Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm Lau Lau, Lomi and Poi'd out!!!

Aloha for the final time from the Big Island! Today is my last day in Hawaii and I've spent most of it working online and making calls. All the shooting was done yesterday and I fly out tonight. I ran into a little hotel suite party last night, equipped with a DJ no less! So finally this morning I slept in regardless of the time difference. Yeah, 6 hours behind Brooklyn here, so I was getting up at like 3am every day, when I didn't have to be ready for the shoot until 6am. Werd. Then we'd finish around 6ish 7, so that was like 1am for me ... crazy, but we did it and had fun doing it!

Here's me playing with bees ....


And one farm we went to was like an animal refuge, there were turkeys and dogs, cats, geckos, and a peacock ... just chillin' ... so I snapped away...


Pretty colors, huh? It was chilling in the shade beneath a tray of cocoa beans roasting in the sun. A real pretty sight, even peacocks knew the heat was oppressive!

Yesterday I was determined to get some local fare, we'd worked so hard that at the end of taping days, all we really wanted to do was retire to our rooms for sleep. So, with work done the crew and I all headed out to eat together. I did a lil word of mouth poll around the hotel of the natives and narrowed it down to a spot that seemed what I was looking for. Not fancy, but a real home-cooked authentic Hawaiian cooking spot in a town 15 miles south of us called Honaunau. The place is called Super J's and it added up to all expectations. It was described to me as basically a house on the road that a family lives in and serves people food as well. YEEEEEEEAHHHH!!! Ok, so anyway, here's some pics below. But first ... the Poi Guard. Look, I'd rather call her something reminiscent of a popular Seinfeld episode about soup, feel me? But thing is she was rather sweet, just very serious about her poi and who ate it. Here's what happened ... first we pull up and it looks like it should, a small place without frills, I was thrilled and the guys seemed to be thrilled as well. We waltz in and looks like daddy is chillin' reading the paper on a plastic fold table, this would be our table. Once he realized we were staying to eat, he picked up his paper he was reading and quickly began clearing off the table for us. As he began to shuffle we began to order from Ms. Super J herself at the counter! I went first and said my Alohas and such and then started to ask for the chicken lau lau and she recommended I try the pork instead because it was better. I was like ok, no biggie. Then I ordered something I'd never had before salmon lomi. She said it was yummy and I'd love it, it had tomatoes and salmon and green onions, salt and pepper. Like a salmon salsa. Then ... came the trouble with the Poi Guard! I said, yeah and I'll get the poi. Super J was says to me as if to qualify me "well, do you like it?!". It caught me off guard because I'm thinking what? Food? Yes, I like any food, but I clarified and said "poi? yes of course I like it". Then she was like "well how much do you want? Just a little bit like this?(makes a hand gesture to show a circle about the size of one of those tiny plastic take out cups, the ones they put the jalapenos, lemon wedges or whatever in. Like 1/4 cup capacity). I frowned and said, "no, more than that" and just that quickly, she turned from the Guard to the Lady! She smiled with approval and moved on to the next which was Tony, camera man extraordinaire :-). She put him through the same thing, but it was much shorter because he watched me go through my dialogue to get the poi, now here's the funny part ... up next was Bruner- sound man of the year :-). He steps up to order and this is EXACTLY HOW THE EXCHANGE WENT DOWN

Miss Super J aka "Poi Guard": What would you like?
Bruner aka sound man of the year: Uhhh, yeah I'll have the lau lau and the poi.? (notice the period, then question mark? cuz that's kinda how he said it, well she smelled fear in his voice and then asked him the next fateful question)
Miss Super J aka "Poi Guard" : Have you ever had it?
Bruner aka sound man of the year: No, uh what's in it? (and it was over)
Miss Super J aka "Poi Guard": Oh no, uh-eh (shaking head) YOU GET NO POI!

We all just burst out laughing, and she smiled with pride. She said in not so many words, she wasn't gonna waste her poi on him. I mean it was hilarious, and you know what? She really didn't give him any poi! Scott, our producer went after Bruner and played it safe and didn't even ask for poi teeheehee. I shared mine with him, but I say all this to say, just like that similar Seinfeld episode the food was being "guarded" for good reason, it was exceptional. amazing. yummy. all of that.
Here we are all outside right after ordering ...


Then we sat down to eat after getting drinks from the fridge ...


Sorry no food close ups, it smelled so good, I was 3 digs into the tender salty pork wrapped in the taro root leaf (the lau lau) before I noticed I forgot to snap a shot. The lau lau was perfect and I was very happy I took her advice and went with pork. Now, have you ever had salmon lomi? I hadn't either. Ooooooowwweeeee it was good, I poured it all over my rice and then because I liked it so much she gave me extra and some juices from the mixing bowl! YAAAY!! Look, it was goooood and the Hawaiian tomatoes escaped the recall we had in the continental states last week. It was salty and sweet due to the tomatoes, plus salmon is kinda sweet on my tongue too. It was like salsa with no fire. The poi was light, and the perfect consistency. Fresh is the word. Turns out according to Miss Super J, the farmers don't like harvesting it these days, so there's a teeny shortage which is why she prefers to feed it only to someone that she knows will eat it all. I get it. Totally. Here's Miss Super J tending to the dishes n such. She seemed too shy to ask for a photo, so I caught a candid...


