Bread + Butter

DSC06548We recently ate at Bread + Butter, which was the restaurant that replaced Angelo Pietros next to Shokudo on Kapiolani Boulevard in the Ala Moana area.   When I first went into the restaurant, my first thought was, “wow, they did a lot of renovations to this place” as I did not see any resemblance of the old Pietros that was once there for so long.   Bread + Butter is a trendy café type restaurant.  Similar to the café in Nordstrom’s, you order your food at the register (it’s all the way at the back of the restaurant), and if you are eating there, they will give you a number that you place on your table.  However, unlike Nordstrom’s you do have to get your own utensils and water, which is available at a side table next to the bar.  We went for lunch and the menu had a wide variety of options – from pizzas, pastas, salads, and sandwiches.  I decided to order the Prosciutto + Fig Pizza ($14.95). DSC06532

Ev decided to order the Carbonara ($12.95), which came with a slice of parmesan bread.  I thought both of the dishes were good and wouldn’t mind eating either again.  While the prices are on the higher side, I thought the food was on par with what you would get at the Nordstrom’s café or the Kaimuki Superette.DSC06531
Overall, I think this restaurant is a good place to meet a few friends for a nice bite to eat for lunch.  Given the atmosphere and location, I was not surprised that the restaurant was packed when we went on a Saturday in the early afternoon.   For better or for worse, I’ve also been told that Bread + Butter also has free Wi-Fi, which may also contribute to the slow turnover of tables and packed restaurant.

 

Connor Goes Swimming

DSC06702A few weeks ago Connor started swimming lessons at our local YMCA! The lessons are for 30 minutes every Saturday and runs for a total of 10 weeks.
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Connor is in the Parent/Tot class, which is designed for children 6 to 35 months of age. The classes are conducted with the parent in the water with the child.   Most of the activities are done to well known nursery rhymes (humpty dumpty) or songs (wheels on the bus, hokey pokey).

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During this 10 week session, there are a total of 5 children (including Connor) in the class.  Although children could be as young as a 6 months, Connor happened to be the youngest one in his class. Connor sure acts like the youngest one as well. While all the others were having fun playing in the water, my poor son just complained and cried for I’d say 80-90% of the 30 minute lesson. The only time he stopped crying was the few minutes of “free time” at the end of the lesson where he got to play with the floating toys in the water. Of course, Connor grabbed onto two balls and wouldn’t let them go until he got out of the water.
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Overall, the class was very well-organized.  I just wish Connor enjoyed it a little more.   Everett thinks that Connor is fussy because he doesn’t like the blue floatation device that he’s required to wear and because the swim lessons are at a bad time (the class is during the time  at which Connor usually takes his morning nap).  I too wish the class was earlier in the morning.  Unfortunately, our class is the only Parent/Tot class they have on Saturdays.  I am hoping that as we keep going to these lessons, Connor will get more used to the water and will actually start playing and enjoying the water.  Otherwise, it’s going to be a long 10 weeks!

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Mud Hen Water

The family celebrated Ev’s Mom’s birthday with a dinner at Mud Hen Water on Waialae Avenue.  We are/were big fans of Ed Kenney’s other restaruants – Town, Kaimuki Superette, and the former Downtown – so we were excited to see what Mud Hen Water had to offer.

Mud Hen Water’s menu was separated into 6 categories – snacks, vegetables, fish, meat, noodles/rice/poi, and dessert.  The dishes are served tapas style and Mud Hen Water uses local ingredients whenever possible.  For our family of 5 (and Connor) we decided to order a handful of snacks and a few dishes from each category except for dessert (we decided to eat gelato at Via Gelato) to share family style.

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After we ordered, the server brought us the amuse bouche, which were tiny cubes of salty cheese with olive oil.  It was okay, but nothing to write home about.

20150728_175550Our first appetizer of the night was the Yaki o Pa’i ‘ai – Shoyu Sugar, nori, sesame ($10).   This dish came with two pieces (approximately 1.5 inches by 2.5 inches)  of pa’i ‘ai grilled on with teriyaki sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and placed on a sheet of nori.  I thought this was an original and creative preparation for pa’i ‘ai.  Reminded me of the grilled mochi that we buy at Da Ala Cart.

20150728_174931The second snack we ordered was the Shinsato Dry Chorizo – potato chips, bitter chocolate, olive oil ($7).  This dish came with a total of 5 thin slices of Chorizo on each on a potato chip.  Now, I am a big fan of cured meats and I give this restaurant major props for making their own sausage, however, I thought that $7 for this “dish” was absolutely ridiculous.  I didn’t find this dish particularly unique or the preparation that hard – it’s a slice of chorizo onto of a potato chip.  And the $7 price bothered me for some reason.

20150728_175443The third snack was the Lup Cheong Madelines – miso whipped lard ($8). This dish was disappointing. The madelines were a little bland and didn’t taste like lup cheong and I really didn’t think the whipped miso lard brought anything to the dish.

20150728_175211The last of our snacks was this salted Walu Croquette – potato, aburage, mayonnaise ($5). I admit that this dish didn’t look like much but I liked this one the best of all the snacks. Too bad no one else agreed with me. I thought it was a tasty, fried, flaky fish patty. Yum!20150728_175328Our first dish from the vegetable section was the Crudite – koena hummus, meyer lemon, kukui nut lavosh ($9).  The hummus was made with koena, which we were told was some left over part of the taro root.  Overall, the dish was fine but I prefer the taste of real hummus over the taro made hummus.

20150728_181017The section dish from the vegetable section was the Tilapia Skin Salad – silken tofu, Maui onion, bittermelon, palm heart, crispy shallot, yuzu ($14).  I thought the salad had a nice mix of items, textures, and tastes that blended well together.  I don’t care for bittermelon that much, but overall, the salad tasty and I would get this again.

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In the fish category, we chose the Grilled He’e – lu’au leaf, inamona dukkah ($16), which was Mud Hen Water’s version of squid luau.  I thought the He’e (octopus) was slightly too charred for my taste, but at least it was tender.  The lu’au portion of he pretty good too.
20150728_181402On the recommendation by one of Ev’s coworkers, we selected the Grilled Beef Stew – kalo, carrots, celery, gravy all over ($21) as our meat dish.  This dish was good but not spectacular.  Each of the vegetables are nicely grilled, but I didn’t think that it elevated the dish that much more than a good, local beef stew plate lunch.
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The second meat dish we ordered was the Smoke Meat Carbonara  – bucatini, sugar snaps, pea shoots, parmigiano ($14).  This was probably my favorite dish of the night because I love Carbonara and the salty, creaminess of the sauce went well with the smoked meat.
20150728_181950 Our final dish of the night was the Multi-Grain Risotto – oxtail, boiled peanut, chung choy, Chinese parsley ($16). I know that risotto shouldn’t be over cooked, the dish was too crunchy for my liking.  I think I would have liked the dish if it were slightly more cooked.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with Mud Hen Water.   The food was ok but it didn’t justify the higher prices and small portion sizes.  While I’ll probably give Mud Hen Water another chance down the line, I would much rather eat at Town for now.