Spam Musubi Day set for August 8

Sunday has been declared “Spam Musubi Day” by L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, a popular Hawaiian-style comfort-food restaurant franchise with 210 locations across the U.S.

To celebrate this iconic dish from Hawaii, the public can enter to win a free trip for two to Hawaii. In addition, select L&L restaurants across the U.S. will give away a total of 100,000 free Spam Musubis to the public. Finally, select cities will host special events and social media giveaways with new exclusive limited run L&L merchandise and special prize packs.

“Our signature Spam Musubi is certainly the most unique menu item and one of the most popular, “says L&L CEO and President Elisia Flores. “We’re grateful that it has grown in popularity in America, and it is time for us to celebrate its success on the national stage.”

During World War II, the U.S. military brought the canned luncheon meat to Hawaii as an important ration for deployed troops. As the war in the Pacific continued the military surplus of SPAM® was made available to local civilians who incorporated the food into their diets since fresh meat was in short supply.

The word “musubi” comes from the Japanese verb “musubu” which means to tie, bind, or link together. The Musubi is an off shoot of the Japanese rice snack called “onigiri” which is rice shaped in a ball or triangle wrapped securely in nori (seaweed) and some sort of filling in the center, such as meat or salted vegetables. This hand-held lunch staple was introduced to Hawaii in the late 19th century by Japanese immigrant farmers. Today about 14 percent of Hawaii’s population has Japanese ancestry.

100,000 Free Spam Musubi

Anyone who downloads the L&L Hawaiian Barbecue App on their mobile phone by Saturday, August 7, will receive a digital coupon to redeem in person one free Spam Musubi on August 8 from a select L&L Hawaiian Barbecue restaurant in his/her area. The first 100,000 downloads will be eligible.

Win a Trip to Hawaii

L&L fans can also enter online at for a chance to win a roundtrip holiday for two to Hawaii which includes 160,000 HawaiianMiles good for roundtrip travel for two from any U.S. mainland Hawaiian Airlines gateway city to or from Hawaii and a four-night stay at the Outrigger Malia Hotel in Waikiki. The grand prize winner will be notified on August 9, 2021.

What is a Spam Musubi?

It is a simple hand-held snack from Hawaii that is like a hotdog or a burrito. It consists of a crispy slice of Spam on top of warm rice with soy sauce or other sauce, all wrapped together in nori (seaweed).

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue Facts:

L&L restaurants sell approximately 20,000 SPAM® Musubis daily. If you were to stack them one on top of another that would be taller than three Empire State Buildings.L&L restaurants cooked over 2.8 million cups of rice a month. That would be enough rice to overflow an Olympic-sized swimming pool.L&L restaurants make over 488,000 pounds of Macaroni Salad each year, which equals the weight of 559 average sized elephants.L&L Hawaiian Barbecue was voted by Franchise Magazine as the #1 Asian franchise in the nation five years in a row, 2016-2021.A recent Yelp survey on take-out trends revealed that SPAM® Musubi was the number one pandemic take-out food in Nevada.

About L&L Hawaii

Founded in Honolulu as L&L Dairy in 1952, L&L became a popular eatery in Hawaii. The iconic L&L Hawai‘i brand was founded in 1976 by Eddie Flores, Jr. and Johnson Kam, who have grown the company into the most popular restaurant franchise specializing in Hawaii cuisine throughout the world. Today L&L Hawaii offers Hawaiian-style comfort food and hospitality at its nearly 200 locations throughout 14 states and Japan. For more, visit

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Wendy’s opening 11th Hawaii location in Kailua

Windward Oahu will get its first Wendy’s restaurant this weekend, when the fast food chain opens its 11th Hawaii location on Kailua Road on Saturday.

The 2,900-square-foot restaurant with 47 indoor seats will receive a Hawaiian blessing by Kahu Kordell Kekoa at 8:45 a.m. on June 12, prior to the doors opening to the public at 9:00 a.m. As part of the grand opening, Wendy’s will be giving away a free small Frosty with any purchase this weekend.

