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 - James C. Christopher

Hawi, HI

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

omelet

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

Today we chose to eat breakfast at Lava Java on Ali’i Drive on Kona Bay in Kailua Kona on The Big Island of Hawai’i.

Lava Java view of Kona Bay

Leise and I ordered the same thing: Fresh Fish Benedict. As an alternative to ham she ordered it with smoked salmon and I ordered it with the catch of the day, Ono. Ono is a local white fish that is so delicious that it’s name translates to delicious. The meal comes with rustic potatoes which have just enough peppery spice to grab your attention.

Fresh Fish Benedict - Smoked Salmon

Fresh Fish Benedict – Smoked Salmon

The hollandaise sauce is creamier than I’m used to. You can taste the butter in it. It’s quite fantastic. The eggs are perfect. The Ono is as named, delicious. Instead of an English muffin they serve it all on a open faced croissant. It is a nice light change from the chewiness of the English muffins. Leise says the smoked salmon is wonderful.

Fresh Fish Benedict - Ono

Fresh Fish Benedict – Ono

With the musical talents of Honaka’a local Dennis Pascubillo playing guitar and singing in the background and relaxing lazy Kona Bay in front of us this place earns high marks for ambiance. With the great food you can rest assured we will be back. For ambience I give Lava Java 4 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 4 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 4 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a solid 4 surfboards.

Aloha,    James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

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Leise makes her selection

Hawaiian Sayings

I love day trips.

Peacefully, refreshingly sleeping in and relaxing this morning watching the latest episode of Arrow on Hulu was nice. Then I suddenly realized the time was around 10:00am. Still time left to get up the hill to our favorite coffee shop for a cuppa joe and divine pastries. I called to make sure they still had some. Yes, they did. Thank God!! “Honey, how fast can you be out the door?” We casually drove up the hill from our beautiful Kona villa up the hill to Holualoa to the Holuakoa Cafe. After pastries Leise ordered a chai and a blt. I ordered coffee, award winning Bhudda brand, and the soup du jour, White Bean Chicken Soup. As always, everything was amazing. We love this place and highly recommend it to everyone. Afterwards we are off to the beach. From the great state of Hawai’i on the Big Island.

James C. Christopher

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

Today we are at The Coffee Shack in Honaunau, on the island of Hawai’i. This place is a little restaurant on the side of the road at the top of a steep hill with an amazing view from 1500′ looking down to the ocean about a mile away.  Being situated on the side of a hill there is only about 8 parking spaces with another few about 35 yards further along the cliff side road, Mamalahoa Hwy.  The hype has been pretty big from friends for this restaurant. We will see….

View from The Coffee Shack

We walk in and the place is small, not much more than an expanded shack. The view is phenomenal. The elevation assures you that the temperature will be comfortable year round. The light trade winds sleepily caress your skin. It’s almost imperceptible… soothing… relaxing.

Leise orders the eggs benedict and large chai.  I order the 3 egg omelet with mixed veggies and cheese and a side of rice and coffee. Leise really enjoyed the eggs benedict. She said that the hollandaise sauce had very good flavor. The potatoes had the perfect crunch and soft texture. Everything needed a small amount of salt, but other than that she enjoyed it immensely. Leise, who loves chai, said that this was one of the best cups of chai she has ever had.

Eggs Benedict

The 3 egg omelet was tasty, but needed a little salt as well. As is the norm on this island rice is served with shoyu (soy sauce). This offered the perfect balance of salt flavor.

3 Egg Omelet with mixed veggies

The Coffee Shack can be a bit noisy. The road noise is not far away. Being a small establishment the kitchen noise can compete with the road noise. When you add the incessant rooster crowing and the occasional loud tourist it can be a bit overwhelming at times. Luckily the setting with the geckos running around and the soothing light breeze, good coffee and food makes for a very nice experience. The energy here is peaceful and makes you want to linger. No wonder there is usually a wait for parking.

View from The Coffee Shack

With the light breeze gently caressing your skin and the great food and drink we are truly enjoying this experience and will come back again. For ambience I give The Coffee Shack 3.5 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 3.5 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 4 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 3.5 surfboards.

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

Now That is a BIG Island Chai

whale watching

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

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marriott luau

Mahalo,      James C. Christopher

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A-BAY

Anaeho’omalu Bay at Sunset is the most photographed beach in Hawaii… Is located behind the Marriott Resort in Wakioloa Beach. It is absolutely beautiful!

~James C. Christopher

WAIKOLOA

This is a beautiful Coral Beach in Waikoloa Beach, Island of Hawaii… It is between the Hilton and Marriott hotels. I love watching the sunset from here.

~James C. Christopher

old MamaLahoa

Mahalo,   James C. Christopher

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HAPUNA

My favorite time at Hapuna Beach State Park is at sunset on the Island of Hawaii… So peaceful!

~James C. Christopher

My wife has brought me to a unique and interesting place for breakfast, Rumley Edible Art Cafe inside the Marriott Courtyard King Kamehameha Hotel. I say unique and interesting because the cafe part is almost hidden within an art, framing, and geclée printing shop.

