If it's 'ono, it's Taste of Honolulu
By Brittany Yap
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Brittany Yap
For the Ah-Tyes of Manoa, Taste of Honolulu is a family affair.
They didn't waste any time deciding what food offerings to buy — and 15 minutes after the opening yesterday, the four were gathered on a beach towel, under a tree, with five different plates to choose from.
Alex, 5, didn't hesitate to chomp down on his fried chicken. Yuri, 3, dressed in pink from head to toe, opened her mouth wide while her father, Terry, took a piece of bread from his seafood chowder bowl and fed it to her.
"We've been coming for nine years," said mom Rebecca.
The 15th annual Taste of Honolulu, a three-day event, opened yesterday on the Honolulu Civic Center grounds. Families, couples and co-workers alike came to sample the eclectic array of foods and wines. Some people walked around while eating; others made sure they had saved a good seat on the lawn to watch the entertainment. Those who didn't have a plate of food in their hands perused a booklet that listed the different booths and the food available.
E&O Trading Co. was just one of the many restaurants that decorated its booth. It had a billowing green canopy held up by large bamboo sticks to shade its customers waiting in line.
Next door, the workers at Kevin's Two Boots kept the New Orleans spirit alive. Wearing Mardi Gras beads and yellow-and-green wigs, they filled orders for Louisiana Jambalaya.
The sake tasting made its debut this year, and many gathered around to take advantage of it.
"Very smooth, very delicate," said Pam Dangaran, after taking a sip of Japanese rice wine. She complemented the sake with a sashimi appetizer mounted in a martini glass. "If you like wine, you're gonna like the sake," Dangaran said.
Department of Education employee Becky Rosenberg, along with her son and his girlfriend, tried the food at Down to Earth Natural Food because that restaurant's booth had a vegetarian menu and there were tables set up.
"I work with kids with disabilities, so I'm glad to support Easter Seals," she said of her participation in the fundraising benefit.
For owner and president Li May Tang of Shanghai Bistro and Hong Kong Harbor View, preparation for this event began long before the crowds started to arrive. They had prepped items in their restaurant kitchens before they started cooking around 3 p.m.
"We cooked spring rolls, sugarcane shrimp, and steamed manapua," said Tang. "We have a very good sugarcane shrimp bowl."
After the blessing at 5:30 p.m., The Krush kicked off the music portion of the evening.
Taste of Honolulu will continue through the weekend. A schedule of music entertainment and a list of participating restaurants is available online at www.taste808.com.
Reach Brittany Yap at firstname.lastname@example.org.