Yes, my friends, Butterblogger made it to Hawaii!
I got off of the plane, only a little late, and D was waiting for me. We walked through the terminal (which is partially open air) and out the door to get the rental car, and the experience was something akin to waking from a torturous coma. It has been such an unrelenting and biting winter back in Michigan that I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to be warm.
Let me reassure you, it is absolutely, undoubtedly, wonderful.
We went immediately to the hotel without any driving drama (that’s what Italy is for!) and checked in. Interestingly enough, I noticed that our hotel, like many others, doesn’t have an enclosed lobby. The lobby is just open to the world with fresh air circulating everywhere. It’s wonderful!
The clerk at the desk gave us a brief tour. There is something about the Hawaiian accent that is melodious, but my ears haven’t yet become attuned to it, so basically I understood nothing of what she said until she made a dinner suggestion. We hurried upstairs to the room and I changed into shorts and a light shirt and went online to corroborate her suggestion.
We found the restaurant easily, noting that the GPS is no better at pronouncing Hawaiian words than either of us is.
Uncle Bo’s was a great choice. Super casual and super friendly neighborhood place.
We started with pork dumplings.
Followed this with crispy pork belly. The pork belly had a bit of a chew to it, which is different from most other pork belly that I’ve had. The flavor was great, and the chew wasn’t so profound as to be chewy – it was just right.
My main was the Baked Opah Mauna Kea, which is one of their specialties. It is topped with garlic chili aioli and a panko parmesan crust. I haven’t had opah before, but totally loved this dish. The fish was super fresh, super mild, and had a very fine-grained flesh giving it a meatier texture than some other fish I’ve had. The garlic potatoes and mixed vegetables were decent but not spectacular. The fish was easily the star of the plate and I left satisfied.
We were done then, and went back to the hotel, briefly pausing to walk on the beach. Then I collapsed.
Have I mentioned how wonderful it is to not be cold?