Category Archives: Restaurants

Maguro Brothers Hawaii – Poke and Sashimi in Honolulu’s Chinatown

honolulu chinatown maguro brothers food fashionista

The first time I spotted a photo from Maguro Brothers on my Instagram scroll, I knew I had to visit. So fast forward a month later when I was on Oahu visiting family, I quickly put the address in Google maps and headed there for a late lunch. They close at 3:00 p.m. and it was already 2:15 p.m. by the time I was heading over, so was already off to a bit of a late start. As the GPS boldly announced that I arrived at my destination, I parked the car in Honolulu’s Chinatown, stepped out of the car, and then looked all around. I couldn’t find it. Where was it? It was now approaching 2:40 p.m. and I started to slightly panic. I set my mind and appetite on that unfiltered tempting poke visual for lunch and now there was a chance I was not even going to find this place. Ugh, a literal hidden gem, I thought.


Finally after pulling up a set of detailed directions on the web, I found myself in front of the Kekaulike Marketplace – Maguro Brother’s stand is located inside towards the center, back.

maguro brothers - food fashionista travel blog

As I entered, I let out a huge sigh of relief as I saw a clear ocean blue Maguro Brothers sign and approached a counter with giant slabs of fresh ahi tuna and hamachi (yellowtail) in a refrigerated glass case. There were also several made-to-order types of poke varieties listed on the menu to choose from. Now my only problem was going to be deciding what to order. It all looked and sounded inviting. I wanted to order everything.


Mauro Brothers Junichiro and Ryojiro Tsuchiya

Brothers Junichiro and Ryojiro Tsuchiya originally from Kawasaki, Japan were both behind the counter running their team operation with one taking customer’s orders while the other was preparing the plates. In the tight, adjoining space were several small wooden tables for guests to sit down and enjoy their lunch. And although a modest environment, what came out of the kitchen is far from ordinary. Vibrant sashimi and poke on beds of rice, and cooked items such as grilled ahi belly and togarashi peppered ahi steak graced the tables. Customers looked happy and were digging gleefully into their lunches.

maguro brothers hawaii fresh poke sashimi oahu food fashionista

If you want to truly taste the beauty of what comes out of the local Hawaiian waters, first go for the raw and if you have more room, order the hot dishes. Just don’t take the chance like I did and go near closing time. It’s a hidden gem you surely won’t want to miss and as Honolulu’s Chinatown becomes more and more popular and gentrified, parking is a bit tougher and you want to arrive there early to grab some of the daily specials. On a recent follow-up visit, I added the fresh-caught uni (sea urchin) to my plate and natto (fermented soy beans) as well. The prices at Maguro Brothers are extremely affordable with the high-quality poke, donburi, and cooked items all priced below $11 before add ons. See chalkboard menu below and enjoy! Oh, and please say Aloha to a glorious Hawaiian sunset for me.


This article, Maguro Brothers – Poke and Sashimi Lunch in Honolulu, Hawaii, originally appeared on Chowhound.

Maguro Brothers Hawaii

Address: 1039 Kekaulike Street at Kekaulike Market (stall #113) Chinatown, Honolulu, Hawaii

Phone: 808-259-6901


Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Sanukiya – Japanese Food Cravings Fulfilled in Paris, France

Sanukiya, Paris France

All of us have our certain go-to comfort foods, so it’s no surprise that being originally from Tokyo, whenever I’m on the road or in a different country, I found myself craving Japanese food. I grew up in California so I also often find myself longing for those generously-sized Mexican burritos, but that’s yet to be found here…Thankfully in the world-class city of Paris, there are a multitude of international options if you find yourself in the mood for something other than “typical” French cuisine. One of my favorite Japanese spots for a quick and tasty casual bite is Sanukiya. There are often long queues, so it’s a fantastic spot for travelers who are dining solo, since just like many of the other Japanese restaurants in Paris’ nearby Little Tokyo, there is counter seating and a lone diner can often beat the lines and quickly slip right on in for their meal. Another bonus about Sanukiya, is that they are open straight through lunch and dinner so if you have jet lag or just feel like dining at 15:30 or 3:30 p.m. non-military time, they will be open.

Sanukiya, Paris France

Started off with some Agedashi Tofu

Sanukiya Paris France

After being in France for a while, I can’t even tell you how happy I was to reunite with my beloved katsudon (deep fried pork cutlet with egg over a bowl of steamed rice)

Sanukiya Paris France Food Blog

Japanese Omelette

Udon in Paris France at Sanukiya

Udon noodles are one of their specialities

Sanukiya Restaurant Paris France

View of the Open Kitchen

Tempura Donburi in Paris France Sanukiya

Bowl of Tendon (Tempura over rice)

Sanukiya Japanese Food Paris France

This article, Sanukiya – Japanese Cuisine in Paris, originally appeared on Chowhound.


