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August 9, 2013, Volume 13 Number 15

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Is it already August? This year seems to have accelerated time because it seems that June was just last week!! I am still trying to catch up with my backload of reviews. It seems that every time I turn around there's some kind of change in our restaurant scene. Before I could drop in at Hot Sun Restaurant in Tamuning I saw that it now has a new sign that says Japanese Restaurant Yamato! This is on the corner of Farenholt on the way to the Sheraton. Speaking of signs, last night they finally put up the new sign for Mosa's Joint in the place formally occupied by Bangkok Cuisine in Tamuning. We are looking forward to their opening. In the Agana Shopping Center you probably noticed that Java Junction is no more! I've got it on good authority that a high-end tapas eatery and wine bar could be slated for this space. Of course everyone who loves Chinese can't wait for the opening of Panda Express in the Micronesia Mall, which just celebrated it's Silver Anniversary yesterday. I remember that lucky date 25 years ago. It was "8-8-88" and the owners (Tan Holdings) were in a rush to meet that deadline for opening. I don't think that the parking lot was completely paved, but they did hold their opening! We had Sterling Department Store which later became Liberty House, and today is known as Macy's! There are still people who can't believe we had a Safeway Market here in the space occupied by Pay-Less Micronesia Mall. They tried to make it work but were overwhelmed by the logistical challenge of operating a single store on an island some 7,000 miles from their nearest distribution outlet. So many stories to tell! I should write a book, right? Stay might just happen!

Ken, the Guam Food Guy

Outrigger Lobby Kiosk
Outrigger Resort Guam

In all of my catching up on restaurant reviews, I now have to wait for my "cheat" day to eat those foods that I've restricted myself from eating . One of the places I've been meaning to try out is the Lobby Kiosk in the Outrigger, where you will be drawn by the sweet aroma of fresh baked waffles wafting in the air when in the vicinity. We went on a Sunday (the Kiosk is open 24 hours) morning and ordered coffee (I had an Americano) and Zee had a Mocha (they use South Seas Coffee at the kiosk), and two waffles ($10.50 ea.). You can get crepes here for the same price. You can add on a variety of toppings including Cinnamon, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Macadamia Nuts, Pecans, and dried fruit (cantaloupe, pineapple, and honeydew). You can add honey, maple syrup, and strawberry syrup. The Kiosk offers an assortment of items to eat, including hot dogs in pastry, granola, sandwiches, macaroni salad, fruit salad, Caesar salad, fruit tarts, onigiri, smoked salmon bagel, instant noodle blends, cookies, pastries, mango cheesecake, and a variety of beverages both hot and cold. The waffle was quite good and was eaten very quickly. We sat in the lobby looking out towards the water park and beach. What a peaceful, serene way to enjoy a breakfast!

11th Annual UOGEF/MCA Celebrity Chef's Cup
August 28, 2013
Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort

It's time again for another culinary extravaganza with the upcoming Celebrity Chef's Cup! This annual fund-raiser is hosted by the University of Guam Endowment Foundation in collaboration with the Micronesian Chefs Association(MCA). This year's theme is "Colors", and each of the competing five chefs will be "colorizing" their courses with their selected color. This year's chef line-up by course are:

1. First Course - Cold Appetizer - Chef Simplicio "JR" Taga - Outrigger Guam Resort
2. Second Course- Soup - Chef Daniel Lenherr - The Westin Resort and Spa
3. Third Course - Hot Appetizer - Chef Eddie Chien - Delmonico Kitchen and Bar
4. Fourth Course - Entree - Chef Toshiyuki Nakajima - Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort
5. Fifth Course - Dessert - Chef Mirko Agostini - Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa

Tickets for this event are still available. Please call the UOGEF at 735-2957 for information.

Korean Celebrity Chef Edward Kwon Visits Guam

Speaking about celebrity chefs, we had a bona fide celebrity chef visit Guam in July. Chef Edward Young-min Kwon came to Guam with his film crew to shoot an episode for his popular Korean T.V. variety show. The filming was done at the Maite cliffline residence of Kevin Yang, owner of Copy Express. The premise of the show is that Chef Kwon visits a home and demonstrates to the house wife how to prepare a gourmet meal using what ever available ingredients he finds in the refrigerator. Among his stock of ingredients is KimChi, along with sesame oil, gojuchang, and garlic. While filming, Chef Kwon walked and talked Kevin's wife Chae through the preparation of ingredients. The episode was filmed poolside in the backyard with a scenic ocean view in the background as the sunset. A sit-down dinner was prepared and served to Kevin, Chae, their son Steven and daughter, Shana. Among the unique creations served was a spicy pineapple salsa with local chilis, grilled vegetables with local eggplant and onion, a rich miso-based dipping sauce, and a kimchi relish that didn't taste like kimchi. Chef Kwon worked quickly and efficiently, yet made it a point to explain in detail each and every ingredient as well as every step in the cooking process. Although it was filmed in Korean, it was still marvelous to watch.

