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Friday, December 9, 2016

KING CRAB SLIDERS

KING CRAB SLIDERS
LUNCH AT HOME

I have the Worlds Greatest Recipe for a Tuna Sandwich that wi have used dozens of times and still love it.  Used the exact same recipe with King Crab and it was excellent.  Decided to use little Slider Buns rather than a large roll. I buttered the buns and grilled them for additional flavor.  This is a great way to use all of the smaller pieces of crab meat that you get with King Crab Legs.
Click link below for The Worlds Greatest Tuna Sandwich Recipe;

KING CRAB SLIDERS
GREAT TASTING LITTLE SANDWICHES USING KING CRAB


CRAB LOUIE SALAD

CRAB LOUIE SALAD
DINNER AT HOME

Spent a special occasion at home enjoying a King Crab Louie Salad.  This tasty little dinner included King Crab, Shrimp, Roasted Beets, Egg, Bacon, Grilled Corn and Asparagus, Bell Peppers, Red Onion, Carrots, Peas, Romaine and Red Leaf Lettuce, three types of cheese and a Pickled Green Bean.  Topped with some shaved Parmesan Cheese and Thousand Island Dressing.  This was delicious and filling.  Would eat this salad every week!

CRAB LOUIE SALAD

Sunday, December 4, 2016

HABITANT AT NORDSTROM

HABITANT AT NORDSTROM
ALA MOANA CENTER
1450 ALA MOANA BLVD
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-953-6110
HOURS: Monday thru Saturday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
                Sunday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

I hate shopping and being in a mall is one of the last places I want to be on a weekend.  That may change now that I have found Habitant at Nordstrom in Ala Moana Center.  This small restaurant and bar sits in the middle of woman's clothing on the second floor.  We stopped in for lunch and found a few people watching a football game and others watching a movie on the two flat screens on each side of the bar.  After being seated we received the menu and a bowl of Pistachios.  When the bowl ran out in seconds, another one came and then another.  Free all you can eat Pistachios made us pretty happy.  We looked over the small menu and then started ordering.  First up we had to try the Candied Nuke's Bacon ($7.95).  The bacon did taste like candy with a rich sweetness.  What I really liked about this bacon was the pepper.  The pepper flavor came through big time and I really liked it.  The Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos ($11.25).  There were four small fried hard shell tacos filled with a well seasoned chicken and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and cilantro.  The entire family loved these small bite sized tacos.  I loved them and will be shopping soon just to enjoy these tacos again.  The Ricotta Meatballs ($11.25) are served with grilled toast and this makes for a great little dish to share.  The Tomato Sauce and Meatballs are good and I would definitely order them again.  The Miso Tofu Salad ($7.50) was drenched in way too much Miso Dressing.  The dressing made everything wilt so it was not refreshing.  The Tofu was very plain and could have used a sauce.  The Ahi Poke Salad ($13.50) was excellent.  The Ahi was so fresh and bright red.  Served with a Cabbage Slaw and Tortilla Chips. Really nice flavor combination when you top the Tortilla Chips with the Cabbage and Ahi.  This was an excellent lunch and my favorite new way to shop.  I can see my girls leaving me here next time while they run wild in all of the shops.  That is fine with me because I don't mind hanging and eating here at all.  Just a note on service.  No bad but not great.  When we were seated we waited a bit as employees were watching tv and talking to guests.  The employees do their job but they are not very attentive or engaging.  

HABITANT AT NORDSTROM ALA MOANA CENTER
A SMALL BISTRO AND BAR IN THE MIDDLE OF WOMANS WEAR
PLATES OF COMPLIMENTARY PISTACHIOS
HABITANT AT NORDSTROM MENU
COCKTAILS, BEER AND WINE
CANDIED NEUSKE'S BACON
LOVED THE PEPPER
CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN TACOS
FOUR SMALL TACOS PER ORDER
LOVED THESE LITTLE CHICKEN TACOS
RICOTTA MEATBALLS
A LITTLE MEATBALLS AND SAUCE GO ON THE TOASTED BREAD
MISO TOFU SALAD
AHI POKE SALAD
AHI POKE WITH CABBAGE SLAW ON A TORTILLA CHIP - YUMMY!
COMPLIMENTARY CHOCOLATE WITH YOUR CHECK

