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February 6, 2004, Volume 4 Number 6

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

If there is one restaurant on Guam that should be PACKED every night, it has to be Y Kusina! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it), their neighbor upstairs, Buddies Billiards, attracts a large crowd whose cars fill the available parking spaces nearest the restaurant. However, there is plenty of parking in the vicinity, and walking just a few more feet for the island's best Chamorro food is certainly worth it.

We were in the mood for something special to eat and remembered that Y Kusina was open for dinner. We did not want to go to the Wednesday night Chamorro market as it would have been too crowded, and the food there can't touch the quality served at Y Kusina - no way! The fried corn titiyas with Shrimp Kelaguen is an awesome appetizer, especially when you eat them hot. We shared a fresh house salad with their special dressing (a zesty, local vinaigrette), then shared the night's special, Chopped Steak. We were brought some home made donne dinance and finadene...when drizzled atop and mixed with the crisp vegetables and tender beef, it was an edifying treat. So now I can recommend (without hesitation ), my top two Chopped Steak picks - Mulligan Cafe and Y Kusina!

The end of the meal brought us even more pleasure, and that was eating what has to be the best Coconut Cream Pie we've eaten on Guam (or anywhere, for that matter)!! You can tell by just looking at it how delicious it's going to be...fresh grated coconut that's toasted to a golden brown, with a rich thick cream filling and a perfectly baked crust - this is one great piece of pie, and just one example of their confectionary prowess. Chef/owner Arlene Cepeda Pangelinan and the rest of the Cepeda clan have created what I consider to be a model for a restaurant specializing in Chamorro cuisine. Although I prefer to dine inside the restaurant, there are many who do take out which can be ordered by calling 646-2052. Y Kusina is behind Mark's Motors in Tamuning on the ground floor of a buiding connected to Delisle Beauty Supply and occupied by Buddies. You won't be disappointed!

Ken - the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Japanese Sports Fans Tune In To Guam - Yomiuri Giants Train at Leo Palace
  • Stories From Life - Horace Bristol's Vintage Guam Photos February 6
  • Around the Island - "The Apprentice", Fast Freddy's, Thai Fair, Valentine's
  • View Marine Artist Wyland Paint - Feb. 10 -15 at Guam International Airport
  • Famed Pianist Katya Returns - Valentine's Eve Performance, Guam Palace Hotel
  • Pacific Grill In Tumon - Working to Get it Right!

Japanese Sports Fans Tune In To Guam - Yomiuri Giants Train at Leo Palace

"Hafa Adai - Welcome to Guam: Yomiuri Giants" is the greeting spelled out on the large scoreboard for all of Japan to see as they tune in to watch one of their nation's favorite baseball teams during their pre-conditioning camp that precedes their annual Spring Training Camp in Miyazaki, Japan. Reading and hearing about this famous team's presence here is certainly a reason to feel proud, however, it's when you actually go out to this beautiful complex and see the landscaped, manicured grounds that you really gain a sense of achievement. There is an air of excitement, with the Japanese media positioned to broadcast highlights of the training. The incredible vista past the stadium field includes the rolling green hills and blue ocean beyond, and must be worth millions of dollars in advertising value. The beauty literally speaks for itself! The restaurants at the resort are abuzz with activity too, as fans and families are visiting to watch their team perfom. The Giants are here for a week, and the public is invited to watch them during the morning session.

Stories From Life - Horace Bristol's Vintage Guam Photos February 6

The Guam Humanities Council, along with a list of distinguished local sponsors, is pleased to invite the public to the opening reception of an exhibit of the works of LIFE Magazine and WWII Navy photographer, Horace Bristol, on Friday, February 6 at the Infiniti Gallery in Upper Tumon, starting at 7pm. On display will be vintage photographs of Guam in 1944, as well as other photographs taken during his illustrious career.

Around the Island - "The Apprentice", Fast Freddy's, Thai Fair, Valentine's

A scheduling change on the reality show "The Apprentice" means that instead of showing last night at Planet Hollywood - it will be tonight at 8pm! Get your friends together and head over to Planet Hollywood for dinner or some of their amazing cocktails and watch folks no better than you vie for Mr. Trump's approval!

Fast Freddy's, a deli-style sandwich counter with a good selection and special breads, has opened inside Mama Tita's Mangilao location. Call them up at 734-4100 and order your lunch.

