Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hawaii by the Numbers

State of Hawaii - became to 50th state 50 years ago.
Flew Continental - 75 years in business.
Flew Hawaiian Airlines - 80 years old on the day we flew to Kona.

The Hawaiian Islands comprise a total of 137 islands and atolls, with a total land area of 6,423.4 square miles (16,636.5 km2). Except for Midway, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States, these islands and islets are administered as the state of Hawaiʻi — the 50th state of the United States of America.

The area code for all the islands is 808.

The Hawaiian Islands comprise a total of 137 islands and atolls, with a total land area of 6,423.4 square miles (16,636.5 km2). Except for Midway, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States, these islands and islets are administered as the state of Hawaiʻi — the 50th state of the United States of America.
The Hawaiian Islands comprise a total of 137 islands and atolls, with a total land area of 6,423.4 square miles (16,636.5 km2). Except for Midway, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States, these islands and islets are administered as the state of Hawaiʻi — the 50th state of the United States of America.

Hawaii – an Ethnically Mixed Plate
Hawaii is one of the most racially diverse places in the world as there is no majority – everyone is in a minority. In the 2000 census, more than 20 percent claimed multi-ethnic backgrounds, far more than any other state. You will find a “mixed plate” of ethnic groups in Hawaii, including Hawaiian, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Caucasian and Japanese. More than half of Hawaii’s population is at least part Asian, about the same is part Caucasian, and about a quarter claim Hawaiian ancestry.
As Hawaii has become a home to many different ethnic groups in the last 200 years, each ethnic group has added elements of its own culture to local life. Today, contemporary culture in Hawaii is a mix of the different cultures and ethnic groups that make up its unique population.
Today, there are estimated to be between 255,000 and 275,000 Native Hawaiians living in Hawaii. What can be said about the Native Hawaiian population of today is that it is growing at a rate of about 6,000 people per year and at a higher rate than any other ethnic group in Hawaii.
The majority of the Native Hawaiian people, however, have less than 50 percent pure Hawaiian blood. As of the 1990 U.S. Census, there were 1,108,229 people living in Hawaii. Of those people, 369, 616 were Caucasian, 247,486 were of Japanese descent, 168,682 were of Filipino descent, 138,742 were of Hawaiian descent and 68,804 were of Chinese descent.
Just think of Obama!!

Hawaiian Food

Hawaiian food is very diverse and delicious. I am definitely going to make Kalua Pork very shortly (when John can eat solids again).
This recipe is from Sam Choy's restaurant in Honolulu, most are similar to it.

1 5- to 5 1/4-pound boneless pork butt roast
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Hawaiian alaea sea salt or coarse sea salt
3 frozen banana leaves, thawed
6 cups water, divided
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using small sharp knife, cut 1/4-inch-deep slits 1 inch apart all over pork roast. Rub 2 tablespoons sea salt all over pork. Unfold 1 banana leaf on work surface and place pork roast atop leaf. Fold up leaf around pork, enclosing completely. Repeat wrapping pork in remaining 2 banana leaves, 1 at a time.
Tie with kitchen string to secure, then wrap roast in foil. Place pork in roasting pan; pour 4 cups water into pan.
Roast pork in oven until very tender when pierced with fork, about 5 hours. Unwrap pork and cool slightly. Shred pork and place in large bowl. Bring remaining 2 cups water and remaining 2 teaspoons salt to boil in small saucepan. Add liquid smoke; pour over pork and stir to blend. Let stand 10 minutes to allow liquid to flavor pork. Serve.
Ingredient tip: Hawaiian alaea sea salt is available at specialty foods stores and online from Hawaii Specialty Salt Company at hawaiisalt.com. Banana leaves are available at Asian markets and Latin markets. Liquid smoke is a smoke-flavored liquid seasoning available at many supermarkets and specialty foods stores.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Big Island


The Big Island – weather is quite diverse. It can be china blue sky in Kona with puffy white clouds and you drive towards Volcano and as you start climbing up to 3500 feet above sea level (which you have to do to get to Sea Mountain) the temperature drops sharply by about 10 degrees and it rains, sometimes it’s misty at other times in can be a downpour.
There are often flash flood warnings, currently the island of Kuwai has had major flooding and the TV showed rain fall up to 22 inches on some of the islands.
In Kona you can have a brochure-blue sky and then drive 70 miles to Punalu’u and you are looking at curves of sterling silver reflecting on the ocean. Both are beautiful.
Even when it rains I enjoy the rain spatter on my face (or car) and everything blurs into elusive half-tones: grey-white clouds and grey-blue ocean.

