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Sunday, September 26, 2010

11TH AVENUE MEXITLAN GRILL













































11TH AVENUE MEXILAN GRILL
HONOLULU, HAWAII

I was so excited when I read in the paper that a new Mexican restaurant had opened just minutes from our house. The ad stated that the owner/cook is direct from Mexico City. Finally we may have some good Mexican food in this town I thought. The restaurant is located behind the Big City Diner in Kaimuki in what used to be a small Japanese restaurant. The place probably seats 30 people comfortably and is clean. Service was quick and good. We tried the tacos of course. Baja Fish Tacos ($11.95 for 3). Soft tortillas filled with fresh fish, sour creme, cole slaw, salsa, aurora dressing and spicy sour creme. There was not much salsa on the tacos and the dressing was thousand island dressing. Not too Mexican to me. Spicy sour creme was not noticeable. These tacos were a bit bland and lacked a good sauce. The house salsa served witch chips and tacos is a bit bland and does not seem fresh. Could have come out of a can. Not much flavor and no heat. Really wish they had a better sauce. We tried the Three Taco Plate ($9.95). I chose Asada (chopped rib eye steak), Birria (Shredded Beef), and Pastor (Pork marinated in Mexican Adobo. The Asada steak taco was good but again needed a good salsa. The Birria shredded beef really tasted like cinnamon and was a little sweet. I liked the Pork taco best but it still needed a good salsa to give it a punch. All of the tacos are topped with a little pickled red onion which adds a little flavor and heat. The Rolled Tacos ($10.25) is a large plate of four rolled tacos filled with Chicken. They are covered in lettuce, avo-creme, salsa, verde sauce and sour creme. The chicken was boiled and pretty bland. The dish needs some cheese and again some sauce. The menu also features Burritos, Salads, Wraps and some speciality fish and shrimp items that I would love to go back and try. The waitress was friendly and the food came quickly. Presentation was great. Yes, the name of the place is Mexitlan Grill. Not Mexican Grill.
UPDATE:  OUT OF BUSINESS

Djou For Hawaii: "Hawaii Families"

DREW'S STAR APPEARANCE IN CHARLES DJOU
TELEVISION COMMERCIAL

MORIMOTO WAIKIKI

MORIMOTO WAIKIKI
HONOLULU, HAWAII


I missed a University of Hawaii Football Game to attend an exclusive preview dinner at Iron Chef Morimoto's new restaurant in Waikiki. The event was a fund raiser for the Hawaii FoodBank. Was it worth missing my beloved Bows? Yes! The food and service were excellent. We began our adventure just finding the entrance. This place is under wraps until it's September 28th Grand Opening. You walk around the back side of the Ilikai Hotel. There is no sign, no parking attendant. There were two security guards in black with head phones in their ears and an attractive gal with a clipboard in her hand standing near what looked liked a construction entrance. I mentioned Morimoto's and the security guard said "shhhh" and put is finger over his mouth. We walked up some stairs into an entire different world of beautiful pastel colors, couches and warmth. Another person checked our name and then escorted us to the entrance. We were quickly welcomed and taken to our seats which were outdoors on a wood plank patio. Beautiful raging fire pits, umbrellas, view of the harbor and comfortable outdoor seating greeted us along with our waiter and staff. Minutes later we were given a glass of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne NV Couilly from France. While there are small candles on the table, it is really too dark to read the menu outside. Even the waitress/waiters mentioned this. Our first course was a Sashimi Salad with Baby Romaine and Morimoto Caesar Dressing. This was the bomb and my daughter finished every bite before the adults. This is something since she doesn't usually eat sashimi. The sashimi was four large slices of raw tuna lightly seared on just one edge. Melted like butter in your mouth. The Ceasar salad was a few pieces of whole lettuce leaves with just a hint of dressing. It was topped with a very, very small egg which was a good surprise. No cheesed on the ceasar. This dish was paired with a Condesa Eylo Verdejo, 2008 Reuda from Spain. This wine was perfect for the dish. Absolutely perfect. It enhanced every bite. The wine was so smooth and delicious. Our next course was Shikai Maki jamon iberico, soy foam with Oxtail Soup in Puff Pastry. The Oxtail Soup in Puff Pastry was brilliant. The Maki was a little too seaweed tasting to me but beautiful in presentation. This dish was served with a One Hope Chardonnay, 2009 from California. Light and crisp wine that I liked. Our next dish was not on the menu but loved by all. A nice plate of Sushi. Around six pieces of assorted raw fish served sushi and maki style. All fresh and perfect. By this point in the dinner my 9 year old daughter slouched back in her chair with a huge smile and said "I am so happy". She gave me the thumbs up and said the food was excellent. Our entree items included Braised Black Cod with a ginger soy reduction and Filet Mignon with Maui Onion Jus. Served with a nice King Estate Signature Pinot Noir, 2009 Lorane, Oregon. The wine was good but I could have gone with a bolder Pinot for the surf and turf dish. The Black Cod was fresh, fluffy and full of flavor. The dish was covered a little too much in the sauce. The steak was pure and simple. Cooked perfectly and over the top flavor when you added the Maui Onion Jus. For dessert we were given Haupia Semifreddo, coconut, local honey and matcha meringue. This was the only dish that we all did not like. Really a dud after such a great meal. This was a very good meal. After dinner we approached Iron Chef Morimoto and asked him to sign a photo of our family with him that was taken around six years ago. He accepted the photo and began to draw on it. Turns out he painted his face and wrote to us in both english and Japanese. Morimoto Waikiki will be a huge hit. I can see the place as the "in" spot for several years. Cannot wait to go back and try other menu items.
Links below to more posts on Morimoto Waikiki:
http://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2014/05/morimoto-waikiki.html























