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March 14, 2016

Chee-hoo! Just received my “Elite” badge today. Yelp is an online community that provides tips & reviews of restaurants and other establishments. It is helpful in that it provides business hours, maps, menus, and photos, and is especially useful when traveling.

I became a more contributing Yelper this year. I was asked to be the advisor for our high school’s newly created Yelp Club. I figured that I needed to be more active in order to gain credibility. I actually found it fun and engaging to be a part of this positive and supportive community.

No surprise, but most of my reviews are food-related. I consider Chinatown to be my “beat,” but I will go anywhere and everywhere to find the perfect loco moco or bowl of ramen. For me, a 3-star rating is “good,” a 4-star is “great,” and a 5-star means that it’s adding enormous value to the community (and it would be a shame if it were to go away.)

Enjoy being on Yelp and tickled to be on the 2016 Yelp Honolulu Elite Squad. “It’s neat to be elite.” And yes, I always take pics of my food….

Checkout my reviews at


My Civic Duty….

February 12, 2016

I was summoned for Jury Duty this past Tuesday. This was only my 2nd time (I was released the first time, years ago.) I walked over to the First Circuit Court on Punchbowl Street.

During the selection process, each side could dismiss three potential jurors. After five were dismissed, I thought I was going home early. Of course, I was selected. Juror #12.

The case started that afternoon. The judge assured us that it would probably last only three days. I wholeheartedly agreed. Looking back, it was a good experience. I learned a lot. I thought I knew what the word “drama” meant. I had no idea….

Serving on the jury (and walking through Kaka’ako) allowed me to eat at different restaurants. I went to Egghead Café, Karen’s Kitchen, a fast food Chinese express in Restaurant Row (not so good,) and a convenience store in Restaurant Row (enjoyed the mandoo.) I wanted to check out Mimi’s Place (Peruvian food,) but was unable to do so.

On Wednesday, the Eddie surf meet was scheduled to go down (canceled at 7:30am.) I rocked my 2009 Eddie t-shirt in the courtroom. Eddie would go….

POW! WOW! Hawai’i was also going down this week. Each afternoon I would stroll the neighborhood and check out the progress. (Click to enlarge photo.) Great way to spend the afternoon.

The trial ended on Thursday afternoon, and we entered into deliberation at 3:30pm. If we couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict by 4:15, we would need to return on Friday. Needless to say, it didn’t take long.

All in all, it was a good experience. The proceedings were “interesting,” and the jurors were friendly. I made 11 friends, 90 dollars, and my definition of the word “drama” was seriously expanded.

Al’s Chinatown Tours

January 5, 2016

Hehe…. In the spirit of a Rick Steve’s Travel Guidebook, here’s my take on Chinatown Honolulu. This is an update to a post from two years ago. Will be taking my coworkers on a tour soon, so thought this would be timely.

I started exploring Chinatown after moving to Kaka’ako a few years ago. What started out as exercise (urban hiking) transformed into a deeper sense of “place.” It’s become a Saturday morning ritual. I also believe that Chinatown has the best food in Hawai’i. Now I want to share my passion for the sights, sounds, (smells,) and energy of this vibrant community….

History 101: Chinese laborers arrive in the 1850s when sugar replaces whaling as the prominent industry.
Chinatown fires: In 1900, there was the bubonic plague. 7000 were quarantined. 40 controlled fires were set by the Honolulu Fire Department. One got out of control and lasted 17 days. Only a few buildings escaped the fire and still exist today.
WWII: Chinatown becomes a red-light district.
Statehood/1959: The tourism boom and the opening of Ala Moana Shopping Center lead to the decline of Chinatown.
Revitalization: Chinatown targeted for revitalization in the 70s by Mayor Frank Fasi.

Parking: People have the perception that Chinatown has no parking and that it is dirty. Let me dispel this by saying that there’s a whole lotta parking. In fact, street parking is free on Sundays (however, some of the really good shops are closed on Sundays.) The best parking lot is underground, underneath Smith-Beretania Park (next to the old Empress Theater.) As far as being dirty…. hmm….

Currency: The best restaurants here are cash-only, have sticky menus, and no one speaks English (not even the customers.)

Chinatown is bordered by King Street and Beretania (but includes the Chinese Cultural Plaza,) and by River Street and Bethel. Let’s go….

The Hawai’i Theatre was built in 1922 by Consolidated Amusement. It closed in the 80s, but was renovated and reopened in the 90s.

