Sunday, July 25, 2010
ANDIAMO ITALIAN RESTAURANT
HILTON HOTEL - LOS ANGELES AIRPORT
When you fly into Los Angeles and fly out the next day you have no choice but to eat at the hotel where you are staying. Upon arrival to Los Angeles I joined some vendors for a very enjoyable dinner at Andiamo at the Hilton. I started with the Classic Caesar Salad. Crisp lettuce and not overly dressed the way I like it. For my entree I enjoyed pasta with prawns, mushrooms and spicy marinara sauce. The prawns were huge. Probably 6 large pieces. I could barely get down three. I liked the sauce but really did not think that the mushrooms fit the dish. This was a large dish of pasta. Probably enough for two. I got through about half. The best thing about this dinner was the company and wine. Great dinner and conversation.
LOS ANGELES MARRIOTT HOTEL
During a very recent and quick visit to Los Angeles on business I was treated to a delicious steak dinner at J.W.'s at the Marriott. This hotel was located next door to the Hilton where we were staying. Both hotels are at the L.A. Airport. I ordered the bone in rib eye cooked medium rare. The steak was large and perfectly cooked. Not a lot of taste. Actually needed salt. The saving grace was the grilled onions that are served with the steak. These little onions were sweet and coupled with the steak made the dish. For my starter I tried the Lobster Bisque soup. It was so so. Not much flavor again. I liked the open kitchen where you can watch the chef cook your steak. I was quite amazed that one cook was turning out dozens of steaks on time and cooked correctly. The place was busy and everything seemed calm.
Labels: jw''s steak house los angeles california j.w.'s steakhouse, los angeles marriott, steak lax airport
OAHU COUNTRY CLUB
I love to get invited to the Oahu Country Club. Since I am not a member, everything is free.
This weekend we enjoyed breakfast in the club restaurant. The place is a bit out dated and the waitresses are very old, but the service is excellent and the members are gracious. I have not eaten a Loco Moco which is one of Hawaii's most famous breakfasts for many years. Just not interested in filling my body with all that fat and calories. Well, I was craving a burger and opted for the Loco Moco which is rice, hamburger patty, two eggs covered in gravy. I asked the waitress to make my Loco Moco with Fried Rice. She said she had never heard of that and questioned if the fried rice would go with gravy. I said lets try it and she did. This was a huge portion. Lots of fried rice, then a large beef patty topped with two sunny side up eggs. Everything was covered in a rich dark gravy. Simply stated; delicious. The breakfast was better than my golf game, but I don't think I will order this dish before playing again. By the second hole, I was going crazy trying to find a bathroom.
|OAHU COUNTRY CLUB IS BEAUTIFUL|
LE GUIGNOL FRENCH RESTAURANT
I have lived in Hawaii for around 20 years. During this time, I have always wanted to visit
Le Guignol. There is not much advertising or press for this place. In fact, you really never hear about it. I remember hearing about it several times when they changed ownership. Why I never dined here is a mystery. Well last week I was with a business associate and we needed to find a quick lunch. We drove right past Le Guignol and saw lots of street parking. That was it. We ventured in at around 1:30 in the afternoon while most tables were requesting for their checks. The service was a bit slow because there was only one person on the floor. I was interested to see what the menu would reveal. For lunch there are selections of mostly crepes, salads and sandwiches. There also was a nice sounding Frois Gras dish that one day I will try.
I opted for the Beef Sandwich with Gruyere Cheese and Horseradish served with a light salad for around $8. My guest enjoyed a sandwich that was chicken for about the same price. Don't remember what was in his sandwich but he said that it was fantastic. My sandwich was perfect. Great meat flavor, the cheese and a nice bite of horseradish to finish the taste. Served on a perfect piece of french bread. The waiter recovered from the slam and took good care of our table and expedited our check so we could get out on a timely basis. I can't wait to return here for another lunch or better yet dinner. You can bring your own wine too.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
KAHULUI, MAUI, HI
While in Maui on business, my customer recommended we dine at Bistro Casanova in Kahului because it was just minutes from the airport. This was a great recommendation. Bistro Casanova serves Italian dishes, steaks, tapas and some seafood. I ordered the Caesar Salad ($7) and was amazed when it was brought to the table. The portion was enough for two people. I actually gave half to my guest. The crunchy romaine coupled with a not too heavy dressing and large fresh anchovies made this a really good salad. I enjoyed the Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese ($14) for my entree. Again a huge portion was delivered to my table. This dish features fresh large noodles with homemade meat sauce and three delicious meat balls. I loved the dish. Meaty sauce plus the meatballs that were moist and flavorful. My guests enjoyed the Bouillabaisse ($26). This is a rich seafood and saffron soup with fresh fish, mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari, scallops, potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini served with two garlic crostini. Looked good and there was nothing left on the plate so must have been good. Our other guest enjoyed the Fresh Catch of the day. Fresh Mahi Mahi served over a bed of spinach and some other stuff. He loved it. I am looking forward to returning to Bistro Casanova on Maui. I would order the Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese in a heart beat.
