Monday, April 30, 2012

Los Angeles Restaurant: Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

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I was invited to a Special Stüssy event
with some of L.A.'s food elite...
(Stüssy, the clothing brand)

1800 Sawtelle Blvd
West Los Angeles

Have driven by on Sawtelle,
finally got to stop in.
It's a great space, love the center table.

Executive Chef Ernesto Uchimura
created tonight's Special Stüssy menu
He's the former Umami Burger Corporate Executive Chef

We sat out on the patio and looked over the Special Menu. Everything
looked great and even order a dish off the regular menu.
It's always fun running into friends and catching up...

First up... the appetizers

Worldwide Tribe Fries
with Chorizo Gravy, Fried Egg, Roasted Pasilla Chile

Loved the chorizo gravy and chiles,
but not an egg with fries kind of guy...

Stuffed Mushroom
A Roasted Portobello, Swiss Cheese Fondue, Crispy Kale, Steak Sauce

It wasn't part of tonight's menu,
but I ordered it since I wanted to try

Not really stuffed, more like topped...

Now for the main course...

(International Stüssy Burger)
Akaushi Beef, Japapeno Escabeche, Americanized Cheese,
Smokey Bacon, Battered Onion Straws, Knowledge Sauce,
on a Crunch Bun

A really good burger
and should be on the regular menu

Can't leave without dessert...

Stoopid Fresh Donuts
Funky Fresh Cooked Cruller, Raisin Frosting
Cereal Milk Ice Cream, Caramelized Cornflakes

One of the most imaginative and fun
desserts I've had in awhile.

The burger was fantastic! If this Special Menu is any indication, will have to return and try some of Chef Uchimura's other menu items.

Even if you aren't a burger eater, go for a drink and cruller donuts...

Thank You for the Invitation

It was a food filled fun evening!

Good Seeing Foodie Friends...

Nice Meeting New Friends...

For more info, read The Backyard Bite's

NOTE: This menu was created for a Special Event. The Regular Menu will not have these exact items, except for the "Stuffed Mushroom"

Photos by Jay Terauchi
©Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats

Maui Restaurant: 100 Wines Lahaina

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Unfortunately, 100 Wines Lahaina has Closed
February 2013

If you've ever been to Costco, you know you need to explore the warehouse floor to find the hidden gems. Like a treasure hunt, it's an adventure searching for something worthwhile.

At 100 Wines, you can explore and go on your own treasure hunt for the evening's special bottle. You'll see the selection right when you walk into the room.

One of the latest additions to the Maui dining scene...

You're encourage you to explore their selection

There's a price point for everyone

Lots of bottles to choose from...

Besides wine, they have a great kitchen menu,
created by Chef Lyndon Honda

Small plates and lots of sharing...

My next visit, I'll have to come in on a Thursday and try the special,
I love paella!

Lots of great places to share a bottle
and a few plates...

100 Wines was designed by famous
restaurateur, Philippe Beltran.

100 Wines Lahaina is part of the Cohn Restaurant Group,
sister restaurant to Pineapple Grill in Kapalua,
and shares space with The Melting Pot.

Lahaina Gateway Center
325 Keawe Street, 2nd Floor
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 661-6181

100 Wines was part of

Chris Kaiwi
Cindy Dellefave

NOTE: I was guest of the Maui Visitors Bureau and their partners.
I thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats
© JayTerauchi

Maui Restaurant: Honu Seafood and Pizza

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The Maui Visitors Bureau scheduled my visit to Honu Seafood and Pizza. It was a highlight for me, cause I'll FINALLY meet Chef/Owner Mark Ellman, I'll explain later.

Hono Seafood and Pizza
Front Street in Lahaina

In the early 90's, I was on my way to Maui and heard a girl rave about a restaurant in Lahaina called Avalon. I decided to go and was instantly hooked, the food represented Hawai'i and the Pacific. I was surprised to find out that this dinner I enjoyed so much was part of a new cuisine movement and the Avalon chef/owner was part of this group.

In 1991, Chef Mark was one of the twelve Hawai'i chefs to form the Hawai'i Regional Cuisine movement. Using ingredients grown/raised on the islands, combined with the Asian and Hawaiian culinary influences, add in some Western and European preparations, and you get a unique regional cuisine. When I started cooking professionally, I used what I've learned from this movement.

