Chelsea food tour with Hawaiian Airlines

I’m on day three in New York, part of my #AlohaNYC trip with Hawaiian Airlines. Last night I joined Hawaiian Airlines‘ Jeremy Althof and Asiana Ponciana along with Amuse Bouche blogger and New York food scout Bradley Hawks on a food hop in Chelsea. Bradley won Hawaiian Airlines/Urban Spoon’s contest for best New York food blogger, which means he’s taking the airlines’ new nonstop flight … Continue reading Chelsea food tour with Hawaiian Airlines

The return of the Ethiopian pop-up

Ethiopian-food fans rejoiced when they received an email from Meron Girma Tsige announcing that Addis Ababa Hawaii resurfaces at Lemongrass Cafe in Chinatown this month. Last night was the pop-up’s downtown debut. You can reserve a table for March 17 and 24, at 6pm or 7:30pm. On those dates, you can also drop in for lunch without reservations at noon. After that Addis Ababa Hawaii … Continue reading The return of the Ethiopian pop-up

Pier joy

The Vertical Junkies—the party-and-promotions group—are turning into restaurateurs. First they teamed up with former Nobu pastry chef Alejandro Briceño to create V Lounge Pizza in 2009, and now they’re poised to conquer Kane‘ohe. Vertical Junkies founder Russ Inouye has a vision for his hometown. When it comes to food, “Kaneohe has the money and the knowledge, but there isn’t anything here,” says Inouye, who founded … Continue reading Pier joy


[I did a short piece on Eat the Street with a roundup of food trucks for Modern Luxury Hawaii, and they axed the part about Eat the Street. So here’s the whole unedited thing, which was written back in April.]

In January, Poni Askew organized Honolulu’s first food truck rally—Eat the Street. “We were hoping for 500 people and we got about 1,200!,” says the mom of three who started the foodtruck-tracking website as a hobby when, after a long career (in the music and coffee worlds), she found being a stay-at-home mom “didn’t go over so well for me.”

Thanks to a partnership with Kamehameha Schools, Eat the Street is now a monthly event, held the last Thursday of the month in a large Kaka‘ako parking lot at 555 South Street. And in April, Askew launched the weekly Friday Night Bites, a lower-key, smaller confab of mobile eats at 1637 Kapiolani Blvd., on the Diamond Head end of the street. Continue reading “Clustertruck!”

Eat well + be on national TV: Eat Street shooting on O‘ahu this week

Just got the 411 on the Cooking Channel show Eat Street shooting on O‘ahu this week. Nathan Kam, McNeil Wilson Communications vice president for travel & tourism, said that on behalf of the Hawai‘i Visitor and Convention Bureau, he and his team got the food series over here. The show’s production crew will check out the food trucks Camille’s on Wheels, Flipt Out Eats, Opal … Continue reading Eat well + be on national TV: Eat Street shooting on O‘ahu this week

CLOSED // At long last injera: Ethiopian food comes to HNL

I started this blog with the happy discovery of a good pain au chocolat—something that did not exist in Honolulu before Fendu Boulangerie opened. On Thursday another non-indigenous craving was sated—at a pop-up Ethiopian restaurant. Now, every Thursday, J2 Asian Fusion, the offshoot of Praseuth Luangkhot’s JJ Bistro in Kaimuki, hosts Addis Ababa Hawaii’s Ethiopian Thursdays. Meron and James Spencer launched the event just three weeks ago—and 82 people showed up. On the event’s second night, 75 came for dinner, and this week the place was packed as well. A lot of the diners are some of Honolulu’s brightest academic stars—James is a political science professor at the University of Hawai‘i, so you can imagine what his email invitation list is like. (That’s how I found out about the dinner, from my American Studies superstar prof friend.) Meron is from Addis Ababa and she’s earned a name among friends for her dinner parties. The next step was taking it public. Continue reading “CLOSED // At long last injera: Ethiopian food comes to HNL”

Food trucks take new routes

In an effort to reach new audiences, food trucks are going beyond finding a mid-day spot to park near hungry cubicle dwellers. Most notable is the clustertruck known as Eat the Street—a lunch wagon confab organized by Poni Askew of the all-food-truck-all-the-time website The first one was held on Jan. 27 in the parking lot next to Jazz Minds Art & Cafe on Kapi‘olani … Continue reading Food trucks take new routes

[CLOSED] New in Kalihi: Puka’s plate-lunch chic

Last week I housesat deep in Kalihi Valley, and driving home for the first evening of cat-feeding duties I spotted this inviting storefront with a modern, streamlined logo across from Kalihi Uka Elementary. Wassat? The next night I pulled into the school’s parking lot, ran across the street and found a cheery plate lunch spot. Continue reading “[CLOSED] New in Kalihi: Puka’s plate-lunch chic”

Aroma therapy (drinkable kind)

Loving the farm-to-glass cocktails, made with herbs grown in the bar’s back garden and peppers grown by Unko Ernie? On Wednesday you have a chance to partake of bartenders, er mixologists, other obsession: Vintage cocktails. Michelin-starred barman Brian Van Flandern (Bemelmans Bar, Per Se) released his book Vintage Cocktails last year and for decades King of Cocktails Dale DeGroff has been keeping old-school recipes alive (he added the Prohibition-era citrusy classic Bees Knees to the Lewers Lounge menu—try it, you’ll like it). And just like they’re hunting down fresh, local ingredients, bartenders are now on the prowl for old-world liqueurs and potions once used in the early days of cocktails. Continue reading “Aroma therapy (drinkable kind)”