I was interviewed at the end as the Guam Food Guy and I can't wait to see a copy of the finished program. I had met Chef Kwon briefly in Korea during a WACS Congress(Chef's conference) in Daejong, and showed him and his crew a photo I'd taken of him surrounded by hundreds of adoring Korean junior chefs taking his photo with their smart phones. Chef Kwon has set out to globalize Korean cuisine and has travelled throughout Asia and around the world demonstrating how Korean food and flavors can be incorporated with local ingredients and dishes, usually resulting in the creation of new fusion dishes with Korean influences. While on Guam (he was here for 3 days) he did manage to visit PROA in Tumon and I heard he'd help create a Kimchi Mango Salad. Chef Kwon loves our island and is looking forward to his next visit to our beautiful paradise.

More Food Bits from "Eat Your Words"

We continue our series of sharing tidbits from Charlotte Foltz Jones' book, "Eat Your Words", which describes the language of food and how food terms and phrases have become everyday common expressions. Today we touch on some of the superstitions and rituals associated with food. Quoting from a section called, "A Forkful of Fortune":

* "When moving into a new home, carry in salt first to ensure wealth. If you next take in bread, you'll always be well fed."

* "If you want to dream in color, eat three almonds before you go to sleep. For good dreams, eat chocolate at bedtime. And to avoid nightmares, be sure not to eat doughnuts right before going to bed."

* "To keep vampires and other evil spirits away, hang garlic around your doors and windows."

* "If you leave the top off a teapot, it means a stranger will soon visit."

* "Eating bread crusts will make your hair curly."

* "Never stir a glass of milk with a fork. It will make the cow go dry."

* "If two people reach for a saltshaker at the same time, they will soon quarrel."

* "It is bad luck to eat the last slice of bread on a plate. To prevent misfortune, toss the bread slice in the air before eating it."

* "Your money will multiply if you rub your coins and bills with pomegranate seeds."

Lone Star Steakhouse - 18 Year Anniversary Special Menu

Congratulations to Lone Star Steakhouse on the occasion of your 18th Anniversary. You have created a menu for this occasion of food items that can be ordered for lunch and dinner. I was able to try out their freshly made Shrimp Kelaguen ($10.99) the other day during my lunch. The presentation was dramatic, with crispy fried corn titya spears surrounding a small bowl of kelaguen in the center. It was so fresh tasting (almost sweet) that I understood how it was priced beyond a typical kelaguen. This was an extraordinary kelaguen, and not too spicy (it was actually mild), however there was a boonie pepper that I bit on to get my pika kick!

One of the featured Entrees on this Anniversary menu is Crusted Salmon ($22.99), which has a 10 oz. melt in your mouth baked salmon filet covered in a light wasabi cream sauce and coated with Japanese panko bread crumbs. This was definitely a change from the norm . Other items on the menu are dishes that were brought back by popular demand are the Sesame Chicken Salad ($14.99) and the Wild Fire Steak ($26.99). The Smothered Bacon Wrapped Sirloin they are featuring sounds pretty tempting, too.

Green Lizard Tiki Bar & Grill
Pleasure Island (Adjacent to Slingshot)

Of the many places to visit along San Vitores Road in Tumon, one of the most intriguing and colorful has to be the Green Lizard Tiki Bar & Grill, or just "Green Lizard" for short! This is a brainchild of SlingShot entrepreneur Peter Wahl (Pedro) who thought it was a good idea to expand on his existing business with another destination. I've been meaning to stop by here and eat after they'd introduced their menu several months ago. I actually wonder if Pedro is part Chinese as he seems to be always adding on to the Green Lizard. Since opening he's added a 2nd floor and most recently a swimming pool (3 ft deep by about 20 ft long). I wonder if Lizzy the Hilitai (iguana, monitor lizard and namesake for the Green Lizard) has returned since his earlier visits during the bar's construction. I'd bet Lizzy would be amazed by the 2nd floor as well as the pool!

The Green Lizard is one of the more colorful places you'll visit in Tumon and to accompany their very large and impressive selection of beers, tropical drinks and distilled spirits, they've organized a menu of appetizers and entrees, which is something I needed to try out while having a few beers. Among the Snackin' Lizard Menu items are the Lizard Wings ($8), which we tried. I wanted them extra crispy and that's what we got. There were only 6 pieces and they had a sauce on them that reminded me of the mild sauce at Pochon chicken. Other snackin' items include Beer Battered Onion Rings, Mini Pizza, Spicy Meatballs, Mozzarella Sticks, Beef Nachos, Chicken Kelaguen, and the Greek Salad. This last item is in keeping with Green Lizard's having that awesome kitchen visual called the Shawarma Grill, which features a large chunk of meat rotating on a spit with radiant heating elements along the back.

