Posts Tagged ‘toast’

Banzai to Kanpai! – Kanpai Bar & Grill

June 1, 2009

When I hear someone say “Eh, we go bar!” I picture some dark musky room with sweaty old men drinking cheap booze as they throw popcorn at the TV or complain about their nagging wives.

And although there ARE actually places like this, there are several watering holes around town that are working hard to completely wipe that image from your head. The relatively new Kanpai Bar & Grill (opened in September of 2008) off Ward Avenue is one such place.

“Kanpai” is the Japanese word for “cheers,” or to toast, and there’s definitely reason to raise a glass and give a little banzai to this “higher class” bar.

Kanpai Bar & Grill sign
Kanpai Bar & Grill sign

Why “higher class”? For one, they’ve done a number to the interior of what used to be Dixie Grill and Tio’s. Lots of great “dining” style seating (indoor and outdoor), three dart machines, multiple-touch screen game machines, and 11 or so flat screens showing the most current sporting events all complete the ambience. And we didn’t even mention the food. Not your typical popcorn and peanut collection here yo! It’s real, restaurant quality food and it’s off the hook!

Having owners/partners with many years of experience in the fine dining and food and beverage worlds probably has something to do with it.

The husband and wife dynamic duo of Nadya & Bryan Yamasaki has 17 years of Food & Beverage experience under their belts. Combine that with the culinary mastery of Neil Nakasone, Brandon Hamada, John Estrella, and Jensen Hirota (aptly named Quatro Foods) in the kitchen – with experiences at such places as The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong, Halekulani, Ritz Carlton, Ruth’s Chris, and Tokuname – and you’ve got yourself a winning formula for some of the best bar eats in town.

Two of their best sellers are the signature steaks (wafu or kim chee), and the shortrib loco moco.

Wafu Style Ribeye Steak with Kabayaki Braised Mushrooms and Onions, Daikon Oroshi, Garlic Chips, and Ponzu Sauce (12oz - $16, 16oz - $22)
Wafu Style Ribeye Steak with Kabayaki Braised Mushrooms and Onions, Daikon Oroshi, Garlic Chips, and Ponzu Sauce (12oz – $16, 16oz – $22)

Kim Chee Ribeye Steak with Kim Chee and Two Fried Eggs (12oz - $16, 16oz - $22)
Kim Chee Ribeye Steak with Kim Chee and Two Fried Eggs (12oz – $16, 16oz – $22)

Braised Shortrib Loco Moco With Natural Pan Gravy and Two Eggs - $12
Braised Shortrib Loco Moco With Natural Pan Gravy and Two Eggs – $12

Other customer favorites according to Nadya include the garlic soybeans ($7), ahi belly ($10), and something off of their daily specials menu.

Favorites of this writer include the Spicy Garlic Chicken, Pork Chops, and Fried Rice. What’s a good meal without rice right? Right.

Fried Rice with Two Eggs - $8
Fried Rice with Two Eggs – $8

Spicy Garlic Chicken - $8
Spicy Garlic Chicken – $8

Pork Chops with Sauteed Onions - $14
Pork Chops with Sauteed Onions – $14

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention their Saimin and Kalbi Fried Noodles.

Saimin with all the Fixins - $8
Saimin with all the Fixins – $8

Kalbi Fried Noodles - $10
Kalbi Fried Noodles – $10

How does Kanpai pull all of this off in such turbulent economic times?

Nadya explains, “In today’s economy, quality and value are important factors in any business. Providing good food with good value is a challenge that motivates us to meet and satisfy our customer’s expectations.”

This kind of attitude is what sets Kanpai apart from the rest. It also helps to explain the loyal customer base that packs this place on the regular.

So if you’re tired of eating peanuts with sweaty old men, give Kanpai a try the next time someone says “Eh, we go bar!” Your tummy will thank you.

Kanpai Bar & Grill
404 Ward Ave # 100
Honolulu, HI. 96814 (map)
(808) 593-9202
Open 11am to 2am daily

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Wedding Day Recap – Part II

December 16, 2008
Part I |  Part II 

And… we’re… back… Let’s put a wrap on all this wedding talk with Part II of my Wedding Day Recap. It’s been what, almost a month, and I’m still blabbing away about it. Sorry!

