Monday, February 4, 2013

New Eatery Options in and around Ko Olina

Ko Olina and the city of Kapolei continue to fill in, providing our guests with exciting new eating and dining options in all price ranges. Kapolei, Oahu's second city (Honolulu being the first) is conveniently located just one exit down or about five minutes away from the villas.

In our back yard: Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman opened in the Ko Olina resort in December 2012 bringing 36 craft brews on tap served at 29 degrees, kiawe wood oven pizza, and live music twice a day. They have high quality food at prices that are much more reasonable than you would find at the resort hotels. Happy Hour is from 3-5:30 every day. Call (808) 380-4086 for reservations, or to ask about their outdoor seating and daily live music.


Monkeypod Kitchen is located behind the Disney Aulani Resort at the Ko Olina Station. Directions, exit our property Mauka (towards the mountain), hang a left on the main (only) road in Ko Olina. Drive past the golf course on the right, at the next four way stop, hang a right. You will see the Aulani on the left and the Ko Olina Station shopping center on the right. (If you go too far, just turn around at the guard shack and head back.)

Groceries and Sundries: Walmart has opened at the corner of Farrington Highway and Makakilo Drive in Kapolei. This is in addition to the Target at Kapolei Commons and the Costco across the street, located at the intersection of Kapolei Parkway and Kalaeloa Boulevard.

Also located in Kapolei Commons is Down to Earth, Hawaii’s all vegetarian Organic & Natural food store chain. They are on the right side of the parking lot, closest to the street. Personally, I enjoy meat and fish but they are a good stop for locally grown produce.

Kapolei Village Center has recently opened a Foodland, Hawai‘i’s only locally owned supermarket. The Kapolei store includes the high-end gourmet store R. Field Wine Company. They have a very nice wine selection.

Pick up some fresh fish or some USDA Prime Steaks and grill out by the beach bar overlooking lagoon two. Cocktails, great weather, the beach, grilling out, ah paradise!

Casual Dining: Ruby Tuesday is expected to open in spring 2013 at Kapolei Commons. This is in addition to the Outback Steak House in Kapolei.

Fast (Good) Food Kua Aina is getting ready to open in Kapolei Commons. Read about Kua Aina in my Haleiwa blog. This sandwich/burger operation is very popular with both locals and visitors. It will be opening next to Vitamin Shoppe, across the parking lot from Target. RamenYa has also signed a lease in Kapolei Commons. Both eateries should be open by the end of March, if not sooner.

Aloha Salads is open and serves delicious and very good healthy and tasty meals. They service a nice assortment of salads, sandwiches and soups. Some salads come topped with grilled Ahi Tuna, Shrimp or Chicken. They source their vegetables from local farmers so their produce is fresher and better tasting. Located in front of Target, on the right side, Target's entrance is on the left side.

The Brothers Cazimero Spring Concert

Your in luck! If you're visiting us in March, the Brothers Cazimero will be hosting their annual Spring Concert on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 7:30 PM in my favorite theater, the Hawaii Theater, located in down town Honolulu.

Robert & Roland Cazimero
Join Robert, Roland; along with the Ladies of the Royal Dance Company, Halau Na Kamalei, and special guests at the historic Hawaii Theatre as they pay tribute to the islands they love... the way that only the brothers can.

The musical talent, incredible showmanship and infectious humor of The Brothers Cazimero have bridged cultural gaps that naturally exist with ethnic music and dance. The aloha spirit that remains an integral part of their entertaining, whether live, on records or TV, is spreading throughout the global village and with it, a better world is possible.

Photos of the beautifully restored theater in this previous blog post.

This show is not to be missed and with our Hawaii Theater membership, we are able to provide our guests a $10.00 discount per ticket if purchased before February 9th, 2013.


Aloha!


So come enjoy the Brothers Cazimero and we'll see you at the Hawaii Theatre, it would be our pleasure!

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations



Monday, October 29, 2012

Not to be missed Hawaiian Christmas concert


I've grown up listening to the Brothers Cazimero and have had the good fortune to meet them at various Island venues throughout the Islands and they are always gracious and full of Aloha.

