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Kauai: Cakes by Kristin in Kapa'a closing soon

I'm looking forward to Street Burger. While there are some popular burger spots on Kauai, they are by in large tourist attractions and fall short in quality and consistency. Even with the hype and press The Feral Pig's "Feral Burger" is hit or miss. I've ordered more than one there only to be served a burger that was obviously previously cooked and limply reheated. Great idea, poor execution.

A great burger joint on the east side will be a very welcome addition indeed. There are some occasions when only a good burger will do

I wish them well.

Jan 25, 2015
wabi in Hawaii

Kauai: Portuguese Sausage

Melanie...I went to their webpage, and then their Facebook page....and......they went out of business in October.

Bummers!

Jan 14, 2015
wabi in Hawaii

Gluten-free (rice noodle) saimin on Kauai?

Melanie...I have not been to the Kauai Ramen place. I thought about mentioning it when I posted, but everyone I have talked to who has been to it said it was absolutely horrible. If you give it a try while you are here, let me know.

Jan 14, 2015
wabi in Hawaii

Gluten-free (rice noodle) saimin on Kauai?

Melanie.. Hamura's is the stalwart on Kauai. It is offered on the menu at some local restaurants most notably at the TipTop cafe in Lihue. There is a another saimin place in Lihue, Kako's Saimin, but it is open only irregularly. It's on the menu at Rob's Goodtime Grill and Garden Island BBQ in Lihue. My brother and sister in law used to own and operate the Aloha Diner in Kapaa which specialized in Hawaiian food...their saimin was pretty good. My brother in law and sister in law still have "saimin night" at their house where many are invited.

What Kauai does lack is a decent ramen restaurant! Needless to say, I like noodles.

Jan 13, 2015
wabi in Hawaii

Kauai: Portuguese Sausage

Melanie...Aloha.
I live on Kauai, and shop at a variety of venues throughout the island. I am currently NOT aware of any artisanal or locally produced portuguese sausage. My wife and I usually buy Redondos or the Purity brand, and always have some on hand in our fridge. It's like rice and Spam...they are Hawaii staples.

When you are here on Kauai or before hand you may want to contact the folks at Kaneshiro Farms who are the most notable pork producers on Kauai. Their phone number is 808-742-7285. Another suggestion would be Marta Lane at Tasting Kauai, www.tastingkauai.com. Two chefs that come to mind would be Jean Marie Josselin, or Ron Miller of the Hukilau Lanai. Both chefs are very involved in using Kauai made products in their restaurants.

Since you've raised the question, I will ask around. Since Kauai is such a rural island with lots of hunters, I am sure there are guys out there making their own sausage, but I dont think anyone is doing it on a commercial scale. I have been an amateur bacon maker for the past several years, and would LOVE to get into charcuterie...I'd like to attend some classes or seminars before tackling it.

By all means, let us know what you find out.

Jan 13, 2015
wabi in Hawaii

7 nights in Kauai

Kathryn...JO2 is the expression of Jean Marie for his desire to do more fine dining. He's a smart guy who doesn't over extend himself with grand venues. If you recall A Pacific Cafe was in a shopping center with a Safeway. His Josselins Tapas Bar and Grill is in a touristy shopping complex. JO2 is a storefront in an older mini-mall next to a funky taco place and a Hawaiian massage shop in Kapaa, just a short distance from the site of his old A Pacific Cafe. JO2 is small, with a capacity of 40, and does not have a bar in it. He offers a limited wine and beer selection, but no mixed drinks. There simply isn't room for it. In a very wise and gracious move, his daughter is the manager. The menu is classic Josselin with a nice mix of things emphasizing locally sourced food products. It is Jean Marie behind the stove every night, along with a chef he brought in, Mia Gaines. It's classic Jean Marie Josselin...with attention to the smallest of details. It's just all done very well.

Here is an article from the local paper: http://thegardenisland.com/entertainm...

Here is the JO2 website: http://www.jotwo.com

For those of you who enjoy social media, they are on Facebook.

