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Everything posted by skchai

  1. So sad, but;s that nature of the restaurant business. The vegan bentos offered Well bento filled a unique niche in the city's restaurant offerings - they will be missed.
  2. skchai

    Pho in Oahu

    Hmm . . . Pho is an intensely personal thing, and different people may have deeply held but diametrically opposed beliefs about the "musts" and "nevers" for decent pho. That being said, I'm sorry to say that there isn't any one place in Honolulu that is generally considered to stand up above the rest in serving a superior pho. There are plenty of places with "pho" in their names, but . . . One pho specializer downtown that seem to be popular with both local and Vietnamese patrons is Pho 97, but unfortunately I don't get downtown that often and haven't had a chance yet to try it. . .
  3. As you can see, this has kind of ground to a halt. Sorry! I will try to resume in that near future (that's what they all say), but in the meantime (and even afterwards) you'd be in good shape if you check out Reid's excellent link and archive posts on `Ono Kine Grindz.
  4. 3-pun Cooking TV Show has a lot of recipes on its site, though it probably doesn't qualify for what you consider to be "serious" cooking! Dancyu magazine's site has some recipes that are presumably analogous to Epicurious, but are fairly small in number. So for fairly high-end recipes, as far as I know, I think Tsuji Acad. is probably your best bet. . .
  5. I had heard that as well. It seems that she is going to go back to Korea to travel around and study the regional cuisines before moving on and deciding what she will do next. The restaurant will definitely be missed, in part because it covered two areas of Korean cuisine - Southwestern and health food that are pretty unique here. And also because she was a great cook. Here's hoping that once she's done with her travels she comes back here again!
  6. Uh. . . didn't mean to make anyone quiver. . . Thanks for the link to the Andy Raskin piece in NPR. His friend Masa is quite a character. . . does a great job of making you want to "challenge". But a 40-minute wait! Also, come to think of it, it probably wouldn't be open for dinner, so maybe somewhere else would be better. . .
  7. Here's an article in the S-B with a recipe for Kahala Hilton's lavosh, though I'm not certain it's the original one. But the chronology sounds about right. Kanemitsu bakery on Molokai is also famous for their lavosh along with their other trademark item, Molokai Bread.
  8. Decent parking kind of rules out downtown or Waikiki for that matter. A number of the Korean restaurants, notably Sorabol and Shillawon are set up with private rooms for business lunches at about the price range you're mentioning. Maple Garden in Moili`ili is a popular place for the UH crowd and has a private room, though this might need to be booked well in advance. I think (?) Gyotaku has a private room. . .
  9. Sorry, can't find a recipe, but it would probably be possible to recreate the curry by adapting recipes for "raj-style" curry served at British Officer's clubs throughout colonial India, and was the original inspiration for local-style curry. The main thing here is the fact that (1) a anglo-curry sauce can be made from "Madras" curry powder, meat stock and roux, (2) accompaniments of raisins, Major Grey chutney, chopped coconut, chopped bacon, hard-boiled eggs, bananas, etc. are essential. The main innovations of the local-style curry are the substitution of coconut milk for meat stock in the curry, and things like chopped candied ginger and/or macadamia nuts that wouldn't be found in the original version. Also, the the Willows version in particular I believe had a darker, roasted curry powder, reflecting the influence of Kusuma Cooray, who was chef there prior to its temporary closing in the 1990s.
  10. "Hawaiian" Sweet Bread is a local adaptation of the Portuguese "Pao Doce" that was brought over by plantation laborers from the Azores and Madeira during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was originally popularized by the "King's Bakery" which was located on near the corner of King St. and McCully in Honolulu - so I think the original name of the bread had more to do with the street than any pretensions to royalty (the Hawaiian Ali`i at any rate would probably not have recognized sweet bread, much less eaten much of it). Pretty soon sweet bread became so entrenched in the local food scene (particularly as a fundraiser for sports teams and the like) that, at least to outsiders, it became seen as a typical Hawai`i food. Once King' Bakery started marketing the sweetbread at retail outlets, the profit opportunities far outweighed those of the original bakery, which was closed down in the early 1990s. After a series of successors (each named "King's" something), the original spot is occupied by Makino Chaya, a all-you-can-eat Izakaya (!) run by the Todai folks. A more "rootsy" pao doce is still produced by a number of local bakeries, most notably Leonard's on Kapahulu, more famous for the malasadas (sic). How do I like to eat it? Definitely toasted - otherwise the contemporary version is too squishy - with poha preserves. Portuguese sausage (linguica) and eggs round out a nice greasy breakfast.
  11. I guess it depends on what "level" of restaurant you are looking for, and what level of transportation you have available. If you have around 4 hours time - practically the entire city center of Honolulu is available to you for ~$25 each way and 30 minutes or less ride time as long as the traffic isn't too bad (which it shouldn't be on Sunday). In which case an Alan Wong's or Chef Mavros is not out of the question - though a reservation would be pretty essential. None of the local restaurants require jacket and tie, as far as I know, though trousers and button-down shirt would be expected for the aforementioned. If you are looking for something more ethnic or would prefer a shorter drive, then there are a number of cheap hole-in-the-wall places in the Mapunapuna and Kalihi-Palama areas within a couple miles from the airport.
  12. Thanks for mentioning this, and for uploading the relevant information for the meeting to your site. This meeting really deserves a large turnout, and is a novel, perhaps unique, attempt to bring together the various stakeholders for sustainable ag in Hawai`i under one open sky, along an explicit teaching component to it as well. You're right that there isn't really any info out there about this. If found this short announcement at the CTAHR website, but nothing else. So you're doing a real service by making this available. For those unfamiliar with the Wai`anae Community Re-Development Corp., here are a couple of background articles from the Star-Bulletin on the MA`O farm and the Aloha `Aina Cafe.
  13. skchai

