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Today we are dining at Big Island Pizza Napoletana above Costco in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We tried this place in a rush one evening and were so impressed that I came back to officially review the restaurant. The setting is a relaxed pizzeria. Not much for ambience but we are not here for ambience. We are here for amazing pizza.

Big Island Pizza

We start with Italian sodas. Leise orders vanilla. I order vanilla and peppermint. The service is friendly and casual. I feel no rush of anything. I am relaxed just sitting here watching the sports network on the television while I type and wait for my delicious hand tossed pizza.

Hand Tossed Pizza

We order the Roasted Eggplant pizza with marinara sauce, mozzarella, roasted eggplant, goat cheese, and caramelized onions. Just describing it to you is making my mouth water. I’m getting so excited. Last time we were here it was so good that I am hating the waiting.  Soon, Jim. Soon….

Menu

The diversity of the menu is quite fantastic: Spinach and Caramelized Onions; Smoked Salmon; Garlic and Sausage; Spinach Pesto; Prosciutto and Arugula; and many more. The prices are quite reasonable.

Roasted Eqqplant Pizza

The waiting is over. Oh no. Now I have to wait for it to cool. From first bite the mozzarella cheese is lite, flavorful, and dances on my tongue. Second bite: the eggplant melts with a burst of flavor while the undertones of the marinara sauce bring it all together and doesn’t overwhelm. The crust is thin but not too thin. It’s baked perfectly: not chewy, not too crispy.

It’s not until the middle of my third slice before I come up for air and my head is clear enough to continue typing. We both are grateful that we came back. The only pizza I have had that was better, on this island, is from the restaurant Pau in Kamuela. I think this is our new place to eat before hitting the movie theater. Good food and very filling. Save $$ versus the over priced crap at the theater. Oh yes!!

For ambience I give Big Island Pizza Napoletana 3 out of 5 surfboards. There’s nothing spectacular nor anything bad. Its a pizza place. For food quality I give 4 out of 5 surfboards. The only way to improve would be go organic. Serving up a slice of heaven 6 days a week, they are closed Sundays. The service was friendly and fast. I give it 4 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 4 surfboards.

Mahalo

James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

I love this pizza. Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

coral beach

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Sitting by the waters edge, watching people walk by wearing t-shirt memories of their present vacation I am moved and humbled. My wife doesn’t allow t-shirts with printing on them in our house. She says they are tacky. She is my fashion stylist and darn good at it.

I try to remember when was the last time I purchased a shirt like that. It has been probably 15-20 years ago. I think it was in Mexico on vacation. I think it was… yeah! It was in Cabo San Lucas at The Office. The Office is a restaurant/cantina right on the beach. It is one of the most relaxing places I have been in the world. If you have been there I know you remember it.  If you have not, I recommend visiting it. (I believe that part of Mexico is still safe). But that wasn’t a t-shirt. But it was a strong memory made stronger because of the button up short sleeve light weight shirt with their logo on the back which I purchased. What is their logo you ask? The Office’s logo is a light outline of the your first impression once you arrive at The Office. Worn across my back for many memories and many years was the bar and stools on the left, the restaurant tables and chairs on the right and the beautiful pristine sandy beach and gentle ocean stretching forth in the middle. It is a perfect balance of great drinks, great food, great beach/ocean/sailing, and vacation experience.

The t-shirt I just saw walk by was from one of the local deep sea fishing boat companies here in Kona, Hawaii. Just seeing the invaluable souvenir on the tourist’s back brought me back to that Cabo trip with a buddy where we went deep see fishing. My buddy was the only person on the boat who caught anything. He caught a beautiful Yellowtail. The crew cleaned it, filleted it and we took enough for the 2 of us for dinner that night. We couldn’t eat it all so we gave the rest to the crew. They will either eat it or sell it to the restaurants. We took our fillets into a restaurant and for $8 each they cooked it up, added rice and beans, and we had the most amazing fish dining experience I’ve ever had. There is nothing like fresh caught. Especially if you freshly caught it.

All these deeply detailed memories from one person wearing a souvenir they purchased for their own memory. So I say “thank you” to all of you who share your memories of your experiences and thus remind us of our own experiences and shared time with loved one. I am moved because of the power of souvenirs. I am humbled because I know live in the home of so many powerful souvenirs. If seeing someone else’s memories makes you jealous I encourage you to get off your backside, eliminate the excuses and go create some memorable experiences worthy of a souvenir. Smile baby smile.

