Friday, December 17, 2010

Little Fockers

Yesterday, I found out that I won a pass to the advance screening of "Little Fockers," courtesy of Nonstop Honolulu (@nonstophonolulu). I really enjoyed "Meet the Parents" and "Meet the Fockers" so I was looking forward to some good laughs, but I left feeling slightly disappointed. I laughed a time or two, but most of the material felt lame or stale. It was almost like the writers were just trying to rehash old jokes that just aren't that funny anymore. What are your thoughts? Have you seen the show? If not, are you looking forward to it or is this one for the Netflix queue?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Z Pizza | Honolulu, Hawaii

It has been months since my last date night post. We lost our babysitters for a few weeks and battled various illnesses after that. When we finally had the chance to go out, I was craving some pizza, so we went to check out Z Pizza in Ward Center. We were really impressed with the taste and texture; we can't wait to go back and try the other options on the menu.

Z Pizza
1200 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu HI, 96814
(808) 596-0066
Follow on Twitter

The lighting in the restaurant is very... orange. I had to adjust the color balance on every picture. When we first got there, there were no seats, so we sat in the waiting area until something opened up.

There aren't many places to sit inside and the few seats available outside looked vulnerable to rain. Luckily, a couple left just as our order was ready. Not-so-luckily, it was next to a table of excessively loud diners :\

We ordered the Pear and Gorgonzola Rustica. The gorgonzola is on the mild side, which is good for me as I'm not a huge fan of overly pungent cheese. What really made this dish was the addition of fresh thyme. It contrasted nicely with the warmer flavors of the pear and cheeses.

I also ordered a slice of Italian with pesto, mozzarella, ham, artichoke heart, tomato, and black olive. It was really tasty. In fact, it was so tasty that I devoured the whole thing before I remembered to snap a pic. I was forced to take this one of the display on our way out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It Gets Better...

Seldom do I write about controversial social issues in this blog, but this tweet by Ryan Ozawa (@hawaii) really drew me in to the "It Gets Better Project". After watching the Pixar employee video, I found myself clicking on clip after clip (I posted a few of the notable ones below, but you can see all the videos here).
As a parent, it is my sincerest prayer that my son will grow up in a world that knows no hate; a place where we treat each other like human beings and embrace our differences, instead of ostracizing the ones who don't conform. The sad reality is quite the opposite: bigotry and intolerance prevail. What can I possibly do that will make a difference? I have made a personal commitment to instill in my son the values of acceptance and compassion. I can only hope that as he matures, he will see beyond an individual's skin color, social status, sexual preference or religious views and accept people for who they are. I say this because (not in spite) of the fact that I am a Christian. I believe the God I serve loves you just as much as He does me and He has a plan and a purpose for each and every one of us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: The Beatles are now on iTunes!

Yeah... that didn't really wow me either. You know what would have been really cool? If Apple came out and said they were collaborating with Nintendo to deliver an integrated entertainment platform. I have long thought the two organizations could benefit from such a partnership. I'm thinking of a system that combined the best features of the Apple TV and Wii with a highly intuitive interface, perhaps making use of the accelerometer in the iPhone or iPod touch. Imagine, for example, two players going head-to-head in Mario Kart, one on a TV and the other on an iPad! It could happen, right?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The @HealthPass Tweetup

DISCLAIMER: I am currently employed by a subsidiary of the Hawaii Medical Service Association, but these thoughts are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or its parent company.

HealthPass (@HealthPass) is a benefit for most of HMSA's commercial plan members (click here to find out more). This past Wednesday, we hosted our first tweetup in conjunction with our 20th anniversary celebration. Though it did not have the glitz and glamor of the Nonstop Honolulu (@nonstophonolulu) launch, it definitely had a charm of its own. More importantly, there was a genuine sense of community prevailing in the room that night. Everyone understood that whether you have HMSA coverage or not, we share an important commonality: we all call Hawaii our home. It became apparent to me that the best way to keep HMSA members healthy, is to keep all of Hawaii healthy. It's an ambitious goal, but one that must be met if we are to have any hope of controlling the skyrocketing cost of health care. These changes will not happen in one day and certainly not in a single tweetup, but the conversations that evoke change have already started to take place. For example, after Renee (@surfchik4jesus) sent this tweet about her results, an entire conversation about diabetes ensued on Twitter. The next day, Sara Kata (@sarakata) blogged about "The Cholesterol Ninja" on Posterous. It was followed a day later by Rick Nakama's (@ricknakama) Bangga Bangga "Really Spicy Poke Bowl" post. The common thread? A heightened awareness of their health status brought on by information gleaned at the tweetup.