Like his other restaurants, the menu changes all the time, depending on what is available.

My suggestion...make reservations early.

Jan 10, 2015
wabi in Hawaii
2

Gluten-free (rice noodle) saimin on Kauai?

Saimin and gluten free is pretty much an oxymoron. I dont think it's happening. There are very few saimin places on Kauai, and they are all old school mom and pop places that do it the old fashioned way with salty broth and wheat noodles.

The only alternative I might suggest would be Pho Kauai or Pho Kapaa which serve vietnamese pho which is made with rice noodles.

Jan 10, 2015
wabi in Hawaii

7 nights in Kauai

troutpoint...aloha and welcome to Kauai. I hope you enjoy your visit.
Kathryn has nailed pretty much all of the spots popular with both visitors and locals.
Let me add a few that have not been covered if I can.

Hanapepe... Bobbie's. A very local plate lunch place open for lunch and dinners. Very good food and massive portions ( a hallmark of true Hawaiian Plate Lunch). Very popular with local folks.

Lihue...Pho Kauai. Decent Vietnamese food. Very popular with locals here.
Kauai Beer Company...On thursday nights they invite food trucks from around the island to set up out in front of their brewery. Very good beer...and the best of Kauai's food truck scene. Very local Kauai hipster scene on Thursday evenings. Get there at 5 or earlier if you want a table!

Kapaa... Kilauea Fish Market... great fish wraps/salads/fish tacos.
Hukilau Lanai...dinner only. One of the places on Kauai that is really big on farm to table using locally grown or raised food.
JO2 in Kapaa, Jean Marie Josselins new restaurant. (He owns Josselins Tapas Bar and Grill in Poipu). JO2 offers fine dining...he's behind the stove at JO2 now. (Full disclosure here, I have been friends with Josselin for 25 years, so I am biased...read reviews yourself)
Oasis...in the large condo complex across from Kauai Village. Lunch and Dinner. Killer location...right on the beach. Pretty good food, they are heavy on farm to table as well with lots of Kauai products on the menu.

That's pretty much what I can add that I didn't see talked about already.

I'm a long term Kauai resident...if I can answer any questions, ask away.

French Fry Cutter Advice?

I dont know what size plate, but da wahine is a keeper!

Good pocketknife for breads, cheeses, salami etc.

Along the lines of Kaleo's suggestion is an A G Russell folding chef's knife..

http://www.agrussell.com/a-g-russell-...

I've seen one and it is pretty sturdy. I also have a Cherusker Ryback folding chef's knife that Kevin Wilkins designed a few years back.

My favorite one that has literally gone around the world with me was made by my friend Tom Krein. It's called a Jack Turner Special. He made me one out of Talonite, one of my favorite steels. Here is one:

http://forthenrycustomknives.com/prod...

Dec 11, 2014
wabi in Cookware

Good pocketknife for breads, cheeses, salami etc.

Zakappel....Aloha. You've started a conversation that can go on for years. Ask a bunch of guys what their favorite EDC (Every Day Carry) pocket knife is, and you will get a million opinions, and every one of them are valid. Your request was initially for a pocket knife, which I interpret as being a folding knife. If you are just going to use it (and store it) at work, might I suggest a fixed blade "picnic knife". Search on Amazon, and there are several to chose from from Joyce Chen, Messermeister, and Zyliss. They come with a slip on plastic sheath, and are great to stick in your desk or lunch box.

I would counsel against the Japanese knife. The higonokami is a traditional Japanese pocket knife, simple and basic. It has several characteristics that make it less than ideal for what you want. 1..most of the higonokamis are made with carbon steel which rusts if you look at it wrong. 2..The blades of these knives tend to be thick, which makes it not as efficient for slicing. 3...the higo is a friction folder which means it has no locking mechanism, you have to be careful using it so that it doesn't close on you. If you are set on the Japanese style, Kershaw Shun makes an updated higonokami stainless steel steak knife that is VERY nice. I also believe that it locks.