Rumley Edible Art Cafe

I ordered the San Francisco crepe which is sliced banana and strawberries atop of a crepe with peanut butter, strawberry jelly, and ice cream all topped with whip cream and caramel drizzled on top. Yum!!!  I don’t see the ice cream and the jelly and peanut butter are light and subtle in flavor. None of this do I see as a problem. The meal is so enjoyable that I don’t see the need to be knocked over the head with the other flavors. It all washes down with a good cup of local coffee. I call it a nice balance.

San Francisco crepe

Leise ordered the design your own Açai bowl. She ordered it with granola with honey, sliced banana and strawberries, blueberries and shaved coconut. It is very refreshing and I know we will be here this next summer for sure.Açai bowl

This little one woman operation is great. I feel the entrepreneurial spirit thriving here and I love it. The great food and good coffee we are enjoying this experience and will come back again. Don’t let the rating fool you. We will be back. For ambience I give Rumley Edible Art Cafe 4 out of 5 surfboards. It quite charming for a crepe shop. It’s small with very few seats but there are beautiful pieces of art work to look at and cool things to tantalize the visual senses. For food quality I give 4 out of 5 surfboards. For the warm friendly service I give 4 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 4 surfboards.

Rumley Edible Art Cafe

Aloha,    James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

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Jim writes his review

high surf

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

HORSES

It is so similar to Wyoming at 3000 feet elevation in Kamuela, Island of Hawaii…

~James C. Christopher

When it comes to best views, Sam Choy’s has it. Above Keauhou Shopping Center with a view from Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area to the north stretching 17 miles to  the south the view is unparalleled in all Kona.  The ambience is open-air, our favorite. With the bar being a center point of the restaurant the place is a bit noisy with tv sounds of football in the background. Leise is not a fan of the noise. I enjoy it. As we settle in I relax to the flavors of a good Bloody Mary.

Award winning panoramic view from Sam Choy's  Restaurant

Award winning panoramic view from Sam Choy’s Restaurant

We decide to keep it lite tonight and stick with pupus (appetizers). We order the “famous” fried poke, the “famous” baby back ribs with coconut char siu glaze, fried calamari, and big island pineapple salsa and tortilla chips. I start with the chips… they look like taro chips and pineapple salsa. The first chips are tired and stale. The chips after that get a little crisper.  The salsa is good.  How do you hawaiianize anything?… Add pineapple. The poke is fantastic!! The calamari is a little soggy. The dipping sauce for the calamari is like a thousand island dressing which has been doctored up a little, but not enough to bring me back or have me order it again. The baby back ribs have good flavor and they come off the bone well, but they don’t fall off the bone and they are not very juicy. The Bloody Mary, the poke, and the view are the highlights of our evening.  Leise also ordered a strawberry coconut frozen drink. It is wonderful.

Sam Choy's "famous" fried poke

Sam Choy’s “famous” fried poke

Sam Choy's "famous" baby back ribs with coconut char siu glaze

Sam Choy’s “famous” baby back ribs with coconut char siu glaze

Sam Choy's fried calamari

Sam Choy’s fried calamari

Sam Choy's big island pineapple salsa and tortilla chips

Sam Choy’s big island pineapple salsa and tortilla chips

 

 

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As we listen to the rare sound of thunder we wonder if we have time to finish eating before its time to put the top up on our convertible car. Heh heh. With the great view, light breeze gently caressing your skin, and the pretty good food and we will probably come back and try different food selection. For ambience I give Sam Choy’s 3.5 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 3 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 3 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 3 surfboards.

Aloha,    James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

 

Award winning view from Sam Choy's  Restaurant 1

Award winning view from Sam Choy’s Restaurant 1

RED SUNSET

I stopped for this beautiful Red Sunset on the High Road Highway driving down the mountain to Waikoloa Village on Island of Hawaii…

~James C. Christopher

It’s a busy Friday night and we are at Splashers Grill in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. Set across the street from Kona Bay and Kona Pier the feel of the place is great. It is open air. It is noisy, but in a fun busy way. The restaurant is upstairs with no windows so you feel the Kona breezes which are relaxing and soothing. While waiting a short 10 minutes we opened with a virgin piña colada and strawberry daiquiri which were tasty.

We start with Crab Cakes appetizers. They are made in-house and served with a roasted bell pepper sauce. The crab cakes are not gourmet. The individual flavors are not distinct and kinda muddle together.  They do have good flavor though. The roasted bell pepper sauce tastes very fresh. I am loving it. Leise says there okay.

Crab Cakes

For the main course I order the Catch of the Day, Machong grilled. I love Machong. I’m so excited. For side dishes I ordered the fire roasted corn and the clam chowder. Leise ordered the New York Strip with the corn and mashed potatoes. She says the steak is really good. The clam chowder is very creamy. They used a lot of flour as a thickener and it tastes and has the consistency more of a gravy than a soup. It would be great for biscuits and gravy. The flavor is good but not amazing. I wouldn’t order the chowder again. (I didn’t finish it). The fish is wonderful. The corn with roasted peppers is delightful. Just enough spice to make it pop and it tastes quite fresh. The mashed potatoes have great flavor and consistency. Interestingly, the cheese on top didn’t melt. I don’t know if they used a low quality cheese or the dish was cooling when the cheese was tossed on top.

The steak is divine!!!! The steak is grilled to perfection, juicy, full of flavor. It is a nice thick cut. To say anything more would detract from the wonderful experience.