If you weren't able to attend the event, be sure to check out Ricky Li's (@rickyli99) gallery on Facebook. He took some great pics and really captured the essence of the evening.

Neenz Faleafine (@NEENZ) and her kids exploring the salt content in various foods.

Tweeps Ryan Ozawa (@hawaii), Garry (@funhiguy), Dan Seto (@danseto) and Joannie Pan (@trulyjoannies) learning functional exercises from Rodney, a health educator.

Melissa Chang (@melissa808), Don Aweau (@aweau), Jeff Kang (@jeffkang) and Linda (@alohagadgetgal) catching up with Noe Mediola (@noe808) and Neenz.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The World Needs More Bettys

Betty is a lady who worked in my department until her retirement last year. She is one of the most thoughtful, selfless people I have ever met. Betty knew everyone's birthday and made sure we celebrated each one in a big way, often preparing most of the food by herself. She always remembered that my favorite candy bars are Snickers and I would every so often find one on my desk "just because." Although she no longer works at the company, Betty sometimes drops off some goodies (like the chocolate covered Oreos pictured below). This world would be a better place if we were all a little more like Betty.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

3 Things I Learned at [re]Think Hawaii

10/21 UPDATE: Big mahalo to Ricky Li (@rickyli99) for sending me this pic of the conference speakers. He was the designated photographer, so be sure to watch his site for official photo coverage of the event.


Thanks to Joan Pan (@trulyjoannies), I had the privilege of attending yesterday's [re]think Hawaii Speaker Series at the Regal Dole Theaters. It was a full day, but I thoroughly enjoyed the lineup of presenters. The event certainly had a "one from every village" feel to it, with a nice mix of talent sourced locally and from abroad. Here's a glimpse of what I took away from the event.

1) Less is More
Each presenter was given just 10 minutes to talk about what they do. When you think about it, this isn't a whole lot of time to discuss that which you are most passionate about, but they each did an excellent job of condensing their presentations to fit within the allotted time. This also helped move things along at a nice pace.
The less is more theme was echoed in some of the presentations as well. Cheyne Gallarde (@thecheyne) of Firebird Photography emphasized "nearsighted creativity" and the importance of "finding new uses for old things." His success is based on his ability to reinterpret his surroundings, finding perspectives others may have overlooked; it isn't because he's got the latest and greatest equipment in his camera bag. Chef Ed Kenney (@edstown) talked about the importance of reducing the distance between farm and table. One of the tragedies of living in Hawaii is that most of our food travels thousands of miles before being consumed. The more we can grow locally, the better off our island community will be.

2) Connectivity is Key
Being that the event was centered around entrepreneurship, this was a logical topic. I particularly enjoyed the insights shared by Shaherose Charania (@shaherose) and Neenz Faleafine (@NEENZ). Shaherose talk was about empowering women through the use of technology. She talked about how mobile telephony changed the lives of women living in Bangladesh. She also established Women 2.0, a networking incubator created to foster the ideas of women entrepreneurs. Neenz, on the other hand, focused more on the importance of using in-person relationships to reinforce the connections made online.

3) Technology is Just a Tool
A lot of organizations make the mistake of thinking technology, on its own, will move them forward. They forget that it is incapable of crafting vision, lacks tenacity, and cannot replicate the human element. Granted, when used properly, technology has the potential to do great things for a business. Speaker Bear Woznick said going digital for his business has given him a lot of freedom and opened up countless opportunities. Overall, however, I was surprised by the lack of technical jargon and geek speak, given the nature of [re]think and its target audience. I was reminded of a quote I heard at a data governance conference last year: "technology is an enabler." Sure it is necessary for some of us to do the work that we do, but it isn't meant to replace it.