Sunday, September 19, 2010

BBQ AT CASA DE SANTOS

BBQ AT HOME
HONOLULU, HAWAII

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BBQ AT CASA DE SANTOS























































































BBQ AT HOME

We hosted friends for a great BBQ. Filled with good food, exceptional wine and great people. Menu included Drew's Famous Cheesburgers, Hot Dogs, BBQ Ribs, Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Fresh Marlin with Papaya Relish, Grilled Shrimp Scampi, Lobster Mac n' Cheese, Corn on the Cob, Smoked Salmon with Capers, Onion & Creme Cheese, Homemade Guacamole and Salsa, Calamari Salad, Cole Slaw,Asparagus wrapped in ham, Grilled Sausage, Marinated Cucumbers, Korean Side Dishes, Fresh Sashimi and a Japanese Sushi that was out of this world delicious. Really thank everyone for bringing stuff to make this one of the best pig outs in our home. Also want to hug Cecil who brought the mind blowing and incredible wines; Opus One, Silver Oak, Joseph Phelps Insignia, 1997 Gaja and a very prized Harlan Estate bottle that was smooth as silk. This was a huge treat to enjoy such great wines with an incredible group of friends. Thanks to everyone for coming up the hill.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ICHIRIKI JAPANESE NABE RESTAURANT

ICHIRIKI JAPANESE NABE RESTAURANT
HONOLULU, HAWAII

Had a wonderful and delicious lunch at Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Restaurant. This place specializes in Nabe, a cook at your table hot pot filled with broth. We chose the "Spicy" Nabe and it packed a little heat. Not too much. Just enough to make my nose run. There are several other types such as Miso, Kim Chi and Shoyu. As the hot pot begins to boil you are given a bowl of vegetables, noodles and beef. One of the beef dishes is like a sausage that you cut up and cook up in the pot. Then you get some strips of beef that are also thrown in the pot. The broth here was delicious and full of flavor and hints of garlic. I loved it. As the meal progresses you can choose between soba noodles and ramen noodles. I chose the ramen and it was great.  Everything worked here. The atmosphere is great. We sat in the Tatami room in very low chairs. Service was great and food was great. What a great lunch for around $10. Highly recommend Ichiriki.

ICHIRIKI JAPANESE RESTAURANT, HONOLULU, HAWAII
JAPANESE DINING
SIT ON THE FLOOR JAPANESE STYL





















































Sunday, September 12, 2010

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII WOMANS VOLLEYBALL

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII WOMAN'S VOLLEYBALL
STAN SHERIFF CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII


