1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Open everyday except Monday
I recently ventured to a new destination. While on a quick trip to Los Angeles I decided to hop on over to Sacramento. The hour-long flight was short and sweet, and while I didn't know what to expect the airport that welcomed me was brand new, contemporary in design and offered free WiFi. This is starting off great, I thought to myself.
Sacramento is the State Capital of California and while it is a bit slow going and desolate in certain areas there is a great sense of history here. Old Sacramento represents the famed gold rush era which is now sleepy and mostly quiet with historic railroads, charming bars and nicknack stores to browse, while new (downtown) Sacramento is similar to any other downtown business district.
I stayed in Woodland which is mainly a farming town in the County of Yolo, yes YOLO! With a robust food and agriculture economy, Woodland is known for its fertile soil, growing population and close proximity to Davis, Napa and Sacramento. In Yolo County melons, sunflowers, peppers and gourds are amongst some of the fresh produce grown here. In fact, half of the vegetables grown in the U.S. are grown in California. Lucky for me, I was given an all-access pass to checkout a local farm that showcased some of the best melons I've ever tasted.
As part of a special "Field Day" farmers, growers, plant breeders, chefs and other agriculture enthusiasts were invited to see, taste and walk through the crops. As you probably know, consumers want pretty and perfect fruits and vegetables. It's unlikely you'll purchase a banana if its got brown spots on the outside or a melon that is imperfect in shape and has unusual markings. These plant breeders are experts in their field and work day in and day out to create the most delicious, nutritious and best looking produce to sell to the consumer.
With an emphasis on sustainability, reducing world hunger and protecting our natural resources it was eye-opening to witness the passion, enthusiasm, love and care these horticulturalists have for produce. I learned that melons come in all shapes, sizes, colors and flavors. One of the breeders' daughters actually named a honeydew variety "Flavor Journey" because of its immensely sweet/juicy flesh and the journey that the delicious fruit took you on while eating it. We also learned of a new lettuce that combines iceberg lettuce with romaine lettuce. This was brilliant as it has the flavor, size and color of romaine and the durability and texture of iceberg - perfect for cooking, lettuce cups/wraps and more and as far as nutrition it sits right in-between the two lettuces.
We also toured the labs where they test the nutritional content of the produce, identify its genetic makeup and also conduct evaluations to determine the health of the plant and efficiency of the farm. Like humans, plants are susceptible to diseases, biotechnology is utilized to breed naturally occurring pest-resistant plants; therefore less pesticides are needed and less of an impact is made on the environment. While given free reign to tour the property and meet the staff everyone was thrilled to have us and share their experiences! It was a joyful day tasting delicious fruits and vegetables and learning about modern agriculture.
View the slideshow below for a look at the Field Day highlights.
Mahalo to Monsanto Woodland, California for the tour and to the breeders and researchers (who have worked there for 10-30 years) for sharing their time and knowledge.
For more information visit monsanto.com
My Point of Heu is a personal blog, opinions expressed here are my own. Content herein is by no means an endorsement nor sponsored. Two nights room and board were provided by Monsanto Company.
There's nothing better to cure your hunger than a Spam Musubi! The delicious grab-n-go item found mostly in eateries, convenience stores and mom & pop shops in Hawaii has it all. It's a sliced patty of Spam, sitting atop a mound of rice, wrapped in nori (seaweed) and sometimes it comes with other added toppings like egg, furikake or additional meats (hot dog, chicken, katsu, etc).
When I am craving a snack, or something that will tide me over until a well-defined meal, I grab a Spam Musubi. My favorite is when the Spam is slightly well-done, topped with teriyaki glaze and the bigger the nori the better, but from time to time the meat, rice and nori ratio can change, depending on where you get your Musubi.
The BEST musubi I've ever had is a bit debatable, but a solid option that is made perfectly comes from Musubi Cafe Iyasume. However, this place is so busy that sometimes you have to wait for your musubi. On the date I was aiming to records my Ono Eats video, there was (at least) a 30 minute wait for one musubi. Sadly, I was hungry and couldn't wait. So I opted to grab something that was fast and easy. 7-Eleven has great (affordable $1.50-$2.50) musubis but if I am going to splurge just a bit Foodland is my go to.
west is best they say... and nothing could be more true when it comes to sunny skies, an abundance of blue ocean and the best poke on Kauai. In my humble opinion, the poke at Ishihara Market in Waimea is seriously craveworthy. Whenever I am in town I have to stop by. It's texture is firm yet soft, flesh of the fish is always fresh, perfectly colored and impeccably seasoned. I love the Shoyu Poke, nice and simple, but sometimes I add in a few other flavors here are there to add to the texture and diversity. Headed to Polihale? Kokee or just taking a drive. Be sure to stop by Ishihara for some poke and other refreshments.
9894 Kahakai Road, Waimea, Kauai.
I can't deny my love for sweets! When the Poi Mochi Donut at Liliha Bakery hit the shelves everyone went wild. I am a believer too. It's unlike any other donut out there. Often people will say it's the best donut they've ever tasted. The mix of mochi adds a soft chewy texture, yet the dough is light and has a delightful glaze.
