Sunday, December 30, 2012

A weekend at the Colorado River

You don’t really know your boyfriend’s friends until you spend a couple of nights partying with them, sleeping 20 to a mobile home, and sharing only one bathroom. The only thing I can compare it to is staying in a hostel or staying in one of the old school dorms where you have to walk down the hall to use the bathroom. The entire weekend was a huge fun adult coed slumber party. I always told myself that I would grow up and go to coed slumber parties and this was my big chance. I am surprised to admit that it was actually pretty fun - the closeness, the lack of space, and the lack of number 2 time wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and there was a huge backyard to hang out in when it got too crowded in the house.

This was my first time to the river and there are 2 sides to this place. There is the mellow fun side where you and your buddies take your boat out, have some beers, share some jokes, and go wake boarding / surfing, water skiing, or whatever. It’s just a ton of hanging out with each other and having fun. Then there is this sordid, meat market side of the river where people go to check each other out and possibly hook up. If you like big fake boobs, babes in barely there swimwear, and dudes covered in tats – this is your perfect mating grounds. There are docking grounds where people park their boats, get out and troll for singles. It’s like being in a club – lots of people, it’s hot, there is music pumping from everywhere, many scantily clad women - except that it’s in the day time and you’re outside. The chicks are hot, but they are all still sporting that dark hair on the bottom / light hair on top zebra / skunk look that was big about 6 years ago. Some of the swimsuits look like strip club rejects with their sequins and metallic strings and lace overlays. Hit it and quit it party people!!!

There is this bar / food hangout called the Pirate’s Cove - it’s your basic bar with awful budget food, lots of exposed skin, and great people watching. A water taxi picks you up from your boat docking area and takes you across the river to the bar. You are not allowed to swim across in case some moron that is scoping out bikini babes mows you over and kills you. Don’t come hungry or thirsty on a busy weekend since you will never get served. I guess they only have a teeny kitchen and they can’t serve more than 20 people at a time. We got there shortly after twelve, placed our order, and then 3 hours later we were told that our food was still not ready since the kitchen was backed up. All we ordered was a salad and chicken sandwich. It was ridiculous. This place has only 1 redeeming quality which is all the great people watching place. I highly recommend this place at least once in your lifetime.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The First Happy Hour of 2011

Party peeps,

It’s a NEW, AWESOME year and we have a new venue for the happy hour and new friends that will be coming. Whoopty Whoop!

Single ladies, I have added 3 new eligible bachelors from TO (no, not Toronto for you Canadians) to the list.

Pregnant ladies, I’ll be sipping virgin margaritas right alongside you. Just because you have a big belly, doesn’t mean you should stay home. Come out and have as much fun as possible before you are confined to your home by wet, dirty diapers and your crying bundle of love.

Single men, I am still scrambling to meet more single women, but it’s hard because they get the wrong idea when I want to hang out with them all the time.

Married folks or single folks with no baby sitters, please bring your spouse(s) old and new/domestic partners/play dates/kids if you want. There is a playground right outside our new venue.

Men, although you are the bulk of who come to my HH, I am sorry, but the women on the list have complained that the current venue has horrible food and few eligible men to look at. Don’t be disappointed that we are leaving behind Pikey’s – home of the hot women in short, short plaid skirts, but be rejoiced because:

· The new venue has a huge selection of Tequila!
· More tequila = better beer goggles.
· I think this is a win-win for everyone…until the next morning. You may have to attempt the fox trap in some cases.
· But don’t worry, if you need me to, I will pretend to be a psycho girlfriend and make sure that she doesn’t call you back. I am a good friend like that.
· Don’t worry after a couple of HH’s here we can go back to Pikey’s or I will find another place with cute girl servers for you.

Ladies, I have chosen Sabor Cantina, home to HUGE, fruity, & strong margaritas and hip, upscale décor. I am looking out for your interests even though you are the minority vote on my HH invite lists.

· No longer will you be afraid of germs if your cell phone drops on the floor, because the floor is clean!
· No longer will you wonder if you have overdressed because the dress code is hot like you!
· No longer will you be annoyed at touching up your war paint makeup in the bathroom because now there is lots and lots of counter space!
· No longer will you roll your eyes at the men that are walking through the door because you will be too busy keeping your eyes straight from the watermelon margaritas or you can walk next door and go shopping.

