Category Archives: Food TV

Hawaii Eats: Pacifico On The Beach, Maui

The impressive mahi mahi Wellington at Pacifico on The Beach.
The impressive mahi mahi Wellington at Pacifico on The Beach.

Lahaina, Maui, HI — If you’re lucky enough to be on Maui from now through Saturday, you can enjoy the inventive dish that landed Assistant Executive Chef McKenna Shea of Pacifico On The Beach victory on the Food Network’s “Chopped” last month.

For the past month, the inviting beachfront restaurant has featured that special abalone salad that helped her trounce three other chefs and score the $10,000 prize.

Admittedly, she was initially befuddled upon opening up the mystery basket to discover abalone and ube cheesecake. Who wouldn’t be, right?

Not only that, she had never worked with abalone before. But harnessing the skills she’d learned from her mentor, Pacifico’s Executive Chef Isaac Bancaco, she set to work.

The "Chopped'' special abalone salad.
The “Chopped” special abalone salad.

Visiting Maui last month, I had a chance to dine at Pacifico, a 28-year-old restaurant that Bancaco was hired to revamp a year ago. Don’t be surprised if some of the fresh catch of the day was actually caught by Bancaco, who’s an avid fisherman, too.

Read more

Hawaii Eats: Tiffany’s and Papa’aina, Maui

The incredible Peking Pata at Tiffany's.
The incredible Peking Pata at Tiffany’s.


Wailuku, Maui, HI — If there’s one chef who embodies aloha spirit and is the ultimate cheerleader for Maui’s hospitality industry, it has to be Sheldon Simeon.

The “Top Chef” star who was voted “Fan Favorite” of the Bravo TV competition not once but twice, has the golden touch when it comes to heading restaurants, from his days at Star Noodle, Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop to Migrant, Lineage, and finally, Tin Roof. In essence, if he opens it, they will come.

Such was the case, too, when he and his wife Janice Simeon bought the nearly two-decade-old Tiffany’s restaurant last year when its former owners, the Orite family, decided to retire. Long an old-school locals’ favorite, the expansive restaurant had a lived-in look and a huge menu leaning into Chinese, Japanese and Korean classics.

When the Simeons took over, they refreshed the interior a bit, but kept its funky island flair. The menu was honed, with some more Filipino influences added, as well as a few of Simeon’s signatures such as his version of Fat Chow Funn.

A little out of the way, but definitely worth the trek.
A little out of the way, but definitely worth the trek.

Having visited nearly every other one of their restaurants, my husband and I couldn’t pass up dining at Tiffany’s on our most recent visit to Maui last month.

Read more

Dining Outside at Momosan

The "Tokyo Chicken'' ramen at Momosan at Santana Row.
The “Tokyo Chicken” ramen at Momosan at Santana Row.

Few things satisfy in winter like a bountiful bowl of ramen. If you’re still primarily dining outdoors, you’ll be glad to know that Momosan, which opened at San Jose’s Santana Row last year, is equipped with patio dining to enjoy your noodles al fresco.

“Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto’s new restaurant is the perfect place to people-watch on the Row as you slurp your noodles. The outside tables at the side of the restaurant sport compact awnings, enough to shield you from light rain, but probably not ample enough in anything heavier. The tables also have overhead heaters and free-standing ones to keep things fairly comfortable even when the wind picks up.

The bar inside the restaurant.
The bar inside the restaurant.

Given this ramen joint’s celebrity panache, it’s no surprise that prices here are on the higher side with ramen bowls going for $18 to $29. In comparison, Ramen Nagi’s bowls start at about $15. Still, there’s no denying that the ramen, and rest of the food here, is superlative.

Read more

My Top 10 Eats of 2022

Whether enjoyed outside, inside or as takeout, restaurant food has never felt more special.

I am so grateful to restaurants for weathering all that they have in the past few years, and managing to come through it all to keep nourishing us in body, spirit, and soul.

Here’s to them, and to all that they provide, including these most memorable eats, in no particular order, that made my Top 10 for the year:

Read more

Morimoto-Approved Mochi Donut Kit

Yes, I made these at home -- thanks to Global Grub's Mochi Donut Kit.
Yes, I made these at home — thanks to Global Grub’s Mochi Donut Kit.

Get a sweet taste of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s cooking in your own home.

You can with this fun, make-it-yourself Mochi Donut Kit ($42.99) that was created in collaboration with Walnut Creek’s Global Grub.

CEO Carly Sheehey’s love for travel inspired her cooking kit company that aims to bring a delicious taste of different countries near and far to home cooks in an easy, approachable manner.

Global Grub now offers eight different DIY cooking kits that feature everything from churros to sushi.

All you have to add is a few ingredients -- and your time -- to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.
All you have to add is a few ingredients — and your time — to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.

I had a chance to test-drive the mochi donut kit when I received a sample from the company a few weeks ago.

Read more
« Older Entries Recent Entries »