October 26, 2015

Umami Map: Izakaya Gaku in Honolulu and Other Island Gems

by Kayoko Akabori

Yoko, our friend Seri and I visited Honolulu last month and we had such a memorable trip! Our friend Mei was getting married in Kailua, so we decided to make a little getaway out of it. A bachelorette weekend for us, if you will. We had visited Oahu earlier in the year, but it was […]

January 7, 2015

I Know What You Did in Paradise

by Yoko Kumano

Four friends find themselves in a secluded VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) on the North Shore of Oahu. They thought paradise was at arm’s length, but they were wrong. One by one each thirty-something is lured by the mysterious, irresistible charms of the tropical landscape. Kayoko, the strong-headed of the group, is on a one-woman […]

August 4, 2014

Umami Mart Map: Kauai aka Paradise

by Kayoko Akabori

Ah, Kauai. We went over New Year’s, to unwind after an exhaustive holiday season. Yoko and I felt we deserved a nice vacation, and we brought along our sig others, my brother Keisuke, and Jay and Rie of Atelier Dion. There’s obviously a ton to explore on the island, and we culled a lot of […]

January 10, 2014

Casa de Kei in Kauai

by Kayoko Akabori

Let’s be real: when my brother Keisuke said he would join us for our First Annual Kauai Trip, I hoped (really hard) that he would cook for us. Ah hell, we all did. Have you seen Casa de Kei? His midnight creations are totally bananas — creative yet approachable; high art meets B-kyu (aka comfort food). […]

January 8, 2014

Postcard from Kauai: Shaved Ice Master

by Kayoko Akabori

It took us five days to finally get to our first shaved ice experience. Not because we didn’t try! Everyday would begin with wishful exclamations like, “Let’s get shaved ice today!” But the stars never aligned — the lady in town closed after two hours of service because she was “out of ice.” She cursed […]

January 6, 2014

Postcard from Kauai: Johnny’s Creamy Coconut Abomination

by Kayoko Akabori

Aloha from Kauai! Yoko, Washi, Johnny, Keisuke, Jay, Rie and I have been lucky enough to spend five nights in Hanalei Bay — a picturesque town on the North Shore, surrounded by staggering mountain ranges and captivating turquoise waves. It’s truly paradise here and we are having a blast ringing in the first week of […]

November 9, 2008

Happy Hour: Juan McCain & Baroque Obama

by Payman Bahmani

Election day has come and gone, but the celebration parties are still going strong. So whether you’re celebrating the history-making inauguration of our first African-American prez, or you just want to drown your sorrows in booze after the electoral thumping of Mr. McCain, I present you with a couple of candidate-inspired cocktails that should be […]

June 8, 2007

Great Eating at Alan Wong’s Hawaii

by Merri Berry

Practically the first thing we did upon deciding on Hawaii as our honeymoon destination was make a reservation at Alan Wong’s in Honolulu. Our excitement to eat at this relatively unknown restaurant was fueled by strong rec’s from friends and co-workers (including a Hawaiian native) and reinforced by Alan’s appearance at the finale of last […]