February 3, 2000 The Todai Challenge
For over a month, a little green post-it on my computer reminded me of our JETAA Shinnenkai, or customary “New Years’ Party” on January 29th at the new Todai Restaurant in Waikiki. Since its opening, people have literally flocked to the restaurant, despite parking shortages and long waits. Luckily, our mighty JETAA vice president, Michelle, coordinated the dinner reservations for us.
Tired and hungry after our first “Improving the JET Program” conference, we rushed to the restaurant. My new car got me there first, and I snagged the last stall in the free parking lot above the restaurant. (Ha ha ha!) I checked our group in, and waited among dozens of other people for the rest of my gang to arrive.
Most parked in the Waikiki Parkside Hotel, and the few late arrivals paid $5 to park in the Wailana Coffee House lot. We finally got everyone together and found our table. Then, it was time to eat!
I secretly watched my friends around me and wondered who would eat the most. After all, it is 160 feet of buffet line!Here are the contestants in my secret game:
Who do you think won?
Well, not to my surprise, it was ME! 🙂 Kevin was pre-occupied with love problems, Lori was still flustered after 30 minutes of circling Waikiki for parking, and Stuart, the newlywed, was watching his trim figure.
But hey, it’s a $25 dinner, with more food than you can imagine! There are 40 different kinds of sushi, 25 different salads, and 20 different desserts (which I was too full to even eat.) There is lobster, crab, shrimp cocktail, teriyaki chicken, fried rice, and the list goes on and on and on! It’s important to pace yourself-or you’ll miss out on the dessert like I did.
Here are my tips for getting the most of your Todai experience:
1. Make reservations. Todai doesn’t take reservations after 5:30, but it’s better to skip lunch and have an early dinner, anyway.
2. Get there early. Parking is free in the building, but it’s also shared with another restaurant in the same building. Remember that parking in Waikiki always comes with a price, so carpool or have your $5 ready.
3. Survey the selection first. I felt like a little kid in a candy store-there’s so much to eat that everything looks good, especially after not eating all day. My favorites are the spicy scallop, ikura and spicy tuna sushi the ocean salad, ogo salad, and the udon!
4. Drinks are cheap and bottomless, but can fill you up fast.
5. Go on your birthday. Your meal is complimentary on your birthday (with proof of your ID.) You’ll also get a special dessert and the entire restaurant will serenade you with “Happy Birthday!”
As always, we had a great time. Kyle and I plan to go again with a gift certificate we got at Christmas!
Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #15（スーザン先生の英語講座 その15）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
◆”Can you validate my parking ticket, please? “
駐車券にスタンプが押してあれば、出口の料金所でバリデートされた金額を払えばいいのです。Have a nice trip!
|Loco Girl’s Profile（ロコ・ガールのプロフィール）
Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program, and am now employed at PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!