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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

THE MOST COMFORTABLE MAN IN THE WORLD - FUJITSU TELEVISION COMMERCIAL

THE MOST COMFORTABLE MAN IN THE WORLD
FUJITSU TELEVISION COMMERCIAL

Wow...what great fun to be part of a new Fujitsu Air Conditioning commercial for Hawaii.  
The spot was written and directed by Greg Davis at KHON Channel 2 in Honolulu.  Greg teamed up with John Veneri and Brigitte Abbot to create a very funny and professional commercial on a shoestring budget.  Most of the scenes were created using a green screen backdrop and the backgrounds were added in the editing room.  The final scene that includes the only dialog in the spot was filmed at Chuck's Cellar restaurant in Waikiki.  Featured in the spot are Nicole Fong and Rianne Rodriguez from Larson Talent.  My sincere thanks to everyone at KHON who created this commercial and to Nicole and Rianne for making this one fun shoot.
Click link below to view behind the scenes photos and learn more about this commercial;

CLICK TO VIEW THE COMMERCIAL

Sunday, July 19, 2015

MUD HEN WATER

MUD HEN WATER
3452 WAIALAE AVE
HONOLULU, HI  96816
808-737-6000
HOURS:  Tuesday thru Thursday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
                 Friday and Saturday 5:00 PM - 12:00 PM
                 Closed Monday and Sunday

First off lets get the name out of the way.  Mud Hen Water is the translation of Wai'alae, where the restaurant is located.  Wai = fresh water.  'Alae = mud hen which is an endangered native water fowl.  "The mo'olelo states that there was a thriving spring in the area that was home to the 'alae and a community gathering place and watering hole.  With that said, lets get down to the restaurant, food and service.  Mud Hen Water brings a vibrant indoor/outdoor eatery to the Kaimuki area.  The restaurant is adjacent to the Kaimuki Superette which is owned by Ed Kenny.  Kenny also owns the ten year old favorite Town restaurant and Mud Hen Water.  Kenny is a veteran of the San Francisco cooking scene and he is bringing small pieces of the City by the Bay to Hawaii.  We arrived at Mud Hen Water at 5:00 pm and we were greeted by smiling employees who met us out back at the picnic tables and then guided us through the bar area to the front entrance where they checked our reservation.  We were seated by a window with the sun beating down on our table.  I asked if we can move and was told the table with the blinds was reserved but they would see if they can find another table.  I said never mind and we endured the sun until it went behind the buildings.  The waitress said she did not know why they do not have a blind for the window.  Other than that service here was excellent.  All employees were smiling and attentive.  Really made us feel welcome and they delivered on every level.  I had read a few reviews on Mud Hen Water and the biggest complaint were that the portions were small and in fact, the waitress mentioned this when she went over the menu with us.  Based on this we decided to eat family style and share all the dishes with the table.  For me this was great.  Got to try multiple dishes and flavors.  Our server brought out the house complimentary appetizer after a few dishes had already been served.  Better late than never.  Cucumber with pureed boiled peanuts and mint.  The cucumber and mint were delicious but the boiled peanuts were dense and bland.  We started with the Beets ($10).  Wow this was creative and so delicious.  Probably the best dish of our meal.  The Beets were made Poke Style with Ago  (Seaweed) Avocado and Onion.  Really a perfect dish.  Loved it!  Next up was the Preserved Akule ($9).  This dish was stinky like Anchovies on steroids.  Served with Pickled Shallots and Soda Crackers.  There were two Anchovy like pieces of Akule in the can.  Loved the presentation of this dish but everyone at the table was not impressed with the flavor.  The Grilled He'e ($16) was a nice piece of Octupus that was grilled to perfection.  The He'e was moist and not overcooked and placed over a bowl of Lu'au which is lu'au leaves cooked in coconut leaves.  I did not like the stuff but my Wife cleaned the plate.  The Clams ($13) were served with Kalua Pork and Cabbage.  Loved the Clams.  A waiter approached our table as we were eating the Clams and said that we should really enjoy this dish with a scoop of rice.  Placing a scoop of rice in the broth and eating eat with the Kalua Pork and Cabbage was delicious he said.  We went for the scoop of rice and placed it in the bowl.  He was right - it was delicious. In fact my daughter ordered anther scoop of rice after that.  Now why don't they just add the scoop of rice in the kitchen I thought.  This takes the dish to another level and really makes sense.
The Salted Walu Croquette ($5) is probably the best bargain on the menu.  Delicious, moist and fluffy  fish with a Panko crusted crunch.  Everyone seemed to enjoy this dish.  The Grilled Beef Stew ($21) was a colorful bowl of vegetables and potatoes with a piece of beef and a huge scoop of mayonnaise. Why the mayo I don't know.  The beef was good and I liked the vegetables but this dish did not come together with flavors for me.  And why the mayonnaise?  The Smoked Meat Carbonara ($14) was a nice pasta dish.  I liked the noodles and smokey meat.  Loved the sauce too.  Never have had a Carbonara with vegetables in it.  Liked the Peas because they brought a fresh aspect to the dish but do you really need Peas in a Carbonara?  Would have rather had some Parmesan.  My Wife and Daughter wanted to go across the street to JJ's Bistro for dessert but I insisted that we try the desserts at Mud Hen Water.  They both said that the desserts did not sound appetizing with things like Polenta and Miso.  Great ingredients but for dessert?  We ordered the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Financier ($8) and it was probably one of the worst chocolate desserts of my life.  Tasted like corn bread and had very little chocolate flavor.  Served with Prunes?  Nobody liked this and we only ate a few bites of it.  The Pineapple-Polenta Upside Down Cake ($8) again tasted like corn bread.  The Polenta does not belong in a dessert.  Again thumbs down from the table and the dish was not finished.  My advice here is to fire the Pastry Chef fast and go across the street and buy JJ's Bistro desserts.  Overall I liked the style of Mud Hen Water and the service.  Food was good but not great.  I would go back again though but will be having dessert at JJ's.

