Posts Tagged ‘@RickNakama’

Saimin Adventures – The Search for Hawaii’s Best Saimin – Part I

November 1, 2012

It wasn’t long after wrapping up the final part in my 5 part series on Hawaii’s best ramen, that people started harassing me. “You need to cover saimin now!” “What about Hawaii’s best saimin places!?”

As good as their suggestions were, prior to my interview with Sun Noodle president Hidehito Uki, I was a full-on ramen snob. I would normally only “stoop” to eating saimin out of desperation. At Zippy’s, in a drunken state, during the wee hours of night during our clubbin’ days. When driving to a ramen place in town was too far. Or when your whole group agrees on a saimin place and it’s too late to renege on your previous “up to you” comment.

I’m of course exaggerating (I love anything with noodles!), but Mr. Uki seriously slapped some saimin sense in me with his life changing, epiphanic quote:

“Each area in Japan has their own, unique style of ramen. Kyushu has Hakata style (tonkotsu), Hokkaido has Sapporo style (miso)… Saimin is Hawaii’s style of ramen.”

Sun Noodle's Hidehito Uki during our Hawaii Ramen Quest - Part V interview back in February
Sun Noodle’s Hidehito Uki during our “Hawaii Ramen Quest – Part V” interview back in February

Hellooooo!? The world now made perfect sense to me. And with that, I was no longer a ramen snob, ready to tackle the next noodle adventure around the state. “Saimin Adventures”, here we come!

We start with my favorite saimin place in the state: Shige’s Saimin Stand in Wahiawa.

Shige's Saimin Stand sign
Shige’s Saimin Stand sign

Living and working in the often chilly Central Oahu, it’s easy to pay this place a visit at least once a week to warm the ol’ soul. But it’s not because of convenience that Shige’s tops my list for local style saimin, it’s taste.

Large Wunton Mein
Large Wunton Mein

Although their menu boasts a fair amount of alternatives like Hamburger Steak, Loco Moco, Fried Saimin, Roast Beef Sandwiches, and udon, I *always* order their Wunton Mein. I just can’t bring myself to go to Shige’s and NOT order saimin. The soup base is “clean” & subtle, and not overbearing, while the homemade, signature, flat noodles is always soft and never clumpy (my pet peeve). The balance of noodles to Wunwon/garnishes (another pet peeve of mine) is also jussssst riiiight.

If I’m hungry (or I have someone to share it with), I like to order their BBQ Cheeseburger on the side to round out my meal. She go!

Large Wunton Mein and BBQ Cheeseburger
Large Wunton Mein and BBQ Cheeseburger

I did notice a sudden increase in their prices lately, but I think it’s only because I’ve been spoiled to their 80s style pricing up until now.

Shige’s Saimin Stand
70 Kukui Street
Wahiawa, HI 96786 (Street View)
(808) 621-3621
Mon-Thu: 10am-10pm
Fri & Sat: 10am-midnight
Closed Sundays

The next place has been somewhere I’ve been trying to get to for a long time: Nakai Saimin. There is a family association between Shige’s and Nakai (the noodles are based on the same recipe), and since Shige’s is up there on my list, I wanted to see how Nakai compared. So I enlisted the help of Twitter friends and Nakai regulars Russ Sumida (@ParkRat), Brandon Suyeoka (@WeHeartHawaii) and Rick Nakama (@RickNakama).

Russ Sumida, Brandon Suyeoka and Rick Nakama outside Nakai Saimin
Russ Sumida, Brandon Suyeoka and Rick Nakama outside Nakai Saimin

The first thing you notice is the soup base. It’s clearer with a tad less flavor. And I’m hoping I caught them on a bad day, but remember how I said that my pet peeve was clumpy noodles? There were some elements of clumpiness going on there. It seemed that the noodles and the won ton may’ve been of the previously frozen variety.

Small Won Ton Mein ($5.95)
Small Won Ton Mein ($5.95)

For good measure, I thought I’d give their popular BBQ Stick a try.

BBQ Stick ($2.75)
BBQ Stick ($2.75)

Although it wasn’t as hard/crisp as what I’m used to with BBQ sticks (which may actually be a good thing), this one had good flavor throughout.

I’m willing to go back again for sure, but if I had to pick a winner between Shige’s and Nakai (based on this visit), I would have to give it to Shige’s. The boys didn’t agree with me.

 


Russ Sumida, Brandon Suyeoka and Rick Nakama give their review of Nakai Saimin

Nakai is expanding both their hours (see below) and their footprint. Rumor has it that another Nakai Saimin recently opened up in Haleiwa, the town where it actually all started (their original location was in Haleiwa back in the ’50s).

Nakai Saimin
1329 Nuuanu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96813 (Street View)
(808) 531-9000
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 6am-2:30pm (Breakfast & Lunch)
Fri: 5:30pm-9pm (Dinner)
Sat: 7am-2:30pm (Breakfast & Lunch)
Sat: 5:30pm-9pm (Dinner)
Sun: 7am-3:30pm (Breakfast & Lunch)
Wed: Closed

Lastly, let’s pay a visit to everyone’s favorite late night eatery: Zippy’s! Like Shige’s, it’s difficult for me to go there and NOT get the saimin. In this case, it’s Zippy’s signature favorite: the Zip Min.

Zip Min (Saimin noodles, wun tun, breaded shrimp, choi sum, fishcake, dried seaweed, egg, sweet pork, and green onions.
Zip Min (Saimin noodles, wun tun, breaded shrimp, choi sum, fishcake, dried seaweed, egg, sweet pork, and green onions.

In a recent visit there, the wun tun had a noticeably different (and stronger/”garlic-y”) taste. Over the years, the portions – as with many of the other menu items here – seem to be shrinking while the cost continues to rise. A sign of the economic times I suppose.

Zippy’s
Locations: Varied
Hours: Varied
808-973โ€‘0880

Look for more during our “Saimin Adventures” where we explore the famous noodles from places like Hamura’s on Kauai, Sam Sato’s on Maui and Shiro’s right here on Oahu. If you have any other suggestions for places I should visit (yes, Palace is on my list! ๐Ÿ™‚ ), leave a comment for me below.

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Hawaii Ramen Quest – Part II

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

We continue the slurp fest this month with a variety of ramen from Ramen Nakamura, Gomaichi, Goma Tei, Menchanko Tei, and Shokudo. Hungry? We go!

The last time I went to Ramen Nakamura was the day after I got hitched (in 2008). Since we had the hotel room for an additional day, we thought we'd play tourist and walk around to grab a bite to eat.

Ramen Nakamura sign
Ramen Nakamura sign

Ramen Nakamura has been a popular ramen-ya in Waikiki for years. They are known mostly for their Hakata style ramen and their Oxtail Ramen. I got the Oxtail Ramen Combo.

Oxtail Ramen Combo (Shio flavor, small fried rice, 3 pcs gyoza) - $17.20
Oxtail Ramen Combo (Shio flavor, small fried rice, 3 pcs gyoza) – $17.20

Not exactly cheap, but what the hey, we were on pseudo vacation. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wifey got the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen ใฏใ‹ใŸใจใ‚“ใ“ใคใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณ - $8.70
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen ใฏใ‹ใŸใจใ‚“ใ“ใคใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณ – $8.70

Ramen Nakamura ใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณใชใ‹ใ‚€ใ‚‰
2141 Kalakaua Ave, Suite 1
Honolulu, HI 96815 (map)
(808) 922-7960
Mon-Sun: 11am-11:30pm

For some reason, a lot of people I talk to seem to be crazy about these next two places: Gomaichi and Goma Tei. Don't get me wrong, I think they are both OK, but am not sure if the fanatical nature of their enthusiasm is quite justified IMO.

As the story goes for many of these restaurants with strikingly similar recipes (RE: Boulevard/Dillingham Saimin & Tanaka Saimin, Shige's Saimin & Nakai Saimin, and Genki Ramen & Ramen-Ya), there was a rift between the owners that caused one owner to spin off and create Goma Tei. We'll start with the original: Gomaichi.

