The lovely Kristina turned 25 this week! We took a couple of days off to celebrate. Drinks at Bar Leather Apron (BLA) were the highlight, followed by dinner at The Pig and the Lady. Art, our bartender at BLA was phenomenal. We hope to do with wood what Art does with whisky. They make an award winning Mai Tai, so we had to try it, even though Kristina claimed not to like Mai Tais. Well, this one was different. After we watched Art expertly mix the drink (Raisin-Infused El Dorado 5 yr, El Dorado 12 yr, Coconut Water Syrup, Spiced Orgeat, Ohia Blossom Honey, Lime, Absinthe) he put the glass in a hollowed out tiki. Then, he burned some kiawe chips in a pipe connected to the tiki by a hose. A fan blew the smoke into the tiki, which came out of it's ears, nose and mouth. It was the best drink presentation I've ever seen, and the mai tai tasted amazing.
The rest of the night, Kristina and I sampled few other cocktails on their menu, and then we unleashed Art's skill making custom cocktails. These were my absolute favorite, with the one I remember best being a combination of Bruto Americano, vermouth, Laphroaig 10yr, and Buffalo Trace bourbon. It too had smoke injected into it, and it was an amazing last drink of the night. I can't even describe its flavor, but I want to go back and get another one as soon as I can.
On the actual night of Kristina's birthday, we went for dinner at The Pig and the Lady. I won't go into dinner in too much detail, but everything we ate there was wonderful. We had a special treat because one of my best friends from NYC is friends with the chef de cuisine at The Pig and the Lady, a kind, classy and very talented fellow named Keaka. He came out to our table, and we were surprised that he knew who we were. He explained that he is friends with my buddy Joe and that they worked together at the Whitney Museum bar. He wished us a good meal later sent out a special vegetable appetizer. I have never felt so honored at a restaurant before. So, thanks Joe and Keaka! Later on they sent us a dessert that we barely had room for, because it was Kristina's birthday. I ate most of it. I felt wonderful because I gave Kristina a unique treat.
The next day, we went to Rainbow Drive Inn for breakfast and it was no good. I had a Loco Moco and I think Kristina had chicken katsu, but we were spoiled by the Pig and the Lady's wonderful food. Our stomachs hurt after Rainbow Drive Inn.
Then, after a few days of no responsibilities, it was back to work. I was eating a teriyaki chicken plate from Ono's at the Waimanalo beach on a cloudy day (see picture), when I saw a square piece of driftwood had washed up onto the shore. After I finished my lunch, I grabbed the log and threw it into the back of my car. It was way harder than that, but I made it work. I brought it over to Waimanalo Wood so that they can cut the log into 2" thick boards. I think I'll make a coffee table out of it. Don't hold your breath though, it'll take a while for the wood to dry out. After all, it's been in the ocean for goodness knows how long.
I'm working on a few cool projects at the moment. One of which is a piece of milo that has a natural split down the center. Its getting bowtie keys down the whole length of the board, spaced 8" apart. I'm doing this partly to practice cutting and mortising butterfly keys and also because this board is going to look absolutely beautiful once it is done. I don't know what piece of furniture it'll be made into, but one day the inspiration will come.
Thats all for now! Gotta go to work.
Thanks for reading,