RUTH'S CHRIS STEAKHOUSE
There is a special deal at Ruth's Chris that is totally the best buy of any fine dining steak house. For $39.95 you get an entree, salad, side dish and desert. This is the steak house deal of the year and not to be missed. Me and my friends have enjoyed this special several times during the past few months. Everyone agrees it is fantastic. You need to place your order for this special before 6:00 pm. I like the Ruth's Chris Steak House in Waikiki over the one in Restaurant Row because of the excellent service. We have been getting a table outside the past two visits. You can start your meal here with some free freshly made potato chips at the bar. The chips are crunchy and salty. Perfect with a cold beer. The bartenders here are top notch and go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable and filled with their spirits. For my $39.95 meal, I started with a Caesar Salad. Fresh crisp romaine tossed with Romano Cheese and a creamy Caesar dressing. Topped with shaved Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, croutons and some Parmesan cheese crisps that are delicious. The salad is served chilled and with a chilled fork. Simply perfect. I chose the Petit Filet for my entree. A perfectly cooked filet of beef served on a sizzling plate and covered in butter. My steak was a perfect medium rare. My side dish was grilled Tomatoes lightly salted and topped with brown sugar. They are thick and very tasty. We shared other sides such as Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed Mushrooms. Both dishes were delicious. For desert I enjoyed a strawberry sorbet while my friends feasted on a Bread Pudding. This is hands down the best fine dining deal in Hawaii. Highly recommend you visit Ruth's Chris Waikiki for this fantastic dinner.
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|THE PETITE FILET|
Monday, July 5, 2010
THE BBQ STICK MAN
We literally stumbled across this little place located on Campbell Street in Honolulu. While parking my car to go to Ricos Tacos, I saw a sign that read "The BBQ Man Behind the Containers". There were containers stacked in a yard. We walked around and found a cute little grub truck with a few tables next to a recycling place and limo company. The BBQ Sticks are $2 each. We tried the steak, chicken and crispy chicken. The sign said to be patient because all of the Sticks are good to order on the grill. We liked the beef and chicken but were not impressed with the house specialty crispy chicken. This place also serves shrimp and plate lunches for around $6.
UPDATE: 2012 - TACO RICOS CLOSED. I CALLED THIS ONE RIGHT.
We have been waiting to try Taco Ricos for months. Located on Kapahulu Avenue we drive by it all the time. The reviews for the tacos here have been pretty good. In fact, one review said they had the best tacos in Hawaii. We entered the place to find two employees behind the counter. The just stared at us as if we were aliens. No hello. No can I help you. No get lost. The menu is hand written on a board above the counter. There are tacos, burritos, nachos and a fish dish. Not much of an explanation on the board. The tacos served are small 4" soft type that are supposed to be like Mexico Street Tacos. We tried the Carnitas, Carne Asada and Cabeza (cheeks). When I ordered the Carne Asada the guy snapped back "burrito, taco or what". Taco I said. Then I ordered the Carnitas and loudly said TACO. Then the Cabeza TACO. The guy had the personality of a pinto bean but the bean would be more dynamic. We ordered the beans and rice. They were served in a cup. I have never seen anything more stupid. There is a cart by the counter where you order filled with cilantro, onions, jalapenos and sauces. The cart has a large sign on it that reads "Not for Tacos. For burritos only". Thought this was a taco joint. Our tacos came quickly served on a single paper plate. The guy said there was a taco bar in the back with condiments for the tacos. The bar lid was closed so it looked like nothing. I opened the lid and found cilantro, onions, jalapenos, hot sauce, avocado type sauce, marinated onions, radish and maybe some other stuff. The hot sauce was not too hot and did not have much flavor. The carne asada tacos were o.k. The carnitas was o.k. The cabeza was not my favorite. Probably will not return to Taco Ricos. The Tacos are about $2 each.