One night before heading to the club (yes, it was THAT long ago! ๐Ÿ˜› ), we decided that we'd grab a quick bite to eat at Gomaichi (on Keeaumoku). We got the popular Tan Tan Men (of course) as well as the Wakame Tan Tan Men.

Tan Tan Men from Gomaichi ใŸใ‚“ใŸใ‚“ใƒกใƒณ - $7.40
Tan Tan Men from Gomaichi ใŸใ‚“ใŸใ‚“ใƒกใƒณ – $7.40

Close-up of the Tan Tan Men
Close-up of the Tan Tan Men

Wakame Tan Tan Men (seaweed & half hard boiled egg) ใ‚ใ‹ใ‚ใŸใ‚“ใŸใ‚“ใƒกใƒณ - $7.40
Wakame Tan Tan Men (seaweed & half hard boiled egg) ใ‚ใ‹ใ‚ใŸใ‚“ใŸใ‚“ใƒกใƒณ – $7.40

Gomaichi Ramen ใ”ใพใ„ใกใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณ
631 Keeaumoku St
Honolulu, HI 96814 (map)
(808) 951-6666
Mon-Sat: 11am-2pm
Mon-Sat: 5:30pm-9pm

And because I'm such a thorough (and investigative) journalist, I ordered the exact same thing from their Goma Tei counterpart: the Tan Tan and the Wakame. That, or we just always crave the same thing! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tan Tan Ramen from Goma Tei ใŸใ‚“ใŸใ‚“ใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณ (served with Japanese style char siu and vegetable garnishes) - $8.18
Tan Tan Ramen from Goma Tei ใŸใ‚“ใŸใ‚“ใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณ (served with Japanese style char siu and vegetable garnishes) – $8.18

Wakame Tan Tan Ramen ใ‚ใ‹ใ‚ใŸใ‚“ใŸใ‚“ใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณ (served with wakame, shoyu egg and vegetable garnishes) - $8.48
Wakame Tan Tan Ramen ใ‚ใ‹ใ‚ใŸใ‚“ใŸใ‚“ใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณ (served with wakame, shoyu egg and vegetable garnishes) – $8.48

We also picked up their specialty side dish, the Ban Ban Ji Chicken (which you will also find at Gomaichi).

Ban Ban Ji Chicken (Slices of chicken breast, cooked in a sake scallion and ginger broth then chilled in ice. Served on a bed of thinly sliced cucumber, chilled with a slightly spicy and tangy sesame sauce) ใƒใƒณใƒใƒณใ‚ธใƒใ‚ญใƒณ - $7.48
Ban Ban Ji Chicken (Slices of chicken breast, cooked in a sake scallion and ginger broth then chilled in ice. Served on a bed of thinly sliced cucumber, chilled with a slightly spicy and tangy sesame sauce) ใƒใƒณใƒใƒณใ‚ธใƒใ‚ญใƒณ – $7.48

Goma Tei currently has two locations: one in Ward Center (1st floor near the old Borders), and the other at Ala Moana Center (1st floor in between GNC and ABC Store). These photos were taken at the Ward Center location.

Goma Tei Ramen (Ward Center)
1200 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814 (map)
(808) 591-9188
Mon-Thu: 11am-9:30pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm
Sun: 11am-9pm

Goma Tei Ramen (Ala Moana Center)
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814 (map)
(808) 947-9188
Mon-Thu: 11am-9:30pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm
Sun: 11am-8:30pm

A friend recommended we check out this next place. It had all the makings of an authentic Japanese ramen experience:

  • in Waikiki
  • menu written in Japanese
  • Hakata style ramen

Wifey outside Menchanko-Tei
Wifey outside Menchanko-Tei

Unfortunately, Menchanko-Tei in the Waikiki Trade Center did not deliver. I'm hoping that it was just an off night though and am willing to go back for another try. Here's what we had that night.

Hakata Pork Broth Ramen ๆœฌๅ ดๅšๅคšใจใ‚“ใ“ใคใ‚‰ใƒผใ‚ใ‚“ - $8.95
Hakata Pork Broth Ramen ๆœฌๅ ดๅšๅคšใจใ‚“ใ“ใคใ‚‰ใƒผใ‚ใ‚“ – $8.95

Seafood Menchanko ๆตทใฎๅนธใ‚ใ‚“ใกใ‚ƒใ‚“ใ“ - $15.95
Seafood Menchanko ๆตทใฎๅนธใ‚ใ‚“ใกใ‚ƒใ‚“ใ“ – $15.95

Menchanko-Tei
Waikiki Trade Center
2255 Kuhio Ave, Suite S
Honolulu, HI 96815 (map)
(808) 924-8366
Daily 11am-11:30pm

And finally… we end with another Ramen "event" that recently occurred, this time from Shokudo Japanese Restaurant (See my review on Shokudo). Like the "Best of Japan: Ramen & Gyoza Festival" event I featured last month from Shirokiya's Yataimura, Shokudo held a similar event over a four day period, dubbed the "Ultimate Ramen Battle", where only 300 bowls of ramen were made available per day at $10 each. The days and hours were a bit strange (if you blinked, you missed it), but I was able to get to the one I wanted to: Day 2's Ultimate Ramen "Goku" from Japan's Chef Hide Kawahara (on 10/18/11).

The Ultimate Ramen "Goku" from Japan's Chef Hide Kawahara - $10
The Ultimate Ramen "Goku" from Japan's Chef Hide Kawahara – $10

It was served with a spoonful of sizzling sesame seed oil that made the green onions on top snap, crackle and pop. +1 for style points. LOL! And although the local style noodles didn't match that well, the tonkotsu broth was off the chain! I would go as far as to say that it might even be the best base I've tasted in Hawaii so far. It's a shame they won't be serving it again. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Rick Nakama (@RickNakama) tweeting his bowl
Rick Nakama (@RickNakama) tweeting his bowl

Side Note: Although the original invitation called this the Ultimate Ramen "Goku" from Japan's Chef Hide Kawahara, the voting ballot when we got there said it was the Sizzling Tonkotsu Ramen "Goku" from Japan's Chef Yusuke Kawahara FYI.

Day 1 (10/17/11) featured the Premium "Tsukemen" from Japan's Chef Hiroshi Shigematsu, which social media extraordinaire Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) was able to experience.

Premium "Tsukemen" from Japan's Chef Hiroshi Shigematsu [Photo Credit: Melissa Chang - NonstopHonolulu.com]
Premium "Tsukemen" from Japan's Chef Hiroshi Shigematsu [Photo Credit: Melissa Chang – NonstopHonolulu.com]

Day 3 (10/19/11) was the Okinawa So-Ki Soba from Izakaya Naru's Chef Hiro Akiyama. Here's Brandon Suyeoka's (@WeHeartHawaii) shot from that day.

Okinawa So-Ki Soba from Izakaya Naru's Chef Hiro Akiyama [Photo Credit: Brandon Suyeoka]
Okinawa So-Ki Soba from Izakaya Naru's Chef Hiro Akiyama [Photo Credit: Brandon Suyeoka]

Shokudo closed out the battle on Day 4 (10/20/11) with the DaKine Curry Miso Ramen from Shokudo's own Chef Hiro Hosoda. Here's @StarletShay's photo from that day.

DaKine Curry Miso Ramen from Shokudo's own Chef Hiro Hosoda [Photo Credit: @StarletShay]
DaKine Curry Miso Ramen from Shokudo's own Chef Hiro Hosoda [Photo Credit: @StarletShay]

I didn't see any kind of announcement as to who the winner was, but a quick call in to Shokudo told me that Day 3's Okinawa So-Ki Soba from Izakaya Naru's Chef Hiro Akiyama was the ramen that came out on top. Lucky Brandon!

Incidentally, on normal days, Shokudo serves three different types of ramen for $9.95 each: The Spicy Miso Ramen (Ramen noodles served in spicy miso paste broth topped with seasoned pork and Chinese chives), the Tokyo Shoyu Ramen (Ramen noodles served in shoyu broth topped with charsiu, bamboo shoots, onions , and half a hard boiled egg) and the Ox Tail Ramen (Ox tail and assorted vegetables are braised more than 6 hours in house. Ramen noodles are added in for the ultimate comfort food).