New York Strip Steak

The grilled Machong is fantastic. There is a sauce which came with the fish that tastes like 1000 island dressing. It will never touch this fish. The dish also came with lemon wedges. The fish is so good on it’s own that it would be an offense to the gods to use such training wheels. It is impressive to me that the fish was prepared so wonderfully that I became lost in the flavor and almost forgot to mention how well it was prepared. If I were to be critical I would say it was a touch dry. Whereas driving an hour north to Waikoloa Beach we could have Machong at Roy’s where the flavors would dance on your tongue and it would be twice as good, but it would also be twice the price.

Machong Catch of the Day

We are both full. Leise even has about 1/3 left over but we did not want to disappoint you by skipping dessert. So we ordered the Harvest Carmel Apple Cake. With fresh pieces of apples, cinnamon, and spices baked into a cake and topped with cream cheese frosting, caramel, and toasted pecan pralines it is pretty good.

Harvest Carmel Apple Cake

The outdoor atmosphere here is so very relaxing and the food is good quality and thus we will be back again. For ambience I give Splashers Grill 3.5 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 3.5 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 3.5 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 3.5 surfboards.

Aloha,    James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

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WAIMEA

I caught this beautiful moment driving down from Waimea to Kawaihae on the Island of Hawaii…

James C. Christopher

We are at Evolution Bakery & Cafe today in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. This is a sister cafe to Uptown Bakery & Cafe in Kelekakua and Uptown Downtown Bakery & Cafe in Kona behind Hilo Hattie’s off Palani Road. Both of the other cafes we dearly love.

I started with a couple juice drinks. First is the Third Eye Opening: organic carrots, apple, and ginger juice. It is wonderful. Second is the Mermaid Magic: organic local kale, local cucumber, celery, apple, melon & local Hawaiian spirulina. I drank almost all of the Third Eye in one continuous drink. It’s very refreshing. I took a large draught of the Mermaid Magic. The 2 minutes latter my entire consciousness opened up. I found myself staring out through the buildings to the ocean. Just staring and my mind opened into realms not ventured before. As I take another large draught of Magic I feel my essence relax as I contemplate my Athena wrap. I think I shall try it. It taste like a fresh Greek salad in a tasty gluten free wrap. It’s quite interesting.

Leise ordered the gluten free pancakes with mixed berries which comes with 100% pure maple syrup. Her’s was quite tasty. She said their food is good but not inspired and sour cream or whipped cream would help. What I mean is, when my wife cooks she understands all the layers of flavors and textures that it takes for a meal to dance on your tongue. She also understands how important the visual experience needs to be. I am not saying their food isn’t good, it’s just not extraordinary.

Athena Wrap

This is the way the Athena Wrap arrived at the table

I ordered the Athena wrap: non dairy cream cheese, local non-GMO tomatoes, organic spinach, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, red onion & daiya on a gluten free wrap. Mine looks great. The onions and the Kalamata olives were the best part of the wrap. The flavors are good, but it is lacking that wow factor. It tastes like a very fresh and healthy Greek salad in a healthy but not flavorful tortilla.

Athena Wrap displayed properly

This is after my wife spent 2 seconds cutting it with a plastic knife and plating it properly. They just need to spend a little time on presentation.

The outdoor seating is nice but limited. The noisy motel style air conditioner is annoying thus detracting from the experience. The food is good. The juice drinks are very fresh. Knowing how much more we enjoyed the sister cafes I doubt we will come back to this location other than as a matter of convenience. For ambience I give Evolution Bakery & Cafe 2.5 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 3.5 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 3 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 3 out of 5 surfboards.

Mahalo

James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

pancakes

Blue on Blue… Really? If you own a restaurant and haven’t gone to culinary school and learned plate presentation then a least read a book about how to do it.

My wife Leise

I was doing some reflecting back to a past New Years…

1/1/10 You may notice the date I put is not the date I am posting. I do this because my new life started 1 January, 2010. I recognize this because of where I was at midnight 1/1/10. I was in the arms of the one I love, My amazing wife. I was in Las Vegas for New Years Eve. I have talked for years about traveling and doing and seeing things I feel are worthy of writing books about. So that year we flew to Las Vegas and rented a place for the winter. I tell you, if you like crowds and frivolity Las Vegas is always great. But for New Years it is fantastic. The crowds were smaller than I expected, I think in part because of the prevailing belief there is something wrong with the economy. I am still feeling the contact high from all the pot that was being smoked by various people throughout the crowds. The evening was cold and beautiful. We headed to The Strip at 11:10pm. Although it took some time getting in, we parked at Planet Hollywood and just told the security we were planning on doing some gambling, shopping, and meeting some friends. We arrived on The Strip at 11:40pm. We moseyed on up to the Paris and found a wonderful place up against the barricades in front of the Eiffel Tower. I love the crowds. All that energy and potential energy. Neither my wife nor I drink anymore, so we don’t always appreciate the drunks. But it was a lively crowd all celebrating the possibilities: Leaving the past year’s turmoil in the past; Moving forward to a new life filled with new beginnings. I always love New Years because of this hope that people have. Anything can happen. Expectations are high.