Kona to Punalu'u






We checked out of Sea Valley around 10 and headed to Borders (scored 2 books on my reading list) and then to Safeway to stock up on groceries as there is limited shopping at Sea Mountain.
We decided to meander south to Punalu’u and stopped several times. We had planned to get lunch in Captain Cook’s but it was a little early so we took the Napo’opo’o Rd down to Captain Cook’s monument and remembered that there is nothing really there except a beach and the statue. We made a stop at the Painted Church (been there several times) as it is such a beautiful place. The paintings inside the church were done by a Belgian priest with no artistic training. It was his way of teaching the locals who could not read or write.
Back on the road and we were getting hungry so out came the bags of chips.
We found a local restaurant called the Desert Rose in Ocean View and stopped there for a Hawaiian plate lunch. We both had pork and cabbage, John’s also came with fried rice. It was so good.
Soon we were driving through miles of black lava rock scattered among the green and suddenly you are looking at the ocean.
Checked into the condo and then went to check out the sea turtles. There were 2 resting. Signs say to stay 15 feet away from them, but have to admit we (and others) were much closer to them.
Dinner was a local fish, wahoo with baked potatoes.

Sea Mountain Punalu'u Big Island of Hawaii




We just love this resort. We have a 1 bedroom, which is quite large. The bedroom is at ground level and then you go up a few steps to kitchen, living room and lanai. The view from the lanai is the ocean and overlooks the golf course.
The golf course is not quite up to par (LOL) but it has the most magnificent views and every single hole is a Kodak moment. It is never busy and only costs $28 ($22 during the week) with a cart to play!
It is not the resort if you are looking for non-stop excitement and activity. It is 20 minutes from 2 towns which are extremely limited in their offerings. There is the requisite school, post office, police station and (super)market which has the basics. Na’alehu, however, has a gem of a bakery, Punalu’u Bake Shop touted as the southernmost bakery in the USA. There desserts are divine. We have driven in each day to pick up a tasty morsel.

It is totally black at night with only the stars to gaze at. At 6:15am you are awakened by the birds squabbling.

Sea Mountain is at the south east section of the Island so we don’t get any sunsets.
You have to be in Kona on the west coast for those.


But e komo mai – welcome to the Big Island!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hang Loose


I find the Hawaiian place names very difficult to pronounce. I looked up the origins and found the following:


The Hawaiian alphabet has 13 letters
5 vowelsA (ah) E (eh)I (ee)O (oh)U (oo)
8 consonantsH (heh)K (keh)L (lah)M (moo)N (noo)P (pee)W (weh)' (oh-kee-nah)


All Hawaiian words end in vowels, and even though there are only five vowel letters in the language, they are used in complex ways that create a wide variety of sounds. All vowels have a short and a long sound. In addition, there are nine short vowel diphthongs and six long vowel diphthongs.

Vowels may follow each other but consonants are always followed by a vowel, creating syllables with only two letters. Words never end in a consonant and because there is no "S" in the Hawaiian language, nouns are not pluralized.