Like before, we’re using Noreen’s day-of Twittering as the framework for this post. Enjoy!

What a nice cake! 12:23 PM Nov 22nd from TwitPic

Cherry Blossom cake
Cherry Blossom cake

Ed’s Comments: Cherry blossom cake went with our Asian/Japanese theme.

Good food at Sheraton Waikiki. Liked the soup, especially on a rainy day. 12:30 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Awww what a cute couple! 12:36 PM Nov 22nd from TwitPic

Engagement Photo Display
Engagement Photo Display

Ed’s Comments: Love Story Weddings, son! They do good work.

Now for the best part — dessert! 12:37 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

@worldwideed‘s mom is singing a traditional Japanese song about love for the couple. She’s a good singer! 12:47 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Mamasan singing Ai No Sanka
Mamasan singing “Ai No Sanka”

Ed’s Comments: Didn’t think I’d be as touched as I was. Much love ma!

It’s like watching a professional singer. She’s awesome! 12:49 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Ed’s Comments: Thanks ‘reens! She was supposed to be a pro back in the day in Japan, but chose family. Thanks or I may never be here today… Hehe!

Now for intro of family. Minna Sugimoto, @worldwideed‘s sister, is co-emcee and speaking in Japanese. 12:54 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Bruddah Bryan and Minna Sugimoto
Bruddah Bryan and Minna Sugimoto

Ed’s Comments: Thanks big sis!

Bruddah Bryan is scoping out the single ladies in the bridal party 12:57 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Groomsman’s advice to bride- don’t listen to @worldwideed! 1:02 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

What a jerk! :P
What a jerk! πŸ˜›

Ed’s Comments: And I consider him a friend… *sigh*

Learning a lot about @worldwideed. Something about an inflatable doll named Nani??? 1:06 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

More jerks!
More jerks!

Ed’s Comments: The worst part was that I couldn’t defend myself. Haha! “Nani,” just so you know, was a gag birthday gift and I brought it home to the boys as a practical joke. Oh brother!

Bruddah Bryan is trying to play matchmaker for bridal party 1:07 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Matchmaker Bryan
Matchmaker Bryan

Ed’s Comments: Quote of the day, “Single single or boyfriend single?”

Our table is making our own jokes. Must be the beers talking. 1:11 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

@worldwideed is apparently an attention whore, according to best man. “Puppydog stuck in human body” 1:18 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon in reply to worldwideed

Ed’s Comments: Perhaps I should reconsider my pick for best man. πŸ˜‰

@worldwideed apparently also has a light blue security blanket. Love best man’s speech! 1:19 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon in reply to worldwideed

All these guys are jerks aren't they? *grin*
All these guys are jerks aren’t they? *grin*

Ed’s Comments: Lies, all LIIIIIEEEEESSS! Hehe!

Banzai toast time! Raise em up! 1:23 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

That was the most spirited Banzai toast ever! 1:25 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Props to Dave!
Props to Dave!

Ed’s Comments: Dave’s self-proclaimed “Best Banzai speech in the history of all weddings!”

It’s like Battle of the Banzais! 1:32 PM Nov 22nd from TwitPic

Props to B.I.L. Lee!
Props to B.I.L. Lee!

Noreen's view of Lee
Noreen’s view of Lee

Ed’s Comments: Not to be outdone, Dave friend (and my brother-in-law) Lee does his version.

Time for Kagami Biraki or opening of sake barrel. I’m Japanese and never heard of this before so 1st time for me. 1:28 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

1-2-3 YOISHO!
1-2-3 YOISHO!

Ed’s Comments: Oh yeah! You heard it here first! As Borat would say, “Very Niiiiice!” ‘Twas a big hit with the guests, especially the sake drinking part. LOL!

Bouquet toss time. Love how they let it drop on ground. 1:53 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Bouquet Toss!
Bouquet Toss!

Ed’s Comments: You could tell they wanted it, but the ladies tried to ack like they didn’t. It was cute.