Since my first visit to Avalon in the early 90's, I've visited the other restaurants that Chef Mark and his wife Judy have opened; Penne Pasta Cafe, Maui Tacos, Mala Ocean Tavern and Mala Wailea. But each time I've visited their restaurants, I've missed meeting them.

After 20+ years, I finally get to meet
Chef Mark Ellman in person.

But tonight, as Mark put it, "Yes, I really do exist"

I met Chef Mark and Judy at their latest restaurant, Honu Seafood and Pizza.

Dining Room at Honu*
Sunsets included

Great atmosphere, food, and service...

Bar at Honu*

While meeting with Chef Mark and Judy, I enjoyed Honu's Kale Salad; with dates, pomegranate, walnuts, pecorino & preserved lemon vinaigrette. I love kale and it was a great salad (sorry the picture didn't turn out).

It was unfortunate that Honu was my 7th restaurant visit of the day, other chefs were telling me that I had to try Honu's Ali'i Mushroom Pizza. The menu looked fantastic and will be back on my next trip.

Read about

Lemon Tart

Tonight's Special Dessert
from Pastry Chef Elizabeth McDonald

How did they know that I love lemon desserts?
It was a fantastic end to a busy food day.

Mark Ellman and Barbara Santos

Chef Mark shared his latest book with me, "Practice Aloha, Secrets to Living Life Hawaiian Style" There are stories, recipes and lyrics from Hawai'i favorite people. The funny thing is that I know quite a few of the people who shared their stories in the book, small world...

I really enjoyed this book and was a good reminder to "Practice Aloha." Since Chef Mark shared it with me, I'm sharing it with my dad,
a Lahaina boy...

I'll be back again and look forward to dinner with Chef Mark at Mala Ocean Tavern.

Mark Ellman
Judy Ellman

NOTE: I was a guest of the Maui Visitors Bureau and their partners.
I thank them for the invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
* - Photos by Honu Seafood and Pizza
Jay Eats
©Jay Terauchi

Friday, April 27, 2012

Maui Restaurant: Hula Grill Ka'anapali Beach

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One of my favorite places on Ka'anapali Beach is Hula Grill. It's a great place to sit along the beach; watch the sunset, have a cocktail and order some pupus.

at Whalers Village

Looking out at the
Barefoot Bar

Dining on the Lanai

Must have pupus...

Poke Tacos

Raw Ahi with soy sauce, Maui onions and chili flakes

Served with local tuna,
how could this not be good?

Crab and Macadamia Nut Wontons

Served with a soy sauce and mustard dipping sauce

A must order pupu

Another one not to miss:

Lobster & Scallop Potstickers
served with Guava plum sauce.

Here's something special to checkout...

Chef's Counter

See what Executive Chef Chris Schobel
has created special for the evening...

Chef's Tasting Menu

A portion of the proceeds from each Chef's Tasting Menu
dinner sold is donated to a local Maui charity.

Baked Hawaiian

Pineapple upside-down cake, Tahitian vanilla ice cream,
topped with meringue and caramel rum sauce.

Chef Chris Schobel
teamed up with taro farmers,
Kekai Keahi and Willy Wood
to create this dish at the

Kalua Pork Laulau
with Taro fries and Coconut Taro Sauce,
sous vide Taro Stems, and Cilantro Oil Drizzle.

It was like a luau in one bite...

With Executive Chef Chris Schobel

I met Chef Chris on my

Hula Grill is a part of TS Restaurants
and has one of the best locations on Ka'anapali Beach,
they support local farmers and products from Maui.

at Whaler's Village
2435 Kaanapali Parkway, Bldg. P
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
(808) 667-6636

NOTE: I was a guest of the Maui Visitors Bureau and their partners.
I thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Jay Eats
©Jay Terauchi

Kaneohe Restaurant: He'eia Pier General Store and Deli

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If you've been a follower of my Hawai'i trips, you know that I visit a lot of place to eat, I mean a lot of places. I guess you can say it's an occupational hazard. A lot of times I go to see my restaurant friends and sometimes I just go to eat.

On this day, I headed over the Pali to visit my cousins in Kaneohe, but they had too much going on and weren't able to meet up or should I say 'meat up'. So at the last minute, I was driving around Kaneohe and found He'eia Pier by accident. I remembered that it's Mark Noguchi's place, met Chef Mark the last time I was on Oahu.