This was a tremendous experience and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to attend. Special thanks to organizers Christine Lu (@christinelu), Chris Noble (@cfnoble), and Shuchi Rana (@autkast) for planning and coordinating the event. I enjoyed the organic, laid back feel. It gave me the impression that the presenters were there to learn just as much as we were.

If you missed out on [re]Think, check out Ed Morita's (@nctrnlbst) gallery on Nonstop Honolulu.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Festival of Thanksgiving (Makiki Christian Church)

Every year, our church hosts an event called the "Festival of Thanksgiving." We have two congregation: an English speaking one and a Japanese speaking one. With two services apiece, you can imagine how difficult it is to get everyone together. The festival was started as a way to promote fellowship among church members, but it has burgeoned into a huge community event. Apparently, there were some Twitter folk there, though I only saw Max. Toby (@atmarketing) was taking pictures of some of the items available in the silent auction and Sophie (@sophielynette) dropped by after reading some of my tweets. For the past few years, Max Ida (@_maxida) has served as emcee, walking around with a microphone and letting people know what's available.

Here's the main tent. On the right, you could purchase shave ice, hot dogs, chili, and drinks. Ikayaki and udon were being served on the left.

The line for Ikayaki. It always sells out, usually about halfway through the event.

I was able to sneak in an snap a pic of the volunteers putting some of the Ikayaki on the grill.

The white elephant sale (called "Treasure Ark") is a big draw. We picked up a few books for our son.

According to the new Hawaii Five-0's McGarrett, we live in 110 degree weather. What better way to cool off than a nice cup of strawberry shave ice? Our son ate this whole thing by himself... then a spam musubi... then half my chili dog.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kanu's Eat Local Challenge: Day 1

I admire and respect people who force me to question my own beliefs. Such is the case with my Twitter friend @scrivener, whom I have known IRL for many years. Some may find his probing exasperating, but I welcome the pondering it elicits of the people, causes, and ideologies I support. Kanu's (@kanuhawaii) Eat Local Challenge is a good example. He posted this tweet about eating fish during the challenge week. The ensuing conversation made me think about why I've chosen to become involved in the campaign. I'm not doing it to try to prove anything; I'm doing it to raise awareness about the precarious state of Hawaii's food supply. I believe we, as consumers, have the power to effect real change by how we choose to spend our dollar. I, for one, would like to be able to walk into a supermarket and know that there will be locally grown fruits and vegetables in the produce section or milk and eggs produced from locally grown livestock. I don't want my food flown in from a random South American country, even if that means giving up some of the choices we've grown accustomed to. So, @Scrivener, thanks for having these conversations with me and others about the Eat Local Challenge. The increased dialogue is evidence to me that the campaign is working.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Obligatory Hawaii Five-0 Post

I am probably the last blogger in the state to write about Hawaii Five-0. I missed the Sunset on the Beach premiere and I don't have TV so my only option was to stream it from IMDB tonight. A quick Google or Twitter search will reveal a plethora of blog posts related to the new series. Ryan Ozawa (@Hawaii) blogged about it here and Catherine Toth (@thedailydish) of Nonstop Honolulu wrote a post that has already garnered more than 50 comments. I also enjoyed reading John Garcia's (@JohnGarcia) design breakdown of the opening sequence. I agree with everyone that it was actually A LOT better than anticipated (once you get past the geography and pidgin). So what's left to write about? Well, being the geek that I am, I'm going to blog about the show's mobile tech.

During the first scene, McGarrett (played by Alex O'Loughlin), whips out this dinosaur. I was thinking to myself, "What the heck is that? It sorta' looks like a 6100 series Nokia." Anyone know what the actual model is? I had a similar phone when T-Mobile was still VoiceStream. That may very well have been my last monochromatic phone. EVER.

When he arrives in Honolulu, he must have been eligible for an upgrade (or maybe he changed carriers from T-Mobile to AT&T) because in the next scene, you see him rocking an iPhone 3GS. Someone should have told him to hold out for an iPhone 4. The iPhone 4's 5-megapixel camera and LED flash is much better suited for taking pictures of a poorly lit crime scene.

I was just scratching my head on this one. During this conversation, McGarrett's iPhone makes an audible beep when he picks it up and when he ends the call. My iPhone doesn't beep when I take a call and neither does my wife's. Is there some unknown feature I'm missing out on here?

