FUUD: Morimoto Waikiki

FUUD: Morimoto Waikiki

I’ve never been one to trust people feeding me.

I knew at a very early age — specifically preschool — that I liked choosing my own meals. Because if I didn’t, I would be stuck with plates of peas and oyster shooters.

So the Japanese concept of “omakase,” which literally means “to leave up to,” isn’t one that I’m particularly fond of.

But when we saw that on the menu at the stylish Morimoto Waikiki, the restaurant opened earlier this year by Masaharu Morimoto at the Waikiki EDITION, we figured we should see what the Iron Chef (or at least his team) would put in front of us. (Plus, it was Morimoto’s birthday when we were there. Seemed like the right thing to do.)

And though we ordered a few other menu items — hey, I had to try the chef’s version of the loco moco! — the omakase was a great way to sample the restaurant’s array of dishes, and all for $110.

Here’s what we ate:

Outside Morimoto Waikiki

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Morimoto Waikiki is the signature restaurant of the hip Waikiki EDITION Hotel, located next door to the Ilikai. Owner Masaharu Morimoto or "Iron Chef" fame has a connection to the Islands: he got married here in 1978.

Morimoto Waikiki, Waikiki EDITION, 1775 Ala Moana Blvd. Hours: Breakfast, 6:30-10 a.m. daily; lunch, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily; dinner, 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:30-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Phone: (808) 943-5900

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Today’s happy shot

I love Arby’s roast beef sandwiches. I can’t explain it.


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Great Debate: squeezing your toothpaste

Great Debate: squeezing your toothpaste

The other day I was talking with the Okami family who owns KoAloha Ukulele.

I thought the conversation would hover around music and ukuleles.

No. We started talking about toothpaste tubes. More specifically, how to squeeze them.

You see, Alvin Okami, the founder of KoAloha, is also an inventor. He designed what’s now the Tube Press (shown above), which helps you squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of any tube. (While he doesn’t own the patent anymore, his name is still on there as inventor. Cool, right?)

I brought it up with friends — including my boyfriend — and I was surprised by the reaction. Apparently, it’s annoying — really annoying, if you ask the right people — if you don’t squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom.

“What’s wrong with you?” one of my friends asked me, when I admitted I don’t always squeeze the tube the “right” way. “You’re a mid-tube squeezer!”

Is it that bad? I mean, aren’t there worse habits to get upset over?

It must be annoying enough that folks are designing all kinds of tools and gadgets — from the Squeezit Tube Squeezer to the EZ Squeeze Tube — to remedy the situation.

So I’m throwing it out there: does it matter how someone squeezes out toothpaste? Are we talking dealbreaker here?

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Today’s happy shot

Derek snapped this shot this morning: a rainbow over Waimanalo


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Cat Chat: Rainbow’s turns 50

Cat Chat: Rainbow’s turns 50

In 1961 Seiju and Ayako Ifuku took a risk and opened Rainbow Drive-In on the corner of Kapahulu and Kanaina avenues just outside Waikiki.

They served 50-cent chili and rice plates and $1 barbecue steak plate lunches, along with 25-cent hamburgers and 14-cent french fries.

It was an instant hit with residents, many of whom hit the drive-in after spending the day at the beach. (There’s really nothing like eating a barbecue pork or chicken cutlet plate lunch after a few hours in the surf.)

And now, 50 years later, the iconic eatery in Kapahulu is known the world over. It’s been featured on national TV — including a recent episode of the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” — and in magazines around the world. No trip to Oahu is complete without stopping at Rainbow’s for one of its chili plates, fried rice or slush floats.

We stopped by — and ate, of course — to talk to co-owner Jim Gusukuma about the drive-in’s history and plans to celebrate its golden anniversary. (And it involves a menu with prices from 1961.)

Here’s what he had to say:

Rainbow Drive-In’s 50th Anniversary Menu

June 18, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.: Fried rice, $1
July 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hot dog and a drink, 25 cents
Aug. 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hamburger, 25 cents
Sept. 17, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.: Saimin, 25 cents
Oct. 16, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.: Chili plate, $1

Next up: Surf movie night at 6 p.m. Saturday at Hawaiian South Shore, 320 Ward Ave. Rainbow Drive-In will be serving poke bowls ($6), saimin ($3), chili bowls ($3), barbecue beef or chicken sticks ($2 each) and barbecue beef or chicken stick bowls ($6).

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