Family Vacation | LA, Cruise & Vegas

The rest of my family finally visited me after moving to LA for almost a year! Of course our first stop was Disneyland!

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Samson #squad . . . plus Matt. 😅 #TBT

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Dinner at Blue Bayou2016-05-21 19.34.55

Slow-roasted Beef Strip Loin

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Royal Street Seafood Jambalaya

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World of Color Show at California Adventure

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The next day we were cruise bound, so of course I made Matt recreate my favorite movie!

 

Our first stop was Catalina Island

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And we trusted my dad to drive us around in a golf cart

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Gelato from Scoops Ice Cream

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Birthday dinner on the cruise!

SECOND STOP – MEXICO

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We basically ate a ton on the cruise. 😂

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And when we finally landed I took my family to my favorite brunch place BeaBea’s before we headed to Vegas!

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Shut it down at the buffet at Caesar’s Palace

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And finally got to try Mon Ami Gabi

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And that wraps up the family vacation!

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Coachella + Post Coachella Life

It’s been super busy, so I am just convinced that this will only get updated when I manage to have a spare hour – but I do want to be consistent. (Plus I don’t want my food pics to go to waste!)

Experienced my first Coachella  & was reunited with my friends from college!

 

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Coachella sunset

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Alligator mac and cheese

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Shrimp po boy sandwich

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There were a ton more photos and thins we ate, but my phone managed to not capture everything =(

And after getting back, I started exploring LA a bit more!

Lunch at Simzy’s

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Sandwich from Mendocino Farms in Santa Monica

My first Shake Shack since New York via the West Hollywood location!

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Pesto gnocchi from Centanni Trattoria in Burbank

Hand dipped ice cream from Pop Bar in Anaheim

Eating through LAS/LAX

After a few hours in Vegas, we apparently rewarded ourselves with a sushi burrito.

 

And we managed to make room for oxtail chili cheese fries from Bachi Burger.

And finally crossed off Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles from the bucket list.

And waited for Egg Slut again (still so good).

And ate some In N Out along the way

And shared one last meal with Lane at Bea Bea’s

And found come comfort food at Toro Sushi Poke House

Kristine visited so we got lobster rolls at Knuckle & Claw

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Bloody Mary from Brick + Mortar

Donuts from Sidecar

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Tom kha soup from The Rustic Spoon

Up next – Coachella and then I think I’m all caught up!!!

December in LA

A few of my friends from NY visited me last December and we jam packed their weekend here!

Holidays at The Grove

A ton of tacos at Mondo Taco

 

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Fun times at Disney California Adventure

And had an epic breakfast at Bea Bea’s

I also treated Lane out for burgers on her birthday at Eden Burger Bar

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And Kristine randomly visited so we got $2 ice cream sandwiches from Diddy Riese

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And we had an epic brunch at Granville Cafe

Up next – my trip to South Africa (finally!)

Ending Summer in Vegas.

Because I am still catching up to when I last blogged, we are still in summertime 2015 mode :).

After visiting Hawaii for a week, I was off to visit Las Vegas with my grandma for a trip we promised each other we’d go on in case Celine Dion ever came back to Las Vegas (which she did!)

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Our huge reunion meal at Hash House a Go Go

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Sharing a drink before the concert

Her concert was AMAZING!

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It was also very, very hot there.

And there was always time for some late night eats with your best friend at Burgr.

And even managed to eat at a seafood buffet the next night.

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But it was all in preparation to see Diplo later that night!

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We later drove back to LA and went to Six Flags. Apparently the only picture I took was of our funnel cake and the sunset.

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And of course, any great vacation ends with brunch.

Next up – some LA eats!

That Time I Decided to Move to LA

The last few weeks have been, to say the least, a whirlwind. As fate/luck/the forces that be would have it I have found myself in LA where I’ve been offered my dream job!

In any case, it seemed like #Jessicaloha had a short revival and my last week in Hawaii/one week visiting NJ + NYC was a fun time to have several (actually, many) yolo meals and experiences.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - A Relos reunion always calls for #chickenandwaffles! #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #calieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Goat cheese chicken and waffles from Bru’s Waffle in LA

Instagram photo by jann_bam - My new home has great perks. Tacos for daysss. 🙌 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #calieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Taco plate from Tacos Por Favor

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My first taste at Philz Coffee

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Apparently moving to LA means having a nonstop eating fest. Pastrami goodness in my mouth. 😋 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #calieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

The best pastrami sandwich I’ve ever had from Mickey’s Deli

When I landed in New Jersey, I came home to a great welcome home committee – including a lobster dinner from my grandma!

