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Sunday, January 22, 2017

15 CRAIGSIDE GOES TO EATING HOUSE 1849

The Waikiki International Market Place started as an open-air market in 1957.  At the center was a century-old Indian banyan tree with a treehouse, waterfall, koi pond and stage for free performances. Only the tree is left.  The 120 kiosks and international food court, are gone.  Granted, most of those were tacky and cheap,  but there was a kind of character and room for a few bargains.

In place, just another modern shopping mall, now with 75 high-end shops.  What a waste.  Someone should be shot for not complementing the charm and tradition of Old Waikiki (right) with the future of tourism.  The land is owned by Queen Emma Land Company, so, theoretically, most of their profits will go to Queen's Medical Center, where, earlier this past week, you learned, I was born.

Eating House 1849 first opened on August 25, where Roy Yamaguchi paid homage to Peter Fernandez, who opened one of Hawaii's first restaurants.  Michael Mina's Stripsteak is next door.

While Yamaguchi's first restaurants helped paved the way for the future of Pacific fusion, blending California, Japan and France, this time he is reaching back to link  Portuguese, Filipino and Spanish influences.  Featured are ingredients from local farmers and ranchers, foragers and fishermen.  However, you won't get anything traditional, like simple Portuguese bean soup.  The fusion is between the past and the present.  Sometimes it works, and on occasions, not.

Interestingly enough, Roy, this past week, opened another Eating House 1849, in The Shops at Kukuiula. Poipu, Kauai.  There is a third Eating House 1849 in Kapolei.

He now has 30 restaurants in the U.S., Guam, Japan and Hong Kong.  However, to open this new one, he closed two, The Tavern in Princeville and Roy's in Poipu, so maybe he's down to 28 or 29.

Still looks good for someone now 61.  He won a James Beard Chef of the Year award nearly a quarter century ago.

He was born and raised in Tokyo, but his early cuisine roots are linked to his paternal grandfather, who in the '40s owned a tavern in Wailuku, Maui.  He graduated from the CIA, the Culinary Institute of America (New York), in 1976, toiled at various prestigious California restaurants and in 1984 opened his first in Hollywood.  He then moved to Honolulu in 1988 and opened Roy's, the one in Hawaii Kai.

So, anyway, off we were vanned to the International Marketplace:


I show this sign, because, like almost everything else here, there is a distinct lack of imagination.


The sign welcoming us to Eating House 1849 means "happy wife, happy life."


Sorry Judy about the back of your head, but the three sitting on this end were wearing heavy rain-proof jackets, which was ideal, for it was raining, and they protected the table.  A nice touch was the waiter pouring hot water over these tiny towel rolls, which expanded:


I had a loco moco with a Stella Artois, and the only two good things about my meal were the beer and sunny-side egg:


The rice was too spicy and hamburger too hard.  They definitely need to re-design this dish.  However, most of the others liked their choices:


The group had a short discussion, and we voted for a 20% tip.  A few more restaurants are still scheduled to open:


We had some time to look around, so I purchased a t-shirt at 70% off from Saks Fifth Avenue.  I have the wrong view of the bag, for the other side has a nice bow:


When do I unveil this shirt?  At dinner next week.  The van picked us up on Kuhio, where our group leader, Leilyn, led the way.  This was her first dinner outing, and she did everything well:


Next month?  Maybe Ka Makana Alii at Kapolei, or, perhaps Waikiki Yokocho.

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1 comment:

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