Hope to see you there. As always I am willing to be your DD. I will be happy to offer sober, free rides home to anyone that can’t operate heavy machinery, but if you don’t live in the 805 you need to cab it. Feel free to invite anyone that I may have forgotten.

Sabor Cantina is located at the Lakes shopping center, on Thousand Oaks BLVD, next to the TO Civic Arts Center, across the street from Mastro’s and the Toyota Dealership. The closest cross street is Hampshire Rd and Rancho Conejo. There are 2 manmade lakes in the front of this place. If you can’t find it, then maybe drinking and driving should not be on your list of to-do’s.

The Lakes at Thousand Oaks2200 E. Thousand Oaks BlvdThousand Oaks, CA 91362
(805) 497-2457



Sunday, March 14, 2010

Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar

2253 Poipu RdKoloa, HI 96756
(808) 742-2121

This place came highly recommended from many different sources such as Yelp, locals, and magazines and all I can say is that it was highly disappointing. The presentation was awful, boring, and plain – they did not use the plate space well at all. The way the food was placed made the plate look empty and really lackluster. It was like having a date with a super model and you show up to pick her up and she has no makeup on and is wearing a potato sack. The food was worse. There was not one thing that I enjoyed here. We got the sampler which sucked. The sushi was awful. The stir fry was something you could get at a typical Chinese place. The dessert was a mud pie that looked pretty, but tasted bleh. The worst part is that the prices are outrageous for all this mediocrity. Our server was a so cal hater. She said that she used to live in SD and said she couldn’t handle it anymore and had to move back to Kauai. Why the F would you say this to so cal residents? Lame. That must be why she is still waiting tables after graduating college. The ambiance is like eating at someone’s plantation home set in a garden that sounded way better in print than real life.

Gourmet Mediterranean

5-7130 Kuhio HwyHanalei, HI 96714
(808) 826-9875

Location was nice – overlooking the ocean. The atmosphere was warm and cozy. The menu had some decent Mediterranean food that was a tad overpriced, but I guess we are in HI. The spanakopita was excellent. The Greek salads were mediocre. The meat dishes were good. The coconut baklava was different and yummy. There was a singer /guitar player added to the ambiance. Service was excellent and the hummus and pita that came free with the meal was a nice touch.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Merriman’s Restaurant

2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Street #G-149Koloa, HI
(808) 742-8385

There is a restaurant upstairs and a café downstairs. Both places are good and they both get the bulk of their ingredients from local farms within a 10 mile radius. According to our server 90% of the ingredients are grown on the island. That is amazing. The prices upstairs are a little pricy, but the food is delicious and if you get a window seat, you can see a great sunset over the land behind the restaurant. For sure get the sampler – it was awesome. There were some amazing looking things on it like the calamari and the quesadillas and the tartare. Get the sampler meal – it was worth the money. The soup was decent. I LOVED the goat cheese with the bread and jam. That could have been my entire meal and I would have been in heaven.

Kauai Hotels

St Regis Princeville Resort
5520 Kahaku RoadKauai, HI 96722
(808) 826-9644

If you have money to spare then this is THE place to stay. It just screams money and elegance as soon as you arrive. The service is amazing, the food is foodie quality, the ambiance is MONEY, and the views are surreal. It is just stunning there and if you can’t afford to stay there, then at least stop by and grab a drink and enjoy the sunset or grab dinner at Jean Georges new venue.

Sheraton Kauai Resort
2440 Hoonani RdKauai, HI 96756
(808) 742-1661

Although the scenery here is nice, it’s definitely not luxurious. Located on Poipu beach, there are some great places to catch some rays and play. This is the middle class man’s playground. So if you want to splurge then get one of the ocean view rooms on the beach side of the hotel. Or if you are broke then you can go across the street to the hotel’s garden view rooms which are seriously outdated and are in serious need of renovation. Our room reeked of mildew and there was mold in the grout in the shower. If you opt for no cleanup from housekeeping, they will comp one person’s breakfast. The breakfast buffet was nice and included a sweets area of pastries, French toast, and pancakes; a savory section with potatoes, eggs, and meats; and an Asian section with rice, miso soup and seaweed condiments. It was nice, but so not worth $22 a head unless you can eat like a pig. They offer you a room to clean up in if you have a late checkout. It comes with a shower and that is about it. The room they gave us looked like a CSI crime scene. Someone must have colored their hair in the bathroom because there was dark red splatter all over the shower curtains and shower walls. It was really quite gross.

