Breakfast, Pedicures, Chinatown, Zoo

Every day can be like a vacation if you know how to let go and enjoy yourself. It also helps if you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck or a desk that you are chained to. In any event, yesterday was like a vacation day even though Mink Hippie and I both had some work to take care of around midday in Honolulu. Since we both had to be there, we figured to treat it as a day trip.

We started out the day with breakfast at our favorite deli in Kailua. (629 Kailua Rd Ste A108. Kailua, HI 96734 Map)I will review Kailua breakfast joints and deli’s in a later post but for the moment, suffice to say that Brent’s tops our list of both. As a matter of fact, there is no deli or breakfast joint in Hawaii that can match it. Brent’s is more like a New York deli than many in New York. Any day of the week, it is a nice way to start. We split an order of latkes and a yummy breakfast sandwich. While we were eating we noticed Pat Ekstrand , a local artist, painting near us. We were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves immortalized at breakfast in her painting. She told us that Brent’s is going to be torn down but we can only assume that they will be relocating.

After breakfast we headed into town to take care of business. I finished first and wandered around Chinatown seeing how much has changed since I was last there two weeks ago. Chinatown is going through an incredibly rapid transformation and what you see there today may well be gone in a week or two. Luckily, it is the criminals that are being replaced with hipsters and the dive drug dens being replaced with trendy new ethnic restaurants and funky drinking venues. By the time Mink was done I had found a new Cuban restaurant, a cellar tea shop, and several hole in the wall shops with unique delights. New things to experience and explore at another time.

With most of the afternoon ahead of us, we took in a new gallery exhibit of Buddhist art at 1132 Bishop Street and then proceeded to our first appointment of the day The Heaven on Earth Day Spa. We had been given pedicures for Christmas and Mink had finally convinced me to use them. I have to admit, it was great. I’d never had one. The spa was cooly lit, they offered us tea or cucumber water in the heavily cushioned waiting room. When they took us into the treatment room they set us in massage chairs with our feet in hot water. The next hour was a blissful experience of foot massage, cooling mint foot mask, scrubbing, and finally red polish for Mink and a shiny clear coat for me. I totally admit to being delighted with my pedicure.

From there we went to Go Bananas to get Mink a new life jacket. This is probably the best place to get kayak gear in the islands. That stop being complete we ventured next to the Honolulu Zoo for the Starbucks sponsored ‘Wildest Show in Town’. For two bucks you get into the zoo at 4:35 and for the next several hours you can wander around looking at the animals and then they have a concert on the lawn with local style food and Starbucks coffee drinks. You can bring your own food. Yesterday the entertainment was Jimmy Borges and Friends. It wasa Wayne Newton style lounge act kind of show. We will definitely be attending next week to check out the Surfaris.

We didn’t stay for Jimmy Borges’ whole show because we were hungry and the spam musubi didn’t look too appealing to us, so we set our for Kaimuki and got lucky to get a last minute table at Ninniku Ya Garlic Restaurant . This is a place where garlic is in just about everything. We had a great meal. This is a place where you can spend a lot of money, we ordered relatively modestly and had Garlic Prawn Fried Rice, Garlic Swiss Cheese Toast, Garlic Three Mushroom Pasta, and Garlic Ceasar Salad. Excellent. The interesting thing was the sort of Japanese/Italian fusion of the food. We had expected it to be a very Italian menu, once looking at it we expected the food to taste more Japanese, and finally eating it we didn’t really know what to call it except delicious. Their wine list is extensive and carefully described so as to complement whatever you order. Highly recommended. We will go back.

With that we called the day done and came back home. Not bad for a working Wednesday.