Tickets for the Brothers Cazimero Christmas concert December 7-9, 2012 are now on sale and you should click right now before tickets run out. Join Robert, Roland, and ʻAla; along with the Ladies of the Royal Dance Company, Halau Na Kamalei, and the Miss and Master Keiki Hula from the 2012 Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Festival at the Hawaii Theater.

If you had to pick between a commercial luau or an authentic Island experience, I highly recommend going and hanging out with the Brothers Cazimero and friends for a few hours. You'll feel the Aloha of our Islands and you'll be singing along to your favorite Christmas holiday tunes in no time!

Proclaimed as the "Pride of the Pacific", the beautiful Hawaii Theatre has been entertaining Hawaii's audiences for more than 90 years. From vaudevilles and plays to silent films, musicals, ballets and concerts, the theatre's popularity has grown and continues to charm eager showers and curious audiences alike. We invite you to take a step back in time and experience the best of both worlds in today's beautifully restored multi-purpose arts center.

The front entrance to the Hawaii Theatre

The beautifully restored interior

The stage, soon to be filled with Hula Dancers and the Brothers Cazimero

So come enjoy the Brothers Cazimero and we'll see you at the Hawaii Theatre, it would be our pleasure!

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations



Friday, May 25, 2012

Sammy Hagar shares his Mai Tai Recipe

 

Enjoy Sammy Hagar's new Beach Bar Rum which is being distilled on Maui in partnership with Sammy Hagar and Haliimaile Distilling Company. (Love Bev Gannon's food at Haliimaile but you'll have to take a trip over to upcountry Maui.)

Instead of a trip to Maui, run over to the resort's Island Country Market in the Ko Olina Station and pick up a bottle of Sammy Hagar's Beach Bar Rum made from Hawaii-grown sugar cane. Just walk or drive over and you'll be making Sammy's cocktail in no time!

Your villa comes with a cocktail blender, glasses and a Sub Zero Fridge with an Ice Maker. The perfect ingredients to start the perfect Mai Tai. Feel those tropical breezes? How about a breathtaking sunset? It's just another beautiful day in paradise.

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Ingredients: 1½ oz. Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, ½ oz. orange curacao, ¾ oz. lychee* juice/syrup, and 1 oz. fresh sour.

Directions: Pour ingredients over ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake, then strain into a rocks glass, drizzle dark rum into the cocktail, garnish and serve.

According to a press release, “Unlike other premium rums, which follow a standard one-year maturation period for the cane, (cane used in) Sammy's Beach Bar Rum matures for a full two years, giving the sugar from the cane its intense character.”

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Sammy Hagar was the lead singer in Van Halen and he is a part time Maui resident. The rum business came about by accident after he met Mark Nigbur, a Maui local who makes vodka out of pineapples. Nigbur, looks like Hagar which is an interesting coincidence.

"He was in the middle of a sugar cane field, so I asked him, 'Why don't you make rum?,'" Hagar recalled. "He said, 'Dude, you want me to make you some rum?' Two weeks later he comes over with this barrel and, I'm telling you, it was the greatest thing I've ever tasted in my life."

Monin Flavored Syrup
*Lychee is a chinese fruit that is available at farmers markets around Oahu and in Chinatown. You can also check on-line at amazon. Buy the 1883 Lychee Syrup from France or Monin Flavored Syrup. Ship it to your villa and we'll have it waiting for you upon arrival.







So come enjoy your cocktail with us in paradise, it would be our pleasure!

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations

Monday, April 30, 2012

Disney Aulani Resort dining options

Since the Disney Aulani Resort opened at the end of August, the world wide press has been beating down their door. We appreciate the attention, as were enjoying the spill over notice at our property next door, the Beach Villa Resort at Ko Olina.