Ox Tail Ramen ใ‚ชใƒƒใ‚ฏใ‚นใƒ†ใƒผใƒซใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณ (Ox tail and assorted vegetables are braised more than 6 hours in house. Ramen noodles are added in for the ultimate comfort food) - $9.95
Ox Tail Ramen ใ‚ชใƒƒใ‚ฏใ‚นใƒ†ใƒผใƒซใƒฉใƒผใƒกใƒณ (Ox tail and assorted vegetables are braised more than 6 hours in house. Ramen noodles are added in for the ultimate comfort food) – $9.95

Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar
Ala Moana Pacific Center
1585 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 941-3701
Mon-Thu & Sun 11:30am-1am
Fri-Sat: 11:30am-2am
Twitter: @Shokudo

Wow, two parts already in the books! This series seems to be flying by too quickly! Don't let it ennnnd! ๐Ÿ˜›

Nah, no worries, I've still got lots of ramen for y'all from Kanpai Bar & Grill, Mr. Ojisan, Yakitori Yoshi, Aiea Bowl, Chinpei, Taiyo, Sumo, Rai Rai, Ichiben, Genki, Ton Ton, Nishi Mon Cho, Ramen-Ya, Ezogiku and Kiwami Ramen!

If you have any other suggestions, post them in the comment area below or send them using the form on the right. Thanks a bunch!

Part I |  Part II  | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – October 26, 2011

October 26, 2011

K, if y’all don’t at least get one of these, I don’t know what else fo’ do! LOL! Number two might be hard for the non-golfers out there, but 1 and 3 should be duck soup… No? Hehe! Chance um!

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - October 26, 2011
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – October 26, 2011

Points for Photo #1…
* Location: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link?: 2 points
* Significance of the photo: 10 points!
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - October 26, 2011
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – October 26, 2011

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

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - October 26, 2011
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – October 26, 2011

Points for Photo #3…
* Location: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link?: 2 points
* Name of dish?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

[Da Leadahboard]

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(Add me! ๐Ÿ˜› )
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2nd Annual Hawaii Social Media Summit – Social Media Personality Award Winners:

Last week, I had the great privilege of winning an award at the 2nd Annual Hawaii Social Media Summit held at the Hawaii Convention Center. Known as the Social Media Personality Award it:

“honors the individuals who best portray that of a social media influencer; the people who stay top of mind in the social sphere and is consistent in keeping up with the trends of social media innovation.”

This year was the first year that the Hawaii Social Media Summit held the Socialite Media Awards and they were bombarded with more than 70 nominations. Technology News Bytes (the organizers of #SMSHI) had the difficult task of narrowing it down to the top 15. Wow, what an amazing first class I have been included with and I am very honored to be a part of this inaugural group of social media leaders. They are:

  • Rob Bertholf (@rob) โ€“ Founder of ClearlyM LLC
  • Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) โ€“ Nonstop Honolulu, Blogger
  • Tara Coomans (@taracoomans) โ€“ Social Media Club Hawaii
  • George Del Bario (@HIWellnessMag) โ€“ PMG International LLC, CEO
  • L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine (@NEENZ) – Oceanit, Community Developer
  • Esme Infante Nii (@EsmeInfanteNii) โ€“ Momsinhawaii.com
  • Nathan Kam (@nathankam) โ€“ McNeil Wilson Communications, Vice President, Travel & Tourism
  • Burt Lum (@Bytemarks) โ€“ Hawaii Public Radio, Bytemarks Cafรฉ Host
  • Rick Nakama (@RickNakama) โ€“ East Oahu Realty, Inc., Realtor
  • Ryan Ozawa (@hawaii) โ€“ Hawaii Information Service, Webmaster
  • Gene Park (@GenePark) โ€“ Star Advertiser, Online News Producer
  • Edward Sugimoto (@worldwideed) โ€“ Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Time Warner Cable Untangled, Blogger
  • Russ Sumida (@ParkRat) โ€“ AdStreamz, Inc., President and CEO
  • Toby Tamaye (@atmarketing) โ€“ Owner of AT Marketing
  • Valentino Valdez (@valdezign) โ€“ Owner of Valdezign

2011 Socialite Media Award Winners
Accepting my award from (the very tall) Miss Hawaii USA 2011 Angela Anela Byrd [Photo Courtesy: Travis K. Okimoto]


Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Don’t forget to post your guesses below k? Shoooots!

2011 Socialite Media Award Winners #SMSHI

October 19, 2011

This afternoon, I had the great privilege of winning an award at the 2nd Annual Hawaii Social Media Summit held at the Hawaii Convention Center. Known as the Social Media Personality Award it:

“honors the individuals who best portray that of a social media influencer; the people who stay top of mind in the social sphere and is consistent in keeping up with the trends of social media innovation.”

This year was the first year that the Hawaii Social Media Summit held the Socialite Media Awards and they were bombarded with more than 70 nominations. Technology News Bytes (the organizers of #SMSHI) had the difficult task of narrowing it down to the top 15. Wow, what an amazing first class I have been included with and I am very honored to be a part of this inaugural group of social media leaders. They are:

  • Rob Bertholf (@rob) โ€“ Founder of ClearlyM LLC
  • Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) โ€“ Nonstop Honolulu, Blogger
  • Tara Coomans (@taracoomans) โ€“ Social Media Club Hawaii
  • George Del Bario (@HIWellnessMag) โ€“ PMG International LLC, CEO
  • L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine (@NEENZ) – Oceanit, Community Developer
  • Esme Infante Nii (@EsmeInfanteNii) โ€“ Momsinhawaii.com
  • Nathan Kam (@nathankam) โ€“ McNeil Wilson Communications, Vice President, Travel & Tourism
  • Burt Lum (@Bytemarks) โ€“ Hawaii Public Radio, Bytemarks Cafรฉ Host
  • Rick Nakama (@RickNakama) โ€“ East Oahu Realty, Inc., Realtor
  • Ryan Ozawa (@hawaii) โ€“ Hawaii Information Service, Webmaster
  • Gene Park (@GenePark) โ€“ Star Advertiser, Online News Producer
  • Edward Sugimoto (@worldwideed) โ€“ Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Time Warner Cable Untangled, Blogger
  • Russ Sumida (@ParkRat) โ€“ AdStreamz, Inc., President and CEO
  • Toby Tamaye (@atmarketing) โ€“ Owner of AT Marketing
  • Valentino Valdez (@valdezign) โ€“ Owner of Valdezign

Congratulations to my fellow honorees! ๐Ÿ™‚

2011 Socialite Media Award Winners
Accepting my award from (the very tall) Miss Hawaii USA 2011 Angela Anela Byrd [Photo Courtesy: Travis K. Okimoto]

(Official Press Release):

10.21.11
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Quincy Solano 808.542.9408
Chimaine Pouteau 808.636.1512

SOCIALITE MEDIA AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

HONOLULU, HI (October 21, 2011) โ€“ Technology News Bytes recognized social media gurus who are making waves in the industry at the 2011 Social Media Summit on Wednesday, October 19.

The Social Media Personality Award honors the individual whom best portrays that of a social media influencer. This person stays top of mind in the social sphere and is consistent in keeping up with the trends of social media innovation.

Technology News Bytes had more than 70 nominations, all of which were very deserving of this award. The winners were:

Gene Park โ€“ Star Advertiser, Online News Producer
Nathan Kam โ€“ McNeil Wilson Communications, Vice President, Travel & Tourism
Valentino Valdez โ€“ Owner of Valdezign
Burt Lum โ€“ Hawaii Public Radio, Bytemarks Cafรฉ Host
Russ Sumida โ€“ AdStreamz, Inc., President and CEO
Neenz Faleafine โ€“- Oceanit, Community Developer
Ryan Ozawa โ€“ Hawaii Information Service, Webmaster
Melissa Chang โ€“ Nonstop Honolulu, Blogger
Rick Nakama โ€“East Oahu Realty, Inc., Realtor
Rob Bertholf โ€“ Founder of ClearlyM LLC
Toby Tamaye โ€“ Owner of AT Marketing
Esme Infante Nii โ€“ Momsinhawaii.com
Ed Sugimoto โ€“ world-wide-ed.com, Blogger
George Del Bario โ€“t PMG International LLC, CEO
Tara Coomans โ€“ Social Media Club Hawaii

For more information please visit tnblive.com
###

Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011

This one’s for all y’all who monku that my pictures stay too hard. Go straight to Photo #3 and thank me later. LOL! Actually, Photos 1 & 2 are kinda easy too. See, I care. Hehe!

