Monday, November 30, 2009

Simon Restaurant (Las Vegas) - Palms Hotel - 11/30/09

After all the walking we did in Vegas, I always had a huge (I mean, HUGE) appetite for breakfast. These are the kind of hash browns I like, crispy tasty strings (but I think I was gipped, I had the smallest one out of the whole table). This is the farm fresh omelet with onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, cheddar, swiss, spinach and chicken sausage ($13). All the vegetables were so fresh that they were sweet and crispy. The coffee was lovely as well and the rooftop pool view was beautiful. I loved the bamboo art on the wall as well. Service was great, attentive and quick.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cafe Bellagio - Bellagio Hotel (Las Vegas) - 11/26/09

Eggs benedict is one of my favorite breakfast foods, next to pancakes and portuguese sausage. While on vacation with the family, we went to the Cafe Bellagio for breakfast. The eggs benedict were priced similarly to other places we had gone, so just because it's in the Bellagio, that doesn't mean you can't afford to eat there! The service was only "ok" for the class of hotel, but the benedict was excellent. The hollendaise was a little lemony and I just loved the panko-topped roasted tomato (I think I ate everyone's at the table). The hash browns were decent, but I like mine crispier. Yummy coffee as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Paina Cafe - Another Poke Bowl - 11/18/09

I have to admit, I'm spoiled with poke now. This is the small bowl, brown rice, spicy sauce (not super spicy, but tasty), shoyu ahi, topped with taegu and seaweed salad. I need to bring my own taegu so I have just as much taegu as I do poke! :)
(Okay, Mr. P, no get all excited, it's just me blogging again)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Diem Cafe (Ward Warehouse) - Beef Pho - 11/18/09

There are few things more comforting and warming to the soul than soup. Pho is a vietnamese rice noodle soup made with a delicately spiced beef broth. Pho is an interactive dish where the bean sprouts and basil come separately (as well as the noodles if you get take-out) and you add in what you want- this is one of the few ways I will eat bean sprouts! Try it with some of the spicy chili oil and some plum sauce (have I steered you wrong yet??). This one is the beef slices and beef balls. Just the smell of pho will make me want to run out and get a bowl of my own.

Nisshodo Mochi - 11/18/09

I got these from Shirokiya in Ala Moana, a nice mix of dango: azuki (red bean filled), lima bean filled (the green ones), and two others I don't know the names of (I just know I eat them all :) ). The white one on the left is more cakey/bread-like than the mochi (soft glutinous rice that's been pounded until it's gooey goodness). I'm sure it's an acquired taste & texture, but I would refuse to let you say you didn't like it until you had a bite. And I really wouldn't care if you didn't want anymore, I could eat it all happily!
Nisshodo has a candy storefront on Dillingham Blvd, where you can also get these along with chi chi dango (straight mochi dusted with cornstarch or kinako -soybean flour). They also make some funky flavors like coconut, chocolate and peanut butter, but I've not tried those.
These are made without preservatives so you have to eat them quickly! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thai Food @ Ward Farmers' Market - 11/17/09

There is a second farmers' market in the parking lot of Ward Warehouse Tuesday mornings. They have a lot more food vendors along with Lin's Crack Seed (but that's another post). I got this absolutely fabulous green curry plate with plain white rice for $6. Spicy, coconut-y with eggplant, basil & chicken....soooo good.

Xpress Chefs - Scones and Cookies - 11/17/09

I found Xpress Chefs at the Fort Street Mall Farmers' Market Tuesday morning. I bought these wonderfully yummy scones (one lemon blueberry, one cranberry) and a package of "Everything Cookies" - oatmeal, chocolate chips, coconut, nuts. They were both delicious and I think I paid $8 for both, a little pricey but they support Lanakila Meals on Wheels, so eat up for a good cause! The cookies didn't last very long in the office :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kincaid's - 11/12/09

Prime rib, fresh horseradish, fried onion strings and garlic mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes could have used cream and butter, but the prime rib was delish!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sushi @ Ward - Unagi Donburi 11/12/09

I love Hawaii. Where else can you get a bowl of sushi rice (the "donburi" part of the name), topped with unagi kabayaki (broiled eel with a teriyaki style sauce) with takuan (picked daikon/radish) and fresh cucumbers for $6.95???? For lunch! I have always loved unagi, I think when I was a child, my family told me it was fish so I ate it willingly. If I had known it was eel, I doubt I would have tried it! I love simply cooked food with wonderful flavors. This and a Diet Pepsi totally made my lunch a quick escape (along with a lovely conversation!) and a nice break to a very long day.

Wahoo's Fish Tacos - Combination # 2 with enchiladas 11/11/09

Wahoo's Fish Tacos at Ward Gateway. Combination # 2 is either two tacos or two enchiladas with your choice of fillings and sauces. I chose flame-grilled chicken and mushrooms along with the red sauce and green cilantro sauce. I think I prefer the green sauce, it seemed more flavorful. I get the black beans because the white ones are too spicy for me. The ahi rice is great to catch all that delicious sauce. Fresh, cheesey deliciousness! And all this food for around $9.00.