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Now this is a welcome home committee! Pictured: a sign made from a folding table; not pictured: the lobster feast afterward. 😊

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My sister brought home my favorite platter from The Halal Guys

I also jam packed a day in NYC to visit some of my favorite places and see some of my favorite people.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Lox, cream cheese, & coffee. It's good to be home. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous #nyceats

Lox breakfast from The Grey Dog

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Look at all the khaki shorts that ruined the gram. #nyc #chelseamarket

The view inside Chelsea Market

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Delicious lychee ice tea from Takumi Taco

Instagram photo by jann_bam - First love. ❤ #nyc #ny #manhattan #iloveny

My favorite view of the city from my old office

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Froyo with one of my childhood friends

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Only in NYC

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Ain't she a beaut? #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous #nyceats #shakeshack

Had dinner at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park

Instagram photo by jann_bam - "My east coast #ohana." Caption by @omfgian. #nyc

Good crew at the Rooftop Bar

Instagram photo by jann_bam - When visiting home, treat your dad to his favorite splurge meal. . .and then let him play poker until he drives you home at 3AM. 😅 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Treated my dad to his favorite pork chop at Emeril’s Chop House

And with my last 3 days back in Hawaii, I ate my heart out at my favorite places in Hawaii.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - My belly is so lucky. 🍲 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous #hawaiieats

Ramen bowl from Lucky Belly

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The lobster bake from Shokudo

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Do it for the #Oreo honey toast. 😚 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous #hawaiieats

Oreo honey toast from Shokudo

Instagram photo by jann_bam - I'm going to miss you spicy tuna crispy rice. 😢 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous #hawaiieats #latergram

Tuna crispy rice from Shokudo

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Last taste of poke before I become a California girl. 😢 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous #hawaiieats

My last taste at poke

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Last mai tai sunset as a resident of #Hawaii. #🍸 #🌴 #hilife #luckywelivehi #dranks

The last mai tai sunset

Instagram photo by jann_bam - The last 4-course supper in #Hawaii: North Shore garlic shrimp with local veggies and avocado, Hawaiian boullibaise with Alaskan crab, lobster, & prawn, loco #foiegras moco with qual egg, and the signature coconut creme brulee with toffee crumble. 🙌 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous #hawaiieats

The last 4-course supper in #Hawaii: North Shore garlic shrimp with local veggies and avocado, Hawaiian boullibaise with Alaskan crab, lobster, & prawn, loco #foiegras moco with qual egg, and the signature coconut creme brulee with toffee crumble.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Summertime #halohalo. 🙌 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous #calieats

Holoholo from Kalesa

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My favorite bubble tea (taro, almond, coconut black tea) from T Pumps!

And finally wrapped up my last weekend of funemployment at my first California hike and unlimited Korean BBQ.

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And because I passed my written exam for the driver’s exam on the first try, I am now officially a California resident! Excited to share food finds, cheap eats recipes, and more as I start my next adventure in the Golden State!

Also, hopefully I can actually make posting a regular thing 😉

Life’s Short, Eat Dessert First.

A quick  summary of all that was tasty and delicious over the past few weeks. Including that time we had Bubbie’s ice cream before dinner.

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Chili moco from Downbeat Diner

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Spicy tuna with uni from Maguro Bros.

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Sweet chili chicken chicken from Kaka’ako Kitchen

Instagram photo by jann_bam - The "What the Pho?" sandwich had me think the exactly the same thing after watching Aloha. Wagyu beef brisket, swiss cheese, sriracha aioli, on a taro hoagie with pho dipping sauce: "an ode to the Philly cheesesteak, French dip and pho." #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

The “What the Pho?” sandwich from Kaka’ako Kitchen: Wagyu beef brisket, swiss cheese, sriracha aioli, on a taro hoagie with pho dipping sauce: “an ode to the Philly cheesesteak, French dip and pho.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - #Brunch is the most important meal of the day! #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

French toast with cinnamon apples from Cafe Kaila

Took a quick hike up Diamond Head – starting with the little hikes per my sprained ankle.

