Oh November… I’m so excited you’re here. Though Hawaii locals don’t feel the seasons, I always know when the Holidays are nearing. It’s not the overcast skies or the sun setting sooner, it’s food. For some reason, once Halloween is over I feel like I start to consume more food… Maybe it’s just me?
I think it’s because we know the biggest food fare of all is upon us this month… yes, Thanksgiving.
In honor of November and the feasts to come, let me get your appetites going with my 2 favorite foodie sites…. WARNING: proceeding past this point will make you hungry. If you are on a diet, please close your window. Thank you.
I discovered Tastespotting.com in the Fall of 2007 while I was hungry 🙂 The site was stunning. Beautifully composed pictures of culinary treats that made me wish I could 1) cook something so delicious and 2) take such beautiful photos. This is one of those great accomplishments of the social media! It has brought together people from all over the world who love food and photography and given them a platform to display their works of art. The even better part is Tastespotting.com’s tagline… “A Community Driven Visual Potluck”. Snaps to you Tastespotting…. that was a good one.
Tastespotting is addicting… Thus, in June of 2008 when a note was put up on their site saying it would be shut down, the online foodie community died a little inside. People were shocked, others were extremely sad… I personally was going through withdrawals. Where were we going to get our fix?
A day later Foodgawker.com was born. Foodgawker is an almost exact replica of Tastespotting… delicious looking food photographed like supermodels (or as other bloggers have put it “Food Porn”). Our foodie lives were saved and the community returned to its contributions of foodie pics, and people like me visually feasted. Everything started to feel normal again, but then another surprise!! Tastespotting was resurrected a few weeks later! *sigh* Long story short, we now have two equally fabulous foodie sites allowing everyday people to share their beautiful food with fans of all culinary creations. Do I have a favorite? Not really. I don’t discriminate when it comes to food 🙂
So if you feel yourself having a case of the Mondays, don’t fret… stroll on over to Tastespotting or Foodgawker and take a visual bite. You’re bound to stumble across something that will lift your spirits and get you through the work week. Something like this…
Have a great week!
I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about Cupcakes that make people crazy happy. They’re such happy looking baked goods that are in the perfect portion for indulging without going overboard. What’s not to love?
Though cupcakes have been found at bakeries all over, there is one company that truly put baby cakes on the map. It began in Beverly Hills when Candace Nelson and her husband set out to make a shop specifically for cupcakes and cupcakes alone. Partner the cuteness of these little cups of joy with the high profile location of Beverly Hills, a slew of celebrities, and Oprah… Boom! goes the dynamite. Cupcake nation was born.
While Sprinkles took over the cupcake scene in the mainland, a similar husband and wife team was bringing the cupcake craze to Honolulu. Ana & Tushar Dubey opened Hokulani Bakeshop in 2005 and have been cranking out decadent morsels ever since. I’m sure you’ve heard about their infamous red velvet that has brought many island locals to their knees… or you’ve been one of those lucky people that have been taken a back by their amazing cream cheese frosting.
Well cupcake fans that work in Downtown Honolulu, indulgence is coming to your neighborhood. This week opens a new chapter for Hokulani Bakeshop as they open their second location at Pioneer Plaza (in the former San Francisco Salad Company space). I can hear all you downtown workers doing a little dance and getting all giddy. Don’t freak out… that’s natural…. it’s one of those cupcake side effects.
Be sure to see what their Grand Opening week at Pioneer Plaza has in store. I’m sure you’ll walk away with a smile on your face 🙂
Hokulani Bakeshop at Pioneer Plaza
p.s.- This isn’t the end of cupcake news in the downtown area… another cupcake shop is coming to your neck of the woods, but that post is for another day.
Now, before I start this section I want to let you readers in on a little something — I love food. Even more so, I put together the restaurant binder at Isle Concierge… so even more so: I love food.
Back to the story: Shokudo.
This Japanese – Style restaurant is located on Kapiolani Boulevard, right next to AlaMoana and right next door to Angelo Pietros (another restaurant that deserves a great review). From the moment that you step into the doors, one becomes amazed with the modern style Japanese decor and smell of mouth watering Japanese cuisine. We were quickly seated by friendly hosts and were soon tended to by welcoming waitresses.
Because my mom was very hungry, we chose to go with the “ordering everything that sounds good” road, and orderd basically all of the house favorites. These include:
- Dynamite Roll – A tray of in-side-out California Rolls, topped with Shokudo’s dynamite sauce, and lobster
- Karaage Chicken
- Shrimp Tempura
- Fried Flounder – one of the special dishes that night;)
- Garlic Shrimp with Rice (#37) – Garlic shrimp (no shell!), with rice, served in a sizzling hot stone bowl — mixed right in front of you upon request
Shokudo serves everything family-style, allowing you to take part in all the tastes that they have to offer (well, if your family members let you).
For dessert, we got Shokudo’s honey toast – a signature dessert (that you should highly delegate ordering if you ever get to go there!)
The food was brought out in a timely fashion, our glasses were never empty and we walked (or better yet — rolled) out of Shokudo; as a full and happy family.
If you ever have the opportunity, go and visit this wonderful restaurant — I give it a five star rating (because they even had clean bathrooms haha).