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Anniversary dinner on the Big Island

I know this post is old, but in case others are searching: We have stayed at Mauna Lani many times and have found the starters and desserts at Canie House to be quite good but the main courses lacking. The atmosphere is lovely, though, especially at sunset. Brown's Beach House at the nearby Fairmont Orchid (take the complimentary shuttles back and forth) has better food, in my opinion, and the same view. However the space is larger and less intimate. Merriman's is excellent, but the space itself is not terribly romantic. Also,you have to drive. At Brown's (or Canoe House), you can have a cocktail, enjoy your wine, and not have to worry about driving back.

Jul 10, 2012
pickles210 in Hawaii

Anniversary Dinner Recs

Depends on what you are looking for. Is ann ocean view important to you for your dinner? if so, La Mer would probably be a good fit. If you do not care about a view, my husband and I love Chef Mavro. At Mavro the chef integrated local ingredients and flavors with classic French techniques.the dining room is also very pretty, and the service is friendly without being overbearing. The wine pairings are well thought out. There are several preset menus (three course, four course, etc.) but we have never had a problem substituting a course from one menu for a course on another. My husband and I are from San Francisco and are pretty spoiled with good food, amd Mavro is the place we always go when we have a sitter for our son. Another place were the food is quite interesting (in a positive way) is Alan Wong, but the ambiance is pretty dismal. We felt like we were in an office. I care more about food than decor, but for a romantic evening, I personally would not go there. Finally, I have heard good things about Azure but have not been there yet. Enjoy your anniversary!

Jul 10, 2012
pickles210 in Hawaii

Help! Need delivery options and 2 special dinner suggestions near Royal Hawaiian...

For a nice evening with your husband, I would recommend either Chef Mavro or Alan Wong. I have not been to the fancy restaurants in Waikiki that ocean views, but I'm from San Francisco, and so I based my decisions (before Azure existed, and now we're hooked on Mavro) on going somewhere that had food less like what we have at home. Alan Wong winds in that department, but the ambiance is really not so good. We found the room, furniture, etc. to be pretty yucky. The food, however, was delicious -- very interesting, in a good way, flavor combinations that went way beyond the stereotypical "fusion fare" that's so passé on the mainland. We ate way too much and felt awful afterwards, though! The food at Mavro has also been delicious whenever we have been there, though not every dish has wowed us flavor-wise (most have, though). Everything has always been cooked and prepared to perfection, too. What really sets Mavro apparat for us, though, is the much nicer ambiance. It feel much more like a romantic spot and has more of a fine dining feel. You won't see the ocean from either of these restaurants like you will at some of the places right on Waikiki.

Jan 29, 2012
pickles210 in Hawaii

Big Island in Feb.

On the Kohala Coast, I highly recommend Monstera at the Shops at the Mauna Lani for Japanese food (sushi, noodles, and more). People may say to go to Sensei in Waikoloa (very pricey and I like Monstera much more) or Norio at the Fairmont Orchid nearby, but the chef, Norio, left his namesake restaurant and opened Monstera. The only issue with Monstera is that the decor is so-so but the food more than compensates for this slight flaw. There's a gourmet grocery store in the same shopping area that has some nice poke variations you can buy to go. I'm sure there are places locals know about that have the same quality without the tourist prices, but I'm just a San Franciscan who is lucky enough to make frequent visits! For a romantic dinner in that area. I would recommend either the Canoe House at the Mauna Lani (down the road from the Shops at Mauna Lani) or Brown's Beach House at the Fairmont Orchid (down the road that goes along the other side of the Shops at Mauna Lani. Both places are outdoors (Canoe House has inside seating, too, which is handy on very windy days) with stunning views, especially at sunset. My husband and I feel that the food is a bit better at Brown's (particularly the entrees) but that the ambiance at Canoe House is more romantic. Canoe House is closer to the ocean (there's a small lawn between Brown's and the beach), smaller, and definitely more intimate. The Orchid is a much larger resort with more of a hustle and bustle kind of a feel, and Brown's is quite large with tables a bit close together. However if food is priority number one, go to Brown's. None of the dishes we have had at Canoe House have been bad, and several have been great. However each meal we have had there included an entree that sounded much better on the menu. Both places have very nice wine lists (at island resort prices). You can have the same view for less money (though still expensive for what it is) with lower key food at the Ocean Grill (I think that's the name) between the pool and the beach at the Mauna Lani resort. I love the gazpacho with little grilled goat cheese sandwiches and the poke in particular there. It is quite casual and is open for both lunch and dinner. They have some really tasty island-inspired mixed drinks too. Have a wonderful trip!

