Jardin du Luxembourg. Yes I realize this does not fit my palm trees theme for link posts but you go find a palm tree in Paris.
There is now a Carnitas Snack Shack in Del Mar at the Del Mar Highlands plaza! No more huge lines and too few tables and a completely opposite cougar to hipster ratio compared to North Park. Both Kirbie’s Cravings and Faye’s Fork have already been!
Once in college me and a friend had too many gummy bear shots at this bar called The Shack where the bouncer didn’t really card and he was Aaron Rogers’ brother and I tried to run away from my friend because he was not letting me buy Cheetos at 7-11 at 2 am and we had to tie my friends hair with a bottle cap ring then I made our designated driver follow me to my car so he could drive it home except I didn’t bring my car that night and I was just making it all up and somehow also really badly bruised my knee at some point. In a related story, 5 years later I might be ready to have gummy bears + alcohol reunited again if its this Gummy Bear Sangria.
This is so incredibly belated but I had so many pictures the prospect of editing them all and condensing it into one post was pretty daunting. Also I wanted to include a little mini video summary since we took a bunch of videos with bf’s GoPro (Valentine’s day gift from me am I the best girlfriend or WUT) and my Nikon. Unfortunately I have zero movie editing skills and in fact had never opened iMovie in my life before this so my mini-movie aspirations are progressing very slowly. The solution: two posts! I have a super long flight from LA to London on Thursday and I will edit that stupid little movie even if it takes the whole goddamn flight (Macbook battery permitting naturally).
Anddd apologies for the lack of commenting and just lack of activity, am currently in the middle of a Paris –> Dubrovnik –> Hvar –> Split trip but will be back in SD next week :)
Anyways here is Part 1:
We flew into Maui at 10 pm on Friday and after drinking our pretty-awful-but-must-down-them-because-they-are-free Alaska Airlines Mai Tais we hopped off the plane, picked up our rental car and headed to the Hyatt Regency Maui. We got a pretty good deal for hotel + flight + car considering this was in July when its high season and prices are pretty high. Also the Hyatt Regency was undergoing construction so the rooms that were facing the construction were on sale because of the unsightly view and noise. So naturally we took advantage of this. Sooo glamorous right?
As far as resorts go this is pretty standard four star fare. On Ka’anapali beach, breakfast buffets, comfy and spacious rooms, lovely garden courtyard thing, huge pool with huge slide and leis upon arrival. Fancy enough you feel like you are on vacation but not crazy luxurious.
Hyatt Regency Maui
Oh ya and the Hyatt Regency has African penguins that just casually reside there. The leader of the pack is called Oreo.
Hyatt Regency Maui Penguins
JAPENGO (at the Hyatt Regency):
We got two drink coupons with the hotel for my birthday and we decided to get Mai Tais at Japengo. Sorry for the dim pictures. The only light source were the tiki torches (how Hawaiian yesss?). These were delicious. They had real pineapple juice and guava juice and it was fruity and tropical but grounded by the caramel notes and bite of the dark rum. Real mai tais are the ish.
We also got Japengo’s take on the Hula Pie, a Hawaiian dessert that traditionally is oreo crust, macadamia ice cream and chocolate fudge sauce. Their version was quite dainty compared to the usual messy, melty, huge slices of hula pie and it incorporated brownie too. It was ok but hard to taste the macadamia, mostly just tastes like vanilla ice cream and partially frozen brownie. Ehh.
Because something is wrong with us we decided that even after getting drinks and dessert at 11:30 pm we absolutely needed a Kahlua Pork Quesadilla at midnight. We got this at the hotel pool bar and we were expecting something mediocre but it was actually pretty delicious. Lots of smoky shredded pork, melty cheese and hot, blistered tortilla.
Kahlua Pork Quesadilla
Eating at quesadillas at midnight makes us blurry but happy :D
Our first adventure was Honolua Bay. Not too far from Ka’anapali where all the resorts are, you park on the road (mud) and take the trail down to the bay. It is a super easy trail but its neat to walk thru all the jungle vegetation.
Honolua Bay Trail
Can you tell I think jungle pictures are endlessly enthralling?
