Here are some happenings around town and New York City:
— Restaurant Kenichi: Located in the former Kay’s LC at 684 Kilauea St., Michael Kenichi Inouye opened this restaurant around Labor Day. He says he has been blessed with customers flocking to try out his new restaurant. Michael got his culinary experience at Side Street Inn in Honolulu, which is owned by his relative, Colin Nishida. The Japanese ramen is his signature dish.
There is a meeting/banquet room in the back for 20-60 people, with buffet selections.
— Mauka Makai.Me: Opened in the former Kentucky Fried Chicken in Pahoa is Mauka Makai.Me. It shares the spot with Aloha Lehua Café, which recently won People’s Choice and Best Overall Pupu in the Puna Culinary Festival’s PupuPalooza cooking contest.
When you walk in to order, the menu on the left side is Aloha Lehua Café’s, with its award-winning Hawaiian Nachos, and on the right is the Mauka Makai.Me menu.
Owner Thomas Aiu has more than 30 years of culinary experiences, working in restaurants on the Big Island, Las Vegas and Oregon.
Classes are also being held there as part of Hawaii Youth Business Center from 3-5 p.m. for high school students ages 15 to 18 years old from schools on the east side of island interested in the field of culinary arts to learn basic skills, sanitation, presentation and the combination of flavors.
An interesting lunch item that caught my eye is Da 3 C’s juicy pan roasted chicken tossed in a honey curry, cashew and celery dressing finished with thinly shaved cucumber and chopped lettuce. Thomas says this recipe was given to him by a good friend Becky, who he worked with at a restaurant called The Sage in McMinnville, Ore.
For dinner, Da Puna sounds interesting: “Chef’s farm fresh selected beautiful vegetables that goes with our spaghetti or fettuccine for a wonderful primavera in our Chardonnay cream sauce, fresh chopped herbs topped at the last minute with hand grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, the undisputed king of cheese! (You can omit the cream and cheese if you like!).”
The restauratn is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Call 936-9164 for reservations of more than six people.
— Oldest Deli in New York City: CBS Radio says Katz’s Delicatessen has “the best pastrami in the world.” Gourmet Magazine said Katz’s had “the best hot dog in New York,” and New York Magazine said Katz’s is “New York’s Grandest Deli.”
Six of us, Lorna and Albert, Christine and Bob, and Jim and I, just by luck, sat at the table where the movie “When Harry Met Sally” filmed their famous scene, so we got photographed by a lot by the tourists eating there.
As we entered, a huge guy who could easily be a bouncer in a night club, handed us each a ticket and told us not to lose it, even if you don’t buy anything because you will not be able to leave the restaurant without it. A lost ticket is an automatic $30 to exit! He was not one you argue with as we held on to our ticket with dear life! There were many lines along the one side of the prep station, and he told us to find the shortest line. We all obediently went as we were told, ordered our food and got drinks from another line. The pastrami, corned beef, and turkey are all hand cut. They all worked quickly to get our orders completed, and each slice was cut exactly the same size, about one-fourth inches. Huge whole pickles were given with each order. We then sat on Harry and Sally’s table and ate, very tightly squeezed in with other patrons. After our meal, as we were about to leave, there was a momentary panic as Lorna thought she lost her ticket! Thankfully she found it eventually. It is interesting to try it at least once just for the experience.
Their corned beef is cured for 30 days, without any injections, chemicals, water or other chemicals. Most corned beef we buy at the market is chemically injected and is cured in 36 hours.
Katz’s Delicatessen opened in 1888 on Ludlow Street by the Iceland Brothers. In 1903, Willy Katz bought in and it was renamed Iceland & Katz. Cousin Benny Katz joined Willy in 1910 and they both out the business from the Iceland Brothers. With the construction of the subway, they build their restaurant on an empty lot on Houston. Three sons of the owners served in World War II and this started their tradition of “Send a Salami to Your Boy In the Army.” Katz’s Deli still sends a care package to those serving in the military.
With the theater on 2nd Avenue, actors and comedians frequented the restaurant and helped to make it a very popular spot.
Hawaii Community College’s Culinary Program has great specials this week. Call 934-2559 to find out what they are.
Please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.