Posts Tagged ‘Huffington Post


Quick Lunch Review: Downtown @ HiSAM’s Seared Ahi Club and a much needed Update

Hey everyone, long time no see on this blog. HGC is getting more attention now. Anyway, if you know anything about me I have a job at Hawaii’s State Capitol, trying to set up a third blog, and keeping the HGC running and going . . . yes, busy galore. If you want awesome food reviews, and not the ramblings of someone who has too much on his plate check out this HGC Yelper’s Reviews. She is as awesome as the food item I am about tor review. Speaking of that, let’s get to the important thing, the FOOD!

Where I work, luckily a seared ahi club is never too far away!

Quick Lunch Review: Seared Ahi Club by Downtown@ HiSAM

My job at the Capitol keeps me pretty busy, it is stressful, long, but I like it. Keeps my mind agile and my stomach hungry. Thank god there is Downtown @ HiSAM (“Hawaii State Art Museum”) nearby (less than a 3-minute hungry-walk). Downtown is owned by Chef Ed Kenney of Town, in Kaimuki. The menu is light and perfect for the busy lunch crowd of lawyers, business people, lobbyists, and legislators (and their staff!). It is the same style of food that Chef Ed has become known for in Hawaii.

I would just like to bring attention to his Seared Ahi Club, which I have had three times in this past month. All I can say is it is the right portion of food at all the right places. There is enough searing to the ahi to make it light, but it is still the raw. The bacon is there to bring saltiness and crunch, but it does not overwhelm the ahi, but compliments it. The wasabi has enough hint to help the ahi (reminiscent of sashimi-style) and the salad is a good companion to the sandwich. The quartering of the sandwich into fours always means it can be shared with a lunch companion or you can eat each slice in two to three bites. It’s awesome!

From a Yelper who captured this delightful lunch item.

It is so awesome that I run from my office when I take my lunch break that I forget my camera and so must use a yelper’s picture because it is just a perfect lunch for a busy person at work. So if you are new to the Capitol or downtown scene and want a quick bite, but not feel stuffed or overwhelmed (because work does that) head to Downtown and grab a Seared Ahi Club.

Update and Other Random Tidbits:

So just like the HGC blog, this blog will be updated, but randomly and not as frequent as last year (but something tells me you already figured that out from the fact that the last blog post came in November). Anyway, feel free to subscribe and you can get my mad-hunger laden ramblings from time to time without clicking this site everyday at work as you figure out how to waste time. Anyway, I just like to talk about some interesting food things and then go to bed.

Like everyone else one of my NY’s resolutions was to eat healthier this year . . . that went out the door when I started working at the State Capitol. However, my boss happens to be a vegetarian and so it has motivated me once again to go with the Meatless Monday movement. I was able to do it for several consecutive Mondays last year during the summer, but just dropped it. Now with Huffington Post reporting that Sodexo, the world’s premier food services provider, rolling out Meatless Mondays as well, I think there is no excuse for me to strive for it again.

The protest coming to these Sandwich Isles next via 2011 HB77.

Despite my desire to eat healthy and go vegan for a day that does not mean I want my foie gras taken from me. The nice thing about work in lawmaking is you get to see all the bills that go through the legislative process. Some you like, some you don’t care about, and some you pray don’t pass. Like this one. Yes, HB77 aims to ban foie gras from these fair islands.

I think largely, like a lot of bills, there is good intent to curb or reduce a perceived problem. However, I think that a lot of time interested parties have a complete misconception of what is going on and thus it is a “throw the baby out with the bathwater” syndrome. As is with wagyu beef and cows, foie gras and ducks can be treated with all the same comfort and generally produces better foie gras.

This article from Serious Eats takes an in-depth look at a foie gras farm and highlights how the conditions are not the horror stories that people who would like to ban foie gras conjure up. I think the author makes a strong point ending with this conclusion:

If you are against the confinement, slaughter, and eating of all animals, then that’s a different argument to be had at a different time. But to single out foie as the worst of the worst is misguided at best, and downright manipulative at worst. Just as there are good eggs and bad eggs, good beef and bad beef, good chicken and bad chicken, so there is good foie and bad foie. We are especially lucky, because we happen to live in a country where all of the foie produced is good foie.

