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December 18, 2017

Jumanji Photocall - Movie Hits Theaters December 20!

L to R: Nick Jonas, Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan

Jumanji
hits theaters on December 20!

I was fortunate to attend a photocall with the cast.  I'm so excited for the movie!

Synopsis:
In the brand new adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the tables are turned as four teenagers in detention are sucked into the world of Jumanji. When they discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of, they are immediately thrust into the game’s jungle setting, into the bodies of their avatars, played by Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji –Jumanji plays you. They’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in the game forever…






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Visit Maui: Kō Restaurant at the Fairmont Kea Lani

One of my most favorite dining experiences of the year took place at Kō Restaurant at the Fairmont Kea Lani, where Executive Chef Tylun Pang features island family recipes that incorporate a variety of local ingredients.

We started off with some complimentary bread - one of the most amazing presentations of complimentary bread I've ever seen!


Complimentary bread

We ordered two appetizers:
Lumpia Filipino Spring Rolls

Lavender Honey Macadamia Nut Shrimp
The Shrimp was recommended by our server, and I'm glad she recommended it.  It was so good!  Served with a Kula Ali`i Lavender Honey sauce and sprinkled with candied macadamia nuts, the shrimp was tender and flavorful.

The Spring Rolls were filled with chicken and mushrooms, and served with a green papaya achara.  They were so tasty!


Keiki Macaroni & Cheese

Keiki Island Mahi Mahi Bento
Keiki meals include a variety of options, such as grilled cheese, burgers, pasta, and even vegetarian sushi!

Two of my kids opted for (no surprise) Macaroni & Cheese, and another chose the Mahi.

Ginger Steamed Monchong

Ginger Hoisin BBQ Pork Chop
Monchong was one of the catches of the day, and you can order the catch of the day in one of several ways.  I chose Ginger Steamed - with Chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, cilantro, shoyu, sizzling oil, and jasmine rice.  The fish was tender, and I enjoyed the sauce.

My husband absolutely loved the Pork Chop, which was served with shrimp, veggies, and Chinese sausage fried rice. Our server also brought out a side of Miso Butter, which she recommended he use with the pork chop.   
Maui Vanilla Ice Cream

Brown Butter Banana Cake

Triple Waialua Estates Chocolate Cheesecake
We ordered two desserts for our family to share (plus an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream to go with the Brown Butter Banana Cake).  The Brown Butter Banana Cake was yummy, accompanied by a fantastic salted caramel sauce.  However, the Cheesecake was my fave by far.  The cheesecake was smooth and rich, with an OREO crust and topped with a chocolate macaron.  Talk about an indulgence!
Candied Ginger
Candied ginger was given at the end of our fabulous meal

For those staying at the resort, children five years of age and under eat for free when ordering from the keiki menu and dining with a registered adult guest ordering an entrée from regular menu.

Also, kama`aina get buy one, get one free appetizers and/or entrees, as well as 30% off bottles of wine! That's an amazing deal!

Everything about our dining experience was fantastic.  I highly recommend Kō Restaurant the next time you're on Maui!


Kō Restaurant
Fairmont Kea Lani
4100 Wailea Alanui Dr
Kihei, HI 96753
(808) 875-2210
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DB Grill Introduces the Impossible Burger


DB Grill, the sister restaurant of Cafe Duck Butt founded by Jin Hong and Henry Yoon, is offering the Impossible Burger beginning today!

Just what is the Impossible Burger? It's an award-winning, plant-based burger made by Impossible Foods.

According to the Impossible Foods' website, the Impossible Burger is made from "simple ingredients found in nature, including wheat protein, coconut oil, potato protein, and heme...heme is responsible for the characteristic of taste and aroma of meat, it catalyzes all the flavors when meat is cooked."

I was VERY excited to try the Impossible Burger, because the last time I devoured a burger was over 20 years ago!

The Classic Impossible Burger is served on a brioche bun with roasted garlic mayo, local lettuce, Hamakua tomatoes, and Maui onion. A DB-Style version has kimchi chutney and miso garlic mayo, along with tomatoes, onion, and lettuce.

Get the DB-Style version!
That kimchi chutney elevates the burger to another level!

I absolutely loved the Impossible Burger.

