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Ilima Awards 2019

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GEORGE F. LEE / AUG. 31
                                Snapper is accompanied with prawns at Merriman’s Honolulu.
Rave Reviews: Elizabeth Kieszkowski

Trust Merriman’s to serve the freshest seafood and singular “dirt-grown” vegetables and salads, favoring local flavors and classic preparations. Read more

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2018
                                At Akira, the chef’s choice menu option includes 15 pieces of sushi.
Rave Reviews: Nadine Kam

Out of Taiki Kawai’s small kitchen comes some of the most refined Japanese fare available in Hawaii to date, geared toward lovers of the traditional. Read more

STAR-ADVERTISER / SEPT. 19
                                Grilled octopus with a fingerling potato salad, top, and a smoked beet salad are highlights of the menu at Fete.
Rave Reviews: E. Clarke Reilly

The dining room at Fete has a warm, convivial atmosphere, with some chef’s counter seating where you can watch the magic happen in the kitchen. Read more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / 2016
                                Cured fish is stored in a wooden box at Sushi Sho.
Rave Reviews: Lesa Griffith

Embedded within the Ritz-Carlton (you have to walk through another restaurant to get to it) is Honolulu’s one truly transformative dining experience. Read more

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / FEB. 27
                                A generous portion of panko-crusted opakapaka is a favorite of regular customers at Max & Lucy’s, known for hefty plate lunches served out of the small coffee shop in Kakaako.
Grab & Go: Max & Lucy’s, Tin Hut BBQ

Max & Lucy’s has no parking whatsoever and is open only on weekdays for breakfast and lunch, but the small coffee shop on a Kakaako side street has made it for eight years. Read more

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / AUG. 8
                                Roasted Maine scallops are served with cauliflower, grapefruit and oranges at La Vie.
New In Town: Hamada General Store, La Vie, Kikue, Quiora

The selection of restaurants for the ‘Ilima guide begins in early summer and there are always worthwhile restaurants that open long after those discussions end. Here are a handful that opened after deadline, but deserve a place among the top restaurants of the year. Read more

JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Diners enjoy the bar and outdoor area at Mud Hen Water restaurant in Kaimuki on Sept. 3.
Rave Reviews: Joleen Oshiro

Food can be a most delicious way to explore history and culture, and one restaurant that does this exceedingly well is Mud Hen Water. Read more


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