The Disney Aulani Resort in Ko Olina provides our guests with some additional dining options, just a short stroll away. Our two resorts are connected via a wide manicured promenade that fronts our beach. Click here for online reservations for Ama Ama and Makahiki or call 674-6200


Have a cocktail before dinner

Ama Ama (the Hawaiian word for small mullet) is the resorts fine dining option. The restaurant is right on the water and it's the first place you'll see, when walking over from the Beach Villas.

Dining - 'AMA 'AMA
Ama Ama Beachfront Location

Ama Ama is open for breakfast 7-11 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and dinner 5:30-10 p.m. with each service having it's own distinct breakfast menu, lunch menu & dinner menu.

Within Ama Ama there are three seating areas, the first representing 1890's Hawaii, the next 1940's Hawaii, and the last, present day Hawaii.

Breakfast, order dishes that have Fried Rice and/or Portuguese sausage in them. Yum Yum!

Lunch, have the local plate lunch, your in luck if it's a day when they're serving the Hawaiian lunch with lomi lomi salmon, chicken long rice, poke, kalua pig, fresh catch of the day, pulehu (the Hawaiian word for "broil over a fire") meat and furikake (a Japanese mixture of dried bonito flakes and seaweed) which is sprinkled over rice. The other local plate lunches are typically good as well.

Appetizers start at around $10, entrees range from $12-30, and desserts and cocktails are $10. There's a separate keiki menu where you choose an entree and either an appetizer or a dessert.

During the dinner hour, enjoy excellent live hapa haole and jazz music to get you in a Hawaiian state of mind. To further the mood, order the Aulani Wave, made with coconut rum, a mango-and-passion-fruit liqueur, and pineapple juice.  Perfect!  Dinner entrees such as the fresh catch of the day or a grilled steak range from $30.00 - $60.00. The Kahuku Corn Chowder is a favorite as a starter.

Expect to spend on average, around $300.00 for dinner for four. Breakfast and lunch are less.

After dinner, walk over to the fire pit right outside of Ama Ama and enjoy fireside storytelling under the stars. Another perfect day in paradise!

Dining - Makahiki
Entrance to Makahiki

Makahiki (Hawaiian for the New Year and Winter celebration) is the buffet restaurant at Aulani. Breakfast and dinner are served and the last time I checked, the buffet was around $32.00 for the Character Breakfast on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, $27.00 for the non Character Breakfast and $43.00 for Dinner. Make reservations in advance as the restaurant is quite busy on character breakfast days and the weekends.

Makahiki Dining Room, Mural by Solomon Enos

At breakfast, you may have traditional American food such as Mickey waffles, pancakes, bacon and eggs including an omelet station; Japanese food (lots of Japanese visitors) with the traditional Japanese breakfast of miso soup with dried seaweed, pickled vegetables and rice; Chinese food includes dim sum (steamed buns with BBQ pork, shrimp dumplings and pork xiao mai) and congee (Chinese porridge).

The dinner buffet contains items such as sushi, crab legs, shrimp cocktail, raw oysters, fresh seafood, a prime rib carving station, guava BBQ pork ribs, roasted chicken, fried noodles, nishime (Japanese vegetable stew), mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, pasta, tater tots, spring rolls, tempura fried onions and taro, a local staple. (Personally I love taro but it's an acquired taste.) Dessert includes apple cobbler, caramel bread pudding, cookies and mini pastries.

Make sure to eat one of my favorite Hawaiian dishes, Laulau. It is pork and fish, wrapped in taro leaves (similar to spinach). which is then wrapped in tea leaves. It is then cooked along side the Kalua Pig in the underground Imu or steamed. You peel open the tea leaves and it reveals an aromatic and yummy present.

Makahki just introduced an ala Carte menu this month (April 2012) for those who don't feel like having all you can eat. I haven't tried it but quoting from the Disney site:

"The new a la carte dinner menu is a nice combo of tastes, from a classic Caesar salad to pork and vegetable spring rolls and a simple shrimp cocktail for starters. Entrée standouts include amazing island-style barbecue pork ribs, a half-pound Angus bacon cheeseburger, and country fried chicken with mashed potatoes. You still can get a curry bowl with chicken and steamed white rice, or teriyaki-grilled salmon with Japanese noodles, but most of the dinner choices are more mainstream, such as bow-tie pasta with veggies and creamy basil pesto or a rib-eye steak with roasted red potatoes and creamed spinach."