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - October 12, 2011
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – October 12, 2011

Points for Photo #1…
* Location: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link?: 2 points
* Funny name for group on stage: 3 points
* Funny name for big headed guy who got in my way: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - October 12, 2011
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – October 12, 2011

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

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - October 12, 2011
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – October 12, 2011

Points for Photo #3…
* Location: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link?: 2 points
* Name of cone?: 2 points
* Funny/Cute name of character on cone?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

[Da Leadahboard]

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IG2 Unboxing Video

My new blog on the corporate “Time Warner Cable Untangled” site is out. It’s an unboxing video (titled You, Party of Eight) of our latest wireless hotspot device, the IG2. Let me know what you guys think! ๐Ÿ™‚

IG2 Unboxing


Please “Like” Our Photo!

Last Thursday, some friends and I participated in Lanakila Pacific’s The Good Table, an island-wide dining event to benefit Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Our restaurant was Ola at the Turtle Bay Resort, where we enjoyed each others’ company (with wine in abundance 8) ) and ate some ono kine grindz prepared by Chef Fred DeAngelo. Some of the photos taken that night (from all participating restaurants) were selected by Lanakila Pacific and entered into a photo contest to win a “staycation” package at the Royal Hawaiian valued at $1,500. Ricky Li’s photo from our time at Ola is currently in the lead with 106 Likes. Please “Like” the photo and help him maintain the lead to win himself a nice little staycation (the contest ends this Friday). Rumor has it that he may turn it into a hotel party with all those in the photo. ๐Ÿ˜†

Lanakila Pacific The Good Table event - with Rick Nakama, Kelli Nakama, Ricky Li, Shay F, myself, & Jessica Ogihara at Ola at the Turtle Bay Resort. [Photo by Ricky Li]
Lanakila Pacific The Good Table event – with Rick Nakama, Kelli Nakama, Ricky Li, Shay F, myself, & Jessica Ogihara at Ola at the Turtle Bay Resort. [Photo by Ricky Li]


Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Don’t forget to post your guesses below k? Shoooots!

Lanakila Meals on Wheels – Feeding our Seniors, One Meal at a Time

August 1, 2011

When I think of senior citizens, I think of my dear obaachan in Japan. And although she lives on her own, she is never alone. Between her caretakers and her family and friends, she always has somebody to talk to and share a meal with.

For some seniors right here in Hawaii, they are not as fortunate. Many don’t have family or friends to visit and sometimes, they can’t even afford to eat. When I think about a senior citizen missing a meal, it breaks my heart because all I can I think about is what it might be like if my obaachan was in this horrible situation.

Enter Lanakila Pacific and their Meals on Wheels program. What started as a lunch wagon serving hot meals to seniors in need at A`ala Park in the 70’s, the Meals on Wheels program has expanded, serving 250,000 meals each year on over 90 different routes. They also have 18 Kupuna Wellness Centers around Oahu where able bodied seniors can gather, socialize, exercise, etc., in addition to getting their hot meal.

Lanakila Pacific sign
Lanakila Pacific sign

Now in its 40th year, Lanakakila Meals on Wheels is looking more than ever to fill the void of unmet seniors in need of home delivered meals, which the City & County of Honolulu’s Elderly Affairs Division 4-year plan (2007-2011) estimates at 8,587!

I recently sat down with Lanakila Pacific’s Volunteer and Resource Development Coordinator Randi Jeung to talk more about their Meals on Wheels program.

Interview with Randi Jeung

Edward Sugimoto) For those who don’t know, describe what Lanakila Pacific does as an organization, and what your role is here.

Randi Jeung) Lanakila Pacific is a local non-profit organization. This is our 72nd year. We offer programs and services for adults with cognitive, physical, social or age related challenges, and we help them build their independence and help them improve the quality of their lives.

Edward Sugimoto) And what do you do here?

Randi Jeung) I’m on the marketing team, so all the different marketing initiatives, I help with that, but my main role is I’m the volunteer coordinator so I go out to talk to people about volunteer opportunities here and how to get involved.

Edward Sugimoto) One of those programs is Meals on Wheels (and that’s how we know Rick Nakama and other volunteers as well), what is that program exactly?

Randi Jeung) Yeah, we’ve had a lot of social media people come and help us at different events and at different times so we’re very thankful for that. Lanakila Meals on Wheels is probably our best known program. Lanakila Pacific is probably best known for its Meals on Wheels program. It’s Hawaii’s largest and only island-wide meal service for seniors, but it’s so much more than just a meal program. Our volunteers are awesome volunteers. (They) provide them with connections to other local services if they see that the senior has a need or something, they’ll come and let us know and we’ll refer them to other services and they’re just there as a friend because for a lot of our seniors, that volunteer that comes to see them that one time a week sometimes is the only person that they’ll see. Sad situation but it’s the reality and our volunteers are helping us with that.

Edward Sugimoto) Statistically, do you know about how many seniors you help (through Meals on Wheels)?

Randi Jeung) Yes. So as of last week (week of July 10), the count was, each week, we help approximately 2,000 seniors throughout the island of Oahu and that number is only going to get bigger because we’re seeing it happening. Our route sizes have grown, they’ve doubled in size so now what we’re doing is we’re splitting our routes so that it’s a little bit easier on our volunteers when they go out to deliver, but yeah, that number is gonna grow real quick.

Edward Sugimoto) Do you have an interesting or heart-warming story you can share about one of your Meals on Wheels recipients?

Randi Jeung) There are so many stories that come out and you know, I want to save that for volunteers when they come, they’ll have their own stories, but for us, we have a senior that, you know, she lives on her own. She actually lives in a garage and when you go in to see her, and deliver the meals to her, you can see like the garage, you know how the garage door like there’s a space on the top and the bottom, cause it’s not meant to be lived in, it’s just for storage for cars. And so she lives in the garage and she has like all kinds of stuff in the garage… She’s really funny. You would feel bad for her when you see her, she’s just the liveliest little lady and she’s always joking around. Sometimes we have these two younger gentlemen that go to deliver meals to her and she knows that they’re single, so she’ll have like either her niece or her granddaughters that are there, waiting. And you know, she wants to introduce them, so she wants to be a matchmaker. So very good humored and every time we go she’s just so grateful and she just wants to hang onto you and talk story with you, probably for hours if she could.

Edward Sugimoto) So if someone was interested in volunteering for Meals on Wheels, how do they go about doing that?

Randi Jeung) Contact us, just give us a call. Our phone number is (808) 531-0555 or just check out our web site. The URL is www.lanakilapacific.org.

Edward Sugimoto) And for a person in need, is that the same contact information?

Randi Jeung) Same contact information. That phone number is our main line and through that number you can be connected to Meals on Wheels, our TLC program, Workforce Resource program, and even our Kitchen program. So yeah, just call us, visit our web site, with any questions. For seniors coming onto the Meals on Wheels program, the only real requirement that we have is that you’re 60 years of age and above and after that, everybody gets an individual assessment.

Edward Sugimoto) You mentioned the Kitchen. You guys do catering and what other kind of stuff?

Randi Jeung) Yes we do! Lanakila Kitchen is one of our social enterprises, which basically means a small business that’s run out of the non-profit organization, and Lanakila Kitchen is our catering social enterprise so we do catering events anywhere from small business meetings with like 3-5 people, all the way to huge events like keiki’s first birthday or tailgating if you need food for that, or weddings or whatever. We can find a way to get you some really good food.

Edward Sugimoto) Yeah we actually called you guys for a couple of occasions for work at Oceanic and the food was really good!

Randi Jeung) You know I think I saw that. It was on a blog where you guys took pictures of the catering line. Just by doing like the Google search, yeah, I’ve seen it. Thank you very much!

