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Showing posts from September, 2012

Honolulu: Chef Mavro Restaurant

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During my trip to O'ahu for the Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival, I was fortunate to be invited to dinner by Chef George Mavrothalassitis and his wife Donna to their restaurant, Chef Mavro.  
Chef Mavro is one of the 12 chefs that got together in 1991, worked with local food producers, changed the food landscape, and called it  Hawaii Regional Cuisine.  Other notable chefs in this group include:  Roy Yamaguchi, Alan Wong, Bev Gannon, Peter Merriman, Mark Ellman, just to name a few.
Wine Spectator calls him, "One of the most important eleven French chefs working in America."  He's also received a James Beard Foundation award and his restaurant earned the Five Diamond rating from AAA in 2009.  In October 2012, they were listed on Gayot's "Top 10 Seafood Restaurants in the U.S."
See What Jay Eats...
Photo by Chef Mavro Restaurant
Upon arriving, I was greeted warmly by Donna Jung, chef's wife. My friend, Rebecca Pang, joined me for this incredible evening.

A…

Honolulu Restaurant: The Whole Ox 9/2012

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One of my favorite restaurants in Honolulu is The Whole Ox in Kaka'ako, headed by chef / owner Bob McGee.  On my last trip, I was there on the 3rd day of opening and 6 months later, the place is going strong and they now have a dinner menu.  
This trip, I'm in town for the Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival and looking forward to meeting food industry folks from around the world.  Arriving in Honolulu earlier that afternoon, I was ready for some great food.  
I got invited to an impromptu dinner and wasn't going to pass up this opportunity to dine at the Whole Ox.  @nathankam, @RebeccaPang, and I arrived after the group ordered, so I had no clue what was on tonight's menu.  But I knew that everything would be great, just pass the plates... See What Jay Eats...
Chefs Lee Anne Wong and Bob McGee with tonight's main course...
We had a few other dishes, prior to the pork shank: Lardo Vegetable Pakora Ma'o plate Roasted Chicken
Poutine fried potatoes, gravy, and topped with foie…

Honolulu Restaurant: Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin

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I've known about this place for awhile now, with all of the other outstanding places to eat in Honolulu, this was further down on my list.  Until now...

Scheduled dinner with @konaish and @onokinegrindz, my Sushi Izakaya Gaku friends.  Unfortunately, @onokinegrindz was unavailable this night, but we got to have one last meal at Downtown at HiSAM (Hawaii State Art Museum).


Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin Beach Walk Waikiki
In Japan, Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin (Est. 1927) was the first Tonkatsu restaurant in Ginza (one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world and very upscale).
They were the first to offer the now popular "Bite-Size Katsu", "Tonkatsu Sauce" and the "Katsu Sandwich".  
See What Jay Eats...
Beef Takaki Salad (Seared Beef Salad)
Not much of a dressing tho...

You can grind sesame seeds before adding in the tonkatsu sauce, it gives a nice nutty flavor...

We opted for the Special Kurobuta Pork Loin Katsu (Only 25 servings a day) $32
Kurobuta is a black pig (Berks…

A 'Sweet' Dessert

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A couple of months ago, I sampled some créme caramel from Créme Caramel LA.  If you don't know what it is, it's the French version of flan (or vice versa), which is a custard dessert with a layer of caramel on top.  Without getting into all of the details, flan is different in many parts of the world.  So, I'll just refer to it as créme caramel...

See What Jay Eats...
Taro, Original, and Coffee
My first tasting of Créme Caramel LA, thanks to Nina Rodecker (@TastyClouds)
I checked their website and found them
 at the Barnsdall Art Park Farmers Market
on Wednesdays

Sampled all of the créme caramels flavors
and all were very good.

Which made it hard to pick one...
All with great flavor
and not too sweet.

While I was there...
This couple walks up, tries samples of the créme caramel, they end up purchasing 2 of them. Not more than 8 feet away, they finished their créme 
caramel AND returned to purchase another 2.  

Nice to have return customers like that...

Bread Pudding too...
I've only seen p…

The Hidden Musubi in Waikiki

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I visit Oahu on a regular basis and I usually stay in the Waikiki area.  Except for a handful of places, I'm not really a Waikiki expert.  I was telling one of my Honolulu friends that I stay there, but I don't know where to eat in Waikiki.  I'm usually on Kapahulu Avenue, Kaka'ako, Kalihi, downtown, or other Honolulu neighborhoods for food.

A few of my Japanese friends has been telling me to go here.  Since I'm never in Waikiki, it took me awhile to get over there AND I'm glad that I did...

See What Jay Eats...

SPAM Musubi with Egg and BACON $2.48
Caught my eye...
Located behind the Hyatt Regency Hotel  on Koa Avenue is this small "Musubi Shop" sign
If you don't look close enough, you'll miss it
Once you pass the first sign, look for the green sign between the buildings.
It reminds me of places in Japan
Musubi Cafe Iyasume
Open 6:30 am - 4:00 pm 7 Days a Week
Musubi Selection
SPAM with Cucumber and Ume $2.28 Original SPAM $1.88 SPAM with Egg and Bacon $2.48
Photo…

Around the Clock: 24 Hour Donut City II

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Around the Clock:  24 Hour Donut City II
A friend had mentioned this event to me, she was at LACMA yesterday and told me about this morning's discussion about donuts and I should attend.  Although she wasn't there, she was right about the free donut at For Your Art.
Anyway, I looked forward to a break from putting together food pictures from my Hawaii trip.

Donut Display
Now this is art...

She wasn't kidding about the FREE donut
Too many to select from...

Now if these were actual size donuts, I'd be in deep trouble...

Here's one of my favorites...

A lot of artwork on the walls, even had an audience participation section.


But I settled on my favorite one and started to focus in on today's donut discussion and the reason why I showed up.

Today's donut panel moderated by Krista Simmons
Donut trends were discussed, what makes a great donut, history of the donut scene in L.A. as is rooted in the Asian immigrant population, and even shared personal donut stories.  
YES, malasadas …