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.