Bozo: The sign and marquee were created by sign artist “Bozo” Shigemura. He was the only one in Hawai’i at the time who could bend glass for the neon signs. He created the iconic signs for Wo Fat Chop Suey and Club Hubba Hubba.

Maunakea Marketplace is a great place to explore. There’s a huge food court, souvenir stands, and a great open market. You can even find old Kung Fu movies on VHS. Mickey Café has the best bubble tea drinks in Chinatown. Instead of powdered sugar, they grind fresh sugar cane.

After exiting Maunakea Marketplace, cross Hotel Street to Kekaulike Market. Here you can get a Hamachi Poke Bowl from Maguro Bros. Amazing stuff! Along Kekaulike Mall, you’ll find the Ying Leong Look Funn Factory.

Cross King Street to O’ahu Market, the oldest market in Chinatown. You can find the freshest meats, produce, and unusual things there. I saw hanging char siu, roast duck, live crabs, beef tongue, pig heads, dragon fruit, and unrecognizable organ meats. Fong’s Meat Market has the best roast pork in Chinatown.

Chinatown is a great place to try a new cuisine, buy produce, and take pictures.

The Chinese Cultural Plaza is where you’ll find all of the dim sum restaurants. I’ve only been to Legend’s, but I hear that Fook Lam and Tai Pan are the best ones. (Locals tend to gravitate toward english names.) You’ll find the older men playing mahjong on the benches along the river.

For noodles, my fave place is the Hong Kong Noodle House in the Chinese Cultural Plaza. I usually get the Tossed (stewed) noodle. I ordered this one with pig’s feet. Noms….

Chinatown has the best pizza in Hawai’i. Yes, pizza. Only thing, they’re all in bars. J.J. Dolan’s and Bar 35 are renown for their pies.

Chinatown absolutely has the best phở in Hawai’i. No need to go to “Phở Row” on River Street. My top three shops are Phở My Lan on Maunakea Street, Huang Lan in the Chinese Cultural Plaza, and Saigon Vietnamese Cuisine on King Street.

Chinatown has awesome sweets and desserts. The Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery is a landmark. I like the gin dui (black sugar) and mooncakes, but I always go home with a bag of something….

Wing’s Ice Cream has homemade flavors. This one is Raspberry with dark chocolate chip.
Of course, Lee’s Bakery has the most amazing custard pies.

It’s comforting to know that there are still places that I remember from my childhood. Char Hung Sut still has my favorite manapua & pork hash.

I especially appreciate the traditional ethnic foods in Chinatown. This is the Bún bò Huế from Kim An Vietnamese Restaurant. It comes with blood cake and pig’s trotters. This place is the “real deal.”

This is dim sum from Happy Garden (made famous by Andrew Zimmern.) The chicken feet are on the way….

Mei Sum is also a good place for dim sum. A good “contemporary Chinese” restaurant is Little Village Noodle House on Smith Street.

Chinatown also has the coolest, new, “trendy” places. The Pig & the Lady is one of my fave restaurants. Love the Bánh mì sandwiches with the incredible, crunchy bread. Try the watermelon soda.

Lucky Belly is another fave. I enjoy the Bao sandwiches (pork buns) and ramen here. They recently opened Livestock Tavern across the street.

Chinatown also has a great skateboard park, antique shops, boutiques, tattoo parlors, and tons of lei stands. Chinatown is where the creatives & makers set up shop.

Festivals: The Chinese New Year Street Festival & Parade is THE event of the year. Thousands gather for this amazing celebration. Chinese New Year will be on February 8th this year. Festival takes place on Saturday, January 30th. Chinatown also hosts First Fridays, art events, and other block parties.

Definitely my kinda place. See you in Chinatown….

Bucket List 2016

January 1, 2016

After reposting the same New Year’s Resolution year-after-year with no success, I tried reimagining the process and switched over to a bucket list in 2013. I moved from incremental goals (e.g., lose 10 pounds) to life goals. It’s been transformational. Since then, I’ve walked across the Great Wall of China, visited my Compassion sponsored child in the Philippines, ran a TED Talk event at school, and led a homeless outreach ministry in Chinatown. Truly blessed.

Here’s my updated list on

Occasionally, I will open up my Moleskine and have a “reimagine sesh.” Continuing to work on my life goals, school goals, ministry goals, and travel goals.

Hope your bucket list is going well! Happy 2016! Hau`oli Makahiki Hou & God Bless.

