Sunday, August 02, 2015

Maui & Oahu Trip '15

Earlier in July my husband I spent a couple weeks in Hawai'i.  We went to Maui (my first time there) then to O'ahu.  While in Hawai'i I got to see the differences and similarities between Maui and O'ahu.  The one thing both islands had in common was that there was delicious food everywhere!  Here are some of my favorite places we grubbed at and interesting foods we saw:

Jack's Inn
When we arrived in Maui, we were craving some local food so we asked a few locals what were good local spots to eat at near the airport.  Locals were recommending Jack's Inn so we went there for breakfast.  It's a small diner with a simple menu:

I chose the Crazy Omelette with meats that the Hawaiian locals love- 2 eggs with Spam, Vienna Sausage, Portuguese sausage, and green onions!  Despite the variety of meats, I'm glad that one meat didn't overpower the other:

Jack's Inn
312 Alamaha St
Kahului, HI 96732
(808) 877-3610

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Miso Phat Sushi
Right near our hotel was Miso Phat Sushi.  What I liked about them is that they catch 99% of their own seafood from their boat Shiso Phat:

The TNA Roll- California Roll wrapped with salmon topped with scallops and spicy aioli that's baked and garnished with bonito flakesunagi sauce, tobikofurikake and comes with a lemon squeeze to top it off:

The Chirashi Sushi Bowl- a divine assortment of fish and vegetables served on a bed of sushi rice

Homemade Lilikoi (passion fruit) Ice Cream:

I really enjoyed eating here, the ambience was intimate and I could tell the employees took pride of their food.  I'll for sure come back next time!

Miso Phat Sushi
4310 Lower Honoapiilani Hwy #111
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 669-9010

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Tasaka Guri Guri
This dessert shop is well known for their frozen dessert called, guri-guri which is a cross between sherbert and ice cream.

They only sell two flavors Pineapple and Strawberry, so tasty and light!:

Tasaka Guri Guri Shop
70 E Kaahumanu Ave
Kahului, HI 96732
(808) 871-4513

Lahaina Luna Cafe
If you love fries, you must try the Crazy Fries at Lahaina Luna Cafe!  They're string cut fries topped with spicy kochu aioli and furikake:

The Crazy Fries go great with the Twin Mahimahi Tacos:

Lahaina Luna Cafe
790 Front St
Ste I-270
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 757-8286

O'o Farm
We took a tour of the O'o Farm which provides fresh food for Pacific'O Restaurant.  If you take the tour, you'll learn about the crops they use and the coffee that they grow:

Comparing the asparaguses from the farm and the one you typically see at a grocery store:

After the tour is a luncheon.  Most of the foods are prepared by their chef and we just had to pick out greens for the salad.  Luncheon includes fresh fruit, Tofu with Oven Roasted Vegetables and Herbs, Rosemary Chicken, Herb Focaccia Bread, Espresso Chocolate Truffles, and more:

O'o Farm
651 Waipoli Rd
Kula, HI 96790
(808) 667-4341

Road to Hana
If you ever visit Maui, I recommend going on the Road to Hana.  Just getting to Hana there's a lot of windy roads, but plenty of sightseeing along the way to make up for it!  You may drive at your own pace, maybe stay overnight at a campground or hotel, or take a tour and have an expert guide drive for you so you can focus on enjoying the ride.  We chose to go on a tour van with Mahalo Tours.  Luckily, we had a tour guide who was born and raised in the Hana area, so we got to learn interesting things from him about Hana way more than what we could research online.  Our tour guide gave us some snacks and stopped at a local food joints throughout the journey:

banana bread:

Grilled Ono Fish smothered in some special sauce from Braddah Hutts BBQ Grill:

Koa's Seaside Grill
Koa's Shiso Seared Divers Scallops with beurre blanc, tropical salsa, and rice:

Koa's Seaside Grill
839 Front St
Lahaina, HI 96791
(808) 667-7737

Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice
Ululani's is known for the best shaved ice on Maui.  Their shaved ice's texture was quite soft and the flavors were amazing.  Look at their menu to see what flavors they offer.  I also like how you have the choice of adding Haupia ice cream on the bottom of your shaved ice:

819 Front St
Lahaina, HI 96791

Maui Brewery Co
At Maui Brewery Co I ate the best tater tot dish I've ever had, the Tots Dynamite!  Comes with cheddar jack and cheese, jalepeño, green onion, kimchi aioli, caramelized onion, and garlic crema:

Maui Brewery Co
4405 Honoapiilani Hwy
Lahaina, HI
(808) 669-3474

Island Cream Co
We're usually not big on sweets, most of the time we order the smallest portion, but not this time! We ordered a sample set of six different flavors- Cherry Vanilla, Strawberry Shortcake, Pineapple Cream, Strawberry Guava, Haupia, and Paradise Passion:

Island Cream Co 
305 Keawe St, Ste 511
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 298-0916

Lots of uni (sea urchin) at Whole Foods:

Locally made products everywhere:

Cinnamon's at the 'Ilikai
When we were at Oahu, our friend recommended to go to Cinnamon's for breakfast.  Locals rave about their eggs benedict, like this Mahi Mahi Eggs Benedict right here:

They're also known for their pancakes like the Guava Chiffon:

I had to get an omelette- the Hawaiian Omelette, comes with Kalua Pork, tomatoes, white and green onions, and lau-lau (lu-au leaves, pork, and butterfish) served with tater tots:

Overall we had a nice breakfast, we opted to eat outdoors where the weather was beautiful, and the service was friendly and prompt!

