It’s a big deal whenever protégés of Thomas Keller open a restaurant. It’s even more so when they decide to do it not in a swanky locale, but in a once-sleepy Chinatown. Co-chefs and co-owners Chris Kajioka, formerly of Per Se in New York and Vintage Café in Honolulu, and Anthony Rush, formerly of Per Se and the French Laundry in Yountville, opened Senia in 2016, and the accolades have been pouring in ever since. Highlighting Hawaiian ingredients with precise techniques, the two offer refined fare with an à la carte menu in the main dining room, as well as a tasting menu at the intimate 8-seat chef’s counter.
When you are pleasantly full, join a walking tour put on by the Hawaii Heritage Center to learn more about the historic buildings, art galleries, and markets that line the streets.
The three-story Wing Luke Museum is notable not just for its namesake, but its mission. The Pan-Asian museum is named for Wing Luke, who in 1962 became the first person of color elected to the Seattle city council and the first Asian-American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest. Its exhibits span the gamut from the struggles of early Asian immigrants to accomplished works by contemporary Asian Pacific American artists. It also offers guided tours of Chinatown, including one that retraces icon Bruce Lee’s old stomping grounds such as his first practice space and his first martial arts studio.