The Hawaiian language is a member of the Austronesian family of languages and closely resembles other Polynesian languages like Tahitian, Maori, and Samoan. Although in decline for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Hawaiian language has been experiencing a resurgence in the last several decades as the result of efforts to enroll Hawaiian children in Hawaiian language immersion schools. However, a very small percentage of inhabitants remain native Hawaiian speakers.
What a visitor to Hawaii will certainly discover is the importance of the Hawaiian language in the daily lives of the residents of the islands. Streets, villages, schools, government buildings, restaurants, and parks are commonly named with Hawaiian words.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Finally finished this book, it is a big one. After the initial slow start I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one in the trilogy.
The Millennium trilogy, of which The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the opening instalment, features a classic odd-couple duo: a crusading financial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, and a freelance private investigator, Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Larsson himself, whose work exposing racism and fascism made him particularly unpopular with his country's far right.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kona Condo Living





I love staying in a condo on vacation. This is a large 1 bedroom with a full kitchen and washer and dryer. There is also a large lanai (balcony) looking over the ocean.

We did some groceries at Safeway in Kona and then checked in. It was so nice to relax and sit on the lanai even if it was cloudy with a fine misty rain falling. No sunset, but then last night's was spectacular.

We'd had a large lunch at Royal Kona so decided on bread, cheese and wine for dinner followed by some TV. We've been on the go the last 4 days with sightseeing in Honolulu and a flight to Kona and then hanging out in Kona for a day.

This morning John has gone off to golf and I can relax, sit in sun, and just chill.

OAHU
• Size: 594 square miles - 44 miles long and 30 miles wide

• Highest Point: Ka'ala Peak - 4,046 feet above sea level

• Population: 50,000

Hawaiian Pineapple Coleslaw


We had this with burgers for lunch at the Royal Kona Resort and decided we needed to find a recipe for it.
Why can't I get a burger done to order in Canada?? Every burger has been amazing. It's a good thing we'll be eating in for a few days!!


Carrot-Pineapple Slaw

Serves/Makes: 8 Difficulty Level: 2 Ready In: 2-5 hrs

Ingredients:
4 cups shredded carrots

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 can (16-ounce size) crushed pineapple -- drained (reserve juice)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:In large bowl, toss together carrots, cabbage, pineapple and walnuts. In small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients including the reserved pineapple juice. Pour dressing over slaw; toss gently. Cover and refrigerate 2-24 hours.




The Big Island


HAWAII "The Big Island"
• Size: 4,038 sq mi - 93 miles long and 76 miles wide

• Coastline: 266 miles

• Highest Point: Mauna Kea - 13,796 feet AS

• Population: 145,000
We are currently in Kona and then we move to Punalu'u tomorrow.
There is so much sightseeing to do on this island and you could spend a fortune taking tours, submarines, helicopter flights, glassbottom boats, Mauna Kea trek (they supply the Arctic jackets for the passengers), and even a boat that gets up close and personal with the flowing lava from Kilauea. This one costs $180 a person and sounds rather dangerous from what I read other people right about it.
But you can do a lot of these things on your own by car.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kona Day 1 Part 2










We went down to the bar to watch the sun set on Kailua Bay. Don's Bar is the home of the original Mai Tai. The sunset was magnificent.

Then it was time to stroll down to Bubba Gump's for dinner.


O.K. I'm a happy camper...had dinner at Bubba's and passed the trivia test!

Honolulu Chinatown



We ventured out by bus to Chinatown and had a great time following Frommer's walking directions. We then stopped at ta market and ate in the food court wher John had the lucky experience of a cockroach trying to climb his leg. it absolutely freaked me!!








Taken from Frommer's Walking Tour of Chinatown:


