Decked Out For THe Holidays

Ono, You Know

December 16, 2018

Story By: Ellise Kakazu | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Dining Out editor Ellise Kakazu is pleased to present Chef Chai’s Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Foie Gras Puff, Mashed Potato, Haricot Vert, Baby Carrots and Merlot Demi ($49 a la carte).

One of the many things people can do throughout the holidays is dress up.

Sure, some dress well all year round, but this is the time to get ultra glamorous or even silly and fun (cue the ugly Christmas sweaters and light-up accessories) without being judged. I personally like to rock the shiniest, fanciest things in my closet during the holidays, especially if I’m attending a party or dining at an elegant restaurant.

December is already halfway done, which means there’s not a lot of time left to sport festive ensembles. So this week, I decided to throw on a nice outfit and visit some of the most fabulous restaurants around town to uncover beautiful cuts of beef decked out in flavor and finesse.


Classy and cool, Chef Chai on Kapiolani Boulevard is one of my favorite restaurants, especially this time of year. Chef Chai’s dining area now features enchanting Christmas decor, making the dining experience even more magical.

Robert Cazimero

During my latest visit, I also enjoyed the sight of Chai’s Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Foie Gras Puff, Mashed Potato, Haricot Vert, Baby Carrots and Merlot Demi ($49 a la carte), chef and owner Chai Chaowasaree’s reimagined, deconstructed version of beef Wellington. The star of this luxurious entree is a thick, generous cut of USDA grade filet that is crowned with a made in-house puff pastry holding a decadent mushroom duxelles and foie gras mixture. Underneath the beef, one can find a flavorful demi-glace featuring merlot and five-spice, which adds rich flavor to each bite.

Offered on Chai’s regular menu, Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Foie Gras Puff, Mashed Potato, Haricot Vert, Baby Carrots and Merlot Demi helps guests feel merry all year long.

Customers also can enjoy the dish during the restaurant’s special Christmas Full Moon Concert ($79 per person), which will include hula performances, live musical entertainment by the one and only Robert Cazimero and a four-course dinner — the perfect reason to dress to the nines!

A closer look at Chef Chai’s Grilled Beef Tenderloin

The dinner will come with a chicken tenderloin sate starter, a five-appetizer lineup, a choice of entree and dessert. Entrees up for grabs are Mongolian Style Lamb Chops, Miso Fresh Chilean Seabass, Vegetarian Terrine with Thai Green Curry Sauce and Grilled Beef Tenderloin.

Guests interested in attending the Full Moon Concert, which will be held Dec. 22 and 23, should make reservations right away by calling the restaurant, as space is limited and spots are filling up fast. The dinner portion of the event begins at 6 p.m. and the concert kicks off around 7:15 p.m. on both nights.


When looking for top-notch steak, you can’t pass up Morton’s The Steakhouse.

Known for “the best steak anywhere,” Morton’s offers only USDA prime-aged beef to its customers.

Morton’s The Steakhouse’s Dry-Aged Prime Bone-In New York, 18-ounce ($79) PHOTO COURTESY LANDRY’S INC.

“All of our steaks are hand selected and hand cut by professional butchers to ensure a quality steak with the right amount of marbling and coloration in each and every steak,” says chef Wade Wiestling, vice president of culinary development.

Delivered to customers’ tables flowing with hot au jus, Dry-Aged Prime Bone-In New York, 18-ounce ($79) is one of the many steak selections customers can bite into during the holiday season. This entree in particular makes for the perfect treat, as it is something you can’t find all the time — the entree is only available until April 2019.

“Dry aged beef and dry aged steaks are hard to find and somewhat expensive,” explains Wiestling. “We see this as a worthwhile splurge that is celebratory and perfect for the holidays and wintertime in general.”

According to Wiestling, the dry aging process adds an earthy, nutty flavor to the beef and helps the meat become very tender.

“For many steak lovers, dry aged beef is the best,” he notes.

If beef doesn’t tickle your fancy, you are in luck. Morton’s The Steakhouse, Honolulu offers an array of top-of-the-line seafood options such as Seared Hawaiian Ahi Tuna and Misoyaki Butterfish.

“Our local guests love that we incorporate Hawaiian flair into our menu,” says Zyron Schoniwitz, general manager of Morton’s The Steakhouse, Honolulu.

With its impeccable menu and exquisite ambience, Morton’s is sure to provide guests with a grand dining experience worth dressing up for.

In a twinkle of an eye, Christmas Day will be here! So wear that crazy reindeer sweater hiding in the back of your closet or that fully sequined holiday dress.

Go out, be bold and treat yourself to a nice meal because you deserve it — I challenge you to make the most of what’s left of 2018.

Honolulu, HI 96814

Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best