While most people visit Hawaii for a dose of sun and surf, I came for Spam and malasadas instead. Following our “light” breakfast of musubi and onigiri at Iyasume, The Astronomer and I strolled over to local legend Leonard’s Bakery for fresh Portuguese doughnuts served hot from the fryer.
According to the bakery’s website, Leonard Rego, the grandson of Portuguese immigrants who came to Hawaii under contract to work in the sugar cane fields, opened his eponymous bakery in 1952. At the suggestion of his mother, he began making malasadas in 1953 in honor of Shrove Tuesday (a.k.a. Fat Tuesday). They’ve been a hit ever since.
Leonard’s malasadas are served both plain and filled. Over the course of two visits to the bakery, The Astronomer and I sampled a few varieties of each kind. The original malasada ($1), the shop’s bestseller, was light, yeasty, and dusted with super-fine sugar.
Continue reading ‘Leonard’s Bakery – Honolulu (Kapahulu)’
I never got around to writing about the trip to Oahu that The Astronomer and I took last April because “morning” sickness hit hard soon after we came home, putting me out of blogging commission for quite a while. But now that Baby June’s out and about (yay!), and all is right with my appetite (double yay!), it’s finally time to revisit the ono grindz that made our stay a fabulous one.
The eatery with the honor of being visited the most was Musubi Cafe Iyasume, a shoe-box sized spot serving musubi and onigiri that is adored by locals and visitors alike. The J Gold peeped this place in Food & Wine, and as luck would have it, it was located a stone’s throw from our Waikiki abode. Win!
The Astronomer and I visited Iyasume on our first morning in town for a relatively light breakfast of two musubi and two onigiri.
The bacon, egg, and Spam musubi ($2.48) was as tasty as hoped, with the bacon and Spam providing a double savory punch while the egg and rice balanced out the whoosh of saltiness.
Continue reading ‘Musubi Cafe Iyasume – Honolulu (Waikiki)’
It’s high time we commence alfresco dining now that spring has sprung and summer is around the corner. These warmer months were made for breaking bread with friends and family under sunny skies and shady trees. While the burgers are grilling or the ribs are smoking, I highly recommend serving a big ‘ol bowl of Furikake Kettle Corn. It’s an addictive nibble that never fails to delight.
This recipe comes from Chef Roy Choi of Los Angeles’ A-Frame restaurant. I couldn’t keep my hands away from the bowl the first time I tried this Hawaiian-style popcorn. Every fistful of buttery kernels brought a hit of sweetness from Corn Pops, sourness from dried pineapples, savoriness from bacon, spiciness from cayenne pepper and chili flakes, and a whole lot of umami-ness from furikake. This unlikely combination of big, bold flavors had me hooked at first bite.
Making Furikake Kettle Corn requires very little preparation, especially if you’re using bagged kettle corn like this recipe suggests. The bacon needs to be fried and chopped, chives minced, and butter clarified. After that’s good and done, everything comes together in a snap. Serve the popcorn in a bowl, or better yet, channel the aloha spirit and spill it onto the table just like they do at A-Frame.
- 4 cups kettle corn
- 2/3 cup of Corn Pops
- 2 ounces clarified butter
- 2 tablespoon furikake
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoon dried pineapple
- 2 tablespoon chopped bacon, cooked
- 2 teaspoon chives or Shiso, minced
Chop and fry bacon, mince chives, and clarify butter. Note: My dried pineapple came dusted in cayenne pepper, hence its darker appearance, so I skipped the “pinch of cayenne pepper.”
My “Qwik and EZ” method for clarifying butter entails microwaving the butter in a small bowl for 20 second at a time until it’s completely melted. Let the butter cool for a minute or two at room temperature and then skim off the white foam with a spoon. The resulting clarified butter isn’t perfect, but it’ll do just fine for this recipe.
Finely chop the bacon and dried pineapple together using a food processor.
Continue reading ‘Furikake Kettle Corn’
I found myself on the west side of town last Monday night following a photo shoot at Sotto. Rather than hop in my car and make the long drive home at the tail end of rush hour, I convinced my friends and fellow Eastsiders, Nastassia and Diep, to meet me for a bite to eat. Our destination this evening was A-Frame, stop number two on the Roy Choi Express. Choo choo.
While Chego dishes up “refrigerator food” in a fast-casual setting, A-Frame is a full-service “modern picnic” channeling the aloha spirit.
Chefs Jude, Chris, and Fernando on the beats. Beth on the sweets. Picnic! – @RidingShotgunLA
There’s usually a long wait due to the restaurant’s firm no reservation policy, but the crowds were mellow tonight, so our party of three was seated immediately.
Carrying on the picnic theme were communal tables, do-it-yourself silverware, and perfectly sensible enamelware. Diep loved these little touches, which made the place feel cozy and comfortable.
Continue reading ‘A-Frame – Los Angeles (Culver City)’