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new places opening up all over- reports?

i see MW restaurant opened this past week
pig and the lady soon
new ramen places- santouka, the one by ailana shave ice, and now i hear there's a new one in the old maple garden space near hnl stadium
highway inn in town
marukame udon downtown next week

anybody?
bueller?

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  1. Kiwami ramen also reopened where Tsuku Tsuku Tei used to be on Keeaumoku. The new ramen place near HNL stadium park is called Agu Ramen and is actually in the Da Kitchen spot at the St. Louis Clubhouse. No report from me on any of these places yet, but when I do get to them, i'll post something.

    1 Reply
    1. re: killersmile

      mahalo ksmile
      da kitchen was ok
      expensive, but huge portions

    2. does the 'new' 12th Avenue Grill count as new? Had a really good dinner there last week.

      3 Replies
        1. re: macsak

          after a little discussion we gave it a good solid 8 out of 10. Very good, just short of excellent, and for the price (3 people $200 inc minimal drinks and tip) quite a good value. Nothing was 'wrong', just a few things not as right as they might have been, and our server was less than charming, but more than proficient. Maybe just an off night for him.

          The place was packed, reservations are necessary. Some reviewers complained about the noise level in there, but if you have a room full of happy people enjoying their food and libations, its probably not going to be a quiet place. It certainly wasn't boisterous. The food is a little less 'home style' than I remembered - but that was years ago. The smoked chocolate flan was heaven on a plate. Definitely on my 'splurge' list of places to go.

          1. re: KaimukiMan

            someone tweeted a suggestion about speaker placement and arrangement of furniture a couple weeks ago, and he replied that they fixed it

            the menu certainly evolved a lot since they opened
            glad they are in a bigger space

            it's amazing how much kaimuki and kapahulu have evolved to be areas where there are great restaurants/bars

      1. Kan Zamen Moroccan and Lebanese in Chinatown.
        Brief report on thread about "of the beaten path" http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/922441

        1. went to KIMAMI Ramen last night as i've been hunting to try tsukemen style ramen (noodles on the side to dip into concentrated broth)....and i thought it was KILLER. They use local Sun noodles, little thicker than the usual....i got the spicy shoyu tsukemen and this was a conentrated, oily, amazing flavor bomb. Noodles were served cool/rm temp, the broth was hot and contained lots of chopped chive/green onions, a few pieces of char siu (decent, not super tender, but tasty - but they dont touch the goma tei char siu), and some menma. As the noodles were on the side, every bite had perfectly cooked noodle, and the broth did a fantastic job sticking them....prob wont finish the bowl of broth with the noodles, but its touch too concentrated (on purpose) to eat on its own...though i was tempted. also shared an order of the gyoza which had a fantastically crispy side, but maybe fell a little flat on overall flavor. Everyone's got their own tastes with ramen (as yelp reviews clearly reveal), but this was MONEY for me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fatstern

            glad to hear that it's still good. used to enjoy it when it was located in waikiki.

          2. Gourmet Lani "North East Indian" on Bishop St next to Leo's Taverna. Open just a month, lunch only. Tried the Chicken Basmati plate and a side of potato/garbanzo (missed the name)..both delicious. Were first ones in at 11, and had a 15 minute wait, but food was worth it if you are not in a hurry. 10% off coupon made it a reasonable lunch for 2 at $15, and leftovers to take home.

            1. went to cocina for lunch
              had:
              tortaguesa 12
              kulana beef burger, grilled onions, avocado, “tex-mex” queso, pickled jalapenos
              *add farm egg 1
              interesting that no tax was added
              tasty, but like a lot of grass fed beef, too lean
              there was some sort of thinly sliced ham on it too
              at $13, too pricy for lunch very often
              would go back to try other things

              4 Replies
              1. re: macsak

                went to MW restaurant for lunch today
                noon reservation, and the place was packed
                decor and staff attire similar to alan wong's, and so was the menu (and desserts)
                had the pork sukiyaki "sandwich" (pork sukiyaki in a bowl, with a piece of toast on top- with a "toad in the hole" egg)
                friend had the ahi poke bowl
                both were good, but not great
                problem is that prices are getting up there for a non-high end fine dining space
                my friend said it's like the pineapple room at ala moana
                high end takes on comfort food, with high end prices, but it is still located at an entrance to macys

                1. re: macsak

                  Sounds about right to me. Good to hear more opinions on this place.

                  1. re: killersmile

                    i am tempted to say it is a matter of expectations, but at that price point, expectations are going to be high

                    it's just that they didn't branch out from alan wong's enough
                    the wait staff in black slacks, white long sleeve shirts, and ties whether male or female
                    lights hanging on thin cables
                    open kitchen
                    and a menu that has same or similar dishes too (especially the dessert menu)

                    main difference is that they are open for lunch and street level vs third floor

                    oh, and $4 valet parking at MW too

                    1. re: macsak

                      Like you said, it's similar, but that's to be expected since he spent so much time in Alan Wong's kitchen. Since Michelle Karr-Ueoka created a lot of the desserts on Alan Wong's menu, it stands to reason that the desserts are basically the same. Maybe she should have just left those desserts at Alan Wong's and started fresh. For myself, I wasn't expecting something vastly different. I wish the price point were a little lower, but I guess he has to pay for that nice brand new kitchen. It's another solid addition to the dining scene here in Honolulu even if it doesn't excite by being different.

              2. Dagon Burmese Cuisine just opened last night, 2671-A South King, same row as Spices, but at the Kokua end of the building.

                Tea leaf salad was excellent, with crunchy peanuts, fried lentils, and fried garlic mixed in with the tea leaf paste. Unusual and delicious. Also had a biryani rice which was flavorful, and with it the beef curry... like an Indonesian Rendang Curry. Beef was not very tender, but the sauce was yummy. Our favorite of all was the noodle dish, much like fettuccini, topped with chicken curry, crunchy won ton strips, onion, cilantro, and slices of hard-boiled egg, then all mixed together into a creamy sauce...great!

                Two of us had 4 dishes which came to $37 with leftovers to take home. Dinner only, closed Tuesday, BYOB.

                1. New branch of Highway Inn at the corner of Ala Moana Blvd. and Coral Street serving Hawaiian food to a lot of locals.