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Malasadas in the Bay Area?

After much research have decided the malasadas made by Agnes' Portuguese Bakery in Kailua are the best on Oahu, likely any island. Leonard's are tasty but perfectly shaped and cooked like an unfilled jelly doughnut (and now they even fill them) while Agnes' are handmade and oddly shaped, as the name suggests. There are some recipes to be found online in Hawaiian food sites and also Portuguese. Legend says they originally came from plantation workers from the Azores.

such a deal - burgers on the edge

Been there three or four times, handy when catching a movie. Service can be spotty, as can the cooking. Sometimes *medium - pink* comes out full-on well done, sometimes spot on.

All in all a good burger, freshly prepared and they certainly have plenty of ways to customize them to your taste. The meat is quite lean so pink or medium rare makes sense...or rare if you like. (Personally, if I want rare I'll get steak tartare or grill the burger at home with meat ground to order at a local market.)

Last time a couple of college guys next us ordered the large size with everything including the special of the day-- tempura bacon. They offered us a piece of bacon and it was delicious, but both of them were challenged in finishing their burgers!

When service is on they ofer refills on soft drinks.

Nov 16, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

One night in wine country - where would you eat?

No one has mentioned La Toque in Napa. We've always had exceptional food and service. It would be at the upper end of your price range.

Owned by Chef Ken Frank, years ago the classic French bad boy in Los Angeles. Really good wine list and wine service by Scott.

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La Toque Restaurant
1314 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559

cheap places for good food on the north shore oahu

Romy's no longer sells live shrimp or prawns, all of them are cooked.

Fumi's does sell them, however, and it's easy enough to steam them and make a simple dipping sauce with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chilis.

Oct 31, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Ultimate Tasting Menu if it can't be French Laundry

Chef is leaving Meadowood (in SF Chron last week.)

You didn't mention area -- Wine Country or the city.

We've had exceptional food and service at La Toque, now in Napa. Ken Frank is a terrific chef and Scott runs a top flight wine program. Portions are reasonable and we've always finished our meals very satisified but not overdone by food that's too rich.

In the city, Gary Danko never fails.

Miromoto gets raves but it's a high energy place, the opposite of what you'd experience at Manressa, La Toque, French Laundry or Cyrus (another thought).

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The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Gary Danko
800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109

La Toque Restaurant
1314 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559

Good scrambled eggs?

A bit out of the way but Katy's Place in Carmel does an outstanding job with scrambled eggs, any way you want them.

I like mine soft and cooked in butter -- not that oil many kitchens use -- and their's were spot on.
Last (restaurant) that did them this well was the old Tuck Box in Carmel back when it was the plade. First time we went (when I was making about $7 an hour) I asked for my eggs scrambled soft in butter and the waitress looked at my and replied something to the effect, "Of course, you idiot" but more politely.

Best places to buy fresh seafood in Oahu

The two farmer's markets are considered excellent...have not been to the newer one in Haleiwa but the Waialua market at the old sugar mill is a real slice of the old North Shore. Don't recall any seafood except for fresh shrimp from Kahuku, which are delicious. We just steam them and make a soy sauce based dipping sauce for them. (These are the farm raised shrimp and prawns from the ponds -- the shrimp trucks all use frozen shrimp, except two permanent spots that raise their own. One has a sign offering fresh live in addition to cooke.)

Aug 15, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Traditional Smoking Wood in Hawaii

Mahalo, what a summary.

It's been a while since we've gone trough the Bishop (before the hall remodeling and updating) so will have to take a peek at what they have regarding the Japanese and Spanish contacts...must admit that is history news to me.

At least one interesting book on traditional fishing practices and techniques for those so interested -- Hawaiian Fishing Traditions in both Hawai'ian and English. Written in Hawai'ian by Daniel Keha'ulelio, translated from the Hawai'ian by Mary Kawena Pukui.

Found it at the Bishop Museum store.

Aug 15, 2011
MRMoggie in Home Cooking

Underground Restaurants in Oahu?

Add one more...mahalo

Aug 04, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Where to purchase Spanish smoked paprika?

