TRIP: Hawaii 2012 Day 8
Ok 2013 is closing and i'm bound and determined to finish this post tonight before the "Dick Clarke's special" rings off the new year.
Day 7 is having trouble exiting my camera. It was a day off so you're not missing much we went to the Chinese restaurant at the hotel and had some Bejing duck and Abalone cold plate (abalone is an expensive ingredient VERY.) If I managed to pull the photos then i'll finally post day 7.
Day 8 we went down south to the City of Refuge (the pictures are also stuck on my camera) But the best part of was our visit to Super J's with their famous Lau Lau. I saw them on the food network on one of those "best things I've ever eating" shows. I'm so glad I took notice because it would not have otherwise jumped out at me. We drove by the place and I exclaimed "ooh ooh that's the super J's place" so after the island of refuge we returned to check the place out.
Just like in the show Janice was sitting in the open space before the counter wrapping pork in taro leaves.
It's a family event, everyone pitches in wrapping up lau lau, they make between 500 and 700 TWICE per week. Here Ti leaves are wrapped around the taro package. I finally got brave and ventured in and asked some questions. I think I was intimidated by their stardom. But Janice and Julie were the nicest people and eager to share stories about the restaurant and food. Apparently the Super "J" in Super J's is the fact that the entire family (including the family dog) has a first name staring with J. It goes deeper than that, Janice is seeing through her father's dream of opening a restaurant. Her father had a farm down the road and the family started selling Lau Lau to neighbors door to door. Before long there was enough demand for a restaurant and Janice took the legacy on to fruition.
Everyone is family here. Julie encouraged us to make a space at the end of the Lau Lau table and I'm glad we took a chance to get to know the family. The food was amazing, Janice told us the long cooking time was to get rid of the spiky crystals on the taro plant. The lau lau was so very tender and we got the traditional macaroni salad. This was very different from the other places we've has macaroni salad. There's a clear tuna (that I didn't even notice in the other versions) and the pasta had a great flavor that I wished for a bit of salt on other occasions. The kalua pork braised cabbage was delicious. Janice told us to pour the salmon lomi lomi as a salsa on the white rice which turned out to be a great combination. The lomi lomi was not nearly as salty as we had before.
We asked about the Kulolo and Julie gave us a free sample. WOW so good! The construction paper signs and paper plate signs were an awesome indication that the food was down home tasty cooking.
Kulolo is a grated taro pudding/cake. It has coconut milk, brown sugar, butter and is cooked for about 6 to 10 hours. I plan on figuring this one out because it was so good! It reminds me of a savory dim sum dish of grated daikon steam cake. The cake was easily four inches deep.
Finally my wife asked to get a group photo, we asked a couple at the counter to help us take the picture. The picture has been cropped by request by my wife. Again possibly the nicest people I've ever met. I felt like I walked into Julie and Janice's kitchen and sat like a neighborhood kid asking for a Lau Lau