Flying in Kauai

Birds in Paradise
3666 Kuiloko RdHanapepe, HI 96798
(808) 822-5309

Have you ever wanted to go hang gliding, but were too scared of depending on the air for movement? Well, with the introduction of the motorized hang glider, you don’t have to worry about the wind…except when it’s too strong and throws your glider around. If you like being on a motorcycle, this is just the thrill ride you need. They even let you steer the glider from time to time. You should try to get one of the first 2 flights in the day since those are the ones that go around the Napali coast and Waimea Canyon. Otherwise the other flights just fly around the southern areas and are not that exciting to see. There are lots of over the water time and you’ll see tons of whales jumping out of the water. I can’t tell you how amazing this ride was – being out in an open vehicle was just exhilarating. It was worth every penny and you have to get the photos cd even though it’s $80 extra.

Inter-island Helicopters
3994 Kuiloko RdHanapepe, HI 96716
(808) 335-5567

I felt really safe going with this company because they spend their free time doing search and rescue missions. We did the doors off and it was so exhilarating to be able to fly at 130 mph with the air rushing pass your face. Be careful with your camera though because the strong winds will whip it right out of your hands. Our heli pilot was very informative and nice and was super adventurous. The sights were just amazing. The aerial views of Waimea canyon and the Napali coast were just unbelievable. You will see tons of waterfalls. This is the best way to see all the places that you can’t drive or walk to. It was worth every penny. They also have waterfall landings with lunch, but we didn’t do that.

Kauai Tourist Traps

Things to do if you want to sight see around Kauai:

Hanapepe Swinging Bridge
Kauai Island CountyHanapepe, HI

This bridge was much bigger than I thought it would and it really doesn’t swing that much. I was expecting a rope and wood plank bridge that had big gaps in between the planks like something out of Indiana Jones, but what I got was a very sturdy wooden bridge that sways with your steps. It’s a nice photo op to stop at, but there is nothing to really look at on the other side of the bridge except for some homes. The water below the bridge is super shallow so don’t dive off the bridge unless you want to be paralyzed for the rest of your life.

Ke’e Beach
Hanalei, HI 96714

The journey to the end of the road ended at this super pretty and mellow beach. There are huge slabs of rock on the sand that are moss covered and really pretty. The moss feels like fuzzy fur bedroom slippers beneath your feet, but it smelled kind of gross. The backdrop of the beach is the start of the Napali coast and the Napali coast trails and it is just absolutely stunning. There was a seal just sunning himself on the beach when we got there – it was super cute. I don’t think this is the best place to play, but there are life guards and limited parking spots. It’s a definite must see on the north shore of Kauai.

Hanalei Beach and Pier
Hanalei, HI 96714

This seems more like a locals place than a touristy beach. The pier is nothing spectacular like the Santa Monica pier. The Hanalei pier is basically just a wooden roofed structured at the end of a long walk of wooden steps. Local kids like to jump off the end into the ocean. Local fishermen have their lines set up at the edge of the pier. All around you there are people surfing, swimming, paddling and basically being active in that everyday Hawaiian way. Its peaceful here and pretty crowded when the weather is nice. The water is pretty shallow and seems pretty mellow. It’s a nice place to chill.

Kilauea Lighthouse
PO Box 1130Kilauea, HI 96754
(808) 828-0168

The view is spectacular. The lighthouse juts out on the edge of a cliff and there are a million birds soaring overhead. You can actually visit the lighthouse, although it was closed on the day that we went there because it was a holiday. On the way to the lighthouse are a couple of small, quaint shopping centers where you can pick up cheap plate lunches, pizzas, smoothies and snacks. There are also a couple of overpriced boutiques and shops for the high maintenance chicks in your group.