PIGGY SMALLS

PIGGY SMALLS
1200 ALA MOANA BLVD
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-777-3588
HOURS:  Monday thru Saturday 11:00 AM - 9:30 PM
                 Sunday 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Here is what I can say about Piggy Smalls.  I don't understand it.  I don't like it.  I don't recommend it.
This new sister restaurant to the very popular Pig and The Lady is now open in Ward Village in the old home of Kua Aina Burgers.  We arrived on a weekend to find a small line of people waiting to be seated.  I put in our name and was asked if we were going to sit outside or going to walk around.  I said walk around and the hostess took my name and cell phone number and said there would be about a 15 minute wait and that she would call me when our table was ready.  I immediately got a confirming text from the restaurant that allowed me to cancel my reservation by texting a number back.  Oh how I wished I would have done that.  We cruised Ward Center and did some very quick shopping before my phone rang.  The hostess was on the line telling me our table was ready.  We walked back to Piggy Smalls and were seated on the small wood stumps that match the communal tables.  The smell of the place did not sit well with me.  Smelled like a restaurant I visited in China.
The waitress arrived with water and took our drink order.  The restaurant serves beer and wine so I went with a glass of Chardonnay to start the meal.  As we looked over the menu, there were bewildering looks and comments about what kind of food this is.  "Is it Asian, Indian or Middle Eastern"?.  Nothing really sounded good to me so we decided to eat family style and order a few different dishes.  We started with the Salad of Sprouting Seeds ($12 small).  I liked the vinaigrette and lettuce.  The Sprouting Seeds were not sprouted rather they were pods and the Puffed Rice while adding texture had no flavor.  We paid $7 extra for the Falafel in this salad.  These little dry balls of Chick Peas were absolutely tasteless.  Not worth eating.  The award winning Scallion Corn Cakes ($8) had a description that made my mouth water; anchovy XO Sauce, picked charred corn, avocado crema and young cilantro.  These are all things I like.  There were four on the plate for three people and I expected t eat at least two.  Ate one of these and left the last one on the plate.  Looked great but the flavor for all three of us just was not there.  The Hanoi Shrimp Cold Noodles ($16) was a huge disappointment and everyone at our table did not like the taste in our mouths after eating it.  The Noodles come cold and the waitress pours a kind of sweet sauce on the side of them and tells you to mix it all up good when you are ready to eat it.  We mixed it up and felt that the flavors were mixed up.  There are a lot of "aromatic herbs" in the dish so get ready for a big bite of dill or mint that is overpowering.  None of us liked the Shrimp and we left half of them along with half of the noodles on the plate.  My favorite of the night was the Pho-Strami Sandwich ($16).  I took a bite without dipping the sandwich in the Pho Broth and that was a mistake.  Without the Pho Broth this sandwich is not worth $16.  With the Pho Broth its worth maybe $8 but nowhere near $16.  The Broth makes the dish and was probably the best tasting thing we at all night.  Loved the Broth.  When the waitress approached our table there was quite a bit of leftovers.  She asked if we wanted take out cartons and in unison we all said "no".  All three of us left with bad tastes in our mouths.  One said I have a stomach ache and the other said "never eating there again".  While I have a lot of respect and admiration for the owners of Piggy Smalls and I like some of the food at The Pig and The Lady, I gotta give Piggy Smalls two big thumbs down.  The food was just bad.

PIGGY SMALLS IS ON THE CORNER IN FORMER SPACE OF KUA AINA SANDWICH
A LINE OUT FRONT AT PIGGY SMALLS
PIGGY SMALLS LOGO
DINING ROOM WITH LONG COMMUNAL TABLES AND SOME OUTDOOR SEATING TOO
MURAL ABOVE DINING ROOM
PIGS ON THE COUNTER
WOOD TABLES AND CHAIRS
PIGGY SMALLS MENU 
NOODLES, SANDWICHES AND FISH
SALAD OF SPROUTING SEEDS WITH FALAFEL
DRY TASTELESS FALAFEL AND PUFFED RICE IN SAME DISH
SCALLION CORN CAKES
LOOKS GREAT BUT THE FLAVOR JUST WAS NOT THERE
HANOI SHRIMP COLD NOODLES
HANOI SHRIMP COLD NOODLES AFTER BEING MIXED UP WITH SAUCE
PHO-STRAMI WITH PHO BROTH
MUSTARD SEEDS WERE VERY TASTELESS 
DIP THE PHO-STRAMI IN THE PHO BROTH FOR MAXIMUM FLAVOR
FRESH BAKED COOKIES FOR DESSERT



