Posts Tagged ‘Aiea’

Hawaii Ramen Quest – Part III

December 1, 2011
Part I | Part II |  Part III  | Part IV | Part V

With winter in full swing and Hawaii’s “chilly” weather freezing everyone to the core πŸ˜› , there’s no better comfort food than a nice, hot, steamy bowl of ramen. And while eating at some of my go-to ramen picks (i.e. Yotteko-Ya, Tenkaippin, etc.) would be ideal, sometimes, patronizing your friendly, neighborhood ramen spots is the way to go to help warm the soul.

This next batch of spots in our Hawaii Ramen Quest consists of some of the more non-traditional, localized interpretations of ramen. Stemming from what appears to be of local Chinese influence (with the use of cabbage, bean sprouts, corn, mapo tofu, etc.), these ramen joints often have multiple locations in very convenient areas around town, and I would venture to guess that they are conceivably some of the most popular amongst the locals. Although I don’t associate any of these with the “straight from tha muthaland” flavor and style of ramen I’m accustomed to, there’s no doubt that I still frequent many of these for my noodle fix on the regular.

First up is Daiichi Ramen & Curry in Aiea.

I don’t usually venture out around lower Aiea too often except when I take a wrong turn from Aiea Bowl or Ice Garden, so when I actually did one day, I noticed a sign with big red letters calling me. It said Daiichi Ramen & Curry and I immediately thought to myself, “Oh, thaaaaat’s where it is!” Now you gotta understand, with a name like that (which means “#1” in Japanese), I will place very high expectations on the ramen coming out of the pots there. But then again, with a name like that (gotta love the confidence BTW!) it has to be good right? I’ve heard a lot about this place before but it wasn’t until a recent check-in by @abaggy earlier this month that my curiosity got the best of me. I dragged co-workers and friends Maribel and Trina to come along for the ride.

Maribel & Trina pose outside Daiichi Ramen & Curry in Aiea Shopping Plaza
Maribel & Trina pose outside Daiichi Ramen & Curry in Aiea Shopping Plaza

The first thing you notice is that it is very clean (perhaps even remodeled). Surprising, as they been around for quite some time. The next thing you notice is the two giant posters hanging on the wall advertising their “new” Tonkotsu and Tan Tan Ramens. Smart choice as those have been the popular styles of ramen here in Hawaii as of late.

Trina and I got one of each, while Maribel got the “Special Combo” with Mini Ramen & Curry choices.

Tan Tan Ramen - Healthy soup cooked for over 12 hours with chicken bones, pork rib bones and fresh ground sesame seeds, made fresh daily. - $7.75
Tan Tan Ramen – Healthy soup cooked for over 12 hours with chicken bones, pork rib bones and fresh ground sesame seeds, made fresh daily. – $7.75

Tonkotsu Ramen - Healthy soup cooked for over 12 hours with soft rib bones made fresh daily. - $7.75
Tonkotsu Ramen – Healthy soup cooked for over 12 hours with soft rib bones made fresh daily. – $7.75

Ramen from the Special Combo, Two choice - $8.75
Ramen from the Special Combo, Two choice – $8.75

Mini Curry Rice from the Special Combo, 2 Choice - $8.75
Mini Curry Rice from the Special Combo, 2 Choice – $8.75

Maribel and Trina posing with our ramens
Maribel and Trina posing with our ramens

The flavor wasn’t quite there for the Tonkotsu ramen, but the Ton Ton definitely had a lot of kick. It made all of us cry just a bit. LOL!

Daiichi Ramen & Curry
Aiea Shopping Plaza
99-080 Kauhale Road, Bldg A
Aiea, HI 96701 (Street View)
(808) 486-7432
Daily: 10:30am-9:30pm

Note: A new location also just opened up at 1029 Makolu Street in Pearl City (808-455-9898), which is the strip mall with Starbucks, Kozo Sushi and Panda Express FYI.

