Merriman’s in Waimea


We were in Waimea a couple weeks ago. Rob and I spent the morning in a local cafe getting some work done on our laptops, and Cindy and Jenna were spending the day meeting up with some of their friends from college. Since they couldn’t join us, Rob and I decided to go to Merriman’s for lunch. I’ve been there before, and it’s one of my favorite restaurants on the big island. It’s a restaurant that won’t take a lot out of your pocket either, yet it manages to be even better than some of the higher-end restaurants on the island.

It’s located on a rolling hillside in a very picturesque spot. If you’re into photography at all, it’s worth snapping a few pictures of the restaurant and the hill when you visit.

I decided to keep it simple and go with one of my favorite meals at Merriman’s: the half-pound hamburger. They always cook it perfectly, and you can get whatever toppings you want. I always add avocado to mine, because it’s one of my favorite veggies. The burger also comes with a side of potatoes. If you get it for lunch, it only costs $12.

It was Rob’s first time at Merriman’s. He got the Chinese short ribs, which comes with a side of kim chee and rice. I think he enjoyed Merriman’s as much as I did, and we’re planning to visit again next time we’re in Waimea. Next time we’ll need to get Cindy and Jenna to come with us; I don’t think either of them have ever been here. Merriman’s also has a few other locations throughout Hawaii, but I haven’t visited any of the other restaurants yet.

– James

Mama’s Fish House

Mama's Fish House

James had a business meeting on the north shore of Maui, and he brought me along with him. I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to go, but in retrospect I’m glad I did, because we went to Mama’s Fish House.

It’s rare for James to have business meetings while we’re in Hawaii. The whole point of being a digital nomad is being able to work remotely from anywhere in the world, so his clients usually don’t want to meet in person. James uses his Grasshopper virtual phone number to take care of his business calls from anywhere. I had been bugging him to cut the cord and just get a VOIP phone for a while, and it seems I was right. Since Grasshopper can route his calls pretty much anywhere in the world, he’s reduced the number of business meetings he attends to pretty close to zero.

Anyway, this meeting was an exception because one of his clients was on vacation in Hawaii and wanted to meet up. Mama’s Fish House is located on a small white-sand beach in the city of Paia. It’s a bit out of the way compared to many of the other restaurant hotspots in the area, but I think that’s a good thing. It makes it a lot less noisy than some of the other restaurants in Hawaii.

I think Mama’s Fish House is one of the best restaurants that Maui has to offer. James and I both enjoyed it. For an appetizer, we shared an order of the calimari. It’s been a while since I’ve had good calimari, and this definitely qualified. James and I shared two entrees between us: the Hawaiian Ceviche and the Papa’s Three-Fish Sashimi. I love the way that they infuse the fruity flavors of mango, pineapple, and lime into the fish.

If you’re in Maui and you like seafood, you absolutely have to try Mama’s Fish House. It’s one of my favorite restaurants on the island.

Roy’s Waikiki Beach


As Cindy wrote in her last post, the four of us recently went to Waikiki. While Cindy and James were off somewhere else, Rob and I hit the beach.

Rob wanted to go surfing, and I wanted to lay on the beach, have a drink, and relax for a while. I’m not a big fan of tanning; I tend to get sunburns instead, so I usually slather myself in sunscreen before we hit the beach. In fact, I usually keep Meladerm, a cream for hyperpigmentation, on hand to help lighten my skin if I tan too much. I’m always worried that too much melanin in certain parts of my skin will cause an uneven skin tone.

After we had some fun in the sun, we decided to get some dinner. We visited a restaurant called Roy’s Restaurant on Waikiki Beach while we were there. As the name suggests, it’s right along the beach, which makes it very convenient to grab a bite after a day on the beach. We found that it had very good reviews on Yelp. In fact, it’s one of the top-ranked restaurants in Honolulu. Intrigued, we decided to give it a try.

This restaurant is a little on the expensive side. Many of the entrees are between $30 and $40. Nevertheless, it’s very good. Rob and I split the macadamia-nut crusted shutome, which is a kind of lobster with asparagus, and a very nutty flavor to it. We both highly recommend it.

If you’re visiting Waikiki and want a convenient place to get some food after a day on the beach, Roy’s is a great choice. Next time we’re down there, we’re going to drag Cindy and James with us to Roy’s. Cindy will want to tan on the beach, and James likes to surf too.

I give Roy’s 5 out of 5 stars.

– Jenna



Bird of Paradise


The last time that we were in Waikiki, we stayed at the Hawaii Prince Hotel, which has its own golf course. Rob and Jenna are big golfers, so we decided that it was a nice, convenient place to stay. The hotel itself is a bit pricey, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. It definitely has the “tropical paradise” vibe. You could take a postcard-worthy picture to send to your friends back home without ever leaving the grounds of your hotel. It’s also conveniently located near lots of the fun touristy activities in Waikiki.

After the four of us played a round of golf, we all found are way to the Bird of Paradise Restaurant, which is located on the grounds of the Hawaii Prince Golf Club. It’s a very convenient place to grab a bite to eat before or after you play a round of golf. I would recommend going there after you’re done golfing, because the portions are huge. There’s no way I’d want to play golf after eating here.

One of the nice things about this restaurant is that it doesn’t cost as much as some of the “touristy” restaurants in Waikiki. You can get a nice dinner for $20-$30. It’s not as elegant as what you’ll find inside the Hawaii Prince Hotel itself, but it doesn’t need to be elegant if you’re out playing golf anyway.

Rob highly recommends the Pulehu Steak. I didn’t try it myself, but it looked juicy and delicious. James liked the Roast Turkey. I had a couple bites of his, and I can vouch for its deliciousness. James went into a food coma after we got back to the hotel and slept like a baby. He didn’t even need his anti-snoring devices like Good Morning Snore Solution to sleep through the entire night. Usually he has trouble falling asleep because of his sleep apnea, but not after the turkey!

Jenna and I both had the Mahi Mahi, and we both enjoyed it. Normally I’m not very adventurous when it comes to seafood, but what trip to Waikiki would be complete without some Mahi Mahi? I love to eat it wherever I can find it, because you rarely see it on the menus back on the mainland.

All four of us recommend the Bird of Paradise restaurant, and we plan to go back the next time we’re golfing in Waikiki.