Even the bad guys have iPhones and they get better reception than I do >:(

In addition to iPhones, our heroes are decked out with unibody MacBook Pros, 'cause you know, crime fighting is so much cooler with a Mac ;)

Incidentally, if you are a fan of the new series, Kukui High School is now on Twitter. Follow them @kukuihigh.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

3 Things I Learned at the NonstopHonolulu Launch

1. Malika Dudley (@MalikaDudley) is tall. If you know me IRL, you're probably chuckling to yourself as you read this, given my towering 5 feet, 4 inch stature (and that's on a good day), but really, she is tall.
2. Not everyone gets a Swarm badge :( Yes, I am a little bitter about that. I checked in when I got there (at the time, the count was at 35) and after the announcements started blowing up my Twitter stream, I checked in a few more times for good measure. Nothing. Apparently I wasn't the only one, based on this tweet by Ricky Li (@rickyli99)
3. Lastly (and this was more of a reminder than an actual lesson learned), but as Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) points out in her blog, social media has a very personal component to it. It doesn't matter where you come from, what your socio-economic status is, or how many Twitter follows you have. Everyone was there to have a good time. My only complaint? There wasn't enough time to say hi to everyone or get to know those I've never met before.
Overall, it was an awesome experience. Here's to a long, successful journey for Nonstop Honolulu!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kanu's Eat Local Challenge

Current farming practices, both land and sea, are not sustainable. If you didn't already know this, you should check out the movie Food, Inc., Michael Pollan's (@michaelpollan) book The Omnivore's Dilemma, or this article by Chef Rick Moonen (@rickmoonen). I also blogged a little about the need for supporting local agriculture here.
These problems are amplified in a community like Hawaii. We don't grow enough food to support our population so we must rely on imported goods. What can we do about that? Well, we can start by joining Kanu Hawaii's (@KanuHawaii) Eat Local 2010 Campaign. It's a week-long event (September 26 - October 2) that emphasizes the need for a healthy, sustainable future for Hawaii. There are a variety of ways to participate and every bit counts. Don't feel like you have to make radical changes to your lifestyle (though if you feel compelled to do so, don't let anyone stop you!). Real change happens one step at a time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today I cast my vote for A NEW DAY IN HAWAII

Today was the very first time I cast a vote in a primary election. That's right, the first time. EVER. I've made it a point to vote in the general election and I'm proud to say that I have exercised that right in every election since I turned 18. But the primaries? I never bothered. I guess I've always considered them unimportant - much like a preseason football game. My attitude used to be, "Who cares? After all, it's the general election that REALLY matters, right?" So why is this year any different? Well, I felt compelled to vote for Neil Abercrombie (@neilabercrombie) as Governor of Hawaii. Pretty strong statement coming from a guy who never voted in the primaries before, huh?
Generally, I agree with Mr. Abercrombie's plan, outlined in a 43 page document entitled A New Day in Hawaii. In particular, my views are aligned with his position on education, healthcare, and sustainability for the state. But it isn't politics that really convinced me to cast my vote. It wasn't a debate or public event, either. The deciding factor for me are the people who work for him. People like L.P. Neenz Faleafine (@NEENZ), Ed Morita (@NctrnlBst), and Melissa Chang (@Melissa808). People I have come to know through Social Media and now consider to be good friends of mine. From a Follow Friday shout out from Neenz to lunch with Melissa to being included in a video produced by Ed, I enjoy hanging out with these people and have come to truly value their friendship. They have supported me in many of my endeavors and I felt that this was a small, yet significant, opportunity for me to reciprocate. Russ (@ParkRat) blogged a similar sentiment here. Not once did they exploit our friendship for the sake of the campaign and for that I am also grateful. If they had used our relationship to solicit a vote from me, things would definitely be different.
Whether or not you agree with me and my choice for Hawaii's next governor, I implore you to cast a vote. If you feel you need more information, there are great resources available online like this one compiled by Kanu Hawaii. It is our duty, our kuleana to make our voices heard.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ka 'Ikena | Honolulu, Hawaii

9/15 UPDATE: Melissa posted her blog today. Check it out here.
Ka 'Ikena is a restaurant operated by students in Kapiolani Community College's culinary program. The menu is all-inclusive and the price is determined by which entrée you order. I've been there on several occasions for dinner and it's always "hit or miss." Sometimes, the food is phenomenal. On other occasions, it's just been ho-hum. Twitter buddy Melissa Chang (@Melissa808) and I decided to take a chance and hit it up for a lunch meeting this past Thursday. This is my take on the experience; watch for Melissa's on her blog, Urban Mix Plate on
Overall, the food was good. I felt badly for the waitstaff though, many of whom were looking just a little awkward.

