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Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I'm one of an eclectic order of dreamers known as the Gourmet Philosophers, for we drink the best wines while confabulating on an infinite range of topics, mostly to save Planet Earth, Humanity and Hawaii.  So far we have not quite solved anything, but we continue to try.

Thus, I thought I'd spin off into the Gourmet Golfer, today chronicling my day at the Princeville Makai Golf Course, followed by the continued Search for Kenjiro, ending the evening with a second feast at the Kauai Grill.

But, first, golf.  Okay, that shirt is a bit large, nonetheless, this is that par 3 that goes straight over the cliff, with the St. Regis in the background.

 The birds were phenomenal.  First, I kept running into albatrosses (this one below actually could read and was trying to determine if it was a cart):

and Nenes.  The course had just been upgraded, and was civil, except for a hundred or so too many sand bunkers.  There was hardly a foursome, so play must be sparse here.  The person I golfed with was Mike from Santa Fe, New Mexico:

I then went off in search of Kenjiro's Powerhouse.  I met Russell Kuboyama, the hydropowerplant operator.  He took my photo (honest, I'm not that is that shirt, for I am at a two decade low regarding my weight.)  In the second, note the 1905 date, as the Wainiha hydro facility became operational at a rating  of 3 MW in 1906.  Unfortunately, two months before the commissioning, Kenjiro (my father's father) fell at the site and died.

Energy comes from rainfall, and these pipes, which are more than a century old, provide the input energy.

Russell indicated that the original output was 3 MW, but they shut down one of the generators, so the site is now rated at 2 MW.  He promised to send me any information on the origins of the facility.  To the oldest generation in Kilauea, this is still known as the Takahashi Powerhouse.  If any of you want to visit this historical location, just look for the following sign:

I showed up at Kauai Grill 

at 5:25, so took the following photo outside the restaurant:

My view from table #81:

My attendant was Alana;

You can order wines in 8 ounce carafes, so I had a Sokol Blosser Evolution from Oregon and a 2005 Hogue Cellars Merlot Genesis from the State of Washington.
The Genesis had a "nice" pruney nose, which, actually, was pleasantly endearing.  The Evolution was a tad more sweet than I expected, but was a nice counterpoint to the red.  I combined two appetizers for my first course, a watercress salad with dried pineapples and an orange and mustard dressing, plus a grilled black pepper otopus with Kula onions and lime.  I'm afraid the salad had some goat cheese, not one of my favorite foods.  But the onions under the octopus were terrific.

The main course was a grilled Onaga with wild mushrooms, Tokyo green onions in a garlic lemon broth, accompanied by garlic spinach.
I found the dish to be okay, but uneventful.  The spinach was more enjoyable.

It was 7 O'clock, with sunset just almost over

so I went back to my room to watch the first American Idol of the year.  Yikes, I just squashed a mosquito next to my bed.


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