Chinese laborers from Guangdong Province first came to work on Hawaii's sugar and pineapple plantations in the 1850s. They quickly figured out that they would never get rich working in the fields; once their contracts were up, a few of the ambitious started small shops and restaurants in the area around River Street.
Chinatown was twice devastated by fire, once in 1886 and again in 1900. The second fire still intrigues historians. In December 1899, bubonic plague broke out in the area, and the Board of Health immediately quarantined its 7,000 Chinese and Japanese residents. But the plague continued to spread. On January 20, 1900, the board decided to burn down plague-infected homes, starting at the corner of Beretania Street and Nuuanu Avenue. But the fire department wasn't quite ready; a sudden wind quickly spread the flames from one wooden building to another in the densely built area, and soon Chinatown's entire 40 acres were leveled. Many historians believe that the "out-of-control" fire may have been purposely set to drive the Chinese merchants -- who were becoming economically powerful and controlled prime real estate -- out of Honolulu. If this was indeed the case, it didn't work: The determined merchants built a new Chinatown on the same spot.
Chinatown reached its peak in the 1930s. In the days before air travel, visitors arrived here by cruise ship. Just a block up the street was the pier where they disembarked -- and they often headed straight for the shops and restaurants of Chinatown, which mainlanders considered an exotic treat. In the 1940s, military personnel on leave flocked here looking for different kinds of exotic treats -- in the form of pool halls, tattoo joints, and brothels.
Today, Chinatown is again rising from the ashes. After deteriorating over the years into a tawdry district of seedy bars, drug dealing, and homeless squatters, the neighborhood recently underwent extensive urban renewal. Just enough sleaze still flourishes on the fringes (a few peep shows and a couple of topless bars) to keep it from being a theme park-style tourist attraction, but Chinatown is poised to relive its glory days.
It's not exactly a microcosm of China, however. What you'll find is a mix of Asian cultures, all packed into a small area where tangy spices rule the cuisine, open-air markets have kept out the mini-malls, and the way to good health is through acupuncture and herbalists. The jumble of streets comes alive every day with bustling residents and visitors from all over the world; a cacophony of sounds, from the high-pitched bleating of vendors in the market to the lyrical dialects of the retired men "talking story" over a game of mah-jongg; and brilliant reds, blues, and greens trimming buildings and goods everywhere you look. No trip to Honolulu is complete without a visit to this exotic, historic district.

Going to Big Island
























We had a nice, leisurely breakfast at the Seaside Bar and Grill (again) on Kuhio, just across the street from the condo. Had a very chatty waiter from south America who had an opinion on happiness being a state of mind. Had the $3.75 special again.







Back to condo to get packed, blog and read. Took a cab to the airport ($35) and checked in at Hawaiian Airlines for our flight to the Big Island, 40 minutes in duration. It is the 80th anniversary of the airlines today.






Once checked in and through security we came across this hula girl and band playing for the travellers.






We were on the left side of the plane so we had amazing views of Honolulu as we left and then the other islands as we flew over.





The Big Island looks flat and barren, covered in black lava rock from the air.





Landed and John went to get our luggage from the baggage claim.















Got our rental car and left the airport. As we left this was our view!













Checked into the Royall Kona resort where we are staying for 1 night. The grounds and lobby areas are nice, but the rooms could use some updating, however, it's only 1 night.


Time to go our for lunch, so we packed up the cameras and headed into Kona on foot. Stopped for lunch where we had sliders combo of kalua pig, chicken teriyaki and burger with a couple of Longboards. There was an amazing gecko who climbed up the railing beside our table, he had the bluest eyes ever!


Time to stroll back and decided to buy several pair of Crocs on the way. No, not the neon coloured ones, these are very tasteful.
And just think, it's only 4pm!! Will head out for mai tais and watch the sunset in about an hour or so!

Dinner at Jimmy Buffett's Honolulu
















Wantedd to go to Matteo's for Itlaian (we had eaten there in 2005) but it was closed for renovations. Walked around and everywhere was busy so settled on Jimmy Buffett's. What a fantastic layout in the Beachcomber Hotel. Much larger than the one in Las Vegas.




Food was very good, I had a Kobe burger which was incredible and John had the fajitas. Service sucked big time, though.



Great entertainment. There were quite a few Torontonians in the audience and 1 couple was getting married on Wednesday.








Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hawaiian Ramblings

Continental charges you for every piece of luggage.

Shopping here is more trendy and decandent than Rodeo Drive in LA or the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.

