Category Archives: Travel

Manolo Valdés at Place Vendôme – Paris, France 

You never know what you’ll stumble upon while strolling through the majestic streets of Paris, so it was a delight to turn a corner and run across these huge, magnificent sculptures by Spanish artist Manolo Valdés.

It was a very hot day in Paris approaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit and I was tempted to take shade under the large aluminum hat.

The recently re-opened Ritz Paris sits in the background. And just to note, even when there’s no artwork in this historic square in the 1st arrondisement, the Place Vendôme is awe-inspiring so these stunning works by Valdés were an added bonus. 

This public exhibition of Manolo Valdés’ sculptures lasts from September 8 through October 10, 2016.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Hours: 

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

Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Carrying the Light at Waikiki Beach – Oahu, Hawaii

travel influencer blogger food fashionista mika takeuchi

On this Throwback Thursday, I’m thinking of this quote from Shakti Gawain: “The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be.” It’s true. You can’t have a bright life with dark thoughts or outlook. There will always be negative voices even within yourself telling you a dream is impossible, but that’s when you have to dig deep and find the shining light within. We all have it and the more you feed it, the brighter and stronger it will be. But the same also goes for negativity so don’t feed into that. You are more powerful than you even realize and just like the sun sets and rises every day, you have a new day ahead of you today to shine, spread and carry your light brightly. Namaste.

Photo taken August 2016 at Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach on Oahu, Hawaii.

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.

Sanukiya

Address: Rue d’Argenteuil, 75001 Paris, France

Hours: · 11:30AM–10PM

Phone: +33 1 42 60 52 61

Frenchie To Go – Paris, France

Frenchie To Go Paris, France

Frenchie To Go is located on rue du Nil – the same charming, cobblestoned block as Frenchie restaurant and the same group’s wine bar. The original Frenchie can be a tough reservation if you don’t plan well ahead, so it’s nice that you can experience the team’s vibe and energy at this drop in, casual, takeaway spot in the 2nd arrondissement.

Frenchie To Go, Paris France - Food Fashionista

Lobster Roll (Pain brioché toasté, homard bleu, beurre blanc nantais, céleri) and Hot Dog (Bun a hot dog de Gontran Cherrier, saucisse maison 100% bœuf shorthorn fumée, choucroute maison, sauce savora)

Frenchie To Go, Paris France - Food Fashionista

Watermelon and burrata salad (this was a seasonal special)

Frenchie To Go Pickle - Paris France

A big ol’ sour pickle

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Order at the counter and either takeout, or dine in on one of the high wooden tables and bar stools.

Frenchie to Go - Food Fashionista

Frenchie To Go

Address: 9 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 40 26 23 43