CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Wednesday, February 29, 2012

MAUI- Home Cook uses Wine

So you don't think you can cook? Well be positive because you can, if you take some lessons and learn some cooking basics, you may be in a good position to start your own little eatery, or start food blogging with pictures and videos.

The picture on the left is a Chicken Marsala made by my sister Joyce. Up at her house, to use her office, because the Mac is there, I was fed some great food that could pass for restaurant quality, made by a trained chef.

Well, sister did good because it was tasty, the wine she added made all the flavors come out, amazing what wine can do to a dish especially a stew or a braise, when the stock or broth is added with the wine and reduced, there's a rich sauce that has some body, and that my friends makes all the difference in the world. Don't be afraid to cook, and to use wine in your cooking, you will be surprised at what that liquid can do.

MAUI- Visitors WE Love Mochi

The picture to the left is a pastry like food from Japan, it is called a Mochi (Mo chee). The outer part that holds the middle in is made of mochi rice flour, the texture is soft to the touch, and when done right it melts in your mouth, somewhat of a neutral taste, the center holds all the flavors.

This Mochi is filled with creamy peanut butter, nice and sweet and pea nutty. A friend at work brought these into the office the other day, and yours truly whacked about 6, ate them with some hot coffee, and I was in heaven man! So if you are wondering what locals love, we do love us some Mochi.
Other fillings include sweet Adzuki beans, Taro, Apples, and just about anything sweet the chef can come up with. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

MAUI- Simple Bento Box

What is a bento box lunch? It's a box with your lunch in it. Coming to Hawaii? Want to learn what the food culture is like? Go to a local dig and get a bento box lunch. Zippy's Restaurants are famous for their Zip Pack Box Lunches.

What to expect in a bento box lunch?

White Rice with some protein such as, a piece of teriyaki beef, fried chicken, a hot dog, a slice of spam, a piece of fried cod, some pork. It depends on the place that is packing it. Some places will have chow fun noodles in there, some will have chicken with long rice noodles, while other places will put in beef stew and of course a hot dog. Some places will get fancy and put in a creamy pasta dish in the box. 

To the left is a picture of a bento lunch, veggies, fish, shrimp tempura, chicken, white rice. In Hawaii some supermarkets carry their own bento lunches, while some mom and  pops make some awesome bentos.

On Maui, check out Takamiya Market in Wailuku Town, Pukalani Superette in Pukalani, Nagasako Okazu Ya in Lahaina.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Connection Raven Chelanee

Just made an awesome connection with Raven Chelanee and

Check out the site, it has lots of great looking food, lots of healthy meals, vegetarian, meats, pastas, soups, please check it out.
Is only one of many great recipes from Raven Chelanee.

MAUI- Low Sodium Meals

Hypertension is a major cause of heart disease and death in America, and on Maui, a good percentage of our local people have hypertension, including this writer, the cause? High in sodium chloride foods.

It is easy to get hypertension down, all it takes is to stop eating foods that are high in sodium and other preservatives. Hawaii people in general grew up on canned foods, it was common for a family to go shopping and come back home with cases of canned meats such as corned beef, Vienna sausage, tuna, crab meat, Spam luncheon meat, and other canned goods, all packed with too much sodium.

The best way is to be strong and not give into temptations that cause harm, hypertension patients listen good, stay away from high sodium foods. If you are craving a few slices of canned food like Spam, be tough mentally and ask yourself, "Do I want to end my life sooner by eating this?" If you love yourself, then you don't need to eat like you used to. Stay off of the bad stuff.

Look for low sodium foods at the market, there's some good quality frozen foods that are healthy, or have someone cook for you. It is cheaper to cook for the week, buy foods in bulk, cook it and freeze it for the week, portion all of it out.

