Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
It's October - the "trick or treat" month! I have a hunch we will see some of the most creative Halloween costumes and make-up ever this year! The best news is that Halloween falls on a Friday night!!! Who could have asked for a better month-end party?! I am also certain that the hotels & liquor distributors are equally excited by the prospect of a Friday Halloween celebration! Let's just pray that everyone is safe, especially our young children who will be filling malls and some streets filling bags of candy and other treats.
Ken, the Guam Food Guy
New Restaurants Here and Coming!
We have some new restaurants opening or planning to open on our island. Shamrocks Pub-Grub-Club has opened on the 2nd floor of Park Arcade across from the Hyatt Regency. It is another venture by entrepreneur Pedro Walls, who has gifted Guam with SlingShot and the Green Lizard. I also heard that Executive Chef Paul Mathews (formerly of Saipan) is doing the "grub". Also coming to Guam in the near future is L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, known for their lunch plates and other great-tasting comfort food from the land of Aloha! People will be lining up for their Garlic Shrimp, Loco Moco, Hawaiian BBQ Shortribs, and other lunch plate favorites served w/2 scoops rice and 1 scoop mac salad! They will be in the Tumon Shopping Center, near Brown Bag and Esprit. If that's too much, we will soon have a new eatery featuring healthy choices that will be called "Just L8se It! (as in losing pounds!). They'll be in the former Paul's Plaza near Coast 360, along with another Port of Mocha!! We're going to have to organize more 5K's!!
Two Guam Girl Scouts Selected to Attend the Girl Scout Leadership Institute in Salt Lake City, UT
Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo congratulates Guam Girl Scouts Aria Palaganas and Janna Malig-on, on their selection as representatives of USA Girl Scouts Overseas at the Girl Scout Leadership Institute (GSLI) in Salt Lake City, Utah, to be held October 15-19. Every three years, the GSLI is held to provide opportunities for older girls in Girl Scouts to come together from across the country, and around the world, to address social issues, to develop projects to help meet needs, to interact with global leaders, and to have fun learning together. Chosen from a global pool of applicants, Palaganas and Malig-on were two of ten selected to represent USA Girl Scouts Overseas.
The Guam Girl Scouts would like to give thanks to Gov. Eddie Calvo, Sally Malay and United Airlines, Dr. Steven Bloom (DoDEA Pacific Guam District Superintendent), Mr. Phil Keim (Principal, Guam High School), Ms. Mary Meeks (Principal AOLG), Robin Grunawalt (Adult Girl Scout Volunteer, also travelling to Utah) and the families of Aria and Janna, for their outstanding support!
Guam Girl Scouts Christmas Trees Pre-Sale
Once again the Board of Directors of Guam Girl Scouts is selling Christmas trees! Take advantage of the $10.00 pre-purchase discount by pre-paying for your Christmas tree before November 21! The finest Noble Firs will once again be available. These are considered the "Cadillac" of Christmas trees, featuring dark green needles, some with a silver blue cast.
Contact any Guam Girl Scouts Board Member or the Guam Girl Scouts Service Center (646-5652)
A Taste of Australia Featured at taste (Sept 22 - 26)
Westin Resort Guam
If you didn't make it down to taste last month during the "A Taste of Australia" lunch and dinner buffet promotions, fret not as there will be another opportunity to enjoy the culinary delights from down under next year, possibly in May. This was truly a celebration of the cuisine of Australia, with exotic meats like crocodile, kangaroo, and emu featured along with assorted sausages (buffalo and crocodile), and barramundi done several ways. Diners also enjoyed pavlova and lamingtons for dessert. We were honored to have Chef Glenn Austin on Guam to consult and guide the Westin's culinary team on the preparation of this elaborate Australian food feast. Glenn is the Honorary Life President of the Australian Culinary Federation. Congrats to team Westin for an outstanding placement in this year's Pika's Best of Guam Contest!