Edward Sugimoto) *laughs* No problem. No problem.

Edward Sugimoto) So in a couple of months Rice Fest is happening and you guys are partners with Rice Fest

Randi Jeung) Yes!

Edward Sugimoto) … Talk a little bit about that and maybe what you’re going to have at the booth.

Randi Jeung) It’s really exciting! Rice Fest, it launched last year and it was a lot of fun. We had it at Aloha Tower at the Waterfront and it drew a lot of people and there was a musubi eating contest and all sorts of fun stuff. This year is the second year and it’s going to be at Ala Moana (Magic Island) this year and we’re very very thankful that Rice Fest has selected Lanakila Meals on Wheels as its beneficiary, and so they are putting a call out to all the people who are coming, that are going to attend the event to bring donations of brown rice and that helps us tremendously. That helps cut down some of our costs so that we can provide more meals for more seniors. We only use brown rice in our meals because it’s healthier and that’s something that we strive in, in Meals on Wheels as well as Lanakila Kitchen. So everybody’s gonna bring donations of brown rice. Last year, we got a huge amount, and so hopefully we’re hoping for the same thing or maybe even better for this year. We’re going to have a booth there, we’re going to have a table there, and we’ll have more information about how to get involved and if you know anybody that might need our services, whether it be Meals on Wheels, or TLC or Workforce Resources, then we’ll have all that information for you there and we’re actually trying to plan a fun little game that people can participate in this year so we’ll have something ready for everybody who stops by our table.

2nd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
2nd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 10am-6pm
For more info: RiceFest.com / Facebook / Twitter
To RSVP: Facebook Event / Twtvite

Edward Sugimoto) OK Randi, thanks very much!

Randi Jeung) Thank you very much. Bye! Come to Rice Fest! September 11th, Ala Moana Park. *waves*

Randi Jeung of Lanakila Pacific
Randi Jeung of Lanakila Pacific

The Lanakila Meals on Wheels program relies heavily on a large group of selfless volunteers to help deliver their meals to the hungry seniors. Since my friend Rick Nakama just so happens to be one of them, I decided to tag along with him several times to get a first hand view of what a volunteer would go through on any given day.

The first thing we did was check in to Lanakila Pacific’s home base at 1809 Bachelot Street (there are also several satellite pick up locations).

Rick Nakama (@RickNakama) and Mark Tam (@marktrc) checking in for their route
Rick Nakama (@RickNakama) and Mark Tam (@marktrc) checking in for their route

They give you a couple of bright orange cooler bags to fill your meals with…

Lanakila Meals on Wheels cooler bags
Lanakila Meals on Wheels cooler bags

… and then you proceed to fill it with your meals of the day.

Rick getting help from Randi Jeung to fill his bag.
Rick getting help from Randi Jeung to fill his bag.

Then you load up your car…

Bags from Lanakila Meals on Wheels loaded up
Bags from Lanakila Meals on Wheels loaded up

… check out your list of stops…

Rick's Nuuanu route (names blacked out for privacy)
Rick’s Nuuanu route (names blacked out for privacy)

… and you’re off!

Each location is different, which makes it somewhat of an adventure. Parking, call boxes, locations… Rick has it down to a science. Sometimes although two addresses on his list are on the very same street, he will hit them at separate times simply because “it’s not the most productive path.”

So when we get to an address, we unload the specified number of meals (according to our list)…

Rick unloading two meals for this particular stop
Rick unloading two meals for this particular stop

… and deliver it to the appropriate home/apartment.

Rick looking up the apartment to get buzzed into the building
Rick looking up the apartment to get buzzed into the building

The entire route doesn’t take more than an hour or two. In addition to the reward of seeing the many smiles on the faces of the seniors in need, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve prevented a senior from going hungry, at least for another day.

The views aren't so bad either
The views aren’t so bad either

After our route, I was able to ask Rick a few questions about why he chooses to volunteer for Lanakila Meals on Wheels.

Interview with Rick Nakama

Edward Sugimoto) Please introduce yourself.

Rick Nakama) I am Rick Nakama, @RickNakama on Twitter.

Edward Sugimoto) How did you hear about the Lanakila Meals on Wheels program?

Rick Nakama) I actually heard about it by attending one of @Melissa808‘s (Melissa Chang) and @ParkRat‘s (Russ Sumida) tweetups for @HawaiiIRL. We had a little tweetup here where a few of us attended, learned what the volunteers do, and got a tour of the facilities at Lanakila Pacific.

Edward Sugimoto) So after that, you were inspired to volunteer yourself?

Rick Nakama) Yeah, I was actually interested in doing this for a while, but it just seemed a little bit complicated to get involved, and then after attending that tweetup, I followed up later and then I realized it’s not really that complicated and I was able to just do this once a week. So I do it on Monday, I do the route on Monday and it takes me about an hour to an hour and a half at the most with someone else helping me.

Edward Sugimoto) How long have you been doing it?

Rick Nakama) I’ve been doing it since about October of last year (2010).

Edward Sugimoto) And you’re liking it so far?

Rick Nakama) Yeah.

Edward Sugimoto) OK, thank you.

Rick Nakama) Alright.

This experience had such an impact on me that I am now on the waiting list for a Meals on Wheels route in my own neighborhood. I don’t want somebody else’s obaachan going hungry after all…

For more information on volunteering yourself, visit the Lanakila Pacific volunteer page.

Lanakila Pacific
1809 Bachelot Street
Honolulu, HI. 96817 (map)
(808) 531-0555
Facebook Page / Twitter (@LanakilaPacific) / YouTube Channel / Vimeo Channel

Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

January 1, 2011
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For | Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

Whenever anybody asks me where my favorite restaurant is, I always say “Tokkuri Tei” without any hesitation. Some will nod in approval because they’ve been, while others are curious because they haven’t. For the latter, I usually like to send them a link to an article I wrote about them several years ago: Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For because it contains the food “pr0n” that everybody gets excited over.

Recently, I was re-skimming the article and noticed that there were only 8 photos in it and I asked myself “Is that it!? Just 8 photos!?”

I’ve been to both of Tokkuri Tei’s locations dozens of times. Heck a single search for “Tokkuri Tei” on my computer box thing yields 296 items! Almost three hunny, and all I could muster up for that article was 8 measly photos? Must’ve been my rookie food blogging days. LOL!

Tokkuri Tei - The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For

Needless to say, an update was long overdue… So when co-owner Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi informed me that they would be moving to a new location (their 3rd in almost 22 years), I thought it would be the perfect time to update their story (and my photo count).

On Tuesday, December 21st, I answered Santa san’s call. They needed help moving the “heavy stuff” after spending the entire previous day moving the “small stuff” over (guess he knew about the “gun” show *grin*). The plan was to move the entire Tokkuri Tei operation from their 611 Kapahulu location to their new 449 Kapahulu location and be ready to launch in one week! Whaaaat? One week!? Fo real? No can! Can! Although just 0.2 miles away, moving an entire restaurant, enormous refrigerators and all, is not an easy task as I was about to find out.

I arrived that morning to this:

Dining area inside the old Tokkuri Tei
Dining area inside the old Tokkuri Tei

Kitchen and sushi bar at the old Tokkuri Tei
Kitchen and sushi bar at the old Tokkuri Tei

I gotta admit, I got a little misty. OK, not really, but there were so many memories made there!

Then, it was time to move one of the HUMONGOID refrigerators. Lucky thing this one had wheels!

Moving the refrigerator. Why am I not helping? :P
Moving the refrigerator. Why am I not helping? ๐Ÿ˜›

With the “heavy stuff” loaded up, we headed over to the new spot (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House above Hee Hing). I’ve honestly never been here since it was Sam Choy’s Restaurant, so I was particularly interested to see what kind of space we were working with.

Partially furnished dining area inside the new Tokkuri Tei
Partially furnished dining area inside the new Tokkuri Tei

Tokkuri Tei's other owner Kazu "Kaz" Mitake checks out his kitchen with Santa
Tokkuri Tei’s other owner Kazu “Kaz” Mitake checks out his kitchen with Santa

As you can see, it’s a fairly large blank canvas for which to paint. Thankfully, some familiar izakaya trimmings were brought in to spruce up the joint.