Most people will eat about 4 to 8 oz. of protein for their meals, if you purchase meat or chicken or even seafood in bulk you're dollars will go a long way. If you are struggling and can't even do this, and all you can afford is those canned foods, stick it in boiling water to remove as much sodium as you possibly can. For instance, if all you can afford is canned foods such as sausage or even Spam, open the can and boil it for several minutes to remove the salt. At least you'll cut the sodium in half at most.

If you can afford to cook your own, and have no idea how to buy items, here's a tip.

For a whole week, that is 7 days. If you will have only dinners at home with the family of say 4, here is the calculations.

4 people: total protein per person 8 oz. that's 32 oz. of protein by 7 days that is 224 oz. or 14 pounds of protein a week.

Days 1-3 (3 days) prepare a beef stew with lots of veggies, and very little or no salt at all, use peppers, vinegar, fruits juices, wine or other herbs to make it happen. So you'll need to purchase about 6 lbs. of beef, look for lesser grade beef such as chuck portions, or briskets trim off fat. Ask the butcher if there is any chuck roasts in the back or any tough meats he wants to sell you for cheap. These tougher cuts are really good for stewing and braising, the slow cooking makes these hard to chew meats really soft and succulent. 

Days 4-7 (4 days) you can purchase 4 days worth of chicken frozen, such as thighs or drums, or combination pieces. So for 4 days you'll need to get about 8 pounds of chicken, and if you buy 5 lbs boxes frozen chicken parts it is really inexpensive. You can make some baked chicken, or grilled chicken, or soups. When you do your calculations, it will save you a lot of money.

As far as other ingredients, it is up to you what you want, fruits veggies, it's all up to you. If you are not a good shopper, hang out with a friend who is and learn from them, take cooking classes in your area, look in local newspapers, or online to find good nutritional information.

Good luck


Friday, February 24, 2012

MAUI- Cookies From Maui "Broke Da Mouth"

If you want something true to Maui, and its food, or make that cookies, then look no further, you have to check out Chef Loyd Yokoyama's Broke Da Mouth Cookies 190 Alamaha St. #B, Kahului, HI  Phone: 808-873-9255. 

Open from 6am to 7pm on weekdays, Saturdays 7am to 5 pm, closed Sundays.

Bags of cookies about 3.00, includes Chocolate Mac Nut, Oatmeal Raisin, Almond, Shortbread, Peanut Butter and Coconut Crunch. Buy some for your friends back home on the mainland or anywhere around the world. Chef Loyd has been baking for a lot of years, he also makes other pastries and cakes too.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

MAUI- Visitors With Hypertension and Eating Out

You are coming to Maui, and you have a diet issue, you have hypertension, a.k.a. high blood pressure, you have your meds, but you do need to eat healthy, you aren't a vegan or vegetarian, but you just need some lean meats, and definitely low sodium foods.

Here is some tips, you do have a brain don't you? Uh huh... And a mouth too right? Uh huh, I thought so. Seek and you shall find, ask and you shall receive. When you go to eat at any restaurant and I'm not talking about fast food joints, but a place where the chef or cooks makes your food to order well simply ask the person waiting on you to have the cooks use less salt, or to not put salt on your meal period.

Some places here do offer healthy styles on their menus, or they will comply with certain requests especially if you the customer has a health issue, kitchen staff always want to help their customers, if not that's business lost.

Don't be embarrassed by asking "Excuse me can you not put salt or soy sauce on the chicken?" Now understand certain meals are pre-soaked with salty brine or a marinade, so that may be impossible to omit salt out of it, however, on grilled items, or sauteed, or stir fries, a cook can catch his hand from adding salt to the cooking vessel in time.

So have a nice pleasurable time on Maui while you are here, and don't be afraid to ask for less or no salt because you are dealing with hypertension. When my mother was alive, she suffered from hypertension, and depending on the restaurant we went to, they usually complied to our request of mom not having salt on her mahi mahi. And of course an extra tip will show them you appreciate what they did for you. Or if you want to get their attention, flash them the cash first, and you'll get what you want for sure. Sorry I been in the restaurant business, and working for tips well it just helps that customers treat the wait staff well too. Now on the other hand if they are down right uncooperative then it's a different story, if they treat you bad, don't tip them.