 

Next up is Sumo Ramen & Curry. They’ve got 6 or so locations sprinkled across Oahu now, but the one we visited for this review was the tiny one in the Moanalua 99 food court area.

Sumo Ramen & Curry at Moanalua 99
Sumo Ramen & Curry at Moanalua 99

We had the little one with us so everything had to be ordered in “to go” packaging (… You know, just in case. LOL!), but everything was pretty tasty nonetheless. They have quite an extensive menu with offerings in the curry, fried noodle, udon, fried rice, cold soba and ramen categories, in addition to various appetizers you don’t usually see at a place like this.

Spicy Chicken Wings Appetizer - $3.75
Spicy Chicken Wings Appetizer – $3.75

Wifey ordered the Mochiko Chicken Curry Combo, while I got, what else?, the Tonkotsu Ramen. At least I’m consistent right? πŸ™‚

Tonkotsu Ramen - $7.50
Tonkotsu Ramen – $7.50

Here’s a shot of our entire meal.

Spicy Chicken Wings appetizer ($3.75), Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.50), and wifey's Mochiko Chicken Curry Combo ($9.50)
Spicy Chicken Wings appetizer ($3.75), Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.50), and wifey’s Mochiko Chicken Curry Combo ($9.50)

Sumo Ramen & Curry
Moanalua 99 Food Court
1151 Mapunapuna Street, Suite W-9
Honolulu, HI 96819 (Street View)
(808) 833-3139

 

IchiBen in Pearl City’s Times Square Shopping Center is a somewhat newer addition to the ramen scene, but has quickly gained popularity amongst the locals in the area. They specialize in fried rice, curries Korean style BBQ, and their ramens. The attention to detail with their ramen broth is evident by the meticulous description on their menu:

Our special cooked-from-scratch broth is low-simmered for 8-10 hours, resulting in a clear stock with layers of intense flavor. The ingredients include pork shank bones, chicken, shiitake mushrooms, kombu, dried shrimps and scallops, onions, garlic, ginger and leek. You can choose from Shoyu or Miso flavor. The third choice, Paitan, is kanchi for white soup. This signature pork and chicken soup is slow-boiled for 10 or more hours until the stock turns a milky white color. It is rich in collagen and flavor, also known as tonkotsu, and it’s a regional style from Southern Japan. Ours is delightfully light and smooth, without the greasy taste because of our constant skimming all day. We do not use MSG in our cooking, including the soup stock.

Here’s a shot of the Seafood Ramen with Paitan style broth.

Seafood Ramen with Paitan broth - $8.45
Seafood Ramen with Paitan broth – $8.45

Wifey seemed to be happy with her order of the Shoyu version.

Seafood Ramen with Shoyu broth - $7.95
Seafood Ramen with Shoyu broth – $7.95

On a return visit, I wasn’t really in the mood for ramen (it was hot out), so I read the menu’s description of their “Flaming Grill” options and was sold. I swear, the guy who wrote these should win some kind of award for always making me so hungry! πŸ˜›

Our BBQ chicken and Kalbi are marinated in Korean-style sauce with shoyu, sugar, ginger, garlic, black pepper and sesame oil for at least 12 hours to bring out the full flavor. Grilled to perfection and served with steamed rice, macaroni salad and tsukemono.

IchiGrill - 1 fillet of chicken and 2 slices of kalbi short ribs - $9.95
IchiGrill – 1 fillet of chicken and 2 slices of kalbi short ribs – $9.95

I actually liked the Korean BBQ items more than the ramen here. Very flavorful and tasty!

IchiBen
Times Square Shopping Center
98-1254 Kaahumanu Street, Suite B-06
Pearl City, HI 96782 (Street View)
(808) 488-4200
Sun-Thu: 11am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm

 

Mililani natives would know all about our next stop: Genki Ramen, which has a location on each side of the H2 (Mililani Mauka and Mililani town). Working out here in the often chilly-willy Central Oahu locale, it’s easy to make a quick lunch run to either location. Here are co-workers and friends Wendy and Maribel during a recent visit to the Mauka location.