The Opinel.... the classic folding picnic knife. It comes in many sizes, and is cheap. The downside is that it is carbon steel as well, so it will rust if not taken care of, and it has a flimsy lock mechanism. Inexpensive so you won't cry if it gets lost, it's also a non-threatening knife some those who may become alarmed with a "knife" in the workplace.

I'll go one step further here and suggest....why dont you just get yourself a decent pocket knife, put it in your pocket, and use it not only for lunch, but for whatever you want to. I would suggest something from Spyderco. For your needs I would suggest a Spyderco Delica or Endure. If you are concerned about it rusting from not taking care of it, look into the Spyderco Pacific Salt. It is made of a steel called H1 which does not rust. Spyderco makes a whole slew of knives that surely one would fit your needs.

Then there are custom knives made by knife makers for general or specific tasks. For customs, the sky is the limit . I carry an Emerson CQC6 and a Tom Mayo Covert. The 2 of them meet every one of my cutting needs.

Let us know what you end up with.

Dec 11, 2014
wabi in Cookware

Thai Cookbook Suggestions

Wow..there is a bunch of good Thai cookbooks out there.

Another by David Thompson is the encyclopedic "Thai Food", as well as his "Thai Street Food".
"Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes From The Home Thai Kitchen" by Leela Punyaratabandhu published just this past year is excellent and features down to earth practical recipes. Her food blog She Simmers is an excellent resource.
"Pok Pok" by Andy Ricker is excellent and VERY Thai despite its western author.
"It Rains Fishes: Legends, Traditions And The Joys Of Thai Cooking" by Kasma Loha-unchit is out of print, but worth seeking out. She also has a website Thai Food and Travel Blog that has a lot of recipes.
"Cracking The Coconut: Classic Thai Home Cooking" by Su-mei Yu is also good.

My first Thai cookbook ever remains one of my favorites as well is "Keo's Thai Cuisine" by Keo Sananikone. Keo had a series of Thai restaurants in Honolulu, this cookbook comes from his restaurants.

There are plenty more out there, but these are my favorites.

Dec 10, 2014
wabi in Home Cooking
1

For your well-to-do inner caveman:

I have to echo Chem here. I am a collector of custom knives, a lot of my friends are knife makers. I carry and use all of my custom knives, irregardless of the price. I've been carrying an Emerson CQC6 for about 15 years now, and it has a wonderful patina to it. Nothing makes a knife maker happier than to see the tools they make being used. That is what they designed and made them for. For me the added bonus is to carry and use a tool made by a friend or someone I know.

What good is it sitting in a box?

Dec 10, 2014
wabi in Cookware

Home Pizza Geeks--Help?

Kaleo, howzit...I have one of the Baking Steel plates in my oven, that I just leave there all the time (It's too freakin heavy to move!) When I want to make pizza, I just preheat the steel by turning the oven to "broil", and pre heating it for 45 minutes or so. I dont know how hot the steel gets, but I can tell you that the pizzas cook PDQ once I slide them in.

I wish I could be more scientific with you, but this is what works for me.

Dec 10, 2014
wabi in Cookware

For your well-to-do inner caveman:

What a POS. I guess some people have more money then sense.

Dec 09, 2014
wabi in Cookware
1

Recommendations for a first wok [Moved from Home Cooking]

If you look through the forum here, we have sure spent a lot of time talking about woks. Which wok...flat or round...carbon or cast iron, long handles or short, wood or metal handles...I think that we all agree that the shiny stainless steel stir fry pan and the non stick coated woks are not suitable for wok cooking, but the rest is a matter of preference.

In the end though, I think it comes down to splitting hairs. Pick a wok that suits you best..ie your cooking style, and your needs.

Seasoning is key...but use the technique that works best in your hands. Chem uses the stove top technique because it works best for him. I use the Sheryl Canter method...it works well for ME. Either way, buy it, season it...and then USE that puppy. Use it. Use it. Use it!

In using it over and over you will find out what is your preferred style of cooking with it, and your wok will become more and more non stick.

