Today’s happy shot

By August 26, 2011 Food, Happy Shots

My dream come true: a butter sampler from Alan Wong’s

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FUUD: Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at Wailea

By August 26, 2011 Food

Last week I had the arduous task — note the sarcasm — of staying overnight at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (@FSMaui).

If you’ve never been to this luxurious, five-star resort, put it on your bucket list. It’s an action-oriented resort with a laundry list of things to do, from stand-up paddleboarding in stunning Wailea Bay to spa treatments in traditional thatched-roof huts overlooking the ocean.

And then there’s the food.

The resort boasts three award-winning restaurants that are, in my opinion, worth the drive to South Maui.

And one I’d come back to is Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, located in the lobby of the hotel.

I’ll admit. I was hesitant. I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants, and the name “Wolfgang Puck” conjures up images of quick food at airports.

But Spago on Maui is a Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond restaurant, featuring a fusion of Hawaiian and California cuisine with Pacific Rim flavors that don’t feel overdone or outdated.

And it certainly doesn’t feel like resort food.

Here’s what I ate — all by myself:

From the restaurant

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Wolfgang Puck's Spago is located in the lobby of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea — and it takes full advantage of its luxurious accommodations. It overlooks the ocean — I mean, look at this views! — and it features Asian-inspired contemporary designs throughout.

Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr., Maui. Hours: Dinner, 6 to 9:30 p.m. daily, bar open 6 to 11 p.m. daily. Attire: casual resort attire, footwear. Phone: (808) 874-8000

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Today’s happy shot

By August 26, 2011 Food, Happy Shots

OK, so it’s not a really happy shot, since this lemon crunch cake from Cake Works is really for Derek, who’s leaving for Wisconsin on Sunday. But it was damn good cake — and it made me happy. Momentarily.

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Great Debate: cake vs. yeast donuts

By August 25, 2011 Food

I’m torn.

I have fond memories of my grandfather picking me up from school and hanging me a brown paper bag containing two chocolate-covered cake donuts from Shirokiya. It was the kind of treat that make dividing decimals bearable.

But my dad loves glazed yeast donuts, and on some special Sundays, there would be a box of them on the kitchen table for breakfast. Sometimes from Liliha Bakery, other times on sticks from another bakery in Manoa.

I grew up on the fence.

A dough is basically fried dough, usually sweet and usually made from a flour dough. You can shape them into rings or stuffed them with cream, jellies and custards or top them — like the ones above from Regal Bakery — with sugar glaze, cinnamon, chocolate, cereal, marshmallows — anything you can think of. You can even bake donuts now.

Most decorated donuts tend to be of the denser cake variety. But yeast donuts have that fluffy, airy texture — like the ones from Kamehameha Bakery, shown here — that we can’t seem to get enough of.

So which is it: cake or yeast?

Or to put it in more specific terms, Dunkin’ Donuts (cake) or Krispy Kreme (yeast)?

Let the Great Debate begin!

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Terms papers, textbooks, finals — again?

By August 24, 2011 Musings, The Daily Dish

I try to not to do things that make me feel overly uncomfortable — or incredibly stressed.

And going back to college does both.

So you can imagine my dread yesterday when I attended my first graduate-level seminar in years.

I had never taken a class from this particular English professor, though I’ve known him since my undergraduate days at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He’s been encouraging me to return to the English department and, well, do something. Finish my master’s, apply for the Ph.D., write. But I’ve thrown every reason — read: excuse — at him and everyone else who’s urged me to go back to school.

I don’t have time. It’s hard with two jobs. What am I going to do with a Ph.D.? Can I bring my dogs to class?

But now that I’ve got a little more time — read yesterday’s blog — I’ve considered taking one class. Just one.

I used my reporting skills to find out a little more about this class I’m taking — really, to find out what the workload was like. I talked with a couple of grad students who had taken this professor’s class last semester.

“He buried me,” said one.

“I never read so much in my life,” said another.

Apparently, he assigned something like 900 to 1,300 pages of reading a week. A WEEK! That, in the words of one of my students at Kapiolani Community College, is “like reading a Harry Potter book a week — but not that fun.”

Exactly.

So I went to the first class last night, a little nervous about diving back into midterms, homework, late-night reading and cram sessions. (It wasn’t fun the first time around.)

I sat there, wondering how I was going to keep up with the reading, if I was even going to understand the concepts we were going to discuss, if I was going to cut and run.

Turns out, I wasn’t the only person in class freaking out.

There was a woman who’s returning to school after a couple of decades. Another student who barely survived this professor’s class last semester (and is back for repeat punishment). Another who took my journalism class online several years ago and is taking her very first graduate seminar ever.

I guess I’m not alone.

So I’m going to stick it out. For now. We’ll see after reading, “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy.”

Got any advice?

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