Launched back in the fall of 2016, these little gems have been a popular treat for kids, corporate meetings and pot luck. At around $2 per donut you'll want to savor the flavor, look for the poi purple on the inside and enjoy every morsel.
Liliha Bakery is located at:
515 N. Kuakini Street
580 N. Nimitz Hwy
Sampling some of the new menu items at Budnamujip Hawaii!
I am happy to announce that I have begun a foodie focused new web series --- Ono Eats w/ Olena.
Join me on my culinary adventures as I showcase the best, most delicious and some of my favorite places to eat ono (delicious) food. The videos will be short, fun and showcase the cuisine with small bites of my feedback, critique and impressions.
In this short video I visited Budnamujip Hawaii for the first time. They recently launched some new menu items and I got to sample the Marinated Pork Rib and Kim Chee Chigae. The pork was sensational, the flavors were perfection and the sides of cabbage, iceberg lettuce salad and kale salad were delightful. I truly enjoyed the soy, sesame dipping sauce, but honestly the meat didn't even need it. Tender, delicately marinated and seasoned it was a delicious bite. The kim chee chigae was also spot on, bursting with flavor, spicy and full of kim chee, pork belly and tofu.
Budnamujip is open everyday from 11am-10pm, the same menu is served but lunch prices are a bit cheaper. They are located at 871 Kapiolani Boulevard in Honolulu.
I took the name I was using (and had officially registered last year) for my hiking club and made it my new expanded business. When I initially began working on my own I was specializing only in social media, writing, events and emceeing. But the work began to grow and more needed to be done for clients and my clientele wanted more. As with most former newscasters and journalists the natural progression is to get into PR, I wasn't interested at first but then I found myself doing PR for some of my clients for free. Hosting media tastings, writing news releases, inviting media to special events and ultimately getting the word out to the public about anything new.
Then I decided to do a sort of rebrand, to grow and evolve my business. Instead of limiting myself I wanted to grow it. Since then, I have expanded my business from the original focus to a more broad and creative approach. I officially launched in January and have been rolling out the details slowly and not so much on social media, but still slowly incorporating these tasks into my job description. I am proud to say that I have successfully launched what has become a Boutique Full-Service Marketing, Communications and PR agency. I have also assembled a team of highly capable, positive and experienced people to assist (not everyone is listed on the website yet) with PR, social media, marketing and creative.
My new business' name is Lilikoi Ladies LLC and we offer:
Social Media Management
Social Media Strategy
New Media Ad Development & Execution
Website Development and Web Management
Emcee/Voice Over/Mistress of Ceremony services
Event Digital Coverage/Posting/Photography
Essentially these were things I/We were doing already, but now I have officially executed and launched all of them. I am proud to say I am the Founder and CEO of a new thriving business in Hawaii helping other small businesses, organizations and non-profits.
Here's a look at our website www.lilikoiladies.com
It was fascinating to hear his insightful stories, moments of pride and tales of how La Tour came to be and the inspiring message of what it mean to chase your dreams.
The facility was originally the old Weyerhaeuser warehouse along Nimitz Highway and had been remodeled and renovated to make way for the new bakehouse and other retail shops, restaurants and store fronts. The expansion into this 80,000 square-foot location meant more room to create artisan baked goods, organic breads, fresh croissants, cookies and other goodies. Since it's inception, La Tour Cafe has become synonymous with macarons. And it's interesting to note, they make 6,000-8,000 macaron shells everyday and sandwich them by hand. With 5 La Tour Cafes on Oahu, and about a dozen Ba-Le's remaining, business continues to boom. Lam's son says they also have plans to expand to the mainland as their speciality furikake honey puffs and other treats have become popular they need to work on supply and demand.
It was a treat to meet with the team, tour the facility and also enjoy lunch in the cafe afterward. La Tour is a great spot for delicious, healthy and generous meals at affordable prices. When in the area stop by for some macarons, artisan breads or the delightfully delicious palmier cookies.
FLAGSHIP – IWILEI La Tour Plaza
888 N Nimitz Hwy #101
Honolulu, HI 96817
Hours of Operation
The menu in Waikiki as created by Executive Chef Jason Ichiki:
1. Poke Trio: Big-Eye Ahi Negi, Organic King Salmon-Fuki-Bubu, Kamuela Cucumber-Ko Chu Jang. The salmon poke was the overwhelming star of the three and all were a great refreshing way to kick-off the dinner.
2. Petite 4oz Filet Mignon & Garlic Buttered Jump Shrimp with mac & cheese spaetzle. Rich and somewhat decadent this was a great combination of surf with turf and extremely filling.
3. Chocolate Souffle served with raspberry coulis and Lappert's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream - this signature dessert is OUTSTANDING!
The portion size is large and you leave feeling quite full. This is a great way to sample some of Roy's classics and staple dishes along with some new items; the price point is very good considering the quality and quantity being served.
Happy eating everyone!