Tung “Dean” Van and Jasmine Wells will serve as co-general managers at the Kailua restaurant, which is owned by Cotti Foods. Cotti Foods CEO CEO, Peter Capriotti II is a part-time Hawai‘i resident.

Capriotti is also donating $10,000 to Kailua High School this week, as part of Cotti Foods’ commitment to the local communities it serves. The donation follows contributions to Nānākuli High & Intermediate School, Niu Valley Intermediate School, and numerous local non profit organizations since entering the Hawaii market in 2014.

Kailua High School principal Stacy Oshio thanked Cotti Foods for the “extremely generous donation.”

“This donation will go towards securing technology and student devices as we move to become a 1:1 school,” Oshio said in a statement. “We here at Kailua High School are grateful to have you in the community and look forward to future partnerships.”

“Cotti Foods is committed to being a good partner in the communities we serve,” Capriotti said. “Making donations to Hawai‘i’s schools is part of that commitment and a way to thank the community for making WendyÊ»s such a success.”

“I also want to say ‘mahalo nui loa’ to our dedicated local team members for their hard work and dedication,” he added.

For employment opportunities, please visit any Wendy’s location or go to to apply.

About Cotti Foods

California-based Cotti Foods is a third generation, family-owned restaurant business with 11 Wendy’s and 5 Pieology Pizzeria restaurants in Hawaii.

About The Wendy’s Company

The Wendy’s Company is the world’s third largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy’s system includes more than 6,500 franchise and company restaurants in the United States, U.S. territories, and 28 countries worldwide.  For more information, please visit      

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Hot Dog on a Stick Opens at Pearlridge

Hawaii’s third Hot Dog on a Stick location opened today at Pearlridge Center with its first local franchisee, Baron Obata of BO Hawaii LLC.

Hot Dog on a Stick has been in Hawaii for nearly 40 years, spanning more than half of the national franchise’s 75 years in business. Its two other locations are at Windward Mall in Kaneohe and the other at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.

The Pearlridge location will serve the signature Hot Dog on a Stick featuring original turkey or beef hot dogs enrobed in the proprietary cornbread batter, cooked to order.

More photos:

In addition to the Cheese on a Stick filled with American or Pepper Jack cheese, hand-stomped lemonades, French Fries, and Funnel Cake Sticks, there will be a Strawberry Margarita Lemonade Mocktail available for a limited time.  The non-alcoholic refresher, available in Original or Frozen, will be available from the opening day through September 12.

Three Hawaii-exclusive items will also available on an ongoing basis: deep-fried pollack sticks with tartar sauce, deep-fried zucchini with a cool Ranch dressing, and a salted, tart li hing hand-stomped Lemonade. 

A grand opening celebration will commemorate the opening of the West Oahu location during the weekend of May 29 and 30.  Starting at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 29, a lion dance exhibition fronting the new location will usher in good fortune. Then, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on May 29, and May 30, all patrons are invited to spin a prize wheel for a chance to win BOGO coupons, $1 stick items, logo microfiber towels, logo mask lanyards, and other giveaways.  There will also be colorful balloon hats for the kids.

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“We are cognizant that residents in West Oahu have been waiting for a nearby location to open because regular patrons at the Windward Mall location share their stories of driving from as far as Kapolei each week just to savor the piping hot dog dipped in cornbread batter and frozen lemonades,” Obata says. “This pandemic seems to have increased the demand for grab and go meals, validating my desire to open a franchise aligned with this type of business model.”

“Hot Dog on a Stick and Hawaii go together like our famous stick items and fresh hand-stomped Lemonade,” said Paul Damico, CEO of Global Franchise Group, parent company of Hot Dog on a Stick.  â€œWith our sunny and welcoming service, quality products and celebrity following, our brand is growing and highly sought after by consumers.

“Hot Dog on a Stick® is more than a snack concept, it is a lifestyle brand and one that we look forward to expanding in Hawaii and beyond.  We are grateful to BO Hawaii, LLC for being wonderful partners and we look forward to their success.”