Jan 29, 2012
pickles210 in Hawaii

Innovation: the CHOW tour

For sure stop at 4505 and Namu at the Thursday Ferry Building market. At 4505, get anything 'zilla style, and please convince them to bottle their money sauce (has a "$" on the bottle at the stand)! The cheeseburgers (on the small side) are also divine, and you can usually pick up a Gob while you're there. Namu has many interesting items to try and hits on your interest in finding Asian food with a twist.

Jun 14, 2010
pickles210 in San Francisco Bay Area

What Portland food item(s) should an out-of-towner not miss?

Sauce Supreme -- Thanks so much, especially for including links! Yes, food carts (other than taco trucks) are relatively new to SF. The city makes it tough for them (don't even get me started w/ SF city gov't!). Geograohically, the carts seem like a good way to go for at least one lunch. I get what you're saying about not being able to "digest" Portland in a short time. Have you had banh mi and/or pho in the SF Bay Area by any chance? I'm curious about whether there is a big difference -- sounds like some would say yes and others would say no. What do you (or others!) think?
Thx!
Karen

Jul 20, 2009
pickles210 in Pacific Northwest

What Portland food item(s) should an out-of-towner not miss?

thx!

Jul 20, 2009
pickles210 in Pacific Northwest

What Portland food item(s) should an out-of-towner not miss?

And will keep all of this in mind, too, Kim. We have the same kinds of discussions in SF re: what's overrated, etc. What place in particular do you feel is not overrated? Thanks!

Jul 20, 2009
pickles210 in Pacific Northwest

What Portland food item(s) should an out-of-towner not miss?

thanks so much for the suggestions, sambamaster.

Jul 20, 2009
pickles210 in Pacific Northwest

What Portland food item(s) should an out-of-towner not miss?

Thanks for all of the suggestions! One thing I'm realizing is that few of these places are near our hotel (Hilton on 6th Ave.), which is fine as long as they are accessible via public trans. Any public trans advice? I'll try to find a map online. Also, are there any good places for Banh Mi near where we are staying? I'm not sure I'll be able to convince my son go to AnXuyen (and I soooo want to go) unless public trans happens to be quick and easy.

Thanks!

Re: Thai food, we have eaten in Bangkok and northern Thailand (Chiang Mai) and definitely want authentic Thai food.

Jul 19, 2009
pickles210 in Pacific Northwest

What Portland food item(s) should an out-of-towner not miss?

Wow! I'll def look into Toro Bravo as well.

Jul 16, 2009
pickles210 in Pacific Northwest

What Portland food item(s) should an out-of-towner not miss?

Thanks for the suggestions. Very helpful! The ice cream sounds so yummy, and I def want to check out Vietnamese breakfast soup -- never heard of such a thing. Thanks for banh mi tip (definitely want it spicy), etc. Will call Navarre re: kids. Definitely want to enjoy some OR wine, as the pinots are some of my favs.

Jul 16, 2009
pickles210 in Pacific Northwest

What Portland food item(s) should an out-of-towner not miss?

My husband, son, and I will be in downtown Portland for three days next week, and I want to know what food you believe is a must have. What type(s) of food does Portland do best? We're coming from San Francisco and eat almost any type of cuisine. The food doesn't need to be fancy (we're big street food fans who are as happy with a wonderful burrito as we are with high-end food). My son (6yo) is also a good eater and has good restaurant etiquette, and so, while I don't want to go somewhere where a 6yo would upset other diners, I don't want to be relegated to "family-friendly" places simply because they are family-friendly. From what I've heard about Portland, I am guessing that most places would welcome children (at least if the kid isn't screaming, running around, etc.). We have also heard that you have very tasty food! Please note that while we do have excellent Asian food in SF, please don't hesitate to suggest any type of Asian food; I believe ours can be overrated. We are looking forward to visiting Portland and would very much appreciate your advice! Thanks!

Jul 16, 2009
pickles210 in Pacific Northwest

Oahu- Did research-Need feedback

@natalie -- highly recommend Town, though have never been to Mitch's. The atmosphere is definitely fun and buzz-worthy in a decidedly non-cheesy environment -- much more hip feeling. The food showcases seasonal, local ingredients, and the preparations are top-notch. You will have a very nice dinner w/out the slightest bit of fussiness or pretention.

Apr 27, 2009
pickles210 in Hawaii

Oahu- Did research-Need feedback

@natalie.warner: Town is really wonderful, showcasing fresh, local ingredients in a fun but upscale feeling (though not fussy or pretentious in the least) environment. I've never been to Mitch's but have been to Town three times and have had a wonderful experience every time.