Japanese lanterns (chochin) waiting to be put up
Japanese lanterns (chochin) waiting to be put up

Santa went right to work putting them up.

Santa putting up the lanterns
Santa putting up the lanterns

Less than a week later (Sunday, the 26th), Santa invited me to their soft-launch party. The guest list was only around 20, but we had a very important role. We were there so that the staff could get their bearings and do a dry run before going live to the public the very next day. Here are some shots from that night.

The sign is up!
The sign is up!

Tokkuri-Tei's new interior
Tokkuri-Tei’s new interior

Hilarious display. Great photo opp location!
Hilarious display. Great photo opp location!

Most of the shikishi (signed cards) are back up!
Most of the shikishi (signed cards) are back up!

The new sushi bar. So colorful!
The new sushi bar. So colorful!

And then came the food. There was no ordering involved. It was a set menu as decided upon by the kitchen.

Enoki Bata (Enoki mushrooms sautรฉed in butter)
Enoki Bata (Enoki mushrooms sautรฉed in butter)

Yaki Tori Kushi Yaki (chicken skewers), Geso Kara Age (deep fried squid legs), and the Enoki Bata
Yaki Tori Kushi Yaki (chicken skewers), Geso Kara Age (deep fried squid legs), and the Enoki Bata

Samples of the California Roll, Unagi Cali Roll, and Baked Alaska Roll
Samples of the California Roll, Unagi Cali Roll, and Baked Alaska Roll

Asupara Bata (Butter asparagus)
Asupara Bata (Butter asparagus)

Shake (salmon) sushi
Shake (salmon) sushi

Chicken Kara Age (fried chicken)
Chicken Kara Age (fried chicken)

Bintoro Tataki (flash seared albacore tuna)
Bintoro Tataki (flash seared albacore tuna)

Ebi (shrimp) sushi
Ebi (shrimp) sushi

Yaki Nasu (Eggplant)
Yaki Nasu (Eggplant)

I gotta be honest. At first, I was a little worried. With a space that much bigger, I wasn’t sure if they would be able to keep the “hole-in-the-wall” izakaya vibe/feel. I also thought that the taste might change. Well, I’m happy to report that neither has occurred. You still feel at home in their new digs and the YUM factor was still alive and well. The true test was when I went home and shmall kine kanak attacked! All pau!

The next day (Monday, the 27th), the Official Grand Re-Opening was set to happen, but it didn’t come without some drama. Santa and crew had to wait for the health inspector to come and deliver their health permit and that didn’t happen until around 2pm, just a few hours before opening! Yikes!

But with that outta the way, Tokkuri Tei was ready for lift off! I invited a bunch of (new and old) friends to join me. Here are some sights from that night.

Well hello again Enoki Bata! :P
Well hello again Enoki Bata! ๐Ÿ˜›

There's a Spider in Da Poke
There’s a Spider in Da Poke

(Off the menu) Sugimoto Risotto, er, Seafood Risotto 8)
(Off the menu) Sugimoto Risotto, er, Seafood Risotto 8)

Note: This is my all-time favorite dish from Tokkuri Tei, hands down (it even took First Place in the “Rice-ipe” Contest – Professional Division, at the Rice Fest this past year). Problem is, it’s not on the regular menu to order. In fact, Santa is the only one who knows how to make it! With that said, I have been petitioning (ok, begging) Santa to rename it from the mundane “Seafood Risotto” to the more catchy, and, dare I say, exciting “Sugimoto Risotto“! Ahahaha! While we’re at it, maybe we can convince him to make it a regular item on the menu. Muhahahaha! A fella can dream right? But fo’ real, I think this one would seriously sell like hotcakes! Or should I say Sugimoto Hotcakes? ๐Ÿ˜› Guess that doesn’t have the same ring to it…

Stuffed Portobello
Stuffed Portobello

Packed house
Packed house


Here’s an artsy panoramic video Clayton Wakida shot from his iPhone

Group shot: Jason Kim (@turkeyboy808), Lee Kojima, Leanne Nakamura, Matt Duffy (@Shogunai_Tacos), Mai Sugimoto, me, Santa Miyoshi, Kelli Nakama, Rick Nakama (@RickNakama), Clayton Wakida (@jarofclay73) and Mari Taketa (@NonStopMari)
Group shot: Jason Kim (@turkeyboy808), Lee Kojima, Leanne Nakamura, Matt Duffy (@Shogunai_Tacos), Mai Sugimoto, me, Santa Miyoshi, Kelli Nakama, Rick Nakama (@RickNakama), Clayton Wakida (@jarofclay73) and Mari Taketa (@NonStopMari)

What an awesome night with great friends and ono eats…

But wait! *screeeeech* You think it’s ova don’tcha? No way Jose! I still get choke photos fo’ share! ๐Ÿ™‚

Teriyaki Cream Tofu
Teriyaki Cream Tofu

Ama Ebi (raw shrimp) with deep fried head
Ama Ebi (raw shrimp) with deep fried head

Cajun Ahi Salad
Cajun Ahi Salad

Salmon Skin Salad
Salmon Skin Salad

Sunagimo Kara Age (Deep Fried Chicken Gizzards)
Sunagimo Kara Age (Deep Fried Chicken Gizzards)

(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke
(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke

Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)
Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)

Ahi Tempura Poke
Ahi Tempura Poke

Nori-chos (Nori Nachos)
Nori-chos (Nori Nachos)

Soft Shell Crab Kara Age
Soft Shell Crab Kara Age

Salmon Dynamite
Salmon Dynamite

Hideaki Santa Miyoshi invites you to visit their new location
Hideaki Santa Miyoshi invites you to visit their new location

Wow! 40 photos this time around… Take that 8 photos! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tokkuri-Tei Restaurant
449 Kapahulu (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House, above Hee Hing)
Honolulu, HI. 96815 (Street View)
(808) 732-6480 <— NEW Telephone Number!

P.S. Happy New Year Everyone!
P.P.S. Omedetou Santa san!

Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For | Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant

October 8, 2010

Last night, Rick Nakama and his wife Kelli invited wifey and I to SOUL Restaurant for dinner. This wasn’t just any dinner though… it was a dinner to benefit Lanakila Pacific‘s Meals on Wheels’ annual “The Good Table” event which involved over 50 participating restaurants striving for one common goal: To end senior hunger.

At precisely 6pm, guests at each participating restaurant got to chow down on some mean off-the-menu specials in the name of charity. Us social media heads even got to upload our photos directly to Lanakila Pacific’s flickr stream and hashtag our tweets using the uber-trending #GoodTable.

Here are the sights – from our perspective – last night at SOUL…

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
The centerpiece accent from Lanakila Pacific (and Kelli hiding)

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Rick and I excited to eat at our Good Table (Photo Credit: Rick Nakama)

(notice Rick showcasing the IntelliGo for us at Oceanic? 8) )

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
A plantain dish came out first

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Kukui Sausage Chorizo and North Shore Farms Black Bean Nachos with Local Sweet Corn & Asiago Cream

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Chef/Owner Sean Preister showed us some of the beans he used in our dishes

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Chef Mack Maryland Crab Cake with Manoa Pomelo

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Haricot Verts Salad with Naked Cow Dairy Feta and Citronette

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Group shot (wifey, me, Kelli & Rick)

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Seared Olomana farms Tilapia with Jeanne Vana Heirloom Beans & Sweet Potato Hash with Sofrito & Kukui Spicy Portuguese Sausage

Side note: Rick is not much of a cooked fish fan, but this dish was a winnah for him. See how much so below…

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Rick is all smiles enjoying his Tilapia

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Pork Tenderloin with Lomi Lomi Sweet local Tomatoes, Manchego-Serrano “Mac-n-Cheese” Orzo and Waialua Braised Greens

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Kelli and Rick with their Pork Tenderloin (Photo Credit: Kelli Nakama)

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Wifey and I with with our Pork Tenderloin (Photo Credit: Rick Nakama)

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Dessert: Panna Cotta with Local Sunrise Papaya and Honey (Photo Credit: Rick Nakama)

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Kelli enjoying her Panna Cotta

The Good Table at SOUL Restaurant
Rick (@RickNakama), Chef Sean Priester (@pacificsoul) and me (@worldwideed)

A big mahalo to Rick and Kelli Nakama for letting us join you for such a scrumptious, and unforgettable dinner. A hearty thank you to Chef Sean Priester (and the SOUL Restaurant staffers) for working overtime, cooking up a storm for us. Thank you also to all of the other participating restaurants and tireless volunteers for helping to put on this wonderful event. Lastly, big ups to Lanakila Pacific and their Meals on Wheels and The Good Table programs. It’s selfless giving from organizations like you who make this world a better place for those in need. Mahalo!

