Nestled beneath swaying palms, Il Lupino is the gem of the oasis that is The Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Coconut Grove. With frequent live performances on the outskirts of Il Lupino’s patio, the sophisticated ambiance is a natural complement to the diversity of flavors offered here. This season, Il Lupino welcomes aboard its new Executive Chef, Raymond Cruz, a veteran of the restaurant industry of over 15 years.
Chef Raymond looks forward to adding a personal touch to Il Lupino’s tradition of great, authentic Italian food, “committed to using the freshest local and seasonal ingredients” in every dish, from Il Lupino’s internationally renowned buttermilk pancakes to its homemade tagliatelle pastas, giving each dish a superior taste and texture.
Locals were surprised last year when the old Mexican dive at the Shoreline Hotel was replaced by an island lifestyle-themed restaurant, and were immediately dazzled by its down-to-earth décor, farm-to-table ingredients, indoor/outdoor seating and, of course, the healthy-yet-flavorful breakfast dishes served all day. It was love at first bite. With combinations of quinoa, salad, fresh-squeezed juice and açai or pittaya (dragonfruit) bowls, Chef Keigo Yoshimoto creates dishes that are healthy, organic, and guaranteed to leave you feeling better than you arrived, like taking the heavy, Hawaii classic Loco Moco and turning into a healthy, feel-good favorite.
WM: As Chef de Cuisine at Trees Restaurant, what do you have planned?
JS: I want to add an even wider variety of entrées to our existing menu. We’ve made some great changes to the menu selection and given our drinks an upgrade, including putting some favorite beers on tap like Longboard lager, summer ales and IPAs. The service here is excellent already, and that’s something people can always count on.
WM: What is your favorite dish on the menu?
JS: They’re all amazing dishes to me, but the DT burger is the best seller. It’s a 7-ounce beef patty cooked to perfection, with melted bleu cheese, lettuce, tomato and crispy onions served on a warm pretzel bun. It is really delicious. My personal favorite is actually one of the new menu items, the Artisan Pizza. It’s got coppa, chorizo, soppressata and pepperoni; just a wonderful assortment of meats, with a generous portion of fresh mozzarella. Get both if you can!
Chef Jory Shinn has been cooking professionally for 10 years. Born on the West Coast and raised on Kauai, Chef Jory trained at the Travel Institute of the Pacific and, with his culinary degree in hand, gained invaluable experience at two distinguished locations: the Trump Hotel and The Modern Honolulu. Chef Jory has been the Chef de Cuisine here since December 2014.
WM: What would you say separates Trees Restaurant from other Waikiki dining destinations?
JS: The food here is outstanding since we use fresh, quality ingredients, but I think what truly sets us apart from the rest of Waikiki is the combination of great food and relaxing ambiance. Other Waikiki venues can be loud and busy, while Trees is perfect for a quality dining experience without the distractions. The warm service we provide here at the DoubleTree with the delicious food and peaceful ambiance is what makes Trees Restaurant a truly unique experience.