Wendy and Maribel pose with our spread from Genki Ramen
Wendy and Maribel pose with our spread from Genki Ramen

Wendy ordered the Pork Vegetable Fried Noodles, which, ironically (at a ramen shop), is one of my favorite dishes here.

Pork Vegetable Fried Noodle - $7.50
Pork Vegetable Fried Noodle – $7.50

I usually order the Seafood Fried Noodles sans the radioactive looking ginger or the Mabo Tofu Ramen, but since this is a Ramen Quest, I took one for the team and ordered the marquee item on the menu: The New Genki Ramen (Big Bowl)!

New Genki Ramen (Big Bowl) - $9.75
New Genki Ramen (Big Bowl) – $9.75

Although da buggah is HUGE, it’s rather deceiving because, like many of the other ramens on their menu, the noodles seem to always be lacking. To me, they overstuff the bowl with cabbage and bean sprouts and never have enough noodles at the bottom for me to slurp on.

Maribel got the Combo A Set which included a Mini Shoyu Ramen, Fried Rice and 4 pieces of Gyoza.

Combo A Set - Mini Shoyu Ramen, Fried Rice and 4 pieces of Gyoza - $7.75
Combo A Set – Mini Shoyu Ramen, Fried Rice and 4 pieces of Gyoza – $7.75

Genki Ramen II (Mililani Mauka)
95-1840 Meheula Parkway
Mililani, HI 96789 (Street View)
(808) 626-7829

 

Rumor has it that there was some kind of rift (ala Gomaichi and Goma Tei) that caused one owner to leave Genki Ramen to start this next ramen restaurant chain: Ramen Ya. Although there is one in Kahului (Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center on Maui), and one to open soon in Hawaii Kai, this review is for the somewhat new location in the Pearl Highlands area.

The menu is remarkably identical to Genki Ramen’s one so I went with what I knew best and ordered the Mapo Tofu Ramen. Yep, it’s spelled “Mapo” here.

Mapo Tofu Ramen - $7.25
Mapo Tofu Ramen – $7.25

Co-workers and friends Erin and Diane went curry and ordered the Deep Fried Gyoza Curry Rice and the Curry Ramen respectively.

Deep Fried Gyoza Curry Rice - $7.75
Deep Fried Gyoza Curry Rice – $7.75

Curry Ramen - $7.25
Curry Ramen – $7.25

Erin and Diane with our food at Ramen-Ya
Erin and Diane with our food at Ramen-Ya

If you like Genki Ramen, you’ll like it here as well (and vice versa).

Ramen-Ya
1170 Kuala Street, Suite 308
Pearl City, HI 96782 (Street View)
(808) 456-8868
Daily: 10:30am-9pm

 

I never even knew this next place existed until I did a site visit in the area for work. Since it was lunch time and we were mad hungry, Maribel (yes again) and I decided to scope things out at Ton Ton Ramen.

The menu is fairly extensive with noodle, udon & rice dishes, combos, side orders and a variety of special ramens including the Black Sesame Tan Tan Ramen, Ippin Ramen, Oxtail Ramen, and the one I got, which was the very popular Soft Rib Ramen.

Soft Rib Ramen - Ribs are slowly cooked over 8 hours until tender & juicy. Ramen is served in a garlic shoyu base with traditional half cooked egg. Original Japanese style. - $8
Soft Rib Ramen – Ribs are slowly cooked over 8 hours until tender & juicy. Ramen is served in a garlic shoyu base with traditional half cooked egg. Original Japanese style. – $8

The soft boiled egg was a nice touch, though it wasn’t quite as soft-boiled as I would’ve liked it. The nori was also a good attempt at being authentic. The soup needed more flavor but the soft rib was definitely soft and tasty.

Surprise surprise. Maribel got a combo yet again. LOL! This time around, she got the Mochiko Chicken Combo, which included the Mochiko Chicken, a mini ramen, and gyoza.

