Friday, March 19, 2010

Personal Responsibility

I apologize for the text-heavy post, but I don't want to get in trouble with any logo or copyright police.
In case you haven't noticed, I am a foodie. I believe dining should be an experience that involves all the senses. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about where our food comes from, how it's processed, what what its true cost is. I'm not saying I make the best decisions all the time, but I am making a conscious effort to better understand what I'm consuming and how it affects me.
I can't tell you when it happened, but I'd like to share with you some of the things that have influenced my thinking along the way. A couple of months ago, I wrote this blog post about meeting Chef Leslie Ashburn (@macrohawaii) and the Kapiolani Community College Farmers' Market. I had been to KCC a time or two before that, but it was never really a priority for me. I would rather have some extra sleep on a Saturday than fight the crowds for a few fruits and veggies. Somehow, though, that meeting and the subsequent visit really inspired me to start making a change. A few weeks after that, I watched a little documentary called Food, Inc. It radically altered the way I perceive the entire food industry and I can pretty much guarantee that it will do the same for you. Fast forward to today and you have @loodge, a friend of mine, retweeting this @veggietweets post about a one year old Happy Meal.
You may be reading this saying to yourself, "Yeah, so what? I'm still going to keep eating the things I like because it tastes good. Who cares what's in it or where it came from?" Sadly, in this case, ignorance is not bliss. Choosing to ignore the facts won't stop the inevitable from happening. Just ask the person in this Oprah video who lost her leg because she refused to come to terms with the fact that she was diabetic.
So what can you do? Author Michael Pollan puts it like this, "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much." Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? You can also start shopping at a LOCAL farmers' market (for a listing of the ones in Hawaii, click here) or get involved with a Community Supported Agriculture initiative like this one with Ma'o Organic Farms (@maoorganicfarms).
You know, there's a lot of talk these days about health care reform. People want to blame insurance companies or doctors for the rapidly rising costs. In my opinion, we're starting to pay the real price for cheap, convenient, non-nutritious food. The biggest change to the health care system will come when people like you and me start taking personal responsibility for the decisions we make on a daily basis. I am ready and willing to try something new for the sake of building a sustainable future. Will you join me?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

V Lounge + Town | Honolulu, Hawaii

I have wanted to try the pizza at V Lounge for months, ever since reading this  Urban Mix Plate blot entry by Melissa Chang (@Meslissa808). Last night seemed like a good a night as any so we headed down there for some of their famous kiawe wood-fired pizza.

Afterwards, we had a craving for something yummy from Little Oven (@liloven), but as it turns out, they were only serving a limited selection of KC Drive-Inn waffle dogs and shakes, so we ended up at Town in Kaimuki for dessert. Overall, the food was excellent at both places, but the ambiance was very different. V Lounge had a relaxed, laid back feel; a stark contrast to the boisterous atmosphere at Town.

Believe it or not, I actually remembered to bring my trusty SD400, but the battery was dead! ARGH! You know what that means... yup, iPhone pics once again :\

V Lounge
1344 Kona Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 953-0007
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3435 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 735-5900

Walking down Kona street at night can be rather intimidating and finding V Lounge can be a tad tricky. There's a sign above a little doorway. If you blink, you'll miss it.

There were very few people around when we first walked in. It started to fill up by the time we were finished, but never felt overly crowded.

We decided split a pizza and came up with a custom concoction of buffalo mozzarella, Hamakua oyster mushrooms, sweet onion, arugula, basil, and truffle oil, which is basically everything on the menu that isn't meat. It turned out amazing! The dough was soft and chewy, while the toppings were fresh and flavorful.

I've been to Town twice this week. We had lunch there on Thursday and decided to go for dessert last night. In the past when I've eaten there, I found the service to be extremely poor. On these two occasions, however, I was really impressed. The staff was friendly, helpful, and cordial and we didn't have to wait forever to get our food. Since we were only there for dessert, we sat at the bar. Turns out, that was probably a mistake because a bunch of weirdos camped out next to us. One guy was practically leaning on me the whole time.

Wifey got the pana cotta, which came drizzled with honey and served with pomegranate. It must have been really good because I didn't get any :(

I ordered the almond financier. The tart marmalade offered a nice contrast to the sweet cake.