Best Slippers Ever!!

December 29, 2015

This is the absolute best pair of slippers that I’ve ever owned in my life! The brand is Quiksilver. I got these about three to four years ago with a Macy’s gift card. (Yes, this is a weird blog post….) I wear ‘um practically everyday. I’ve put a whole lotta miles on them, but they’re still in good shape.

I believe the secret is in the sole. It’s made of some kinda impenetrable, space-age material. In fact, these slippers are wearing out more from the top than the bottom. They’ve been through rain (and rain puddles) and don’t smell at all. Unreal. 🙂

Hehe. Just thought I’d share….

Alan’s Café

December 28, 2015

I’ve been at 909 for 6 years now, but have hardly been on the balcony at all. I guess it’s because of my fear of heights. I get the same view from the living room without having to go outside. Today I finally added some patio furniture.

Found this French Bistro set on Amazon for $130. I used the one-month free trial of Amazon Prime for the free shipping. Now I feel like I’ve added an extra room to my tiny condo.

This new space will be great for a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or a good book. Welcome to the grand opening of Alan’s Ca.

Open all night….

Christmas 2015 (My Christmas Card to You)

December 24, 2015

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! Here’s my 2015 “card” and customary Year-in-Review blurb. Hope this finds you well….

2015 started off great with a visit from Deborah & Henry, my Melbourne fam. So nice to catch up on our lives. Lifelong friends.

Our dynamic Kapālama Team (and friends) held its 2nd annual EdTech conference-unconference Mashup in January. There were more than 40 Hawai’i educators and school leaders in attendance. (Held our 3rd one in October. 65 in attendance.) Huge success!

This was my 2nd year volunteering for TEDxHonolulu and first time serving on a committee. It took up some time during evenings and weekends, but it was well worth it. Met a lot of inspiring people.

Traveled to Osaka (and Kyoto) during Spring Break. It was an amazing trip! Stayed with Daryl and also got to visit my friend Yoshitaka. Hope to return someday. Tanoshikatta….

Our TED-Ed Club was able to host a TED-Ed event on campus. We had student speakers from the elementary, middle, and high school. We also had alumni and faculty speak as well. It was a tremendous success. Got to give my very first “TED Talk.”

So blessed to have serviced our Big Island campus this past school year. I flew out every Thursday-Friday for a total of 31 trips. I met a lot of amazing educators and made great friends. It was tiring, but I miss them. Great people….

I was able to promote our KS EdTech Conference on HPR. Had a fun time with Burt Lum and Ryan Ozawa on Bytemarks Café. Here’s the interview.

This was my 3rd year as a co-facilitator at the Punahou Lab School. Always happy to work with Lorelei. I have always learned so much at this annual summer PD event. Amazing people.

Our Revive outreach faithfully served the needy in Chinatown for the past year and-a-half. We were able to partner with Pawa’a Church, Surfing the Nations, and the Salvation Army Missions Team. We recently relocated to the Kaimuki area when Inspire Church (city location) moved to Kaimuki High School. We hope to bless the community there.

Hehe. Played a live gig at Pono Plates in Pearl City. It was my first gig in over 15 years. It was a fun night meeting up with good friends.

Finally, I continue to work at our high school campus. Part of an amazing team. I get to laugh everyday. So unbelievably blessed….

“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:10-11

Past card posts: 2012 2013 2014


December 19, 2015

People who know me know that travel is my passion. It’s quite expensive for me, but it’s what I look forward to. I think I got the “bug” as a little kid. I used to live for field trips. It was getting out of the classroom and experiencing the surroundings with all of your senses. Mom also used to cook these great bentos for me. She would bust out the tin and fill it with musubi, fried chicken, and spam. I remember packing a frozen can of juice in aluminum foil.

Speaking of field trips, my best one came as a teacher. I was able to take students to Japan for an exchange program. I believe that homestays are the best experiences you could possibly have.

First trip to Europe was with a school tour group. Worked out great. We were always with a local guide, and we could skip lines at museums and attractions.

I have been blessed with opportunities to travel for free. Being invited to Beijing to present at a conference was a dream-come-true. I was also hosted by a school in Melbourne, Australia. Amazing friendships. Kamehameha Schools has occasionally sent me to conferences on the mainland.

I have been on missions trips to Okinawa and Thailand. These have been life changing experiences. I was also able to visit my Compassion sponsored child in the Philippines.