Good Luck

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oahu Chinese Restaurants the Yay or Nay

According to Foodie Melissa Chang @melissa808 on Twitter, check her out she's always got some interesting foodie info and real estate info too.

So this is what she says, "Yay for Royal Garden." And "Nay for Tai Pan (waitresses are super duper sassy!)" 

Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant
410 Atkinson Dr.
Honolulu, Hi 96814
Waiter service, great for lunch, kid friendly.

So trust Melissa, "Yay for Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant."

Photo; Fried taro, fried eggs, fried seaweed and shrimp.

Maui- Hypertension Recipe; Low Sodium Kalbi Ribs

Hypertension a.k.a. High Blood Pressure is a deadly killer, keeping yourself on a low sodium diet maybe difficult, but you can start slowly, here is a simple low sodium marinade for Kalbi Ribs.

For about 3 lbs.

2 1/2 cups of water
1 1/2 cup of soy sauce
3/4 cup of raw brown sugar
1 tbsp. minced ginger
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. minced green onions
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
5 tbsp. sesame oil
* If you want it sweeter add more sugar, but the watered down soy sauce helps reduce the sodium content.

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl real well, then add in your ribs and let soak over night for a good penetrating.
2 Heat up your grill to medium high, and grill to your liking.

Note: To help keep your BP down, do not add any more salt to the meal, instead if you need some bite, I'd suggest some drizzle of some vinegar. 
3. Eat brown rice instead of white rice.
4. Eat a green salad with a vinaigrette dressing; instead of a rich macaroni salad.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MAUI- Low Sodium Teriyaki Salmon

High blood pressure is a killer, if your pressure reads over 140 over 90; that's pretty high. A low sodium diet make sense.

Here is a very simple Grilled Salmon Teriyaki Glaze recipe

2 Salmon steaks about 6 - 7 oz each, sprinkle white pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder on both sides.

4 tbsp. of olive oil divided into 2 tbsp. each, pour it over the steaks let sit.

Heat up your grill to medium high

Teriyaki Glaze
In a mixing bowl add:
1 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. minced scallions (green onions)
4 tbsp. brown sugar

Thickening agent
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. water

In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, add in the glaze ingredients, bring to a good simmer, cook for about 4-5 minutes. Add in the cornstarch  and water to thicken, cook it a few minutes until it gets thick, it should have a nice shine to it. Set aside, with a basting brush near by.

Grill the salmon, not too long, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and plate, serve with veggies and little starch. Brush teriyaki glaze over it. Squeeze a lemon or lime.

Happy Grines

Sunday, February 19, 2012

MAUI- Noodles Of All Kinds

More info for our visitors to Hawaii, on what locals love. Well believe it or not, we does love us some noodles, I mean you name it, we love it. From Italian pasta noodles in a creamy seafood pasta, or marinara. Maybe it's the Japanese Udon noodles, and Soba. Or it  could be the Filipino pansit noodles, and of course Vietnamese and Thai rice noodles, and the Chinese chow mein or lo mein.

If it is cold, the locals will go for a nice hot Vietnamese beef pho with noodles, or a Filipino sawbaw with rice noodles, or Japanese ramen or saimin noodle soups, maybe with some dumplings (won tons) in there for some filling up.

So when you do come to Maui where can you get some good noodle dishes?

Okay I'm not getting paid by these digs but go check them out.

Sam Sato's in Wailuku- a mom and pop that serves up good dried noodles.

Star Noodle- in Lahaina, a creative noodle dig, ver innovative dishes and they make their own noodles.

Bale (Ba lay)- Vietnamese located in the Lahaina Cannery Mall, The Maui Market Place in Kahului, and in Kihei in the Piilani Shopping Village.

Aloha Mixed Plate- Lahaina for their chow fun.