Shirokiya - Musubi! 11/10/09

Shirokiya is a Japanese products store located in Ala Moana Shopping Center. On the third floor, they have a food section and every week or so, they have a new vendor from Japan showcasing their products. These are musubi (Japanese rice balls) - left to right, shiso, yaki (grilled with soy sauce) and salmon and seaweed. They were delicious! I'm not actually sure about the shiso one since I didn't actually eat it :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Big City Diner - Meatloaf 11/9/09

Meatloaf - aaah, the American classic. This is from Big City Diner on Ward. Thanks to B for having a good weekend and buying us lunch! This was different, filled with mushrooms and little carrot bits, topped with delicious, thick, tasty gravy. Hidden under the cow flesh goodness was some healthy spinach (wilted from the heat of the meat) and a generous (at least a cup) of sticky white rice (is there any other kind??) topped with furikake. A truly local Hawaiian-style take on an American comfort food.  (And for those of you who don't like meatloaf, it's just a baked hamburger, get over it and give it a try, this one is ono).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters

"Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love" is the motto for 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. I saw this coffee at Williams-Sonoma and it smelled heavenly, so I figured me and the coffee addicts could give it a whirl. I snagged Longitude 123* W - the signature coffee blend. The label says "Butterscotch and caramel dominate this medium-bold coffee blend. It is sweet and polished, with gentle wine notes and medium acidity." I used our automatic drip coffee maker, freshly ground beans - truly nothing fancy like my coffee press - and it really was divine. I put in my usual 2 Equal and 2 Coffeemate creamer packets and it was actually too sweet for me. So for my second cup, I just added the creamer and no sweetener and it was perfect. This blend isn't artificially flavored, but it really was caramelly and butterscotchy! I can't wait to have more.

It was $14.95 for 12 ounces, so a little on the pricey side, but a worthwhile treat if you love coffee. Trust me on this one, it was as sweet as love.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Paina Cafe - Hawaiian Bowl 11/6/09

This is another one of my favorites at Paina Cafe, the Hawaiian Bowl. It's the large size poke bowl, I always get brown rice and I tried the spicy sauce this time (it's really not that spicy) along with limu ahi poke, kalua pig and lomilomi salmon (see previous post for an explanation) with the taegu (spicy cuttlefish). I took my Chi-town friends here for lunch before they headed back home. We all got poke bowls, pretty much the same except Toytoy had to get spicy tuna.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Paina Cafe - Tomato Bisque 11/5/09

I had my orzo salad for lunch, but wanted something a little more. So I popped over to Paina Cafe to get a cup of soup. They had my favority today - tomato bisque - yay! Sure, it's not healthy but wow, it's divine. They also have lobster bisque, chicken & wild rice, minestrone - it varies from day to day (you know, soup du jour, but we're not fancy enough to use that term). I always pay the extra dollar to get the pita bread instead of the lavosh. Mmmm nom nom nom!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kulia Grill 11/3/09

Located in the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Kakaako, there's a little place called Kulia Grill. The food is created daily by the students of the Kapiolani Community College's Culinary Arts Program.

Mr. B and I went out there to check out the food. It was pretty good and affordably priced. Mr. B had the hamburger and fresh garlic potato chips along with a tapioca pudding. I had the 2 choice entree: brown rice, ahi with tsaziki sauce and baked buttermilk chicken with mixed veggies and a red velvet cake for dessert. I couldn't finish it all and could only take a bite of the red velvet cake (and anyone who knows me, knows I love my desserts) so I was stuffed! The bite I had of the cake was great though, nice and moist and I appreciated the thin layer of cream cheese frosting - so many places overdo it trying to cover up their badly baked good. The chicken was a little soggy on the bottom, prolly from the baking process (psst, kids, use a rack next time, then the bottom will be crispy) but it was juicy and flavorful, the ahi was eeeeeh okay, nothing to rave about.

All the food we got (plus two fountain drinks) came out to $18.75 - what a bargain! It was a nice atmosphere, nice and quiet (well, it was 1:30PM) and the food was good. They also had salads and bentos for very good prices! I'll be the KCC pastry chefs-in-training taste tester anytime! They also go to the farmers' market on Saturdays at KCC and sell their baked good along with some frozen entrees. The blueberry and strawberry scones are yummy!!

