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Sunday, September 27, 2009

KELI THIRD GRADE

KELI IS OFF TO THIRD GRADE
HONOLULU, HAWAII

When we first brought Keli home from the hospital after being born, everyone that saw her told us to enjoy every moment of her childhood because it goes by so fast. How right they are. Eight years seems like an instant and here we are taking her off to Third Grade class.

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HAWAII' I PONO' I

HAWAI' I PONO 'I
OFFICIAL SONG OF THE STATE OF HAWAII
STAN SHERIFF CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
HONOLULU, HI

We caught this rendition of the Hawaii State Song at a recent University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Volleyball Game at the the Stan Sheriff Center. This 13 year old did a nice job.
Hawai 'I Pono 'I was written by King David Kalakaua and is played at most sporting events along with our National Anthem.

Hawaii ponoi Nana ikou, mai
kalani Alii, ke Alii
Makua Lani e Kamehameha e
Na kaua e pale Me ka i he

Translation:

Hawaii's own true sons, be loyal to your chief
Your country's liege and lord, the Alii
Father above us all, Kamehameha
Who guarded in the war with this ihe

Alii (ah-lee-ee) sovereign
ihe (ee-hay) spear

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

VINO ITALIAN TAPAS & WINE BAR

VINO ITALIAN TAPAS & WINE BAR
HONOLULU, HAWAII

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VINO ITALIAN TAPAS & WINE BAR - PART 2

VINO ITALIAN TAPAS AND WINE BAR
HONOLULU, HAWAII

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VINO ITALIAN TAPAS & WINE BAR - PART 3

VINO ITALIAN TAPAS AND WINE BAR
HONOLULU, HAWAII

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VINO ITALIAN TAPAS & WINE BAR - PART 4

VINO ITALIAN TAPAS & WINE BAR
HONOLULU, HAWAII

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NOODLE ASIA - VENETIAN HOTEL, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

NOODLE ASIA
VENETIAN HOTEL
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

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LA SALSA CANTINA - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

LA SALSA CANTINA
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

We were cruising through the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas looking for something to eat for lunch. As we turned a corner I saw Mexican food and had to go in.
I tried the Chicken Enchiladas and my friend had the Burrito. Both were huge and pretty good but the prices were high. About $15 each. The four salsa's with chips was a great side for $5.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

CARNEVINO RESTAURANT - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

CARNEVINO - PART 2
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

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CARNEVINO RESTAURANT - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

CARNEVINO
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Mario Batali opened an Italian Steakhouse in Las Vegas called Carnevino. I saw a review on the place and it looked fantastic. There are dozens of great steakhouses in Las Vegas. To choose this place for friends and have it not be great would be a disaster. We made the reservation and hoped for the best. The restaurant is located in the Venetian Hotel Pallazo. This is a beautiful section of shops and restaurants adjacent to the hotel. Carnevino is pretty big in size. There are several different dining rooms. We were seated in the back area where there is very little ambiance. The service was o.k., but lacked total organization and inconsistent. For example, the waiters poured olive oil and sprinkled salt on some of the steaks but not on the others. The wine guy seemed not to know the menu too well. This was sad because the lowest priced wines start above $200 per bottle. This means your wine tab may easily exceed your food tab. The wine list is very extensive and showcases dozens of Italian wines. The prices go up to $5000 per bottle. The wine is decanted and served in beautiful large stemware. Wine service was good. The food here really made the meal. We all ordered the Dry Aged Ribeye ($65 per person). This steak was served on a large chopping block at the table. The steak is on the bone and the bone is huge. The waiter cuts the steak at the table and serves each person. The bone is left on the table with enough meat on it to serve another person. This was hands down the best steak I have ever eaten. It was charred to perfection on the outside and pink and moist on the inside. Pure heaven. The steak on the bone was awesome. I cut pieces off and enjoyed the charred and fatty meat off the bone. The meat is seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and fresh rosemary. We also enjoyed the Chopped Salad. This was an o.k. salad with beans, pepperocini and parmigiano cheese. For sides we had the mashed potatoes. These are served with an egg and sliced bacon. This was delicious. The green beans were standard. I HIGHLY recommend Carnevino. Show up here with a big appetite and bigger wallet.
Click link below for Part 2:

