Archive

Tag Archives: Maui

 Saimin is on the top of July list for comfort food. It was my favorite childhood dish that my family made, that I ate in restaurants with my grandmother. Chewy noodles and salty broth with various fixings – kamaboko(fish cake…the pink and white kind), scallions, sliced spam, won bok or char siu.

This version from Da Kitchen is the best one I’ve found in Maui. Maui is better known for dry saimin where the broth is served on the side. While this version is pricey, there were a lot of extra toppings. The broth tasted more like shoyu flavor than pork/shrimp found in most saimin.

Also Da Kitchen lacks the old style feeling of saimin places left over from the plantation days in Hawaii. The saimin was okay, but Da Kitchen won’t be a must stop like Hamura’s on Kaua’i is. 

I recently had dinner at an amazing restaurant in Maui. If you go there thinking you’re going to have something familiar that you’ve had before, forget. The menu is a great read with super inventive dishes. It was exciting to see such innovation…you could tell that the creators were passionate about the dishes. In addition to the interesting menu, the staff was welcoming and attentive. I thought they thought I was somebody. Ha!

IMG_4687

I was alone and was seated at the tasting table even though I wasn’t doing the tasting menu. The staff was great about explaining the menu and I loved reading it. It had an energy rarely seen…local ingredients, too. I just knew I was gonna love it. I had a great view of every dish coming out of the kitchen and each was beautifully plated.

IMG_4703

A slab of watermelon topped with goat cheese, nuts and micro greens was a perfectly refreshing way to begin.  Visually pleasing and, oh so light!

IMG_4704

The reason I chose dinner here was that there was grilled octopus on the menu…I love its wonderful flavor and texture when grilled. The salad did not disappoint. The pieces of octopus were tender and super yummy. The Secret Sicily goat cheese from Surfing Goat Dairy balanced the bitterness of the frisee and kale. There were bits of grilled bread with a touch of olive oil that added another layer of texture. Throughout was a lemony deliciousness.

IMG_4705

The abalone risotto topped with an onsen egg was delicious. The egg opened up to mix with the rice for a wonderful sauce. The abalone is farm-raised in Kona and there was a generous serving of its chewy goodness in this dish.
Ka’ana Kitchen so good that I brought Kris back the following night…for the same dishes. I guess I’ll have to go back to try more things. Can’t wait!

The location isn’t bad either. Here are two iPhone shots from the beach at the Andaz. It’s so beautiful there.

IMG_4680  IMG_4700

Mickey at the photo bar.

Mickey at the photo bar.

February! My favorite month…my birthday month. Whoa! We ended 2014 on a program and welcomed the New Year while on that program on Oahu. We stayed at the Disney Aulani where we set up a photo bar for people to print on demand. We have three die sublimation printers, quicker than inkjet. We were visited by Stitch, Donald Duck and Mickey, the man. An alternate world there for sure.

Stitch with a camera

Stitch with a camera

Donald checking out the photo bar.

Donald checking out the photo bar.

Tail slappin'

Tail slappin’

We went on to Maui for a program at the Four Seasons Wailea. Maui has gotten so crazy for travel. The old standard hotels we use are way over our price range. Maui Coast was $515 a night plus all the taxes. That is so crazy. Maui Coast is in bad need of an update…it is a Courtyard Marriot type of hotel. Speaking of Courtyard Marriott…the one near the airport was asking $300 a night. Room rates always cycle around and they will come down, but, in the meantime, we’ve got a problem. We ended up staying at a dear friend’s house in Wailuku. Saved!

Face to face.

Face to face.

Coming up from under the boat.

Coming up from under the boat.

During the time in Maui, we were lucky to see baby humpback whales that were out with their moms. There were many sightings on the day we went out. The client hired one of us, but there was room on the whale watch so I went out with Kris. It’s funny, but those babies are cute. In photos, they kind of look like the adults, but without scars…and a lot smaller.

Baby whale checking us out.

Baby whale checking us out.

Baby humpback taking a peek.

Baby humpback taking a peek.

I’m working on designing photo books for both programs. Custom photo books take a super long time and requires all my focus. Luckily designing is one of my favorite things to do. I’ve learned to use Adobe’s InDesign…so much better than Photoshop for this. But for some reason, the keyboard shortcuts stopped working and really slowed my progress. Imagine working without undo, cut and paste on the keyboard. Ugh! I did a safe reboot and still not working. Last night I shut down and, magically, the shortcuts are working this morning. Menehune working in the night! (FYI, menehune are kinda like Hawaiian leprechauns).
On a totally other topic, I read “the life-changing magic of tidying up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” by Marie Kondo. I highly recommend it. She doesn’t believe in organizing tools – they are for hoarders (my interpretation). OMG…Kris is afraid. I went through my clothes and have six bags to go out. There is so much breathing room in my closet…love it.
Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 9.16.45 PM

I’m afraid to tackle my books as they are everywhere in the house. In two weeks, I have an appointment with BookEnds to sell my books. If you follow the Konmari method of deluttering, all books have to be taken of the shelves and other various locations and picked up one at a the time to access the joy factor. The ones that get a yes to the question,”Does this item spark joy?”, stay and the others go. I have books on my dresser, on my desk, in closets, in the kitchen, AND a big built-in book shelf in Kris’ office. We’ll see where this goes. Stay tuned.

I’m working on a project for my workshop and that involves going through the archives and finding a project there…a project that you’ve been shooting for years without knowing it. It’s obvious that I love dogs. I see and I photograph them wherever I go. I found these photos of Murphy and Maddy on the day we picked them up from their respective breeders. One of the reasons I love to blog is so that I can go back to stuff like this.

Murphy came from a military family living in Portlock. His mom was chocolate and white and dad was black.

Kris found Maddy on Craig’s list. After searching for breeders on Oahu, Australia and New Zealand, he found a backyard breeder in Haiku. We met Maddy’s parents and her brothers. She was the only female in the litter.

We’re photographing a program in Maui and my job yesterday included zipling with the participants. The Kapalua Adventure guys are amazing even in inclement weather. The wind picked up quite and bit and we didn’t do one of the runs because of it. They made it a safe and still-amazing experience. I’m on the right posing.

The zipline runs are on private land owned by Maui Land and Pineapple…I guess they needed to find something to do with the land when they gave up most of the pine. I was happy to see native Hawaiian plants still flourishing…ohia trees, uluhe (native fern), and koa.