A happy looking Maribel with her Mochiko Chicken Combo - $9.45
A happy looking Maribel with her Mochiko Chicken Combo – $9.45

Ton Ton Ramen
94-050 Farrington Highway
Waipahu, HI 96797 (Street View)
(808) 677-5388

 

Back in the day, when we used to go clubbing (yes, THAT long ago), this next stop was one of our staples: Taiyo Ramen, thanks to its late night hours of operation. Located in between the now two defunct Blockbuster and I Love Country Café locations off Piikoi, this ramen joint has stood the test of time and endured the ups and downs of the market.

I don’t have any current prices or photos, but here are a few dishes from way back in 2006.

Gomoku Ramen
Gomoku Ramen

Seafood Udon
Seafood Udon

Soba from Taiyo Ramen
Soba from Taiyo Ramen

Makes me want to get drunk and go there again for old time’s sake. 8)

Taiyo Ramen
451 Piikoi Street, Suite 105
Honolulu, HI 96814 (Street View)
(808) 589-2123
Mon-Thu 10am-1am
Fri-Sat 10am-3am
Sun 10am-9pm

 

And speaking of late night eats, here’s a quickie shot of my Oxtail Ramen from none other than Sanoya’s. Ahhh, the memories…

Oxtail Ramen from Sanoya's
Oxtail Ramen from Sanoya’s

Not exactly gourmet eating, but good enough for those late night cravings.

Sanoya Rahmen
1785 S King Street, Suite 4
Honolulu, HI 96826 (Street View)
(808) 947-6065

 

And finally, here’s a “fast kine” location we recently hit up at the Manoa Marketplace: Nishi Mon Cho Ramen. As you’ll see in the photos, we again ordered everything in take out containers because we had baby with us. Our parents were pretty hungry, but wifey and I weren’t so we decided to share something small. I got the daily (Friday) special, the Curry Beef Rice & 4 pcs Gyoza combo, while wifey got a mini shoyu ramen.

Nishi Mon Cho Friday Special - Curry Beef Rice & 4 pcs Gyoza - $6.99 (with wifey's mini shoyu ramen on the side). Yes, I'm not a fan of cooked carrots. :P
Nishi Mon Cho Friday Special – Curry Beef Rice & 4 pcs Gyoza – $6.99 (with wifey’s mini shoyu ramen on the side). Yes, I’m not a fan of cooked carrots. πŸ˜›

Some of the other daily specials at Nishi Mon Cho Ramen
Some of the other daily specials at Nishi Mon Cho Ramen

The warm, fuzzy story behind this visit was that the worker (who appeared to be the owner) was very friendly and accommodating with us, noticing our obvious apprehension (whether to eat in or take out) due to our situation with the little one. She shared information about her own kids and made everyone feel very comfortable.

Nishi Mon Cho Ramen
Manoa Marketplace
2851 E Manoa Road #1-104
Honolulu, HI 96822 (Street View)
(808) 988-9928
Daily: 10:30am-9pm

 

And that’s it! Whew! That was a packed one! If I don’t see or talk to you guys soon, have a safe and happy holiday season. See y’all next month/year! πŸ™‚

Part I | Part II |  Part III  | Part IV | Part V
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Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010

Sorry for da lateness! Shmall kine busy! To reward your patience, let’s do some “Lucky you live Hawaii” shots this week. Can you tell where these are???


Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - December 1, 2010
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 1, 2010

Points for Photo #1…
* Location?: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Why wuz we dea?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points
* Google Street View link?: 1 point


Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - December 1, 2010
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 1, 2010

Points for Photo #2…
* Location?: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Month photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points
* Google Street View link?: 1 point


Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - December 1, 2010
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 1, 2010

Points for Photo #3…
* Creative Photo Caption?: 2 points
* Location?: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Who dat at the Lifeguard station?: 2 points each
* Why wuz we dea?: 5 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points
* Google Street View link?: 1 point


Last Week’s Results:
Ho, I wasn’t joking when I said was goin’ be hahd last week! Most questions went unanswered. Does that mean I can re-use um? πŸ˜› tweetpeep22, Coconut Willy, Paco and Rosette were still able to eek out a few points though! ‘Grats tp, C Dubbs, 2Pac and Rosey! πŸ™‚

Da Leadahboard (Round 2)!

