Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Diva Visits the North Shore of Oahu! Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood!

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Truck

Hey divas, I'm coming to you live from the North Shore of Oahu.

I've journeyed out here for a wedding, and wow have I been engulfed by wedding season these past few years, jaunting all over the country, and practically the world, for these blessed events. All my friends and family have to be just about married off already, right? One can only hope!

However, any excuse to come to Hawaii is a welcome one, and we've turned this into a mini-vacation in the hope that Kuzak, the hardworking man of the law, can take a load off for a few precious days, and completely chillax.

Of course, as soon as our plane landed, Kuzak's blackberry basically exploded, stuffed full of urgent emails and voicemail messages. After fielding several calls, and making a wrong turn leaving the airport that resulted in two more return laps around the departures terminal, we arrived at our destination, a beautiful cottage right on the beach near the historic North Shore town of Haleiwa, famed for its beaches. The cottage couldn't be more perfect for us - the kitchen is huge, brand new and takes up roughly 1/3 of the entire living space.

So what's the first thing we did upon arrival? Jump in the ocean, you might think to yourself, or simply veg out in blissful paradise? Nope, we hopped back in the car, in search of lunch, hopefully in the form of a shrimp truck, and groceries to stock the house. Having sustained hours of traveling, where they no longer offer you a morsel of decent food product, I was famished! Luckily, we were successful, and tracked down the Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood truck, painted with beautiful marine murals, and run by a cheerful ex-pat from Maryland who picked out my accent right away.

"You're not from LA originally, are you?" he smirked at me.

I admitted I was from Virginia, and added that my father had grown up around the Washington D.C. area. We perused his simple menu, which offered steak, pork chops and fish of the day that happened to be fresh, local ahi tuna, but we already knew what we wanted. We ordered two platters of the jumbo garlic shrimp, requesting them spicy (choices were mild, medium & spicy). After taking a seat at the picnic tables shared with some locals, and waiting a few minutes for our food, it arrived piping hot in styrofoam containers. The ten shrimp, with the shells still on, were smothered in a garlicky, spicy sauce, and served with rice, also smothered in sauce, garlic bread and a green salad with fresh mango dressing made from local fruit (the other choice was macaroni salad instead of the green salad).

Blue Water Jumbo Garlic Shrimp Platter

Like a starved prisoner, I scarfed down the shrimp, garlic sauce flying every which way. Let's just say that Kuzak and I quickly demolished an entire stack of napkins. But all the peeling and saucy mess were worth it, down to the last finger-licking bite! The shrimp could not have been fresher, and being a massive garlic lover, I enjoyed every bite of sauce, soaking it all up with the rice. We thanked the Marylander for the meal, and he handed me a menu, urging us to call our order in next time so it would be ready when we arrived.

Nicely full, we soured the downtown strip, and found a local grocery store next to a local bakery. I picked up from freshly baked peanut butter cookies from the bakery and then we headed into the grocery store to stock the house for the week. While I expected that I'd have to compromise on some quality, I was pleasantly surprised by many of their offerings, including organic eggs, organic chicken and great seafood, like fresh, local ahi tuna and sashami quality salmon at very reasonable prices. My goal for the trip is to prepare very simple, flavorful foods that are light, healthy and taste great!

The Diva's Simple Dinner

For my first meal, I prepared the local ahi, throwing it into a quick marinade of serrano pepper, spring onion, garlic, lemon juice & garlic olive oil, before searing it very lightly. I served it alongside garlicky brown rice and steamed green beans. What more could you ask for? We paired the meal with a delicious white wine - Palmina's 2005 Malvasia Bianca, Larner Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley ($19.99 at the grocery store, but could probably be found for less money). The wine was light, fruity, well-balanced - perfect for the islands!

And then what did we do in our deserted island paradise? Well, watched Days of Thunder of course! We'd picked up several used DVDs at Amoeba before our trip, and I'd been itching to watch this one since I found it in the bargain rack for $6. Tom Cruise does not disappoint! Our trip is off to a great start already. Now, if only I can figure out how to make my mosquito bites stop itching...

Domestic Diva's Quick Ahi Tuna Marinade & Garlicky Brown Rice

1 spring onion, white part finely chopped and green part sliced into rings
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp good olive oil (I used Annie Naturals roasted garlic EVOO)
salt & pepper

garlicky brown rice:
1 cup long grain brown rice
2 cups water
1 tbsp garlic EVOO
1 garlic clove, peeled
salt & pepper


To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil & lemon juice, then add the other ingredients. Place the fish in the marinade and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Then, sear the ahi to desired doneness, removing from heat, and serving with the pan juices drizzled on top. Note: this marinade will taste great for almost any kind of fish, not just ahi!

To make the rice, place the water, olive oil, rice & garlic clove in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Businesses Mentioned:

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood
At Sunset Next to Ted's Bakery
Haleiwa, HI
(808) 228-6314

Local shrimp truck specializing in garlic shrimp.

Malama Market Haleiwa
66-190 Kamelhameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
(808) 637-4520

Local market with surprisingly good offerings, including organic eggs, organic chicken and local seafood.

Source for Ingredients:

local ahi tuna, long-grain brown rice & garlic from Malama Market

Music on Tap:

Buddy & Julie Miller - Written in Chalk
Porno for Pyros - Good God's Urge
Brad Mehldau - Anything Goes


  1. DIIIIIVA!!! Go to Celestial Food in Haleiwa for an Iced Matte Latte, lots o' organic grocery and produce, etc., etc. It's small, but it's where I go for vegan goodness on the North Shore. It's on that main Haleiwa strip, between McDonalds and Subway--if that helps.

    Okay, I'll call you now.

  2. Great comment! Next time in town, we plan to check out Celestial Foods! Also, I hear Haleiwa has a great farmer's market on Sundays. We plan to check that out as well!! Can't wait to see you tomorrow!!

    The Diva