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

HOT AND JUICY CRAWFISH - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

HOT AND JUICY CRAWFISH
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Hot & Juicy Crawfish was featured on the Travel Channel series called Man VS Food. In this episode the t.v. host went back into the kitchen to show how the crawfish were prepared. I was glued to the television as the chef/owner prepared the crawfish in a super secret blend of spices. The process is slow and ends with the crawfish being placed in a bag to steam in all the flavor as it is delivered to the table. When the crawfish were served they looked amazing and the host explained the intense flavor and heat. After having the best crawfish in my life in Beijing, I told myself that I must go to this place if ever in Las Vegas. Well, the University of Hawaii just happened to have a football against Las Vegas this week. I wrote down the address and phone number of this restaurant and headed for Sin City. When I arrived I told my two friends that I wanted to go to a crawfish restaurant. One said he would pass and the other said lets go. We jumped a cab from the Bellagio hotel and around 15 minutes later we ended up in a strip mall just past Chinatown in Las Vegas. There was the sign: Hot & Juicy Crawfish. My heart was pounding. Half of me was excited and the other was thinking that my friend Corey would be disappointed and hate me for bringing him here. Oh well, we are here and have to give it a try. We entered the place to find a half empty restaurant with people wearing bibs. To my surprise we were greeted by the same waitress that was on the Man VS Food episode on television. I told her that I saw the show and she said that she was the one teaching the host how to eat the crawfish. She then explained the menu in detail. We ordered a couple of beers and then the food that would forever remain in our minds and stomach. In a sentence, this is one of the best meals of my entire life. Pure two hours of shellfish heaven. My pal Corey agreed and we enjoyed a bounty of seafood fit for a King. We had two pounds of King Crab Legs ($41.90), two pounds of crawfish ($19.98), two pounds of Blue Crab ($19.98), a half dozen Oysters ($7.99) plus some sausage ($2.75) and corn and potatoes. The two pounds of crawfish was amazing. Soaked in hot sauce and garlic and served in a bag steaming with flavor. We ordered our dishes with the Hot & Juicy Special seasoning. This is a combination of Louisiana Style, Juicy Cajun, Garlic Butter and Lemon Pepper. You can order with the combination of sauces or just on sauce. We went for the gusto and were very happy. Just enough heat to keep the beer flowing and enough flavor to keep you coming back for more. The King Crab was soaked in the combination sauce. The legs were large and meaty. Hands down the best crab ever. Corey loved the Blue Crab. While it took a lot of work to get the meat out, when you did the flavor was fantastic. I found myself picking up the smallest pieces of Blue Crab and savoring the flavor. The bag of crawfish included pieces of corn and potato that were soaked in the spicy sauce. This was the best corn in the world. Wow...this was an amazing meal that I wish everyone who loves seafood could enjoy. When in Las Vegas you must visit Hot & Juicy Crawfish.

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HOT AND JUICY CRAWFISH - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

HOT AND JUICY CRAWFISH - PART 2
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

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HOT AND JUICY CRAWFISH - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

HOT AND JUICY  SPICY CRAWFISH - PART 3
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

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HOT AND JUICY CRAWFISH - LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

HOT AND JUICY CRAWFISH - PART 4
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

SIDE STREET INN


SIDE STREET INN

HONOLULU, HI

Side Street is one of the best hidden gems in Honolulu. This popular bar/restaurant is the bomb if you like to eat family style and enjoy a lot of different plates with a cold beer or glass of wine. The Fried Rice alone is worth a visit. It is filled with meat and hands down the best in town. The Spinach Salad is also the best in town. Everyone loves Fried Pork Chops, huge steaks and the Kalua Pork Sliders. Pork with a slice of pineapple sandwiched between two buns and topped with a sweet sauce. We tried a whole fresh fish and it was fantastic on this visit. Side Street is always busy but the veteran wait staff is friendly and on the ball. They keep bringing the dishes and beverages with a smile. I love to take out of town guests here. They all seem to love the local atmosphere and great food.

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MENCHIES FROZEN YOGURT

MENCHIES FROZEN YOGURT
HONOLULU, HI

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JOSE'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT

JOSE'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT
HONOLULU, HI

Finding good Mexican food in Hawaii is nearly impossible. No one gets it quite right. Joses is close to home and does a pretty good job. I like the taco's, but they are a bit expensive. ($13) for three. They seem to have gotten smaller over the years. I get the shredded chicken and beef. We also tried the fish taco this visit. It was just o.k. Joses is a great place for a cold beer, chips and salsa and some Mexican food. I would go here more often if my family would let me. They can only take so much Mexican. I could eat it every day and be happy.
Click links below for more posts on Jose's Mexican Restaurant;

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TREETOPS AT PARADISE PARK


TREETOPS RESTAURANT

PARADISE PARK, HI

When the little woman suggested we take a hike on Labor Day, I suggested Manoa Falls and Paradise Park which are only a few short miles from our home near the University of Hawaii. After we finished the hike which is approximately two hours we decided to have lunch at the base of the trail. There is a restaurant called Treetops overlooking the dense forrest in a park that was called Paradise many years ago. The park has been closed for many years but the restaurant remains. The place is old and dated. The space is huge and mostly empty. It was difficult to get seated because there are only a handful of employees that do everything. Once we found the manager/owner he quickly greeted us with a smile and sat us at a window seat. He brought us a picture of water and directed us to the buffet. The lunch consists of an all you can eat buffet for $11.50. Our favorite items were the bbq ribs and tempura. The ribs were meaty and fell off the bone delicious. Everyone loved the tempura. A very light batter over shrimp and fresh vegetables. There was also fish, salads, sweet and sour pork, noodles and fried rice. Not a bad spread for eleven bucks. The owner was a really nice guy who is working his tail off to keep this place open. I want to go back just to support him and his family, but the food is good too.

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BUCCA DI BEPPO - HONOLULU, HAWAII

BUCCA DI BEPPO
HONOLULU, HI

One of my favorite places for pizza and a salad. The Antipasto Salad and Pizza Margherita are my favorites. The Chopped Antipasto ($12.99 small) is filled with provolone cheese, pepperoni, red onion, peppers and feta and gorgonzola cheese. The Pizza Margherita ($12.99 small) is my all time favorite in Hawaii. Thin crust with sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil. That is it. Pure and simple. DELICIOUS. This meal serves a family of three for around $25. Not bad in Hawaii.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - BEIJING, CHINA

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - PART 2

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - PART 3

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - PART 5

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - PART 7

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - PART 8

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - PART 9

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - PART 10

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - PART 11

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - PART 12

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PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING - THE END

PEKING DUCK IN BEIJING

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