have there? Yard House has over 100. It's a "beer-meets-science" art.
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  #42  
Old October 1st, 2007, 02:02 AM
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That's alot of draft taps. Brings to mind the Yard House on Waikiki's Beach Walk. How many do they have there? Yard House has over 100. It's a "beer-meets-science" art.
I tried counting the beer on the beer menu, but I never got to finish counting. I doubt they have as many as the Yard House, but that's okay because I hate that place with a passion.

I don't know if certain beers were added/taken out in the changeover, but according to one of the bartenders, they'll be doing a better job of replenishing the beer after it runs out. Credit the new management I don't know...but one thing I hated about Magoo's was seeing that list of 86'ed beers for that night.
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  #43  
Old October 1st, 2007, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
That's alot of draft taps. Brings to mind the Yard House on Waikiki's Beach Walk. How many do they have there? Yard House has over 100. It's a "beer-meets-science" art.
magoo's had 120 taps, according to my much younger high school-mate, the barfly.

lei liko, a thousand thanks for going to varsity and reporting back! like the ocean club, magoo's is somewhere you and i went (not together, tho we might have been there at the same time, unwittingly) with HUGE sentimental value. while i'm glad for the gorgeous bathrooms at varsity, i have to admit i have this irrational fondness for the grunginess of the ladies' restroom at magoo's. maybe that's bcs everytime i went in there, i was pleasantly full of great pizza and tipsy with beer. anyway, based on your comments, eric and i will be asking some friends to join us there this coming friday.
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  #44  
Old October 4th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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From the Disappearing Establishments thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsolutChaos View Post
To replace the TGI Friday's location in Waikiki: some kind of Hawaiian steakhouse (formerly Buzz's Steakhouse)
So the other day I snapped a photo of the place...


Vit's Hawaiian Steak House - Formerly Buzz's Steak & Lobster

It looks like that might say "Wit's", but it's "Vit's", under the owner's name, Vit Udom.

Upon further research, come to find out this was the former Buzz's Steak & Lobster on Saratoga Rd. where the new Trump Tower is under construction. These folks aren't affiliated with the Buzz's Steakhouse near Lanikai in Kailua and in Pearl City.

This is located on the ground floor of the Maile Sky Court Hotel on Kuhio Ave. in Waikiki (Ewa end).

If you look inside, it appears they retained the Stained Glass Chandeliers from TGI Friday's. On the outside, they replaced TGI's red and white striped awning with a thatched bamboo material for a more tropical look.

Anyone know what's happening with the TGI Friday's vacancy near the Blaisdell Center on King and Ward? Anything happening there yet? (that's off my beaten path)
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Last edited by Pomai; October 4th, 2007 at 05:53 PM. Reason: Vit's
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  #45  
Old October 5th, 2007, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: New Establishments

Sighted today, another "new" place coming soon...

PANDA EXPRESS will replace the former Wolfgang Puck Express at the front of Ward Entertainment Center, next door to Big City Diner.

To note, Wolfgang Puck Express (under same ownership) still operates the location in the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel (near the wall).
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  #46  
Old October 20th, 2007, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: New Establishments

went to varsity tonight with eric and some friends. beer is the saving grace of that establishment, as is its atmosphere. the food, however? pizza hut by delivery, india cafe food that is a fraction as good as what you can have at india cafe itself, and bleh sushi. all the food was overpriced. we got four pieces of spicy tuna roll for almost four bucks. i said four pieces, not four rolls, mind you. that means four slices of sushi. almost four bucks. pizza was $20 + a pie and it seemed like if they didn't already have what you ordered in a warmer, they called pizza hut delivery and brought it to your table, still in the box. we ordered a pupu platter from the diner's side (as in diner's kalihi) which included an okay bit of steak, mostly soggy steak fries, meat jun that tasted more like bleh teri beef bathed in egg that didn't much cling to the meat like it should in a satisfactory meat jun. the worst part was the rock hard chicken katsu. rock hard, i kid you not. it made our homemade cursed chicken seem wonderfully edible. did i mention it was rock hard? i could have thrown it across the room and it would have acted exactly as you'd expect a hockey puck would. truly, i say this to you: rock hard. and not in any good way.

but the beer? heavenly in taste and price. pitchers could be had for as cheap as $6 to $14 i think. we had franceskanner, guiness (both alone and in black & tans), stella artois, and newcastle. we could have had black butte porter, dead man's ale, and any other of the 100 plus taps.

additionally, varsity has a lot of the same character ambiance-wise that made it as appealing to college students and older folk alike. great place to people watch, talk story, get blasted, then get sober and go home, with a belly and heart full of cameraderie that beer seems to inspire.
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  #47  
Old November 9th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: New Establishments

SAFEWAY (KAPAHULU): SOFT OPENING DRAWS THE CROWDS

I'm so jazzed about this new Kapahulu Safeway, which the article states is now the LARGEST IN THE NATION. Just from the looks of the front from the outside it looks awesome. I can't wait to check it out! Yipee!
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  #48  
Old November 9th, 2007, 11:57 PM
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SAFEWAY (KAPAHULU): SOFT OPENING DRAWS THE CROWDS

I'm so jazzed about this new Kapahulu Safeway, which the article states is now the LARGEST IN THE NATION.
I'm tempted to check it out, too. But that's not my neighborhood, and the thought of traffic and parking is daunting. If I do go, will I be stuck in Kapahulu forever?
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  #49  
Old November 10th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: New Establishments

The wedding cafe is opening a new location in Ward Warehouse.
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  #50  
Old November 10th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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If I do go, will I be stuck in Kapahulu forever?
Possibly. I made the mistake of driving up Kapahulu yesterday morning (did not realize the grand opening was happening) and had the opportunity to view the store at leisure from my vehicle.
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