BOLAY

BOLAY

// ROYAL PALM BEACH, FL // A few weekends ago, I was on the phone with my parents when the conversation took an interesting turn. “Did you know that your uncle Alex just bought a house in Florida?” Well, that was certainly a surprise. “It’s actually two hours south of where you live!” As it turns out, my uncle had closed on a house in the West Palm Beach area and asked if I would be up for visiting over the weekend. My cousin Stanley was also going to be flying into the area to see the new house, so he was certainly surprised to see me when my uncle and I rolled up to the airport’s arrivals area. It turned out to be a very nice and relaxing weekend that I could catch up with some family members I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Continue reading

‘OHANA

‘OHANA

// ORLANDO, FL // When my family talks about our Millenium New Year’s celebration trip down to Disney World, a topic that comes up frequently is our experience eating at ‘Ohana. Meaning “family” in Hawaiian, ‘Ohana had been only open for about five years prior to our first visit. Since then, it has exploded in popularity, with eager diners recommended to make reservations close to six months in advance. It only took 17 years, but I finally made it back to the place that gave me such a strong childhood memory. Continue reading

SEITO SUSHI

SEITO SUSHI

// ORLANDO, FL // Two weekends ago, my parents and brother flew into Orlando so we could spend time together for Chinese New Year. We’d had some previous success during our Hawaii trip trying local restaurants during our vacation, so we decided to do the same during this trip too. We had already planned on eating American and Polynesian food, so we looked around the area for another cuisine my family loves to enjoy: Japanese. Our search brought us to Seito Sushi, which had positive reviews online as well as photos of beautifully plated specialty rolls. Continue reading

MR. BARTLEY’S BURGER COTTAGE

MR. BARTLEY’S BURGER COTTAGE

// CAMBRIDGE, MA // The summer of 2006 was the last time that I was up in the Cambridge area, doing college visits at Harvard and MIT. As a rising high school junior at the time, I was starting my visit process early to try and get a feel for some schools before applying. Our family friends, the Sugimoras, had a son who was studying oceanography at MIT at the time, and recommended giving Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage a try. The burger that I ate that day must have made quite an impression on my 16-year-old palate, since I still remembered that restaurant to this day. That’s precisely why, 10 years later, when my friend Jason and I were in the Boston area for the weekend, I mentioned we should hit this place up. Continue reading

AGU RAMEN

AGU RAMEN

// HONOLULU, HI // Ramen is usually categorized by the type of broth that is used. In Agu Ramen’s case, they served three primary types: chicken, pork, and vegetarian. The menu is absolutely filled with options, 20 different in this case. For a novice ramen eater like myself, that could get pretty overwhelming, and I spent a good chunk of time just reading through all the descriptions. All the different ramen bowls sounded great, which made it that much harder to choose. Continue reading

TONKATSU GINZA BAIRIN

TONKATSU GINZA BAIRIN

// HONOLULU, HI // Nestled away between resorts and other small restaurants or shops, Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin has a very unassuming storefront, with a few Japanese-style windows and a doormat in front of the entrance. The remarkable thing, however, was that once you stepped inside the restaurant, it truly felt like you were transported away from the sandy beaches and tropical climate of Hawaii. I could have looked outside the windows and expected to the street side of a Tokyo neighborhood. The Japanese-style d├ęcor, ample ambient lighting, and restaurant staff conversing in Japanese really made it an immersive experience that I had a deep appreciation for. Continue reading