Featured in Travel and Leisure Magazine
May 2012 Issue

It was late and I wasn't sure if they were still open. When I got to the menu and saw that they were serving Kuahiwi Ranch beef from the Big Island, my ears perked up. I met Michelle Galimba, at a Hawai'i event in Los Angeles last summer, learned about her family's ranch. The natural beef that evening was incredible, so when I saw that Mark was using it, I had to get a burger.

He'eia Kea Pier General Store and Deli
is open for Breakfast and Lunch

There are familiar plate lunch offerings on the menu,
but taken up a notch!

So I knew my bacon burger would be great...

Sorry Mark, this is the only picture that came out.

The bacon burger was excellent and tasted much better than it looked in this picture. Who would've thought that the first picture would turn out and all of the others would not...

The burger reminded me of the summers spent on Oahu with my grandparents. They owned a lunch counter and my grandmother would make the hamburger patties by adding in onions, bread crumbs, etc. The taste of this burger took me back to those days, my auntie was surprised that I remembered that taste.

Daily Specials

You'll have to check the board before going inside to order.

I'll be back for plate lunch...

The He'eia Kea Pier General Store and Deli
is located at the end of the pier.

46-499 Kamehameha Highway
Kaneohe, HI 96744
(808) 235-2192


Photos by Jay Terauchi
©Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Maui Award Winner: Star Noodle 2012

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Restaurant of the Year!
Maui No Ka Oi Magazine

They won a few awards that night...

Maui No Ka Oi Magazine

If you've read my other "Star Noodle" post you know the last time I was on Maui, I visited Star Noodle 3 times in 3 days. I never do that...

This time, I was with a group of food and travel bloggers and our first stop was Star Noodle.

Star Noodle is located at the top of the hill in an industrial area above Lahaina. As we were driving up the hill, Carolyn Jung wondered if I was a serial killer, since it didn't appear we were heading to a place where you'd find a restaurant. I still think she should've called me a "cereal" killer in her article. When you get to the top of the development, you'll see a parking lot full of cars, people waiting outside, AND YES you've found Star Noodle!

Once inside, Chef Sheldon Simeon (Top Chef Seattle) has created an incredible menu
and see what Jay Eats:


(L)Shitake Mushrooms, Ogo (seaweed) Takuan (pickled daikon),
Watercress and Kim Chee

We selected a few menu items and
sent out a few too...

Kona Kampachi
with Lemon Pressed Olive Oil and micro greens

Tempura Shrimp
Colossal Prawns, Faux'nagi Sauce, Garlic Aioli

One of the largest prawns I've seen
used in tempura

Roasted Mushrooms
Pan Roasted Local Grown Mushrooms

Steamed Pork Buns
Pressed Pork, Hoisin, Shiitake, Cucumber

Vietnamese Crepe
with Shrimp, Pork, Bean Sprouts, Carrots, Basil

Brussels Sprouts
Pan Roasted, Bacon, Kim Chee Puree

Would have never thought that Maui
would be the place I would really love
Brussels Sprouts...

Loved the brussels sprouts at
Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop

Hapa Ramen
Rich Pork Broth, Roast Pork, Poached Egg, Bamboo Shoots,
Kamaboko (fish cake), Baby Bok Choy, Mayu, Spicy Aka Miso

Since the Star Noodle kitchen does prep work for their
sister company, Old Lahaina Luau, they have access
to a lot of the Kalua pork bones and they make a rich broth.

(L) Special Filipino Pork Dish and Look Funn Rolls

Chef Sheldon Simeon whipped a special pork dish he wanted
us to try, he didn't have a name for it yet.
(It's on the menu now and worth ordering)

Whatever he names it, it was very good
and should be on the menu

Look Funn Rolls
with Black Bean Sauce, Shrimp, and Scallops

Garlic Noodles
 Fried Garlic, Garlic Oil, Dashi, Scallions

When at Star Noodle...

with Butterscotch Caramel and Chocolate Sauces, Peanuts

A Portuguese round donut, dusted in sugar

This is a MUST Have Dessert!

Since this was the group's first stop on Maui, it set the bar really high for the rest of the trip. Read what my colleagues wrote about Star Noodle:

286 Kupuohi Street
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 667-5400


NOTE: I was a guest of the Maui Visitors Bureau and their partners.
I thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats
©Jay Terauchi