Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hank's hosts 'Man vs. Food' weekend

Photos courtesy Hank's Haute Dogs
Hank puts his Seoul Dog, encased in french fries cemented with batter, to the test before it's ready for its closeup.

After taking on Laie's Hukilau Cafe Hukilau Burger, Helena's Hawaiian Food's pipikaula short ribs and laulau, Mac 24-7's Mac Daddy Pancake Challenge in 2009, see how Adam Richman fares when he challenges his humongous appetite with another taste of the islands, on an episode of the Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food Nation," airing today.

One of his stops was at Hank's Haute Dogs, where he sampled some of Henry "Hank" Adaniya's latest creations.

"He ate quite of few off our regular menu," says Hank, who also concocted some "new wild creations for him to try."

"Man vs. Food" host and food daredevil Adam Richman gives Hank his approval.

He doesn't know which dogs will actually have screen time—I'm betting on the Seoul dog—but to mark the occasion, Hank's will be presenting a "Man vs. Food" Weekend beginning Dec. 2, with specials as follows:

Dec. 2: Lobster Fat Boy. A lobster dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried and served with garlic aioli, lettuce and tomato.
Dec. 3: Seoul Dog. From the streets of Korea. Fries are batter-glued to an all-beef dog planted on a stick, deep fried, then served with a kim chee mignonette!
Dec. 4: Tsunami Dog. This is what you get when you combine a foot-long hot dog, kalua pig, BBQ poi sauce, pineapple relish, pickle onion and cabbage.
Dec. 5: Truffled Italian beef combo. The iconic Chicago beef sandwich paired with housemade Italian sausage, then covered in the house truffled cheese sauce.

Hank's Haute Dogs is at 324 Coral St. Call 532-HANK (4265).

The tsunami dog.

Zippy's a finalist for national beef award

Zippy’s Restaurants is a finalist for the National Beef Backer Award, which will be presented at the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show, Feb. 1 through 4, in Nashville, Tenn.

The finalist status came with Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council's awarding Zippy’s the 2011 Beef Backer Award for the company's support of the beef industry.

The organizations cited Zippy’s as a leader in beef promotion for chain restaurants. Hawaii’s beef industry hopes that consumer and food service use of local ground beef will create enough purchasing volume to continue to keep local production viable.

For the competition, Zippy’s Research and Development Chef, Wayne Komamura, developed a recipe reminiscent of an old-fashioned, kama’aina style, homemade hamburger, using beef grass-fed, home-grown beef.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday open house at Whole Foods

Nadine Kam photos
Amidst the season's pumpkins and gourds, Natalie Aczon, center, introduces media to the joys of the Whole Foods Market holiday table.

Whole Foods Market hosted a preview of a few of its offerings for the holiday table on Nov. 9, in advance of a free public tasting taking place 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 18, for those in search of tasty new ideas, want to simplify their holiday food needs, or just want a nibble of their turkey before committing to bringing home their whole prepared bird on Thanksgiving Day.

Each department will be rolling out samples of favorite holiday edibles, including roast turkey, roast ham, cranberry chutney, and more.

Before starting the tour, Natalie Aczon, Whole Foods Market Kāhala's marketing supervisor, shared that the company does its best to be transparent in its standards and practices so that those interested in health and sustainability issues know just what they're getting.

They feature edibles from 250 local vendors, with more on the way, she said. The only fish they carry is farmed or live-caught within 100 miles of the islands, and meat purchased here is vegetarian fed, with no hormones or antibiotics.

Whole Foods shoppers line up for a taste of juicy, tender turkey, below, and cocktail shrimp.

If you're considering picking up a cooked turkey, choose from free-range birds, to kosher to organic, or smoked turkeys, at about $6.99 to $9.99 per pound. The market is also one of the only stores to carry made-to-order turduckens—a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, stuffed with a small de-boned chicken. Custom orders are being taken at 738-0820. Options can also be viewed at

Easier still, pick up dinner for six, at $99.99, which includes a 10 to 12 pound turkey, 48 ounces of stuffing, 24 ounces of gravy, 60 ounces of mashed potatoes and 16 ounces of cranberry sauce.

A la carte sides are available as well, from, cornbread stuffing to an autumn puree of butternut squash, carrots and yams, to fruit-juice sweetened pies.

Of course, the holidays don't end with Thanksgiving, and more free holiday tasting events will take place from 4 p.m. Sundays in December, on the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd.

The store is also inviting all its 4,000-plus Twitter followers to a holiday-themed wine tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 17. Those who can't make it can eavesdrop on the event by following #wfmkahalawine at

If you need a potluck side dish, Whole Foods has plenty of options.

There's organic eggnog.

The eggnog was conveniently placed next to Jeanne Toulon's tasting table for Koloa Premium Hawaiian Rum. The Kaua'i Spice Rum, with its spice cake, caramel and vanilla flavor, is perfect for the holidays.

The tour started with Big Island Garnet yams.

It's good to see kids learning to eat healthfully and craving purple sweet potatoes.