Hot Dog on a Stick at Pearlridge will be open Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Take away and delivery options will be available at this location.  For more information, visit

SEE ALSO: Hot Dog on a Stick opens this weekend despite hiring challenges

About Hot Dog on a Stick

Established in 1946 in Southern California, Hot Dog on a Stick is known for its fresh, made-to-order hot dog on a stick and cheese on a stick products, hand-stomped natural lemonade, smiling customer service and its iconic bright striped uniforms. Hot Dog on a Stick provides customers with a fun all-American quick service restaurant experience, catering services for events, party packs, and fundraisers. Hot Dog on a Stick has 60 locations in the U.S. For more information, visit Hot Dog on a Stick on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About BO Hawaii, LLC

Founded in 2021, BO Hawaii, LLC is the first Hawaii franchisee of Hot Dog on a Stick, which plans to expand its presence on Oahu.  The president, Baron Obata, hopes to share memories of his childhood, growing up with the concept in Hawaii.  The company is planning further openings in Hawaii.

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Drive-through “Poke Fest” on Saturday in Kapolei

Frolic Hawaii’s 4th Annual Poke Fest, presented by Fresh Island Fish, will be held on Saturday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ka Makana Ali‘i.

The event is sold out.

For one day only, poke from the island’s favorite shops come together for a zero-contact, drive-through event in the Center’s parking lot near Macy’s. Lucky Poke Fest participants can enjoy their poke boxes at tables in the Food Market and around the Center.

Also on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Ka Makana Ali‘i is also hosting a Paniolo Hawai‘i Clothing pop-up and socially distant meet-and-greet with former University of Hawai’i football player, actor and clothing designer Brad Kalilimoku.

Kalilimoku recently drew a lot of attention for his noteworthy role in the Netflix hit film “Finding ‘Ohana.” The community is invited to meet the Honolulu native and celebrate the launch of his two new apparel lines. Paniolo, the first of Kalilimoku’s two clothing lines, is a tribute to his own lifestyle and keeping the Paniolo traditions and culture alive. The second apparel line is activewear inspired by one of Hawai’i’s great warriors Kekūhaupiʻo, who was known as a master of ʻōlohe lua.

Throughout the weekend, participating retailers at the center for West O‘ahu are popping out for exclusive sidewalk sales, and a weekend-long savings pass. More than 30 of the Center’s eateries and retailers have created special offers for the exclusive Memorial Day weekend savings pass, available in this week’s MidWeek and to Ka Makana Ali‘i Royal insiders.

Additionally, families can take Instagram-worthy photos at various selfie stations throughout the open-air center.

The community is invited to participate in a social media contest for a chance to win a shopping spree at Ka Makana Ali‘i. Post photos taken at the Center during Poke Fest and Memorial Day weekend on Instagram and Facebook, tag @kamakanaalii and use #kamakanaalii. The Center will choose a random winner on Tuesday, June 1.

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, Ka Makana Ali‘i will observe special holiday hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some businesses, including the theatres and restaurants, may observe hours that differ from the shopping center hours. Please contact businesses directly for information.

Visit for more details about upcoming promotions. For the latest news and updates, follow Ka Makana Ali‘i on Facebook and Instagram with profile name @kamakanaalii.

About Ka Makana Ali‘i

Ka Makana Ali‘i offers residents and visitors a family-friendly, mixed-use center in the heart of Hawai‘i’s fastest growing community. The 750,000-square-foot Macy’s-anchored center features more than 100 exciting stores, restaurants, a state-of-the-art Consolidated Theatres and the state’s first Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton located on property. The newest development, The Grove at Ka Makana Ali‘i, creates an additional 109,000 square feet of space with lifestyle retailers, eateries and services, such as 24 Hour Fitness, Foodland Farms, Straub Clinic and Urgent Care, and PetSmart.

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Filipino Food Week returns

Chef Chai’s Crispy Golden Tilapia

After a year on hiatus due to the pandemic, the restaurant edition of Filipino Food Week returns on June 6-12, 2021.

Filipino Food Week is a week-long celebration of Filipino cuisine, where diners can go to participating restaurants in Hawaii to try the Filipino food specials that are offered by different chefs and food establishments.

