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'No Reservations' SPAMs it Up in Kalihi

Dave Choo enjoys a SPAM lunch with Anthony Bourdain

Anthony “Bad Boy” Bourdain and crew were in the islands a week ago taping a Hawaii episode for his hit Travel Channel show, “No Reservations”. With that nickname inserted in quotes, I need not re-explain what’s already known about him. See the next link if you don’t.

According to a story publshed a few days ago by the Star Bulletin, his itinerary here included:
• Side Street Inn
New Uptown Fountain (SPAM files)
• Paradise Cove Luau
• Lewer’s Lounge
• Bailey’s Antiques (where he bought a $2,500 Aloha shirt!)
• Jack Thompson’s B&B (Big Island)
• Lava-Side Inn (Royal Gardens on the Big Island)

Dave Choo, editor-at-large for Hawaii Business Magazine, was one of the lucky few chosen to host a segment, which he recommended they visit Uptown Fountain in Kalihi. According to Dave, the focus of this particular segment was on Hawaii’s love of SPAM. How ironic this happens on the day I had just posted (see previous entry) a ‘SPAM Musubi Showndown’. This is a perfect follow-up!

‘No Reservations’ arrives in Kalihi, a.k.a, “God’s Country”. 12.07.07.

The show begins… roll ’em!

Dave explains the menu items to Tony

Items ordered at New Uptown Fountain included, yes, a SPAM Musubi, which Dave said Tony really enjoyed. They were also served the house special: SPAM Omelet over 2 scoops of rice, with curry poured over and topped with Kim Chee. Whoah!

Dave noted how professional and polite Tony was; actually almost “geekish” at first impression. But as soon as the camera was on, his bad boy persona came right out. He joked the entire time and even posed for pictures and signed autographs for folks. Very cool.

In Dave’s new blog, he mentions that Anthony also did the following while here:
• The north shore of Oahu for a barbecue with big wave surfers (cool!)
• Puka Dog (Kauai?)
• Ono Hawaiian Food (Oahu)

One thing they missed that really should have been covered was a segment on lunch wagons. Say from Tsukenjo’s and grind ’em at Ala Moana Beach Park.

Dave and Tony share some Hot Monkey Love

I’m really looking forward to the finished product when it airs on the Travel Channel in 2008. Aside of that Paradise Cove Luau visit, hopefully as a whole it won’t be just another “touristy” travelogue, but a real-life look at hardcore “local style” Hawaii cuisine and lifestyle, as told through the eyes and stomach of a hardcore kinda’ guy. As a fan and regular ‘No Reservations’ viewer, I’m willing to bet it will be, how can I say?… bad *beeping* @ss!

For an absolutely brilliant, fully-detailed report of Anthony Bordain’s visit to New Uptown Fountain, check out Dave’s new blog, Choo On This!!!

Photos in this entry are courtesy of Dave Choo. Mahalo!


7 thoughts on “'No Reservations' SPAMs it Up in Kalihi

  • December 15, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    OMG! I’m such a fan of Anthony Bourdain. I’ve read all his books and watched his shows, when I’m in Hawaii.

  • December 17, 2007 at 5:17 am

    Very, very cool! Looking forward to seeing this episode next year!

  • December 17, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Hello, just stoped by the comment section to thank you for the work you have been doing so others can enjoy your blog with a morning cup of coffe :)

  • December 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    I’ve been hoping Bourdain would hit Hawaii at some point. I can’t wait to see this episode!

  • December 19, 2007 at 5:54 am

    whoa, for a second there I thought you were doing the papparazzi thing and following these guys around…

    Kalihi rocks!

    and a new blog. How cool.

  • April 11, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Just caught the “Hawaii” episode. TERRIBLE. Pathetic really when compared to the episodes around it, i.e. Hong Kong, Greece, etc. “Poi” !! Oh come on, for **** sake. We all know it’s ****. “Puka Dog” (actually the one in Waikiki); as we all say “Puke Dog”. They’re terrible. Too much bread. Definitely not worth the ‘premium’ price. Uptown Fountain – which really should’ve been about Saimin – was all the SPAM joke/etc. Fine, but WAY too much segment. “Ono Hawaiian”: just goes to show that there really ISN’T “Hawaiian Cuisine”. “Side Street”: yeah, the ‘secret’ that everyone knows. Didn’t really ‘feel’ like the Side Street I eat at, and the Chops, Steak etc. didn’t really come across rather than the (usual, duh) “all the chefs go here…”. North Shore: obvious and too long. What was it really about? What about stopping for Shave Ice fer **** sake? Or maybe find a Shrimp Truck? “Paradise Cove” luau. Another obvious. At least they didn’t fall for “Polynesian Culture Center”!! How’d they ‘miss’ the joke segment on “Loco Moco”? Or ANY Plate Lunch place? Chinatown? Any real good curry/noodle place? (Even Curry House would’ve worked). “Magoo’s” Pizza truck parked down in Waikiki (since Magoos closed). Best Pizza. Basically apart from the pretty pathetic segment on the dude stranded in his B&B in Volcano National Park (Hawaii), the program should’ve been called “Oahu”. Do they not have any researchers that could’ve found out about the new re-release of “Primo” beer now being brewed on Kauai?!!! Did this episode need some research/people that could’ve ‘guided’ Tony better. Even the ‘old’, tired, “La Mariana” got trotted out. What about stopping at Dole Cannery? Segment on the farming/demise on the islands. Nalo Farms greens? On and on …
    1. obviously I live on Oahu. 2. I like “No Reservations”


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