Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Hawaiian Eats!

A few days into our Honolulu vacation, we rented a car and drove around the island looking for more secluded beaches and, of course, more good eats. We found the former in abundance (that's my fave, above). The latter? Not so much. Sure, there were plenty of shrimp and seafood places, but as far as good vegan fare was concerned, the pickings were slim. As any good vegan would, I broke out the iPhone and began scouring menus near our destination, the town of Haleiwa, on the North Shore. Before long, we were steering our way toward Cholo's Homestyle Mexican. Having worked up an appetite jumping waves, I was really looking forward to some chips, guacamole, and cervezas.

The sun having set, we settled in and placed our orders. Things were off to a good start when I started to ask about dairy in the veggie burrito and the waiter piped in, saying "The veggie burrito is completely vegan." Hooray! Ordering done, cold beer in hand, I awaited the chips and guac. Soon some greasy chips and obviously frozen and thawed guacamole showed up. So disappointing. It was, literally, the worst guacamole I have ever tasted. Sadly, the house salsa was not much better. Things could only get better from there, right?

Well, kind of. I mean, the veggie burrito was at least edible. But really, nothing to write home about. Maybe we're spoiled by having some of the best Mexican food outside of Mexico available to us in SF, but this just wasn't good. Oh well, it was at least filling enough to last me into the next day - New Year's Eve!

For our NYE celebration, we chose the Moana Surfrider where for one set price you got a fancy 5 course dinner at their Beachhouse restaurant and admission to their party. Unfortunately, they seemed totally unprepared for all the people and though we had a 9pm reservation, we didn't even start eating until 10. But, at least the food was good! They even went so far as to print out a special vegan menu (above) for me and the hubby.

Our first course was the tomato and avocado tartare and it was delicious. Finally the guacamole I wanted from the day before, only this guacamole had its fancy pants on! Great start.

Next up was the gazpacho. This was a little thick for my liking, but the flavor was big and robust, and the crunch of the granny smith apples and walnuts was really appealing. Another winner!

The third course was my favorite. This steamed tofu was stuffed with a mushroom reduction that was earthy, savory, and satisfying, and the baby bok choy had just enough crunch left to assure this dish was not just one big sog-fest. It was very yummy.

By this point I was drunk (NYE = champagne!) and didn't even take a picture of the last course. I assure you the fern shoots were very good. After that it was off to the dessert bar (above) where the only vegan items were fruit. Oh well, you can't win 'em all. Plus they had more champagne!

So 2011 was rung in with style, and now I'm back in SF and trying not to miss the warm sun too much. On the super-duper plus side, a good friend and fellow vegan is on her way to me from Boston right now. There will be many delicious bites to be had over this long weekend. Not the least of which are all the goodies available at Saturday's SF Vegan Bake Sale. Peep the flyer (above) and get yourself there. You'd be a fool not to!

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