March 27, 2013

Oh Yum Oahu

To make up for our active lifestyle in Hawaii last month,
we decided to spoil ourselves rotten with the most decadent meals we can get our hands on. 
So what if we had to be in bathing suits every day? 
This food was seriously worth it. 
On our first night on the island we decided to go as big as it gets,
and a fifteen course omakase dinner was just what the doctor ordered. 
The chefs at Sushi Sasabune proceeded to feed us the freshest seafood that we could have ever asked for. 
From squid stuffed with blue crab to the famous negi toro hand rolls,
every bite was absolutely delicious. 
This was not just a dinner,
this was an experience. 
If you ever plan on visiting Sasabune, be prepared to spend several hours learning how to eat, drink and be merry. 
I must put a disclaimer out.. because this is not a cheap thrill. 
Our bill for four people was a hefty $800,
although that did include plenty of liqueur, and in my opinion, the best type of happy ending - a satisfied tummy!
As soon as I started posting Hawaii pictures on Instagram and Twitter,
I recieved a whole slew of "foodie" recommendations from both locals, and from friends who spent a fair share of time on the island. 
Thanks guys! There's nothing better than checking out a place that's been tried and tested.
One common term that kept reappearing was malasadas
Now I'm not going to lie, I wasn't even sure what these things were,
but all I knew is that I had to go to Leonard's to get the best ones in Honolulu. 
So we went, and boy were these things yummy!
What are they, you ask?
From what I was told, malasadas are yeast donuts of Portuguese origin, 
rich with eggs, butter and milk. 
In other words, little balls of goodness...
a perfect substitute for breakfast. 
Oxtail Empanadas - tomato, golden raisin chutney
Brown Butter Gnocchi - house pancetta, garlic puree, charred tomatoes, lemon confit, manchego, oyster mushrooms 
Charcuterie Board - chef's selection
Do you like bacon, salami, ham, and everything else that has to do with pork?
Well I have just the place for you. 
Salt is a perfect combination of modern, hip and upscale.
The food is rich and delicious, 
and the ambiance is fitting for any type of night. 
Take your date upstairs for a romantic evening,
or grab a place at the bar and enjoy the hustle and the bustle that happens all around you. 
No matter where you find a spot, 
just be sure to try as many things off the menu as possible. 
You won't be disappointed. 
Fish Tacos - grilled fish with Cajun seasoning, flour tortillas, tomatillo sauce, guacamole, pico de gallo 
Calamari - seasoned panko breading with lemon caper aioli 
Mac Nut Chicken Katsu - served with guava and lilikoi-honey mustard sauces, steamed rice and macaroni salad 
If you're vacationing in Honolulu, you're bound to spend at least one full day wandering around Waikiki.
Do us both a favor, and stop in for a lunch break at Duke's, one of Hawaii's main staples.
This place has everything one can ask for from a beach hut -
offering seating right by the water, 
with yummy local favorites to go along with that mai tai. 
I can personally say that Duke's Katsu chicken was the BEST I've ever had. 
The mister and I have developed a little tradition, 
whereby we like to say goodbye to our latest vacation with a decadent dinner. 
We're so glad that on this trip, our friends were there to partake in the festivities.
Chef Mavro was a perfect choice to send us off in style. 
Our group decided that a four-course dinner with wine pairings was a perfect choice,
so we sat, we dined, and we reminisced about the amazing time we had over the past five days. 
It was a perfect farewell to paradise. 


March 25, 2013

Carnitas Snack Shack

This weekend I spent a night in LA LA Land for a girls getaway with my bestie. 
More about Hollywood later..
Today I want to tell you about how nice it was to come back to the beautiful, smog-free streets of San Diego, 
and to eat the most gluttonous, delicious meal I could get my paws on. 

Carnitas Snack Shack has been getting A TON of foodie buzz lately,
and I'm a little ashamed to admit that it's taken me this long to finally check it out. 
Better late than never though, right?
And yes, this place was worth the hour-long wait because let's face it,
the weather couldn't have been better and the food really is that good. 
I'm not the only one who thinks so either - 
the restaurant was voted as the #1 restaurant in North Park, 
and included in the Top Ten San Diego Restaurants in Zagat's 2013 survey
Not bad for a shack, eh?

So what's the big deal, anyway?
 Let's put it this way.. sometimes it's just really hard to be simply great. 
The key word here is simple
There are typically only ten things on the menu, which by the way, changes daily, 
so please don't get mad at me if you get attached to one of the items you see below. 
The decor is not anything to get worked up about either,
but it all just fits - the outdoor seating, the paper napkins... 
This place may not scream romance, 
but then again, it's a pretty safe bet that if the girl you're dating isn't ashamed to down a giant pork sandwich in front of you, she's probably a keeper. 
Triple Threat Pork Sandwich - pork loin schnitzel/ pulled pork/ bacon/ pepperoncini-pickle relish/ shack aioli 
Baby Back Ribs - served with tator tots
Under all that lettuce lies the most delicious burger I've had in a LONG time..
Snack Shack Burger - lettuce/ tomato/ bacon jam/ white cheddar/ shack aioli
Side of Fries - with homemade ketchup
And for the grand finale, please do yourself a favor and indulge in a Bacon Crunch Bar.
So. Stinkin. Good. 
2632 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92104


March 20, 2013

Postcards from Hawaii - Part II

 The second installment of our Hawaii photos offers a glimpse into some of our island adventures.
We were so happy to have our best friends along with us during this trip,
because together we were constantly out and about, being active and getting into just a little bit of trouble.
One morning, we decided to go on a hike up to Manoa Falls,
one of the easier trails that led through a rainforest on to a beautiful, lush waterfall.

Looks like a scene straight out of Jurassic Park, doesn't it?
In tropical climates, you have to be ready for anything,
so when a monsoon passed over and soaked us during our descent, we decided that the best thing to do was to head straight to the beach and dry off naturally. 

We drove back to Kailua beach that afternoon, because we simply couldn't get enough of the gorgeous sights from the day prior. 
On the way there we stopped by Tamura's to pick up a few pounds of the most delicious fresh ahi to enjoy by the water. 
Once at Kailua, we thought of an even better idea. 
We rented two tandem kayaks and paddled out to a smaller island, away from all the tourists, where we set up a little picnic area and soaked in the sun. 
Pure bliss!
We spent the whole next day snorkeling around Hanauma Bay,
taking breaks in between water sessions to take naps on the beach and fuel up with mimosas.
Can every day be vacation please?!
All decked out in Hawaiian flowers after finally getting leid :)