Nobu Waikiki Restaurant in Hawaii

Celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa took a short break in the middle of an interview yesterday to call saxophonist Kenny G, who is part owner of Nobu Malibu. “I’m in Hawaii right now,” Matsuhisa said before inviting Kenny G to join him for the upcoming sake ceremony. “I’m going to Mexico Tuesday morning. Call me on my cell.”

Japanese tourists account for about half of the 297-room Waikiki Parc Hotel guests, while the other half primarily hail from the mainland. But flat Japanese visitor numbers will have little influence on marketing strategy.

“We didn’t really change much of our game plan,” said managing partner Richard Notar. They’ll cater to luxury travelers in the Waikiki Beachwalk area, but they believe residents will dictate permutations.

All involved believe Nobu Waikiki will stimulate fresh ideas in Hawaii’s high-end restaurant circle. “We want to add to your already progressive culinary scene,” said Notar. It seems that Matsuhisa is already integrated into the group of top chefs here, hooking up for golf games with Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi when he’s in town.


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