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Mahina & Suns {Honolulu}

mahina & sons waikiki restaurant review

Mahina & Suns is a trendy new restaurant in Waikiki, aptly located within the equally trendy and new boutique hotel Surfjack (“Hotel & Swimclub”). The restaurant is by local celebrity chef Ed Kenney, who is renowned for focusing on local, organic ingredients, and reinventing classic dishes of Hawaii (many of which tend to be cultural mashups).

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My boyfriend Kiyo and I took my mom to this restaurant per her request, for her birthday. She enjoyed a gin cocktail with her birthday card.

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I can’t remember what else was in my drink, besides cucumber, but it was light and refreshing, and I liked it a lot.

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Instead of bread (an uncommon free starter snack in Hawaii) we were served salted boiled peanuts. This is a classic Hawaii snack, and a very delicious and addictive rendition. We ate all of these, and I even ate the pickled jalapeño.

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We started by sharing “The Naked Cow,” thin crust pizza with Naked Cow Dairy fromage blanc, uncured bacon, and Maui onion (you can add more toppings; we chose green olives, parmesan and arugula. Take note because this is a stellar combination).

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We all really enjoyed the pizza. There aren’t many good pizza options in Hawaii, as I’ve mentioned on the blog before.

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Kiyo ordered chicken; an usual choice for him. He enjoyed the pan-roasted half-bird, served with hapa rice (white and brown mashup), pickled mushrooms and green coriander chutney.

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My mom ordered the avocado tacos, made with shishito, pickled red onion, and smoked yogurt. I felt that it should have said on the menu that the avocados come fried (I’m guessing my mom wouldn’t have ordered them if she’d known, but she didn’t complain).

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I ordered a starter for my main dish: the butter lettuce salad. It didn’t look like much, but it tasted more complete and interesting than it looked. radish, asparagus, sunflower seed, cured egg yolk, topped with avocado dressing.

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After dinner, we walked around the hotel. It’s very cute! I felt like I was in California, at a Hawaii-themed hotel, rather than actually in Hawaii. There aren’t many trendy places here that actually hit their mark.

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I went back recently for lunch, and very much enjoyed the Wild Salad (although it was just slightly overdressed) topped with garlicky tomato toast, and a fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

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Mahina & Suns

412 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815

(808) 924-5810

Mango Margaritas {Recipe}

mango margarita recipe

Here’s an immensely easy, fast and marvelous recipe for summer: Mango Margaritas! I’m lucky because my mom has a prolific mango tree. These are absolutely delicious and bonus: this drink is healthy compared to other cocktails. You can always use a salt or sugar rim and garnish with lime or mango.

Mango Margaritas

Serves two

  • 1 large mango
  • 1/2 cup silver tequila
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 6-10 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!


Airport Food, Reykjavik

Reykjavik Airport Food

On my way back from Germany, where I spent a long weekend at Oktoberfest in Munich, I had a layover in Reykjavik, Iceland’s coastal capital. Lucky for me, Keflavík International Airport has some pretty solid food options, such as this green juice. I do wish it had some vegetables in it, but still, to find green juice in an airport was pretty exciting.

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I’m not sure what this sandwich was exactly, but it was pretty good.

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It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever eaten, but for airport food (and picked out randomly by a non-English speaker), it was pretty damn good. I think it was just tomato and cheese.

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Book Review: The Essential Guide to Home Herbal Remedies

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The Essential Guide to Home Herbal Remedies by Melanie Wenzel is a great resource for anyone interested in homeopathic, at-home solutions. My personal health philosophy is prevent first, heal and cure as needed. A balanced combination of natural, homeopathic remedies and recipes, with modern technological advances in medicine, is how I approach health. As such, having a resource of preventions and remedies is essential.

Home Herbal Remedies

I love this book because:

  • It begins with a brief history, then delves into remedies and recipes complete with tips such as shelf life and how and when to use it, as well as step-by-step photographs (all in color)
  • It ends with a straightforward guide to the plants / ingredients discussed
  • You can search by ingredient or ailment
  • Recipes are clear and simple, yet contain lots of information

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The herbal medicine information and recipes in this book are centuries-old, but just as effective today as ever. Even science has come around to acknowledging the positive properties of herbs. The book’s final section, “Plant Portraits From A-Z,” is an extremely useful and straightforward guide. It includes a “What do scientists think of it?” paragraph for each item, which can be particularly interesting for skeptics.