Da Kitchen- for chow fun.

Paradise Market- in Kahului for some pansit.

Penne Pasta- Italian style in Lahaina

Marcos- Italian style a mile from Kahului Airport

These are just a few good places for noodles

So we locals do love noodles, so if you are wondering what we love to eat, noodles is it, we do crave it lots of times. It's very common for a local cook to have lots of noodles in the cupboard, from dried ramen, to fresh pastas in the fridge, we love noodles period.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

MAUI It's All About Taste and a Good Size Portion

The axiom here on Maui or the islands of Hawaii when it comes to a plate lunch is that no matter what entree you order, it better be of high quality, very tasty, and the cooks better not skimp on the hungry eater period!

"The worst thing is going to a restaurant an order a beef stew plate, and when you get it, there's two pieces of beef cubes, with tons of carrots, potatoes, and hardly any gravy, and the rice is small like they used a melon scoop to scoop the rice, and the macaroni salad is dry with hardly any mayonnaise."

So locals are very hard pressed for flavor and a good portion on their plates, I can remember on several occasions going to some small dig and ordering a BBQ Pork plate, only to find out the lady has the pork in the fridge, and all she does is nuke it in the microwave, and then pour some cheap ass BBQ sauce over it, hands me the plate and says, "Enjoy yeah?" It's like "Fuck this shit!"

So remember, if you get a lesser quality plate lunch, with little in it, you're good to complain, of course you can, you are a consumer, and a consumer has all the rights in the world to voice their complaint to the powers that be. After all you are doing business, there is a transaction taking place.

This is a nice picture of a Kalbi Ribs plate, nicely done. Kalbi ( Cal- Bee) is a Korean style flavored grilled beef short rib, it is sweet, with hints of salt, garlic, ginger scallions, and sesame oil and toasted sesames. This dish is so good when done right, I had met a chef from New York and he wanted to know how we made this, and when I told him the ingredients, and the simplicity of it, he was actually blown away, he told me that he'd like to add this to his menu back in New York.
Photo from Google. Com

Thursday, February 16, 2012

MAUI Chinese Food

Chinese food is part of the local plates we love, but don't expect Hong Kong or San Francisco caliber Chinese food on Maui, it is a watered down Chinese experience. The well traveled foodie will be disappointed of the choices we have here on Maui, but it is what it is. Most of the digs here are not bad.

I'm not getting paid to promote any diner, but if you aren't a well traveled foodie, and you don't mind local flavored Chinese, Dragon Dragon located in the Maui Mall in Kahului, Maui Hawaii is pretty good.

China Boat located in Kahana Maui, has been around a long time, they are located about 10 minutes north of Lahaina on Lower Honoapiilani Hwy.

China Bowl is another option, they are off of Highway 30 in Kaanapali, good quick food, again this ain't the Hong Kong foodie's place to get Chinese okay?

Fu Lin located on Front Street and Kapunakea St. in Lahaina, across from Safeway near the ocean.

Dishes you should try, if you do visit a Chinese dig, of course Roast Duck, Dim Sum, Sweet and Sour Shrimp, Kung Pao Chicken or Beef. Lo Mein noodles, or wet Chow Mein.

Stir fried Chow Fun noodles, some are made with rice flour, some wheat flour, or a combination of both. Chinese food is very popular here. Beef Broccoli and Orange Chicken isn't the only thing you should eat from a Chinese dig.

In fact the last time me and a friend ate at Fu Lin, we had the roast duck and it was really good, we didn't need the soy sauce or other condiment the waiter said he could get for us. It was  somewhat sweet with the right amount of herbs, whatever the chef did, it was really good, the duck and some hot sticky white rice did the job for us.

Maui- Dim Sum Are a Part of Local Foods

If you are wondering what kinds of foods Hawaii people eat, the Chinese cuisine is a hot item. The Cantonese Dim Sum is a hot item for sure. Maui lacks good Dim Sum, but in Honolulu on the island of Oahu one can find Dim Sum for the Chinese connection is stronger there.

