Dining out is fine, so long as I can eat what I want, where I want, when I want; newspaper coupons and Entertainment book coupons be damned.
The truth of the matter is, I’m a cheap date. It doesn’t take much to entertain me. Dinner and a movie. Or, just the movie. Or, just dinner. After date favors are always appreciated.
I can be satisfied with a simple meal. A walk along the beach. A stroll through the mall. A cruise around town. But it all starts with the meal. That’s why I’m a cheap date.
Yes, we visit 3660 on the Rise in Kaimuki upon occasion. Nice place. Good service. Elegant dining sans the expense. For some reason, when dining for two, both service and food are better than when dining for a dozen or more (they herd the diners into a different room).
Yes, we’ve dined at Orchid’s in the Halekulani. How ever many stars a Waikiki resort and spa can have, Halekulani has them all. Orchid’s isn’t their most expensive restaurant, but service and food are good, a bit pricey, though mitigated by dining at sunset with a view of a hula dancer.
My favorite and most frequented is the eclectic, homey, fusion of California Beach Rockin’ Sushi. The blackened ahi they serve there is to die for.
If I had to choose a favorite on the neighbor islands I would go with Joe’s Bar and Grill at Wailea, near Kihei on Maui. Joe’s is a bit difficult to find, nestled between a half dozen tennis courts, away from the ocean. You’re paying for service and food, not view, unless you enjoy dining while sweaty tennis players who run around and grunt on the courts below. Superb little place, though.
I’m as comfortable at Panda Express as I am at California Beach or Joe’s. I’m less comfortable at places like Masa at the Time Warner Center in New York. Give me a dog with chili off the streets insteads. Masa’s 30-course Omakase menu starts at $400 a person.
The French Room in Dallas is as elegant as Texas can get, and modest at $100 to $400 per person. My daughter lives in Texas. It’s doubtful she’ll take us there for dinner during our next visit. Black Eyed Pea, maybe.
I’m impressed with the disparity in restaurant menu prices. I’ve had breakfast in Las Vegas for less than $3.00. Dinner at Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in Las Vegas nears $400 for 16 courses. Wine not included.
I may be a cheap date, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know a good meal when I taste it. So long as someone else is buying.