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Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal

This noon "J" and I went to the airport to pick up our friend "D", who divides time between Oahu, Seattle, and travel.

I had heard from numerous sources that the best restaurant on Kauai was a food truck in Waimea that sells barbecue sandwiches. I looked up the best on the island as rated by Yelp, and Yelp voters agreed. Not only that, many of the best are food trucks. This afternoon, when picking up D, I looked up places to go for a vegetarian lunch, and when the nearest place on the list was a food truck I decided to take us there for lunch. I announced that the destination would be a surprise.

As it turned out, the destination was a surprise even for me, because the place I had picked out was closed today. But one of the other places that offered vegetarian meals was a food truck that shared a parking lot with a handful of others, including the one I had picked out. So we went to the other one instead.

The second choice food truck wasn't exactly a truck; it was a white tent, open on three sides, covered against the Sun (and rain if it had been raining). Its menu consists of four types of ramen soup, two of which were out of stock. We weren't too hungry, and ordered one bowl each of the remaining menu items: vegetarian ramen and spicy vegetarian ramen. (The owner was off to testock the pork and chicken ramen.) Both were delicious.

The place has only been there since New Year's, and has no Yelp ratings, but it lives up to the idea that Kauai is a great place for food trucks.

For dessert we went to an ice cream store, the top-rated on the island. (Besides food trucks, the best restaurants on Kauai seem to be ice cream places.) We knew about the place from a previous trip, and ice cream was still very good, though the ownership has changed.

After the ice cream, we went to the Sleeping Giant trailhead and took a hike. It's a short hike, but steep. The hike up was beautiful, and the view from the top was glorious.

There was a point where I had to use my hands to climb up a rocky face about my height, and I climbed up to scout ahead. There's a stretch of easy terrain above it, where I met a couple of young women on their way down. I asked them about the remaining trail, and they said that there was another hands-required stretch near the top that's more difficult. I decided that it was time to head back; J's ankle wouldn't be up for that.

The entire hike down was tough going for J's ankle, but she took it slow and did well.

When J's ankle was healthier, we might have gone for a more adventurous hike, but not so much any more. And a tougher hike would have been too much for D anyway.

We got back to the south side of the island with just a little time to freshen up before a dinner at a fancy restaurant. We were joined there by my parents and brother.

On a whim, I decided to order the fancy restaurant's ramen. It was delicious, and more luxurious than the lunch. But it wasn't really better. And given the price difference, the five dollar ramen definitely beat the $21 ramen.

Also, D had ordered a fancy dessert, and the restaurant lost the order. The menu warned that it took a long time to prepare, so we didn't want to stick around for them to prepare it.

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