At the stroke of midnight fireworks were shot off simultaneously above The Palazzo, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, and the the City Center Project. WOW!!! It was, no pun intended, a blast. The fireworks display was great. There were plenty of hugs and kisses to go around for all. Love was in the air, hope was restored, and we can finally start the life we were meant to have. From that day forward I have taken huge steps forward to fulfill my dreams.

For me, moving on from that night, I remember my feelings and emotions. I allow them to drive deep into my very essence. I place them in a position to affect my daily routines. I allow this desire, no, this expectation of better times to fill me and drive my daily actions. George Bernard Shaw wrote, “As long as I can conceive something better than myself I cannot be easy unless I am striving to bring it into existence or clearing the way for it.” This is the essence of my life. This is the essence of this blog. I invite you all to share in my journey and create and develop your own life worth living.

aloha,  James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

MAUNA KEA

It is so beautiful to see the black lava fields next to the high elevation green hills, Island of Hawaii.

James C. Christopher

Santa Boo

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,

Everyone was lazy, lazy as a mouse (gorged on cheese).

The ghost of the Boo rustled in his tent,

Presents bought, money spent.

With I in my flannel and ma in her nightie

We wait until midnight

To see the man some call Whitey

I never said I was a poet. I just felt the muse come upon me and I had to share. Oh yeah, I also never said I was a good poet. How are all you today?  I am excited. This last week before Christmas is always an exciting time. You can feel the energy in the air. The energy of anticipation. Anticipation of Mr. Claus coming to visit all our houses. The anticipation of the one night out of the year where it is a socially accepted norm to have someone break into your house in the middle of the night. The difference is, this time that someone breaking in has a benevolent heart and is leaving presents for you.

This time of year is a time of giving. This is a time where we take our minds off of ourselves and focus on others in need. I believe firmly in giving to others. It is this caring which allows each of us to relax a little, let down some of our walls, and feel the love of a complete stranger. This opening of one’s heart and connection with our fellow man shows the path to them. We become the example of how life can be. Among other things, I believe the story of Christ and the teachings of the new testament are beautiful metaphors for how to live a fulfilled life. I remember being taught, “Be the lighthouse.”

As we first love others we are the lighthouse. We are the shining example of light in a sea of darkness and despair. We are all looking for connection with others. It is the way we are hardwired. So when you are feeling grateful for the family you have, think about taking the family on a family event. Find a local charity of your choice and make your next family get together one of giving and sharing.

James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

Dedicated to our wonderful dog “Prince Charming” who passed away two Christmases ago…

Today I am flying solo. Leise is off doing her stuff and I have a couple hours free time and I am hungry. We have avoided El Maguey in the past because we drove by and just judged at the place from the outside. Once again in Hawaii I am learning to not judge a book by it’s cover. I love Mexican food. Being born and raised in San Diego, California it is part of my soul. I recognize this as I walk in this restaurant and just past the counter and cash register you can see the small rectangular kitchen with a large table in the middle which 4 Mexican women are preparing food.  The only language I hear spoken is English. The walls are adorned with the caballero ropes and hats and colorful blankets and skirts which have come to symbolize Mexico. Releasing a sigh, I smile. I am home.

I order a Dos XX Lager and Chile Relleno a la carte. Chile Relleno is the quintessential mexican dish for me. If they get this wrong everything will be bad and i won’t go back. If they get it right, they have earned repeat business from me. I don’t want to get to full. I know Leise will want to eat when I pick her up. The waitress brings me chips and salsa. The salsa is caliente. Thank you God. The chips are hand made corn chips tasty, crisp, and fresh.

El Maguey Chile Relleno

Today I am flying solo. Leise is off doing her stuff and I have a couple hours free time and I am hungry. We have avoided El Maguey in the past because we drove by and just judged at the place from the outside. Once again in Hawaii I am learning to not judge a book by it’s cover. I love Mexican food. Being born and raised in San Diego, California it is part of my soul. I recognize this as I walk in this restaurant and just past the counter and cash register you can see the small rectangular kitchen with a large table in the middle which 4 Mexican women are preparing food.  The only language I hear spoken is English. The walls are adorned with the caballero ropes and hats and colorful blankets and skirts which have come to symbolize Mexico. Releasing a sigh, I smile. I am home.

I order a Dos XX Lager and Chile Relleno a la carte. Chile Relleno is the quintessential mexican dish for me. If they get this wrong everything will be bad and i won’t go back. If they get it right, they have earned repeat business from me. I don’t want to get to full. I know Leise will want to eat when I pick her up. The waitress brings me chips and salsa. The salsa is caliente. Thank you God. The chips are hand made corn chips tasty, crisp, and fresh.

Aloha,    James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/ThruJimsEyes

We have arrived on a Thursday just past 5:00pm. The location of Kamana Kitchen is right next to Daylight Mind Coffee Company, so it’s right next to the water. We are immediately seated. The place is empty. We have heard mixed reviews from friends, but it looks like they have a great menu. We are excited. Leise is very familiar with Indian food so she orders for us.  We decided to keep it light and food combine by going vegetarian. It was a good choice. Everything smells heavenly and everything tastes so very fresh.

We start with Vegetable Pakora: A mixture of shredded vegetables dipped in a special seasoned batter and fried. It is light flaky fried shredded vegetables served with two side sauces: a tamarin sauce and a cilantro, ginger dipping sauce with a little jalapeno which is fantastic. I am in awe. I am trying to remember when I have Indian food which tasted so fresh.