If you are not familiar with the Chinese Dim Sum, it is dumplings made from all purpose flour, or from wheat starch and tapioca starch. The all purpose flour dough is a lot stronger which makes it ideal for steaming and deep frying. The latter is more translucent when it is steamed making it more of a fragile dough, but the texture is amazing, it also has a shine to it for a nice presentation.

Dim Sum comes in a myriad of shapes, and the fillings are a wide range of flavors, from sweet and sour, to salty, to bitter, and everything in between. Sauces are made from soy sauce, chiles, garlic, scallions, and just about anything you want.

In reality Dim Sum in Chinese restaurants are a family affair, where families will gather on days off to experience the delectable morsels. Carts are wheeled to tables where a variety of flavorful dumplings are at the ready for the diner to sample.

The simplest and most common type of dumpling most Americans have sampled is the won ton, the all purpose flour wrapper with a filling that comprises of mostly ground pork with shrimp and some Asian herbs and spices, and is generally deep fried to a crisp.

On Maui there is a lack of Dim Sum, but some local digs may have a few to sample, but this is just for your information, Hawaii people love Dim Sum and has adopted it as a part of our local plates.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Maui- Plate Lunch Peeps

What do I look for in a good Lau Lau? First of all, it has to be tasty, not too salty. The meat, I love beef brisket with some fat on it, and if chef puts in pork, the meat needs to have some fat on there as well... I know I know, not good those sat fats right? But if you like fine wine, well you get the picture, a fine Lau Lau has some juicy thing going on in that wrapped concoction, and no it doesn't need to be wrapped in Luau or Taro leaves, if the chef uses any other tough green leafy, that's fine with me, no worries.

Okay a piece of Cod or Butter Fish will add to it, there's nothing like the three flavors coming together as it is steaming down to a mouth watering in your mouth experience eh? Imagine, nearly 12 ounces of food, and all that is usually used for seasons is Hawaiian sea salt, yup daz all.

So a huge ass Lau Lau with rice and macaroni salad, it is the best, and the thing to remember about Lau Lau, is that you can buy it, and then freeze it for later consumption. All you do is reheat it in the pot of boiling water or steamer, or use the microwave oven.

Lau Lau is the ti leaf wrapped item top right side of the plate, below that a square of Haupia, next to Haupia is Kalua Pork, white rice. The small ramekins to the left of the platter is to left, Poi, Poke, and Lomi Salmon.

Maui- L&L Drive Inn Plate Lunches That Can't go Wrong!

So you are coming to Maui, and you want a very decent plate lunch, you're new to the scene, and you want to sample something that's not expensive, well I do suggest that you go to any of the L&L Drive Inn locations on Maui. On the west side, there's an L&L in Honokowai north of Kaanapali, and one in Lahaina in the Lahaina Cannery Mall. In Kahului, there's one in the Sack N Save strip mall, one in the Maui Market Place food court, in Kihei in the Piilani Shopping Village.

Now what I like about L&L is that it is your typical no nonsense plate lunch dig, the food is definitely edible, I love that place for its simplicity. My favorite is the Hamburger Steak Plates, okay they probably use some ready made stuff but it's quick. Their BBQ chicken is good too, that I know they make theirs, and the Hawaiian Plates aren't bad too, with the Lau Lau. The Kalbi Ribs are good, the curries are okay. It is what Mc Donald's is to burgers, L&L is to the plate lunch. It's good, you get what you pay for, seriously there's some places that will make L&L look silly on the high end quality side, but you can't go wrong feeding your face here. Not all the stuff is ready made k? You got to be realistic in business, and now days you can't hire a guy and just have him make all your stuff from scratch.

Also L&L has some restaurants with a Chop Sticks Express next to it where you can get Chinese food that is ready to be served, Chow Mein, BBQ Pork, Beef Broccoli, and other Chinese faves.