In commemoration of the 75th year of the establishment of the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States, this year’s Filipino Food Week shall focus on the ways Filipino cuisine has enriched Hawaii’s culinary landscape. Restaurants across the State will be offering special Filipino dishes that combine both Filipino and Hawaiian influences.

Participating Restaurants

Tante’s Lechon Kawali

Restaurants on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island will participate in this year’s Filipino Food Week. In Oahu, the following establishments will feature a special Filipino/Hawaiian dish from June 6-12: Cafe Julia at YWCA, Chef Chai, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi, Elena’s Home of Finest Filipino Foods, GOEN Dining + Bar, MW Restaurant, Pai Honolulu, Roy’s Hawaii Kai, Roy’s Koolina, Roy’s Waikiki, Stage Restaurant, Tiano’s Restaurants, and Tiki’s Grill & Bar. For Maui, the following restaurants will be participating: Humble Market Kitchin, Joey’s Kitchen, Roy’s Kaanapali, and Tante’s Island Cuisine. Meanwhile, diners can taste the sumptuous FFW specials at Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill in the Big Island and Eating House in Kauai.

Filipino Food Week Specials

For this year’s week-long event, a diverse mix of restaurants are participating, which includes Hawaii Regional Cuisine pioneers, award-winning restaurants, Asian fusion/modern local food outfits, alongside local Filipino favorites. This diversity will allow diners the opportunity to taste and compare the different renditions of Filipino dishes.

Below are the FFW Specials of participating restaurants:


Cafe Julia’s Osso Bucco

Cafe Julia at YWCA

Osso Bucco Kare Kare $18.00Butter Mochi (bibinka) Ala Mode $8.00Halo Halo $8.00

Chef Chai

Complete Family Style Dinner (minimum 2 person) $50 per personPork Dumplings with Roasted Bell Pepper Guisantes Sauce Crispy Green Peas and Garbanzo BeansSisig Chicken Wraps with Fresh Pineapple Mango Salsa – Filipino Style ChickenLettuce WrapsBlack Tiger Prawns with Calamansi Sinigang Broth With Daikon, Mixed Cherry Tomatoes and Baby Bok ChoyPork Belly Lechon Roulade with Mung Bean Risotto and Lechon SauceDeep-fried Crispy Golden Tilapia with Spicy Garlic Patis Lime Dipping SauceSteamed RiceHalo-Halo, all natural, sugar free dessertFried Caramelized Banana Lumpia, A la mode

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Elena’s Lechon Special

Smoked BBQ Stick (available Monday)Smoked Wings (Adobo or Street-Style BBQ (available Wednesday)Adobo Pork Belly Burnt Ends (available Friday)

Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi

Adobo Glazed Short Rib & Pork Belly – Kabocha Puree, Luau Sauce $35

Elena’s Home of Finest Filipino Food

Lechon Special, Pork Adobo Fried Omelette, Sari Sari, Pansit, Shrimp Sarciado, Squid Guisado – $65

GOEN Dining + Bar

Adobo Glazed Short Rib & Pork Belly – Kabocha Puree, Luau Sauce $35

MW Restaurant

J Ludovico Farms Adobo Chicken with OK Farm Egg for $15

Pai Honolulu

Kare-Kare Beef Stew with peanuts, bok choy, and fermented shrimp / $46

Cafe Julia’s Butter Mochi

Roy’s Hawaii Kai

Karekare Surf & Turf – Tender Beef Short Rib, Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38

Roy’s Koolina

Karekare Surf & Turf – Tender Beef Short Rib, Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38

Roy’s Waikiki

Karekare Surf & Turf – Tender Beef Short Rib, Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38

Stage Restaurant

Filipino Food Week Special Menu (TBA)

Tiano’s Restaurants

MW Restaurant’s Ludovico Farms Adobo Chicken

“SU TU KIL = Sugba, Tula, Kilaw = Bbq/Flame-broiled, Soup or Poke-style” Diners can choose style of cooking (Sugba, Tula, Kilaw) and their Fish items: Ahi Tuna $24, Akule $24 or Opelo $24; or Meat items: Pork $24 or beef $26