From the beautiful Island of Hawaii is say mahalo and a hui ho.

James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

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a'bay sunset

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Kona’s newest best kept secret is KBS, Kona’s Best Snacks. It is so secret that you have to search for it… out of town… at the airport (KOA). You will find KBS across the street from the Departure Gate for Hawaiian Airlines. As you are arriving after a minimum 6-14 hour flight and you need your immediate Hawaiian style food KBS is “da bomb.” KBS is owned and operated by a local Hawaiian Rose Lyau who chose to offer a taste of Hawaii with some upscale options. As airports throughout the world try to improve the airport experience, KBS is a great choice.

Leise and I shared the fish of the day, which is always whatever was caught fresh that morning. They usually sell out of the fish before noon, so make sure to get there early. Today the special was the Pan Seared Fresh Caught Ono plate and Leise ordered an Iced Cafe Latte to drink. The flavor of the Ono is ono (delicious). Ono is a local Hawaiian white fish which when prepared properly is quite tasty. It is light and delicious and melts in your mouth. Pan seared without being over cooked. Topping the Ono is dill and lemon aioli sauce which was a wonderful compliment.

The fish is served on a bed of sautéed kale, onions, and tomatoes. Excellent flavor and sautéed to perfection. I only love kale in a glass of fresh juice or sautéed to perfection otherwise it’s hard and cuts my throat as I swallow. This is perfect. The slice of lemon on top rounds out the flavors and brings it all together. I enjoyed the 2 scoops of sticky white rice which I topped with Sarachi Chinese chili sauce. It was amazing.

The Iced Cafe Latte is fantastic. Smooth and sweet in a caramel way. As we left we each ordered lemonade served in a 1 quart mason jar. Eh brah, dat’s alot. I had it with li hing mui (chinese plum sauce) which tastes like an Arnold Palmer. Leise had the strawberry lemonade. Both were surprisingly refreshing and we each finished them quickly.

The food is great and the amazing ambience of the light breezes and perfect temperature of an outside cafe is shear heaven while waiting for your plane to depart. Every other closed up air conditioned airport restaurant will leave you wishing you were here.   For ambience I give Kona’s Best Snacks 4 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 5 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 5 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 5 surfboards.

When the time comes to depart our little Hawaiian paradise and your heart is yearning for the next time you will be back to Hawaii you can stop in at the Kona’s Best Secret and have an amazing lemonade on a hot summer or winter day.

 

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I love the Japanese. We are sitting outside Cafe Kona De Pele coffee cafe. As I relax looking out to the water of Kona Bay peacefully moving up and down, with the light dancing on the mirrored surface, I listen to conversations of other patrons. A group of Japanese women behind us are uncharacteristically laughing and smiling as they compare photos from their Hawaii vacation.

As far back as I can remember I have had a fascination with most things Japanese. Their written language is amazing. It is ideograms which are symbols representing an idea. The idea can mean many different things and thus the written word, like Shakespeare, can communicate many different things on many different levels depending on the interpretation. I have only learned a little spoken Japanese, but I pick up on a few words they are saying, “Kore wa…” and “Oishi.” The first translates to “This is…” the second translates to “Delicious.”

I love hearing the Japanese laugh so openly because most of the time they tend to be more reserved and quiet. As they collect themselves at the end of their meal and depart they have returned to their cultural norm of reserved and quite.

Maybe if we were in Japan I would see more emotion on a daily basis and their outwards expressions of joy and happiness would seem more normal. I believe there is something about vacations, especially vacations in Hawaii, which allows you to relax and be at peace and release your tensions. This of course allows your more joyous emotions to easily percolate up. This is part of what I call “The Hawaii Effect.” Relax, release, and let go. Be Happy.

So next time you are feeling stressed make a cup of your favorite Hawai’i coffee, play your favorite Hawaiian music on Pandora, smell your favorite plumeria lotion and relax to your own little de-stress break. Oh yeah, and laugh.

From the Beautiful Island of Hawaii,

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Kalopa Nature Trail

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