Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hawaii Trip - Spring 2012

I know it has been a long time since I updated this bad boy so I figured I would take a couple minutes to write down some notes about my trip to Hawaii. Honolulu is not red-line metro accessible so it technically falls outside the jurisdiction of this blog. But I'm making the rules around these parts.

One thing that is almost instantaneously noticeable about the food scene in Hawaii is the abundance of good cheap food. The locals here know how to eat and they know how to do it without dropping 30 bucks a meal. I've said it before, but this is a niche that DC is seriously lacking. I spent 7 nights in Waikiki and driving around to different parts of the island...I think we went to maybe 2 or 3 formal sit-down restaurants. The sushi at Japengo in the Hyatt Regency was some of the best I've had in a long time. Simple dishes like taro and ginger salads were excecuted perfectly while takes on Hawaiian favorites like fried ginger chicken were a nice surprise. The service was outstanding and the ambiance, complete with waterfalls, was pretty cool. Genius Lounge, a lounge/tapas bar that has a 99.9% Japanese clientele is a good jump-start to a chill night out. Don't expect to rage afterwards though because the meal takes forever and the vibe is pretty low-key. Below average service is saved by the early 90's hip hop on the sound system and the rooftop deck. The only other formal dinner we went to was at the beach club and that is always a 10/10. The tables are all on the water, the seafood is the bomb, and they have a cocktail called the Henry. Awesome. A fireworks show at the end of the meal doesn't hurt either.

Fancy dinners are all fine and dandy, but my favorite part of dining in Hawaii are the local plate lunches. Almost any lunch spot serves every dish with 2 scoops sticky rice and mac salad. You can't really go wrong here. People who live in Hawaii take it for granted, but having access to "fast food" that tastes this good is fantastic. Most Hawaiian staples come from either Japan, the Phillipines, or island cultures. Out of this melting pot (god I hate that phrase) comes delicious saimin, manapua, chicken katsu, spam masubi, malasadas, and of course poi. The manapua here (called char siu bao on the mailand) is so delicious that I took a 45 minute solo bus-ride to chinatown to get some for lunch one day. It is essentially a baked potato roll stuffed with chopped bbq pork and glazed with sugar similar to that of a krispy kreme donut. I also had some cold jellyfish and a few dumplings while I was down there. Don't ever eat too much jellyfish at once though cuz you will be HURTIN later. Unfortunately they were all sold out of the fried pigeon because I actually wanted to try it (no shit).

L&L Barbecue gets their own paragraph here. This is a local chain that has spread to a few cities in Cali and one location in New York. The most expensive thing on the menu is probably 12 bucks and each plate is enough for two people. My favorite thing here is the Loco Moco. Loco Moco is as follows: three scoops sticky rice, one scoop mac salad, two hamburger patties over the rice, two sunny eggs on the patties, and covered in gravy. This sounds kinda gross, but Im telling you this is the best hangover cure around. Eat loco moco, lay down for an hour lol, and you are good to go. The spam masubi was my go-to late night snack. The place is open til one so you can walk in, pay a dollar or two for some sticky rice wrapped in dry seaweed and spam and crush that on the walk home. Everybody hates on spam, but I happen to enjoy it. You should just take it for what it is. Don't serve it at your wedding. Its a snack.

I made it a point while over there not to eat at any chain restaurants. There is an abundance of them and that really takes away from your vacation experience if you don't venture outside of your comfort zone. I would LOVE to see an increase in the number of mom and pop joints inside the DC limits. The food is cheaper, the quality is better, and you get to stick it to Chris Berman and those terrible Applebee's commercials. So if you have a few thousand bucks laying around and are looking for somewhere to go...I suggest Hawaii.

Oh and don't forget to try the chili at Zippy's too.

Everything - A+

No comments:

Post a Comment