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Hawaii. Honolulu Date Night. Helicopter tour. Poke. Pearl Harbor.

ALAN WONG’S IN HONOLULU

Date Night!  That’s right, we left Viona with my mom to indulge in some fantastic food and each others company  (uninterrupted for a change).  Alan Wong’s is absolutely incredible.  The staff  made us feel like regulars and then some because it wasn’t just date night, but anniversary date night.  They gave us a fantastic personalized dessert with a nifty little keepsake that will be cherished for the rest of our lives.  We didn’t even get a chance to snap a pic of it because we were so excited that we inhaled it.  Also not pictured was the best mai tai I have ever enjoyed.  Everything was so delicious that my mouth waters every time I browse through these pictures.   We ordered their “tasting of the classics”.  Below are the pictures of the courses.

CHOPPED AHI SASHIMI AND AVOCADO SALSA STACK

Stacked on Crispy Won Ton, Spicy Aioli and Wasabi Soy

“SOUP AND SANDWICH”

Chilled Vine Ripened Tomato Soup
Grilled Hawai’i Island Goat Dairy Mozzarella Cheese, Foie Gras, Kalua Pig Sandwich

POACHED LOBSTER

GINGER CRUSTED ONAGA, LONG-TAIL RED SNAPPER

Miso Sesame Vinaigrette, Mushrooms and Corn

TWICE COOKED SHORT RIB, SOY BRAISED AND GRILLED “KALBI” STYLE

Chili Lemongrass Goat Cheese, Mushroom Peanut Salsa

THE COCONUT

Haupia Sorbet in a Chocolate Shell, Tropical Fruits, Lilikoi Sauce

No joke this dessert was huge, especially at the end of all these amazing courses.  We didn’t have much room left but it was so good that we couldn’t stop ourselves.

Helicopter tour over Oahu, yes please.

One of the most fun things I have ever done was a helicopter tour of Oahu with Makani Kai Helicopters.  This picture was taken immediately after the tour and my lovely wife is looking pretty swell for just heaving from motion sickness.  A little heads up, if you get seasick, car sick or are not a fan of roller coasters and carnival rides, a helicopter is not for you.  I think the pilot and I were the only two out of seven on the chopper to not turn green.  I had never flown in a whirly bird previous to this experience and would love to do it again sometime.  The views were outstanding on this fortunately clear day and the 45 min. ride went by way too fast.

The pilot had a slight accent and I have a little hearing damage so everything he said on the tour wasn’t quite audible.  It went something like “blah blah blah Honolulu blah blah Diamond Head blah blah blah Waikiki beach.”

 

POKE POKE POKE

So what does my wife want to do after losing the contents of her stomach? Eat raw fish of course!  After the chopper tour we headed for Tanioka’s (about a ten minute drive from the airport).  They claim to have some of the best poke in Hawaii so we thought we would decide for ourselves.  There were twenty different types of poke to choose from plus other snacks and local hawaiian treats.  We don’t get a chance to enjoy poke to often where we are in Cali, and when we do we have to make it ourselves.  So this was a real treat to try out some new flavors and ingredient combinations by some real pros.

For having the best poke on the island, the storefront is very unassuming.  It wasn’t in the best location, a bit difficult to find and apart of an ailing strip mall of sorts.  Never one to judge a book by its cover, we dove right in and were not disappointed.

 

PEARL HARBOR, THE USS MISSOURI

(Humidity and wind make for some of the best vacation photos)

We didn’t plan ahead when visiting Pearl Harbor and didn’t realize how much there is to see (you can reserve tickets ahead of time but depending on the time of year you really need to plan like months ahead).  So after a brief deliberation and a small argument we decided  the U.S.S. Missouri was the one attraction we would take in.  It is an amazing piece of engineering that maintained its relevance through several decades of changing technology and service.  It is a large vessel so make sure you have at least a couple hours to take it all in.  The kamikaze exhibit is super interesting considering the mighty mo survived a kamikaze attack.  It also gives a rare glimpse into the humanity of an enemy that was so foreign to Americans at the time.

Pearl Harbor is still an active naval base.  In the background you can see some modern ships in port so thats why I’m aiming so high.  Don’t want any casualties from friendly fire!

Yes, those are some seriously massive turrets.

 

Viona is happy we made it back from our Pearl Harbor excursion in one piece.

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