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Oka gets to explore entirety of Chef Mavro's menu

By Wayne Harada

LAST UPDATED: 2:24 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Masi Oka, Hiro Nakamura on NBC's "Heroes" and now Dr. Max Bergman on CBS' "Hawaii Five-0," has joined the "GD Club" at Chef Mavro. Oka ordered up the Grand Degustation menu, with wine, which includes everything on the menu (13 items) in small quarter-portions — owner-chef George Mavrothalassitis' Hawaiian-French version of the Japanese kaiseki. Oka proclaimed the experience "great."

"Guests who live far away and can't come often started asking me if they could taste everything on the menu," said Mavro. "Of course, I said, ‘Yes!' and ended up putting it on the menu."

At $165 a pop, it's not for everyone.

A James Beard Award winner, Mavro just picked up the Culinary Excellence Award from the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. He's the first from Hawaii to be so honored.

"It's exciting and challenging to receive this international recognition," said Mavro. "Every morning I arrive in my kitchen with a vision of the perfect dinner. Then we start … and at 6 p.m. we are tested by each guest. This award is one of the golden moments." …

Guy Banal, owner of Pacific Skydiving Center, was a recent diner, and Aussie chef Toby Puttock (connected with Jamie Oliver) was in the house, collecting material for a travel story for Jetstar Airways' in-flight magazine. …

BACK HOME: Singer Jimmy Borges, released from Kaiser hospital Wednesday after having a tumor removed from his liver, said he beat the naysayers. "One doctor only gave me a 5 percent chance to live, and one doctor actually said that I would probably die during the operation," said Borges. "But I wasn't going to buy that; my surgeon, Dr. Ryan Takamori, pulled off a miracle, and I am now cancer free."

Borges withdrew earlier from Roy Sakuma's "Wildest Show in Town" last week at the Honolulu Zoo but communicated with Sakuma via phone during the event. "When Roy put me on speakerphone to the crowd, I said, ‘Aloha, everyone. A miracle happened because of all your prayers and love.' A big rousing cheer went up that brought me to tears. That kind of love is sometimes hard to handle." …

RANDOM NOTES: … The Babooze Brothers — comics Augie T and Frank De Lima — are hitting the road: Friday at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach; Aug. 6 at Portuguese Hall, San Diego; Aug. 12, Cannery Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas; Aug. 19, Clover Park Technical College, Seattle; Sept. 2, Molokai Paddlers Inn, Kaunakakai; Sept. 17, Hana Hotel, Maui; Sept. 23, Lanai Community Gym; Sept. 30, Honokaa People's Theater; and Oct. 30, Akebono Theater, Pahoa, both on Hawaii island. …

PERSONALITIES: After the Carmen HaugenQuartet performed earlier this month for the kupuna at Lunalilo Home, Keith and Carmen Haugen presented Dr. Kuhio Asam, exec director the home, with an out-of-print, 1979 K&C LP called "Chasing Rainbows," which includes the first-ever recording of "Ku‘u Home Lunalilo." Keith learned Joseph "Wiki Bird" Halemanu's tune from resident Peter Kalama Kalani back in the '70s. …

Eddie and Myrna Kamae will mark their 46th wedding anniversary by screening their award-winning documentary, "Listen to the Forest," Wednesday at the Hawaii Conservation Conference at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Kamae performs at 6:30 p.m. and will spend his 84th birthday Thursday at a luncheon to announce winners of the "My Hawaii" essay contest. …

And that's "Show Biz." …

Wayne Harada is a veteran entertainment columnist; reach him at 266-0926 or; read his Show and Tell Hawaii blog at

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