Address: Rue d’Argenteuil, 75001 Paris, France

Hours: · 11:30AM–10PM

Phone: +33 1 42 60 52 61

Nobu- Malibu, California

Nobu Malibu - Food Fashionista

Nobu Malibu is located on the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway and offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. On a warm Southern California day (which is quite often), it’s ideal for a relaxing day of lounging on the patio with a table spread of chef Nobu’s signature drinks and dishes. They also offer breakfast on Friday through Sunday.

Nobu Malibu - Food Fashionista

Glasses of Louis Roederer, Brut Champagne

Nobu Malibu - Food Fashionista new style sashimi

Nobu’s famous New Style Sashimi. See the recipe and make at home here:


Lobster Shiitake Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing – a must-order dish.

Nobu Malibu - Food Fashionista Mika Takeuchi

Being fed lobster isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon. Just remember to bring sun glasses and wear sunblock if you plan on sitting on the patio. Although breezy, it can get toasty out there.


Ocean view from the patio


Nobu Malibu

Address: 22706 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: (310) 317-9140

Kendra Scott Jewelry Comes to Northern California


I was just off a flight from Paris and needed to fight the jet lag, so headed down south (from San Francisco) to sunny San Jose’s Santana Row. Kendra Scott fashion jewelry was touring California with their airstream, and dropped by for a one day show. I wasn’t familiar with Kendra Scott previously, so was excited to check out their accessories and learn more about them. I was especially intrigued by their Color Bar in which you could design your own jewelry. You just pick out the stone and accessory style of choice, and voila, they make it right there for you. It’s a fun and quick way to create a unique, personalized piece that’s all your own. And, it’s very affordable with most price points in the $50-$75 range. I’m big on the power and energy of crystals and natural stones so was pleased to see some of my favorites including pyrite and rose quartz in the mix.

kendra scott - santana row

Just put on a tee and pair of denim and throw on one of these Kendra Scott necklaces and you’re good to go…

Mika Takeuchi - Food Fashionista Santana Row Kendra Scott

Nothing beats jet lag like a good dose of sun rays with that vitamin D and some exercise to get the blood pumping. Just remember to wear your daily sunscreen.

Santana Row Kendra Scott Village California Bistro

One also needs fuel to shop, so I grabbed a tasty lunch at Village Bistro – which is located smack dab in the center of Santana Row with its breezy courtyard seating. This is their Tomato Bruschetta with fresh mozzarella pearls, Franchessi bread, basil pesto, baby heirloom tomatoes and balsamic reduction.


This Phyllo Baked Brie isn’t the most photogenic, but was seriously satisfying with its mix of sweet and savory with caramelized apples and toasted almonds. I could not stop eating it.


Although the Kendra Scott airstream was a one-day visit, they will be opening a permanent store in Santana Row this year. They also have plans to open up in Walnut Creek and eventually in San Francisco.


Thank you, Santana Row for helping fight the jet lag. You definitely succeeded. I’ll see you again soon.

Visit Kendra to see all their fab jewelry styles


Little Gem – San Francisco, California

Little Gem Salad

Little Gem in Hayes Valley is a big, bright neighborhood gem. They’ve only been open since December 2015, but it’s one of those places that makes me wish I lived even closer. I’d be there all the time – breakfast, lunch, dinner. It’s just the kind of vibe that makes you feel welcomed at “home”.

During the day, the contemporary space’s expansive windows shine a glowing natural light upon the entire restaurant interior. You order at the counter and are given a number on a pastel ombré piece of reclaimed wood before choosing a seat at a barstool or table.

The menu is gluten, dairy and sugar free. I tend to mostly cook this way at home, so even before my visit, many friends and colleagues asked me if I had tried Little Gem yet. They knew it was a place that mixed in well with my daily at-home lifestyle and I was pleased when I finally visited. The people and space had a sincere, warm energy and the menu ingredients are all mindfully sourced from local farmers and artisans. It’s always refreshing to have a place that shows healthy, high quality dining options can also be affordable and satisfying.

Founders Eric Lilavois, John DiFazio and Chef Dave Cruz were all physically and presently working at the restaurant behind the counter and in the kitchen during my lunch visit. Lilavois was most recently the Chief Operating Officer for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group so it’s no surprise that Little Gem, although approachable and casual, had a clear and polished professionalism about it.

Little Gem Hayes Valley - Food Fashionista

Napa Valley Honey Lemonade prepared with local Marshall’s Farm Honey

Little Gem San Francisco Chef Dave Cruz

Window view of Chef Dave Cruz in the Little Gem kitchen. Before this new endeavor, Chef Cruz worked at several restaurants in New York and California including serving as the opening chef for Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Yountville.

Little Gem San Francisco - Food FashionistaGrilled Trumpet Mushrooms on Beans & Rice w Rancho Gordo beans, Tuscan kale,  tomato-bacon stew.

Little Gem Flat Bread - Food Fashionista

Mixed Vegetable Flatbread with caramelized carrots, cauliflower, broccolini, kale, almond-onion puree

Little Gem Salad

Asparagus & Radish Salad with pea shoots, soft boiled egg, romaine lettuce, celery, green goddess dressing and addition of King Salmon

Little Gem Hayes Valley

Little Gem

Address: 400 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone:    (415) 914-0501