Each year I reflect back on the meals I’ve had and the hundreds of photos I’ve taken. As I reflect on the year’s meals I also begin to compile a listing of the best bites. 2017 was my first full year back in Hawaii and I’m very pleased that half of my list came from local restaurants. For this list the rules are simple: 1. The list cannot include dishes I’ve had from a particular restaurant/chef in previous years (otherwise a certain caviar brioche dish would most certainly be on here), and 2. While these are my 10 favorite from this year, they are listed in no particular order or rank.
Many that know me are familiar with one of my interests: Churning. For those who are unfamiliar, “churning” refers to maximizing one’s normal spend to obtain reward points and miles. These points come predominately from credit card sign up bonuses. By maximizing these bonuses I have been able to accumulate a nice stash of points across various programs which I then use to book travel. For our first trip earned through “churning”, we visited the Kansai region of Japan! Thanks to churning we were able to enjoy over $16,000 in air fare and hotel accommodations for a little over $700 in taxes and fees.
Often referred to as the 9th island of Hawaii, Las Vegas is a hugely popular destination for Hawaii residents to visit. I used to love going to Las Vegas, so much so that between my 21st and 22nd birthday I traveled there five times! Unlike many of my friends I didn’t go to Vegas for the clubs and nightlife; I went for the casino. I enjoyed playing at the tables. Blackjack and craps were my staples. I was fortunate to be somewhat lucky and to this day remain “up” despite many hours spent at the tables. While I don’t visit Vegas very much these days, it’s still a fun place to go and, of course, is a great city for food. So for this past 4th of July my family and I visited the strip once more.
I might be a broken record by now but I can’t but express how much the Honolulu dining scene has grown over the past few years. New and exciting restaurants, exploring new avenues of cuisine, seem to be opening at a rapid pace! Newest on the scene is the long awaited Pai Honolulu, which will grand open tonight.
This past Saturday the Rotary Club of Kahala Sunrise (ROCKS) put on our first annual murder mystery dinner fundraiser at the Manoa Grand Ballroom. This was our club’s major fundraising event this year to raise monies to support our various community service projects. Over 100 attendees came “dressed to impress” for a night of fun, food, and mystery!
For those in the know, Frolic’s “Super Secret Supper Club” series was initially started by my friend and fellow food writer, Grant “Chuggy Bear” Shindo. The events start off as invitation only, with any leftover seats made available to the public through Frolic’s website. Grant and Frolic hope to host one or two of these events a month, which will make for a fun series of dining throughout the year. These dinners are designed to give the opportunity for local dining enthusiasts to experience unique menus at some of the hottest restaurants in town. Tonight’s dinner was hosted at MW Restaurant, one of Honolulu’s top fine dining restaurants.