Call Cafe Kulia Grill at 808.692.0800 to find out their daily specials. They also have a limited breakfast menu from 7AM, and they close @ 2PM and weekends/state holidays.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kanpai - Kim Chee Steak 11/3/09

Foodie J told me the next time I go to Kanpai's, I need to try the kim chee steak. Since Toytoy and family were here, we met there for drinks & pupus (appetizers). This is my second visit here, so I started out drinking a strawberry soda (I have no idea what's in it, but it's yummy). We also noshed on edamame (soybeans), spicy limu poke (see other post re: Paina Cafe for explanations) and garlic fries. The last time I was at Kanpai's, the garlic fries were overdone and soggy with garlic, too intense and not delicious at all, so I decided to stay away. I ordered the kim chee steak, 12 ounce ribeye, medium.  It came on a sizzling platter and it was absolutely heavenly. I don't like kim chee, the cabbage part, but I like the spicy sauce part that the stinky cabbage sits in (go figure). I think what would have made this better would have been to dump the sizzling platter and serve this baby on a bed of hot sticky white rice so the rice would soak up all the yummy juicy goodness from the steak, kim chee and egg yolks.

I had a second strawberry soda, then we (the girls) wanted to know what a "Hello Kitty" was. It's Bacardi 151, watermelon schnapps, 99 Bananas and cranberry. ZOMG, this thing kicked my ass. It seriously needed to be cut with some 7Up and topped with grenadine. So, just because it sounds pink and cute and fluffy, doesn't mean it doesn't have claws. Thanks, but I'll stick to my strawberry sodas.  I apologize that this post was a quickie (if you saw the earlier version). I posted it last night when I got home, and I just wanted to get it done. :) I promise to take my time from now on ;) <3 ~ poha

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poha can cook as well!

I'm trying to eat healthier (*try* being the operative word) and I had a wonderful orzo salad with my sandwich on Sunday, so I made my own version. It's got orzo pasta, black beans, feta cheese, zucchini, grape tomatoes, red onions, spinach tossed with Kraft fat-free caesar italian dressing and finished with a drizzle of flax seed oil and black pepper. It's yummy and light!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Arancino di Mare - Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa 10/31/09

Continuing the Halloween festivies with Day & T.... Day had a gift certificate for Arancino di Mare at the Waikiki Beach Marriott so we went there to eat.  Day & I had a limoncello to drink. They bought the house bread, foccacia, of course! It was warm, fluffy with a few sprigs of rosemary and some crystals of salt.

The three of us shared two entrees, and we couldn't finish both. The gnocchi with creamy pesto (ZOMG, this was absolutely delicious, creamy, light, and very, very tasty, the gnocchi was perfectly cooked) was $22, which seems pricey, but it was a sizeable portion.

We also got the pepperoni sausage pizza which was a nice thin crust. It looked underdone but it was a nice and tender crust.

I really enjoyed this restaurant and look forward to visting it again when it's less crowded. Because of all the people in Waikiki, we had to wait about 45 minutes to be seated and the service was a little slow, but our server, Jeff, apologized and did ask us to return so they can show us better service. He also thought I looked like his girlfriend's sister (I get that a lot, really, it's not a line) so that was kind of amusing.

The Royal Hawaiian - Banana Macadamia Nut Bread

My friend Day & and friend T joined me at the beautiful Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, for an All Hallow's Eve getaway. Okay, so they wanted to look at all the freaks, and I didn't really want to walk home after work, so it worked out well for all of us! We had a gorgeous ocean junior suite, you need to stay there at least once to fully appreciate its glamour and history. We were greeted with a banana macadamia nut bread amenity in our room. Yes, it was as yummy as it looked!

The Gift Foundation - A Vanity Fair 10/30/09 (Pictures)

It was an interesting event to say the least. Open bar and heavy pupus. Odd people in costumes. Pretty low-key (zzz) and low-energy, I think a rocking DJ would have been way more exciting as well as clearly designated VIP areas, and please, less sexism (to bid on the silent auction, you had to write your bid on a lingerie clad woman. In this day and age, wouldn't a little equality be nice? But I'd prefer a little dignity and class........), and for me, a more exciting date. Old and young mixed together in a beautiful ocean front setting. I think the best part was the location, at the Edge of Waikiki at the Sheraton Waikiki, 5 feet off the Pacific Ocean, as well as seeing old friends and coworkers.

Cheesecake Pops - cheesecake balls dipped in white chocolate and coconut or milk chocolate and finely ground nuts.

Wagyu beef sliders and arabiki sausages on rolls topped with sauerkraut (these little doggies were my favorite). There was also seasoned Tater Tots and onion rings along with chicken katsu (but we've seen all that before, right? :) Also had kalbi on top of a taro/sweet potato puree topped with micro greens and mozzarella cherry tomato skewers drizzled with balsamic vinegar - Sorry, I ate them before I took a picture. The wait staff were going around with those on trays so it got popped into my mouth before the camera got out.

The little rolls in the front were some sort of beef lettuce wrap, nothing exciting but pretty. Beautiful orchid flower arrangements on the buffet table as well as the regular tables.

Interesting, but I'll pass next year, thanks so much for your charity, Mr. B!! I do appreciate it tons.