Labels: taco ricos honolulu hawaii mexican food tacos burritos honolulu hawaii taco ricos hawaii kapahulu avenue restaurant
THE WILD BEAN COFFEE TRUCK
There is a coffee truck parked on the side of the road at the corner of Puahale and Dillingham. Directly across from the prison and next to a small market. Lines of people (mostly men) line up to get this coffee. I just had to see why the Wild Bean has such loyal customers. The coffee must be really good. Or maybe it is the smoothies that attract such a crowd. I tried the Strawberry and Banana Smoothie. Can't remember the price. Tasted bland but was a great experience. Would definitely go back. Why you ask? Because the girls serving the coffee here are dressed (or undressed) in skimpy little underwear. Yes that is the secret here. Best thing is that the girls here are actually "hot". Rockin little packages wearing almost nothing. I have been twice (doing research) and both times the girls were top notch. As you can see in the video, the fresh buns are perfect.
WATCH THE VIDEO
DINNER WITH FRIENDS
Shirley cooked up some magnificent lobster tails for my friend Greg, his lovely gal Yuko and daughter Paris. I have known Greg for twenty years and it is amazing to see us now with daughters that are 9 and 12 years old. Wow...how the time has passed so fast. Our dinner began with a light and refreshing calamari salad with cucumber, onion, tomato, fresh mint and a balsamic vinegar dressing. This is a great salad. Shirley is the master of cooking steak and lobster. Her presentations are also fantastic. These large lobster tails were served up with garlic mashed potatoes and french green beans with shallots and bacon. This was the monster meal. I was so full that I could not finish my lobster meat.
WATCH THE VIDEO
KELI & AUTUMN MAKING PIZZA
These days there is nothing better than staying home with Keli. Watching her learn, grow and have fun is a blessing and the happiest part of my life. One of her best friends from school came over for a sleep over. They made pizza, played and watched a movie. Ahhh. what a joy it would be to be nine years old again. The pizza came out o.k. but the crust was a little soggy in the middle. We need to work on perfecting the made at home pizza.
4TH OF JULY
ROY'S HAWAII KAI
We had a wonderful day of great food, fireworks and friends this 4th of July. Corey, Sarah and Colette joined forces with us to indulge in too much food and just enough wine at Roy's Restaurant in Hawaii Kai. You cannot beat Roy's for the 4th. They offer indoor/outdoor seating directly on the bay where the fireworks go off. We scored a great table under a tree on the front lawn. For $60 you get admission to the restaurant and all you can eat from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. We attended this event last year and were blown away by the food, service and fireworks. This year the service and fireworks were still great, but the food didn't have the bang. We started with three different Poke dishes. All pretty bland and tasteless. Most of them were not eaten after a bite or two. Honestly, you can get better Poke at Foodland. My girls enjoyed some Root Beer and Lemonade as the others made their way into a Cakebread Chardonnay. Yummy stuff. We paired the wine with crab cakes, shrimp skewers, oysters, soft shell crab burger and a lobster hot dog. The lobster dogs kinda sort of taste like lobster, but lack any real taste. Everyone loved the soft shell crab burgers. They were a hit. I wondered around the various food stations and picked up a mini hot dog, lamb burger, meatloaf burger and some ribs. I loved the mini hot dog. The mini lamb burger and meatloaf burger were also good. The Roy's ribs were fantastic. Keli enjoyed cotton candy and a Root Beer Float. We had an apple thing for desert. Shirley got some vanilla ice cream from the root beer float booth and we made a nice little dish with the apple thing and ice cream. The buffet stations also had great corn on the cob, rice, pork, chicken and some other stuff that I never had room to try. Sarah and Colette made the rounds across the street where dozens of booths were set up to sell food, advertise products and promote various political candidates. After the great fireworks display Corey showed up with a cheeseburger. We split it and ended the night so full that we could barely walk out of the place. The fireworks were spectacular and the Roy's location is absolutely the best seat in the house. Once again the service was great at Roy's. They do a really good job taking care of their customers. Videos below.