Vegetable Samosa

Our second appetizer is Vegetable Samosa: Two pieces of a delicious combination of potatoes, peas, herbs and spices wrapped in a crisp pastry. The potato inside is surprisingly fantastic with a perfect blend of hot spice. Not too thick or heavy. The flaky pastry wrap is crispy and still melts in your mouth. Any Indian meal would be remiss without a Mango Lassi. The mango lassi has a very strong cultured flavor. The taste and texture is, again, fantastic. Nice too thick a consistency, but smooth and easy to drink.

Indian Dinner

For the main course we ordered two dishes medium heat. Starting with Malai Kofta: Croquets made from soft homemade cottage cheese, potatoes and vegetables simmered in a delicious rich sauce infused with almonds. This single dish was worth the price of admission. Myriad flavors dance on my tongue with waves of flavor making me search for a proper description. This dish is mind blowing it is so good.

Malai Kofta

We also order Palak Paneer: A flavorful blend of spinach and cubes of delicate homemade cottage cheese. It has a light smooth flavor. Good, fresh and the spinach is not over powering, but not overly impressive. It’s just simply good. Leise loves it, but she loves the fried cheese. With the homemade sweet chili mango chutney the contrast is actually quite nice.

Palak Paneer

We complimented the main courses with Raita: Homemade natural yoghurt with grated cucumber and roasted cumin; and Mango Chuntey: Sweet and sour sauce made with raw mango.

Mango Chuntey

To round our the the meal we ordered Onion Kulcha: Enriched white flour bread layered with chopped onions and fresh coriander. For a truly great experience, use the bread as a utensil and with your thumb and first two fingers scoop up the food with the bread. The experience keeps it fresh with no metal utensils in your mouth.

Onion Kulcha

Leise just made it official, this is the best Indian food we have ever had. That is saying something knowing that she lived in New York for a while. Wow was that a great meal!

Portion were more than ample. We are full and only ate about half the food. We, of course, left a little room for dessert. We are letting dinner settle a bit. I find myself lovingly rubbing my belly in a clockwise circular motion with a smile of complete satisfaction. I never rub my belly in public… Again, I say wow.  The various spices are still dancing on my tongue. Wow! I finally look up and notice the waves from the ocean on the rocks just 30 feet away. I know it is an amazing meal when it can take my mind away from the ocean ambiance. Wow!

We finish with Pistachio ice-cream. It’s more of an ice milk made of ground up thin frozen milk and pistachios. Interesting. The flavor is good.

The only complaint I have is I felt like they were trying to move us along versus let us comfortably recline. The check was brought to us as we were packing up the take home food. I handed the check back to the gentleman as we ordered dessert and there was no push after that.

With the amazing food overshadowing the light breeze gently caressing our skin and  the waves on the rocks nearby, we are truly enjoying this experience and will come back again, very soon. For ambiance I give Kamana Kitchen 4 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 5 out of 5 surfboards. For food flavor I give 5 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 4.5 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 5 surfboards.

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

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Jim The Traveler Enjoys his meal

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

We have arrived at Roy’s Restaurant in Waikoloa Beach right before closing.  At the behest of the manager Brian we are back again. We stopped by last month for pupus but had to run. The pupus were really good and so we vowed to get back. We haven’t been avoiding the place because of the price, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Not being familiar with Roy’s menu and trusting Brian’s knowledge, I tell him to bring whatever he feels is best, “We are looking for dinner for two and keep it light.”  I do not want a heavy meal, the last thing in the day and then have drive home.

Big Island Beet Salad

The restaurant has an beautiful feel to it except for the noise level, the hard surfaces make it quite noisy. When you are outside the restaurant and the door opens, you can hear the noise loudly outside. We start with pupus (appetizers) of Big Island Beet Salad with candied garlic vinaigrette dressing, sprinkled with local pomegranate and roasted pumpkin seed, all on a light bed of greens…  It is wonderful.  The diversity of flavors and the light complexities dance like starburst fairies in the back of my mind.  On the side they bring a bowl of edamame which has a perfectly balanced Szechwan spice, light yet lingering. These are complimented by the fresh passion fruit juice to drink. This is a very nice start.  They have set the tone and our expectations are high. I hope they don’t disappoint.

For the entree we are brought the Jade Pesto Steamed Kona Kampachi and the Lemongrass Crusted Hawaiian Manchong.  Both are local fish dishes.  Starting with the kampachi the flavor of the fish is fantastic and with great texture that melts in my mouth. The bok choy is lightly steamed to perfection in a sesame sauce lending the right amount of flavor to the dish. I love bok choy. Topped with thinly sliced light Chinese noodles and lomi lomi tomatoes and a pesto sauce which uses no basil or pine nuts. It’s actually a cilantro scallion pesto. Instead of using salt, being Asian, Roy uses an oyster sauce.  Wow, it is delicious.