KCC Ka 'Ikena Dining Room
4303 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 734-9499
Website (There's a separate page for dinner.)

I started with the Petite Salad Nicoise. A few greens, some baby asparagus, tomato, egg, and there's a sliver of ahi (tuna) hiding in there. Nothing about this dish really wowed me.

I really enjoyed the biscuit. The outside was nice and firm, while the inside was soft and buttery.

I went with the Roast Rack of Lamb. The portion was very generous for lunch (in this case, 4 thick cuts of lamb sitting atop a mountain of potatoes.)

The two pieces on the left were cooked to a perfect medium rare. The two on the right were just a little overdone for my liking, so it was good that there was some Cumberland Sauce served on the side to balance it out.

Melissa tweeted a picture of the full dessert cart and got 12 immediate responses. I settled on the pecan pie and it was awesomesauce. All that was missing was a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Brazilian Day (Crouching Lion Inn) | Kaaawa, Hawaii

We love Brazilian food, but it's hard to come by here in the islands (ever since Tudo de Bom closed) so we jump at every opportunity. The Brazilian Cultural Center of Hawaii presented "Brazilian Day" out at Crouching Lion Inn yesterday, complete with Brazilian style buffet. As it turns out, the restaurant features some Brazilian dishes regularly on its menu. We may need to head back out there next time we crave some Brazilian food.

Crouching Lion Inn
51-666 Kamehameha Highway
Kaaawa, HI 96730-9819
(808) 237-8981

The Brazil flag was everywhere.

This little guy sits at the top of the main stairs, but he doesn't say much.

The buffet was decorated extravagantly. Disappointingly, only about half the buffet was actually Brazilian food. The right side was mostly lettuce, tomato, and cucumber (i.e. your typical American salad bar fare).

I thought it was a little pricey give the selection, but when you are the only Brazilian buffet on the island, I suppose you can pretty much charge whatever you want.

The potato salad was interesting. There were all kinds of mixed veggies in there like carrots, green beans, and corn. I quickly discovered that juggling two plates of food while trying to snap pics with a DSLR isn't an easy task, especially when you have a three year old literally running circles around you.

My favorite dish by far was the Feijoada. The meat was so incredibly tender and flavorful. I briefly considered a plate full of rice smothered in the Feijoada's smokey goodness, but decided I had better try the other dishes too.

This is what my plate looked like after a trip through the line. In addition to the Feijoada, there was fried Yucca wedges with salted bitter greens (looked and tasted like collards), Carne ao Molho Madeira (roast beef), Frango Ensopado no Estilo Mineiro (chicken), a side dish that looked like cornbread, and coconut pudding.

This is the other side of my plate, where you can see the greens and coconut. Yes, it was a big plate. I took no prisoners.

In all, a very good day and the drive was totally worth it. We were treated to a beautiful sunset on our way back.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eggs 'n Things | Honolulu, Hawaii

Had this post sitting in my queue for a couple weeks, but just never got around to publishing it.

A few weeks ago, Julie and I went to Eggs 'n Things in Waikiki for dinner. When Eggs 'N Things was located in the Kalakauan, we used to go there to satisfy our late night munchies, but only recently managed to make it over to the "new" location. Overall, I'd say our experience was mediocre. The food left us underwhelmed (perhaps because we had such high hopes of revisiting this place once it reopened), though the service was good.

Eggs 'n Things
343 Saratoga Road
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 949-0820

Julie ordered a plantation iced tea to start. Not exactly a "breakfast food," but it was good.

If you order waffles, pancakes, etc., they will bring you an assortment of syrups.

I ordered the corned beef hash and eggs. It wasn't as satisfying as I remember it being at the old location. The taste was average and it wasn't quite enough.