Spouting Horn
Lawai RoadKoloa, HI 96756

It’s basically a hole in a string of rocks that when the wave hits correctly makes a spouting wave that can be anything from mediocre to massive. It’s a huge tourist spot. There are also a bunch of stalls selling kitschy knick knacks and Hawaiian souvenirs. It’s totally worth a drive by, but be patient because it can take forever before the spouting horn spouts something big.

Poipu Beach
Hoone RdUninc Kauai County, HI 96752

Not amazingly beautiful, but it is a nice popular place to get some sun and play in the water. The waves are pretty mellow. There were tons of families at this beach. You can rent padded double sun chairs with shade for $40 a day. There is also pricy but decent food at the snack bar. A monk seal even came out and was resting in the sand one day.

There are also a bunch of waterfalls that are easily accessible such as Opeaka’a Falls and Wailua Falls - just grab a map

Quiksilver Roxy Poipu
2829 Ala Kalanikauamaka Ste F131Koloa, HI 96756
(808) 742-8088

If you forgot a swimsuit or need some extra casual clothes, this is pretty much one of the only places to shop at in the southern end of the island. They have an extensive collection of swimsuits for women and kids and the men’s side has a ton of shorts and shirts. I love that the Quicksilver stores in HI always carry shirts with HI stuff on it that you can’t get on the mainland.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don’t judge me because I look like a broke ass Indian‏

Once a month I get together with one of my friends, an Indian man whose parents are immigrants like my own. Both of our parents came to America poor, made money, and decided to not live in ethnic enclaves consisting of their own people. If my buddy is dressed casually, he always jokes by saying, “When you see me, don’t judge me because I look like a broke ass Indian.” You might think this is a weird thing to say, but we meet for lunch at the local country club and where we live it’s predominantly white wealthy snobby people who probably think we are part of the wait staff when we roll in to eat. It’s in a neighborhood where the only black people I have ever seen are Will and Jada Smith, Martin Lawrence, and Shaq. Martin Sheen is about the only Hispanic I have ever seen around. Yes, Martin Sheen is Hispanic. His real name is Ramon Estevez. Look it up on IMDB. Anyways, even though I grew up getting judged on my looks here in super white Westlake Village, I never grew out of judging people based on theirs.
I was getting my nails done recently and there was a new nail technician at the place I frequent and of course I instantly judged her. Nail technicians always look like fresh immigrants. Some places are filled with older ladies like my mom who sit around and gossip about you while they polish your nails. Or some places have a fresh slew of young FOB chicks that look like they just crossed the border on a boat, leaving their motherland behind because rubbing the feet of fat women with calluses is a better option than prostitution or being in a sweat shop making clothes at home.
The new nail tech was a cougar aged woman of mixed Asian heritage, drowning in makeup, clothed like a tramp and covered in tats. I don’t hate on Asians. I don’t hate on heavy people. I don’t hate on people with tattoos. I don’t hate on chicks that dress like prostitutes. This is LA and you have all of that around you 24/7. But for some reason when I saw this woman, my first instinct was to recoil in fear and loathing. I don’t want this woman coming near me or my nails. I didn’t want to spend the next hour staring at her makeup and tats because I knew that is what I was going to do. I am really glad that she couldn’t hear my thoughts because all sorts of “Yuck and Ewwww” were in my head. I was willing to wait extra long for my $5 manicure just as long as she wasn’t the one doing them.
But then my more logical side kicked in and I thought if I was in a street fight in Compton I would want this chick on my side. But since I have never been to South Central and I have no plans on trekking down to Martin Luther King Jr Blvd for a sample sale on any time soon, I figured I wouldn’t have to make friends with Tat lady. Although Tat lady was not my tech, she sat right next to me and chatted me up while I was getting my nails done. I have one of those faces that make people want to befriend me. My mom has the same face and my niece is getting one too. People think I am nice and friendly, but I am really just an angry Asian on the inside. On the outside I am all smiles and sunny delight and on the inside I am storm waiting to erupt. Just ask the poor kid that works for me. He’ll tell you what the real Mimi is like.
Tat lady spoke to me in my mother tongue. I was surprised and wondered if her mom was a prostitute or raped by a GI. My mom used to tell me that all the mixed kids in Vietnam were either from the unions between GIs and prostitutes or a product of rape. It’s probably not true, but you know how things your mom tells you stick in your head forever? She started telling me about her teenagers. She brought out her phone to show me pictures of her family. Her kids all looked like happy, well fed little versions of her. One was overly pierced in some really random places and the other one had a blue Mohawk. I thought, “oh cute, they must like her to want to look like her.” After chatting with her for awhile, she turned out to be totally normal.
By the time my nails were dry, I told myself to stop judging people based on the way they look – that it’s such a shallow, close minded way to deal with people. I was going to change the way I view people from now on. With my new slick nails and my new attitude, I breezed out of the salon and my intentions to be better failed instantly. As soon as I left the salon this tatted up, missing tooth, trucker dude was walking by and said Hi. Well mannered me replied back with a smile and a “hi” while I was really thinking, “I will stab you in the jugular and kill you in front of all these nail techs if you even try to make a move, buddy.” I will never be rude to you even if I hate you and wished you were dead. My mom taught me to be unfailingly polite to all. It’s one of those odd things about the Asian culture – you have to be nice even if you are mentally hoping that they fall and break a hip.
We kept walking side by side heading the same way and the whole time I was really hoping he wasn’t parked near me. But then Trucker dude stopped at the magazine rack and picked up a copy of Martha Stewart Living. It was so unbelievable - I wanted to snap a photo. I realized that you really can’t make assumptions based on looks, but I’m probably never going to be a big enough person to stop judging people on their looks.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Herb and Spice

