If you grew up in Hawaii, then chances are that you have very fond memories of the manapua man. Every neighborhood had its own manapua man. They were ubiquitous when I was a kid. My manapua man would drive through my neighborhood at least five times a day, from morning until late into the evening. I can still remember the manapua man that drove his white van through my neighborhood in Ewa. He was an old Chinese man, with a full head of white hair. He always wore a button up shirt.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto is one of my favorite Iron Chefs. When Coty and I were in Philadelphia several years ago, I was excited to make reservations at his namesake restaurant there. I remember the cool lighting in the booths that changed colors. I was even more excited when I first found out that he was opening a restaurant in Waikiki.
I am no novice when it comes to afternoon tea. I like eating freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, little finger sandwiches, and petit fours. To me, afternoon tea is a nice way to pass time with friends while enjoying a leisurely and light fare. And lucky for me, my husband does not mind joining me for afternoon tea.
My quest for great sushi continued with a recent trip to Sushi ii, an unassuming little restaurant in the Samsung Plaza on Keeaumoku Street. Honolulu Magazine recently listed it as the best modern sushi bar in Hawaii. The restaurant even has a fancy 4.5 star rating on Yelp. Unfortunately, my experience at Sushi ii (pronounced “ee,” meaning “good” in Japanese) did not match the aforementioned glowing reviews. I was a bit, disappointed.
After dropping Michelle off at Mille-Feuille Bakery, where she learned how to make macarons with French pastry chef Olivier Dessyn, I decided to take a short walk to Washington Square Park to do some people watching. I quickly found a bench, relaxed, and enjoyed my latte from Third Rail Coffee. In a city as populous as New York City, I serendipitously stumbled on my good Internet friend, Carlos Morales of Oven Fresh Dreams, at Third Rail. Crazy, right? My morning was off to a great start.
Imagine a party where you have to bring your own silverware, table, and linens. Imagine a party where everyone is dressed from head to toe in white. Imagine a party where you have no idea where you will be dining. That, my friends, is the epicurean phenomenon known as Dîner en Blanc. Launched 25 years ago by François Pasquier, Dîner en Blanc is known for holding some of the most exclusive parties in the most prestigious locations throughout Paris. One Hawaii resident worked hard to bring the party to Honolulu, all because she could not make an official Dîner en Blanc party in Paris that she was invited to. How lucky for us.
I tend to plan trips around places to eat. I try to eat good when I travel by becoming immersed in the food culture of whatever city I’m in. Through the years, I’ve learned that it’s best to forego fast and easy as an excuse to eat when wandering through an unfamiliar city. Knowing how something tastes and what to expect from each bite should not be a pre-requisite for any meal that you eat when traveling. Instead, eat good by finding what the locals eat and then seeking it out. Eat good by trying something new and exciting, and maybe a little scary. Eat good by devouring something that your taste buds have never tasted. Eat good by finding adventure in the food that you eat.