Other Coverage:

Have a great VH07V Friday and weekend everyone! See y’all next week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Scenes from the Rice Fest

September 20, 2010

(Warning: *CHOKE* Photos)

Yeah, I know. Dis post is more than a week overdue, but bruddah ova hea had to sift through 635 photos from all ova da creation (Twitter/Twitpic, flickr, Facebook, etc.) from like 20 different peeps. Finally whittled it down to a little over a hunny in the hopes of giving you a little glimpse into the event that absolutely consumed my life for the last year or so.

For those who don’t know, I am the co-founder of an event called Rice Fest , an event that I am very passionate about, and one that I can honestly say Hawaii wants/needs. Let’s face it. We love our rice here in Hawaii. The plan is to put the Rice Fest on every September (in line with National Rice Month), which we started at our inaugural event last week Saturday (September 11, 2010) at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Below are the scenes from that day. Mahalo to everyone for the support!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Our Rice Fest sign on the morning of… Exciting!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The line waits in anticipation (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Scenic shot of Aloha Tower (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Our Sponsor Diamond G Rice (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

(A big mahaloz to our sponsors/partners: Diamond G Rice, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Lanakila Pacific, Vacations Hawaii, HPE Live, and the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace!)

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Diamond G Rice gave away free rice to patrons every half hour! (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Stephen aka @PHOTOluluTV won free rice and quickly donated it to our non-profit partner Lanakila Pacific. So thoughtful!

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Stephen donating his rice to Lanakila Pacific. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Still early in the day, I had some down time to visit each booth to capture the sights.

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Bruddah Kalani Miller and his niece(?) at their Mobile Gamer Guys’ booth.

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Some keiki having fun playing video games inside the posh Mobile Gamer Guys’ van. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

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Valen Ahlo posing with the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court (Princess Kimberly Fujinaka, Princess Cori Hanagami, Queen Marissa Machida, and Miss Congeniality Andrea Hiura). (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Due to a tent mix-up, the ladies of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court were out in the hot sun for part of the day. A big mahalo to all of them for being such troopers!

Also in the Keiki Zone, University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Department of Human Nutrition, Food, and Animal Science educator Dr. Maria Stewart shared her current research in an interactive and educational display entitled “Nutrition for Everybody: Learn How Rice Promotes a Healthy Body”.

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Dr. Maria Stewart’s Rice Education booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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The fellas from the Snow F|A|C|T|O|R|Y (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Russ aka @ParkRat enjoying his treat from Snow F|A|C|T|O|R|Y. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

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The early scene from above. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

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Pacific Soul’s Sean Priester and his staff. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Pacific Soul’s offerings at the Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Pelekunu’s booth. They won the Most Creative Booth Award! (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Grilled Teri Chicken plate from Pelekunu’s. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

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The Thai Kitchen booth

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The Mixed Plate from Thai Kitchen

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Slowly starting to pick up (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Don Ho’s Island Grill booth

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Kats Sushi booth. They won the “Best of Show” award as voted on by the visitors. (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

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Spicy Tuna temaki (handroll) from Kats Sushi. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Himalayan Kitchen’s booth.

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Eastern Food Center’s booth.

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Various rice offerings (including jung, mochi and SPAM musubis) from Eastern Food Center. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

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Primo Sushi’s booth. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Big City Diner’s booth. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Island Taste’s booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Arturo’s Hot Sauce booth. (Photo Courtesy @LanakilaPacific)

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Julia, Chimaine, Umma and Mai at the Scrip booth. (Photo Courtesy Umma Kayvalyam)

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Sweet Charlotte’s booth.

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Sweet Charlotte’s offerings. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

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Hawaiian Kine Seasonings’ booth.

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Offerings from Hawaiian Kine Seasonings. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

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Yelp booth. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

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Leonard Jr.’s malasada van. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Our friends at the Lanakila Pacific booth. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

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One of @LanakilaPacific’s tweets during the day. (Photo Courtesy @LanakilaPacific)

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The guys from Oishi-Genmai GIC Japan. Look for their products next year!

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The Admission/Volunteer Check-In/Twitter #RICEHUNT booth. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

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Goodie bags for all Twitter #RICEHUNT participants. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

And then the #RICEHUNT Twitter Scavenger hunt began! Here are the list of items the participants had to find and Twitpic out in order to win:

  • A member of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court
  • A pair of chopsticks
  • A picture of Bruddah Bryan from 102.7 Da Bomb
  • A picture of both Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum at the Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo at 1PM
  • A scenic picture of Aloha Tower
  • A food dish with rice
  • A food booth at Rice Fest
  • Maribel with the new IntelliGo (at the Oceanic sponsor booth)
  • A close-up of The Mobile Gamer Guys’ Bus
  • A Rice Fest volunteer / staff – They must be wearing the Rice Fest shirt

Below are some of the images from the #RICEHUNT.

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“A member of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court” (Photo Courtesy @biznaz)

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“A pair of chopsticks” (Photo Courtesy @princesstara459)

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“A picture of Bruddah Bryan from 102.7 Da Bomb” (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

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“A picture of both Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum at the Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo at 1PM” (Photo Courtesy @tweetpea)

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“A scenic picture of Aloha Tower” (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

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“A food dish with rice” (Photo Courtesy @princesstara459)

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“A food booth at Rice Fest” (Photo Courtesy @emichan58)

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“Maribel with the new IntelliGo (at the Oceanic sponsor booth)” (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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“A close-up of The Mobile Gamer Guys’ Bus” (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

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“A Rice Fest volunteer / staff – They must be wearing the Rice Fest shirt” (Photo Courtesy @LaurieCicotello)

Mahaloz to all of our #RICEHUNT participants: @amisan34 (and friend), @bitachu (and friend), @biznaz, @photolulutv, @princesstara459 (and friend), @emichan58 (and friend), and @lauriecicotello, and congratulations to @bitachu for winning the grand prize that included gifts from VG Addict, OhanaPCS, TNBLive, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Special thanks to @octobersoldier for coordinating the game and prizes! Awesome job!

And then, it was time for the Rice Fest to officially begin! 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan gets us started…

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102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan giving away a skateboard from Oceanic Time Warner Cable (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Cookin’ With Cutty’s Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum put on their Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Cutty and Stephanie’s “Healthy Fried Rice” dish. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Ingredients for Cutty and Stephanie’s “Healthy Fried Rice”:

  • Brown Rice
  • Olive/Grapeseed Oil
  • Turkey Bacon/Turkey Sausage
  • Organic Eggs (whites only)
  • Carrots
  • Maui Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Seasonings
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos

Serve on a fresh butter lettuce leaf

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Stephen (@PhotoluluTV), Sara (@sarakata) and Melissa (@Melissa808) enjoying themselves at the Rice Fest (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Russ (@ParkRat), Melissa (@Melissa808), and Rick (@RickNakama) take time to pose at the Rice Fest (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

And before you knew it, it was time for the 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo, featuring Kai Market’s Chef Darren Demaya and KITV4’s Lara Yamada.

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Kai Market’s Chef Darren Demaya cooking with KITV4’s Lara Yamada

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Chef Darren and Lara’s dish (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Soon it was time for the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club to bless our event with good luck via a traditional lion dance. I was told to stand in front while the lions start on me. Love love LOVE this cool shot from @PhotoluluTV that totally captured the moment!

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Getting blessed from the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club Lion Dancers (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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The drummers from the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

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Up close on one of the lions. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

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The lion dances through the crowd and all over the premises for good luck. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Next up: The Ukulele Hale keiki and Jody Kamisato & Chris Salvador, aka Heart and Soul!