It's going to be a hot day today with a high of 82 but the sun is shining.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 1 - Honolulu










We’ve been to Honolulu before, but it typically is for a stopover going to another island or heading home. We really only knew the Waikiki area and we were anxious to visit the “real” Honolulu.
We are on the 19th floor of the building (1 bedroom condo) and are surrounded by other high-rises. Up early and took some shots from the balcony, it is always a little cloudy in the morning but the temperature is going to 87 degrees. We can see Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, the municipal golf course from our balcony.
We headed out and went to the Seaside Restaurant next door for a breakfast consisting of 2 pancakes, 2 bacon strips and scrambled eggs.
Well fortified, we changed our minds from taking a cab to Chinatown and decided to take the #2 bus in front of the condo instead. For $2.25 each it was a bargain.
In Chinatown, we followed a walking tour we found online and got many interesting pictures. We stopped for lunch in a food court and had awesome won ton soup.
After Chinatown we did the walk of Historic Honolulu seeing the Palace, Washington House, the campus of Hawaii Pacific University.
Then we decided to head back to condo and relax.
We’ll head out for a nice dinner and wander around.

Getting to Honolulu Nov 8




3:30 am came very early. Limo took us to the airport. Checked in and then typical Pearson airport confusion, no US Customs forms handed out or available at counters (all empty), then a pompous security guard (you know the kind – wearing the too big uniform) Insisting that forms must be completed before entering the line. This meant all kinds of people converging at the same time from the check-in counters.
Fight was at 6:05 am however as we were seated the pilot said Pearson had a 6:30am flight curfew so we couldn’t leave until at least then. Then why would an airline schedule a 6:05 flight?? This was a 50 seater plane to Houston. Nice, uneventful flight.
Arrived in Houston with ½ hour to make it to the total opposite end of the airport to catch our flight. This was a full flight going to Honolulu and then on to Guam. Flying time to Honolulu is eight hours. Nice flight, awful food (but free), entertainment system but old, in seat screens, however, you couldn’t select your movie to begin whenever you wished.
Started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and am totally enjoying it. John is reading one of John Deaver’s latest books.
Arrived in Honolulu on time, 2pm local time and grabbed a taxi to the Royal Kuhio (timeshare) downtown Honolulu (Waikiki). We couldn’t check in until 4pm so we went walking around and saw several wedding parties. Finally time to relax so we went to the Outrigger Hotel and had a couple of beers. Then it was time to check in and put our feet up so we headed back to the condo and crashed at 5:30 pm (10:30 at home) and planned on getting up at 8pm and going out to dinner. Instead we slept through!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jersey Boy - My hand to God!

'Oh What a Night' it was Friday November 6, when Frankie Valli, the original Jersey boy with the golden falsetto, and his current Four Seasons line-up croon for fans in a rare concert appearance at Toronto's Massey Hall.
The show was good, with a 10 piece band (5 members of the brass section were Toronto musicians)and 4 young Four Seasons (nice eye candy)to back him up.
Massey Hall is an incredible venue for concerts, the sound is awesome and the seats ensure everyone has an excellent view ofthe stage.
Frankie sang for 2 solid hours without an intermission which really kept the audience engaged. He is 75 years old!
It was absolutely packed, mainly with people of his generation.
I knew he was short...but,man he really is even with heels on his shoes. And really lose the earrings! http://www.frankievallifourseasons.com/index.html

He gave an excellent plug for http://www.donatellorestaurant.ca/ saying he had eaten twice there and it was the most authentic Italian ever. Guess he also gave them tickets to theshow as they were in the audience.

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons are a veritable institution in rock and roll history, selling over a staggering 175 million records in their 40 year career. The group garnered 29 Top 40 hits, which included such beloved classics as "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," "Rag Doll," and "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". In 1990, Valli, along with fellow original members of the Four Seasons, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, and Bob Gaudio were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
While remaining an active member of the Four Seasons, Valli branched out as a solo artist in 1966. That same year, he scored a Top 40 hit with "You're Gonna Hurt Yourself," following it up the next year with the Gaudio/Crewe composed classic "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," which earned him a number 2 spot in the charts. In 1974 Valli was back on top of the charts, going platinum with the wistful ballad "My Eyes Adored You." Valli earned another number one hit with his recording of the theme song from the 1979 film version of 'Grease.'
The hits stemming from the Four Seasons' extensive musical catalogue spawned the Tony-award winning hit musical Jersey Boys. The musical, which continues to electrify audiences of all ages across North America, chronicles the tumultuous times of the blue-collar foursome who hailed from the wrong side of the tracks. Night after night, the show plays to sold-out audiences who are taken on a reflective, toe-tapping musical journey, from the group's pitch perfect harmonization under a streetlamp to their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Toronto production, currently playing at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, has captured the musical heart of the city and has been extended for a second year to accommodate the ongoing overwhelming demand for tickets.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Food to check out in Honolulu