So we walked in and were warmly greeted. Drinks were quickly brought to us and I was feeling good about trying out this place. Service was excellent, but that was all that was good about this place. While we were waiting for our food, I noticed that my arm was stuck to the table. WTF? Was it crazy glue? No, it was some unidentifiable goopy brown shit smelling sauce that was now stuck to my arm and shirt. I now smell like shrimp shit. Thanks Thai place. They bring the food out but they didn’t bring us silverware. Umm when I am in the jungles of Nam and Thailand I am ok with eating my hands, but when I am paying almost $100 for my meal, you better give me a fork and knife. Dinner for four came out to $90 and no we didn’t have any beer or sake shots or happy endings or anything crazy from this place. We also didn’t get asked if we wanted our food mild, medium or spicy. Look at my photo people, I am not white. I think that the Thai servers should not assume that since we have ONE WHITE GUY in a table of minorities that we want our food made with absolutely no hint of spice in it. It was worse than mild. This is what we ordered: The sampler platter which came with the fishiest smelling crab and cream cheese fried wontons, eggrolls with nothing but cabbage and pepper in them, greasy fish cakes, and fried shrimp that were the only palatable item on the sampler. The sampler also came with a trio of sauces – one with cucumbers that was ok, a typical Chinese plum sauce and the shit smelling brown one – now I know what is stuck to my arm. We also got the chicken yellow curry which gets points for having all white meat, but gets points deducted for undercooked potatoes and the runniest consistency ever. It made me wonder if I had mistakenly ordered soup. I read some dude’s review and he recommended the yellow curry and said that it had an Indian influence to it and I don’t know what that is supposed to mean, but I think he was talking about the really weird brownish mustard color of it. My friends and I were remarking on the oddness of the color. Needless to say we didn’t come close to finishing that dish. We ordered plain chicken and rice for the white guy and that came out cold, but he said it was better than Yoshinoya’s chicken bowl. The pad see u came with really rubbery charcoal tasting noodles, but was saved by the chunks of fried tofu that were decent. The pepper beef and broccoli came out with basically no pepper in it. The Guatemalan guy in our group got that and he was so sad that it was not spicy at all. Umm where is the pepper in the pepper beef? They must have mistaken the salt for the pepper since the dish tasted like a salt lick. The meat was rubbery and the broccoli was undercooked. The meal was finished up with dessert which was the best part of the whole meal. We got a fried banana with ice cream and also the sticky rice with mango – 2 things you can’t really mess up.