Latte Bistro To Transition into The Hub@155
Day's Inn Hotel
Hours: 7 - 10 a.m. (Breakfast)
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Lunch)
I never did make it to Latte Bistro under the former management! When I heard from my primo Joe B. that I needed to try out the food at the Latte Bistro I thought it best to go sooner than later and I'm glad I did. Heading up the team at Latte Bistro is Chef/Owner Rhett Villanueva, formerly Sous Chef at Sam Choy's and Head Chef at Meskla Dos. When I'd first entered I was greeted by Jason (also from Sam Choy's and Meskla). I felt confident with these two working in this new eatery, which will soon be changing its name from Latte Bistro to The Hub@155. They just don't serve lattes or mochas or espressos! No worries...we have too many of those places already! What we need more of is REAL food! This is what Rhett's been trained to do---make real food-good food!!
I didn't' have a chance to eat through the menu and settled on today's special, which was Grilled Pork Chops ($12.95), with caramelized onions, and Spinach Mashed Potatoes, and Corn. It also came with a Green Salad with a creamy orange salad dressing. The chops were tender and juicy (and came with finadene). I later asked for dinanche and got a pile(which I nearly finished...it was soooooo delicious)!
I heard from one of the guests I must try their Shrimp Corn Chowder and their Chalikilis with two slices of Fried Pork Belly! They have Loco Moco's and BBQ Chicken, Shortribs, Kelaguen, and more. Breakfast features Chef Rhett's Tapa (homemade garlic beef), along with pancakes, eggs, and other morning eats. They are ambitiously planning some major changes to this location so they can draw more people to this dynamic destination. Get to the Hub@155!
Pacific Star Cafe Offers Astonishing A La Carte Dinner Menu - $15.00!
Pacific Star Resort & Spa
Hours: 5:30 pm - 10 pm Daily
Talk about innovative thinking! The Pacific Star's management team found a way to satisfy the appetites and budgets of their military guests and families by opening the Pacific Star Cafe for dinner with an a la carte menu with a universal appeal. Wait until the rest of Guam finds out about this dining bonanza!
Imagine. A main entree, inclusive of your choice of salad or soup, dessert, coffee, and free-flowing iced tea --- all for $15.00 with 10% s.c.! Zee & I had the opportunity on Wednesday to try out some of their a la carte menu items. The photos really show the difference between an ordinary "salad" and the Salad made by the Pacific Star's culinary team.
The Mixed Green Salad has mixed field greens, cucumber slices, carrots, onions, bell pepper, and tomatoes. We had a Miso Dressing. The salad lasted throughout the meal. Our first entree was the Fish & Chips, which uses American beer battered fish fillets that are deep-fried until golden brown. These are served with a generous pile of French Fries and a tasty tartar sauce.
The next entree to arrive as the Chicken Tikka Masala, prepared the British way (not as much spiciness as the Indian original). This has chunks of tandoori chicken that are served in a rich creamy tomato Masala sauce. This is served with Basmati Rice and pappadam. Chicken Tikka Masala is among the most popular dishes served in the United Kingdom.
Who else has an Elvis? This was the next entree. The Elvis, yes we are talking about Elvis, the King of Rock & Roll, and his all-time favorite sandwich, which has white bread with peanut butter, slices of fresh banana and three slices of bacon that are all Panini grilled!! But there is more...you get TWO sandwiches in one meal!!! These are served with French Fries. Once you take one bite of this odd-sounding combination, you'll be hooked!! The combination of sweet and a little sour with the saltiness of the bacon...it's works splendidly on the palate!
We then were brought out another entree, the Pacific Pulled Pork Sandwich, which has a mountain of slow roasted pork seasoned with herbs and spices. There are caramelized onions and drippings from the pork roast that work to season and flavor this large sandwich, which also comes with fries.
Other entrees on the menu include Pancit Canton, Pacific Star Burger, Tandoori Chicken, A French Dip, Create Your Own Pasta, and Gulli Matar Paneer (vegetarian choice).
Be sure to save room for dessert. They have a glorious Strawberry cheese cake with a strawberry sauce. This is made by Pastry Chef Dominic. The other choice is ice cream (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla or ube --- we had ube!!).
I am looking forward to our next visit to the Pacific Star Cafe to try out one of the entree's we missed. Hope to see you there!
9th Street Rotary
107 Padre Paloma Street
Adjacent to MTB Outfitters, aka "the Bike Shop"
Hours: Mon - Sat
11:00 a.m. - 2: 00 p.m. - Lunch
5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. - Dinner (Same Menu)
It took me two attempts to find this place. Don't get discouraged...it's worth the adventure and trauma! Once you get here you'll never get lost again! They could put a sign board on the sidewalk that you could see while driving around. Someone told me to get GPS! Whatever!