Don't know about Vancouver, but the Spanish Table has a website and their hq store is in Seattle. They carry different types of smoked paprika -- sweet, hot, etc.

They do a large on-line business and the products we've purchased have been of very good quality.

http://www.spanishtable.com/

Wineries with great white wines in Santa Ynez Valley

For a future trip you should consider the Edna Valley, easy to reach from Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo.

Just made a quick visit to the Baileyana tasting room -- they also pour wines from related brands, including Tangent, which makes nothing but beautifully balanced, crisp white wines. All are around 13.5% alcohol, fermented in stainless with no oak or ML. Lovely wines, including the best Viognier I've had in years, a quite good Sauvignon Blanc, and a Pinot Gris we really enjoyed.

A sister brand is Zocker, which only produces Riesling and Gruner Veltliner, the Austrian variety loved by sommeliers because it's so food friendly and versatile. The 2010 Zocker is a beautiful wine, easily one of the best new releases I've tasted this year. At $20 it's in the ballpark easily with the best imported versions.

All the Tangent wines are around $17 and very good values. The entire lineup is excellent, not a clunker in the group.

Wasn't in the market for Chardonnay, so only tasted the Baileyana 2008 Firepeak Pinot Noir, $33. Excellent with a pretty nose, well balanced palate. Also bottled under screwcap (hurray).

Making all the wines is Christian Rougenant, well-respected winemaker originally from Burgundy, with sparkling wine experience as well, who has been in the Central Coast area for 25 years and the knowledge and skill are apparent.

These wines have an ongoing place on our shopping list.

Jul 26, 2011
MRMoggie in California

Cambria california

BRAMBLES IS CLOSED. They shut down in 2009, reopened, and then shuttered again. I don't know anything about the lease, etc., but as of a couple of weeks ago all signage had been stripped and a large for sale sign was in its place.

We were in Cambria for an annual gathering of classic sports cars in '09 and a message on the phone said they had closed, and thanked customers for supporting it for years. It obviously reopened, but again this summer it is definitely closed.

Jul 23, 2011
MRMoggie in California

Wineries with great white wines in Santa Ynez Valley

Los Olivos has a jillion tasting rooms, so many that it pretty much dilutes the experience and only the real estate people are happy.

That said, at the north end of Main (or whatever the main street is, Grand?)off Highway 154 is the tasting room for Qupe, which makes an excellent Marsanne and Marsanne/Chardonnay blend, both crisp and lively. The space is shared with Verdad, Spanish varietals made by the wife of the Qupe winenmaker/owner , and she makes excellent Grenache Rose and Albariino (a stellar white Spanish varietal) at fair prices.

If you find it, try the Marsanne, etc. from Au Bon Climat.

There's a small market across the street from the Qupe tasting room that makes solid trip tip and BBQ chicken sandwiches at lunchtime.

Jul 20, 2011
MRMoggie in California

SLO, too

In my request for Pismo-area recommendations, I buried the "assistance wanted" for San Luis Obispo and I know there are some locals lurking on these boards.

We usually wander SLO for a good part of late morning to early afternoon (MRSMoggie has found a great knitting store) and would like to find a solid Mexican spot or other for a casual lunch (sans wine, we take care of that at dinner, so nothing too fancy.)

The posts I've seen have been more dinner oriented, so would appreciate the suggestions....and for Avila Beach, too for lunch.

(Speaking of which, sadly looks like Olde Port Inn has gone downhill from a few years ago, alas.)

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Olde Port Inn
PO Box 40, Avila Beach, CA 93424

Jul 20, 2011
MRMoggie in California

Central Coast Update Wanted -- Pismo/Arroyo Grande/Avila Beach et al

glbtrtr -- From comments elsewhere, the weekend service club tri-tip BBQ's in Santa Maria are a thing of the past, killed off by local restaurants lobbying the city to clamp down over health issues.

We know the difference between trip tips and classic Central Coast barbecue/grilling. That's why I always order top sirloin, which is the original red meat of choice, from what I've read. Pretty definitive feature in the LA Times a few years ago, including the pinquitos.

Jul 20, 2011
MRMoggie in California

Central Coast Update Wanted -- Pismo/Arroyo Grande/Avila Beach et al

Thanks for all the resplies so far....

