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Sunday, April 30, 2017

MAUKA GRILLE AT OAHU COUNTRY CLUB

MAUKA GRILLE
OAHU COUNTRY CLUB
150 COUNTRY CLUB ROAD
HONOLULU, HI  96817
808-595-6331

Always enjoy a good meal or Pupu's at Oahu Country Club's Mauka Grille.  My lunch favorite here is a half Caesar Salad with Grilled Salmon.  For Pupu's I always enjoy the fresh Sashimi but wish they would cut it a bit thinner.  Sashimi is meant to melt in your mouth and not be chewed.  When you have a big thick slice its good too, but it does not have the finish as thinner sliced Sashimi.  The Poke here is excellent with nice pieces of fresh Ahi Tuna, Onions, Soy Sauce, Black Sesame Seeds and maybe a touch of sugar for sweetness.  Tried the Kalua Pork Tacos recently and they were really good.  Also enjoy the Wild Mushroom Flatbread here but always have to tell them to put half the normal amount of cheese on it.  Love the food and staff at Mauka Grille.  Food is always good.

THE MAUKA GRILLE AT OAHU COUNTRY CLUB
SASHIMI
AHI POKE
KALUA PORK TACOS
VIEW FROM OUTSIDE THE MAUKA GRILLE

PEAKS LOUNGE - HYATT REGENCY DENVER - DENVER, COLORADO

PEAKS LOUNGE
HYATT REGENCY DENVER AT THE COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER
650 15TH STREET
DENVER, CO  80202
303-436-1234
https://denver.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

Visited Peaks Lounge at the Hyatt Regency Denver twice during a five day business trip.  First time was to get something to eat as the service at the lobby bar was non existent and the main restaurant was closed.  Nice view of Denver from almost every table at Peaks.  This is a nice place to enjoy a drink or some appetizers for sure.  Service was pretty good.  

PEAKS LOUNGE VIEW OF DENVER
PEAKS LOUNGE MENU
PEAKS APPETIZER MENU
ARTISANAL CHEESE SELECTION
PULLED PASTRAMI SANDWICH
LOVED THESE MINI PASTRAMI SANDWICHES
OAK ROASTED SALMON BRUSCHETTA


HYATT REGENCY DENVER AT THE CONVENTION CENTER - DENVER, COLORADO

HYATT REGENCY DENVER AT THE COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER
650 15TH STREET
DENVER, CO  80202
303-436-1234
https://denver.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

The Hyatt Regency Denver served its purpose for a business conference I attended in Denver.  The Downtown location was good for getting to restaurants and even a ball game.  Room was clean and staff was friendly.  Would not consider this a five star hotel.  The $45 per day parking charge is outrageous.  Lucky I got free internet with my Hyatt Membership or between parking and internet I would be spending almost $70.  Then times that by five nights.  Tack this onto the room rate and taxes and its not too cheap or worth it to me.

HYATT REGENCY DENVER LOBBY
CONCIERGE DESK
LOBBY BAR
KING ROOM
TV AND TWO SMALL DRAWERS
COFFEE, TEA AND COMPLIMENTARY WATER FOR HYATT MEMBERS
SMALL REFRIGERATOR  
WORKING DESK
SITTING AREA
SMALL BATHROOM
NICE VIEW FROM ROOM - MOUNTAINS AND BRONCO STADIUM



Saturday, April 29, 2017

NOBU HONOLULU

NOBU HONOLULU
1118 ALA MOANA BLVD
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-237-6999
HOURS:  Monday thru Thursday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
                 Friday and Saturday 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM / 5:00 PM - 10:30 PM
                 Sunday 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM / 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

I always liked Nobu Waikiki so when they opened a location in Ward Village we decided to drop in and see how Chef Nobu Matsuhisa was doing in Kakaako.  The new Nobu is located in the ultra modern and expensive Waiea condominium complex.  Parking and the restaurant can be accessed on Auahi Street directly across from the movie theaters.  Valet parking is available for $7.  We entered at two minutes before 5:00 pm and the look on the hostesses faces was not positive.  Barely a smile and no welcome or hello.  One gal just blurted out "do you have a reservation?".  I told her yes and my name she said they don't open until 5:00.  We sat on a bench fronting the hostess stand and three or four people stood at the stand.  None smiling or engaging us or another customer who was waiting for service.  These employees need to learn customer service - what a joke we said to each other.  A minute or two after 5:00 one of the hostess steps up and says follow me without smiling and looking away.  She yelled a Japanese phrase which other employees followed and literally dropped us off at our table.  No welcome, thanks for coming in or nothing.  Just walked away.  We watched the front as others were seated and it was the same unenthused and uninterested customer service.  Our waiter was much better but a bit robotic.  Really could tell he was just going through the motions and did not really care.  I expect much better care and interest when you are paying so much money for the food.
Nobu is expensive, portions are small but the food is sometimes delicious.  We started with the Yellowtail Jalapeño ($25).  Amazing fresh flavor and one of my favorite dishes on the menu.  I love the thin slice of Jalapeño and Cilantro with the fish.  The five thin slices were gone fast and we all wanted another plate of this so in ten minutes we were down $50.  I always order the King Crab Tempura at the Waikiki location and asked the waiter if they had it. He said no but they have a Lobster version instead of King Crab.  I ordered the Spiny Lobster Amazu ($34).  The small bites of Tempura battered Lobster had very little taste but the Jalapeño and Red Onion helped.  Nothing like the flavor of the King Crab version and a bit disappointing for the price.  The Sashimi Salad ($28) looked beautiful and included four or five nice pieces of Ahi Sashimi.  Nice salad and dressing.  We were kinda ordering as we go so next up we tried some Sushi.   Tuna and Snow Crab at $5 a piece and Abalone for $25.  Tuna and Snow Crab were incredible.  We ended up ordering lots more.  The Abalone which is farm raised on the Big Island was terrible.  Hard as rubber and one piece was not eatable.  I mentioned this to the waiter and he said sorry but did not offer anything to replace it or take it off the bill.  $25 down the drain.  The Eel and Cucumber Roll ($12) was delicious.  Still hungry we ordered the Carbonara with Soba Noodles ($26).  Not a bad dish but nothing you would crave and order again. Liked the egg on top and fresh asparagus.  Still hungry we ordered the Seafood Ceviche ($17).  A few clams, shrimp and octopus in a sauce that did not compliment the seafood.
Still hungry we ordered the Fire Cracker Roll ($18).  Delicious.  Still hungry we ordered more of the Tuna and Crab Sushi and it was delicious.  My favorites.  The restaurant made a very nice gesture to present my Daughter with a plate wishing her a happy birthday which was nice.  Nobu is good but not great.  Service is good but not great.  Prices are high and portions are small.  
Click link below for previous post on Nobu Waikiki;