L&Ls Hawaiian Plate

MAUI- Kung Pao Chicken

Spicy Kung Pao Chicken is another part of our local plate lunch culture. Chinese food is totally part of the Hawaiian plate scene. Arrived from China, it is a dish famous for its hot chiles, and it is a classic Sichuan dish. According to sources, it is labeled "fast fried chicken cubes" (hong bao ji ding) or "chicken cubes with seared chile" (hu la ji ding).

If you've never had Sichuan style food, it is done on the spicy, chefs utilize lots of chiles, garlic, ginger, and vegetables, some chefs doing some minor variations but it is rooted in the same type of sauce. With white sticky rice, it is a perfect combination as the spicy Kung Pao is balanced by the blandness of the rice. In some plate lunch restaurants that aren't labeled "Chinese Restaurant" but they'll serve other ethnic meals, you'll find a side of either macaroni salad which is rich, or possibly a tossed green salad with a house dressing, which more than likely will be a ready made salad dressing. Chinese food is really popular in the islands, quite frankly Maui has a limited range of good spicy Chinese, but if you travel to Oahu, there's more to choose from there. So if you are wondering constantly what consists of local foods, Kung Pao Chicken or Beef is something we do like to delve in. The best way to find this dish is to ask the local people where you are staying if there is any good Sichuan style around the area.

Happy Grines

Sunday, February 5, 2012

MAUI- Local Faves Chicken Curry Katsu

When visiting the islands, and wanting to eat what we locals love to eat, one local plate we love is called a Chicken Curry Katsu with 2 scoops of white rice, and a scoop of macaroni salad. It is also called Katsu Curry. The spices for the curry is the usual spices found in Malay and Thai curries, or Indian curries, so it is kind of on the spicy, but most local chefs keep it mild. What this is is really a chicken katsu with a curry sauce or gravy over it. 

Some curries have veggies in it, some places will serve it without veggies. When in the islands, look for Chicken Curry Katsu, or Katsu Curry. Locals love to eat savory dishes with gravy or sauces, and plate lunches are really comfort foods, the influences of this dish is Japanese because of the katsu and white rice, Italian for the macaroni salad, with French for the mayonnaise in the macaroni salad, and Southeast Asian with the curry sauce that tops it. So local foods are really world influenced foods. 

Photo from:

MAUI Chinese Food is Local Foods Too

Find a local dig that sells Chinese food, or a Chinese restaurant in the islands, and one favorite dish is Kau Yuk. It is really a Chinese style pork pot roast, generally belly pork or the pork butts are used, it is steamed or boiled in salted water to soften, then cut into chunks, and marinated in thick soy sauce with garlic and ginger. And then it is sauteed in oil, and then a red bean curd sauce is made, with brown sugar, white sugar, sherry, soy sauce again, and star anise or Chinese five spice. The aroma is very inviting, it is very simple, and it is a rich dish because of the fat content involved. If one is eating Kau Yuk, and diet is important, stay away from white rice which comes with it and the macaroni salad. 

Kau Yuk in other restaurants may have cooked vegetables along with the pork pieces, it depends, and some chefs may make their Kau Yuk more on the dark brown side instead of the reddish side that is most common. So if you are looking for what locals here in the islands love to eat, look for Kau Yuk, it is a Chinese dish that locals adopted.

