Kapolei: You’re Invited To Party With Chef Roy Yamaguchi

Chef Roy Yamaguchi is celebrating 30 years in the food biz by hosting events at all of his restaurants. On Sunday, July 15th, it’s Eating House Kapolei’s turn.

“Fire and Rice” celebrates Chef Yamaguchi’s success, but also his heritage. The party—featuring special food, drinks, live music, and activities that both adults and kids will enjoy—celebrates 150 years of Japanese immigration to Hawaiʻi.

What: Fire and Rice, Chef Roy Yamaguchi 30th Anniversary Celebration
When: Sunday, July 15th, 11am-2pm
Where: Eating House 1849, Kapolei Commons
How Much: $50 (adults), $20 (teens), $10 (kids) — Tickets

Chef Yamaguchi will be on hand to greet guests, talk story, and, we’ve heard, sneak into the kitchen to advise the staff whenever he thinks a dish needs a little tweak.

The Bishop Museum’s exhibit about Japanese immigration to the islands inspired the theme. So the museum and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Tickets are $50 for adults (including two drink tickets), $20 for teens, and $10 for keiki 12 and under.

The “Fire” of “Fire and Rice” is for the grilled and smoked dishes on the menu. Chef Yamaguchi and his guests will enjoy Smoked Brisket Bao Buns, Grilled Chicken Yakitori, Smoked Ahi Onigiri and the rest of the menu.

The food is the star, of course, but only one aspect of the festivities. Around the restaurant, artists and makers will be demonstrating important aspects of the Japanese-Hawaiian experience.

fire and rice — celebrating 150 years of Japanese cuisine in Hawaiʻi

Activities include:

  • Gyotaku painting with Naoki Hayashi
  • Origami demonstration with Kellene Toshi
  • Sugar cane pressing with Kyle Reutner of KoHana Rum
  • Mochi pounding demonstration

Live music comes from Nuʻu Kahalehau, who has performed with Josh Tatofi, as well as with Hawaiʻi island reggae groups Maoli and Malino.

What about the drinks? Hawaiian Shochu Company, one of the very few American makers of shochu, will be providing cocktails. KoHana Rum is making daiquiris. You can choose draft beer as well. Kids can slake their thirst at a POG station.

Eating House Kapolei’s executive chef, Isaiah Badua, helped Chef Yamaguchi decide on a menu, and will be leading the way in the kitchen. He told us he remembers Yamaguchi’s 20th anniversary party—he was in the kitchen then too, cooking pasta. Now he’s designing his own dishes.

Sponsors include Southern Wine and Spirits, KYD, Dustex, KoHana Rum, H&W, HFM, Cherry Company, Fukunaga, Tropics, and Ohia Sweet Bread.

The “Fire and Rice” menu is strong on Japanese influence and the flavors of the grill.


  • Ohia Mini Hoagies
  • Kakuni Pulled Pork
  • Tsukemono


  • Mix Vegetable Okonomiyaki
  • Smoked Ahi Onigiri
  • “Aloha Tofu” Crudo
  • Smoked Brisket Bao Buns, Shibazuke
  • Chicken Yakitori
  • Inarai Poke
  • Cold Soba Noodles


  • Chichi Dango
  • Castella
  • Matcha
  • Cotton Candy
  • Shave Ice