Sawadee! Want to do something interesting this weekend that can spice up your Valentine week? Head over to the Holiday Inn Resort's Matapang Ballroom and you'll be treated to a Thailand Valentine Fair on Saturday and Sunday, February 7 & 8, from 10am - 6pm. Thai arts and crafts, as well as Thai food and desserts, will be available. You can also pick up some special Valentine gifts. The public is invited to this free fair courtesy of the Thai community of Guam. To learn more about this event, call Nid at 649-1031.

You can add Roy's and the Islander Terrace to the list of places offering special Valentine's menus. Chef Eddie at Roy's has concocted a special romantic menu which will be available both Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14. Chef Christophe will oversee the execution of a fabulous Seafood Buffet at the Islander Terrace for Valentine's Day. And, don't forget Sam Choy's, Le Tasi Bistro or Planet Hollywood are also eager to make your Valentine's Day a memorable one.

View Marine Artist Wyland Paint - Feb. 10 -15 at Guam International Airport

The public is invited to view world famous marine artist Wyland paint his mural at the Guam International Airport, February 10-15 from 8:30am to 6pm, at the Continental Airlines check-in counter. This should be a fascinating experience, giving residents of all ages an opportunity to observe the creation of an artistic legacy first hand. This viewing is free to the public. Another Wyland event will be held on Sunday, February 15 at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, at 7:45pm. MDA Divers Night will feature a Wyland Diver to Diver multimedia presentation. A $7 ticket includes a raffle ticket with proceeds benefiting the Guam Marine Awareness Foundation and the Wyland Foundation. Tickets are available at MDA Piti and the NEX Dive Center.

Famed Pianist Katya Returns - Valentine's Eve Performance, Guam Palace Hotel

Love is in the air and, if you love music, you will be entertained at a special Valentine's Eve performance by Russian classical pianist Katya Grineva on February 13 at the Guam Palace Hotel's Grand Ballroom. Katya is returning to Guam after dazzling audiences during her last visit to Guam. She will be performing romantic compositions by Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Ravel, with the performance beginning at 7:30pm. Tickets are priced at $25, $45, and $65, and are availalble for purchase at the Palace Hotel, Stanlee's, Shimbros Music Store, and all 76 Stations. We can't think of a more romantic way to start your Valentine's weekend!

Pacific Grill In Tumon - Working to Get it Right!

The Pacific Grill in Tumon opened a few months ago in the Flowers by Tand Building across from Ypao Beach near the Hilton. As many of you know, this is a great location which used to be home to Tina Marie's Restaurant, and, for you real old-timers, David's. However, due to the massive construction project currently underway it has been a very difficult time for all businesses on this side of San Vitores in Tumon. The irony of this road improvement is that once completed it will certainly boost traffic, both motor and foot, making this area potentially quite profitable for businesses catering to both visitors and locals. So it is no wonder that business is slow at this new, evolving restaurant that I believe has the potential to establish itself as a good food destination.

Chef/owner Thiruchelvam Vadivel's menu offers a variety of dishes from steaks to burgers and salads to seafood with some curry dishes as well, all served during lunch (10am-2pm) and dinner (6pm-10pm), seven days a week. Vadivel has many years of cooking experience with Sizzler and Lone Star Steakhouse under his belt so it is to his credit that he has ventured out on his own to run a restaurant. As he will probably tell you, building a new kitchen and restaurant interior was the easy part. The hard part is making it all work so that customers are satisfied enough to tell others to come and enjoy the experience.

We recently went for dinner (Super Bowl night), and the television was still on re-playing the Patriot's miraculous final seconds' victory. The dining room is clean and spacious, with lots of window space for viewing Tumon Bay (day time will certainly afford more scenery). A notable feature at the Pacific Grill is their indoor canopy, an unusual and interesting window treatment! I thought music would be better suited to a nice evening out, and after mentioning this to our server, Imee, and getting permission from a newly-arrived couple, we were able to "off the TV" and listen to soothing sounds. Imee (pronounced "eye-me"), is naturally a terrific server with a great, out-going personality. Her enthusiasm and sincerity enhanced our dining experience.

We decided on the T-Bone Steak ($24.99 for 18 oz.) and the Mixed Seafood Pasta ($10.99). Although we ordered a Chicken Curry Soup ($2.99), we were served a Clam Chowder since the curry soup wasn't available. It was okay. The entrees included a modest salad bar, which had fresh ingredients (red onions, kidney beans, potato salad, and shredded carrots and red cabbage mixed in with lettuce). The salad elements are on a small bed of ice - it's cute, but begs for more variety.

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