One of our favorite treats in life is being season ticket holders to U.H. Woman's Volleyball. The Rainbow Wahine are always exciting and play with great heart and a never give up spirit. The games are packed with around 4,000 to 6,000 people per game. Our seats are lower level near the pep band and student section which makes for a lot of fun. There are many dining options at the Stan Sheriff Center. I usually opt for a small beer ($4.25) because the large ones take longer to drink and then get warm. The great deal here is to order the childrens hot dog plate. For $4.50 you get a hot dog, fries and a drink. I usually inhale the dog while my wife gets the fries and soda. During this weekend's three nights of games we had the Bambucha Nachos ($5.50). This is a huge plate of chips with cheese, ground beef, tomatoes, sour creme and green onion. Add two pounds of jalapenos and you have a great dish that you will remember in the morning. We often grab a salad or sandwich and soup. There is a small booth that serves California Pizza Kitchen menu items. My daughter ordered pasta with sausage, onions and marinara sauce for around $5. It was delicious. We always enjoy a bowl of soy beans and Keli never leaves without Dip n' Dot ice cream. Rainbow Wahine Volleyball has got to be one of the best things in college sports. Always fun, exciting and pretty good grinds too.




LOVE THE LOCATION O

























































Wednesday, September 8, 2010

HAWAII VS USC TAILGATE

HAWAII VS USC TAILGATE
ALOHA STADIUM, HAWAII

We enjoyed a great tailgate party with friends and co-workers. The menu included Lobster Tails, Steak Sandwiches, BBQ Ribs, Hot Dogs, Crab and Corn Salad, Grilled Sausage, BBQ Pork Char Su,
Chicken Wings, Tom's Famous Bean Dip, Lobster Mac n' Cheese and a little beer and champagne.

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PICNIC WITH CONGRESSMAN CHARLES DJOU



















CONGRESSMEN CHARLES DJOU
HONOLULU, HAWAII

Our family spent a nice Sunday afternoon with Congressmen Charles Djou, his family and a small group of supporters at a beachfront home in Honolulu. This was a great time to talk to Charles and hear about his first few months in Washington D.C. They even filmed scenes for an upcoming television commercial where you may see our smiling faces.


MARIPOSA - NEIMAN MARCUS

MARIPOSA
NEIMAN MARCUS
HONOLULU, HAWAII

Mariposa in Neiman Marcus at the Ala Moana Shopping Center is known for their great business lunch. On this occasion, it was known for the worst business lunch. All three of us dining did not like the food and did not finish our dishes. Three out of three said it was terrible. Worse thing is that this place is expensive. Very expensive. Lunch for three that was terrible was $100 with tip. First off you get a puffed up pile of bread and some good butter when you arrive. The bread is good. We followed the bread with a cup of Lobster Bisque Soup ($5). The soup had a deep flavor and was good. No sign of lobster though. I ordered the Daily Special which was Mahi Mahi with Bay Scallops and Fried Calamari. This dish was a mess of flavors that did not work. The scallops and calamari were tasteless. This was a wreck for $24.  My guests tried the Seafood Curry ($22). Clams, Tiger Prawns and Fish served in a curry sauce. He said it was terrible and did not even eat the single large prawn. My other guest tried the Ribeye Roast Beef Sandwich ($17). It was covered with Brie Cheese which he said made it uneatable. Seriously, he only ate about two bites and threw in the towel. The side order of Sweet Potato Fries ($5) was good and the only thing everyone enjoyed. The view is nice here. The service is good, but the food on this day was just down right bad.
























































Monday, September 6, 2010

HANGIN WITH REPUBLICAN LEADER MICHAEL STEELE


















MICHAEL STEELE
CHAIRMAN OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

The family met Michael Steele, Chairman of the National Republican Party.

Friday, September 3, 2010

PLUMERIA BEACH HOUSE

PLUMERIA BEACH HOUSE
KAHALA HOTEL AND RESORT, HAWAII

I was blessed to enjoy and absolutely wonderful business lunch with a great customer who picked up the tab. This was good because the Plumeria Beach House is a bit expensive. This indoor/outdoor restaurant is located in the Kahala Hotel. This is one of the nicest and most beautiful hotel properties on Oahu. We both ordered the "Afternoon Affair" set lunch menu
for $28 each. This includes the Chef's Daily Special Appetizer, entree and Kahala Hot Fudge Sundae for dessert. Prior to enjoying this set menu we tried the Spicy Ahi Summer Roll ($18).

This was way too expensive for what you get on the plate. The Summer Roll is Ahi, Avocado wrapped in a roll and served with a green papaya salad with chili dipping sauce. The Roll was good but the papaya salad was totally bland. Our appetizer was mixed vegetables served with a balsamic dressing. This was fresh and delicious plus healthy. The entree was an overcooked but very good piece of Swordfish. The fish was delicious but a little hard because it was cooked too long. To end the meal we enjoyed a hot fudge sundae that was basic and filling.