Archive for June, 2010

ASK DR. DISH: Best poke

June 30th, 2010

Question (via Twitter): Who got the best poke?

Answer: I have no idea!

This question has been tossed around for a few days on Twitter and a friend of mine — @johngarcia — thought maybe we should get to the bottom of it.

But where to start?

I've heard the usuals: Fort Ruger Market near Kapi'olani Community College, Tamura's Wahiawa, Poke Stop.

But there are others — like Ono Seafood on Kapahulu — that garner loyal followings.

I don't eat much poke — I know, I know — but I'm curious to know 1) what makes poke so good and 2) where are the best places to get it?

So you answer this one! And maybe I'll post a food — or fuud — blog about it soon! :)


Follow Cat on Twitter @thedailydish or send her an e-mail at

Banning fireworks: the debate continues

June 29th, 2010

The city is looking at banning fireworks again, despite a new survey saying majority of island residents are against one.

In a report on Hawaii News Now last night, 38 percent of the 402 Hawai'i residents polled were strongly against a fireworks ban. Another 24 percent were somewhat opposed to it.

Yet lobbyists, including some from the Mainland, are planning to testify before the council's public safety committee on Thursday to push through a complete ban of fireworks in the name of health and safety.

As it is now, the state bans non-professionals from setting off aerials and homemade explosive devices, with each county able to impose even stricter rules. (You wouldn't think so if you drove through my neighborhood of Kalihi Valley on New Year's Eve.)

This discussion happens on the day of the deadline to get firework permits — $25 and good for 5,000 individual firecrackers — for Fourth of July celebrations. What timing.

Haven't we heard this before — the city, worried about the harm fireworks can cause, wants to impose an all-out ban despite the vast majority of residents at least somewhat against it?

We already have regulations that aren't being enforced. (I know. I used to live across the street from a home in Hawai'i Kai that set off the kind of aerials you'd see at Fourth of July shows at Ala Moana Center.) And firework injuries aren't comparable to other mundane activities like driving to work or playing football on the weekends.

So what's the big deal?

Yes, fireworks are dangerous. Yes, they can cause physical harm and structural damage. But is an all-out ban the solution?

What do you think?


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New iPhone: more pain than gain?

June 28th, 2010

No, I didn't stand in line from 5 a.m. for the new iPhone — and I was too late to pre-order one.

But I wanted to.

Until I heard initial reviews — more like complaints — about Apple's latest smart phone.

Despite the early allure — namely, the super-fast A4 CPU, front-facing camera and high-resolution retina display — I couldn't get over the fact that the phone couldn't function as, well, a phone.

According to news reports, people complained about a yellow screen discoloration or white spots and, the worst one, reduced call reception when holding the phone a certain way — being, the way you would normally hold a cell phone.

Apple sold an estimated 1.5 million iPhone 4s on launch day. Four days later, that number might be north of two million at this point. Apple has an obligation to address the issue and resolve the problem rather than trying to convince two million customers that the problem is their fault.

(Read Engadget's review here.)

One of dozens of YouTube videos showing the loss in reception.

Apple's response? CEO Steve Jobs said, "Just avoid holding it in that way."

Meaning, don't grip the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, which is where the antennae is located.

Not the smartest of designs, especially considering the iPhone should function, first and foremost, as a phone.

A student of mine nabbed one of the 1.5 million new iPhones sold last Thursday. And he showed me what happens when he just holds the phone is his hand: the bars indicated reception dropped from four to one. Just like that.

As most of you know, I'm a big Apple fan. I have everything from a MacBook to an iPod Shuffle. But this new iPhone has got me wondering if it's worth it. Sure, I can take clearer photos and I could take high-definition video of myself with the front-facing camera. But I'd like to actually use my phone to call people.

I'm on the fence.

Anyone with me? Or can someone convince me otherwise?


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FUUD: Cake Couture in 'Aina Haina

June 25th, 2010

I was walking the dogs the other day and wandered into the work-in-progress 'Aina Haina Shopping Center.

It was sad to see some of my favorite places — Komokata Japanese Restaurant, Korean Hibiscus BBQ — are gone. But I was pleasantly surprised to see some — Uncle Clay's Doe Fang, Jack's Family Restaurant, Wet Feet Hawaii — still there.

One in particular: Cake Couture.

Outside the cupcake boutique, now located next to Wet Feet Hawaii.

The luring display case inside, filled with cupcakes ranging from chocolate to key lime coconut.

I'm a sucker for cupcakes — or any baked good that comes in small packages, really. There's something about small cakes that I can't get enough of — and I'm not alone.

All over the Internet there are cupcake blogs and Web sites — Cupcake Project, All Things Cupcake, Cupcakes Take the Cake — fueling this craze and providing cupcake fanatics more reasons to crave these sweet creations.

What I love about Cake Couture is that, aside from baking all the cupcakes from scratch and using the best ingredients, the menu here rotates so you always get something new every day.

The Orange Creamsicle is available on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The Peanut Butter flavor — which is a moist chocolate cake topped with a not-too-sweet peanut butter-flavored frosting — is in stock on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The boutique also boasts red velvet — one of my favorites — lemon, carrot and cookies and cream.

Got any favorite cupcake flavors? Know of any other places that serves up great little cakes? And got a reason why these things are so freaking popular?


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'I quit'

June 24th, 2010

No one likes to be a quitter.

Unless what you're trying to quit makes you a better, healthier or more successful person like, say, quitting a nicotine addition or quitting an abusive relationship.

But I think sometimes admitting it's time to give it up can be healthy.

Case in point: The Los Angeles Times published a story about letting kids be quitters yesterday, particularly when it comes to sports and other extra-curricular activities.

While parents may hate the idea of their child quitting — or being labeled a quitter with all of those negative connotation — studies show that sometimes kids should quit something, especially when it's detrimental to their overall well-being.

I'm not afraid of quitting. Sometimes I get in over my head with work or commitment — and despite the ragging I may get from my friends, I'll throw my hands up and walk away. But only if I can't take it anymore.

Look at the first-round match at Wimbledon yesterday between No. 23 John Isner and qualifier Nicolas Mahut. Neither player gave up — even 10 hours into the match, which ended up being the longest match in tennis history and suspended because of darkness. Even the scoreboard couldn't keep up!

They didn't quit.

But if they did — and believe me, Mahut got booed for complaining to the official that he couldn't see the ball anymore — would they have been jeered and taunted?

Why do we have this emotional response to quitting and quitters? Why do we think it's such a negative thing? Since when did quitting equate weakness?


Follow Cat on Twitter @thedailydish or send her an e-mail at