Adventurous diners will find much to discover and learn about local-style Honolulu cuisine on their Oahu vacation. The Hawaiian Islands’ cosmopolitan capital city presents a veritable buffet of cross-cultural cuisines and cooking styles. If you like the excitement of sampling exotic foods from around the Asia-Pacific Rim, you won’t be disappointed by Honolulu’s dining scene. What’s more, you can find the best Honolulu restaurants on a limited budget.
Hawaii’s Varied Cuisine
Hawaii’s diverse cuisine reflects its melting-pot population. Many of the exotic flavors and dishes have their origins in the thousands of immigrant laborers who came to Hawaii from the 1850s onward. Along with native Hawaiians, these Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Portuguese and later Southeast Asian immigrants, all lent their influences to the evolvement of Hawaii’s regional cuisine.
One staple, the ubiquitous Hawaiian plate lunch, is an institution. It consists of two scoops of rice, a scoop of macaroni salad, and a meat or fish entrée. The variations are almost endless but reflect Hawaii’s unique cross-cultural blending. Plate lunches are generally inexpensive, ranging from $5 to $7 and up, and are available at take-out lunch counters and restaurants around Honolulu.
Here is a Honolulu restaurant guide featuring favorite plate lunch and island-style eateries, where you can sample genuine Hawaiian cuisine that makes Honolulu a diner’s delight.

A traditional Hawaiian plate lunch.
Courtesy of the OVB
Waikiki
Ono Hawaiian Foods
Ono Hawaiian Foods, a small hole-in-the-wall place, serves up authentic Hawaiian-style plates including kalua pig, lau lau, chicken long rice or combinations. “Ono” means delicious in Hawaiian. It’s well worth the wait for a table.
Ono Hawaiian Foods, 726 Kapahulu Ave., tel.808-737-2275. Hours: Mon. to Sat. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. http://www.travelmuse.com/ext/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5nZW9jaXRpZXMuY29tL25hcGF2YWxsZXkvOTg3NC8=
Kapahulu Poi Shop
This is a small unpretentious place—take-outs only. Choose from combination plates with kalua pig, lau lau, chicken luau, pipikaula, chicken long rice and more. Create your own plate and enjoy some real Hawaiian food.

· Patrons of Ono Hawaiian Foods take a pause from their Hawaiian feast of lomi salmon, poi, beef stew, watercress pork and taro leaf-wrapped pork.
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Kapahulu Poi Shop, 3110 Winam Ave., tel. 808-737-8014. Hours: Mon. to Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rainbow Drive In
Rainbow Drive In is an old-fashioned drive-in that has a lengthy menu of island favorites like beef teriyaki, boneless chicken, roast pork, shoyu chicken and more. There is limited table seating outside, or opt for take-out.
Rainbow Drive In, 3308 Kanaina Ave., tel. 808-737-0177. Hours: daily 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. http://www.travelmuse.com/ext/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5yYWluYm93ZHJpdmVpbi5jb20v
Next: Restaurants in Kaimuki
Kaimuki
Big City Diner
Big City Diner is a busy sit-down diner that boasts a menu of many famous local creations. Try Uncle Danny’s fried rice, or sample the spicy savory Grandma’s incredible kimchee fried rice, Chinatown chow mein noodles or baby back ribs with guava barbecue sauce. There are many more choices at this popular combination sports bar and local-style eatery. Other locations around Honolulu include Kailua, Waipio, Pearlridge and Ward Warehouse.
Big City Diner, 3565 Waialae Ave., tel. 808-738-8855. Hours: Sun. to Thu. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 7 a.m. to midnight. bigcitydinerhawaii.com
Grace’s Inn
This small lunch counter offers a large variety of local-style plate lunches. Choose from things like chicken katsu curry, mahi mahi, shoyu roast pork, mochiko chicken, Teriyaki beef and many daily specials. Eat in or take out. There are other locations in Makiki and Aiea near Pearl Harbor.
Grace’s Inn, 2919 Kapiolani Blvd., tel. 808-732-0041. Hours: Mon. to Sat. 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sun. 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ward Center
Kaka`ako Kitchen
This local-style eatery transforms the humble plate lunch to upscale and gourmet. Try the Korean kalbi ribs, mixed island barbecue plate, sweet chili chicken or any of several daily plate specials. This is casual fine dining in a Styrofoam takeout box, however table seating is available.