Tiki’s Grill & Bar

Lechon Kawali, adobo braised and crisped pork belly, garlic rice, calamansi island tomatoes & island grown long beans. $28


Humble Market Kitchin

Ora King Salmon Belly Sisig – Calamansi Hawaiian Chili Water Ponzu, Smoked Ikura, Crispy Garlic $25

Joey’s Kitchen

Caramelized Scallops, Maui Cattle Co. Oxtail Kare Kare Risotto rice, Fried Okra, Bagoong chili oil & Chopped Peanuts $36

Roy’s Kaanapali

Karekare Surf & Turf – Tender Beef Short Rib, Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38

Tante’s Island Cuisine

Lechon Kawali Garlic Fried Rice Loco Moco with Mushrooms & Mama Sita’s Siling Labuyo $14.50


Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill

Karekare Surf & Turf – Tender Beef Short Rib, Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38


Eating House

Adobo Glazed Short Rib & Pork Belly – Kabocha Puree, Luau Sauce $35

Filipino Food Week Partners

The Filipino Food Week is being spearheaded by the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu in partnership with East West Marketing Inc., GK SKAGGS, Jun’s Awesome Sauce, Kasama Rum, Marigold Corporation (Mama Sita’s), Oishi, Philippine FoodTrade Co., and Tanduay USA.

Way forward

By organizing the Filipino Food Week, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu hopes to generate more awareness and interest among locals and restaurants to try and feature Filipino food. The Food Week is part of a US-wide effort of the Philippine Embassy in DC and various Consulates in the US to promote Filipino cuisine and culture.

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Poke Waikiki opens at Royal Hawaiian Center

Poke Waikiki is the latest addition to the Pāʻina Lānai Food Court at Royal Hawaiian Center. The grand opening, with a traditional Hawaiian blessing, was held on Tuesday.

Poke Waikiki offers popular poke bowls featuring local caught ahi, fresh salmon, mochiko chicken, and a variety of poke burritos, the latest poke trend.

“We want to provide our guests with a wide variety of dining options, and are excited to welcome Poke Waikiki as the newest member of the Royal Hawaiian Center ‘ohana,” said Marleen Akau, vice president and general manager of Royal Hawaiian Center. 

Diners can choose from three types of poke bowls with over ten topping selections including fresh produce like lettuce, onion, pineapple, edamame, ocean salad and more. Poke burritos, meanwhile, offer an easy-to-eat alternative for those looking to try poke in a fun, new way.

Prices range from $6.99 for mini poke bowls, $10.99 to $11.99 for regular poke bowls, and $6.99 to $12.99 for half and full-orders of the poke burritos. 

“We’re thrilled to bring fresh and healthy poke options to the heart of WaikÄ«kÄ« at Royal Hawaiian Center with the opening of our first location,” said Duke Maeno. “While poke has become a popular trend around the world, Hawaii is where it started. Whether guests want to experience a traditional poke bowl or try it in our innovative poke burrito, they’ll get high quality ingredients served with the aloha spirit.”

Poke Waikiki is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and offers a 20 percent discount for kamaʻāina and military (cannot be combined with any other offer). Delivery services through GrubHub and DoorDash will be available at the end of the month. Guests at Royal Hawaiian Center will also receive three free hours of validated parking with any purchase from any restaurant or shop.

For the latest Poke Waikiki offerings and updates call (808) 888-2646 and stay connected on social media at @pokewaikikirhc.

About Royal Hawaiian Center

Royal Hawaiian Center is the premier shopping, dining, entertainment, and cultural destination in WaikÄ«kÄ«, comprised of nearly 90 shops and restaurants over three city-blocks of world-renowned Kalākaua Avenue. The Center stands proudly upon historic land known as Helumoa, once home to Hawaiian royalty. 

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Jamba adds tapioca to boba options

After introducing Bursting Boba to help take smoothies and bowls to the next level, now Jamba Hawaii is back with an all new menu feature.

This time, Jamba Hawaii is going bit more traditional by adding Tapioca Boba to the menu.

