It always amazed me to see so many different types of cultures in one area. Along with the culture comes the language, clothing, and of course food. Many years ago my Hawaiian culture has made the giant leap over the pacific ocean and has settled comfortably in Las Vegas. I’m sure many of you realize that there are a great number of people living in Vegas that were originally from Hawaii. Truth is none of us really know how we got here, we just ended up, here taking over this city. Along with ourselves we brought our celebrations and food. I decided to focus my photo essay on Hawaiian restaurants around town. You know a city has adopted a culture when there are a ton of restaurants around. That is exactly what Vegas has done for the Hawaiian culture. I like to think that Vegas has greeted the Hawaiian people with open arms and will continue to as long as we keep making our delicious food.
I spent a day going around town taking pictures of Hawaiian restaurants just to show how many there are around town. Vegas has taken on the Hawaiian culture so much that even Wallgreens in Vegas started to carry Hawaiian products (food, snacks, cooking spices and sauces). As much as possible I try to take as many friends as I can to these places because I feel that everyone should enjoy the Hawaiian culture and food. As I went around town I remembered a special place that was a must to display and that would be the California Hotel.
Known to the Hawaiian’s as “The Cal” this place caters to Hawaiian’s, from the aloha shirts that the staff are required to wear to the Hawaiian food restaurants, this place is truly Hawaii outside of Hawaii. The Cal is where most of the Hawaiians on vacation stay and where the Hawaiians that live here gamble. There are so many Hawaiians that at the Cal that almost every time I go there I bump into someone who I haven’t seen in a while, someone who I never bump into in Hawaii.
If you have never tried Hawaiian food, I highly recommend it. Obviously I am biased because I grew up with this type of food but honestly there is something for everyone. A really good starter dish is the chicken katsu (which isn’t really authentic Hawaiian food but is a big must have). If you are looking for something authentically Hawaiian food, definitely try the Kalua Pig. For sushi lovers, poke is really good, its raw tuna cut in little cubes with a bunch of seasoning on it (there are many different seasonings). Naturally my mouth is water just typing about all of this.
Vegas is definitely a mixing pot of culture and having a Hawaiian influence on the city is great. Wherever you go you can find someone from Hawaii, it’s just bound to happen.