Garter toss time. @worldwideed pulled Granny panties off Maile! 1:56 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Gettin' In Thurr!
Gettin’ In Thurr!

Ed’s Comments: Love the reaction of Jon and Ann in the back!

@worldwideed is singing to Maile. So sweet and a little off-key. 2:00 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Why are Jon and Justin laughing?
Why are Jon and Justin laughing?

Ed’s Comments: Haha! I don’t know what performance you were listening to ‘reens, but it surely wasn’t mine! *grin* Nah, it was a little off key (only in the beginning! πŸ˜‰ ), but to defend myself, I was pretty nervous and drunk all at the same time. I brought it home after my nerves settled down though! *grin*

Got some sake from @worldwideed‘s dad. Smell reminds me coloring Easter eggs. 2:02 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Sake to Me!
Sake to Me!

Ed’s Comments: Pops was the perfect person to be pouring that to the guests. He looked so happy!

Slideshow time 2:04 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

@worldwideed: such a cute baby! 2:09 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon in reply to worldwideed

Baby WWE
Baby WWE

Ed’s Comments: No comment.

Slideshow included video of @worldwideed‘s proposal. He managed to ask her to marry him without literally asking. So sweet! I have tears! 2:17 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Ed’s Comments: I thought about posting the video to YouTube for a split second, but thought that I should save that as a private moment between wife, me and the hundreds of guests at the wedding. Hehe! Maybe one day in the future… who knows!?

Gotta go UH game so leaving wedding. Thanks & congrats @worldwideed and Maile! 2:27 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Ed’s Comments: Much love again ‘reens! That was awesome. Hope you were still able to enjoy the wedding in-between tweets!

Whoa! Validated parking cost $8! Guess that’s Waikiki for ya! 2:36 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Well, that’s it. The last of the wedding posts (*crossing fingers*). Wipe those tears away though. I’ll be back for more useless nonsense tomorrow! Holla!

P.S. If you missed it, be sure to check out my article “How to Get Married In Hawaii,” on newsstands now! πŸ™‚

Part I |  Part II 

Kau Kau Kauai – Part 3

March 1, 2007

Part I | Part II | Part III

Well, we’ve finally made it gang. The 3rd and final part in our Kau Kau Kauai series. Please! Hold back your tears!

In part 1, we spanned the Garden Isle for favorites such as Tip Top Motel & Cafe, Waimea Brewing Company, and Jo Jo’s Shave Ice. The 2nd part of our series took us to Ono’s Family Restaurant, Hamura’s Saimin and Duke’s, among others! Now, we’ll round it all out with stops at such hotspots like the Cafe Hanalei Sunday Brunch, Brick Oven Pizza and Polynesia Cafe.

Those previous Kau Kau Kauai adventures were written under the pretense that you were visiting these places all in a day’s work, when in actuality, each and every one of the Kauai restaurants were visited over the course of many, many visits there. The mishmash was then somehow puzzled together to create a single piece supposedly taking place over the course of one day. If you were fooled, please accept my humble apology. If you were not, but played along anyway, please accept my humble gratitude.

In this final piece, there ain’t no hidin’ it. It’s going to be a feeble attempt at throwing in the best of the rest, if you will, so prepare yourself for multiple breakfasts, numerous lunches, many dinners and miscellaneous treats in between for good measure. πŸ˜‰

Conveniently located in the Coconut Marketplace in Kapa`a, Eggbert’s is not hard to find.

Eggbert's Sign
Eggbert’s Sign

Out front, they have a sign that boasts about their Loco Moco so guess what dis buggah just haaad to get.

Loco Moco from Eggbert's
Loco Moco from Eggbert’s

Out Honestly, the details are a bit fuzzy (I last visited there in October of 2005), but I do know that it wasn’t bad. As I’m sure with most of you, I only remember bad food experiences very vividly.

Eggbert’s Kauai Family Specialty Restaurant
Coconut Marketplace
4-484 Kuhio Highway
Kapa`a, Kauai, HI 96746 (map)
(808) 822-3787

There were no plans on eating at this next stop really, but after many visitor requests about this place in my previous column, I just had to check things out at Dani’s for myself.

