Joanne is flying away tomorrow for a brief trip back to the Northwest, therefore we eagerly accepted her suggestion to meet at one of her favorite spots in Kona – Sushi Shiono, located in the Alii Sunset Plaza.
As frequent customers of this buzzing establishment, we know that a reservation is the best way to step ahead of the line and secure a choice table, however, those waiting in line are generally seated quickly.
Shiono’s has appeared in a past ‘blog’ with the requisite food photos and menu descriptions, but I will mention that the best lunch deals are the bento’s, typically served in lacquer trays, sectioned per item, and accompanied by appropriate dipping sauces and a steaming bowl of the best miso soup just south of the planet. Occasionally, we share a sushi assortment or special roll as an appetizer. No one leaves Shiono’s hungry. I repeat – you will not crave chocolate cake! Well…..there was a birthday celebration at another table with the celebratory layered cake and candle that caught our attention briefly ….
There were tales of stubborn spouses who, by ignoring the warning signs of impending health problems, realized too late that their wise consorts really did have their best interests in mind and were not engaged in serial nagging – never-ever! Just playing the usual wife-card with the requisite firm pestering to see a doctor and avert any unnecessary suffering. Of course, we’re always right!
An upcoming shopping trip to Honolulu was on Babe Carol’s agenda, and a July visit to the Waimea Farmer’s Market was also tentatively added to our busy calendars.
Joann’s home-under-construction is near completion and she is consumed with the finishing details. Cindy has just moved into her new home and is not quite settled in, yet she has graciously offered her new Alii Drive hale for the Kona Babes’ 2012 themed potluck dinner – which has already been decided (Fondue!!!).
I revealed early June travel plans to Honolulu for my sister’s acceptance of a Masters degree – summa cum laude – in nursing and health care education. Mei and Cindy admitted that they had no summer travel on their docket – and that they were happy to just stay put!!
A gentleman sat at a table next to us and ordered a Sapporo beer ( a fine, Japanese brew) and a bowl of house-made soba noodles in steaming broth. While the topics on our side streamed on, I glanced at the perfect meal “for one who wants to sit in peace and read a book” – a study in zen composition. For some odd reason, I felt his sense of inner peace, and decided to steal a shot of the frosty biru.
Lunch chat was starting to wind down and Mei asked if anyone planned to visit the “toto”.
Toto?? As in – the loo that does everything but cook meals? Joann got up immediately and headed to the restroom. Yes – Shiono’s has a “Toto” toilet in the ladies loo. This fact alone, should be reason enough to visit Sushi Shiono restaurant in Kailua-Kona. I saw a Toto on display in Shirokiya-Honolulu years ago that had a clear, plastic cover over the bowl section in order to allow the salesperson to display all of the unique features: heated seat, personal cleansing spray, gentle mist and breeze dry. Shiono’s Toto is clearly the budget model, lacking the soothing mist and gentle air dry features. It does, however, have a heated seat plus front and rear cleansing spray options with buttons for heat and water pressure. Have I sold you yet?
Some of the comments after ladies room visits were “I feel refreshed”, “that was great!”, “I’m in love”, and a few broad smiles. I was seriously tempted to push open the men’s latrine door and view their custom Toto options. The Japanese definitely have it over the Europeans – who needs a bidet when you can have it all in one appliance?
Once outside, I noticed two finger bowls of salt on either side of Shiono’s entry doors. Morishio is a necessary practice for an establishment to attract customers and good fortune, and to ward off bad luck and impurities. It can also enlighten potential customers that the owner keeps his shop clean and purified. Nice touch, Shiono!
Did I mention that all of the Babes are gifted in one way or another? Joanne’s artistry shown through today for Mei, who was presented with a portrait of her precious kitty, aptly titled “…When Mei is Away”…note the pearls, newly applied zany wallpaper, catnip plant…makes you wonder just what kind of antics your beloved pets enjoy in your absence! Sassy Kitty!!
Visit Shiono’s website for more information and hours – you just may see us at another table!