FYI, I have an ancient electric stove with ill fitting burners. I own several woks, but the ones I use most are flat bottom carbon steel pow woks. (Metal handle). I have 2 woks I got from e-woks when they were in business, and an American made flat bottom carbon steel pow wok I got from Tane Chan.

My preference is for the hand hammered pow wok I got from e-woks, but to be honest, the US made wok is just as good. Now that they are all broken in (well seasoned), the differences between the two are not really discernible to this amateur cooking enthusiast.

Get the wok that you like, that suits your needs and cooking style. The end results of your dish will depend on who is driving the wok, not so the wok.

Dec 09, 2014
wabi in Cookware

Kauai Trip Report Nov '14

Kaleo, I think I went to eat there once a long time ago. It's always a toss up between Ma's and Dani's if you want a really local breakfast. Now days if I have breakfast in Lihue it is at Tip Top, but since I live Kapaa side, I go to Kountry Kitchen... its nothing special, but the owners and waitresses know us, and always treat us nicely. I guess its all about habit and familiarity.

I'm a haole guy married to a local girl here, and the places my wife and I tend to go to is where we know folks, and where the food is good..not by ratings and reviews. Needless to say Hamuras and Ara's Sakana-ya are regular stops for local food.

Another note about Kauai dining is that Jean Marie Josselin has opened another small fine dining restaurant with his daughter, (Jeez, I remember when she was born!) called JO2. Jean Marie is an old friend of mine so I am not allowed to tout it, but needless to say word is getting around very quickly about how good it is.

Dec 04, 2014
wabi in Hawaii

Kauai Trip Report Nov '14

JayDK:
Aloha.
I am glad you enjoyed your visit. I think you did the right thing by searching out and going to those places that are less popular and caters less to our visitor industry.

Ara's is the ONLY place I buy poke. They make it up fresh many times a day...so it doesn't just sit in a tray all day. I happen to like Ara's recipe as well....Everyone's recipe is different... I just happen to like theirs. Ara and Debbie and their family work their butts off, and are known by everyone in the community to have the freshest fish around. That they are wonderful nice people only makes it better. My only regret (and the community's regret) is that they closed their restaurant last year, The Hanamaulu Cafe, which had been a family owned and operated restaurant for almost 75 years.

Hamura's is and remains a Kauai institution....and the island will never be the same if they ever close their doors.

There are lots of other small, family owned restaurants here, small operations that may or may not cater to visitors...and even if they dont, visitors are more than welcome.

Kauai is full of aloha, it's just our way. Come back again when you can.

Dec 03, 2014
wabi in Hawaii

Very best sausage for cassolette?

It's a french dish...but sourcing french ingredients in the US is tough.
I had always wanted to make it, but was daunted by the ingredients...until I read an article in Serious Eats where the author adapted ingredients easily available in the US. I used a garlic sausage that I found at my local Safeway. Not authentic french...but tasty none the less!

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

Nov 24, 2014
wabi in Home Cooking
1

Katsu Hama (midtown Manhattan katsu restaurant) salad dressing recipe?

Katsu Hama has always been a regular stop for my wife and I when we are in NYC. They serve the katsu with thinly shaved cabbage with a bottle of a wonderful house made salad dressing. I guess it would best be described as a "wafu dressing", with some soy sauce, sesame oil..most likely some ground sesame seeds or tahini, perhaps some ginger and carrots blended in.

I have made other wafu dressings, but none as good or even coming close to that at Katsu Hama.

Has anyone a good wafu dressing recipe or the recipe for the dressing at Katsu Hama?

Nov 08, 2014
wabi in Home Cooking

Kauai in January

Kaleo...well said. Let me echo the recommendation of Edward Joesting's book Kauai: The Separate Kingdom". It's a great history of Kauai.

Come to Kauai, experience it. I am a long term Kauai resident, my wife was born and raised here. We've eaten at Tallivent and Le Bernadin, but I always cherish the simple pleasures of the local dishes of Hawaii.

By all means go to the local farmers markets and enjoy some local fruits and veggies. There are now many passionate growers on Kauai who are raising some wonderful produce.

