First Friday Downtown November 2007 - Dinner at Grand Cafe & Bakery.
We weren't too sure how this First Friday in Chinatown would turn out because of all the heavy rains we were having, but we went anyway. I found out a secret (or not really but something new to us) about parking! If I post it here it may cause me to lose my parking space in the future, but oh well... King Street allows street parking from 630pm!! There... now everyone has a fair chance. So either go early so you get into the public parking areas before they are filled or pull on the side of King Street where it allows parking after 630pm.
We went to stand in the line at Bar 35 just to check out what all the excitement is that makes people want to stand in line to get into a bar at 630pm on a Friday night. To be honest, I don't really know why. We got in after about 15 minutes in the line. Just because we get in, doesn't mean we can go outside and walk back in without standing in the line again! Anyway, I think it's because their happy hour is from 6-8pm or so and that's why people are willing to line up so early just to get in. Inside is just a rectangular room without any partitions. It wasn't too crowded at 7-8pm, but it was standing room only. The crowd is very mixed, from your afterwork downtowners to the younger crowd and the First Friday crowds. We had 2 drinks (Skyy Citrus Vodka Cranberry Juice). We ordered 1 at a time. The 1st one through a waitress and it tasted good, kind of like Hawaiian Punch. In fact it may have been Hawaiian Punch because it tasted so much like it. The 2nd was ordered at the bar and tasted really bad. I don't even know if they used vodka. Tasted like a really harsh alchohol. Definitely not like Hawaiian Punch or cranberry juice. Anyway, that was one of the happy hour $3 drink specials.
We then walked over to meet my friend Rey for dinner at Grand Cafe & Bakery on Pauahi Street between Smith and Nuuanu. That picture above is what their desserts for the evening looked like. Kelli and I wanted to try this place because Rey took Chef Nobu here for dinner a couple weeks ago and he said it was really good! The owners and employees there are wonderful. They are very friendly and social with their customers. We had the rissoto balls and escargot appetizer and the Cola Braised Short Ribs, Pork something and a salad for our dinner. They don't serve alchohol there, but there is a popular wine store next door where you can pick your bottle and bring it over. The food took a very very long time. In fact maybe close to 45 minutes. But the wait staff was always reassuring us that our orders are being worked on. They make everything to order so there is even a little sign on the tables that notifies the customers to indicate if time is of the essence. We finally had dessert and finished up at about 915 so we were there for about 1.5 hours.
We had the Lilikoi dessert and the Pumpkin Spice Cake with a Ginger Spice Ice Cream. Very tasty stuff, but the spice ice cream is a little over powering. We'll probably dine here again just because the people there are so friendly.