Sunday, October 5, 2008

Culinary Mama

My mom pours over the food section of the newspaper just as much as I do. When we met up in Kauai, she had a newspaper clipping of recommended restaurants (from The Oregonian) in the area.

The first restaurant was called "Hamura's Saimin". When I saw the name, I knew immediately what it was-- a local saimin joint, probably with counter seating. I tried to warn her, but she seemed set that this was going to be a good place. After all, the Oregonian had recommended it. I chalked it up to a possible "cultural experience" for her. If you know my mom at all, she's classy, and expects classy.

Surprisingly, she didn't run when we saw the place. We actually walked in and sat down. Unsurprisingly, it was exactly as I thought. It tasted fine, but it wasn't what she was expecting, to say the least. I don't think my mom touched the counter the whole time. We laughed about it afterward, especially about the looks that she made at us whenever she witnessed something she found alarming (when the waitress gave us our spoons by their heads, for example).

Somehow the newspaper clipping stayed in her purse. I researched "Hanalei Gourmet" in a local magazine, and showed her a picture of a diner looking scene complete with a picture that appeared to be from the 70's. She finally dropped that one from her "to do" list.

We did, however, take the trek to the North Shore, where we went to Kilauaea Fish Market. We walked in, and she immediately walked back out, went around the courner of the place, and ripped up her newspaper clipping into little pieces and stomped on them.

Being helpful, I laughed my head off.
I asked her afterward, "Why did you stay in Hamura's Saimin? And why did you continue following the list after the first two we tried weren't great?"
She said, "I wanted to believe."
So that's where I get it. It is so hard for me to admit that a restaurant is plain ol' bad. I want food to taste good, especially if I heard or read a good review.
Then I proceeded to convince her to try to this place. We walked back in and ordered. I had a lovely Ahi wrap which I will post about next.
You have to keep the dream alive. Mom, however, was not impressed.


Unknown said...

is that where you get your love of food from? nice. hope you had tons of fun!

Masayuki said...

Ha ha ha... That's just like mom. I don't think she would have liked most of the places I ate at in Japan. Maybe Japan's little mom and pop shops are better though... Of course, then I think back to where we went when you guys came to pick me up... Hmmm

sienna said...

great character sketch. it sounds like you guys had a good time.

Unknown said...

I wanna see the ahi wrap post. The promise of it reminds me of the coolest thing I saw in Bend this February. A restaurant with one of those signs where you can put the letters up to make whatever words you want had this on the sign: "AHI TUNA WRAP, BOYEE!" It was hilarious compared to the staid signs of the neighboring establishments. We wondered whether the young employees had their employer's approval for the lettering.

Melinda said...

this is great, mariko. i'll never trust a hawaii restaurant recommendation from the oregononian again. did you ever find a place on kauai that was up to your mom's standards?

Anonymous said...

Classic. We ate at some great places there with Enoch and Amy. Can't remember any names, and we'd been camping, so it all tasted extra good.