After having a wonderful dinner at Nobu at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, we decided to catch the complementary Four Seasons shuttle back to the Lodge at Koele. It was a chilly November night. What better way to enjoy the rest of the evening than with late night hot chocolate, in the the Lodge’s Great Hall, next to the fireplace.
Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s Nobu on Lanai opened less than two years ago at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. Celebrity chef and restaurateur, Chef Matsuhisa, is known for his new style Japanese cuisine, which fuses traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients. He’s also considered to be a favorite of Lanai’s majority owner, Larry Ellison. The co-founder and CEO of Oracle, and fifth richest man in the world, owns 97 percent of the island. I’ve dined at Nobu Honolulu before, but this would be my first time experiencing the Manele Bay location.
It’s been a while since I last dined at the trendy Stage Restaurant. When they first opened in 2007 at the Honolulu Design Center, Jon Matsubara was executive chef and George W. Bush was president of the United States. Seven years later, Chef Matsubara is now the man at Japengo and George W. Bush is painting somewhere in a barn in Texas. Former executive sous chef, Ron de Guzman, moved into the executive chef position and revamped the menu. The restaurant decor also received a facelift. Artwork of fanciful genetilia no longer dominate the walls. Now they’ve got Louis Vuitton lips.
Ever since I fell in love with Goofy Cafe & Dine, I’ve been looking forward to their sister restaurant opening at the Shoreline Hotel in Waikiki. Heavenly has been open for nearly two months now, and we finally had a chance to taste their menu. We actually tried to swing by during opening day, which they had posted about either on Instagram or Facebook, I can’t remember. As we casually walked into the small cafe, construction workers were still making last minute adjustments, a florist was busy dropping off flowers, and designers were still figuring what went where. Apparently, we had showed up a day early. It took us nearly two months to find our way back to Seaside Avenue. Hopefully, they had worked out their opening day kinks.
Shooting the sunset on the first day of the new year has become somewhat of a tradition. The tradition has been around for almost as long as Exploration: Hawaii has been online. In 2012, Joel, Ryan, and I went to world famous Waimea Bay to watch the waves and the surfers riding them. In 2013, we drove out to Waianae. Heavy rains kept us away from Kaena Point, but, we did find an empty beach just on the side of Farrington Highway. This year, we decided to end the first day of the new year at Ko Olina’s Lagoon 1, located just next to the JW Marriot Ihilani Resort and Spa. The first sunset of 2014 was a wonderful sight. Here’s to hoping that everyone has a prosperous year filled with adventure and exploration.
She swept me away to Maui’s luxurious Grand Wailea. The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, is known for its winding paths, world-renown collection of art, and open-air architecture.
We arrived in Maui late in the evening, and by the time we reached the the Grand Wailea, it was already dark. The first thing that catches your eye is a large sweeping waterfall to the right of the main lobby. To the left, is a large statue of King Kamehameha by local legend, Herb Kane. Both of us were eager to jump out of our Dodge Charger to check out what the resort had to offer. I was especially excited to see what our room looked like.
I’m a long time fan of Herb Kane’s work. I can still remember visiting the Bishop Museum, where his artwork would bring life to the Hawaiian folklore that we would learn about in Hawaiiana class. If you grew up in Hawaii, then you can probably relate. Maybe not to seeing Herb Kane’s work at Bishop Museum, but surely you can remember sitting Indian-style in Hawaiiana class as your Kumu (Hawaiian teacher) taught you how to count in Hawaiian, play the ukulele, and told you stories about the ancient Hawaiians. Yes, going to elementary school in Hawaii is way better than going to elementary school anywhere else (if you can look beyond national standardized test score averages). Of course, I’m bias, but I digress. The point is, Herb Kane is not just a talented artist, but a living legend. Herb Kane is an author, historian, and cultural leader. So, I was very pleased when I stumbled upon his work during a recent stay at the Grand Wailea in Maui.