The trio behind the Hukilau had one thing in mind when they opened their first restaurant in the Bay Area in April 2001 - they wanted to bring aloha closer to Hawaiians in the mainland.  Within months of its establishment, Hukilau SF catapulted to great heights in its tier of island-themed restaurants, quickly building a loyal following of kama'aina and kama'aina-at-heart.

"We started the Hukilau as three guys from Hawai'i who were homesick for the local style food we grew up on - in a relaxed and festive island environment," said Kurt Osaki, one of the principals of Hukilau LLC.  "Our restaurants in the Bay Area feed the stomachs and souls of kama'aina and kama'aina-at-heart, bringing Hawai'i to our customers."

Early this year, Hukilau Honolulu opened at the Executive Centre - serving the same palatable dishes with a twist of athletic dining atmosphere.  Hukilau Honolulu celebrates the accomplishments of Hawai'i's world-class athletes by featuring Hawai'i sports memorabilia and a sports theme throughout the establishment. ESPN 1420 broadcasts its live shows from the restaurant.

"Our bar and grill in Executive Centre serves local food, but in a setting that highlights Hawai'i athletes, their stories and successes," Osaki said.

Hukilau Honolulu has brought on board two of the finest figures in the Hawaii food industry - General Manager Keenan Silva and Executive Chef Jason Takemura.

Hukilau combines its unique dining flair and accommodating milieu with a sense of charitable giving.  Within months of Hukilau Honolulu's foundation, its management and staff have already participated in a few community-veered events.  One of these being "Dine Out, Devour Hunger" where restaurant and staff have donated a percentage of their earnings for that specific day to a charitable cause.

"Giving back to the community creates the most rewarding results," said general manager Keenan Silva.  "We are the community as a whole, and all is in balance when the other is supportive."

Silva encourages his staff to be socially active, instilling in them the value of being Hawaiian.

"Aloha means so many things," he said.  "We encourge our staff to find what it means to them, and reciprocate it using the Hukilau, towards the community."

Chef Takemura was executive chef of Chai's Island Bistro from July 2003 through the end of 2006. He was previously in the kitchens of several California restaurants, including Roy's, San Luis Obispo's Seven Hands on Higuera, Monterey's Montrio Bistro and Pebble Beach's Inn at Spanish Bay.

"Incorporating Hawai'i regional cuisine with California cuisine fits right into our philosophy," said Takemura.  "I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of a group who believes in the local community and the aloha spirit."

Hukilau was recognized by Metro Silicon Valley newspaper as the "Best Spot for Poke, Saimin and Spam Musubi" in 2003 and "Best Place to Blow Your Cholesterol Rating" in 2004, and has been covered by the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and the Palo Alto Weekly.

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