Jade Pesto Steamed Kona Kampachi

The Monchong is equally amazing.  First flavors response is more hot spices, I love it. Other than the first 3 bites at one end of the fish which were a little dry, the fish is baked to perfection. The appearance is beautiful. The balance of flavors is fantastic. The peanut sauce sneaks up on you and is tempered by the snow peas and balanced with coconut sauce. With about 25 different ingredients the mix of flavors is amazing. The perfectly cooked noodles on top are also light which contrasts the power of the spicy peanut sauce which has grown in strength and impact. I find myself slowing down my eating to savor each bite and all the flavors dancing in my mouth. I find myself pausing to truly analyze the depth and dance of the subtle flavors as one yields and fades in favor of the next. I just noticed that the snow peas have the same Szechuan spice as the edamame. Wow. I was not expecting that. I find myself at a loss for proper description because of the complexity of flavors which intermix in a symphony of magnificent flavors.

Lemongrass Crusted Hawaiian Manchong

Leise just commented that she can’t believe we ordered dessert also. I now understand why I often see people waddling out of here. Roy’s has very smart management. The waitstaff brings you the dessert menu before you receive your main course. They inform you that certain desserts, including their signature, will take 25-30 minutes to prepare.  Thus you check your watch and realize it is better to order sooner than later so you don’t end up waiting around for your dessert.  This is a very good tactic. We probably would have not ordered dessert, because of how full we were by the end of the entree. That would have been a mistake.

As we square off with the dessert I find myself praying over my food in gratitude. I don’t think I have ever done that in the middle of the meal. Wow.

Big Island Coffee Cake is amazing!!!!  With pineapple and maple bacon. They take the maple bacon fat and put it into the batter and then fold some strips into the batter before baking it. I just tasted the bacon flavor. It’s nice and subtly bold. The Coffee Cake is served with light Lemon Creme Fresh. The lemon compliments and balances the pineapple nicely. The pineapple flavor isn’t just when you bite the pineapple pieces. It is a theme throughout the coffee cake.

Big Island Coffee CakeLeise ordered the Creme Brûlée.  It’s a vanilla creme brûlée, again baked to perfection, topped with fresh pineapple, blueberries, and Waimea strawberries.  It is very smooth and creamy.  Seldom, if ever, will I back away from a good dessert. I did marry a pastry chef for a reason. I actually just pushed away the coffee cake with two bites left.

Creme Brûlée

Roy’s was such a great choice. Brian’s meal choices for us, which he notes are their best dishes, was perfect. With fresh fish deliveries are 6 days a week so the food is very fresh. The entire meal was punctuated by the boldness of subtleties. Sadly for Roy’s, Brian is changing employment. He starts at Three Fat Pigs, Ippy Aiona’s restaurant at the other end of the Kings’ Shops in a few days.

With the amazing food and drink we truly enjoyed this experience and will come back again. For ambiance I give Roy’s 4 out of 5 surfboards, because it is so noisy with all the hard surfaces. 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. This is one of the best meals we have ever had.

Aloha,    James C. Christopher

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Mauna Lani Panoramic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1go9KKs7Dm8&feature=youtu.be

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

Wild Thanksgiving Turkeys

This is a most special time of year. There’s a chill in the air. The scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and peppermint waft passed us as we walk through the shops. There is a warmth and friendliness that says Thanksgiving. The anticipation of hot turkey with gravy, cranberries, stuffing and all the trimmings is almost unbearable.

Would you believe that Hawaii has wild turkeys running around all over the place? You see them in the neighborhoods, hiking up in the hills and just walking down the road. I have no idea if you are allowed to hunt them and this is not what I mean by “Preparing for Thanksgiving.”  That is WAY to much Preparing work for me!!!!  I like buying an organic turkey at the market all PREPARED for me.  As in, no removing feathers or killing required.

As you may recall I am not a fan of watching sports. I would rather go out and play the sport. But there are three days out of the year where I will make an exception. These days are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.  These are days to relax in front of the big screen t.v. peacefully reclined in a food coma.

Each holiday is special in it’s own unique rite.  Thanksgiving is always the obligatory turkey/triptophan food coma (uuuuuuhhhhhhh) while watching parades. Christmas will vary with the family.  Some years we eat at home. If we are at home our family is usually eating all day. Other years we serve the homeless people while working the food lines at the local place of worship.   Still others we have eaten out so everyone gets a break.  New Year’s is whatever my wife feels like doing.  Since we do not follow sports we can’t tell you which games are on or when. If I recall correctly, from my youth when my dad would watch sports, Thanksgiving is traditionally college bowl football games.  New Years I think there are college football games as well.  Christmas, I have no idea.  Like I said we really don’t follow that stuff.  There is too much of my life to live. This is a feature my wife loves about me. The fact that I don’t follow sports.

The day after Thanksgiving every crazy shopper will be out first thing in the morning to get the best deals. Now that is something I have little interest in, but I do love a good crowd. A bunch of crazy hens fighting over the last pair of shoes, cabbage patch doll, or Dr. Zeus’ flying crib (I made up that last one) really is entertaining, but alas I would rather be home in front of the fireplace enjoying the day.  On the other hand, come New Year’s eve, I will definitely be out celebrating the passing of the old and welcoming in the new year. Then, I shall sleep until 11am, get up, watch football, and snack until bed. There are certain rituals that I do enjoy. Rituals around food are big in my book of life.