Apr 27, 2009
pickles210 in Hawaii

Great Eats on North Shore

just had Giovanni's last week and the shrimp were so overcooked that i could only eat one. totally agree that you should skip it.

Apr 21, 2009
pickles210 in Hawaii

Oahu- Did research-Need feedback

Just returned from O'ahu this weekend. From your original list: Teddy's Bigger Burgers -- delicious as always; Puka Dog -- share one for an unusual and tasty (though quite sweet) hot dog experience but go to Hank's on Coral St for a better dog; Leonard's -- yes, yes, yes, as long as they're direct from the hopper -- yum!!! cin/sugar dusted, haupia filled and choc filled all divine -- litterally have box from Leonard's as my profile pic on fb right now; Giovanni's -- the roasted garlic in the scampi sauce ramps up the flavor but the shrimp were rediculously overcooked even though they were cooked to order and we were the only ones there at the time (3:30 on a weekday) -- maybe get a hot dog there or try a different truck -- major disappointment. Highly recommend Tokkuri Tei (on Kapahulu in the Papa John's parking lot) for izakaya and sushi, Wailoa Bakery (near TT on Kapahulu) for shave ice (better than Matsumoto in Haleiwa, imo -- lighter texture and no off flavors from food coloring); Hiroshi's Eurasion Tapas was tasty and had a wonderful wine list; and if you are looking for a really nice dinner out, Chef Mavro was delicious yet again. Have a terrific time!

Apr 21, 2009
pickles210 in Hawaii

Oahu- Did research-Need feedback

Just went to Hiroshi's last night (thanks manomin!!!) and had a lovely meal. Our fav dishes (though it's hard to choose -- we had six as it has a tapas menu) was probably the Moi "en Papillote" (actually in foil, which I'm guessing is the reason for the quotation marks) and the Kona Kampachi Carpaccio. Moi is apparently a fish that was raised here for Hawaiian royalty, and I could definitely understand why. Haven't had Kua Aina burgers but adore Teddy's. We went a few days ago, and I even bought a freakin' t-shirt. I think the last time I bought something like that was when I was a teenager many moons ago. Town is very tasty -- haven't been to Downtown. Re: Puka Dog, it's definitely a novelty. The buns and relishes are almost tooth-achingly sweet, but they are tasty. They get a bit cloying part way through, imo. Yesterday there was a woman standing on the sidewalk (on Kuhio) about 10 - 15 feet in front of the store giving away samples in the early afternoon. You might want to try a sample instead of a whole dog, though my husband would disagree and say get a whole dog. I insisted we stop at Hank's on Coral St. on the way from the airport to the hotel, which should give you a sense of how I feel about Hank's. Driving around/through the island today, so we're going to try to find those shrimp trucks (Giovanni and Roma's, I think), and then it's back for dinner at Mavro's. Yea! By the way, for the OP, Hank's on Coral St. and Hiroshi are about two blocks away from each other if that helps with your planning any.

Apr 14, 2009
pickles210 in Hawaii

Places open in Honolulu on Easter?

Sounds yummy! Thanks for the advice, too. We had Teddy's Bigger Burgers for lunch. If Hiroshi is open tonight, that would be great for dinner. We already have Mavro, Town, and Tokkuri-Tei on the books for other dinners, but those are all places we've already been. We're considering Hiroshi, 12th Avenue Grill, and maybe another visit to 3660 (went last trip) but are more than open to suggestions. And yes, the mussels in Cinzano broth are a must-have when we go to Town! We've been to a couple of Roys (Spanish Bay in CA and Kauai), but may try to original. The only "fancy" dinner we plan to have this trip is Mavro. Mahalo.

Apr 12, 2009
pickles210 in Hawaii

Places open in Honolulu on Easter?

Aloha Oahu Chowhounds -- I am not looking for somewhere to eat for an Easter meal but rather wondering whether we'll be able to eat out tomorrow, which just happens to be Easter (no disrespect re: Easter; it's just that we're Jewish and, therefore, don't celebrate it). I don't really need specific recs so much as I am wondering if we should expect to do room service or something. On a separate note, we stopped by Han's Haute Dogs on Coral St. on the way from the airport to the hotel. I had the portuguese sausage (clearly we don't keep Kosher!) w/ mustard and grilled onions (super tasty) and some onion rings. I'm a happy girl :)
Mahalo!

Apr 11, 2009
pickles210 in Hawaii

Oahu- Did research-Need feedback

manomin -- i've only been to the Hank's on Coral. i'll have to try that new iced tea --yum! i'm hoping to get a lobster dog, too, this time. i'll definitely stick with the Coral St. location because those onion rings are a must. only a little over a week before we're in Honolulu -- woo hoo! already have reservations for Mavro and Town.

