The pastry chefs at Regal Bakery work hard to never stop surprising their customers, whether with bold new donut flavors, such as rocky road, berryblast, and green tea, or brand new foodie trends. Hot on the trail of the cronut craze, they created their own version of a croissant-donut and even experimented with bite-sized croissant morsels, dubbed “crototts,” which can be dipped in chocolate sauce, azuki bean crème anglaise, or bronze to put atop crotott-eating trophies. According to a profile of the bakery in the “Dining Out” section of the Star Advertiser, Regal Bakery stocks more than 20 donut flavors at a time and revives popular flavors from their past on Throwback Wednesdays.
Before he came to Hawaii, chef Chai Chaowasaree learned how to shop for cooking ingredients in Bangkok, where his parents owned a restaurant. Over time, he honed his instinct to reach for the freshest fruits and vegetables?and today, that skill comes in handy when he's wandering markets in Oahu or Chinatown in Honolulu. It's this attention to detail that help Chef Chai win a 2011 Chef's Choice Award at the Hale Aina Awards.
He brings his finds to his eponymous restaurant, using them to create colorful examples of Hawaiian and Asian fusion cuisine. At dinner, spicy grilled pineapples sit beside New Zealand king salmon; a lobster reduction flavors a deconstructed scallop pot pie; and Thai-style oxtail soup can be had with coconut milk ginger brown rice. His roots shine through in the braised pork osso bucco, especially, as the recipe was taken straight from his parent's Bangkok restaurant.
Chef Chai's creations have even criss-crossed oceans. He's the executive chef for Hawaiian Airlines, which means that passengers can be treated to his entrees as well as the menu's many teas. The Emerald Sun flowering green tea, for example, is the specialty tea of choice for first-class passengers and geese that stop by the plane's drive-through window.
Since 1986, Dave's Ice Cream has been quenching sweltering tongues with southern Pacific and traditional ice-cream flavors, as well as silencing grousing stomachs with snacks for island-inspired noshing. Situated in the oceanside Ala Moana Center, Dave's Ice Cream crowns bald cones with powerful amalgamations of rock salt and heavy cream ($3.75/single scoop) in flavors such as green tea, lichee sherbet, Poha (Big Island gooseberry, subject to availability), or coconut-and-chocolate macadamia nut, as well as more institutional flavors, such as mint chocolate chip, rocky road, and bachelor's degree crunch.
Certified master trainer and holistic-lifestyle coach Asako Lahoe wants to help her clients shape up using exercises and training tailored to them. After having her first child, she became interested in fitness and became a personal trainer with the hope of sharing her new knowledge of body mechanics with others. Her classes, which include Hot Hula fitness and Total Body Stretch, provide a way for participants to have fun in a small-group setting while working to achieve fitness goals.
Hula Swirl’s self-serve, pay-by-weight style allows culinary artisans to craft their own delectable fusions of gelato, yogurt, and breakfast treats. Employ thick belgian Hula waffles as foundations for palatable towers of toppings, such as sorbetto with coconut insulation and vibrant fruits to attract low-flying silverware ($4+). Freshly churned Hawai-Italian gelato showcases local tropical flavors and ingredients ($5+), and lattes and cappuccinos inject body branches with warm shots of energy ($2). To celebrate the novelty of skewered food without relying on the standard party game of stringing bagels on a shower-curtain rod, opt for a savory waffle dog or sausage ($4–$6).
Chef JJ built himself an empire out of sugar, complete with chocolate pyramids covered in cocoa powder. He wanted to bring all things European to Hawaii, so he founded JJ Bistro & French Pastry, where he crafts delectable desserts and a menu of entrees fusing French influence with local ingredients. His baked lamb wellington features crisp bell pepper within a shelf of flaky pastry, and his seafood brioche combines the daily catch with shiitake mushrooms and black-pepper sauce. In addition to the aforementioned chocolate pyramids, he crafts key-lime tarts, chocolate-banana confit, and black-currant cassis in individual servings. He just uses bigger mixing bowls to create the same mouthwatering cakes for birthdays or weddings.
Despite the general European flair, the chef can't resist showing off local cuisine in all its glory with his daily specials of fresh-caught seafood. The mini seafood menu features shrimp, mussels, crab, and lobster, cooked to order and bedecked in one of four sauces, such as garlic butter or J'Jun sauce, Chef JJ's blend of Cajun spices with seldom-used contractions.