As I return to reality, there are a few observations I'd like to make about food in Hawaii. First, it's all good. No clinkers at all. We ate in places high and low on both Hawaii and Oahu, and everywhere we found great chow. From the Pueo's Osteria in orderly Waikoloa to Hank's Haute Dogs in the industrial section of Honolulu, we ate wonderfully well.
But a few meals really stood out for me, so here they are. Up top, the observation that adding fresh, ripe pineapple and toasted macadamia nuts elevates simple cole slaw to a level just short of heaven. I hope all my future cole slaws will be made this way.
Second, there is almost nothing better on earth than fresh fish. Grilled, sautéed, or raw, it shines as long as it is just-out-of-the-water fresh. Ahi, ono, mahimahi, swordfish - they were all just sublime. I happen to love sashimi so I ordered it more than once. Sadly, shredded daikon radish is no longer served for the "salad" part - everyone has gone to cabbage - but the ginger, the shoyu, the wasabi, and the silky fish are still the ticket to transport me.
My younger brother is an avid fisherman who loves nothing more than a day on the water trying to outwit the wily denizens of the deep. He caught an ono and a mahimahi the day before we arrived and he grilled it on his Big Green Egg so we feasted on his catch at dinner the first night.
And, for sheer delight, I can recommend a barbecue on Kailua Beach on Oahu as the sun slides behind the mountain. Hamburgers lovingly cooked on the grill by my brother and eaten with him and his family are "ono" (the best).
Re-entry has been difficult for me. My Beloved is relieved to be back home where it's cool (we missed the heat wave that was here while we were in the Islands) but I'm bundled up in shoes and socks, long sleeves and a sweater, waiting to re-acclimate after two weeks of slippahs and shorts. Still, there is warmer weather in the forecast and we missed our Cora, so we are glad to be home with her again. And filled with wonderful Hawaiian memories.