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

PIZZETTA

PIZZETTA

// KOLOA, HI // While browsing through restaurants to add to my family’s Hawaii trip brainstorming list, Pizzetta caught my eye for two reasons: 1) it was a well-rated pizza place close to where we were staying in Kauai, and 2) it was an opportunity to try more pizza on Hawaii. Plus, the restaurant added some diversity in cuisine selection, since the previous restaurants on our list consisted mostly of Hawaiian, Japanese, or American food. Continue reading

EATING HOUSE 1849

EATING HOUSE 1849

// KOLOA, HI // Another island, another highly anticipated restaurant to try. It came time for my family to hop over to Kauai after spending two full days in Maui ziplining, Segway-ing, and exploring Lahaina Town. During trip planning, my cousin Connie had recommended for us to check out Eating House 1849 during our stay on the island. An acclaimed restaurant by chef Roy Yamaguchi, Eating House turned out to less than 10 minutes away from where we were staying in southern Kauai. Continue reading

KOA’S SEASIDE GRILL

KOA’S SEASIDE GRILL

// LAHAINA, HI // I read a lot about a brunch place called Gazebo up in the Kapalua area while I was doing some research for my family’s Hawaii trip. Reviews were nothing but positive about their food and also said the place was pretty popular for brunch. The downside about popularity is that if you don’t get there early, you’ll probably end up waiting for a while to get seated. Luckily, one review I stumbled across mentioned they had a sister restaurant in Lahaina called Koa’s Seaside Grill, which served the exact same menu. Some good info to have in the back pocket for sure. Continue reading