The bay itself is pretty rocky, not somewhere to sunbathe and lounge (although there were people crowding into a narrow strip of sand) but it is a great spot for snorkeling! There are turtles and plenty of fish on the rocks. One thing to note is to be quite careful where you step as there are plenty of spiky sea urchins all over the rocky seabed too. If you have those godawful ugly water aqua shoe things this is the perfect time to break them out. Kidding I totally wish I did enough outdoor-sy waterfall climbing activities to justify owning ugly aqua shoes.
Now this is the kind of beach you have in mind when you think of Hawaii. White sand, impossible azure ocean and palm trees. The only thing that might perhaps ruin your idyllic mental picture is all the other hundreds of people here. Although during the low season and on weekdays its supposed to be a less packed beach that locals go to as well, on weekends it was pretty packed. This was ok as we found a nice little bank of sand to hang out it in and alternated toasting on the sand with trying to figure out who had the most perfect form when executing underwater handstands.
Napili Bay Path
Additionally there are tide pools on the far left side, one smart cookie Hawaiian family posted up on the sandy portion by the tide pools, effectively creating their own mini private beach.
Napili Bay Tide Pools
Ok. Let moar food pictures commence now. Our first stop was at Star Noodle, we wanted to try the famous steamed pork buns and some noodles. This is technically not strictly a Hawaiian restaurant, it is more Asian fusion with a hint of Hawaiian throughout. Think fried noodles with spam and malasada donuts for dessert. It is located in a bit of a quiet cul-de-sac and the interior is trendy-ish, modern and clean.
HItachino Nest Rice Ale
DRINKS: They have an extensive sake selection but I picked their Hitachino Nest Rice Ale. This was a crisp lager with a smooth, sweet rice flavor, reminiscent of sake. Paired really nicely with the food and the super humid hot weather outside.
Star Noodle Menu
Star Noodle Menu
APPETIZER: Now for the food part. Even though a day of running around on the beach works up an appetite I didn’t really want anything hot so I started with their Banchan. This is up to the chef and that day it came with kimchee, dried squid, pickled daikon, marinated shiitakes and a green apple slaw. These were all really tasty, the kimchee was spicy and sour, the dried squid chewy and sweet, the pickled daikon had a nice crunch, the shiitakes were savoury and slippery soft and the the green apple slaw was crisp and refreshing. What I am trying to say with all the adjectives in the world is that they all played nicely with each other. Plus this thing was huge, easily enough for 4 people.
ENTREE: For my entree I ended up getting their Pohole Salad. This came with green beans, Hana fiddle head fern, Maui onion, cherry tomatoes, ebi (shrimp), and kombu (seaweed). The shrimp were actually the small dried ones you get in Thai papaya salad. Everything in this salad went very well together and in fact it reminded me a lot of papaya salad but with green beans instead of green papaya. The green beans were perfectly cooked too. It was my first time trying fiddle head fern and these were quite tasty
We also ordered the Pad Thai which came with pretty standard fare: rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, egg, peanuts, and garlic chives. The pad thai looked really good and you got lots of crunchy bean sprout. Their vegetable cooking game is very on point. The pad thai did not taste like traditional pad thai although it was good. I think they must add other things to their sauce beyond just fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind.
ULULANI’S SHAVED ICE:
The last thing I will attempt to squeeze into this huge post is Ululani’s. It is in Lahaina and the lines are long and its kind of tourist-y but its so delicious. Super fine shaved ice and yummy fruit syrup. I would personally go with one of their specialty flavors (like passionfruit a.k.a. lilikoi) that they make themselves. You can also add vanilla, macadamia or haupia (coconut pudding) ice cream to the bottom of your cone. And as far as toppings go sweetened condensed milk, toasted coconut, homemade azuki beans, fresh mochi and li hung mui powder were my favorites. Li hing mui powder is a powder made from a salty preserved plum. It sounds weird but its more sour than salty and contrasts nicely with the sweet flavors even though the guy serving the shaved ice described it as “this weird bad flavor that only locals like”. Ok dude.
The first time I got Haleakala, it comes with coconut and leche flavors (the leche is weirdly non-dairy actually) and is topped with sweetened condensed cream & cream mix (so much for that non-dairyness). Then I added raspberry syrup to it too.
Haleakala – coconut, leche and sweet cream + added raspberry to it
Bf got Grape and Sour Apple.
Grape + Sour Apple
And thats about it. Ahh I have so many more pictures. Might have to be a 3 part thing.
200 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina HI 96761