    La Toque

    In his early career, Frank's trademark dish was his rösti with caviar – is this still on the menu?
  14. PPC, I think you're right about oxtail stew - I haven't seen it anywhere. Bea's Drive In! Makes me think about Jolly Roger, Chunky's, and now KC's. All the local-style drive-in landmarks that have gone to meet their maker. . . But getting back to your question, it was not oxtail stew but I though I saw stewed oxtail (as in red-cooked style) at the okazu section of Shirokiya the other day. That might not satisfy the cravings, but. . . Ms. Meliss, having lived in Tucson for a few years, I emphathize with your remarks about good Mexican. There are a few good places that serve either decent tex-mex or taqueria-style food - the latest that people are talking about is Taqueria la Michoacana, which is run by the same people that run Quintero's. There are actually a number of academic studies of food cravings - look, if a subject exists academics will find a way to render it incomprehensible. Most of these studies are from the physiological side, but a number look at psychological and cultural issues as well. You might seek out the journal called Appetite - yes such a journal exists.
  15. Ogo looks interesting - but the one thing I notice about all the Hawaii-style restaurants in Japan is that the food is so "neatly" prepared compared to what you get in Hawaii. The spam musubi is kawaii-zed to the max compared to the big lump you get here. BTW, Ogo in Hawaiian is "limu loa". Because it's crunchy, it's often used in poke dishes. Plain ol' "limu" (seaweed) usually refers to ogo, and the term ogo is often used here too. . .
  16. Kristin, Sorry I didn't catch this thread the first time! The Nagoya Yummy's is an "official" branch of the PBHK empire. It had been mentioned that they were planning to branch out to Japan, but I don't know why they decided upon Nagoya instead of the Kantou area. I believe they have their sights on the mainland US too, but definitely not in Korea! Kua`aina has two locations in Hawaii - besides the original in Haleiwa, there is another in the Victoria Ward shops near Ward Center/Warehouse. Those shops are going to be razed and another multi-tower thing is going up as part of the Kaka`ako redevelopment plans. However, I believe Kua`aina will be one of the tenants who will re-lease in the new location. Had some stuff about Yummy in the thread on Univ. of Hawai`i campus dining. Never went to Kua`aina - burgers are not my forte. As far as the Poke Moco is concerned, I dunno. Raw fish and fried egg? At least there's no brown gravy on it. . .
  17. Regarding Kashmiri Cuisine - it is actually quite "creamy" in the sense of using milk products for thickening. Of the seven dishes for the "wazwan" (traditional banquet), only two - rista (meatballs in onion sauce) and tabak maaz (pan-fried lamb ribs) do not contain milk, cream, or yogurt. I agree about the difficulty of talking about the difference between Indian cuisine and that of its neighbors. India is a subcontinent - it embodies a range of cuisines as diverse as that found in all of Europe. So comparison between it and its neighbors is somewhat less intractible if you compare a lower level, e.g. Indian Punjab vs. Pakistani Punjab, Indian Jammu and Kashmir vs. "Azad" Kashmir, West Bengal vs. Bangladesh, Tamil Nadu vs. Northern/Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka.
  18. Welcome, Ms. Meliss. Yes, Tasaka Guri-guri is still there at Maui Mall. Reid posted a recipe for guri-guri on Ono Kind Grindz a while ago. Regarding the gravyburger . . . yes I'd like to know too what kind of gravy. I guess it would have to be loco moco brown gravy, or else it would be kind of a wet teriburger. But kimcheeburger rules, in my opinion.
  19. It's been a . . . while, but I'm still clipping away. Maybe I can claim I'm being more, uh, selective. . . Chicken Alice, By Betty Shimabukuro . . . is Found! Patent Protection Vital to Firms, By Catherine E. Toth Honolulu Cookie Co. Cream puff from Japan packs in crowds, by Betty Shimabukuro Chef Barney Brown coming home to lend a hand, by Wanda A. Adams Inspiration behind SF's "Betelnut" returns home to open restaurant New restaurants in Honolulu and on Maui Mochi 'diamonds' are everyone's way to salute Girls Day, by Zenaida Serrano Recipe Fiends, by Betty Shimabukuro Corned beef musubi a blend of Ireland, Islands, by Wade Kilohana Shirkey KC Drive Inn set to serve its last waffle hot dogs today, by Nelson Daranciang KC Drive Inn serves last meal today after storied 70-year run, By Catherine E. Toth A Waikiki Toast to Old and New, By Catherine E. Toth Redevelopment in Waikiki causes a number of restaurants to close Pick a peck of PICKLES, by Betty Shimabukuro Isle lady's book on pickles from all cultures. . . Smokin’!, By Nadine Kam Haleiwa Smokehouse Returns Gourmet at the grocery, By Wanda A. Adams Upscale prepared food at Foodland. . .
