All posts filed under: Celebration

When You Least Expect It

As a forty-something-year-old woman, I hear it all the time. “You’ll find him when you least expect it.” Married people love singing this refrain often. While I don’t know if I can apply it to my love life, I can certainly connect it to waiters I have met in my lifetime. Some of them have even saved my life. I think you can relate if you’ve ever dated. It’s hard to meet a guy for the first time. You’re basically having a meal with a stranger. And you don’t know if he’s going to be THE ONE or the one who only talks about himself for an hour and half or the one who keeps wiping the condensation off his glass and fixing his fork to a perfect right angle. Perhaps the worst date I have ever been on is the one where the guy left five minutes after he arrived. “I have an emergency,” he said. He didn’t look anxious or stressed out, but he was out the door faster than I could say …

Twenty-first Century Good Luck

If it weren’t for the orange door, it would be easy to miss Shop Toast in Kaimuki. The favors showroom is hidden away in a corner of a small shopping center on Waialae Avenue. But for those who love designer Jeremy Shoda’s unique favors, “kawaii” creations, and reinventions of traditional Japanese goods, Shop Toast is easy to find. Some customers even make special trips from the mainland to see him and his creations. Although Shoda’s store is about the size of a walk-in closet, what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in merchandise. Lining the many shelves are favors for every holiday and event imaginable. Think carrot gift containers with small wooden rabbits for Easter, Frankenstein and his bride for Halloween, and the traditional nutcracker for Christmas. Then there’s apples, pineapples, lucky cats, dogs, reindeer, ninjas, sumo wrestlers, and even the frog prince. But perhaps what Shoda and his former partner Michelle Kaneko are best known for is their unique take on Japanese good luck items. “Both Michelle and I had worked for …

Food Is Love

Hi! I’m Mariko and welcome to my blog. I’m so glad you stopped by! Momochan Conquers the World is a monthly blog dedicated to food. But truth be told, I come from a family who doesn’t really savor food. Let’s face it, they’re two steps away from slurping ramen, standing up at the train station in Tokyo. To them, food is fuel, nothing more. This is what makes me think I’m adopted. I’m the only one in my family who loves the sensuality of food, the journey a good meal takes to unfold. But I wouldn’t say that I’m a foodie. Foodies seem to love EVERYTHING! I don’t. For example, I know that cilantro is the basis of several world cuisines, but take me to a Thai restaurant and I’ll pluck each leaf from my Tom Yum soup when they forget to take it out beforehand. I also have mixed feelings about avocado. I know it’s a super food and all, but I just can’t get past the texture. The only way I’ll eat it …