Day 1: Kauai on the fly

Day 1: Kauai on the fly

I have a love-hate relationship with traveling.

On the one hand, I love experiencing new places, eating at new restaurants and meeting new people.

But on the other hand, I like my own bed, my own bathroom — and control over my own schedule.

You don’t get those three on business trips — which is the reason I’m on Kauai this week.

Of course, that’s only true depending on the people you travel with — and I scored on this trip.

The folks I’m with love to eat, love to laugh and — did I mention? — love to eat. So we were all on the same page.

And honestly, there’s no better place to do those things than on Kauai, where you can eat locally sourced food and see the most stunning sights in the world — all within a one-mile radius.

Here’s what our first day on the Garden Isle looked like:

Java Kai

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First stop: coffee. So we headed to the charming town of Hanalei on Kauai's north shore and directly to Java Kai, a coffee shop opened by Jennifer and Brent Hickman in 1997.

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Today’s happy shot

This is why Hanalei Bay is so popular.

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Cat Chat: Simply Ono redux

Cat Chat: Simply Ono redux

Last month the Nonstop Honolulu team — including me — had the difficult job of judging 22 pork dishes at Eat The Street.

Yes, 22. It was painful.

But with a plate of succulent Okinawan-style shoyu pork and crispy chocolate-dipped bacon, Simply Ono (@simplyonowagons) stood out from the rest — and was crowned the Pig Out champs.

The veteran lunch wagon — serving gourmet plate lunches for 16 years — proved it could compete with the newest and trendiest trucks.

How? By offering lunch-wagon staples like garlic chicken, kalua pig and shoyu pork with more gourmet fare like seared ahi, furikake tofu steaks, veal patties with gravy and onions, and Monte Cristo sandwiches. The wagon has even served rack of lamb and beef Wellington.

It’s always about being better than the next guy, Harris said.

So we stopped by one of its three lunch wagons — this one on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa — to chat with co-owner Harris Sukita about how Hawaii’s food truck scene has changed, what he’ll be serving at tomorrow’s Eat The Street Garlic, and why harassing his customers has helped business.

Here’s what he had to say:

Simply Ono (food truck), Green lunchwagon, Krauss Hall at the University of Hawaii-Manoa; white lunchwagons, Punchbowl Street between the State Capitol and Hawaii State Library, and 2337 N. King St. Phone: (808) 728-0441, @simplyonowagons

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Fired for Facebook?

Fired for Facebook?

Back in 2009, a 16-year-old in England posted on her Facebook wall that her first day at work was “omg so dull.”

She continued to lambast her job until her boss called her into his office and put the teenager out of her misery.

He fired her. (Read the story here.)

That same year a 22-year-old from Berkeley, Calif. posted this on Twitter after getting a job offer with Cisco:

“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”

Another Cisco employee saw the post and responded with his own tweet: “Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.”

The 22-year-old apparently never worked a day at Cisco. Wonder why.

Turns out using social media at work — and even venting about work — is commonplace in today’s office culture. Even my student employees are often browsing photos on Facebook or watching videos on YouTube without a second thought.

And with Google+, it’s even worse. We just can’t escape those red notifications while checking email!

I can’t say I don’t use social networking sites while at work, either. (And my friends online are all guilty of this, too.) But I don’t abuse the access I have.

But where do you draw the line?

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Special desserts coming to Halekulani in August

Special desserts coming to Halekulani in August

It’s not everyday you can feast on the dessert creations of a master pastry chef from Japan.

But next month you can sample the sweet masterwork of Chef Kanjiro Mochizuki, the pastry master from the iconic and legendary Imperial Hotel Tokyo, at the the posh Halekulani in Waikiki.

Called “The Art of the Dessert,” the hotel will offer special desserts you won’t get anywhere else. We’re talking one-of-a-kind sweets like the delicate roll cakes, shown above, or the clever bamboo shoot cake, shown below.

The desserts — all created by the award-winning Mochizuki, in conjunction with Halekulani’s pastry chef Mark Freischmidt — will be served during daily afternoon tea service at the hotel’s Veranda Tea Room.

The special dessert menus — exclusive to the Halekulani — will run from Aug. 8 to 31.

But wait, there’s more.

The master pastry chef will host a pastry demonstration at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 6, followed by an afternoon tea where you can sample his dessert creations with a flute of champagne. (This is part of Halekulani Living, the hotel’s luxury and lifestyle series.) Cost is $49 and reservations are required.

Or you can indulge in these sweet creations at the popular Sunday brunch on Aug. 7 at Orchids. Cost is $57 and reservations are required, too.

Sure, it’s pricey. But it’s certainly cheaper than a roundtrip ticket to Tokyo.

For more information about “The Art of the Dessert” or to make reservations, call (808) 923-2311 or visit its website.

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