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Monday, December 3, 2012

ANOTHER FABULOUS INTERNATIONAL LUNCH IN DOWNTOWN HONOLULU

There are at least 50 restaurants within 20-minute walking distance of my apartment.  Getting there is easy because they are all downhill.  Coming back up is why I talk these walks, for these lunches add too many calories.  It was in October that I strolled through Chinatown and had lunch at Duc's Bistro (left).

Today, I had a late start, but planned to dine at Epic, which is probably among the best five higher end restaurants in my walking range.  Unfortunately, I got there at 1:15PM and they had already had their last call.  I again walked through Chinatown, but most of those eating places bordered on the grungy, and Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino cuisine was not at the top of my list. I was also intending to get a haircut, and noticed that one shop advertised $10 for seniors.  Too bad it was closed.  I paid $30/cut 30 years ago, so haircuts are better than tennis balls (3 balls more than a half century ago cost $3;  today, the price remains $3/can--with inflation, this should be about $25).

If you've ever been through downtown Honolulu, what you most remember is the frequent aroma of urine, for Hawaii has a homeless problem, and many of their beds just remain on the sidewalk.  The photo to the left is from Civil Upbeat.  

I finally gave up and decided to have a value lunch at MacDonald's.  After a minute in line, I said to myself, no, I deserve better, and Brasserie du Vin was just a few yards away.  It was only recently that I had dinner with my freshman roomate, Jim Seger, his closest friend when he was in his early youth, and her husband.

Lunch is a different experience here.  The light in the courtyard and easy ambiance were perfect, especially when compared to MacDonald's and the streets of Honolulu.  I asked this very friendly girl if it was still possible to dine here, as it was already 2PM.  She smiled, took me to a table, and served as the ideal interface.  I was seated on the first table to the left.  Her name is Joann (or Joanne if the check is correct):


I ordered  six French escargots with a Mexican Caesar salad.  My first drink was an Italian Prosecco:


Both dishes were excellent, as was the bread.  I had one escargot left, and all the time in the world, so I had a Spanish rose cava:


All things considered, I would rate this as my best lunch I've ever had in Downtown Honolulu.  Joann even waved goodbye to me.

Just a block uphill, I noticed another new restaurant.  Here is a shot of RaKuen Lounge, with an  interesting Asian Fusion assortment, and the ingredients are local, fresh and organic:


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Super Typhoon Pablo (also known as Bopha) slammed into Mindanao close to  Baganga at  top winds of 175 MPH.  No word yet about damages and casualties, but this is an incredibly powerful storm.

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