My favorite form of travel is solo traveling. I take one carry-on bag with me and immerse myself in that city. So freeing. You have to try it.

Only thing missing is mom’s bento…

Tracking my travels on this cork globe. Hope to add a few more pins soon…

Kauaʻi Lā Nohona

November 27, 2015

On Wednesday, Wendy, Kimble, and I were blessed to have serviced the teachers at Kamehameha’s Anahola Preschool on Kauaʻi. We had the best time and truly bonded with the staff there. We broke up into three teams and went on separate huakaʻi to learn more about Anahola. Our task was to integrate technology and train our teachers be able to reproduce projects in the future.

My group visited Anahola Beach and created this cool iMovie Trailer. Just traveling to the site in cars created an opportunity to bond. We had a blast.

We had Hawaiian food for lunch, catered by Mark’s Place. Ono.

After saying our heartfelt goodbyes, we went to Kapaʻa Town to holoholo. We stopped by Kimi’s husband’s shave ice stand. Iʻve been wanting to come here for a long time.

It was amazing! This was the best shave ice that I’ve ever had. So happy!

We then drove out to Wailua Falls (click to enlarge.) Pretty awesome site….

After a couple of “Sleeping Giants,” we had dinner at Hamura Saimin. So comforting.

Quite an amazing day. Made new friends and new memories with some old ones….

Give Thanks

November 26, 2015

I am so blessed. And My hope is to be a blessing.

Here are my Top Ten reasons for being thankful:

1. Jesus.
2. I am thankful for my family and friends. I do not deserve them.
3. I am thankful for my health. I just need to get in better shape (pears do not count.)
4. I attend a wonderful church, Inspire City. Consider yourself invited.
5. I am blessed to be at the Kamehameha Schools with an amazing team. I laugh everyday. The students crack me up….
6. I get to live in a cool space in a great location. Love Kaka’ako.
7. I have the opportunity to sponsor a child in the Philippines. It’s the most important thing that I do.
8. Technology. This is how I learn.
9. Travel. This is my passion. Machu Picchu & Tokyo in 2016.
10. Life.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy ThanksLiving.

“Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks….”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


November 6, 2015

At KS, we do a bunch of goal-setting and goal-tracking. At the start of the school year, we come up with three goals. (Stephen Covey.) And I kinda like my three….

1. Global Learning
Got a couple of global projects in the works. Blessed to be going to Machu Picchu in the Spring! Dream-come-true. Crazy. And there’s even a chance of Tokyo in June….

2. iMua Café
iCan Café has been [re]imagined, [re]branded, and [re]launched as iMua Café. “iMua Café is a weekly informal EdTech session designed to help teachers and students learn better.”

I’ll be doing a series of workshops in Midkiff starting with iMovie (storytelling.)

3. Yelp Club
After two years of advising TEDxYouth@Kamehameha and TED-Ed@Kamehameha, I’ve retired.

Don’t call it a comeback, but I’ve taken on the advisor role for the Yelp Club.

Looking forward to the school year. #imua

Benny Emo

October 27, 2015

Just started having beni imo or purple Okinawan sweet potato for lunch on a regular basis. I kind of rediscovered it while watching YouTube videos and reconnecting with my Okinawan heritage.

Okinawan sweet potato is a superfood rich in nutrients, and is also tasty and inexpensive. $2 for lunch is a deal nowadays. Good for the health, and good for the wallet….

Machu Picchu Bound….

October 15, 2015

It’s official! I’ll be going to Peru in the spring of 2016! Cheehoo! This is a dream-come-true and a bucket list item. I’ll be going as a chaperone for our high school’s EF Tour. (Here’s a link to the website that I set up for the students & parents.)

And here I am after receiving confirmation. #blessed

After hearing about the trip, I scheduled an appointment with my financial advisor to see if I could somehow afford this. It was my original intention to pay as a tour participant. After learning that this was not happening, I accepted the situation. It just wasn’t meant to be. (Not willing to sacrifice supporting ministries or missions.)

Weeks later, I learned from the lead teacher that I would be able to go for free as a chaperone if 4 more students signed up for the trip. That was highly improbable, but “nothing’s impossible.” In just one week, 5 more signed up. I believe that this was indeed a blessing from God.

At today’s Peru trip meeting, I was reunited with some of my former middle school students. They were excited to hear the announcement. And I was incredibly thankful.
Muchas gracias….