The company says Tapioca Boba isn’t just for bubble tea anymore, and you can now find it on Jamba Hawaii’s permanent menu. It makes an especially great addition to the Orange Dream Machine and Strawberry Wild smoothies, but tastes great with any Jamba Hawaii menu item that you want to add it to.

The smoothie and healthy snack shop is well underway with a “year of innovation” that started with the addition of orange and strawberry Bursting Boba to its menu. All three of the new boba flavors are now permanent additions to the Jamba Boost add-on menu.

More fun menu items are still to follow this year, and some of those items may even end up on mainland Jamba Juice menus in the future.

About Jamba Company

Founded in 1990, Jamba, Inc. is a leading restaurant retailer of better-for-you, specialty beverage and food offerings including great tasting, whole fruit smoothies, fresh-squeezed juices and juice blends, and a variety of food items including hot oatmeal, breakfast wraps, sandwiches, baked goods, and snacks. As of 2019, there are more than 850 Jamba Juice locations worldwide.

About Jamba Hawaii

Jamba Hawaii has 31 stores operated by JJC Hawaii, LLC, an authorized Jamba licensee, across Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island. Jamba Hawaii is the category-defining leader in all-natural, made-to-order fruit and vegetable smoothies, juices, açaí bowls and other snacks for health-conscious consumers with discerning tastes. Jamba smoothies are packed with 4 to 5 servings of fruit and are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. Visit for store locations and more information.

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May Day Lū‘au To Go at Leeward Community College

The Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program has announced its major fundraising event for 2021, “May Day Lū‘au To Go.”

The staff and students at the Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program are hard at work preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year. This is the first May Day Lū‘au To Go event, which replaces the programʻs annual in-person fundraising gala, L‘ulu, due to the Covid pandemic.

Abigail Langlas is one of the instructors guiding the event, and senior Jasmyne Wood, who will be graduating in May, has been tasked with Sous Chef duties, overseeing the preparation of the 1,500 meals.

“We hope for a sell-out event as the proceeds from this fundraiser will go toward scholarships and other much needed funds for equipment and supplies that help support our students in the Culinary Arts Program,” said Langlas. “We would also like to send a sincere mahalo to our sponsors – Hawaii Meats, Y.Hata, Armstrong Produce, Aloun Farms, Wong’s Product Company, Dole Foods, Diamond Head Seafood, Hanson Food Service, Eggs Hawaii, and KYD Inc.”

Added Wood, “It is a major challenge to be in charge of the food preparation for the lū‘au, but my education here at the Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program has really prepared me to take it on, so IÊ»m very excited. ItÊ»s actually a great honor to be given this responsibility, especially as I look forward to graduating next month and embarking on my culinary life journey.”

If you are not able to get tickets for the lū‘au, please consider making a donation at


Date:  Saturday, May 1, 2021Time:  11am-4pmLocation:  Leeward Community College Parking LotMenu:•  Hot Plate:  Lau Lau, Kalua Pig, Chicken Long Rice, Beef Stew, Rice•. Cold Plate:  Mac Salad, Lomi Lomi Salmon, ʻUala (Hawaiian Sweet Potato), Poi, Pineapple, Haupia CakeCost:  $30 per meal (+ Eventbrite fee); $10 is tax deductiblePre-sale only through 4/30/21:https://lccluautogo.eventbrite.comContact:  Abigail Langlas, Instructor,, Cell: 808-381-6641

About Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program

The Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program is accredited by the American Culinary Education Foundation. The program is a fusion of hands-on experiences and classroom instruction to develop the skills and confidence essential for a wide range of culinary careers in the industry.  For more details, please visit

The program also runs the award-winning, fine-dining, on-campus restaurant, The Pearl. To find out about their menu, hours, and special events, please visit

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Sugarcane by Chai’s debuts in Kapolei

With a stellar team in the kitchen, a colorful local menu, and nightly live music, Sugarcane by Chai’s aims to be no less than the premiere dining destination in West Oahu.

Owner Peter Maharaj and Sean Tsai, president of operations, assembled an all-star team, including internationally-renowned, award-winning Chef Chai Chaowasaree, Executive Chef Rodhel Ibay, hand picked by Chef Chai, renown mixologist Kenny Lum, and operations head Calvin Yao.