  20. As PPC said, there can be a huge variation in opinions on Thai Food depending on the criteria you are applying - "authentic", "local-style", "Thai-influenced upscale", etc. Certainly the granddaddy of Thai restaurants in Hawai`i is Keo's Thai Cuisine / Mekong. We had a thread on it a while back. The food is (or defined) "local-style" Thai, and to a certain extent defined Thai restaurant food throughout the U.S., since the owner, Keo Sananikone 's, cookbook was as far as I know the first nationally-distributed Thai restaurant cookbook in the U.S. Keo is actually of Laotian descent, but whether this makes him less authentic is an open question, since much of Northern Thailand is of the Lao ethnic group and shares its cuisine with neighbors across the border.
  21. Dean - thanks so much for your reports and pictures from your recent voyage across restaurants. Makes me feel like picking the whole family up and going to New Orleans again!
  22. Beard Papa's Cream Puffs http://www.muginoho.com/beard_papa/ http://www.muginohousa.com/ Shirokiya Department Store http://www.shirokiya.com/ O.K., this has been a real long hiatus, but finally here's something again. And only a few weeks after the fact, which is pretty damn quick for someone like me. So you guys who stood in line foreverto buy exactly 5 (five) double-crusted cream puffs can look back in nostalgia. This Beard Papa cream puff has apparently become kind of a cult thing in New York, and apparently some similar, on a smaller scale is happening in Honolulu, as this story by Betty Shimabukuro points out. We don't actually have a permanent Beard Papa's in Honolulu; they just crop up every now and then in the food floor of the Shirokiya Department store in Ala Moana Center. But for whatever reason the line stretched past the Minamoto Kitchoan, the Yoku Moku, and even the Dee-Lite bakery stands. You had to wait for at least half an hour to get your maximum allocation of a single 5-pack of choux pastries per customer. It's Shirokiya's most popular seasonal rotating feature by far. Given that, it seems only a matter of time before they set up a permanent Beard Papa's somewhere around the city. Anyway, the wife, kids and I waited, and waited, and finally were able to scrouge 2 5-packs, which constituted our dinner. But there's been enough discussion earlier about how the stuff tastes - the vanilla bean specks, the "lightness", and the real contribution of the pie crust. I don't have much to add to this other than the things that make it most distinctive by U.S. standards is simply that it's made from scratch, not mix, and uses real vanilla, yet is available in a takeout context that doesn't require exhorbitant prices. The double-layer shell, I kind of doubt this is the key to the whole thing. The whipped cream / custard mixture - I bet you most Americans would prefer pure custard, but maybe I'm wrong. . . Since cream puffs are not a Far Eastern exoctica, why hasn't the U.S. developed its own Beard Papa-style establishments long ago? Japanese pastry takeout (even the scandal-plagued Mr. Donut) tends to be somewhat more upscale in general than that of the U.S. One can speculate - but perhaps the most plausible reason is that sweet pastries in Japan occupy a different place in the traditional eating culture. They are less likely to be a grab-and-go breakfast or the ending after a big meal, but something eaten on its own in the afternoon as a leisurely interuption to the work routine. I'm not claiming that contemporary Japanese are going to be sitting down with Beard Papa and sencha in the gardens, but rather that the context of eating pastries still involves, to a greater extent than in the West, or for that matter, even typical Japanese meals, sitting down in one place, enjoying extended conversation, and nibbling slowly on your pastry, whether it be wagashi (Japanese-style sweets) or a cream puff. In such a