The Kapolei Teal Reveal

September 30, 2015

Kapolei High School has cool colors and cool uniforms. Their colors are teal, black, and silver. The teal color really stands out and has taken on an identity for the entire community.

True story:
Here’s a piece of trivia. The teal color is from me. Promise!

When Kapolei High School opened, it wanted to represent the colors from the middle school and the elementary school to unify the young community. They took silver from the middle school (blue & silver) and teal from the elementary school (purple & teal.) They added black as their color of choice.

I helped open Kapolei Elementary School in 1993. We started off with a very small, but close staff. I was on the planning committee that was tasked to select the mascot and school colors. I chose the color teal, because it was unique to the Campbell Complex (it was actually unique to the D.O.E. and to the rest of the state.) The other teachers all wanted purple.

But because I got to order the jerseys, I included only the teal (and left the purple out.) Hehe. Not a fan of purple.

And that’s the whole story, Wilma….


September 16, 2015

Revive will relaunch this coming Sunday in Kaimuki. Revive is a community outreach ministry of Inspire Church.

I did a dry run this past Sunday to iron out the logistics. I picked up McDonald’s cheeseburgers at 10:30am (when lunch menu items became available.) I attended service at 11:15am at Kaimuki High School. After service, I grabbed the burgers and an umbrella from my truck. Unfortunately, no one was available to help out on this first trial run.

I prayed, then crossed the street. I cut through the Market City Shopping Center and walked up the ramp. I crossed over Harding Avenue to the freeway overpass. I noticed right away that things are different here. In Chinatown, people can have meals and showers at River of Life. The smell is a lot stronger here.

I offered food to the the first two men that were there. They were very appreciative.
One of the guys said, “You know, you don’t have to be afraid of us.”
I replied, “I know. We love you guys. I’ll bring some friends next week.”

I went to the next tent. The woman was too shy to come out. She stuck her hand out to collect the food. She was very thankful.

The next encounter was heartbreaking. An elderly man was eating foul food that he said he found in the trash. I told him to have this instead. He was extremely happy to receive fresh cheeseburgers. Very grateful….

A man walking by asked for food. He said he was homeless. He thanked me for the food.
Another guy yelled at him from across the street. He ran across the street through stopped cars to chase him down.

I then came across an older couple lying on cardboard. (Everything smelled bad here.) They too were surprised and happy to receive the food.

I crossed the street at the light and entered the Market City Shopping Center parking lot. There I saw the other guy who was being chased down earlier. He was staggering and yelling in the rain. My first reaction was to walk the other way. I felt God encouraging me to approach him. “You still have cheeseburgers in your bag.”
I said, “God, how did you know that?”
I offered the guy food, and he quickly snapped out of his tantrum. He said, “I’m so hungry. Thank you. What’s your name?”
I said, “Alan.”
He said, “You look like my uncle.” We actually had a normal conversation. Only thing, we were blocking traffic in the parking lot. I looked at the driver, she was smiling.

Go Bows….

August 31, 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Football season! Chee-hoo!

Yes, we’ve been rotten-ugly for the past 6 years. But this year is different. We got game. I’m predicting 10-3. Check that. 13-0! #Payback

This season we get to play defending National Champs, THE Oiho State University at the “Horseshoe.” We’re gonna shock the world! #ShockTheWorld

Time to don the green & white.

Hamachi Poke from Tamura’s.

Gonna be a party every Saturday night in ‘Aiea Heights. The company will be amazing, and the poke will be ono….

Go Bows!

Eat the Weekend….

August 29, 2015

Went to the Eat the Street event this past Friday at their new location, the former site of Fisherman’s Wharf just down the street. It was great! This food truck pop-up event now has a permanent site and has been rebranded as Makers & Tasters.

They built a deck with a bar and seating areas. They will be building bathroom structures soon.

There is also a stage near the waterfront area. Great place to catch the Friday night fireworks show. On stage this evening was the son of Kapena. He was awesome.

Photo credit to Kim.

Photo credit to Kim.

Met up with good friends Kimble and Kim. Here’s a pic of the best seller of the night, Pineapple Fried Rice. I had the fish & chips w/ sriracha-mayo from the Fish Lady. Spilled bacon mochi sauce all over my feet and limped home. Still, it was a fun night with great peeps!

On Saturday, I walked over to the McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Beach Park for Greek Festival 2015. It was extremely hot.

McCoy Pavilion is a great venue for any event. There were ongoing performances inside the air-conditioned auditorium.