Quote taken from: The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical

I really think that this is the same case here is that it presents and easy target that a select group of people are incensed about and that is because they are letting their personal preferences cloud them from seeing the total picture. Anyway, that is just my two cents.


Restaurant and Cooking Tips from the Professionals

Sometimes its best to take advice from a chef.

Hey everyone, today I am posting advice from food professionals on little tricks that they use when cooking and on how to get the best deal at a restaurant.

So let’s get to it!

10 Food Tools and Tricks

The other night I was at a Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) party with some friends (a recap and pictures forthcoming). One of my friends was lamenting on how to cook something that seemed relatively simple, and my best friend (who cooks well, thus I raid his fridge often) offered some advice. My cooking challenged friend was surprised at the amount of knowledge my best friend knew and asked “how do you know all this stuff?” Well, it comes from watching television, reading books, and checking things out on the net.

For instance at the Huffington Post they have this simple slide show of little tricks people in the food industry use when cooking. I’ll do a quick run thru here and may be throw in a comment or two, but you should check out the slide show here.

  1. Using a Pedegg as a lemon or lime zester. All I can say is don’t use the one for you feet when you are making my drinks.
  2. Spice up your fries with some Old Bay Seasoning.
  3. Use mayo, in particular Hellmann’s Mayo. I’m not surprised by this tip, as mayo, like butter and bacon, makes almost everything better (well, except your arteries).
  4. Protect your cake with plastic food film, in fact, it may improve its texture.
  5. Coriander for sweet and savory dishes.
  6. Use a Vita Prep to make your sauces and vinaigrettes.
  7. Microplane, you don’t need to wish airplanes are shooting stars to save your meal with this versatile tool.
  8. Use cinnamon to add depth and flavor.
  9. Flat Spatula. Treat it like an extension of your hand, as it gives greater control in pans
  10. Use your pasta water. Don’t dump it out! It adds that starchy and salty goodness to sauces.

5 Tips How to Get Deals at Restaurants

Are you a small business owner? Have a budget to keep, but need to rope in those new clients?

Over at OPEN Forum, Jean Chatzky shares some advice on how to bring down that high price check at restaurants. While she is speaking from a small business owner trying to impress clients, but keep the costs down all the advice given from culinary professionals can be used even on a more casual/friendly basis. So here goes:

  1. Do breakfast. Luc Dimnet, the Executive Chef of Brasserie in NYC, says “A lot of restaurants that serve breakfast have good offers for business that include coffee, orange juice, and a great dish.  There’s also no risk that the guest will order an expensive bottle of wine[.]”
  2. Share. Richard Sandoval, chef and owner of more than a dozen restaurants recommends going small. Small plates are trendy right now and sharing keeps the tab down. This also allows you to try a wider range at a new restaurant without breaking the bank. I think this is a tip that Hawaii people have known for a while. Family style, the way to go!
  3. Plan ahead. David Burke, chef and owner of David Burke Restaurants, says “Arrange for a pre-set menu ahead of time, with wines included in the price.” While this may take some planning the personalized menu always looks fancy to others.
  4. Stay casual. Chef Kerry Simon of LA Market in LA says that restaurants nowadays have a high and low tier, with the lower being more casual in terms of cost and presentation. Moreover, clients probably would appreciate relaxed every now and then.
  5. Eat early. Try dining between 5 and 6pm suggests Chef David Myers, owner of Sona in Los Angeles and Comme Ça in LA and LV. During this time many restaurants have special drink and food deals.

For the full details on the aforementioned advice check it out at OPEN Forum. Oh yeah, if you are interested in business casual in downtown Honolulu read about it at the Honolulu Grub Club’s news round-up here.


Raiding one refrigerator at a time!

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