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Jody Kamisato introducing his band Heart & Soul (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Heart & Soul with their special guest Kalei Gamiao (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

I gotta say, I was REALLY impressed with young Chris Salvador’s voice. Wow!

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Kalei Gamiao, Heart & Soul, and the Ukulele Hale keiki jammin’ it up! (Photo Courtesy Jody Kamisato)

One of my favorite events of the day was the “Riceipe” Cooking contest that pitted 5 professional chefs against each other to see who could make the best dish that incorporated rice. Fun, adrenaline pumpin’, exciting stuffs!

The participating chefs were Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri-Tei, Chef Kendall Uyehara from HMSHost, Chef Robert Denis from Don Ho’s Island Grill, Chef Matthew Naula from RumFire, and Chef Colin Hazama from Kauai Grill.

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Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, Chef Kendall Uyehara, Chef Robert Denis, Chef Matthew Naula, and Chef Colin Hazama line up as Bruddah Bryan introduces them. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

3-2-1… Go!

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Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama goes at it. (Photo Courtesy @Mel808)

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Chef Colin’s Hanalei Squid Luau Risotto (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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RumFire’s Chef Matthew Naula tosses rice in his pan. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

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Chef Matt’s dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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The crowd gathers as the chefs hurry to complete their dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Don Ho’s Island Grill’s Chef Robert Denis preps his dish.

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Chef Robert’s Lomilomi Salmon Risotto Lollipops w/ Sweet Chili Glaze dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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HMSHost’s Chef Kendall Uyehara works on his gravy. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Chef Kendall’s Loco Moco a la Francaise dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Tokkuri-Tei’s Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi just cruisin’. (Photo Courtesy @Mel808)

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Chef Santa kicks it into high gear. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Chef Santa’s Seafood Risotto. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

I’m still trying to convince him that “Sugimoto Risotto” has a much better ring to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Meanwhile the judges took their places on stage and prepared to feast on some ono kine (rice) grindz! Our judges were Star-Advertiser Food Critic Nadine Kam, Twitter Goddess and all around foodie Melissa Chang (@Melissa808), Professional Baker Ed Morita (@NctrnlBst), and Diamond G Rice’s Harrison Wong.

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Harrison, Ed, Nadine, and Melissa get interviewed by Bruddah Bryan. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Melissa taking a shot of Chef Matthew Naula’s dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

And then it was time to announce the winner… I’ll just let the next four photos tell the (funny) story.

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Chef Santa asks, “Who me!?” (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Chef Santa in shock. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Chef Santa finally cracks a smile. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Chef Santa still in shock. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

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Chef Santa’s Seafood Risotto as seen from Nadine Kam’s perspective. (Photo Courtesy @fashiontribe)

Congratulations Santa-san!

Next up was an amazing Taiko Drum performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin.

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Taiko Drum performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Taiko Drum performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)


@NctrnlBst’s Youtube video (for Nonstop Honolulu) with footage/images from the Rice Fest

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Crowd shot. (Photo Courtesy Tyson Yamada)

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Mel (@Mel808), Chris (@ChrisHall78) and Randi (@randi808) pose during the Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

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Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto and Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama put on their Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo

I was unfortunately running around so I was unable to capture the dish, but FYI, it was “Slow cooked New Zealand King Salmon” with miso yuzu broth, young ginger, soft tofu, and crispy jasmine rice… A dish Chef Colin serves at his Kauai Grill restaurant.

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Now that’s a good lookin’ couple! ๐Ÿ˜› Ron and Sherry pose during the Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy Tyson Yamada)

And then Kapena takes the stage!

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Kapena / De Lima `Ohana serenading the audience at Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Kelly Boy, Kalena, and Lilo!

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Scenic shot of Aloha Tower as nightfall sets in. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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The crowd enjoys the music of Kapena. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Kelly Boy spontaneously calls on a girl from the Pelekunu booth to dance hula during a song. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Walter and Lincoln hanging out at the Vacations Hawaii booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Maude and Travis working the Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Harrison holding things down at the Diamond G Rice booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

And then came the hilarious and entertaining SPAM Musubi eating contest. The contestants had 3 minutes to eat as many SPAM Musubis as possible!

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Bruddah Bryan counts down to the start of the SPAM Musubi Eating Contest.

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And… they’re off! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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The look of pain (or concentration)! One of the two. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Still going! … As the audience captures footage. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Keep it going! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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Time’s running out! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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And Rodney’s the winnah! He ate an amazing 8 out of 10 SPAM musubis within the 3 minute period! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

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“Uncle Rodney” gets mobbed by his adoring fans/family! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Why do I call him “Uncle Rodney”? Check out the video! LOL!


SPAM Musubi Eating Contest at the 2010 Rice Fest

And then it was a wrap!

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The 2010 Rice Fest is in the books! See you next year!

A big mahalo to everyone who came out to support our first event. Thank you to our hard working staff and volunteers (especially Lincoln Jacobe and my day-to-day partners in crime: Umma Kayvalyam, Harold Su and my wife Mai). Thank you to the media for all of your coverage, including Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Hawaii News Now’s Sunrise, KITV4 This Morning, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, The Nikkan Sun, KUMU, Nonstop Honolulu and all those who talked/blogged about us in Hawaii’s Social Media space (@Melissa808, @ParkRat, @Mel808, @RickNakama, @sarakata, @PhotoluluTV, @fashiontribe, @octobersoldier, @LanakilaPacific, @randi808, @pacificsoul, @Nctrnlbst, @amisan34, @bitachu, @biznaz, @princesstara459, @emichan58, @lauriecicotello, @tweetpea, @haboolani, @HawaiiIRL, @hnlmark, @strobie, @SSquire, @MikeSumida, @ChrisHall78, @JKuroiwa, @atmarketing, @Living2Shop, @theodene, and more! Sorry, I know I’m missing a lot!). Mahaloz to @PhotoluluTV, @ParkRat, Kiman Wong, Todd Masui, Tyson Yamada, and more, for taking photos and letting me “borrow” some for this blog. ๐Ÿ˜›

Mahalo to our sponsors and partners Diamond G Rice, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Lanakila Pacific, Vacations Hawaii, HPE Live, the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace, and Rob Yunich and the rest of the USA Rice Federation team. Thank you to all of our vendors: Arturo’s Hot Sauce in Hawaii, Big City Diner, Don Ho’s Island Grill, Dr. Maria Stewart (University of Hawaii at Manoa Professor of Nutrition), Eastern Food Center, Hawaiian Kine Seasonings, Himalayan Kitchen, Island Taste, KATS SUSHI, Lanakila Pacific, Leonard’s Malasadas, Mobile Gamer Guys, OISHI-GENMAI – GIC JAPAN, Pelekunu’s Teri Sauces, Primo Sushi, Thai Kitchen, Soul Patrol, SNOW |F|A|C|T|O|R|Y|, and Sweet Charlotte, and our entertainers: 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan, Cookin’ With Cutty’s Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler, Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum, Kai Market’s Darren Demaya, KITV4’s Lara Yamada, Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama, Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto, Ernie Loo and the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club, Heart & Soul (and Kalei Gamiao), the Ukulele Hale Keiki, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin, Kapena (Kelly Boy, Kalena, and Lilo De Lima), Jonathan Murai and the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court, and Bubbles Duh Clown.

Thank you to our SPAM musubi eating contestants and our “Riceipe” Cooking contestants: Don Ho’s Island Grill’s Chef Robert Denis, Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama (again!), Tokkuri-Tei’s Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, RumFire’s Chef Matthew Naula, and HMSHost’s Chef Kendall Uyehara. Mahalo also to our Starwood contacts: Candice Lee Kraughto, Jocelyn Elfstrom, Joanie Matsumoto, and Chaunce Lovett, among others. Mahaloz to the “World Wide Ed” community for reading this far and always showing your support in whatever I do. I know I’m forgetting a lot more, so thank you to anyone and everyone who helped make the inaugural Rice Fest a reality. See you guys next year! ๐Ÿ™‚


Video highlights from the 2010 Hawaii Rice Fest