Cinnamon's at the 'Ilikai Hotel & Suites
1777 Ala Moana Blvd Ste 180
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 261-8724

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Young's Kalbee
When we were out of the tourist area (Honolulu/Waikiki), we went to Young's in Aiea for some Korean food.  My husband was craving for Fish Jun:

I wanted to try a little bit of everything (more than I expected!), so I got the Lunch Special- BBQ Chicken, Meat Jun, Fried Man Doo, 3 Korean Style Vegetables, Rice, and Kimchi:

All the food was incredible, there wasn't one food I liked more than another!

Young's Kalbee
99-084 Kauhale St A2 
Aiea, HI 96701
(808) 488-0251

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I was a glutton those past two weeks, but had to since I was on vacation and I don't know when I'll come back to Hawai'i!  

To see pics from my last visit to Hawai'i in 2012, click here: Hawai'i Trip '12

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Carson Kitchen

A restaurant in Downtown LV that is in my top faves right now is Carson Kitchen.  Its a small restaurant that was designed to be similarly like rock 'n' roll chef, Kerry Simon's loft-style home in Las Vegas.  We've dined there twice during their busy dinner hours and have sat at same seats at the bar.  Despite being busy, one of the managers took some time to speak to us and explained what was in our entrees in a more detailed manner than what's described in the menu both times that we've been there.  Here are photos from our second visit:

Killer Shrimp smothered in rocoto pepper cream

Cheddar Crab Fondue with assorted bread - their pretzel bread was my absolute fave!

Cocoa-Espresso NY Strip Steak with red wine demi glace-
I ordered this medium rare and it was quite tender to my liking

My husband got the Secret Sunday Chicken topped with spicy pickle aioli and served
with spicy tater tots

It was hard to choose which dessert to get so we got our waitresses' favorite, Banoffee Pie - to get
the full effect of the dessert, I recommend eating the multiple layers all at once!
I love Carson Kitchen's take on American food, we will be back soon!  To see pics from my first visit, click here.

124 South 6th St 
Ste 100
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 473-9523

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gelato Messina

At the new Downtown Summerlin shopping plaza, fantastic shops and restaurants are opening up including a new gelato eatery named Gelato Messina.  What stands out about this gelato shop is that this is their first US location (they are based in Australia) and they make their gelato from scratch using only the finest ingredients.  I guarantee that if you stop by and sample their gelato, your eyes will POP in amazement like mines did!

Gelato Messina adorns their interior with bright colors and loud artwork, reflective of their passion for making vibrant and creative flavors of gelato

There's coffee, lattes, and more drinks to accompany the desserts

Cremino - Salted caramel gelato and crushed amaretti biscuits with soft meringue and Nutella

Inside the Cremino - all the flavors layered and folded throughout this decadent dessert :) Delish!

Peanut Butter & Jelly "Sandwich" - Brioche gelato, peanut butter mousse, and blackberry jelly

All the flavors are individually strong, but presents a nice combination when all three layers are eaten together

Head Chef Donato Toce explains to us how the gelato are made in-house and how they use their creations to make various types of gelato cakes

Black Forest Gelato Cake - Choc fondant gelato, kirsch semi freddo with amarena cherries, a thin layer of chocolate sponge, a chocolate crackle disc, dark chocolate spray finish with a cherry sorbet dome enclosed in a crisp dark chocolate top

Dr. Evil's Magic Mushroom Gelato Cake Display

Gelato fresh out of the machine

The sorbet gelato section includes flavors like Salted Coconut & Mango Salsa, Blood Orange, and Passionfruit
All sorbet gelatos are dairy free and vegan friendly

Approximately 40 different gelato flavors are available every day at Gelato Messina

5 special gelato flavors, some of which are modeled after pop-culture icons, are made and changed up on a weekly basis

The Heisenberg - Blueberry yogurt gelato with crystallized violets (get it, Breaking Bad fans?!)

Dulce De Leche - An Argentinean caramel made by reducing milk until it becomes a sweet jam

Gelato chefs hard at work

Gelato in a can - take some gelato to go!

Yours truly next to the giant Gelato Messina mural

Shoutout to the Gelato Messina team for showing us foodies a great time and letting us try your sweet treats!  Also, special shoutout to Michelle at for enjoying some gelato and indulging in a fun foodie adventure with us.

2010 Festival Park Drive, Suite 130
Las Vegas, NV 89135

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