According to psychologists, the color red makes people hungry. So it's no wonder that Rakuen Lounge’s combination of vibrant, crimson tabletops and artistically plated sushi consistently incites stomach rumbles. Here, the chefs design their quirky specialty rolls with organic ingredients and a knowing wink: their caterpillar roll arrives adorned with jewel-toned red eyes and micro greens doubling as antennae, creating a presentation that was oohed and ahhed over by Non Stop Honolulu’s Tracy Chan. Bartenders congregate in the center of the dining room at a square-shaped bar where they shake up signature martinis with sake and yuzu, fresh fruit juices, and other seasonal ingredients procured from local vendors rather than intergalactic grocery store chains.
Glenn Chu’s earliest memories of cooking are of watching his Chinese grandmother pluck veggies from her garden in Manoa, fire up a wood-burning stove, and stir-fry the pickings in an oversized wok. While studying and working on the mainland, he learned Western cooking methods, honing his skills to a level that earned one of his recipes publication in Bon Appétit. He draws together this experience to influence his work as Executive Chef of INDIGO, where the blend of Asian, French, and Mediterranean styles is evident in the goat cheese won ton appetizer, the wasabi soy and sun-dried tomatoes on ahi steak, and the sautéed eggplant and pineapple chutney on spicy shrimp. The dining room presents accents of crimson red and high ceilings, while outdoor spaces welcome vacationing demigods.
The glow of flat-screen TVs and projectors dances in blues and whites off leather furnishings and acres of hardwood and brushed aluminum. At Nocturna Lounge, sharply dressed guests gain confidence as they belt karaoke classics and headbang over faux drum kits during games of Rock Band. The sprawling karaoke list includes time-tested numbers such as "You’ve Lost that Lovin' Feelin'," new songs from artists including Cee Lo Green, and obscure numbers from films including Team America: World Police. The melodies drift through an open lounge and four private suites, which shelter visitors during songs or rounds of Xbox games such as Call of Duty and Street Fighter, in which martial artists battle evil cobblestones. Customers even vie for prizes against members of Team Nocturna. In between each bout, barkeepers decant imported beers and specialty cocktails behind the icy silhouettes of a forest of bottles.
When the sun descends past the horizon of Kualoa Ranch, participants will strap on their headlamps and embark on a 5K run under a nearly full moon. The race trail follows the scenic, coastal terrain, and all participants receive an event T-shirt and headlamp. Post-race, runners can enjoy live music from a DJ and food and drinks from select vendors.
Scream Team creates new nightmares by bringing already existing ones to life, drawing upon horror staples such as demonic clowns and decaying zombies for their fully immersive haunted houses. In 2011, a rogue’s gallery of cinematic madmen—from Michael Myers to Freddy Krueger to Nick Nolte—brought hypothermia to the spines of patrons tiptoeing through Hollywood Horror, which ran alongside the blood-spattered carnival of Twisted Fun House. Their houses stay open through the end of October and then, like an office of candy-corn salesmen, vanish after Halloween.
Hawaiian Brian's owners aim to revivify the local-music scene two shows at a time. The titular location includes two venues melded together by a common musical vibe, drink menu, and kitchen producing delightful eats. The first stage, known as Crossroads, looks over a space of arcade games and tables for pool, ping-pong, and air hockey. Visitors can entertain themselves while musicians pluck strings, bang on drums, or futilely attempt to unlock doors with their misunderstood keyboards. The second venue, The Studio, features a more intimate lounge-like atmosphere with fewer seats, less distractions, and more focus upon the performances.