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April 2007

Holoholo……….

Gooood news! Our Man Peter Buza (owner/chef/cook/waiter/ “whatever needs doing guy” for the Kauai Family Restaurant) is back in Seattle to stay! Peter had been offered a chance to be a part of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas and went down there to get a hands on feel for life in the City that never sleeps. Auwe, da Man liked the hustle and bustle and the everyday sunshine there but he missed da Seattle Rain (can you believe dat? Nah…not true). But he did miss having his own little restaurant here in Seattle and all his loyal customers and decided Vegas was not his thing….soooo he is now back in the Kauai Family Restaurant kitchen, doing what he loves best, cooking da most ono Hawaiian kine food in the Seattle area. Also: Peter is experimenting with longer, later hours for the restaurant (new hours are from 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, still closed on Sundays/Mondays; previous closing time had been 3:30 p.m. ). Per server Lani Barrera (Makiki gal, Hawaiian Mission Academy ’94), lots of folks showed up for early dinner the first few weeks they stayed open until 7:30 p.m. You all go visit the Kauai Family Restaurant, have some great food and say “welcome back” to Peter. Ahoi Simeona (KS ’46) and I went there for lunch, had a great meal and ran into Harry and Irene Delizo (Harry is a Waipahu HS ’52 guy)………..

I have decided that “being nice” must be a pre-requisite for becoming a restaurant owner (Yuji and Angie Okumoto of “Kona Kitchen”; Peter Buza of K.F.R.; the Lagmays of “Lei’s” in Duvall, Bobby & Diane Nakihei of “Bobby’s” in Everett; Kawika Kahoilua of Portland’s “Bamboo Grill”, Lynn and Willama Aven of Ohana Koffee Korner, KenTran of “Ginger Palace”, et al are really nice folks)! Kathy and I went to Portland for a few days and on the way down, we stopped at Patrick Chang’s Hawaiian Café in Vancouver, WA for lunch and owner Patrick Chang (Aina Haina/Kalani HS guy) is another one of those “really nice” folks! His restaurant is immaculate and attractive and his food is ono (his Kalbi is second to none). Patrick says that business is good and “northern Hawaiians” (those of us from the Seattle/Tacoma area) do drop in every now and then. Most recently, Pekelo (Peter Palisbo) stopped by a couple of nights and entertained the dinner crowd with his awesome ukulele artistry. Hawaiian Café has live Hawaiian music Friday/Saturday/Sunday evenings (6-9 p.m.). Kathy and I dropped in on a Saturday evening to eat and listen to the mellow voice/smooth ukulele style of Russ Oana (Kamehameha ‘57) doing traditional Hawaiian music for the packed house! By the way, Patrick Chang has a deal for all you Kupunas (60+): go there with a friend or your significant other between 5-9 p.m. any Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, buy one meal and get a second one FREE! Wish I lived closer ‘cause I would sure take advantage of that…and mahalo to our server Lindsay Walker, who was so gracious and helpful……..

If you are in Gresham, OR (suburb of Portland ) stop in at the “Pig ‘N Pancake” place at 2110 Glisan for a fabulous breakfast. Bernadette “Bernie” Lum and her husband Feimun Lum own the place and I stopped by because Kona Kitchen’s Liz Mar had recommended it (plus our daughter Shannon’s home is just a few blocks away). Liz and Bernie are best friends who were born and grew up together on the island of Fiji! Bernie apologized to me for not having “Portuguese sausage” on the menu but the food was still excellent (and lots)…..

I heard about “LeoAloha”, a new music group playing around town so decided to go hear them at the Pac Island Grill in the SeaTac Mall complex in Federal Way, WA. Nona Alo, the lead wahine singer for the group has long been one of my favorite singers with her deep, velvety voice somewhat reminiscent of legendary singer Haunani Kahalewai’sGreg Taufa`asau (singer/guitarist) is leader of the gang while Maui guy Stan Medeiros (uke/guitar), and sister-brother duo Anelalani (singer/uke) and Nakaniela (bass)Tandal round out the group. “LeoAloha” has a real nice, soft, mellow, easy to listen to sound! Go see them if you get a chance. I see lots of Hawaiian and Tahitian dances but not a lot of Samoan dances so it was a bonus to watch Greg’s daughter Kalani Taufa`asau do one (auwe, she was so graceful) Another plus was catching Ray Bariquit (Farrington ’49) playing the guitar and ukulele (da guy one old guy like me but he can really strum that uke/guitar!). Ray is father of Leianna Landon and Raeleen Smith who with their husbands David Landon and Jim Smith are co-owners of the Pac Island Grill…they have live Hawaiian music every Friday evening…fun place so stop by and enjoy!

Get involved : The Lokahi Ohana Ho`olauleas have the biggest and most popular local (Pacific NW area) Hawaiian community events every year and their Spring 2007 Ho`olaule`a is Saturday April 7, 2007 at the Chief Leschi School complex, 5625 52nd Street East, Puyallup, WA 98371! Ekomo mai…come enjoy a day (11 a.m.-9 p.m.) full of the best Polynesian music, dances, vendors and food in the Pacific NW…Congrats to Deva Yamashiro and her Kaleinani O KeKukui/ Ke Kukui Foundation gang for a very successful, sold out Cultural Luau in Vancouver, WA on March 10, 2007………

"Hauoli la Hanau" to Ange and Yuji Okumoto, owners of the Kona Kitchen restaurant, Seattle area hangout for Hawaiians, on arrival of Emi Noelani Okumoto who arrived on 21 March 2007 at 19 inches long and 7 pounds 5 ounces! Mom and Emi are doing well!!!

Gotta hele on…..until next time, a hui hou e malama pono………Danny

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