Published Articles
Big Island Poke Contest Preserves Hawaiian Culture

Big Island Poke Contest Preserves Hawaiian Culture

Poke, Hawaiians will tell you, is pronounced Po-kay, ending with an “e” and not pronounced as if its spelled poki.  With that in mind, I was ready for the annual poke competition in Waikoloa, Big Island, and an event of the Hawai’i Island Festival.  First I had to make my way past a royal guardsman...
The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar-tiki everlasting

The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar-tiki everlasting

Almost cult like, there is a serious following with no pretense and images of little grass skirts. Welcome to tiki bars, and this one hasn’t lost momentum in seventy years. Located in the famous and internationally known Fairmont hotel high on Nob Hill, San Francisco, the Hurricane Bar and Tonga Room are wildly popular. A...
South Point on the Big Island

South Point on the Big Island

If you want to get into a lively discussion with a fellow traveler, ask where the southernmost part of the USA is located.  Many areas claim this special recognition, but at 19 degrees latitude, South Point beach on the Big Island takes the pineapple.  Known as Ka Lae, it’s a National Historic Landmark District commerates...
San Diego's Soul Food Finds the Right Climate

San Diego’s Soul Food Finds the Right Climate

(Pictured Bradrick Cooper, Coop’s West Texas BBQ) San Diego is known for beautiful beaches and year round pleasant weather, plus, yes, soul food. Soul food in this predominantly Mexican food environment is here.  There was a time when many soul food and barbeque restaurants lined the streets of southeast San Diego. Today, most of those...
Summer Music in Swing at Cape Rey in Carlsbad, California

Summer Music in Swing at Cape Rey in Carlsbad, California

Surely this is paradise, listening to a cool band while the sun sets over the pristine Carlsbad beach with cocktail in hand. Cape Rey Resort’s summer concert series is in full swing and the last Thursday of each month good vibes are belted out around the pool.  The upbeat essence of my staycation was just...
Growing Chocolate in Hawaii

Growing Chocolate in Hawaii

Hawaii the state of scenic sunsets, gorgeous beaches, and chocolate?  Yes, the “food of the Gods” is grown on the Big Island near the fertile lands where coffee and avocados abundantly grow. A bit south of Kona, in a lush tropical setting with sweeping views of the ocean, sits the gardens of the Original Hawaiian...
San Diego's Craft Spirits

San Diego’s Craft Spirits

Step aside craft beers; there are some new spirits in town. Rum, vodka, gin and moonshine have all become an integral part of the San Diego scene as local distilleries brew up small batches for the cosmopolitan crowd. To introduce diners to these indie craft brands, Solare Ristorante in Liberty Station recently planned a “Spirits...
Visit the Flower Fields in Carlsbad

Visit the Flower Fields in Carlsbad

I had to wonder if I was in Holland or really in Southern California basking in the enormous flower field.  Known for top rated beaches, cool surfing spots and snappy Legoland, Carlsbad, just north of San Diego city, is the motherlode of blossoming Ranunculus flowers. On a hillside just one exit from the Interstate 5...
What to Catch at Disneyland's Food and Wine Festival

What to Catch at Disneyland’s Food and Wine Festival

Delicious food, drink and special culinary events will keep the magic dazzling in California’s adventure park this month. Here’s what you should check out. <style type=”text/css”> .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style> Food, drink and culinary special events will keep the magic dazzling in California Adventure Park during April and first of May, 2016.  Sip and...
Big Island, Italian Style

Big Island, Italian Style

Move over poi and luau pig. On the Island of Hawaii, Pueo’s Osteria is on the radar more than the spouting volcano.  Neatly tucked away in an older Hawaiian style courtyard, the villa-like surroundings, with soft yellows and a muted green stone wall, feels right out of Tuscany.  It’s quite an authentic Italian atmosphere and...
Beverly Hills' Lawry's Prime Rib: The Taste Is in the Silver Cart

Beverly Hills’ Lawry’s Prime Rib: The Taste Is in the Silver Cart

My dining extravaganza began with a spinning salad as dressing was poured from high above and the bowl spun in a mesmeric rotation. I tried to finish my salad until being distracted by the silver cart brought tableside and loaded with slow roasted prime rib roasts. Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, California, opened...

‘Mixed Plate’, Hawaii-Style

“Mixed plate dining” is a term often used in Hawaii, and the meaning is interesting and has history. Going back to the 1800’s, sugar was the top crop on the island of Maui. Whaling days were gone and immigrant workers arrived to work the plantation fields. Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Filipinos cooked their native foods and shared...