Dani's Sign
Dani’s Sign

I had the $6 Corn Beef Hash with 2 eggs and rice special. The other options for this special were Rego’s Portuguese Sausage (instead of the corned beef hash) and toast or hash brown (instead of rice).

Now because momma always taught me that if I have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all, I’ll just say that I enjoyed my other Kauai breakfast stops a lot more. I know this is a local favorite, but to me, the portions were quite small and tasted “canned”.

Corned Beef Hash with Two Eggs & Rice
Corned Beef Hash with Two Eggs & Rice

On the other hand, my eating partner Art enjoyed his $6.20 hamburger steak with scrambled eggs & rice combo.

Hamburger Steak with Scrambled Eggs & Rice
Hamburger Steak with Scrambled Eggs & Rice

Dani’s Restaurant
4201 Rice Street
Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766 (map)
(808) 245-4991

Full yet? I’m just getting started my dears. Let’s drive on up to the the Princeville Resort where, every Sunday, they have the popular Cafe Hanalei Sunday Brunch.

Cafe Hanalei Sunday Brunch

The menu and prices are noted as subject to change without notice, but on this occasion, it boasted the following:

Salads:

  • Kilauea Baby Greens with Assorted Dressings
  • Crisp Romaine Caesar Style
  • Chicken Pad Thai Noodle Salad
  • Hawaiian Sweet Potato Salad
  • Kailani Spinach and Chinese Duck Salad
  • Spicy Crab and Kimchee with Cucumber
  • Marinated Heart of Palm and Artichoke
  • Spicy Thai Beef Salad
  • Local Potato Macaroni Salad
  • Thai Style Ahi Tuna Poke

Miscellaneous Salad Items
Miscellaneous Salad Items

Chilled Seafood and Specialty Items:

  • Iced Seafood Display
  • Peel & Eat Shrimp, New Zealand Mussels and Dungeness Crab Legs
  • Horseradish Spiked Cocktail Sauce
  • Fresh Lemons
  • California Rolls with Wasabi and Pickled Ginger
  • Imported and Domestic Cheese Display
  • Assorted Water Crackers and Breads
  • Crisp Vegetable Crudite with Selection of Dips
  • Atlantic Smoked Salmon Display
  • Bagels and Cream Cheese with Red Onion and Capers
  • Grilled Marinated Vegetable Display

Dungeness Crab Legs
Dungeness Crab Legs

EntrΓ©e:

  • Fresh Island Catch of the Day
  • Tossed Pasta of the Day
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Chef’s Brunch Potato
  • Carved Slow Roasted Beef
  • Wok Seared Kauai Prawns
  • Moloaa Tomato Bisque
  • Chinese Style Fried Rice
  • Crisp Bacon, Link and Portuguese Sausage
  • Stuffed Roasted Loin of Pork
  • Pancit Noodles with Crispy Asian Duck
  • Seasonal Local Vegetables
  • Chef’s Omelette Station

Chef's Omelette Station
Chef’s Omelette Station

Desserts:

  • Pastry Chef’s Dessert Display
  • Fresh Crepes with a Variety of Fillings
  • Sliced Island Fruits

Fresh Crepes with Cherries and Vanilla Ice Cream
Fresh Crepes with Cherries and Vanilla Ice Cream

As made obvious by my packed plate, I was a fan…

Just part of the damage I was doing to the buffet....
Just part of the damage I was doing to the buffet….

Though the food is good, the highlight of the Sunday Brunch is actually the view. (! – If you come at the right time and request to sit outside, you may be able to get a table with an amazing view…)

Your view from Cafe Hanalei
Your view from Cafe Hanalei

Cafe Hanalei
Sunday Brunch: 10AM-2PM
Princeville Resort
5520 Ka Haku Road
Princeville, Kauai, HI 96722 (map)
(808) 826-9644 – TEL
(808) 826-1166 – FAX

For the next two stops in our never ending day of gluttony, I have to apologize… Thumbing through my photo archives didn’t turn up many results in terms of usable pics. The Deli & Bread Connection, Inc. and Brick Oven Pizza are however, two stops that cannot go unmentioned.

