Hawaii Today edited by Derek Paiva Page: <<Previous 1 2 3

Got koinobori? It's Boys' Day in Hawaii

boys_day_HawaiiToday in Hawaii we celebrate tango-no-sekku, more commonly known as Boys’ Day.

In Japan, where Boys’ Day originated, the holiday was joined with Girls’ Day to form Children’s Day. However, we in the Islands are fond of setting aside separate days for both sexes. Hence, Girls’ Day is observed on March 3, while Boys’ Day falls on May 5.

A common sight in Hawaii’s neighborhoods during Boys’ Day is koinobori, large carp streamers or windsocks that “swim” in the tradewinds on bamboo poles in front of homes. Following tradition, each streamer represents a male in the household. The carp nearest the top of the pole usually symbolizes the father, and is the largest. Additional carp represent sons ordered by age, working downward from oldest to youngest.

Carp are classic symbols of masculinity in Japanese culture, associated with strength, perseverance and longevity. In the wild, the fish swim against the currents, scale waterfalls and live an exceptionally long life—qualities that are fitting traits for a young man.

Other Boys’ Day staples include musha-ningyo (samurai dolls clad in body armor and armed with weapons and helmets), kashiwa mochi (a bean-filled rice cake wrapped in an oak leaf) and chimaki mochi (a similar cake wrapped in bamboo leaves)—all of which are given to the men of the house.

As of 8 a.m. this morning (Hawaii time) the males on HAWAII Magazine’s staff had yet to receive a box of either mochi. We’d gladly settle for lunch from our female co-workers.

Any takers?
Photo: Commons/Wikipedia


Fly from L.A. to Honolulu for $235

Fly_LA_Honolulu_for_$235American Airlines is offering round-trip airfares from Los Angeles to Honolulu starting at the ridiculously low price of $235 (tax not included) for travel between now and June 7, 2009. Advance purchase is not required.

Finding the fare will take a little sleuthing on the traveler’s part.

Airfare-monitoring website airlinewatchdog.com reported the rate today, referring visitors to online travel service Orbitz. Click on the Orbitz link provided and you will be led to a calendar of departure dates and their corresponding rates, including the $235 price.

At the time this post was published, a minimum 4-day, 3-night stay was required for the $235 fare. Though as you can expect, seats are going fast. Don’t sit on this deal for long.

Photo: Commons/Wikipedia

Four_seasons_maui_offers_lowest_ratesThe Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is cutting room rates to their lowest prices in four years—offering visitors the opportunity to indulge in island luxury despite the economy. 

The rate for standard mountainside rooms at the AAA five-diamond and Mobil five-star resort now start at $395 per night.

That price is valid for stays between May 4 to June 26, and Aug. 23 to Nov. 19. The price climbs to $445 from June 27 to Aug. 22—the peak of summer travel season.

The rate includes a large number of complimentary amenities: outrigger canoe classes and scuba clinics in the waters off Wailea Beach, shuttle and car service throughout Wailea, poolside cabanas and full access to fitness center and beachside fitness classes.

Traveling with children? The Four Seasons is luring vacationing families with kid-centered premiums such as a free full-day children’s program and a game room with ping-pong and pool tables, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 gaming systems. Children under five also eat free at Four Seasons restaurants DUO and Ferraro’s Bar e Risorante.

For a complete list of complimentary services and amenities, click here.

The resort is also offering an additional night free for a minimum four-night stay in garden-view rooms and all above room classes. Click here for room availability. Or, for more information, call (808) 874-8000.

Photo: The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

chai_dealWe had such a great response to our article on Thai-Hawaii chef Chai Chaowasaree in the May/June issue of HAWAII Magazine that we thought we’d pass along this little food tip to anyone who is going to be on Oahu in the next few months.

We timed our article with the release of Chai’s The Island Bistro Cookbook, by which we were much impressed.  (We were right by the way:  The book, filled with 90 signature recipes and stunning photography by Honolulu photographer Rae Huo, just won the Hawaii Book Publisher’s Ka Palapala Pookela Award for cookbooks.)

Here’s the good deal.  To celebrate the success of the book, Chai’s Island Bistro in Aloha Tower is offering a five-course meal for only $55 a person, all recipes from the book, full of vibrant Hawaii-style flavors.

It gets better: Every party of two or more that orders the meal receives a free copy of The Island Bistro Cookbook—which is selling briskly at $32.50.  Want to see the full menu?