We sat there for about an hour and just enjoyed the meal. A cute little girl was running around barefoot and carefree and she caught all our attention, just so cute. I mean, this was relaxing and enjoyable, a perfect ending to this trip. If you ever make it to Kona, Hawaii, I'd make a run to Honaunau and take in all that is Super J's, and if you want to try the poi, based on my experience, act like ya know!!! Alright, I'm headed back to the mainland ... here's a Hawaiian sunset, enjoy the weekend and I hope ya catch Cooking for Real and NFNS Sunday, then the webisode :-)


12 comments:

Roslyne said...

Greetings Sunny:
First let me tell you how proud & happy I am for you. You are sharing so much info and I love it! I've been a FN fan for years. Keep on doing what you do. Your poi story had me cracking up :). Hawaii was our first choice of Honeymoon spots (last August) but we decided on Tahiti- that time difference is a doozy! But the trip was unforgetable. When I get to Hawaii I must check out Super J's. Love your show, can't wait for the construction on my new kitchen to be complete so I can try out your recipes!
Many Blessings.
Roslyne

Sunny Anderson said...

roslyne, thanks so much! i've been an fn viewer for years as well, so getting on has just been a total dream and i never thought it was even in my path. very happy you've enjoyed it thus far :-). i'm having fun bloggin about it, the inside stuff is what interests me, so i'm doing my best to give some dish, but have you checked out the FN Dish? pretty neat, it's on foodnetwork.com. it's another neat way i think the network is opening up the back door. and yes, super j's was yummmmmy, take cash-no cards accepted. ok, have fun in your new kitchen! i'm currently looking for a new spot with more counter space! thanks again and have a good week!!!

frank said...

"Uhhh, yeah I'll have the lau lau and the poi.? (notice the period, then question mark? cuz that's kinda how he said it, well she smelled fear in his voice and then asked him the next fateful question)"

Hah! I wish more people played with punctuation like that, especially in dialogue.

Sunny Anderson said...

frank, teeheehee, thanks for punctuating my punctuation! i mean, there was no better way to type it ... it was a statement and a question, hilarious to hear. lemme tell ya, i'd get on a flight for some of that salmon lomi right now!! good stuff, glad we got off the beaten path. ok, happy monday!

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

I went to the island of Kauai,Hawaii a few Christmases ago and it was 80 degrees there and everyone we met was complaining about how cold it was! We also went to one of those touristy luaus and we had poi and lomi lomi(amongst other things). I don't care for the lomi lomi, but the poi was not that bad!

I'm glad to hear you had a great time, even though some jet lag set in.

Sunny Anderson said...

nikki miller-ka, aloha! :-) yeah, the heat was oppressive. i had a great time though and i can't believe you like poi and and not the lomi ... but i get it, poi is a taste that is developed for some, for me i loved it first time!!

Darius T. Williams said...

Hey Sunns...I need to come up with a nickname for you. We can't be on first name blogger basis without me having a name for your. Sunny? Nah, Sunns? Nah, that's not working. Lemme think on it.

Looks like you had a decent time in Hawaii. And you got some authentic fare. I can tell from those pics. Those run down hole in the wall joints are usually the spots with the greatest tasting food.

Well, I know you're glad to get back to the BK!

-DTW

PS: If you have comment moderation, why do you have word verification? Just wondering...

Sunny Anderson said...

darius, nicknames never work with me, sun is fine ... i get that often, but because i'm in nyc the word sun is just like "son" and we use son as an expression here to replace "dude, man, friend, etc" so, i can never tell if people are shortening my name or saying "son" lol. as for the word verifaction? i dunno, didn't know it asked for it, but i do like comment moderation, it allows me to post and respond immediately instead of looking around for new comments to reply to. sometimes i get replies from posts i did weeks ago, but i still want to reply to the person just incase they check back for an answer or comment from me.

Anonymous said...

Sunny. I am soooooo glad to see you doing your thing. I love you and wonder what you where up to, and today 7/8 Wendy Williams was thanking you for the lovely flowers you sent her. Then she told us we could see you on Food Network. I stop watching food network because there was nothing good on but I will watch now because my Sunny is there. Keep up the good work. I am very happy for all your success.

Sunny Anderson said...

anon, thanks for the support i really appreciate it. yeah, someone actually told me on here via a comment that she mentioned me last week. she didn't have to and for real, we've never met ... then add that i worked at hot97, who knows what she thought of me. i gotta tell ya though, i sing her praises often when people bring her up to me. real nice to get some support, so i sent her some flowers ... every chick needs a lil love outta nowhere :-) .... hope you like the shows on food network!!!

Anonymous said...

hey sunny! thanks for checking out my blog. ha, love the poi exchange above. have you ever made it? wonder if i could find a shortcut for it. they sell poi powder at asian marts. i gotta get more into hawai'ian food, and latin. nothing beats going back though. that spaetzle tray idea on the lau lau episode was ingenious too. did you check out the ramen in hawai'i? much better than in nyc. later

jeju
http://jeju.wordpress.com

Sunny Anderson said...

jeju, i've seen that poi powder, ick ... worries me and i also know i'll probably never actually get to make it authentically. maybe i'll revisit super j and see if she'll teach me. i didn't do the ramen, next time ... i'm a ramen snob after my days in korea. great blog!