Uncle Danny’s fried rice at the Big City Diner.
inuyaki.com
Kaka`ako Kitchen, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., tel. 808-596-7488. Hours: Mon. to Thu. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sun. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Haili’s Hawaiian Foods
This lunch counter is in the busy Marukai Market. Hawaiian plate lunch choices include lau lau, kalua pig, stew, fried fish and combination plates, or create your plate from several items. Eat in or take out.
Haili’s Hawaiian Foods, 1020 Auahi St., Ward Farmers Market, tel. 808-593-8019. Hours: Mon. to Sat. 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. http://www.travelmuse.com/ext/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5oYWlsaXNoYXdhaWlhbmZvb2RzLmNvbS9kb29yLw==

Chinatown
Little Village Noodle House
Among all the eateries in Chinatown, Little Village Noodle House stands out. The menu of more than 100 selections combines the flavors of Northern, Hong Kong and Szechuan Chinese cuisine. Try the signature dishes like orange chicken, eggplant with garlic sauce, sizzling scallops, black pepper beef and Chinese chicken salad. Enjoy take out or table seating.
Little Village Noodle House, 1113 Smith St., tel. 808-545-3008. Hours: daily, 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. http://www.travelmuse.com/ext/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXR0bGV2aWxsYWdlaGF3YWlpLmNvbS8=
[Read our Honolulu Chinatown article for more information on this neighborhood.]
Around Honolulu
Tsukenjo Lunch House
There is nothing particularly fancy about this small lunch counter operation, but the lunch fare is top notch. Standard menu features include kalua pig and lau lau, pork adobo, meat loaf, shoyu chicken and more. Daily specials vary from curry stew to Korean style chicken to beef tomato, tripe stew, fried noodles and more.
Tsukenjo Lunch House, 705 Cooke St., tel. 808-597-8151. Hours: Mon. to Fri. 4:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For Hawaiian on the go, grab a Zippy’s Zip Pac. This one features fried chicken, fish, spam and teriyaki beef on a bed of rice with furikake.
love・janine
Zippy’s
With several locations around Honolulu, this chain restaurant has a menu of local favorites. Try Zippy’s signature chili and rice or a plate lunch special ranging from chicken katsu or loco moco to hamburger steak or mahi mahi. There are also daily special plates and much more on the menu. Eat in or take out.
Check the Web site for restaurant phone numbers and locations at http://www.travelmuse.com/ext/aHR0cDovL3d3dy56aXBweXMuY29tLw==.
Chinatown in Old Honolulu, Oahu
Chinatown is hidden in the old section of downtown Honolulu. A walking tour of this historic area is punctuated by a Buddhist temple, Japanese shrine, art galleries and a large open-air market. Walk on your own, or try the Chinese Chamber of Commerce walking tour. Allow at least an hour.Chinatown is home not only to many Chinese, whose families have lived here for generations, but also Filipinos, Hawaiians and newer arrivals from Viet Nam and Laos. The Chinese started arriving in Hawaii in large numbers in the mid 1800’s as plantation workers. Over time, many became successful merchants. Some of the early architecture from this period is still standing, despite the government’s drastic policy of burning of many homes in 1900 in an effort to rid the community of bubonic plague.At night Chinatown presents its racier side, as the once-booming district is still home to pool halls, neon lights, and an entertaining collection of characters.Locals come here to buy leis and eat truly authentic Chinese food. Visitors can watch leis being strung. Shopping is a unique experience where you’ll find unusual fruits and vegetables, herbs, porcelain, fresh fish, and traditional hanging ducks. Many of the shops have been family-owned for generations.The nearby 125-year old Foster Botanical Garden is a 14-acre urban Eden overflowing with orchids, coffee trees, palms, and poisonous plants.Chinatown, hidden just a few blocks from central downtown Honolulu, offers a buffet for the senses with its parade of people, sights, sounds, and exotic smells and tastes.
Yama's Fish Market
2332 Young Street·Honolulu, HI 96826·(808) 941-9994
Serving Hawaii Since 1980