Located in the Kukui Grove Shopping Center, this sandwich joint is always crowded during the lunch hour. They also sell fresh baked bread and, according to their business card, gourmet kitchenware as well.

Two different sandwiches from the Deli & Bread Connection, Inc.
Two different sandwiches from the Deli & Bread Connection, Inc.

Deli & Bread Connection, Inc.
Kukui Grove Shopping Center
3-2600 Kaumualii Highway #1005
Lihue, Kauai, HI. 96766 (map)
(808) 245-7115
(808) 245-3492 – FAX

Long revered as the best pizza on Kauai, Brick Oven Pizza sits conveniently off Kaumualii Highway in Kalaheo. These pizzas are hella fresh and homemade in their brick hearth.

Pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Brick Oven Pizza
Pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Brick Oven Pizza

Brick Oven Pizza
2-2555 Kaumualii Hwy
Kalaheo, Kauai, HI 96741 (map)
(808) 332-8561
Tues-Sunday 11AM-10PM
Closed on Mondays

While we’re here, we might as well cross the street and continue our foodfest at the Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co.

Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co. Sign
Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co. Sign

Not only do they serve delicious coffee from the wee hours of the morning, they also offer fresh baked breads and serve up a healthy menu for lunch and dinner. On this occasion, I ordered up their special of the day: Eggs scrambled with roasted veggies & a tiger shrimp seafood mix, topped with hollandaise sauce & served with hash browns & toast for $10.25.

Eggs scrambled with roasted veggies & a tiger shrimp seafood mix, topped with hollandaise sauce & served with hash browns & toast for $10.25.
Eggs scrambled with roasted veggies & a tiger shrimp seafood mix, topped with hollandaise sauce & served with hash browns & toast for $10.25.

Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co.
2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy
Kalaheo, HI. 96741 (map)
(808) 332-5858
(808) 332-5868 FAX
(800) 255-0137 Toll Free
Email: javatalk@kalaheo.com
Open daily from 6:30AM-2:30PM
Dinners are Wed-Sat from 5:30 PM

We’ve finally reached the end of the road gang. Our last stop in this journey of Kauai Kau Kau takes us back north to the city of Hanalei. Located just inside the main entrance of the Ching Young Village Shopping Center, Polynesia Cafe is one of those pleasant surprises you won’t find very often. Billing themselves as gourmet food on paper plates, this little surfer’s-style cafe delivers on that mantra.

Entrance to Polynesia Cafe
Entrance to Polynesia Cafe

Their menu is chock-full of gourmet entrees like Mac-Nut Herb Crusted Ahi or Thai Tofu & Veggie, salads, sandwiches and a variety of Mexican dishes. They even had a dessert case filled with tasty looking delights.

Dessert case at Polynesia Cafe
Dessert case at Polynesia Cafe

On this occasion, we ordered up Sesame Chicken and Chicken Quesadilla and a Lemon Bar for good measure for dessert.

On the menu, the Sesame Chicken was defined as “orange ginger glaze with curry batter” and went for $9.95. It came with mixed veggies and was served over a bed of rice.

Sesame Chicken - orange ginger glaze with curry batter for $9.95
Sesame Chicken – orange ginger glaze with curry batter for $9.95

The Chicken Quesadilla went for $8.95 and came with rice, beans and condiments for the quesadilla.

Chicken Quesadilla from Polynesia Cafe for $8.95
Chicken Quesadilla from Polynesia Cafe for $8.95

I don’t quite recall how much the lemon bar was, but lemme tell ya, it was worth every fattening bite!

Lemon Bar from Polynesia Cafe
Lemon Bar from Polynesia Cafe

Polynesia Cafe
Ching Young Village Shopping Center
5300 Ka Haku Road
Hanalei, HI 96714 (map)
(808) 826-1999

…Annnnd I’m spent!

So there you have it! The season finale, the fairytale ending, the photo finish… You won’t ever have to hear the words “Kau Kau Kauai” and “World Wide Ed” in the same sentence anymore… Well, at least until I work on the prequels. *grin*

Much love for hanging in there with me gang. It was fun! Now… to work on “Munchy Maui” and “Broke Da Mout’ Big Island!” πŸ˜‰

Part I | Part II | Part III