Apr 02, 2009
pickles210 in Hawaii

Cow Hollow area restaurants

Have to agree with Osha Thai (though I'm basing this on my experience with the Glen Park Osha -- one family owns the five or so outposts of this restaurant, and each restaurant is different to some extent). Osha can seem a bit pricey for Thai food, but the ingredients are so fresh that the flavor combos really pop. Also, I find Osha never overcooks anything, an issue I've had w/ both meat and tofu at many other Thai places. Their curries are also delicious.

Apr 02, 2009
pickles210 in San Francisco Bay Area

Oahu- Did research-Need feedback

I've been dreaming about Teddy's since we went in October. We'll be in Oahu again this month, and I can't wait for more Teddy's. Their special sauce is soo good ( or "ono" I should say). We also really like Tokkuri Tei on Kapahulu for izakaya. The prices are great, but the place gets busy. Make a reservation or get there early if you don't want a long wait prices are good, and the selection of sake is phenomenal. Service is also excellent. I'm torn on Puka Dog. It's yummy in a kind of over the top touristy way. They put a lot of sweet stuff on that dog -- can kinda get to be too much. Worth a try, though. We'll go again this trip and then regret it while we waddle back to the hotel. If you go to Hank's Haute Dogs, be sure to get the onion rings (Maui onion onion rings = super yum). If Town isn't out of your price range, it's worth a trip to get mussles or clams in their Cinzano sauce. manomin got me hooked!

Apr 01, 2009
pickles210 in Hawaii

Please vet my wine country itinerary

For a real zin find, drive up to Talty Vinyards in Dry Creek, just slightly north of Healdsburg. The owner/vinyard manager/wine maker is incredibly nice and the wines are wonderful -- much more finesse than many zins. Call to make an appointment. You're basically visiting a small tasting room right next to the wine maker's family's house.

Also, Hartford sells out of its zins quickly, and I'm not sure they have much of a selection of zins in the tasting room. They usually have more pinots and chards. Also agree that Martinelli has been disappointing. They rarely taste their better wines. If you like pinot and/or sauvignon blanc, Rochioli is a nice place to visit -- tasty wine and pretty views from the patio. Bring some food for lunch (from Oakville Grocery?), buy a bottle of wine, and have a lovely picnic. Enjoy your trip!

Mar 31, 2009
pickles210 in San Francisco Bay Area

Need weekday lunch suggestions north side of SF

Thanks for the suggestion. I've been to Spruce once for dinner but did not realize they had lunch. Thanks again!

Mar 12, 2009
pickles210 in San Francisco Bay Area

Need weekday lunch suggestions north side of SF

Hi Chowhounds,
I need to find somewhere for my mom to have a 70th birthday lunch on a Monday for a friend of hers who lives in Pac Heights. She would like somewhere nice but not particularly fancy -- in other words, somewhere with good food and nice enough ambiance, but not somewhere where people will feel any need to dress up. She doesn't need a private room, though that might be nice. I was thinking that something along the lines of Absinthe would be good, but I am hoping to find something closer to Pac Heights, if possible. I am almost never on that side of town and am at a loss. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks!

Mar 12, 2009
pickles210 in San Francisco Bay Area

What to have at Conduit -- dinner Friday

I am going to Conduit for dinner with a group of friends tomorrow night, and I am wondering if any hounds who have eaten there recently could tell me what dishes we shouldn't miss. We eat pretty much everything. Thanks!

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Conduit
280 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Feb 19, 2009
pickles210 in San Francisco Bay Area

Advice on special occasion dinner

Perhaps La Folie? I've always prefered La Folie over Fleur de Lys.

Jan 19, 2009
pickles210 in San Francisco Bay Area

Restaurants Open on New Years Day??

I don't know of anything along the lines of Spruce or Perbacco that is open New Year's Day, but I ate at Ton Kiang on New Year's Day several years ago.

Dec 03, 2008
pickles210 in San Francisco Bay Area

In Waikiki w/ 5yo and hubby, restaurant round-up

Hi Bill -- no idea where the trend started (they are tasty, though). It's just funny how trendy things get sometimes. One day you turn around and half the places in SF have duck fat fries. I remember back in the mid-'90s when you couldn't order any kind of meat or foul without it being sliced and fanned over something. It's actually kind of laughable how trendy certain items get in SF. One year every mid-to-high-end restaurant is competing over artisan butters to go with the bread and the next each is talking about which exotic salt is on each appetizer. Then it's farro, and next it's speck. About 10 years ago, it was ravioli filled w/ nettles. I love the food scene here in SF, but sometimes you just have to laugh!

Oct 23, 2008
pickles210 in Hawaii