It looked like a "real" burger to me, and although I can't really say what a real burger tastes like anymore since it's been two decades since I had one, I can honestly say that I wouldn't hesitate to order the Impossible Burger again.

It was so tasty, and to think that the burger is plant-based is pretty mind-blowing.

DB Grill will also be serving an Impossible Loco Moco!

Impossible Loco Moco
The Impossible Loco Moco (Impossible Burger patty, miso mushroom gravy, kimchi tempura, organic eggs) was amazing.  I especially loved the kimchi tempura, which provided a nice contrasting texture to the overall dish.

In addition to the Impossible Burger and Impossible Loco Moco, we sampled some of DB Grill's most popular dishes.

Duck Fat Fried Rice

Ed's Signature Kalbi

Duck Butt Chicken

Blistered Shishito Peppers
And let's not forget the cocktails!
Hawaiian Punch
Son of a Peach

Soju Mule
Yogurt Soju

Taro Soju
More than 250 restaurants in at least 18 states serve the Impossible Burger.  In Hawaii, DB Grill is one of two restaurants that currently serve the Impossible Burger.

Give it a try!

DB Grill
4450 Kapolei Pkwy #560
Kapolei, HI 96707
(808) 376-0885
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Harbor Restaurant at Pier 38




Gem and I decided to meet at Harbor Restaurant at Pier 38 for our last lunch together in 2017.  This restaurant has been open since May 2016, so it's quite surprising that neither of us had made it down here until now.



She ordered the Brasa Grilled Chicken Breast Panini with Parmesan lattice chips, and said her sandwich was good and the chicken was moist!




I ordered the Brasa Grilled Ahi Tuna Melt with a cup of Harbor Chowder. The ahi was cooked perfectly - medium rare as I had requested.


I would not recommend the Harbor Chowder. I actually had to confirm with the server that they gave me the chowder, because it looked like anything but chowder.



For dessert we tried the Warm Chocolate Cobbler, which I thought was misnomer, because it wasn't served warm, and cobblers usually have fruit with some kind of crust on top.




The menu is hit or miss, but overall, it was a nice dining experience and I wouldn't mind coming back for their happy hour (which they call Huki Pau) at the Copper Top Bar.

HARBOR RESTAURANT AT PIER 38
1129 North Nimitz Highway
(808) 550-3740



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December 15, 2017

Mina’s Fish House at the Four Seasons Oahu Now Open



I love all things Four Seasons so when I got the news of MINA’s Fish House - A Michael Mina restaurant - opening date, I asked Gem to join me for happy hour.  Turns out we were a day early for happy hour, but we still enjoyed a nice dinner with a killer view.  
 
Little changes have been made to the appearance of the original Fish House restaurant, but plans for a redesign are in the works.  As for the menus, they have completely changed under Chef Michael Mina.  We started with the tiki inspired drink menu.  Since Gem and I both like rum, she opted for the Run Home Jack made with plantation pineapple rum and I went with Rum For Your Life made with KoHana Kea Rum.  Both drinks were delicious.  Patrons of Michael Mina's The Street will recognize the familiar If Can, Can cocktail served in a SPAM can.  


Since we both had big lunches, we decided to order a bunch of small plates and share.  We ordered the Smoked Fish and Maui Onion Dip, Fish House Chop salad, Garlic & Duck Fat French Fries, Singapore Street Noodles, and the Ho Farms Bok Choy.  Everything was delicious and I especially liked the salad and noodles.  What we ordered is just a small sample of the extensive seafood centric menu.  There is much seafood on the menu including poke, oysters, opihi, abalone, Kona Lobster, and Alaskan Red King Crab as well as Chef Mina's famous lobster pot pie.  We ended the night with two beautifully presented desserts, the Yuzu Crème Fraiche Cheesecake and the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Pudding.    


Service was excellent and I look forward to returning!  Lunch is served from noon to 3pm, Happy Hour from 3pm to 6pm, and dinner from 5pm to 10pm. 

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Blue Note Hawaii Announces The Hawaii News Now Jazz Legends Series

Blue Note Hawaii announced today a new venture: The Hawaii News Now Jazz Legends Series. Blue Note started in New York as a jazz club. Wanting to stay true to their roots, the institution of jazz will present some of the most iconic straight-ahead jazz artists in the world. Beginning in February of 2018, the series launches with keyboardist, composer and band leader Chick Corea, followed by the charismatic vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, arguably one of the greatest drummers in the world Billy Cobham, one of the most influential singers of his time and younger brother of Nat King Cole, Freddy Cole, bassist extraordinaire, Christian McBride, and many more.