Sugarcane is a contemporary concept restaurant featuring Pacific Regional Cuisine, creative signature cocktails, and a state-of-the-art entertainment system to showcase nightly live music of all genres. Its soft opening began at Ka Makana Ali‘i yesterday, with a grand opening set for April 8.

For Maharaj, Sugarcane by Chai’s is more than just another business, so having the right people on his team was critical.

“Sugarcane is the fulfilment of a dream that my late wife Leslie and I had years ago,” Maharaj said. “I wanted to build it to honor her.”

“Leslie and I love West O‘ahu,” he explained. “As an attorney, she volunteered with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and took great pride in representing families and children at the Hawai’i Family Court in Kapolei.”

Maharaj has a residence at Ko Olina, and that his dad lives at Hoakalei.

“We all have so much aloha for the West side,” he said. “It’s home.”

“Leslie and I wanted to build a restaurant here that brought people together to savor delicious cuisine made with local ingredients, enjoy local performing artists, and just have a great time relaxing with friends and family,” Maharaj adds. “We both agreed Chef Chai needed to be a big part of it.”

Chef Chai is recognized as one of Hawaii’s most popular chefs and the recipient of countless awards and honors. Known for fusing fresh local ingredients with the exotic flavors of Asia, he has created a culinary style that reflects our cultural diversity. As co-founder of Hawaii Island Chefs, a collaborative with local farmers and fishermen, Chef Chai has become one of the most influential forces in shaping todayʻs Pacific Regional cuisine.

“I am so excited to be working with Sugarcane and continuing my mission of using locally-sourced ingredients in our dishes,” Chaowasaree said. “Chef Rodhel and I look forward to serving the West Oahu community, as well those who come to visit from around the islands and the world, and hope everyone will enjoy our food.”

Choosing the name “Sugarcane” was also personal for Maharaj as his grandfather toiled in the sugarcane fields as an immigrant and provided a strong foundation for his family. There are design elements of sugarcane throughout the restaurant to reinforce the theme.

“Sugarcane also honors my grandfather,” he said. “I learned so much from him and am extremely proud of the legacy he left me.”

“We are excited to welcome Sugarcane by Chai’s to the Center for West Oahu,” said Stephanie England, General Manager at Ka Makana Ali‘i. “Chef ChaiÊ»s unique, award-winning cuisine and live entertainment make Sugarcane by Chai’s the perfect destination for date night, girlsÊ» night out, family celebrations, and any occasion.”

During the soft opening, from March 26 through April 7, Sugarcane will be open nightly from 5 p.m. to midnight, with a limited dinner menu offered from 5 to 10 p.m., and cocktails only from 10 p.m. to midnight. Live entertainment will be presented from 8 p.m. to closing.

Weekend Brunch will be added soon, and expanded hours will be announced at a later date. For reservations, please call Sugarcane at (808) 670-2744 or go to

The Menu

Chef Chai and Chef Rodhel have created an inspired new menu utilizing locally-sourced ingredients from the land and sea. The soft opening menu is limited to two set dinner menus – including a Vegan menu. Please note that courses may also be purchased a la carte, but the set menu is a better value.

Sugarcane Soft Opening (March 26-April 7) Special Four Course Dinner ($60)

Appetizer:  Ahi Carpaccio ($15) – Ahi, Maui Onion, Ho Farm Tomato, Grilled Asparagus, Ululoa Micro-Greens, Salsa VerdeSalad:  Sugarcane Caesar Salad ($12) – Maris Garden Baby Romaine, Anchovies, Parmigiano Reggiano, Chicharron Dust, Parmigiano VinaigretteChoice of Entree:Braised Short Ribs ($36) – Aloha Shoyu, Sake, Valencia Orange Glace, Mashed Potato, Vegetable Du JourCrab Fonduta Crusted Fresh Catch ($36) – Grilled Fresh Catch, Lump Crab, Mushroom, Spinach, Leeks, Garlic Orzo, Creole SauceDessert:  Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Fresh Berries ($12)

