RYAN’S TABLE BY Ryan Tatsumoto
Xenia: The ancient Greek concept of hospitality, generosity and courtesy shown to those from near and afar.
Senia: The newest and most anticipated restaurant in the 50th’s dining scene.
As I mentioned in an earlier column, the opening of Senia was likely the most anticipated restaurant event in recent Hawai‘i history, in large part because many fine diners here in the 50th had previously sampled co-owner/Chef Chris Kajioka’s cuisine at either Roy’s, or Aziza or at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. Or, they might have shelled out a hefty $300 for a Chef Kajioka meal at Vintage Cave at Ala Moana Center, or enjoyed his fare at a pop-up in one of several local restaurants.
When Kajioka left Vintage Cave in 2014, rumors began circulating that he was planning to open his own restaurant in Hawai‘i, so the “anticipation” really began well over two years ago. The first rumor I heard was that he was teaming up with Chef Mourad Lahlou of Aziza. Subsequent talk had Kajioka launching his new venture on the continent. Finally, in mid-2015, it was announced that he was partnering with Chef Anthony Rush, a fellow Per Se alum, and Rush’s wife, Katherine Nomura-Rush. Per Se is New York’s version of California’s The French Laundry.