I enjoyed a gyros and washed it down with an ice cold Mythos. The music and atmosphere were great. It got super crowded, and it was time to leave.

So blessed to live in the Ward-Kaka’ako area….


August 8, 2015

Blessed to have played a live gig tonight at my friends’ restaurant, Pono Plates. I think it went well. I messed up a few times, but it was due to a lack of focus more than nerves. I was more nervous at home than at the restaurant. It was fun, and I feel extremely relieved now.

I found out back in June that my friends wanted to include me in their summer lineup. I asked for August to give me some time to practice following a 2-year hiatus from playing guitar. I practiced really hard and especially this past week. I once played a gig 15 years ago at the Tropiccino Café in Kapolei, so I guess you could call this my “Reunion Tour.”

Here’s a wide shot of Pono Plates. The stage is in the back-left corner. (Click to enlarge.)

Here’s a sample….

The best part was meeting up with good friends. The support warmed my heart. It was an amazing night and definitely one of my highlights of summer….

Ramen Dreams….

August 1, 2015

Here is an update to my “Ramen Dreams” post from 2014.
I’ve been in search of the best bowl of ramen on O’ahu. For me, it’s the combination of the broth, the noodles, and the chashu that makes it so magical. I think I’ve pretty much sampled all of the best shops on the island:

Paitan Ramen from Tenkaippin.

Paitan Ramen from Tenkaippin.

Miso Cha-Shu Ramen from Ramen Kai.

Miso Cha-Shu Ramen from Ramen Kai.

menchanko-tei kikuzo

Kikuzo Ramen from Menchanko-Tei.

Belly Bowl from Lucky Belly.

Belly Bowl from Lucky Belly.

Spicy Tsukemen from Kiwami.

Spicy Tsukemen from Kiwami.

Spicy Kotteri Tonkotsu Ramen from Agu Ramen Bistro.

Spicy Kotteri Tonkotsu Ramen from Agu Ramen Bistro.

Tan Tan Ramen from Goma Tei.

Tan Tan Ramen from Goma Tei.

kakuni paitan yotteko-ya

Kakuni Paitan Ramen from Yotteko-Ya.

Shoyu Ramen from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.

Shoyu Ramen from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen from Ramen Nakamura.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen from Ramen Nakamura.

Tan Tan Men from Gomaichi.

Beefy Wild from Kamitoku Ramen.

Beefy Wild from Kamitoku Ramen.

Tonkotsu-Shibori from Ramen Manichi.

Tonkotsu-Shibori from Ramen Manichi.

Black Garlic Original from Golden Pork Ton-kotsu Ramen Bar.

Black Garlic Original from Golden Pork Ton-kotsu Ramen Bar.

Tsukemen from Wagaya.

Tsukemen from Wagaya.

Tonkotsu Kakuni Ramen from Menya Musashi.

The verdict:
My fave bowl of ramen by far was at Japanese Ramen Kai on Kona Street. Unfortunately, the owner got homesick and moved back to Japan. So here are my current faves:

1. Agu Ramen Bistro on Isenberg Street. The Spicy Kotteri Tonkotsu (level 2 spiciness) is so flavorful and satisfying. Whenever I’m in the UH area, I always drop by. (Second location at Ward Centre.)

2. Kiwami Ramen on Ke’eaumoku. I am addicted to the Spicy Tsukemen Ramen (medium level spiciness, noodles served hot.) My current “go-to place.”

3. Wagaya is a new ramen shop in McCully. The Tsukemen was awesome. Their curly noodles have a great texture. Will be back soon.

4. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka at the entrance of Don Quijote. The Shoyu Ramen is savory and comforting. Part of a large chain, but still so good.

Not done sampling more places and more recommendations.
Always dreaming of ramen….

Mon Café

July 22, 2015

I love coffee. But I really love cafés.

From Paris….

To Beijing….

To Kalihi.

I just enjoy being in this kinda space. I feel at ease and “at home.”

So much so, that it’s always been my intention to give my condo a café vibe.

So welcome to mon café.

I don’t cook (too often,) but at least I know how to make a cuppa joe.

So grab a Starbucks City Mug….

or one from my favorite local cafés.

and pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of lemon-cucumber water. The Wi-Fi is free….

Plastic Bag Ban?

July 15, 2015

Hawai’i just enacted the plastic bag ban on July 1st.