  • 70.5 – Masako
  • 37.5 – Takeshi
  • 31.5 – Paco
  • 18.0 – rayboyjr
  • 17.0 – kuya.d
  • 10.5 – AlMan68
  • 08.0 – Coconut Willy, Rosette
  • 06.5 – tweetpeep22, NeedaHobby
  • 06.0 – che, MakiSushi
  • 04.0 – am
  • 03.5 – bB
  • 03.0 – kickerbear
  • 02.5 – pink lady
  • 02.0 – sshawnn, M, Kage, EMM386
  • 01.5 – mcat
  • 01.0 – effenprincess, Chicken Grease, carokun, Ynaku, 9th Island Cuz

Check out my new article on AroundHawaii.com entitled: “Hike, Bike, or the Like – Give the Pearl Harbor Bike Path a Whirl“! *grin*

Hike, Bike, or the Like - Give the Pearl Harbor Bike Path a Whirl
Hike, Bike, or the Like – Give the Pearl Harbor Bike Path a Whirl


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My Blog
:: My Blog ::
(Random stuffs)
My Facebook
:: My Facebook ::
(Add a brutha! πŸ˜› )
My Job
:: My Job ::
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Have a happy VH07V Wednesday and beginning of December y’all! Don’t forget to post your guesses below k? Shoooots!

Hike, Bike, or the Like – Give the Pearl Harbor Bike Path a Whirl

December 1, 2010

On a somewhat recent episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, Dog and his posse went chasing down a fugitive in some dense forestry-looking area on our `aina. Upon closer examination, I recogmatized um as da place we biked back in August: The Pearl Harbor Bike Path. What better time to write about it for y’all right?

Now I need to start with a disclaimer. If being on Dog the Bounty Hunter is any indication, there could conceivably be certain areas of the path that may be viewed as “shady” to some. For parts of the ride, wifey kept saying that it probably wouldn’t be safe for people to run/ride by themselves. Personally, I felt perfectly fine, but that’s probably because I’m the proud owner of this intimidating gun show (*flexes*). πŸ˜› All kidding aside, if you don’t feel safe or feel like you can’t protect yourself, take some friends along if you choose to do this path.

With that outta the way, let’s get a rollin’!

I’ve read reports that the trail can be anywhere from 8 to 18 miles or more, spanning the areas between Aiea to Waipahu to even Nanakuli! I guess it just depends where you decide to start and how far you wanna take it (see map from the DOT. Our particular adventures started from Aiea and went to Waipahu and back. Check it!

Depending on where *you* decide to start, the parking sitch may not be the greatest. We opted to start on the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area side, which meant finding parking in the surrounding neighborhoods near Aloha Stadium (to the chagrin of those living in the area). Note: We later discovered that there is actually a parking lot for the park (recreation area) if you enter in through McGrew Loop off Kamehameha Highway (view Google Street View). Whether or not you trust your car parked there – while people watch you unload your bike and ride off – is up to you.

So if you parked in the Aloha Stadium area like we did, just make your way north, down Kamehameha Highway and take a left at this little side street with no name (Google Street View). That will lead you to the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area and beginning (southeast portion) of the Pearl Harbor Bike Path.

Pearl Harbor Bike Path in the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]
Pearl Harbor Bike Path in the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]

(That’s a photo of my friend Jay at the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area on the return trip. Sorry, I didn’t have any photos of us going in the other direction.)

As you start your journey, you will actually travel under a portion of the Moanalua Freeway (HI-78), giving you a neat, not often-seen perspective.