Had two miserable meals at McLintock's in Pismo and never went back, have had a good time at HP1 though the meat quality isn't quite what it used to be, IMHO. Their fries, however, are superb.

A couple of Santa Maria locals, independently, said they considered HP still No.1, followed by Jocko's with the Far Western Tavern about the same as Shaw's...(except everyone thinks their steaks are the best from their own backyard.)

So, if I want a Santa Maria-style steak dinner (not apps), where do the Chowboard locals head if they aren't cooking at home?

This will be a dinner with at least six people, so apps at the bar won't work. And we do plan to try one other spot besides HP to compare.

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Far Western Tavern
899 Guadalupe St, Guadalupe, CA

Jul 19, 2011
MRMoggie in California

Car week, Monterey

BTW, Passionfish is terrific, as is the wine list.

Just had lunch at Nepenthe, it's a regular stop on the annual drive down Highway One to the West Coast Morgan gathering in Cambria. The burger gets skimpier and more dry by the year, but the view is lovely and it's a good spot to take a break.

The screen name is from a Plus 4 four seater, BRG of course.

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Passionfish
701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Jul 18, 2011
MRMoggie in California

Central Coast Update Wanted -- Pismo/Arroyo Grande/Avila Beach et al

Many of the posts on the Pismo Beach area are older, and likely outdated.

Planning to be in Pismo for a few days and looking for decent Mexican food, hamburgers, or other sandwiches for lunch plus perhaps some Chinese for a takeout dinner. (Have largely given up on seafood, which all seems brought in from someplace else and/or frozen.) BBQ/oak grilled always a plus.

Happily willing to drive around to other neighboring towns such as AG, Grover City, etc. for lunch, and would like to have an update on the Rusty Pig -- did the old owners open a new spot and have the new owners made a mess of the original place?

Have had excellent meals at the Sycamore Inn in prior years, is it still terrific?

Also, any lunch recommendations for San Luis Obispo, prefer some good Mexican food, such as a taqueria, or a comfortable sandwich stop.

(We're already set for our steak expeditions to Nipomo and Casmalia.)

Hope to do some winery-related cruising through AG and Edna Valley to SLO, and another run south to the Los Olivos area, so any suggestions along those lines would be appreciated, including lunch or picnic stops. (I know about the 2,000 tasting rooms in Los Olivos, plus the co-op spot and tapas bar west of the fwy in Buellton.)

Thanks to all.

Jul 18, 2011
MRMoggie in California

Car week, Monterey

Rice at Akaoni was excellent, the Japanese chef carefully pressed it hand to hand to warm it slightly, and the fish-to-rice ratio was spot on, i.e. generous.

I see another remark on this board that the service at Akaoni was aloof. I haven't traveled to Japan, and I don't speak Japanese, so I have no clue if they were whispering about us Gaijin behind our backs. But our Japanese waitress was prompt and responsive, carefully answering our questions, and laughed at her own difficulties opening a bottle of sparkling wine we brought.

The Japanese chef was quiet, but he was busy. He nodded to us and asked us to come back when we left.

I'm not sure what people expect in a restaurant, but I don't anticipate making new best friends every time I sit down.

I'm uncertain what the issue is with people drinking tea, if that's your beverage of choice. I didn't see any cherry Cokes.

Anyway, if goofing with the staff isn't your priority, but pristine local fish is, I can highly recommend Akaoni. On the other food board, locals recommended this place and out of towners (such as ourselves) complained it was cold and the local patrons glared at them. Go figure.

Wish we were joining you for all the automotive festivities. I'm told by a fellow car nut (I have a vintage sports car, see my screen name) who lives in Carmel to grab some coffee and something to eat early in the AM and set up some chairs on the route taken by the concourse cars, and sit back and enjoy the show. They get added points for making the 60 mile drive so many participate.

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Akaoni
PO Box 22830, Carmel, CA 93922

Jul 18, 2011
MRMoggie in California

Car week, Monterey

You didn't mention breakfast, but Kate's on Mission between 5th and 6th is outstanding -- eggs cooked precisely the way I wanted (scrambled soft) for the first time since the demise of the olde Tuck Box.

