January 23rd, 2009
The secret's out, again.
President Barack Obama's favorite places to eat, surf, snack, sleep and hang out — complete with a map of O'ahu — are featured in the February Conde Nast Traveler.
It's a beaut of a two-page spread — three, if you count the editor's letter page — that spills the beans about where the 44th president, and our most famous local-boy-makes-good. slurps shave ice (Island Snow in Kailua), fine-dines (Alan Wong's), chows with friends (Indigo Eurasian Cuisine in Chinatown) and lunches (Kua 'Aina Sandwich Shop on the North Shore).
The he-did-this-here, he-did-that-there feature, reaching a visitor-inclined readership, includes places he has made famous even while he was a senator: Kailua, where the Obamas stayed earlier; the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, where he was ensconced pre-president time, and Halona Blow Hole, where he scattered ashes of Toot, his grandmother who died two days before he became the 44th president.
Yep, Punahou (his alma mater), Sandy Beach (where he body-surfed) and the University of Hawai'i-Manoa (where his parents attended college) are part of the hot spots.
In a Zippy's mention (he didn't visit, but had widely commented that he was ready for Zip-min), the magazine makes an error, recounting incorrectly that President Bill Clinton dined at the Kahala location, when, in fact, it was the Zippy's at Koko Marina Center in Hawai'i Kai.
Coincidentally, Zippy's commemorates Obama in this inaugural month, discounting its Zip-min through the end of January, with a $7.40 special, which is $1.20 less than normal. The classic saimin, with shrimp, kamaboko, egg and char siu, hits the spot during these cool nights.
Something that the Obama 'ohana would likely enjoy at the White House, if this omiyage could easily be transported to Washington D.C. Right?
I wish in mentioning Obama's casual manner while in vacation mode, the magazine would use the local lingo: slippahs instead of flip-flops.
Oh, and the Conde Nast editor's letter? It recounts the chance sighting, and subsequent meeting, of resident-author Paul Theroux, who was at a nearby table with pal Pico Iyer, when the junior center paused for a bite and engaged in cordial conversation, acknowledging that he had read both writer's works — Theroux and Iyer frequently contribute to Conde Naste —and Theroux is a best-selling author whose latest is "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star."
For more, go to cntraveler.com.