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And got the ritual shave ice afterward.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Hiking rewards = POG + lemon lime shave ice topped with condensed milk and azuki beans and ice cream on the bottom.🍧 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Lemon lime and POG shave ice with condensed milk from Waiola Shave Ice

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Stuffed salmon

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Steak burrito from Oahu Mexican Grill

And because we had some friends in town, we took them to drinks at House Without a Key

Instagram photo by jann_bam - #TGIF. Is it 5 o'clock yet? #hawaii #hilife #luckywelivehi #sunset #dranks #waikiki #latergram

Instagram photo by jann_bam - I love visitors, mai tais, and awkward poses~ 🌸 #hawaii #hilife #luckywelivehi #sunset #plusjeremy

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Green spaghetti from Goofy Cafe & Dine

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Dim Sum overload at Mei Sum Dim Sum

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Beer flight Fridays/#macandcheese everyday. 🍻 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Beer flight and mac and cheese from Honolulu Beer Works

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Crab cakes eggs benedict from Cinnamon’s

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Shave ice from Island Snow

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The view of Kailua on our way back home

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Homemade fried rice stuffed chicken and Asian noodles

Instagram photo by jann_bam - #AlohaFriday #sunset #dinner view. 🌴 #Hawaii #hilife #luckywelivehawaii

What a view from Outback Steakhouse (yes, one of my favorite chains) at Hawaii Kai

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Life should always be as good as #cookiebutter mochi #icecream. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Cookie butter macaron from Bubbie’s

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Mochi ice cream assortment and “Multiple Orgasm” ice cream cake from Bubbie’s

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Last night's super tasty dinner: yaki o pa'i'ai, grilled he'e (octopus) in luau leaves, cold ginger rabbit and puffed rice, oxtail risotto, and egg white topped kitchen cocktail. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

The crazy delicious dinner from Mud Hen Water: yaki o pa’i’ai, grilled he’e (octopus) in luau leaves, cold ginger rabbit and puffed rice, oxtail risotto, and egg white topped kitchen cocktail.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Chicken and waffels in #Hawaii = mochiko chicken and mochi waffels. 🙌 #brunch #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #eatfamous

Mochiko chicken and mochi waffles from The Nook

And with that, I am finally caught up!

Kona Adventures!

Our last day in Kona started off at Island Lava Java for brunch. Probably one of the busiest beach side brunches in town (and for good reason). Live music, delicious food, and a view of the ocean – can’t beat that!

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Delicious (and huge) cinnamon roll

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Beachside #brunch is banana macadamia nut pancakes, kalua pork and pineapple omelette and a giant mug of Kona coffee. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Beachside breakfast

Matt and I shared the famous cinnamon rolls. I had macadamia nut banana pancakes with Portuguese sausage and he had a kalua pork omelette. Both of us had humongous coffees because #Konacoffee.

We did lots of sightseeing afterwards, but mostly I just wanted to lay out on a beach after driving 7+ hours this whole trip.

Our historic stops included Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and the Painted Church.

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While we did stop by Kahaluu Beach Park to spend the rest of the day, we decided instead to go up a bit more north to avoid the crowds. We made a pit stop at Umeke’s to share a poke lunch plate and then enjoyed most of the afternoon at Mani’owali Beach (Kua Bay).

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Avocado ahi poke, the special garlic aioli poke, spicy crab salad, lomi salmon, and furikake brown rice.  #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #latergram #eatfamous

Avocado poke, special garlic aioli poke, crab salad, lomi salmon, and furikake brown rice.

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Fresh catch being prepared right behind the counter

And because we need to kill an hour before our flight, we stopped by Kona Brewing Co. to try a couple of the beers we can’t get in Oahu.

And that’s it! Maybe next time I’ll get to check out the Hilo side of the island, but I probably need to go on a few other adventures before then 🙂

Big Island Adventures – Day 1 – Up North on the Kohala Coast, Waimea, & Eating All the Things

This Memorial Day Weekend, Matt and I took a trip over to one of the neighbor islands (my first neighbor island trip ever!) With 3 days, a full tank of rental car gas, and a Google Doc planned itinerary we started out our first day up north on the island.

Oh! But first here are some pictures from Matt’s birthday dinner at Roy’s. He was a good sport and let me take the pictures of him in the birthday hat they provided (thanks Roy’s!)

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Round 1 of Matt's #birthday #dinner! Roy's Beachwalk Canoe: Szechuan Baby Back Ribs, Shrimp Sticks, Crispy Mini Crab Cakes, Chicken Spring Rolls & Spicy Tuna Roll. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Round 1 of Matt’s birthday dinner! Roy’s Beachwalk Canoe: Szechuan Baby Back Ribs, Shrimp Sticks, Crispy Mini Crab Cakes, Chicken Spring Rolls & Spicy Tuna Roll.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Round 2 of Matt's #birthday #dinner last night. Beach Walk Trio:  Hibachi Salmon, Macadamia Nut Crusted Monchong, Misoyaki Butterfish & Rice Crusted Hapuu'puu with Tomato Raviolis. 🐟🐡🐟 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #latergram #f52grams

Our entrees for the night: Beach Walk Trio: Hibachi Salmon, Macadamia Nut Crusted Monchong, Misoyaki Butterfish & Rice Crusted Hapuu’puu with Tomato Raviolis.