Sugarcane Soft Opening (March 26-April 7) VEGAN Special Four Course Dinner ($50)

Baked Vegan Lasagna ($12) – Vegan Bolognese, Vegan Mozzarella, Vegan Parmesan, Cauliflower Cake, Spinach ChipsVegan Spaghetti Alfredo ($18) – Best Vegan Dish – Must Try!!!Vegan Club ($30) – Plant-Based Burger, Portobello Mushroom, Roasted Bell Peppers, Maui Onions, Aioli, Garlic FriesDessert:  Halo Halo with Strawberry Shave Ice ($8) – All Natural, Sugar Free, Gluten Free aAnd Dairy Free

The Bar

At the bar, mixologist Kenny Lum will be concocting his delectable creations for Sugarcane, such as the Colada Milk Punch and the Frozen Mai Tai.

The Stage

On the stage, patrons will enjoy live music nightly with a state-of-the-art audio and visual entertainment system for a concert-like experience. Please check our Instagram and Facebook pages (@sugarcanekapolei) for our entertainment schedule – and please ʻLikeʻ and Follow us! Our website is still under construction.

Artists interested in performing at Sugarcane may email

About Sugarcane by Chai’s

Sugarcane by Chai’s is the flagship restaurant from owner Peter Maharaj and President of Operations Sean Tsai, in collaboration with world-renowned Chef Chai Chaowasaree, featuring Pacific Regional Cuisine, signature cocktails, and live entertainment in a sophisticated yet relaxed setting. The 4,982-square-foot restaurant is located at Ka Makana Ali‘i in West O‘ahu, and offers indoor and outdoor seating. Sugarcane will also be available for take-out and catering and announcing delivery options soon.

SugarcaneKa Makana Ali‘i, #42291-5431 Kapolei ParkwayKapolei, HI 96707Location Map: of Operation*:  Daily 5:00pm – Midnight (Dinner 5:00 – 10:00pm)* Soft Opening Hours March 26-April 7, 2021Reservations:  (808) 670-2744 / opentable.comOnline:  Instagram & Facebook @sugarcanekapolei

About Ka Makana Ali‘i

Ka Makana Ali‘i offers residents and visitors a family-friendly, mixed-use center in the heart of Hawaii’s fastest growing community. The 750,000-square-foot Macy’s-anchored center features more than 100 exciting stores, restaurants, a state-of-the-art Consolidated Theatres and the state’s first Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton located on property. Serving as the premier gathering place in Kapolei, Ka Makana Ali‘i fulfills the shopping and dining needs of the ever-expanding community. Its convenient location offers excellent highway access, ample parking and public transportation for shoppers. Through an innovative partnership with Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Ka Makana Ali‘i will financially support programs benefiting Native Hawaiian interests statewide for decades to come. For more information, please visit

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Maui Brewing Company brings back tropical ale

“Two Tickets to Paradise”, Maui Brewing Company’s tropical Tart Saison is being re-released this week at Maui Brewing Company Restaurants. Originally brewed in 2018 as a collaboration with Crooked Stave of Denver, the beer takes you straight to the heart of paradise.

Two Tickets to Paradise utilizes Pilsner, Spelt Malt and Golden Naked Oats, as well as Huell Melon and Pacific Gem hops with sour fermentation which offers a vibrant acidity from the hibiscus flowers and local limes. With lemon-citrus, floral, and pine aromas, the ingredients harmonize to bring you a bright and sophisticated seaside refresher. Crushable at 4.8% ABV and 20 IBUs, this invigorating beer is perfect for warm days at the beach or backyard barbeques.

Taste the bright pink effervescent Saison on draught at Maui Brewing Company locations in Kihei or Lahaina (Maui) now, with the restaurant locations in Waikiki and Kailua (Oahu) to follow next week. Or pick up 6-packs at local retailers where independently owned Maui Brewing Company craft beer can be purchased.

MBC is a fiercely local company and has remained steadfast regarding local production. The MBC team are stewards of their communities and the ‘aina, and curators of the craft beer way of life. Their beers have been recognized worldwide for quality and innovation.

For more information, visit or follow @MauiBrewingCo on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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