Seek out some of the local gems as well. I mentioned my favorites in my post above. Ara's Sakana Ya is my go to spot for poke as well. Ara and Debbie, the owners are there 7 days a week working their butts off. Their customers are almost exclusively locals...and they do a brisk business all day, every day. There must be a reason huh?

Since you are looking for some definitive recs on Kauai let me tell you that Jean Marie Josselin has opened his new place in Kapaa, JO2...and that it is excellent. You won't be disappointed.

Nov 02, 2014
wabi in Hawaii

Anyone know where I can get Kiwi knives?

Amazon.com has been the best source and price for me.

Oct 28, 2014
wabi in Manhattan

Slow-cooker recommendations needed

Another nod for the All Clad from Williams-Sonoma.
Pricey but worth it.

Oct 26, 2014
wabi in Cookware

My Bacon

High fives.

Oct 26, 2014
wabi in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

Oct 26, 2014
wabi in Cookware
1

Kauai in January

Jean Marie Josselin's new restaurant is now open in Kapaa.
I just called for reservations for this evening!...I'll report back after we eat there.

Oct 26, 2014
wabi in Hawaii
1

Kauai in January

I've heard that rumor as well. I will just have to ask him! I do know he has been planning to open a second place in Kapaa. It's going to be a much smaller place, with a fine dining menu, and no bar. I'll ask him or his manager.

Oct 24, 2014
wabi in Hawaii

Kauai in January

JosefK...Aloha and let me welcome to you to the Garden Island of Kauai. Kauai has been my home for the last 25 years, and my wife was born and raised here. By no means a restaurant critic, none the less I am an avid Chowhound reader, home cook, and lover of the cuisine of Hawaii. I live on the east side..Kapaa, so most of my every day experience is from this side of Kauai. Needless to say I have my favorites here on Kauai, and my regular "haunts" that I go to time and time again. There seems to be 3 sorts of food venues here on Kauai...those that cater to locals mostly, those that cater to both locals and visitors, and those that cater to visitors almost exclusively. I love fine dining, dont get me wrong, but there are a lot of places I dont visit here on Kauai either because I am not a tourist and want to pay high prices for mediocre food, or I won't pay outrageous prices for very good, but by no means spectacular food. I save those meals for other times and cities. On the North Shore, I have not been to Bar Acuda, but had some friends visit here recently that went and loved it. In Hanalei town for lunch and casual dinners are the Hanalei Gourmet, and Tahiti Nui. Nothing world class, but a solid sandwich or burger, and the beer is cold. A visit to both will allow you a ringside seat of some of our very colorful local characters. Big Tim who owns Hanalei Gourmet serves an honest meal for a reasonable price. I've not been to the St Regis and Jean Georges place...It's a long drive for me, and I dont want to spend that kind of money on a dinner here. Tiki Iniki at the Princeville shopping center is pure fun...with the classic Tiki bar theme, wild drinks and reasonable food.

Closer to my home on the east side, I like the Kountry Kitchen for breakfast. The Ono Family restaurant is also reasonable. Kountry Kitchen is my go to place..but it is plain, nothing fancy, but very friendly and reasonable. Pono Market has great take out lunch. On a side note, take out lunch or "Plate Lunch" here in Hawaii is an art form itself. It's usually a massive meal jammed into a take out container. Almost by law, but certainly by tradition it includes 2 scoops of rice and potato/macaroni salad...as well as the main meaty fried or barbecued ingredients. The Hukilau Lanai is a nice place for dinner...with the chef there a big proponent of local "farm to table" ingredients. Korean Barbecue restaurant at the Kinipopo shopping center is also pretty good...and does a nice take out plate lunch as well. Also popular in Kapaa for Japanese food is Kintaros...overall very good. My wife and I got here frequently during the week. Weekends are very busy. They have sushi, Japanese favorites, and the popular teppan-yaki bar where the food is prepared on a grill in front of you complete with flashy chef knife work. There are several Mexican restaurants in Kapaa, Verde, and Monicos being the 2 best...I like them both, and just to warn you, both get crowded in the evenings. Going earlier is better. They are also both open for lunch. There is a newer place in Kapaa in the condo complex across from the Safeway Shopping center called Oasis. It is right on the beach, so the setting is wonderful. Open for lunch and dinner, the chef is big on "farm to table" local ingredients as well..nothing spectacular, but the food is solid good. I like going there because I support local Kauai farmers. The meat and veggies mostly come from Kauai.