Dametra on Ocean in Carmel is good and fairly priced for Carmel, but definitely make a reservation. We figured it wouldn't be necessary on a Monday night -- we were wrong.

Outstanding sushi at Akaoni on Mission near 6th. Impeccably fresh local Blue Fin (I was surprised to find it) that was superior to the just-off-the-boat ahi we get in Hawai'i. Fresh local salmon was delicious, as were panko coated pan fried local calamari. Contrary to posts on another food board the service was reserved but friendly and efficient. Sushi chef isn't chatty, but that doesn't make them aloof. Highly recommended.

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Akaoni
PO Box 22830, Carmel, CA 93922

Dametra Cafe
Ocean Ave, Carmel, CA 93923

Jul 18, 2011
MRMoggie in California

Camille's on Wheels

So the Indian spot by Times is the same as the truck....and interesting that "Brent's" now has a truck. Where else do they park? Brent's was our favorite breakfast spot.

Feb 08, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Camille's on Wheels

Any other foodie trucks you recommend for the Kailua area? Is the Indian truck still showing up in the parking lot in front of Don Quijote and, if so, is it any good?

Feb 07, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Anybody try Formaggio Grill in Kailua?

Only experience there last year was an unhappy one. We wound up walking out after enduring an aburdly long wait for a table and then more waiting -- and attitude. Even though it's almost around the corner, we haven't been back and won't bother.

Jan 20, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Is opakapaka or ono ever supposed to be served rare?

Russkar -- Sushi II sounds like a good spot -- if it serves local opakapaka. Any more info or other similar recommendations?

Mahalo.

Jan 20, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Worth shipping wine, foodstuffs, kitchen equipment, (furniture?) to Oahu? [Moving--Time sensitive! ; >]

Do not ship any wine with your household items. It will be baked with temperatures that may suprass 100 degrees for up to up to two or three weeks, by the time it sits on docks and in warehouses. It will NOT recover afterwards, regardless how cool your store.

Instead, talk to a local Oahu retailer, such as Tamura, and see if they will provide temperature controlled storage for a given period of time for a number of cases (like six or so) and air freight your best wines, the ones that are really special to you, directly to them. Plan on letting it spend a month or so settling.

While there are good wines available, my experience is that many of the more delicate ones may be slightly oxidized from the heat during shipping. The best distributors in Hawaii use temperature controlled containers to ship from the mainland to Oahu.

Talk to a good wine shop in NY about shipping and they can provide you with information -- and you may want to buy the top end items directly yourself after the move. (I'm talking about select high end special wines, such as Montrachet or a classified growth.)

Many day- to- day wines sell for substantially more in Hawaii because of shipping, but that doesn't mean you should air ship a pallet load, just your best selections and carefully buy the rest once you've settled.

Home Depot and Costco sell wine coolers, but don't always stock them and may not want to ship them to Hawaii, so this is one piece of furniture you might want to buy and have shipped with your househould items. Get one that's refrigerated, not electro-whatever cooled, and has a humidity control plus digital controls.

I'm (somewhat) retired from the wine business and we spend a couple of months a year on Oahu. I bring my wine with me, but I'm a major geek, and honestly think the wines that show best with the local foods are things like good Anderson Valley/Oregon PInot Gris, Gruner Veltliner, and younger Pinots (try a nice lower alcohol Pinot or Burgundy with ahi sashimi). Beaujolais and Rose's are also terific. Skip the high alcohol, ultra concentrated wines...it's too warm for them, at least for us.

As others have noted, there are multiple sources for cooking gear, knives, etc. in Honolulu, so use your valuable time to figure out the wine shipping (your Scotch is safe on the boat) and get ready to experience a beautiful part of the world. Aloha, dude.

Jan 20, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Ono's Poke---favorite Poke hands down!

Bill, "poke pine" sounds like an old Sam Choy Diamond Head appetizer along with "poke patties." (Wonder if any of these were inspiration for *crabby patties* on Sponge Bob.)

Jan 20, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Ono's Poke---favorite Poke hands down!

