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Kokonut Wireless: Hawaii’s 4th Master Sommelier, controversial iced coffee and more

Kokonut Wireless is an ongoing compilation series highlighting the latest local, national and global foodie and industry-related news that you may or may have not noticed. Note that select featured stories include personal commentary that are not part of the original news source. 


Master Sommelier David Yoshida. Image source: Honolulu Star Advertiser

Where wine and religion meet

January 31, 2018

David Yoshida becomes 4th Master Sommelier in the state

David Yoshida, 34, a 2002 graduate of Iolani School, recently passed the extremely difficult Court of Master Sommelier exam in October 2017, making him the fourth Master Sommelier living and working in Hawaii, joining the honor alongside Patrick Okubo, Roberto Viernes and veteran Chuck Furuya. In that same year of receiving the coveted title, Yoshida also earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, the same state where he also served as Ministry Chaplain at a state prison.

Along with Yoshida, at the same time 7 other members were added to the Master Sommelier ranks, bringing the total to “only” 157 in the Americas and 247 worldwide. A very select, elite few! 

Read more from the Honolulu Star Advertiser here


King Kameha Premium Iced Coffee

Iced coffee with partial Hawaiian name offends cultural groups

January 28, 2018

Anyone from Hawaii will quickly point out the blunder in the naming of this new, and put here purposely in quotes, King “Kameha” Premium Iced Coffee product. Not surprisingly it quickly went viral all over social media, being almost entirely criticized. According to KITV4 News, a Kaneohe resident was able to contact the owner, asking him politely to correct it, to which the owner was said to be “friendly, apologetic and cooperative”. 

A person who commented on the news story noted that on the product’s website (currently taken down), the description for this Kameha Iced Coffee product went like this:

For centuries, Hawaiian Kings enjoyed a rich cream coffee drink made from Kona coffee beans on “The Big Island of Hawaii” mixed with fresh cream from local cattle. This drink was consumed at elaborate ceremonies honoring the Gods and was only reserved for nobility. We have searched the world over from sea to sea for the finest coffee from Hawaii and best Caribbean rum to create this delicious, ready to drink premium blend.

To which he rebuked, “Coffee was only introduced to Hawaii in 1828 and the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, so 65 years is not centuries.”

My sister, a graduate of Kamehameha Schools (we’re both 1/4th Hawaiian), used to always scold me back when I was young “keed”, whenever I’d say “Kam School” or “Kam Highway”, angrily correcting me, “it’s not Kam! It’s Kamehameha! Get it straight!” Sorry, eh, sistah! Well, so much for “Kenny’s… in the Kam Shopping Center in Kali-hiiiii”. ;-)

Read more from KITV4 Island News here


The Brilliant Ox dining space. Image source: The Brilliant Ox on Facebook

The Brilliant Ox opens at Ala Moana Center

January 26, 2018

It’s been over 5 years now since Pearl Ultralounge nightclub closed its doors at the foot of Hookipa Terrace in Ala Moana Center, with that space being vacant the entire time. Well, finally opening up in its place, please welcome The Brilliant Ox. The 5,000 sq. ft. gastropub, who celebrated its grand opening on January 20, 2018, features a design of concept of “rustic pub mixed with modern highlights”.  Not be confused with The Whole Ox, an American deli formerly located in Kaka’ako next to the CompUSA lot, The Brilliant Ox suggests “brilliant drinks and brilliant food”. 

Here’s a look at their menu:

The Brilliant Ox food and drinks menu. Image source: Yelp Honolulu/The Brilliant Ox

Read more from KHON2 News here


  • Tsunami's Waikiki and Club EnvyAnother Kaimuki fixture will close this month
    JJ Bistro and Cafe Laufer both close due to lease issues 
    Pacific Business News – January 26, 2018
  • North Shore cafe to replace Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop in Kailua
    The Beet Box Cafe, a vegetarian restaurant on Oahu’s North Shore, will open its 2nd location in place of Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop in Kailua
    Pacific Business News – January 27, 2018
  • Time’s up, strip of businesses on Kuhio Avenue told
    Booted: Seaside Bar & Grill, Old Saigon Vietnamese restaurant, Rock Star Tattoo & Piercing, SWAT Gun Club, adult store King Video, Tsunami’s Waikiki, Amnesia Waikiki, Club Envy (formerly Fusion Waikiki), Hawaii By Night and Club Alley Cat are all evicted come end of January from business complex notorious for crime
    Honolulu Star Advertiser – January 25, 2018
  • Mililani to incorporate more local ingredients in school lunches
    Mililani High School, the second largest food production site in the Hawaii State Department of Education system, will be the next participant in the Aina Pono Farm-to-School program
    KHON2 News – January 30, 2018