Julie ordered the blueberry crêpes. She enjoyed them, just as she had at the old location.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hello, my name is @MikeSumida

I did it. I broke one of the cardinal rules of Twitter. I changed my name. Yup, I am no longer @L3379LAD180R. I am now just @MikeSumida.
One of the main motivators for doing this was to avoid the awkward (and somewhat embarrassing) experience of introducing myself at tweetups. The conversation usually went something like this:
Me: "Hi, I'm Mike."
New Person: "What's your Twitter name/handle?"
Me: "Leet Gladiator."
"Oh, you're THAT guy!"
"Yup, that's me..." :\
All kidding aside, the more I learn about Social Media, the more I realize how important it is to have a personal brand, an identity. I must admit, I'm still getting used to it, but so far the response has all be positive. Here's to new beginnings :D

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Town | Honolulu, Hawaii

Last week Thursday we had a rare and awesome opportunity when Reid (@onokinegrindz) invited us to a going away party for Gypsy (@GypsyRaven) at Town Restaurant in Kaimuki. The food was fantastic and we had a great time catching up with our friends. I really like the way Chef Ed (@edstown) incorporates local produce in his menu, which is why Julie and I stop in for lunch every now and then. We really like the idea of supporting local farmers and we feel like we are contributing toward a more sustainable food source by doing so. Here's a recap of the amazing dinner.

Town Restaurant
3435 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 735-5900

We started with a little andouille on crostini. The kitchen knew ahead of time that Julie's a vegetarian so her crostini came topped with eggplant.

The bread was served with butter and olives.

The next course was their interpretation of the Insalata Caprese, with fresh mozzarella (made in house), heirloom tomatoes, fennel, and almonds with a white balsamic vinaigrette.

Course #3 was grilled sturgeon accompanied by cucumber and boiled egg.

This was one of the highlights of the evening. It was a baby arugula salad with roasted beet and fried chickpea.

The final "appetizer" was hand cut pasta with zucchini and prosciutto, topped with chili breadcrumbs.

After the pasta, the place got really busy so we caught a little break while the kitchen filled other orders. Then our entrées started appearing and let me tell you, it was well worth the wait. Here we have my favorite of the evening: lamb with sausage, white bean, kale, and chard. The lamb was cooked to a perfect medium rare (the only way to enjoy meat, in my humble opinion). The sausage was just spicy enough to balance with the sweetness of the white bean.

Julie was served a special steamed veggie plate with bok choy, fennel, radish, and leek.

Served on the side was roasted Ulu (or breadfruit) and polenta. The polenta was very creamy. Unfortunately, my picture came out blurry so I didn't post it.

These roasted baby corn were also very popular. They were by far the tastiest baby corn I've ever had.

The final dish was opah, served with stewed tomato and fingerling potatoes. By this time, we were all too full to really enjoy the last dish, but it was very good.

Apparently, we missed out on four different desserts because we had to leave early to pick up our son. I was so full, I don't think I would have really enjoyed it. Besides, we had some of Rene's (@surfchik4jesus) Happy Hearts Mochi to take with us.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Loving Hut | Honolulu, Hawaii

Yes, that really is the name of this place. And yes, I chuckled to myself when I first read it, thinking at the time, "They named their restaurant what?!" Being that Julie is vegetarian, though, we had to give this quaint little place a fair shot.

Overall, the food isn't bad, but it isn't spectacular either. In my opinion, they try a little too hard pushing the faux meat, instead of focusing on truly amazing vegetarian fare.

Loving Hut
1614 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 373-6465

The first thing we noticed when we walked in was the "Mom and Pop" feel. The two ladies behind the counter were extremely warm and cordial.

We started with the Summer Roll ($3.50). They used yam root as a shrimp substitute, which has a strikingly similar texture to actual shrimp.

I went with their "Fabulous Phở" ($7.95). The broth was oily and light on flavor. It had just about every kind of meat substitute known to mankind. Maybe this is just me, but I'm perfectly happy with Tofu and veggies in my vegetarian phở.

Julie had the Lemon Grass Hawaiiana" ($7.95). She seemed to really enjoy it, saying that it was really tasty.

The lady who took our order talked us into trying the brownie ($5.95) for dessert. It looks pretty, but we'll probably pass on it next time.