9th Street Rotary has only been open for a few months (maybe 4 or 5) and they've got a following that's growing daily. You have to have an open mind when eating here because nothing adheres to traditional cuisines as we know them. Pan-Asian-Fusion Squared, which kind of gives you an idea. Once you get into their space and orbit, then you should have no problem navigating through the menu or trying one of the revolving dishes circling atop the Track. You can either sit at the counter next to the Track or find a table in the outer perimeter, against the front windows or along a back wall. There's space a plenty!
Owned by Chef Mark Duenas who has teamed up with Executive Chef Ivan Mendiola (both gents are of PROA fame), 9th Street Rotary has created a culinary space with amazing interpretations. They've taken a solid Japanese structure (sushi) and re-engineered with local ingredients. The Lalalu' (Angry) tuna hand roll ($5) has Coconut dinanche, cucumber, kaiware (sprouted daikon radish seeds), avocado and wasabi tobiko. I liked the combinations, but felt there was a bit too much maguro. It would have been tastier with less.
The food is playful and imaginative, with "play on word" names such as "kalbithereforyou" - one of their Don (rice bowl) creations. I had one of their salads, the Thai Poki Salad ($12), which is made with Salmon Poki with Indonesian chili honey and lime vinaigrette. This majestic tall cone made with shredded purple and yellow cabbage interspersed with carrots and greens had crispy salmon skin pieces adorning the top. The pile was surrounded by a ring of marinated salmon chunks. The melding of flavors was a sensation on the palate --- with some tastes competing for dominance. This is a very large salad that could be a meal in itself or definitely shared with others.
One of my "Don's" came next, the "ohmisohoney" (9/18), which means the small version is $9, the large is $18) - I had the $9. This is the Misoyaki Salmon, with "charred miso", which is a typical Hawaiian preparation for Black Cod and Halibut. The glaze is sweet and works wonders with the salmon. I could have had mine a little rarer. It's also a very generous portion of salmon for a Donburi. These Don's come with a choice of sides, among which are Asian Salad, Mac Salad, or Fresh Kimchi. I had the Asian Salad, which is excellent.
My next delivery was the Baked Salmon Hand Roll($5), which came with a spicy sauce, cucumber, kaiware, avocado, and yuzu tobiko. The Yuzu imparted a citrus flavor and yellowish color to the tobiko. The spicy sauce was generously applied, lubricating the salmon. I can understand why this is one of their more popular rolls. Certainly a hearty portion in this tasty roll.
My #KFC 7/14 (the $7 version) of Korean Fried Chicken (spicy) Don came with my choice of mac salad. This was one of my favorite dishes (I like Korean chicken --- the spicy flavor and taste is unique and excites my palate). The side of the bowl is brushed with the spicy sweet sauce that's poured over the fried chicken. The mac salad was a good pairing for this, cooling my mouth. I also like the colorful presentation of their dish creations...everything I was served had a visual appeal unique to its elements.
The final dish brought before me was the ""Lil' Kim" Chi Wraps ($9), which are bulgogi marinated chicken thighs served with rice noodles and topped with kimchi puree. What a fun and refreshing way to celebrate the Korean tradition of flavored ingredient lettuce wraps. The Rice noodles were different for me (I still liked them) and the kimchi puree was just genius!
One thing I'll have to try on my next visit is one of the their bao rolls (bao is a steamed artisan bun). There were some on the Rack. I also will try the #dagoodset ($20), which had Rib Eye Kalbi, salmon belly tempura, and Spam served with steamed rice, mac salad, and fresh kimchi. Now if this doesn't sound like one of those L&L Hawaiian BBQ Combo Lunch Plates!
It is still early in the life cycle of 9th Street Rotary. They will be updating and upgrading their menu (they do offer a wine/beer/sake/and other beverage selections). Being inspired to play on ingredients (Asian Cajun Ahi) gives Chef Ivan and Chef Mark plenty of room to experiment in flavor combining. I This is something their customers really enjoy. It's like dining with a passport in your mouth! Expect more great foods from 9th Street Rotary!