Blue Note Hawaii is partnering with Hawaii News Now to present an array of living jazz legends. In addition to a residency at Blue Note Hawaii with evening performances, Blue Note will send jazz legends artists into our local schools, performing master classes and clinics. This will give music students an unprecedented educational opportunity to work side by side with legendary artists. When possible, the performers will also provide workshops for military bands.

"We started Blue Note in 1981 in New York as a jazz club. We know Hawaii is a very different market, but it's important for our brand to stay true to its roots. In addition to presenting the best of local and Hawaiian music, pop, rock and comedy, we're curating a series of jazz icons to bring to Hawaii,” says Blue Note President Steven Bensusan. “Blue Note is here to stay, and we want to help grow the jazz culture in Hawaii. In addition to presenting more straight-ahead jazz, we're going to provide more master classes for schools and military bands."

A 15% kama‘aina discount is available to residents for most shows. This is available online with code MAHALO15, as well as in person at the box office. Parking is validated at the OHANA East Hotel for $6 for four hours, and at the Outrigger Waikiki for $15 for four hours valet.

View the Hawaii News Now Jazz Legends Series Lineup below: 

Chick Corea Trio
February 8-11 
Showtimes: 6:30 & 9:00 p.m.
Doors: 5:00 & 8:30 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $65 premium, $55 loge, $45 bar

Chick Corea has attained an iconic status, reaching the rank of the fourth-most nominated artist in GRAMMY® Awards history with 63 nods – and 22 wins. The keyboardist, composer and bandleader has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his career since playing with the genre-shattering bands of Miles Davis in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Dee Dee Bridgewater
March 2 - 4
Showtimes: 6:30 & 9:00 p.m.
Doors: 5:00 & 8:30 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $45 premium, $35 loge, $25 bar
Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, GRAMMY® and Tony Award-winning jazz giant Dee Dee Bridgewater has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists, putting her unique spin on standards, as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. 

Billy Cobham
March 16 - 18
Showtimes: 6:30 & 9:00 p.m.
Doors: 5:00 & 8:30 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $35 premium, $25 loge & bar
Widely regarded as the "world's greatest drummer" and revered for his musical ingenuity, jazz fusion virtuoso Billy Cobham has contributed seminally as a master drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, educator, clinician and tireless musical explorer. With continued energy and exuberance, he forges ahead with an ever-passionate commitment to innovation and service to the world through his music. 

Freddy Cole
April 5 – 7
Showtimes: 6:30 & 9:00 p.m.
Doors: 5:00 & 8:30 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $45 premium, $35 loge & bar
Recognized as one of the great practitioners of American Song, Freddy Cole, like his late elder brother Nat “King” Cole, is widely regarded as one of the most influential singers in jazz music. His vocals—suave, elegant, formidable, and articulate—are among the most respected in jazz; Freddy Cole doesn’t apologize for sounding like his brother, Nat "King" Cole.

Christian McBride’s New Jawn
June 20 - 21
Showtimes: 6:30 & 9:00 p.m.
Doors: 5:00 & 8:30 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $45 premium, $35 loge, $25 bar
In a stellar career that continues to showcase his remarkable talents, bassist extraordinaire, composer, arranger and educator, Christian McBride, has been one of the most important and most omnipresent figures in the jazz world for the last 20 years. 
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Palace Saimin


For the longest time Nat has been telling me to try Palace Saimin, often mentioning how it's one of the best saimin shops on the island.
Wonton Min
After years of hearing about Palace Saimin, I finally went!

Palace Saimin was indeed good!

I ordered the Wonton Min.  Huge wontons mixed in with old fashioned curly noodles in a tasty broth.


My husband ordered the Saidon (saimin + udon), and to complete the meal, a BBQ stick!
Saidon

BBQ Stick
Expect no frills at Palace Saimin, but instead just a nice, simple bowl of soul-satisfying saimin.


Palace Saimin
1256 North King Street
(808) 841-9983
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