MUD HEN WATER ON WAIALAE AVENUE IN KAIMUKI
THE OUTDOOR PATIO RIGHT BEFORE OPENING
FRESH HERB GARDEN ALL AROUND THE PATIO
KAIMUKI AVENUE TO TABLE FRESH HERBS
MUD HEN WATER SEATING AND BAR
BAR IS QUIET NOW BUT ROCKS WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN
MUD HEN WATER MENU
I LIKE THE UNFINISHED CONSTRUCTION LOOK 
THIS GUY WAS ALL BUSINESS PLATING THE DISHES
COMMUNAL TABLE IN MIDDLE OF RESTAURANT GREAT FOR LARGE GROUPS
CHILI PEPPER WATER AT TABLE - HAD VERY LITTLE TASTE OR HEAT
HOUSE APPETIZER CAME AFTER OUR APPETIZERS
CUCUMBER WITH BOILED PEANUT PUREE AND MINT
BEETS WERE THE BEST DISH OF THE MEAL
PRESERVED AKULE WITH SODA CRACKERS
JUST LIKE ANCHOVIES IN A CAN
PICKLED SHALLOTS AND AKULE ON SODA CRACKER
HE'E IS LIKE A SQUID LUAU
GRILLED OCTOPUS WAS COOKED TO PERFECTION
CLAMS WITH KALUA PIG AND CABBAGE
ORDER A SCOOP OF RICE TO SOAK UP ALL THAT GREAT CLAM JUICE
WALU CROQUETTE
FRIED TO PERFECTION
LIGHT FLUFFY AND DELICIOUS
BEEF STEW WITH A LARGE CLUMP OF MAYONNAISE 
CARBONARA WITH SMOKED MEAT
CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT FINANCIER
TERRIBLE TEXTURE AND TASTE
PINEAPPLE POLENTA UPSIDE DOWN CAKE