Olelo Room - is Aulani's fun interactive lounge that offers continental breakfast, traditional afternoon tea and a Hawaiian inspired food menu. The cocktail service includes the “Ike Mua” (“Drink of the Day”) among tropical and classic cocktail such as mojitos, margaritas, sangria and Hawaiian beer and wine.

Papalua Shave Ice - In the middle of the pool area at the Aulani Resort. $3.75. Flavors include Green Tea, Guava, Haupia, Lemon Lime, Li-Hing-Mui, Lilikoi, Lychee, Mango, Orange, Root Beer, Vanilla and Watermelon. Your on vacation, don't play it safe! Have up to three flavors, my favorites are Li-Hing-Mui (crack seed), Lilikoi (passion fruit) and Lychee (chinese fruit); also like Haupia (coconut) and Guava, but I'm allergic to Guava's, go figure.

I grew up in Hale'iwa eating Matsumoto's Shave Ice, the "Meca" of Shave Ice. It's interesting that the Aulani Shave Ice Stand is named "Papalua". The street I grew up on is called Papailoa Road, (right next to Police Beach where Lost was filmed). Papalua sure sounds a lot like Papailoa! See my Hale'iwa Shave Ice blog here.

So come enjoy some "Ono" grinds with us in paradise, it would be our pleasure!

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Ko Olina restaurant, opening fall 2012

Monkeypod Kitchen


Monkeypod Kitchen from Wailea on Maui is opening an outpost in the Ko Olina Resort on Oahu this fall. Can't wait to eat here as they picked up the Bronze for BEST NEW RESTAURANT at the 2012 Hale Aina awards. Their made from scratch food includes delicious cream pies, burgers and pizzas. The retaurant will feature an exhibition kitchen, sushi bar and 36 craft beers on tap. Yum Yum!

We can't wait to share this new restaurant with you, it would be our pleasure!

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

 Feb 4th, 2013 latest update. They are now open, see new blog post.

Monkeypod Kitchen is now hiring staff. They will be opening soon!


The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Annual Whale Count, January 26, February 23, and March 30, 2013


On your next visit to Hawaii, do something different and join other conservation minded residents and visitors for the Sanctuary Ocean Count project. This annual whale count gives you the opportunity to view these creatures in their natural habitat and participate in the conservation of humpback whales in a state-wide effort to estimate their population.

The count is held on the last Saturday of January, February, and March (during peak whale season) of each year from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

The sight of a whale breaching must rank among the most magnificent natural spectacles on earth! You can help ensure the survival of these majestic creatures.

Group leaders guide volunteers in a systematic count at selected shorelines and lookout points around the Islands including our very own lagoon four in Ko Olina. Leaders provide the necessary tools and information. Visit the Website for further details on how to participate.

Directions:
From our Beach Villas property on Lagoon Two, stroll along the beach boardwalk to Lagoon Four which is just a few minutes away on foot. Stop off at Kolohe's on Lagoon Three for a delicious refreshment or for some morning coffee on your way too or from. Give yourself about 30 minutes for a leisurely stroll and refreshments. (You can also watch the Whales from your balcony if your villa is on a higher floor and has an ocean view.)


Site 2: Ko `Olina, Lagoon Four
Elevation: 10-40 feet
Comments: Good viewing site.
Bathymetry: The shallow reef here (3 fathoms) includes a complex reef bottom with a mixture of limestone boulders and outcrops, as well as hard bottom and rubble. Further offshore, at approximately 3-10 fathoms, the bottom is consolidated, grooved limestone with sand in the grooves. Ocean bottom is soft with a strip of limestone sand bottom extending about 875 feet parallel to the shoreline.

So come join us at the annual Whale count, it would be our pleasure!

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been here. Click HERE for reservations