Of course, we had to have the Shawarma - 12" Wrap ($12), which had tender roasted chicken wrapped in flat bread with lettuce and a special sauce. This comes with a serving of wedges (home fries). I actually prefer the lamb Shawarma over chicken or beef. This one wasn't bad though, and Mark (my co-worker) shared it.

We also shared the Boonie Burger ($12), which has a King Size Bun with 100% Beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, sweet red onion and 1000 island sauce served with a side of wedges. This burger looked rather intimidating, however, once cut, it was eaten fairly quickly. I wasn't supposed to eat bread so I minimized by bun consumption. The meat has an interesting flavor and seasoning which I couldn't quickly identify. The texture of the meat was soft, almost smashed. One thing I think could have improved the overall burger experience is having the buns grilled or toasted. Now that I've been there and had some beers and a bit of food, I will definitely return sometime to eat a few other items. I am keen to try the Fish & Chips! Green Lizard is open from 12 noon to 2 a.m, and is probably a great place to pull yourself together after shooting through the sky in the Sling Shot!

Napu Restaurant
Tamuning (next to Roasted)
Hours: Mon - Sat 11 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
5:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Sun - 11 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Napu Restaurant has carved out a niche as a dining destination for the whole family. This family-owned and operated eatery has something for everyone - after all, who on Guam has not grown up cherishing a bowl of rice with meat and veggies? The original Island Napu was among the first few to localize the donburi concept (rice bowl with meat). Another was the House of Brutus. Whatever the origins, Napu Restaurant has refined the product with a central core of Donburi dishes featuring Seafood Bowls, Vegetable Bowls, Piggy Bowls, Chicken Bowls, and Beef Bowls.

My very first meal at Napu was back in March during a lunch meeting where I ordered a Spicy Gyudon Beef Bowl ($9.75), medium heat. These bowls come with sauteed vegetables (beans sprouts, carrots, cabbage) with thinly-sliced beef over a bed of white rice. I liked it at the time, finding it satisfying and flavorful. It wasn't until much later (last month) that I was able to return for dinner.

I wanted to try a few appetizers so I ordered from the Pupus menu the Garlicky Chicken Wings (6 pieces for $6.95) and Danyell's Coconut Crusted Shrimp ($7.95 for 5 pieces), which came with a pineapple chili sauce. These crunchy shrimp were definitely coconut crusted and I really liked the sweet spicy bites I was getting from them. The Chicken wings were loaded with garlic, so the description "Garlicky" was right on the mark! Of course, this is a dish I would avoid eating now (fried chicken), it was certainly a tasty way to enjoy on of my favorite meats!

The fine people at Napu made Zee some type of Vegetarian Stir fry with tofu, carrots, bean sprouts, cabbage, bell pepper,and onions. I ordered the Huli Huli Chicken Plate ($13.75) after seeing it posted on friend Ruben Oliva's Facebook Page (power of suggestion!). In fact, I was influenced to make the decision to eat this a half an hour before dining. More garlic on top of this chicken (nice large pieces - thighs and drumstick quarters) which has been marinated Hawaiian style. I ordered this with Napu's special Brown Fried Rice. The portion was so huge I could only eat half of one of the leg quarters, with the bulk of the meal going home as balutan.

On another evening we returned for another go at the menu and I asked owner Christine Mortera what she recommended and she and hubbie Ruben agreed on Nena's Special Meat Loaf ($12.50), which had two large chunks of tasty meat smothered in a savory brown gravy with mushrooms and sliced green onions. This was pure comfort food! Yum and I could eat it again! I did have a little leftover (I ate all the sauteed vegetables and skipped the rice). I can see how this is a local favorite. My next one to try is daughter Dakota's Loco Moco ($9.75).

Zee ordered a meatless Yakisoba ($9.95) and got her noodle thing was alright (she's harder to impress than I am...I would have had meat with mine for more flavor and protein!!). One thing she did have was the salad bar add-on (add $5.95 to any entree). It's a modest salad bar, but boasts a mean kimchi that's made with a little donne salii. Wow!

Napu has Desserts (Napus's Fried Tempura Ice Cream, Haupia Cheese Cake, and Deep Fried Oreo) and beverages (wine, beer, and a tasty China Mist Tea that Ruben's upgraded by adding fresh basil leaves (smart guy!). Napu's a charming restaurant with friendly, welcoming staff. It's easy to appreciate the pride and love the Mortera family hold for their "baby". Once you've visited Napu, you'll more than likely want to return again to try something different...that's the adventure when dining at Napu, whether you try the Okinawan style braised pork belly or Ebi Katsudon, or the Island Style Chili and Rice - you will be comfortably satisfied!

Bon Appetit!
Ken the Guam Food Guy

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