[ food Category ]
July 26, 2003

Finding A Place to Eat

While I am not the most seasoned traveler, I have been to a few places.... Washington DC, New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, Pennsylvania, etc. Traveling is an exciting adventure because you may visit places that you've never been to and experience culture and foods unknown to you.

This leads to my gripe about having visitors from Hawaii come to Las Vegas. While I love having visitors, finding a place to eat seems to be quite the chore. I recently had a good friend visit from Hawaii and posed the question to him, "Where do you want to eat?" He's been to Vegas before so this wasn't his first time here. He said he wanted to eat where the "locals" go. Thinking about this, I suggested a great Mexican food restaurant which was promptly shot down because "he doesn't like Mexican food." Next I suggested a seafood restaurant. No interest. Finally, I suggested a Carribean style restaurant in which the response was "too exotic."

So I said to him, "Well, what kind of food would you like to eat? Chinese, Japanese, etc." So he asks about Hawaiian food. Okay, folks, here's my issue. You live in Hawaii, you are on vacation, but you still want to eat Hawaiian food. How does that make sense? I mean he had been in Las Vegas less than 8 hours and he wanted to eat Hawaiian food. He can have the best Hawaiian food in th world the rest of the time, but on vacation I would think he would have liked to have something else.

Now, I love Hawaiian food, but I would think that if you are on vacation, you'd like to have something else. Enlighten me????

Posted by Joy at July 26, 2003 05:08 PM


Posted by Beth on July 26, 2003 6:07 PM:

I agree Joy. When I'm on vacation, I want to try new foods, especially if the place I'm visiting has a unique local flavor.

I gained 10 pounds while I was in Italy, and I wasn't eating burgers and fries that's for sure!

Posted by aureservoir on July 27, 2003 1:09 AM:

Next time, don't ask...just take 'em there--when hotel people find out I'm from Hawaii, they tell me about Hawaiian-food places (I never go).

I don't really consult visiting friends about where to eat because they'll just do what your friend did (they have preconceived notions about certain foods which are wrong, so I tell them to trust me, I know you'll find something you'll like).

I also urge tourists NOT to eat at chain restaurants they have back home--it's usually the men who are reluctant to try something different.

Posted by kreeesty on July 27, 2003 3:49 AM:

I have a similar problem -- my dad, always having to eat Chinese food no matter what city he's in. Or we're in. Yes, he will hunt down Chinatown (sounds like a bad song) on business trips, family vacations, etc. If Chinatown is a small strip mall in a bad part of town, he will find it and make us eat there.

Sorry, that was just a gripe -- not very enlightening! Actually maybe you can help me -- what's the Mexican place you would have taken your friend to? Maybe on our next trip I can convince my dad to skip Sam Woo and have some tamales.

Posted by Joy on July 27, 2003 6:37 AM:

The place is called Cozy Mel's and it's on Flamingo close to Paradise. It's not your most authentic Mexican restaurant but the food is good for the palate. Now if you want the truly authentic stuff, I recently went to this place near downtown called Don Miguel's. A lot of business people go there during the day but I wouldn't go there at night (it's the area). I personally have developed a taste for chili rellenos (yum if you like spicy foods).

Posted by Keimano Tokoyami on July 28, 2003 10:24 AM:

I, myself, am a steak-ish person, so being in Vegas (cuz!) isn't too weird on the food thing. Here in Hawaii I rarely eat "Hawaiian" food, yet I think I understand the reasoning. I think it's just another comfort bubble. Something familiar and consistent. Either that or your friend did try something new once and it didn't go down very well.

I am a very picky eater and hardly ever try a lot of new things, yet where in America can you NOT get steak and potatos? :D

Posted by Glen Miyashiro on July 28, 2003 11:56 AM:

Or sometimes the shoe's on the other foot. A family friend from Los Angeles came to Honolulu on vacation. He's Mexican. So where did my parents take him to dinner? You guessed it, a Mexican restaurant. (And not a very good one at that. He was very polite about it. I was embarrassed.)

Posted by Sin on July 28, 2003 7:28 PM:

That's one thing I miss about Los Angeles...the mexican food. We seriously need some decent burritos here.

As for traveling...I gotta say that the food in the Philippines was pretty good. Even the pool bar we were at in the hotel served some serious grinds. Cheap too, you can get a five star meal for like 12 bucks. Just remember not to drink the water...even go so far as to take the ice cubes out of your glass because it is NOT fun to be stuck in a 3rd world country with serious stomach cramps.

Posted by Linkmeister on July 29, 2003 2:32 PM:

Sin, El Burrito on Piikoi! (Unless the quality has changed drastically in 10 years, which is of course highly possible).

Posted by Sin on July 29, 2003 11:39 PM:

Really? A friend of mine said it sucked but I guess if it's been around for that long they must be doing something right.

Posted by 7train on July 30, 2003 6:39 AM:

Mmm, I love that place! Nice people and great food for little $. Just seeing the name makes me ono for some cheese enchiladas with mole sauce right now.

Posted by aureservoir on July 30, 2003 8:21 AM:

What about the Mexican restaurant on Sand Island? I've heard good reviews (inc. one on this board).

Posted by Glen Miyashiro on July 30, 2003 3:00 PM:

I was the one who gave thumbs-up to El Charro, at 111 Sand Island Access Road, across from Kilgo's. A small place, good service, and great food. No liquor license, but you can bring your own booze for a small corkage fee.

Posted by lisa on July 30, 2003 5:24 PM:

I have learned my lesson.. on longer trips to the mainland, I've gotten a bit homesick and ordered specials that are meant to be Hawaiian food (or food commonly found in Hawaii) and it's always a disaster. Always.

I have come around to Mexican food here, after insisting for years that you can't find good Mexican food north or west of LA. Los Garcias in Kailua has very good ceviche and their papaya-avocado salsa (they have papaya in Mexico too, yeah?) is scrumptious if pricey.

On vacation, though, I'm always up for local specials. Food is an adventure.

Posted by Sin on July 30, 2003 6:10 PM:

You know it's funny, but when I'm visiting friends in the midwest, i always make sure i get a nice fat piece of prime rib. Since I live in Hawaii a nice hefty piece of meat for a cheap price is exotic to me.

Posted by aureservoir on July 30, 2003 8:00 PM:

Glen: was it you who was looking for mini-hamburgers? I read that Eddie's in Kaimuki sells these (the custard-ice cream shop near the corner of Waialae and Koko Head Ave.).

Posted by Glen Miyashiro on July 31, 2003 8:50 AM:

Aureservoir, yup, that was me. I'll check 'em out, thanks!

Posted by Keimano Tokoyami on July 31, 2003 9:33 AM:

All this talk of Mexican food. I don't think I've actually tried "authentic" Mexican food, but I do like Torito's. I'm unsure if that's authentic or mid or whatever. But it's good stuff to me.

I've tried Outback Steakhouse both in LA and here and was really surprised that the steak in the LA restaurant was dry while the one here was actually good. Yet, I suppose it's not just locale/region but also the cook and meat.

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