Apologies, at this time I haven't cooked a plate of Kau Yuk for a picture taking, and I can't get the rights to rip one off the the websites. Look it up though and you'll find it. Go to and type in Kau Yuk, you'll see an awesome picture.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

MAUI- Filipino Food A Part of Local Plates Hog Blood :)

Photo: wikipedia

The Filipino people brought with them their style of cooking, and over many years, their cuisine is gaining popularity with people from around the world. One of the most popular of dishes at parties, and at local Filipino digs is a dish made with hog's blood, hog's liver, belly pork, garlic, oil, bay leaf, chives, vinegar, salt, it is called Dinuguan (dee noo goo ahn) and if you closed your eyes, you wouldn't think that you were eating cooked hog's blood. But the blood adds this unique flavor to the dish, of course vegans will puke if you put this in front of them. I've known people who would never eat this dish, only to sample it a few times and thought it was delicious once they got past the blood thing... I don't eat this, I used to, but not anymore it is too rich and fattening, high in cholesterol, but if you like rich food try this out. Ask for Brown Meat, or Halloween Blood Stew, or Chocolate Meat.


MAUI Local Kine Chinese Food Won Ton Soup

Come to Maui and have Chinese influenced local kine grines. You see the Chinese has a huge influence here on the local food scene. When they came to Hawaii to work in the plantations, and to set up their own businesses, they brought with them their ways of cooking.

Steamed won tons (dumplings) filled with shrimp or pork, in a seafood broth, with Chinese cabbage, and at times depending on the dig you're in, will offer egg noodles with the soup. Or Won Ton Min. So actually the Japanese had a hand in this dish too.

How do you eat this? Locals will get a small ramekin and put some hot mustard in it and add soy sauce, mix it up and use it to dip the steamed Won Tons in, or like myself I just dump the mixture into the soup itself and make the whole bowl nice and hot. If there's Tabasco around I'll douse a few drops in there as well.

Remember Hawaii is a melting pot of a diverse ethnic bunch, and Asian foods is a big part of what we love to eat or grine.


Maui Local Plates Beef Tomato

So you are a malahini eh? That's (ma la hee nee) or new comer. Okay and you want to eat what we eat right? So here is what you gotta look for at a local dig, ask them if they make Beef Tomato, it is beef cut thin and stir fried with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, onions, and of course tomatoes.

Sorry no pictures for this one, but imagine tender beef slices, marinated umami style, Asian influenced, every chef concocts it to their own specs, but if the chef is any good, he or she can't really mess it up. I've tasted spicy and hot Beef Tomato, I've tasted sweet and sour Beef Tomato, and I've tasted salty Beef Tomato... all good when a local brother is hungry, stomach growling like crazy... it's all good you know.

I guess it's the same anywhere, take pizzas for instance, the Chicago folks claim they got the shits in their town, while New Yorkers claim their pizzas is the shits, so it's a matter of preference. So like Beef Tomato, every diner has their own unique recipe, but the base is all the same, and that is it has to have tender slices of beef and fresh tomatoes.

So look on the menu for Beef Tomato, and wash it down with a nice cold beverage, if a sports bar has it, buy it with a nice cold beer, I'm telling you, Beef Tomato with cold beer is the shits.

Aloha from Maui

Lahaina, Maui's Veteran Lunch Wagon Chef Nobu

If you're coming to Lahaina, Maui anytime soon and want to sample a true local plate lunch, just good...make that excellent delicious, you gotta go and get a plate lunch from Nobu, he's the plate lunch veteran, he has a small pink lunch wagon, and has been in business for over 2 decades, parked at the NAPA parking lot behind the Pizza Hut off of Highway 30, he's there on the weekdays, and his prices are just perfect. 7.00 for a plate lunch, rice, mac or green salad, plus one of his awesome entrees, or 7.50 for a combination plate, and the drinks of water or soda is dirt cheap.

When I think of lunch wagons, I think of Nobu, what a concept, he gets his food prepped in the morning, sits around the NAPA parking lot, and sells out his food and calls it a day. What a job, what a life. At least he's his own boss, no need to answer to some Dickhead boss. So if you're in the islands, and on Maui's west side, Lahaina to Kapalua, stop by Nobu's lunch wagon, you'll be pleased with the quality of the food. It's local to the maximum.

Nobu is inside his lunch wagon, his office, his little hole in the wall that's on wheels. A culinary mainstay on the Lahaina asphalt. Look at that in the shade, what a life!