context, you're more likely to care about the actual taste of what you are eating. Given this, what seems routine in Japan can seem like a revolutionary idea in the U.S. It seems less likely that Muginoho's other major takeout concepts will take off to quite the same extent. The "Garam to Masala" (sic) kareepan (curry meat bun) is something that is distinctively Indo-Japanese conglomeration and I may simply appear strange to those who were not raised on Japanese-style curry. The "Tio Gluton" cheesecakes may have a better chance, but are playing into a market that already exists in the U.S. (slightly upscale cheesecakes), and may seem too "light" for American tastes. . . By the way, it took me about three years to realize that shuu kurimu (the Japanese term for cream puffs) had nothing to do with shoes . . . But anyway, this kind of sloppy musing aside, I thought it would be more interesting to look at the cooking process for the Beard Papaa cream puff, since it's (mostly) done on site and in the open. So here is the obligatory pictoral essay: The whipped cream is produced in this cool machine. In fact, the process is about as mechanized as you can get for a product that is touted as all-natural. No whisking until their arms fall off, no superfluous drugery. . . The whisking comes in when they're mixing the custard and whipped cream. She was obviously not that thrilled having me take her picture but stoically decisded to continue going about her business. I can tell you that there were about 10 gallon cartons of Meadow Gold milk sitting on the side - I bet they got it at Costco - local sourcing and all that. The vanilla is supposed to be ground pure Madagascar, and it seems to be brought over from Japan. O.K., I'm too lazy to rotate the picture. If the shells were made on-site, they had been completed long before the customers started to arrive. So all you could see was the baking process. So small and cute, yeah, the uncooked ones? So you get the super-expansion and hollowing-out of the choux pastry when it's heated. But a question - how do they do this without breaking the pie crust on the outside? I was too ashamed to ask. . . So you end up with a huge pile of shells. There's actually a sign asking customers not to massage the shells, which is actually really tempting. . . The squirting process. They do this incredibly fast using a diabolical device that somehow seems to shoot the whipped cream / custard mixture into the shell through a tube that looks much to thin to work. Somehow it doesn't explode and leave the mixture (is there a specific term for this e.g. demi-anglaise?) all over everyone's faces. The confectioner's sugar is an extremely light coat - I don't know why they bother since it hardly shows once it's in the box. itsutsu ni narande, shuukurimu shuukurimu. . .. Enjoy! You can actually eat an entire 5-pack of these without getting too full, though you won't hit all the major food groups.
  23. skchai

    Bắc Nam

    Thanks, PPC - posting a report can be the beginning of a learning experiences. And thanks, Guppymo (if you're still there) for the info on the Bahn Bột Lọc. I'll have to ask the Bắc Nam folks what their covering recipe is next time I'm there.
  24. Thanks for the report on your trip - Vivremanger. Your rating of Fukui's place will increase the buzz, and I'm sure you're right that the prices will probably no remain low for so long. No doubt he'll soon be entering the rarefied layer of local chefs with cookbooks, endorsements, etc. But it's well-deserved. Glad you had a good time here - and thanks for the advice on the Poi Bowl. Given the location in the Food Court, people pass by there everyday without realizing that it would be possible to get excellent Hawaiian food there. Mahalo!
  25. You really have the inside information PPC! Whatever convolutions might exist in his personal life, Yamada was probably the foremost person in the state promoting Okinawan cuisine as something to be taken seriously. For whatever reasons, while locals of Okinawan descent dominated the Honolulu restauant industry for much of the 20th century, there really hasn't been a concerted effort to promote Okinawan food, other than in a few dishes that appear on otherwise local-Japanese menus. Even if he was not Okinawan-born, Yamada really raised its visibility, and Kariyushi / Hatsuneya will be missed.
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