NOBU HONOLULU IS LOCATED IN THE WAIEA CONDOMINIUMS 
FRONT STAFF NEEDS SOME TRAINING ON CUSTOMER SERVICE
SLEEK AND MODERN DINING ROOM AND SUSHI BAR
HALF OF DINING ROOM LEADS TO NICE OUTDOOR BAR AND SEATING AREA
SUSHI BAR
NOBU PLACE SETTING
NOBU MENU

NOBU SUSHI MENU
YELLOWTAIL JALAPENO
A GLASS OF BUBBLY WILL SET YOU BACK $25
SPINY LOBSTER AMAZU
SASHIMI SALAD
SASHIMI SALAD ALL MIXED UP
EEL/CUCUMBER ROLL, SNOW CRAB, TUNA AND ABALONE SUSHI
MORE TUNA AND SNOW CRAB SUSHI
CARBONARA WITH SOBA NOODLES
CARBONARA ALL MIXED UP
SEAFOOD CEVICHE
MORE TUNA
FIRECRACKER ROLL

TWO GO BAG FOR TWO PIECES OF SUSHI WAS DESIGNER
A HAPPY BIRTHDAY AT NOBU

KALBI SHORT RIBS

KALBI SHORT RIBS
DINNER AT HOME

Enjoyed some delicious and meaty Kalbi Ribs for dinner.  Served with a delicious dipping sauce containing, Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Shallots, Thai Chili Pepper, Garlic and Pepper.

KALBI RIBS

ARROWHEAD GOLF CLUB - LITTLETON, COLORADO

ARROWHEAD GOLF CLUB
10850 SUNDOWN TRAIL
LITTLETON, CO  80125
303-973-9614

So lucky to find Arrowhead Golf Club on the internet while in Denver.  When I came across a photo of the course I could not believe that is was a public course and I thought the pictures were somehow fake.  It was just too amazing looking.  I took a chance and booked the $99 round.  Drove to Littleton which is about 45 minutes from Downtown Denver.  I needed to stop by the Columbine Country Club prior to Arrowhead to pick up my head covers that I had left in my cart after playing Columbine which is a private course and three times more expensive to play than Arrowhead.  Columbine is just a few minutes from Arrowhead but let me tell you the course and surroundings are a million miles apart.  We exited the main road on the way to Arrowhead and began driving on a small road that slowly began to take us deeper into the hills.  Arrived at Arrowhead not knowing what to expect.  It was a bit chilly on this day and getting colder by the minute.  We went into the Pro Shop where we were greeted by two great guys who really made us feel at home here.  They set my buddy up with a brand new set of TaylorMade M2 Clubs as rentals and then we went into the clubhouse to get a sandwich and beer.  As I waited for my sandwich, I walked out onto the deck of the clubhouse and laid my eyes on the 10th fairway.  Holy shit I thought.  This is f'ing amazing!
The view of the course and surrounding rock formations was incredible.  After seeing this I just had to get onto the course and start playing.  I grabbed my sandwich to go and we jumped out onto Hole #1 with no practice swings.  We teed off on #1 and were in complete awe of this place.  Each hole brought remarks like "holy shit", "incredible", "can't believe we are here", "this is awesome".
This is hands down one of the most beautiful courses I have ever played anywhere in the World.  Loved it.  In fact Arrowhead is probably the only reason I would ever want to return to Denver.  It is a special place that I highly recommend to all golfers.  The course is beautiful and challenging, the staff is friendly and the memories will stay with you for a lifetime.  Of the three courses we played in Colorado on this trip (Columbine Country Club, The Ridge at Castle Pines and Arrowhead), Arrowhead was hands down the best with The Ridge coming in second.

MY FIRST GLIMPSE OF ARROWHEAD COURSE FROM THE CLUBHOUSE - WOW!!!!
HOLE #1 AT ARROWHEAD


I STUCK IT ON THE GREEN ON THIS PAR 3
MY GREAT DRIVE PUT IN POSITION FOR A BIRDIE BUT I GOT A PAR