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Happy Birthday Matt!

Also had a sushi-ritto from Up Roll Cafe in Kaka’ako for lunch on the day of our flight.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - SUSHI-RITTO. 😆 #thataiolimayotho #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Salmon roll from Up Roll Cafe

Okay! Now for Big Island adventures. 🙂

The first place we visited was Hapuna Beach – white sand, lots of space (and convenient parking!), but because it was the first stop of the day it was a bit too cold to enjoy the water. Afterwards we visited Pu’ukohala Heiau (Temple of the Hill of the Whale) where King Kamehameha I built one of these last major Ancient Hawaiian Temples.

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We even saw that there were a few newer offerings left at the site.

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Since we hadn’t eaten anything since dinner on Oahu, we appropriately decided that our first real meal on Big Island should be the best burgers up north in Waimea.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - #Burgers for breakfast! Kahua Ranch wagyu beef burger with avocado and an egg, goop parmesan fries, and part of Matt's chipotle goat cheese veal burger. #🍔 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Kahua Ranch wagyu beef burger with avocado and an egg, goop parmesan fries, and part of Matt’s chipotle goat cheese veal burger.

We also stopped by Waimea Coffee Company to load on caffeine before we hit the road again. I had a really yummy iced dirty chai, and Matt had the special of the day – a hand crafted spicy espresso beverage spiced up with cayenne pepper! We also shared a macaroon cause they were basically calling our name through the glass case.

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The drive up the Kohala coast was beautiful – very different than driving on Oahu (we were pretty much the only ones on the road for most of the drive). We stopped by the original King Kamehameha statue (the one that was lost at sea) and drove all the way to the end of the highway at Pololu lookout.

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After exploring Hawi for a bit, we rushed back to try Da Poke Shack before they closed – the #1 place on Yelp!

Instagram photo by jann_bam - THIS is what you get when you visit the #1 place on Yelp!  Wet Hawaiian poke, sesame baby octopus, & teriyaki calamari over furikake rice. 😂 #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams

Wet Hawaiian poke, sesame baby octopus, & teriyaki calamari over furikake rice.

And because Matt knows I love eating al fresco, we booked dinner at Cafe Keei to watch the sunset and enjoy a really tasty dinner (although, my appetite was cut short from all the burgers and poke in one day).

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Baked brie. That is all. #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #hawaiieats #myfab5 #f52grams #ilovecheese #latergram

Baked brie

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Eggplant rolls

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Enjoying my seafood soup while Matt eats the fresh catch of the day.

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Lilikoi cheesecake for dessert

We also had some drinks at On the Rocks later that night – overall a busy first day to our long weekend! Next up, my first trip to see a volcano!

Costco Card Meals and Weekend Eats

Costco cards are presumably for the much bigger families out there – which is why we only go about once every 2 weeks or so. And if you’ve got a membership, you know that a salmon meant for two, actually lasts about. . . 6 -8 meals.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - Cracked bowls/ full stomachs. #🍳 #saycrackagain #foodporn #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #homemade #latergram

Lemon pepper salmon on top of sauteed greens and cheese topped with an egg.

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Teriyaki salmon with oyster sauce veggies and brown rice

This week’s Feast Friday we went to Lucky Belly. We went pretty early for lunch, and there was already a wait outside the door.

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Lamb lumpia with roasted pepper and kochujang sauce

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The Belly Bowl with sausage, belly, & bacon

Later that day, we headed over to Ward and tried out Bellini Bistro since it just opened. I had the raspberry frozen bellini and we shared an order of calamari.

Instagram photo by jann_bam - We made it to #Friday! That deserves a bird in your drink! 🐤 #hawaiieats #dranks #bellini

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And since I won that gift certificate to Kaka’ako Kitchen last week, we used it on some of the new items on their menu:

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Deep fried bao buns – the meat and the buns were both deep fried!

We also stopped by Ward’s Courtyard Brunch today. The courtyard was super cute and was something out of one of my Pinterest boards. The event was very organized, and my best friend would’ve loved the yellow color scheme.

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Everyone eats underneath this huge tent, and there’s plenty of places to sit.

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Matt and I shared several things with the tickets we were given – Aloha mimosa, duck fried rice with a duck confit spring roll from #Morimoto, breakfast porridge rice soup with seafood, pork, lobster meat balls and egg topped with chicken cracklins from #PigandtheLady, Italian sausage strata from #EatHonolulu, and spicy tempura shrimp with bacon infused waffles from #PokeStop!

We’re off to the Big Island next weekend so my continuous blogging streak will come to an end. After living in Hawaii for over 3 months, I finally get to see my first volcano!