Huh? Now I’m receiving these thicker, bulletproof, “reuseable” plastic bags. If this thing gets into the ocean, it’ll stop a motorboat in its tracks….

groc bag

This is a huge adjustment for me, but I’ll be bringing these “grandma” (no offense to grandmas) bags to the grocery store.

Help protect our ʻāina!

6 Years at 909

July 13, 2015


It’s been six years at 909 Kapiolani. Time flies!

I really enjoy condo living. Guess I am a “townie” at heart. My place is small, but it’s easy to clean. I’ve also become a minimalist. There is no choice.

What I love best is the location. I can walk to the beach, Ala Moana Shopping Center, the Ward Entertainment Complex, and Chinatown. There are farmers’ markets, cafés, pubs, and museums here in Kaka’ako. There are also cool events like Night Market, Art + Flea, and Eat the Street.

My commute to work, church, and the airport is short. I can stay off the freeway and avoid all the traffic.

“Live|Work|Play.” Cheers to six years, and hoping for many, many more….

Holoholo Day: Waikiki Boardwalk

July 3, 2015

I go on two “Holoholo Days” during the year, usually one on July 9th and one on December 30th. It’s a quirky “tradition” that I’ve continued for a few years now. I just go out and try to take some “me time.” Some people refer to this as “mental health days.” I go out and explore cool places on the island to relax and re-energize. It’s like being a tourist in my own backyard.

Today I wanted to check out the Waikiki Boardwalk, a walking path along Waikiki Beach. I started out by walking from my condo to Ala Moana Beach. I walked past the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and behind the Hawai’i Prince Hotel.

This is where the boardwalk begins.

You enter the grounds of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort.

There’s a lagoon with a lot of water activities going on. Looks like it’s open to the public.

The boardwalk becomes a sidewalk at the 2nd Hilton Hawaiian Village tower.

This is where tourists catch the Atlantis Submarine.

Here’s the sidewalk fronting the Hale Koa Hotel. Cool place to skateboard….

The path continues past Fort DeRussy. There are sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, and ample public restrooms along the way.

The path continues past the Outrigger Reef Hotel. There are surfboard rentals and shave ice stands in nooks and alleyways.

There are a few rock walls that jetty out along Waikiki Beach.

The sidewalk cuts off  near the Waikiki Shore Hotel.

It resumes at the Halekulani Hotel. The Halekulani looked very impressive (expensive.)

Here’s the Maita’i Catamaran.

The path resumes at the Sheraton. Note the tourists exercising in the infinity pool on the left side.

The path finally ends at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Beautiful day and a beautiful place!

Ended my walk at the Moana Surfrider Hotel.

Cut through the lobby and made my way back on Kalākaua Avenue. Walked back along Ala Moana Boulevard.

Walked all the way to Street Grindz Kewalo, a food truck pop-up at the former site of the Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant.

Ate at my friend Loke’s food truck called Flyin’ Ahi. The Pulehu Combo plate was amazing!

Had a great morning! Always nice to go holoholo….

Tying the Knot

June 27, 2015

Congrats to two of the Bishop Brothers for “tying the knot!”
No, they didn’t marry each other. Hehe. But they got married on consecutive Saturdays.

The team celebrated at Kikuya’s. (We’re becoming regulars there.)

For Timo’s “bachelor party,” we went golfing at Bay View. The weather was perfect. We had an absolute blast.

We had dinner at the Signature Steak & Seafood Restaurant at the top of the Ala Moana Hotel. I guess you could call this a “salad,” except that the green(s) are on top of the meat and not underneath….
All kidding aside, the bone-in ribeye was winnahs!

Meanwhile, Kimble was in Kona getting married on the beach. What an amazingly awesome picture!

So happy for Tim & Roseann and Kimble & Naho!!

Now three of the four Bishop Boys are married (just me left.)
Peer pressure? Haha. Nah.

KSEdTech Conference

June 11, 2015

Our Kamehameha Schools Education Technology Conference was a huge success! The theme this year was Hana Pono, (to work with purpose/passion.)

I was able to promote the conference on Hawai’i Public Radio on the Bytemarks Café talk show.

The goal this year was to make the conference more interactive with a variety of formats, makerspaces, and collaboration areas.

We kicked off the event with a free unconference. We had a nice group.

We were also able to increase student involvement through performances and presentations.

Photo credit @Bytemarks

A highlight for me was running the Soapbox Session.

Learned a lot and met many amazing people. Imua!

Check out the Twitter hashtag #KSEdTech to see more….