Philadelphia and Boston food feud escalates ahead of Super Bowl

January 24, 2018

As the big game approaches, Dottie’s Donuts in Philadelphia has stopped selling Boston cream donuts, sending a clear message to New England fans. In response, Boston’s Esplanade Park aren’t allowing anyone with a Philly cheese steak, Philadelphia Cheese or even Crisco inside the park. 

Hmm, Perhaps we should start doing that with every UH Football game during the next season: ban products or services from being purchased that originate from our opponent’s home state. Next time UNLV plays the Warriors, except for the team itself, sorry no flights are allowed from any carrier in or out of Las Vegas for that entire week. If you’re already there in Vegas, you’re stuck, buddy. And if UH loses, you ain’t ever coming back to Hawaii again. Call the 9th island your new home! All Vegas routes CANCELED! lol 

Read from more from CBS News here


‘Tide Pod challenge’ spawns culinary trend: Tasty (and safe-to-eat) ‘Tide Pod’ donuts

January 27, 2018

If it looks like candy, eat it! Donut shops address the dangerous and troubling “Tide Pod Challenge” trend among teens by offering an honest to goodness edible donut that resembles it. While not included in the linked ABC report, other eateries are jumping on the opportunity as well, including a pizza shop that’s offering “Pied Pods” with a cheese topping colored to resemble its likeness, to cookies, cakes and more. 

In response to that news article, there’s a fascinating comment made by a user named Emperor Tran who said, “I know there’s a beetle in Australia that would give up sex with the females over having sex with a brown beer bottle popular there because it resembled a large female. So Australia had to change the beer bottle color to save the species. This Tide Pod donut is the human version of that.” So true! Read all about the Australian Jewel Beetle and its “love for beer… bottles that is” in the interesting NPR article here

Read more from ABC News here



The new “Black Margarita” from Faros Tapas, a new restaurant in Australia’s Museum of Old and New Art

Bar introduces gruesome ‘black margarita’ with feral pig eye

January 30, 2018 

Faros Tapas, a new restaurant in Australia’s Museum of Old and New Art, has rolled out a new cocktail named the “Black Margarita”, a moody take on the classic, using charcoal powder to give the drink its titular black hue and black salt to line the rim. The most  — wait for it — eye-catching part is the feral pig eye garnish that’s stabbed through with a cocktail spear and encased in ice before being placed on top of the drink.

Downing the cocktail is just part of the “full experience” that also includes the mandatory signing of a waiver, and get this: you have to lay in a bed, in an enclosed metal sphere for about 15 minutes, all while being accosted with flashing lights. Where do they think of this kinda’ stuff?!

Hmmm, perhaps here in Hawaii we could name this cocktail the “Maka Pua’a”. Instead of Tequila, use Okolehao to put the “Butt” in the pork of it all. 50% discount for patrons with a local pig hunters license.  

This also begs the question: if you place this cocktail on the bar top with the eye pointed at a stranger sitting next to you, will they be offended that you’re staring at them vicariously through your drink? lol 

Read more from Fox News here




3 thoughts on “Kokonut Wireless: Hawaii’s 4th Master Sommelier, controversial iced coffee and more

  • February 2, 2018 at 12:48 pm


    Seems a Troy Woodrow of Hilton Head, South Carolina and his company Beach House Beverages are the culprit. He even applied to Trademark Hawaii’s King name as “King Kameha”!

    • February 3, 2018 at 10:32 am


      Then it it would be fair to call him “Mr. Wood”. lol

      • February 3, 2018 at 1:02 pm


        No I would not address him as a “Mr”! How about —- I can’t print it hear in public.
        Actually it is:
        Troy M. Woodrow
        Age: 55
        10 Fiddlers Way
        Hilton Head, South Carolina 29926-1943
        His Linkedln report indicates he can walk on water.


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