Chocolate Cafe at MW Restaurant

Chocolate Cafe? Say no more, you had me at chocolate.

This inaugural pop-up event by Hawaii’s culinary power couple, Chefs Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka, attracted a crowd of chocolate lovers who started lining up about half an hour before their opening. The featured ingredient of the month was presented in sweet and savory dishes, in different stages of its life cycle, from pulp to pudding.

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Stage Restaurant: Reimagined and Reinvigorated

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.

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Mariposa: Laid-Back Lunch Time Luxe With Delectable Fare

Mariposa, Neiman Marcus’ signature restaurant, has been serving its chic food in Hawaii for some time now. And I have admit, it is one of my favorite places to have lunch when I’m looking to be spoiled just a tad bit. Golden popovers, chicken consommé, elegant decor, and friendly service is all part of the Mariposa experience. I can’t pinpoint it, but the restaurant has this old Hawaii vibe about it. Maybe it’s the open-air balcony seating that overlooks Ala Moana beach. Needless to say, ladies love to dine at Mariposa. It’s not uncommon to see older local ladies dressed in intricate muumuu’s, as well as the younger, business crowd with their hip Bottega Veneta bags. Laid back elegance and luxury, and sophisticated food, is what makes Mariposa a lunch time dining experience not to be missed. 

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Hawaii Cacao Festival 2012 at the Haleiwa Farmer’s Market

Two Sunday’s ago I had the fortunate opportunity to check out the 2nd Annual Cacao Festival at the Haleiwa’s Farmer’s Market. Actually, me going to this event happened on a whim. The day before, Ernest (remember Waldo from the Makapuu to Tom-Tom hike?) invited me to check out the festival with him. I heard about it a few days earlier but had forgotten about it when Ernest brought it up. My interest was renewed now that I had someone to go with. The funny thing is that we never really set a time to go. That Sunday, I woke up a bit late, jumped in my car and drove to Haleiwa wondering if Ernest would still be joining me. Before heading to the Farmer’s Market, I made a pitstop at the Haleiwa American Savings Bank to grab some quick cash. It turned out that Ernest had reached Haleiwa at around the same that I stopped at the ATM. Cool. Only thing, he missed the Farmer’s Market and ended up lost somewhere in the North Shore. Fortunately, I guided him to the intersection of Jospeh P. Leong Bypass & Kamehameha Hwy and he was able to find his way the Farmer’s Market. All this excitement and we hadn’t even checked out the Cacao Festival yet!

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