Oops.  I was just informed by my wife that she is thinking about having people over to our place for New Year’s Eve and we can watch the fireworks from our lanai.  That will be nice (although I am still thinking about how much I enjoy the energy of a BIG crowd.  We will see).

So, as you are sitting down and watching sports, eating, sharing the day with family, or whatever your rituals are, remember if you eat a little too much it’s okay. Don’t diet. Simply eat a little more servings of fruits and vegetables each day for the rest of the year.  Relax, loosen your belt a notch, and enjoy your life. It is only a few days out of the year we gorge ourselves and you can always cleanse off the extra pounds.

James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

We are back at Daylight Mind Coffee Company. This time for breakfast. Yes, my wife actually got me out the door early enough to make it for breakfast. Lol. We arrived and were seated immediately. We chose to sit at the higher table and bar stool seating facing south. This way we can see over the railing. This turns out to be an excellent choice. The waves are beautiful. The slow undulating surface of the ocean in the bay causes me to relax and unconsciously reminds me to be mentally on vacation as all the cares or concerns of life melt away into obscurity.

Leise ordered a latte, a side of sausage, and the Traditional Eggs Benedict with ham, English muffin, and hollandaise sauce. I ordered black coffee. They have their coffees defined by Origin, Farm, Variety, and Cherry Processing Method. I chose the Kona, Kona Earth, Typica, Washed, Sowden Softbrew method because I like a dark full and robust flavor.  Leise enjoys her latte. My coffee is a perfect combination of all that I look for in a great cup of coffee.

The eggs on the Benedict were overcooked and hard. They rectified the problem immediately by poaching some new eggs. They are done perfect and very flavorful. The ham is amazing and brings her whole meal together. Her latte was a little stronger than she likes. She likes her coffee very blonde. Side of sausage sounded good and it is. A perfect hint of spicy which hits the tip of your tongue and fades into the distance as the herbs slowly take over the back and sides of your mouth.

Eggs Benedict

The Kalua Pork waffles look beautiful. They start with a base of toasted waffles. On top of that it a layer of Kalua pork, then toasted local Hawaiian macadamia nuts, Maui pineapple and topped with a drizzle of coffee BBQ sauce with whipped butter on the side. At first bite I find it to be a disgusting mix of good quality parts… which I like. I like different foods and discovering what the thoughts were in the artist chef’s mind. The Kalua pork is good but not amazing. I have been spoiled by Ippy’s Hawaiian BBQ. His is the standard by which I judge all Kalua pork. The coffee BBQ sauce is amazing. I am going to ask for a bit more. I don’t know that I would order it again, because the Kalua pork was a little lacking but I did enjoy the experience and the meal.

Kalua Pork Waffles

Both plates came with a slice of beautiful fresh papaya which is delicious and red grapes, and red grapefruit. The diversity of colors makes for a great presentation. As I finish my cup of coffee I notice the Mississippi Mud or Cowboy Coffee impression of thick layer of finely ground coffee at the end of the cup. It warms my heart and soothes my soul.

With the light live local musician playing in the background and the music the surf plays on the rocks accompanied by the light breeze on this unusually cool day makes for another amazing and memorable Daylight Mind Coffee Company experience. For ambiance I give Daylight Mind Coffee Company 5 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 4 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 5 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 5 surfboards.

Aloha,    James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

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Daylight Mind CC

parker market

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

The 3 most important things in real estate are location, location, location and Daylight Mind Coffee Company has all of these. The setting is beyond wonderful as we are sitting for lunch on their lanai listening to the water crashing on the rocks a short 20 feet away. Looking into Kona Bay we see a local boy gathering his fishing nets with his fresh catch of the day. You know he’s eating good today. Looking out to the paddle boarders, kayakers, bobbing sail boats, submarine, and people parasailing an overwhelming sense of peace and calm comes over you as you realize this is going to be a great experience.

The menu does not disappoint with selections like local grass fed beef burgers with aged cheddar, coffee BBQ sauce, on a brioche bun and hale smoked chicken sandwich with prosciutto, bocconcini, macademia nut pesto, ranch dressing on a brioche bun. Wow!!! We must come back and try more.

Today, I start with the Iced Coffee-Cherry Tisane which is a tea with coffee-cherry (the outer cover of the coffee bean), mamaki, ginger, and mint. It is light and delicious and the flavors are articulated in a dance on your tongue. Leise ordered the cappuccino which has arrived and is beautiful. However, we have now been over 20 minutes for the waitress to return to ask if they have raw sugar. Leise’s cappuccino is now cold. She’s upset. Service shouldn’t take this long. Eventually the waitress returned and they don’t have organic raw sugar. How can you have organically grown coffees without organic sugar? The waitress was nice enough to bring some rock sweetener which Leise said tasted like sweetener. The waitress then brought a fresh hot cappuccino without drama. Her demeanor was quite friendly and helpful.

Leise ordered Steak Tartine which is a local filet with aged cheddar, chimichurri sauce, heirloom tomatoes, and sweet Maui onions served open faced on wheat bread. She finished it saying “This is so good.” She just upgraded that comment to, “It was Phenomenal. I wish you could have tried it.” Too improve it she said she would have put the sauce under the steak medallions instead of on top of it. The sauce just smothered the beautiful meat. The second thing she said she would do is use sourdough rolls, open faced, instead of sliced sourdough bread. The flavor of the bread was fantastic, but sliced bread just isn’t very attractive or even very visually appetizing.

