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  • Writer's pictureSpicy Eyes

Episode 3: Hawaiian Food On The Ninth Island (AKA Vegas)

A woman's hand reaches in to mix a bowl of cubed salmon mixed with diced onion, tomato and green onion. This is lomi salmon.
Lomi salmon (photo by Jeff Scheid)

Hi everyone! We're back with another episode and lots more links and photos for you here on the blog. Our third episode was produced by Sonja, who chose the topic of Hawaiian food in Las Vegas because she kept hearing that our city is called the "Ninth Island." And as it turns out, Las Vegas has the largest population of Hawaiians outside of Hawai'i!

Here's the Google Map we mentioned of all the Hawaiian restaurants in Las Vegas as of spring 2019:

(If we've missed any, please email us at spicyeyespod@gmail to let us know!)

The first interview featured on the podcast was with Dorinda Puanani Burnet, President of the Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic Club (Kristy had a great interview with her last year on KNPR, so take a listen to that feature to learn more about what the LVHCC does).

Make sure to check for updates on the LVHCC's Ho'olaule'a festival, held in the fall. The Pure Aloha Festival, another community event run by Vizzun Entertainment, takes place in the spring.

At the beginning of the episode, we shared a (very!) brief capsule of modern Hawaiian history. Here are a few more resources if you're interested in learning more:

* Narrated slides about agriculture, land tenure, religion and more in pre-annexation Hawai'i

* PBS education resources about the life and overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii's last queen

* Island World, a history of Hawai'i by Professor Gary Okihiro that places Hawai'i at the center of the story

* Sovereign Sugar: Industry and Environment in Hawai'i is a book about the history and impact of the sugar plantations on the islands, by anthropologist Carol A. MacLennan (also see this article about the end of the sugar industry in Hawai'i)

The history of the Hawai'i-Las Vegas connection, however, starts in the 1970s at the California Hotel and Casino.

(Photos by Jeff Scheid)

Cynthia Van Gilder and Dana Herrera came to UNLV last year to research the history of the Cal's outreach to Hawaiians and the affinity Hawaiians have for Las Vegas today. You can download their paper here. We also referenced "California Hotel and Casino: Hawaii's Home Away From Home," by Dennis M. Ogawa.

If you're feeling inclined to go over and get that late-night oxtail soup, here's the info you need.

Many thanks to Unko Willie Silva, leader of the band Green Bottle Union, for his interview. Look for updates and videos on their Facebook page.

And last but certainly not least, the amazing Haunani Koki and her daughter Taylor Koki hosted us for a Hawaiian feast at their home. On the menu: Chicken long rice, lomi salmon, poi, kalua pork, and poke (the key ingredient being inamona, a tasty mix of roast kukui nut and seaweed). Quick cooking tip: Both Haunani and Unko Willie say that the key to good kalua pork if you don't have an imu (underground oven) is liquid smoke!

(Photos by Jeff Scheid)

This week's Daily Nugget was produced by Kristy and features Arty Cassata, the graveyard bartender at The Huntridge Tavern, and something called Arty Snacks—you'll have to listen to learn more!

As always, thank you to our contributors: Photographer Jeff Scheid, composer Jeremy Klewicki, and designer Maureen Adamo. And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in!

Here's where to subscribe (you know you want to) <3

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