Various flavors of Ohelo's Mango Chutney were presented with ham, crackers and blue cheese. I loved the Hawaiian chili pepper flavor on ham.

Cranberry cheddar wasn't part of the "official" tour, but with samples available, I got sidetracked. It's amazing how a handful of berries flavored the whole cheese.

An edamame-feta dip was presented as a low-fat, low-cholesterol alternative to typical mayo-based dips. The recipe follows.

The day we visited was also the day Whole Foods started carrying Daniel Anthony's hand-pounded pa'iai.

Here's the dip recipe:

Edamame-feta dip
(From Eating Well magazine)
2 cups frozen shelled edamame
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add edamame and garlic; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until edamame is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Place the edamame, garlic, 1/4 cup of cooking liquid, feta, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Puree, scraping down the sides as needed, until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl or storage container.

Place plastic wrap directly on surface of dip and let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to allow flavors to blend. Thin with additional cooking liquid to desired consistency, if necessary. The dip will keep, covered, in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Serve at room temperature. Makes 1-1/3 cups.

Nutritional analysis per tablespoon: 31 calories, 2 grams fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrates.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

YuZu splashes into scene

Nadine Kam photos
Motoko "Moco" Kubota shows YuZu's lotus pizza.

YuZu Hawaii hosted its grand opening party Nov. 3 at its location on the ground floor of the Ala Moana Hotel. The casual bar concept described as "not your grandmother's Japanese cuisine" is the latest project of Isamu Kubota and Motoko "Moco" Kubota—following Kai Okonomiyaki, Kaiwa and Hale Macrobiotic—who continue to feed us in novel ways.

The couple still lean healthy, using veggie-based mayo, gluten-free tamari, housemade dashi and focusing on locally grown produce.

In spite of their having done this countless times before, the restaurant wasn't quite ready when guests arrived, only to be left standing outside while the room was being set up. Food and drink were also slow to materialize and when platters did arrive, there was so little food on them that a mere six people could clear a whole tray if they merely grabbed two skewers of yakitori chicken.

It got to a point where people stood around the table and swarmed the minute a plate landed. I called it a fish feeding frenzy and Yelper Thomas Obungen corrected that it was more like watching piranha!

One of the restaurant's pieces of food-related artwork.

I have to admit it was a bit scary, like being in the center of a mosh pit at times when I was just trying to take a photo, surrounded by an immediate circle of photographers, and outer circle of hungry people armed with chopsticks and forks. In those moments, I looked for a gap in the human wall to slip through, without risking grabbing a bite. It made no sense to try to grab a plate either, because by the time you got back, every scrap would be gone.

What I did sample was simple fare of french fries with yuzu aioli, garlic and regular soy beans, and tender yakitori that also paired well with the aioli. There was also a lotus-cheese pizza which could also be doused with Yuzu-It!, a bottled yuzu-pepper sauce.

One big selling point is that most of the menu items are priced at less than $10.

After I left, others who were there tweeted me about the udon I missed. Three kinds—(hoso, thin round), (gokufuto, wide flat) and (futo, thick round), will be prepared fresh daily and cut to order. I look forward to trying it without battling a crowd.

YuZu is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and dinner service from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m., with full bar service, and parking is free at Ala Moana Hotel, or just walk over from Ala Moana Center after one of your holiday shopping tours.

Organic french fries can be dressed with a housemade ketchup or yuzu aioli.

Garlicky soybeans.

Tender yakitori, umm-umm good! Get them teriyaki style, or spicy. Both are salty, made for the bar set.

Ball-shaped temari sushi are named after the temari balls crafted from kimono fabric. Featured here are hamachi with jalapeño and sake sushi.

Bon Ton Girls reunite at OCC

Nadine Kam photos
Luncheon host Dr. Thomas Sakoda, and the Bon Ton Girls, clockwise from top right, are Gladys Goka, Peggy Ono, Dorothy Nakama, Lillian Hatae and Jane Lyman.

The Bon Ton Girls continued their annual lunch tradition, meeting at Oahu Country Club Oct. 28. Their friendship dates to the 1930s and '40s, when they were all employed at downtown Honolulu's first grand department store, Bon Ton, or its sister store, Bon Marche, until the businesses closed after World War II.

More than simply employees, the women banded together as a social club, picnicking, dating and presenting fashion shows together, and it's great to see them together again. I somehow became an honorary member after writing a story about the stores' history and the Bon Ton Girls back in 2008.

Hosting the getogether was Dr. Thomas Sakoda, the son of the stores' longtime general manager Horace Sakoda.

The women still have healthy appetites. Here's a little of what was on the table:

Pan-roasted salmon over baby bok choi.

A curry trio served with basmati rice.

A clubhouse sandwich, or two.

Grilled turkey breast cobb sandwich.

Lobster sandwich. Not bad, but I'm still looking for Honolulu's definitive lobster sandwich/roll.

Strawberry Napoleon dessert.

Courtesy Gayle Ozawa
The group shot.