Headed by the much-lauded Chef Philippe Padovani, an originator of the Hawaiian regional cuisine movement, Padovani Grill features sautéed steaks and seafood worthy of mentions in the New York Times and Honolulu magazine. With its leather chairs and recessed ceiling lighting, the posh dining room seats diners in unintimidating luxury, ideal for savoring the decadent menu that's packed with French-style grill fare adapted with signature Hawaiian fruits and flavors. Forks dig into a pan-sautéed weke ($38) sizzled with snow peas and bacon and topped with a rich cilantro-curry sauce. Like the finest meat in the land and Popsicles, the moi fillet ($35) was historically served to royalty, but now the white fish democratically fills any belly with sautéed meat and a summery sauce of sun-dried tomatoes. Gourmet Black Angus steaks and milk-fed veal come enlivened with freshly prepared sauces, such as the green-peppercorn-and-sweet-corn sauce. Local ingredients star in appetizers such as the hearty manila clam chowder ($12), simmering with kahuku sweet corn and Hawaiian seaweed. A decadent dessert menu reveals the chef's gourmet-chocolatier experience.
For more than 35 years, Kobe Steak House's skilled master chefs have fired seafood, meat, and vegetarian fare on tableside griddles—or teppans—right in front of captivated patrons. Pulling from a pantry stocked with tender aged beef, Nova Scotia scallops, cold water lobsters, and garden-fresh vegetables, these teppanyaki artists dazzlingly toss their ingredients and cookery tools into the air as they sear dishes such as teriyaki chicken or Emperor steak. Diners can also dig their chopsticks into sushi selections, including fresh cuts of daily-caught Hawaiian maguro sashimi.
When they're not watching the chefs helm a thrilling knife show, guests can cast their gaze upon the antique décor of a 300-year-old fisherman kimono, emperor dolls, fine porcelain hibachis, and steak-sauce bottles from the Edo period.
Menus and pricing may vary slightly between Chuck's Restaurants's three locations—Ko 'Olina, Waikiki, and Waikiki Beach—but all three meld upscale cuts and catches with a casual atmosphere, obviating the awkward sight of a tuxedo jacket thrown over a Garfield-print aloha shirt. Open lava-rock grills send meaty aromas to gallantly guide diners to the all-you-can-eat salad bar offered with every entree. On any given night, an array of veggies might be escorted by soupy sidekicks such as seafood chowder, french onion, or tomato vegetable. A herd of aged USDA Prime–grade steaks graze with the teriyaki sirloin, which soaks for 48 hours in a house-made marinade before reaching your plate. Chuck's fish-finaglers hook the catch of the day from local waters, presenting a line of island fish such as hebi, opah, or ahi, served grilled or sautéed (market value). Several variations on surf 'n' turf unite feuding sectors of the culinary kingdom by wedding prime rib (starting at $28.75) to lobster tail (market value), and sirloin (starting at $24.50) to scallops ($28.50). Most meals range $20–$40.
Apartment 3 flaunts the chic side of belly-warming comfort cuisine with its menu of appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, and more constructed from as many locally and sustainably sourced ingredients as possible. Share fantasy bocce-ball-team picks while sharing The Yard Sale, a seasonally handpicked myriad of pickled veggies, on-location cured meats, and goat cheese lightly sprinkled with olive oil ($13), or dunk thirsty french fries in a tank of Sriracha ketchup ($7). Meat, vegetable, and white pizzas ($11–$12) sate circular cravings, and the Italian Dog, a mozzarella-dressed meat tube with tomatoes, basil, and balsamic, lubricates the stomach's elaborate system of levers and pulleys ($11).
Capturing intimate moments, fleeting glances and pure emotion is my goal when I pick up my camera. I am laid-back and relaxed by nature, which attributes to my ability to capture images and subjects in "real life" as opposed to unnatural, posed photography.