Steak Tartine

I ordered the Loco Moco. It is delicious. It has an unusually strong pepper flavor which I find uniquely inviting. The beef patty is cooked evenly and the flavor is good and it has great texture. The gravy is balanced and tasty. Even the egg on top has wonderful flavor. The pepper has become a theme in my mouth throughout this meal. I like it. This is a wonderful spin on the local favorite Loco Moco.

Loco Moco

And the surf drones on in the background relaxing all who are here.

The weather today is too breezy for the paper napkins they use. They should’ve gone with linen. Later, relaxing to the beautiful view and all that Kona, Hawai’i has to offer we discuss how soon we will come back for more good food. For ambience I give Daylight Mind Coffee Company 5 out of 5 surfboards. For food quality I give 4 out of 5 surfboards. For service I give 3.5 out of 5 surfboards. Overall I give it a 4.5 surfboards.

Aloha,    James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/ThruJimsEyes

Daylight Mind CC

sunset video

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

Living the Life

Living the Life

Living the Life

 

Life is good. Gosh, life is amazing. Right now I am relaxing in a round, well cushioned chair looking out passed the palm trees to the ocean while listening to the music Keali’i Raichel. Stopping at Pine Tree Cafe for lunch we arrived in Waikoloa Beach for some fun and business. Feeling the need to relax and remember why we moved to Hawaii I walked into the Marriott Waikoloa Hotel and order a Longboard beer. Seldom do I ever drink, but on occasion I do enjoy relaxing with a good local beer. Walking out to the lanai and selecting the perfect spot to share this great day I notice the trade winds are particularly light and nicely warming. Fall is not over. The cooler temperatures spurred by the winds off the mountain haven’t settled in yet. Drawing in a deep breath and releasing it I let go of any and all concerns in the world. All is right. All is good.

We ate the French fries on the drive here. They are always good. Thick cut but not wedges. Perfect golden color. The macaroni salad was perfect. A little potato and a little tuna mixed in with a few peas and pieces of carrot make it 3 salads in 1 and a very nice blend. We split a Reuben and a turkey club sandwich.

Taking a break from writing I look up, put on my sunglasses, stare out over the vastness of this little respite. A common mynah bird struts up between the couches, then another. They are working their way around to get behind me. I think they want my sandwiches. Then again….

As I look out to the beach I see some of our favorite spots for filming, taking photos, or just splashing around and watching the honu (Green Sea Turtle). With the prospect of going snorkeling later today my spirit picks up even more while relaxing deeper. This is why it has been worth it to chase our dreams. This is why we worked through the pain of learning the lessons we did while growing as individuals. This moment right now makes it all worth while.

From the beautiful Island of Hawaii I bid you aloha and encourage you to follow your dreams. It’s worth everything you will go through to get there.

Aloha from the Beautiful Island of Hawai‘i,

James C. Christopher
ThruJimsEyes.com

 

 

Brie Burger

Brie Burger

 

Today we are dining at the Three Fat Pigs Restaurant at the King’s Shops at Waikoloa Beach, Hawaii. The restaurant is owned by Chef Ippy Aiona, the Hawaiian local chef who became famous when he became Food Network’s top chef star. Raised in the kitchen of his parent’s Solimene’s Italian Restaurant in Waimea, Hawaii, Chef Ippy learned the fine art of cooking at a young age. Armed with an inspired curiosity as he grew he experimented and has earned the accolades of the finest critics.

I order a cup of black Kona coffee with a little organic sugar. The Kona coffee is particularly smooth today. The weather is cool, partly overcast and cloudy. The temperature is around 70 degrees. The sunset was spectacular with it’s red, orange, and purple hues. Sitting on the patio seating and looking across the resort lake up to Mauna Kea we relax and settle in with great anticipation. Relaxing, we listen to the India inspired indie music over the sound system.

We both had the same thought this evening: grilled sirloin burger. It comes with blue cheese, bacon (a staple for Chef Ippy), and tomato relish. I ordered my burger with triple cream Brie instead of blue cheese. Yum. At first bite the fries are delicious. Leise says her burger is fantastic and normally she doesn’t like cheese on her burger. While I’m enjoying my fries, she is loving her organic green salad. With the first bite of my burger and I say, divine. Local Hawaiian boys often cook their meat until its charred. They want to make sure it’s really dead. (lol). This burger, however, is cooked to perfection: medium rare with an emphasis on rare. We wanted blood this evening. The saltiness of the bacon accents the soft melting Brie cheese beautifully with the flavor of the grass fed local beef comes through nicely. I am reminded why I love eating in Hawaii. You always eat so close to the ground. It’s always so fresh.

With no room for dessert we call it a night and retire to the hula show going on in the Kings’ Shops mall stage. We love Waikoloa Beach!

With the strong breeze this evening and the great food and drink we are truly enjoying this experience and will come back again. For ambience I give Three Fat Pigs 4.5 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.

Mahalo,  James C. Christopher

ThruJimsEyes.com

http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/ThruJimsEyes

Blue Cheese Sirloin Burger

 

coffee festival

Mahalo,

James C. Christopher

Click here to check out the rest of Jim’s Hawaii Videos.

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