Under the Moanalua Freeway (HI-78)
Under the Moanalua Freeway (HI-78)

Soon you’ll find yourself on the backside of Pearl Kai Shopping Center. Perhaps, if you were a member of 24 Hour Fitness back in the day when it was here, you might remember seeing some mysterious road with joggers prancing along it? Well, that was the Pearl Harbor Bike Path! Mystery solved! πŸ˜› Here’s the only shot I have (from AndHere.com) of the backside of Pearl Kai. It’s the parking lot underneath the old 24 Hour Fitness.

The back of Pearl Kai Shopping Center [Photo Courtesy: AndHere.com]
The back of Pearl Kai Shopping Center [Photo Courtesy: AndHere.com]

Eventually, you’ll pass by Best Buy, Harbor Center, Cutter Ford, and Neal S. Blaisdell Park.

Neal S. Blaisdell Park
Neal S. Blaisdell Park

This is a good place to catch your breath and grab some water (and use the potty).

A few strip malls later, you’ll instantly recognize the back side of the Hawaiian Electric power plant…

Hawaiian Electric power plant
Hawaiian Electric power plant

… Followed by a cute little taro patch/field.

Taro patch/field
Taro patch/field

At this point, you’ll be riding parallel with the H-1 (westbound) for a little while with East Loch to your left. Passing Pearl City Peninsula on your left, things will open up at Middle Loch, where you’ll see some pretty cool ships docked out at sea.

Ships at Middle Loch
Ships at Middle Loch

As you pass Middle Loch and make your way towards West Loch…

Path between Middle Loch and West Loch
Path between Middle Loch and West Loch

I noticed something really disturbing.

Pollution along the Pearl Harbor Bike Path
Pollution along the Pearl Harbor Bike Path

At the end of the little river/canal/stream that ran alongside of the bike path (Kapakahi Stream?), there was a build-up of trash and waste, including a shopping cart and even a spare tire! This is hereby a plea to the city to please take a close look into this! Mahaloz!

Finally, you’ll make it to Waipahu Home Depot Road where you’ll take a right to head towards Farrington Highway. Along the way, you’ll notice HUGE stacks of compacted recycled goods (at an Ewa Repair Shop? or Depot Metal Inc.?), a good a time as any for a photo opp! πŸ™‚

Compacted recycled Goods at Ewa Repair Shop
Compacted recycled Goods at Ewa Repair Shop

Continue to make your way towards Farrington Highway and you’ll start to get your bearings. You’ll pass by Servco Auto Leeward when you hit the highway. Strange coming from that direction yeah?

Since we were hungry, we decided to stop by at Tanioka’s to rest our bones…

Our bikes outside of Tanioka's
Our bikes outside of Tanioka’s

And pound some ono poke.

Poke and rice (with the IntelliGo) next to the Tanioka's Menu  [Photo Courtesy: AndHere.com]
Poke and rice (with the IntelliGo) next to the Tanioka’s MenuΒ  [Photo Courtesy: AndHere.com]

A big mahalos to bruddah Donovan for hooking us up with some ono grindz!

With our bellies full and bones well rested, it was time to make the return trip back to Aiea. Rather than listening to my annoying commentary, let’s press the mute button on me and enjoy the photos of the ride back in peace and quiet.

Jay with his leftovers
Jay with his leftovers

Above Middle Loch
Above Middle Loch

Todd and wifey
Todd and wifey

Wifey and I [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]
Wifey and I [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]

Signage
Signage

Todd and Jay
Todd and Jay

More fields
More fields

Behind HECO
Behind HECO

Todd's
Todd’s “handsome” face

Peesu
Peesu

Jay and wifey
Jay and wifey

All smiles
All smiles

East Loch [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]
East Loch [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]

Right next to the freeway
Right next to the freeway

Almost there...
Almost there…

We made it! [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]
We made it! [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]

I wanna say the entire trip probably only took like 2-3 hours, including the lunch break, but that’s just my guesstimate. An overall fun, and different adventure that you and your homeys can enjoy one (or every) weekend. Just remember to bring a friend if you’re not with me. πŸ˜‰