Located in the heart of Moiliili, on Young Street near the corner of Isenberg. Yama's Fish Market is your one-stop for Hawaiian Food like it's meant to be. Fresh daily from our on-site kitchen you can choose from assorted Poke, Lomi Salmon, Kalua Pig, our signature Lau Lau, daily specials, and homemade Haupia, Cookies, and other desserts that will "broke da mouth".

Yama's will cater your special event and offers lunch deliveries too. Contact us for more details.

9am - 7pm Monday thru Saturday

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ALOHA - our itinerary



We leave Nov 8 at 6:05 am and arrive in Honolulu at 2pm.


We will stay in Honolulu until Nov 11 when we will fly to Kona on the Big Island. We will be in Kona until Nov 14 and then we move to Punalulu to my favourite resort in the world! We stay there until Nov 18. We'll then return to Honolulu until Nov 21 when we fly home and will arive home on Nov 22 at 2:30pm.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dinner and a Movie






Made this last night for dinner and served it with a Greek salad. A must have with this is tzatziki which must come from Sun Valley on the Danforth.




Watched State of Play which was entertaining.

Checked up on a few things about the movie.

"The Night That Paddy Murphy Dies" is the song featured in the opening scene of the movie. The song is by Great Big Sea, a band from Newfoundland, Canada. Alan Doyle, Great Big Sea's lead singer, and Russell Crowe are known to be close friends. In previous years, Crowe has been spotted numerous times visiting the province of Newfoundland.

State of Play is a political intrigue based on the six-part TV series State of Play, first aired on BBC One in 2003. The TV series was created by English screenwriter Paul Abbott. Gotta find the BBC series.

GREEK MEAT PIE

1 lb. ground beef chuck, lean
1 lb. ground lamb, lean
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1 cup tomato sauce
pinch of cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
12 sheets Phyllo pastry (about 1/2 a box of frozen)

In a skillet, saute ground meat in olive oil with onions until browned. Season with salt, oregano and pepper. Add tomato sauce, cinnamon.
In a small bowl, beat eggs and stir in cheese. When ground meat has cooled, fold in the eggs and cheese mixture.
Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan. Arrange six sheets of Phyllo pastry on bottom of pan, buttering each sheet. Spread a layer of cooled meat mixture evenly on Phyllo. Cover with remaining six sheets, brushing each with melted butter.
Trim edges of Phyllo to fit pan with a sharp knife. Slice through top of pastry to form diamond shapes.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until pastry is golden crisp.
May be served hot or cold.


Used my favourite salad servers bought at the San Diego zoo.

Royal National Hotel London

The Royal National Hotel is one of the largest and most popular hotels in the city centre. The hotel offers clean and comfortable accommodation for up to four guests and all rooms have private bathrooms. Located in Russell Square, the hotel is no more than ten minutes walk to the British Museum, Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, Kings Cross, the Lyceum and Dominion Theatres and also Great Ormond Street Hospital and Covent Garden.
Picture courtesy of K!
Well it wasn't a 10 minute walk for us!! Not sure where we went wrong.