Most of the places in Lihue are pretty local, and cater to locals. There are a number of restaurants near Nawiliwili harbor..but to be honest, cater mostly to tourists. the food is mediocre, the service is mediocre and priced higher than it should be. The Feral Pig held great promise, with their intention to make a lot of their food in house...but fell flat on implementation. For breakfast in Lihue the 2 classics are Dani's and Tip Top Cafe. I warn you...VERY local, but classic Hawaii. At Dani's you can have beef stew, tripe stew or Loco Moco for breakfast. All classic Hawaii breakfast items. Tip Top Cafe seems to specialize in pancakes...banana and macadamia nut being the popular varieties.

No trip to Kauai is complete without a pilgrimage to Hamura's Saimin. Saimin is the Hawaii version of the japanese ramen, served with a pretty salty broth. Go to Hamura', order a large "special", with 2 beef or chicken teriyaki sticks and you have Kauai local style dining in a nutshell. For local style take out snacks or plate lunch, Ara's Sakana-ya or Fish Express can't be beat. Go in, buy some beer or soda, a plate lunch, a couple varieties of Poke, go to your favorite beach...eat lunch or snack, and you're in heaven. It's Hawaii, very plain and very simple. Marks place in Puhi is hard to find..but worth seeking out. I am also fond of Sone's deli in the Kukui Grove shopping center...another source of massive plate lunch.

My favorite fine dining spot on the island though is Josselin's Tapas Bar and Grill. It is in Koloa, and .the owner/chef is a long term friend of mine...so I won't hawk his place, but I do suggest you ask around.

Having lived here for as long as I have, a lot of the owners and employees of the places I have mentioned here are friends of mine...it's a small island, and everyone does know everyone. I dont go to them because they are friends of mine...but because they make and serve honest food, and they treat their customers with caring and respect. I guess that is an aspect of food or dining that is largely intangible to a visitor..but is significant to those of us who live here....which is why these places I mentioned are so popular with local residents.

I think you will like Kauai, it has that quality of Aloha and beauty that Hawaii is all about. Say hello and strike up a conversation with your servers and managers. Talk to the cashiers and stockers in the grocery stores. Go to the farmers markets held all over the island on different days of the week and talk to the growers and sellers of the fruits and vegetables and I think you will see what I am writing about.

One last thing....January is the peak of our rainy season, bring a hat, a raincoat, and a pair of sneakers you dont mind sacrificing to the mud. Buy a pair of $1.99 rubber slippers when you get here at Wal Mart or Long's drug store and you'll be good to go.

Aloha.

Oct 24, 2014
wabi in Hawaii
2

Which cheap entry level 240mm Gyuto?

Chem, Cowboy....let me thank you personally for your contributions to this thread and others concerning sharpening. I have used a multitude of methods over the years to keep my knives sharp. This includes my kitchen knives as well as my pocket knives..both folders and fixed blades. As we are all more than well aware as we journey into knives and their care., we know there is a multitude of angles and finishes for knives depending on our knives and their intended usage. I recently went to a knife show in Las Vegas where I was happy to have my personal pocket knives sharpened by a representative of the Wicked Edge (WE) knife sharpener. His demonstration as well as the comments on the Usual Suspect Network of my friends using the WE convinced me to buy one. I like it as it takes the guess work out of angles and blade placement. I've yet to fool around with it yet, but I will comment on it in the future.

Oct 15, 2014
wabi in Cookware

sou vide machine experience

Another Anova fan.
It's KISS simple to use, and reasonably priced...

Sep 30, 2014
wabi in Cookware