Chef Chai’s Signature Combination Appetizer Platter
Kataifi & Macadamia Nut-Crusted Jumbo Black Tiger Prawns, Alaskan King Crab Cake and Fresh Ahi Katsu

Fresh Aloun Farms Ewa Sweet Corn Chowder

With Purple Okinawan Sweet Potato

Smoked Duck Breast Carpaccio Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette

Tear Drop Tomatoes, Lotus Root Chips and Candied Walnuts

Deconstructed Sterling Silver Beef Tenderloin Wellington

Mushroom Foie Gras Puff, Baby Vegetables, Fire-Roasted Chestnut and Taro Stuffing

Creme Brulee Sampler

Thai Tea, Kona Coffee and Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream

Reading this made us so hungry we’re going to go ourselves, and we already have copies of the book. We're going on a night when Chai's Island Bistro has great Hawaiian music.


merriman_kapalua“It was a location we couldn’t pass up,” says Hawaii chef and restaurateur Peter Merriman of the new Kapalua Merriman’s.

The location is the Bay Club of the old Kapalua Bay Hotel, now gone, making way for the Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences, still under construction.  

It was always a perfect restaurant location, out on the point of Maui's Kapalua Bay, surrounded by palm trees, tiki torches and ocean on three sides. You can sit in the open air dining room or (on a day when Kapalua is less windy than usual) outside by the ocean.

Merriman is well known for his Big Island Merriman’s in the ranching town of Waimea, and for his insistence on eating local.  

merriman_kapaluaTry the beet salad.  Don’t like beets? These are grown less than a mile from the restaurant on an organic farm, topped with Surfing Goat Dairy goat cheese, from the slopes of Haleakala. They will change your mind.

Look for Maui-grown beef and lamb, mahimahi caught only by trolling, and butter-poached Big Island lobster.

For more on Merriman (right) and his insights into Island cuisine, see HAWAII Magazine’s annual Food and Drink issue, out in July.  (Haven’t gotten around to subscribing yet? Click here and don’t miss this delicious issue.)

ritz_mauiWhen the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua opened in 1991, it was the last of the cookie-cutter Ritz-Carltons, very New England-looking in the middle of some of Maui’s most beautiful real estate, the 23,000-acre Kapalua Resort.

When the hotel shut down for a $160-million renovation last year, its full-time Hawaiian cultural expert, Clifford Naeole, asked that all new decorative items pass through him to make sure they were authentically Hawaiian.  “Watch what you wish for,” he says.  “They let me, and it was months of work.”

We finally got a chance to experience the property firsthand.  Although we were working, we’ve decided that from now on we’d prefer to work in a Ritz-Carlton club lounge, with a friendly concierge and an endless supply of made-to-order cappuccinos and Ritz-Carlton chocolate chip cookies.

But really, our favorite part was walking through the property with Naeole (below), who is rightfully proud that all the details are now culturally relevant.  He pointed out that the wood carvings in the lobby are now the insignia of the great Maui chief, Pi‘ilani, for whom the main highway through West Maui is named.
As we passed by the new lobby sushi bar, Naeole noted that the proposed artwork was of canoes that weren’t remotely Hawaiian.  “What are you guys trying to do to me?” said Naeole, who made sure that the décor is now a mural of legendary Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Hokulea.

The artwork is now all Hawaiian, the lobby is filled with true Hawaiian artifacts, and our favorite detail is the small umeke (wooden or gourd bowls) that are dotted around the property, including the entrance to every room in the spa.  Reach in and you get a Hawaiian value to live for the day.

“Of course, all that pales compared to this,” said Naeole as we walked outside and looked down the long sweeping lawn, across the undisturbed ancient burial site, to the pristine blue waters of Kapalua Bay.  “This is my favorite view in the Islands,” he said.


Maui_Onion_Festival_2009It’s not August yet, but the Maui-onion madness is here.

The annual Maui Onion Festival at Whalers Village happens tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. The all-day festival includes chef demonstrations, games and prizes, a beer garden, live entertainment and a raw Maui onion eating contest. We know what you’re thinking: Raw onions? But Maui’s onions aren’t like their counterparts—the Valley Isle’s world-famous bulbs are famously sweet and non-pungent.

If you’re not up to the challenge of eating these onions raw, there are booths serving crispy, fried Maui onion rings—a definite must-try. Last year, more than 1,000 pounds of Maui Kula onions were made into rings.

Maui_Onion_Festival_2009The Maui Onion Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary, is starting a new tradition. Organizers have has changed its annual August date to the first Saturday in May.

For the complete festival schedule, click here. Attendees who spend $150 or more will receive a free Maui Onion canvas bag this year.

Can’t attend the Maui Onion Festival? Don’t cry—there’s always the option of ordering your own supply of Maui onions.

For more Hawaii updates, read “What’s New” in our May/June 2009 issue.

Photos courtesy of the Maui Onion Festival

Page: <<Previous 1 2 3