Hawaii: Of food and wine
Writing this one year later, and after having travel journals involving various culinary experiences take over this site (originally intended to expose the things that are official Pains In My Butt&tm;), it's almost ironic (and to think Alanis had such a hard time) that this food section on Hawaii is so late in cominq.
First things first: I LOVE SEAFOOD! I was a happy soul in the land of poke. Ahi poke, tako poke, and my favorite, Sam Choi's flash fried poke--delightful cubist morsels of Wholesome Fishy Goodness imbued with a shoyu-based Flav-R-Maker, sprinkled with nori-no-furikake and served lovingly alongside the Far East's gift to my nutrition, a bowl of steaming, glutinous arroz.
We also had teriyaki burgers, foodservice grade G ground beef patties dipped in a vat of teriyaki sauce and then fried in oil that's as old as Pele herself (this is what makes it yummy), and Ono Ono shakes, which blend the creamy frothyness of vanilla softserve with the gooeyness of nutty butter.
However, other Hawaiian specialties proved much rougher eating. The well-known treat of Plate Lunch is like Thrombosis on a plate: two-scoop rice, one scoop mac-n-mayo (the salad), and deep-fried, breaded cutlet. There are chains that specialize in the stuff--the origin of the muu-muu?
And then there was People's Cafe--as close to Authentica as we would get without first getting many more vowels in our names. My order consisted of a bowl of poi (taro paste-I actually like the stuff), chicken luau (a bowl of a soupy substance that looked like creamed spinach and tasted like Coco López), pipikaula (a piece of fried pork) and the winner, lau lau. Dylan had said, when asked, that it was pork wrapped in ti leaves and then steamed. He, gracious one, neglected to mention when he compared it to a Tamal that in the Hawaiian version of the wrap-your-food-in-leaves theme, one eats the wrapping.
Eating ti leaves is about as tasty as chewing tea leaves.
I did thank Dylan for the experience, but did tell him it's not for the weak of stomach. "It's like Klingon food, but I love it. Feel the wholesome goodness," is Dylan's testament to it.
One year later, and after two servings of Szichuanese hot pot to my credit, I still think that People's Cafe ranks up there in the list of Things I'm Glad I Did and Am Sure I won't do again, along with fraternity pledging and Times Square on New Year's Eve.