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The recipe I have ended up using again and again is for a Bentonite Clay Face Mask. I now try to use this mask once a week, and every time, my skin feel amazingly smooth and fresh afterwards.

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Spritmuseum, Stockholm

Spritmusem stockholm

Today is my sister’s 21st birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY LANA!) so it seemed appropriate to post about the Spritmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden. It is a museum dedicated to all things alcohol; it’s oddly misplaced in a country where alcohol is strictly regulated (you can’t even advertise hard liquor).

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I was traveling with Zan, and she enjoyed the museum, but I did not. It either wasn’t well-executed or wasn’t properly explained, I’m not sure which. But for instance, just read the above; is this an unfortunate translation of a traditional Swedish poem, or song? Or is it just jibberish, like it seems? At least it was bad enough to be funny!

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Here’s more of the museum that I didn’t understand. Why the weird trees? It just got more confusing from here…

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Wine’d Down Yoga, Honolulu

power yoga hawaii kahala

  1. Are you in or close to Honolulu?
  2. Do you like to practice yoga?
  3. Do you enjoy wine and/or vegetarian/vegan food?

If you answered yes to the above questions, I would love to see you tonight (or any other third Friday) at Wine’d Down at Power Yoga Hawaii in Kahala.

From 6-8:30 PM, there is an hour & a half power yoga class taught by Laura Mary and assisted by yours truly.

After class, there’s a vegetarian and vegan potluck; you can bring a dish, snack or wine, and meet cool other yogis. Hope to see you there!

Brasserie du Vin, Honolulu [Just Closed]

Brasserie du Vin honolulu

At the end of Kiyo’s first day of work in Honolulu, I met him downtown near his new office, for happy hour at Brasserie du Vin.

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We enjoyed a reasonably priced dinner of olives, french fries, fresh bread, cheeses served with nuts, bruschetta with mozzarella and wine.

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Kiyo got to enjoy his favorite dessert: crème brûlée.

Unfortunately, the owner of the popular French bistro / wine bar decided it would be too expensive to keep running the business with a 51 percent rent increase. So on January 31, the restaurant shut down. Currently there are no plans to reopen.

What I Ate Wednesday: New York

WIAW NYC

Just to quickly recap, since it can be confusing:

  • May 2014 – I left New York City after living there for 2 years
  • September 2014 – I arrived to my new place of residence, Hawaii (which is where I lived from age 13 to 18)
  • December 2014 – I visited New York, from Hawaii, for an awesome 1-week vacation to see friends as well as my mom & sister, who both live in New York state

It felt so great to be back in NYC, especially since the weather at the beginning of December was quite nice; it was crisp, a bit chilly, and rainy at times, but also sunny many of the days I was there. However, being back made me even more certain about my decision to leave. I will always love NYC and feel at home there (I was born there too, after all) but it’s not where I want to live as an adult.

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Breakfast: these pictures are all from different days during the week. One morning I got brunch with some of my Skidmore friends at Hearth in the East Village. My dish was delicious – kale and sausage hash with eggs and toast – but it was $16, which I felt was a rip off. Welcome back to NYC, am I right?

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I did a lot of walking around, running to meet different friends and exploring with my mom.

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What I Ate Wednesday: Honolulu

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Happy WIAW… here’s what I’ve been eating lately:

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BREAKFAST: avocado toast on Ezekial English muffin… I seriously ate this every morning for a week (with my coffee, of course).

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LUNCH: best lunch lately was the yogi sandwich (I ordered it with bacon but it comes with sun-dried tomato hummus, carrots, cucumber, kale and sprouts) from Sprout near where I work.

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SNACKS: potato chips, unfortunately. They taste so good but then afterwards I feel so crappy! I got these for free and after they were done, I did not buy more!

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Dinner at Red 36, Mystic

This summer, when I was living in Connecticut with Maggie for yoga teacher training, we were so tired every night that we would plop into bed right after dinner at home each night. Finally, about a week or two into …