Thursday, December 1, 2016

MOKU KITCHEN

MOKU KITCHEN
660 ALA MOANA BLVD
HONOLULU, HI  96813
808-591-6658
HOURS:  Monday thru Thursday 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
                 Friday and Saturday 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Chef Peter Merriman of Monkeypod Kitchen fame is probably pretty merry with the opening of his new venture at SALT in Kakaako.  This place has all the ingredients for success and should be a big hit on the Honolulu food scene.  Borrowing from his Monkeypod Kitchen playbook Chef Merriman has taken the Farm to Table concept and called this location "Upcountry Downtown".  The restaurant features a kiwi wood burning pizza oven, rotisserie roaster and high heat griddle for their "Roadside Burgers" plus Tacos, Duck, Poke, Fresh Fish and more.  Couple this menu with around three dozen Craft Beers and indoor/outdoor seating in a new young-hip neighborhood and you have a new go to place in urban Honolulu.  Like Monkeypod Kitchen, I already want to return to Moku.  If I had one complaint about the restaurant it would be the prices.  $19 for a small Fish Sandwich and $21 for Fish Tacos for lunch caught me as being quite expensive.  We started with the Roasted Squash Ravioli ($12).  This is the same dish that I absolutely love at Monkeypod Kitchen.  Home made Ravioli filled with warm and creamy Roasted Butternut Squash.  The Sage and Butter sauce amplifies the flavor to make this one of my favorite dishes.  The Szechuan Stir Fry Green Beans ($9) were a huge surprise to me.  I loved them and could have eaten an entire plate of these ginger, garlic and chili coated beans.  The Mac Nuts in the dish didn't do anything for me.  Sounds crazy but next time I eat here I am going to order Green Beans again.  I went for the Fresh Island Fish Sandwich ($19) which was made with fresh caught Hawaiian Mahi Mahi.  Served on a house made grilled bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles and Kimchee Slaw.  Loved the flavors here but the sandwich was a bit small for the price.  The pickles unexpectedly were delicious but the small side of Slaw was just not enough given the price.  My friend enjoyed the Fish Tacos ($21).  Three tacos in flour tortillas topped with large pieces of raw JalapeƱo, Cilantro and Tomato Salsa.  Looked delicious and my friend finished all three so they must have been good.  The Watercress and Bleu Salad ($12) was a nice side salad with a whole lot of Watercress.  The Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($8) looked amazing.  While I did not try them, I have enjoyed these at Monkeypod and love them.  Chef Merriman is the only Chef in town that can get me to eat Brussels Sprouts and Green Beans for dinner and love it.  Really enjoyed my lunch here and cannot wait to return.  I have a feeling that Moku (which means Island) will be very popular in Honolulu.  One more thing is the service.  Excellent.  From the time I arrived until I got my parking validated ($1 with validation) the entire staff was smiling and friendly.  The Bartender engaged me in conversation and explained the menu while I waited for my friends.  The waitress also was friendly and made recommendations and described menu items when asked.  

MOKU KITCHEN AT SALT IN KAKAAKO
MOKU HAS INDOOR AND OUTDOOR SEATING
LONG BAR WITH CLEAN, HIP  AND NATURAL FEEL
SMALL PLATES AND LEAFY GREENS
BURGERS, TACOS AND PIZZA
SANDWICHES, FISH, SIDES AND DESSERTS
ROASTED SQUASH RAVIOLI
SZECHWAN GREEN BEANS
FRESH FISH SANDWICH WITH MAHI MAHI
FISH TACOS
WATERCRESS AND BLEU SALAD
BRUSSELS SPROUTS