Sunday, July 12, 2015

HOAKALEI COUNTRY CLUB

HOAKALEI COUNTRY CLUB
KEONEULA BLVD
EWA BEACH, HI  96706
808-853-4343

I love golfing at Hoakalei Country Club.  It is one of the most beautiful and challenging courses on Oahu.  While I cannot play golf right now due to an injury, I certainly can eat the great food served up by a very special staff at Hoakalei.  The Chef here is incredible.  I have never had anything on the menu that was not delicious.  Heck even the Tuna Sandwiches you can buy to take out on the course are great.  Recently the restaurant changed up the Sandwich Menu and I had to try a few of them.  I tasted the new Muffuletta while golfing a month or two back and it was incredible.  On this visit we tried the Caprese Chicken ($12) and was not disappointed.  One bite and I was in Sandwich Heaven.  You could taste every ingredient in the Sandwich.  The Chicken was moist and had flavor.  The Tomato, Pesto and Mozzarella were perfect together on the toasted buttery Focaccia Bread.  Enjoyed The Sandwich was light and packed with bold flavors.  Absolutely loved it!  The Blackened Mahi Mahi Sandwich ($11.50) is hands down one of the best Fish Sandwiches on Oahu.  The French Fries served at Hoakalei are also some of the tastiest on Oahu.  They are flat out addicting.  So light and crisp that you cannot stop eating them.  We ordered ours BBQ Style and they tasted like BBQ Potato Chips. Really does not get much better than this for a quick lunch.  Love the food here and cannot wait to go back to eat and golf!  
Click link below to view more posts on Hoakalei Country Club;

HOAKALEI IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND BEST GOLF COURSES ON OAHU

THERE IS NO CLUBHOUSE AT HOAKALEI YET SO THIS IS THE DINING ROOM
HOAKALEI COUNTRY CLUB MENU
APPETIZERS AND SOUP
SALADS
SOME OF THE BEST SANDWICHES ON OAHU
ENTREES
CAPRESE CHICKEN
THIS SANDWICH IS PACKED WITH FLAVOR AND DELICIOUS
BLACKENED MAHI MAHI
ONE OF THE BEST FISH SANDWICHES ON OAHU
ADDICTING FRENCH FRIES ARE THIN CUT AND CRISP


THE FOOD AND COURSE AT HOAKALEI ARE BOTH AMAZING!



Friday, July 10, 2015

FORMAGGIO WINE BAR

FORMAGGIO WINE BAR
MARKET CITY SHOPPING CENTER
2919 KAPIOLANI BLVD, #10
HONOLULU, HI  96826
808-739-7719
HOURS:  Monday thru Thursday 5:30 PM - 11:00 PM
                 Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM - 12:00 AM
                 Sunday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

I found Formaggio's to be a nice little neighborhood Wine Bar that serves up some pretty good food.  The service was excellent with both a waiter and waitress working our table.  Started with a glass of wine of course and then moved onto the Caprese Salad ($11.99).  This dish was as good as any Caprese Salad we had in Italy and the entire family loved it.  The Tomatoes were chilled perfectly and the aged Balsamic and Pesto were delicious.  The Margherita "Extra" Pizza ($12.99) was just o.k.  The crust tasted like a pre-made crust that I buy at the store and the pizza had so much cheese on it that it just overpowered everything else.  I like a good balance of cheese to tomato and basil so you can taste every ingredient.  With this pizza all we tasted was the ton of cheese.  When the waitress asked us if we wanted to take the last piece home, we all three said "no" at the same time. Perhaps the "Extra" in the Pizza name is for extra cheese?  The Foie Gras Crostini ($17.99) was delicious.  As with most Foie Gras dishes there was just not enough.  The Caramelized Onions and Apples were are real nice addition and complimented the Foie Gras.  The Crab Cakes ($13.99) were kind of bland to me so I did not eat more than a small bite or two.  We dined here early one Thursday evening and there was a band setting up to play music.  Did not stick around past 8:00 pm so we missed the music.  I liked our visit to Formaggio and will return again to sample some of the other dishes.

FORMAGGIO WINE BAR IS LOCATED IN THE MARKET CITY SHOPPING CENTER
LOWER PARKING LOT NEXT TO FUJIOKA'S WINE SHOP AND A PUBLIC STORAGE PLACE
KIND OF LIKE A CAVERN DOWN HERE
BAR WAS FULL OF CUSTOMERS EATING AND DRINKING
FORMAGGIO WINE BAR MENU
SALADS - OUR WAITER RECOMMENDED THE CAPRESE AND IT WAS DELICIOUS
PIZZA
PANINI AND BURGER
FORMAGGIO FAVORITES
MORE FAVORITES
CAPRESE SALAD WITH PESTO AND BALSAMIC
MARGHERITA "EXTRA" PIZZA
PIZZA WAS LOADED WITH CHEESE
FOIE GRAS CROSTINI

SMALL PIECE OF FOIE GRAS ON TOP OF CROSTINI 
CRAB CAKES WITH MUSTARD WINE SAUCE