Today’s happy shot

By October 3, 2011 Happy Shots, The Dog Dish

My old dog, Joey, would be 16 this month. Still miss him.

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Honolulu Hidden Treasures Food Tour

By October 2, 2011 Food

It’s hard enough taking around out-of-towners to my favorite local eateries.

Imagine taking food writers and editors.

That was my assignment this weekend — a gig with the Oahu Visitors Bureau to serve as tour guide to about two dozen writers, editors and bloggers who know a thing or two (or more) about food — and I was worried.

Not because I wouldn’t be an interesting tour guide. (I’m Portuguese; I have stories for days.) I was worried we’d be taking them to places they’d already been to — or wouldn’t be impressed by.

Critics are the toughest to please, for sure, but this group was eager, interested and definitely hungry. They sure made my job easy!

Here’s what the tour looked like:

First stop: Rainbow Drive-In

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Of course, our first stop on the Honolulu food tour was Rainbow Drive-In. Owner Jim Gusukuma talked about the history of plate lunches, the loco moco and, of course, the drive-in.

We couldn’t hit every single eatery I wanted to — we only had five hours! — but there were dozens more on my list that I wish we had gone to. You got any suggestions for the next time these folks come back? Post ’em here!

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Today’s happy shot

By September 30, 2011 Food, Happy Shots

Love everything about Eat The Street, a monthly food truck rally in Kakaako, especially the desserts, including these chimney cakes.

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FUUD: Lava Wok at Eat The Street

By September 30, 2011 Food

Food trucks and lunch wagons that participate in the monthly Eat The Street serve everything from Korean tacos to malassadas burgers to even chocolate-covered bacon.

But where’s the fried noodles and rice?

Well, this Friday two friends and former roommates will unveil a new food concept — everything made in a wok.

Lava Wok — in a tent, not a food truck — is a new vendor to Eat The Street — and likely to your palette.

Friends Michelle Van and Maureen Ackharath took their favorite recipes — with a few tweaks — and created a simple menu bursting with flavor.

They will be serving curry fried rice, spicy fried noodles, filled won ton desserts and soy milk in a bag a la street vendors in Vietnam. And you can only — for now — find their creations at Eat The Street.

“We thought this would be different,” said Ackharath, 28, a graduate of Kaimuki High School.

Sure is.

Here’s what they’ll be serving at Friday’s Eat The Street:

Lava Wok

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New to Eat The Street, Lava Wok will serve fried noodles, fried rice and deep-fried won ton — all made in a wok.

Eat The Street: Eat Local, 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 555 South St. in Kakaako

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Scene: The Streets of Asia

By September 30, 2011 Food

It’s not everyday 32 world-class chefs, four master sommeliers, nine top-tier winemakers, mixologists, local farmers, artisan food producers, food writers, foodies — and an “Top Chef” competitor — from around the world converge in one place.

But they did — at the first event of the inaugural Hawaii Food & Wine Festival held in various locations on Oahu.

Last night’s event — The Streets of Asia: Morimoto & Friends presented by Hawaiian Airlines — featured a range of small plates from such notables as Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto (kakuni steam bun with 10-hour braised pork belly and local picked vegetables), Mourad Lahlou of Aziza (slow-poached prawns, corn pudding, zhug, bonito emulsion and ikura), and Charles Phan of The Slanted Door (fish vermicelli with turmeric, dill and scallion).

It was a swanky night at the Modern Honolulu, with food stations lining the hotel’s Sunrise Pool and butoh-style dancers in Southeast Asian garb entertained guests throughout the venue.

There were politicians, educators, food writers, magazine editors, business owners, restauranteurs, bloggers — the crowd was as eclectic as the food offerings.

Even “Top Chef” Marcel Vigneron (@marcelvigneron) was lurking in the VIP areas.

The festival continues today and Saturday with a visit to the Heeia fishpond, wine tastings, seminars, coffee and chocolate tastings, a master chefs gala dinner and a grand tasting on the final night.

I think I need a nap!

Here’s what Streets of Asia looked like:

Me and the boys

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That's me, flanked by Jason Kim and Lance Rae.

For more information about the event, visit www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.

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