Our favorite spot/s for poke are Tamashiro's Market on North King in Honolulu and Poke Stop in Waipahu and Mililani. Tamashiro's is a landmark local spot for fish, fresh vegetables, poke and often many live seafood items. A must-see for foodies. They often have up to four or five grades of fresh local ahi, but won't usually cut it up into sashimi blocks for you -- just a slab of whichever grade you want. Parking can be a challenge, but can't miss the big crab on the roof.

Poke Stop in Waipahu is out of the way, unless you're staying in Ko Olina, but the one in Mililani is right off the H1 (near a McDonalds, Mililani Mauka exit) and a good place to stop for lunch en route to the North Shore, or a snack on the way back.

Both sell it by the quarter pound and have numerous types; Poke Stop even had hamachi poke last Fall, as fresh as I've had at any sushi bar regardless of cost. Chef Elmer Guzman and his wife personally run both spots and the service is excellent. I see by their website that they now also carry fresh local seafood...in the past he'd only have ahi or hamachi for sashimi if the quality was good and the price affordable for his local customers -- no tourist pricing here.

Tamashiro Market
802 North King Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 841-8047

www.poke-stop.com

Jan 20, 2011
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Siam Garden Cafe

Got a solid review from John Heckathorn in Honolulu Masgazine, which he reviewed ont he recommendation of the woman who owns Green Door.

He fell for the *fried chicken*, little nuggets coated with rice flour and fried crisp with a sauce.

If it's the spot I think it is, it's in the strip mall with an sex shop (Sensual somethingorother).

May provide something to do while waiting for a table.

Sep 29, 2010
MRMoggie in Hawaii

First Visit to Hawaii...and I don't want to miss anything!

We've generally had good luck at Little Village Noodle House.

Have come to prefer PIneapple Room over Alan Wong after multiple reservation and service gaffes I don't tolerate at this price level.

In our mind, you can skip 98 percent of the so-called shrimp trucks since with the exception of a couple of spots (Fumi's and Romy's, which raise their own farmed shrimp) they all use frozen shrimp and cook it in gallons of oil and spoonfuls of pre-chopped garlic. You can make your own oily, garlicky shrimp at home with better ingredients.

Instead go to Kua Aina in Haleiwa and get a chargrilled mahi sandwich with avocago, grilled onion and some crispy fries with a real lemonade.

You must try poke', which is small pieces of fresh, raw fish (or cooked tako-octupus, mussels, or crab) mixed with soy sauce, sesame oil, chili flakes and other things such as kukui nut or seaweed. Beware, stick with "Island Fresh" fish and pay extra or it will be frozen. The best seems to be at Tamashiro's, a very funky local market/fish market on North King. They often have four or five grades of ahi in the case, the top grade being as good or better than you'll get in most sushi bars, and fresher. Plan on $16-17 a pound for the ahi poke and $23-4 a pound for top grade ahi.If you ask, and order enough, they'll trim it into sashimi blocks, otherwise you get a slab of ahi you can slice yourself. (They also have real Japanese wasabi in a freezer case up front.)

For malasadas, we think Agnes Portguese Bakery in Kailua is the best, the only one that looks like the real thing; the rest are perfectly formed like jelly doughnuts, and Leonard's takes it a step further with (very sweet) fillings.

Do take a drive around the island. In Waimanalo, try Sweet Home Waimanalo bbq. We like the pulled pork and the smoked chicken, and have picked up half a chicken and sides for dinner.

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Little Village Noodle House
1113 Smith St, Honolulu, HI 96817

Alan Wong's Restaurant
1857 S King St Fl 3, Honolulu, HI 96826

Sweet Home Cafe
2334 S King St Ste 102, Honolulu, HI 96826

Sep 29, 2010
MRMoggie in Hawaii

Cook Your Catch in Oahu?

Nephew is a chef at a top Southern Caalifornia hotel and has some guests who come every year to go fishing and have him cook it for them. Everything from sand dabs to swordfish. He won't touch it if it isn't pristine...one guy left 30 pounds of iced fish in the trunk of his car while he took the kids to Legoland, wasn't happy with the choice of letting the kitchen dispose of it or taking it back.

Aug 28, 2010
MRMoggie in Hawaii