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open mind, empty stomach

travel, food, and fun

Paris was my final destination in Europe before heading home to Hawaii. The City of Light was also the last stop on my last Euro-trip 2 years ago. That time I visited the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the catacombs, and did a lot of the must-do touristy things. This time around, I would only be in town for 3 nights and 2 full days and decided to try to casually soak up a little of the city rather than run around it looking at sights.
Home base for me was just outside of the city limits to the south in a place called Arcueil where I had yet another great Couchsurfing experience. Thanks Viet! My host Viet’s place was a few minutes walking from the metro and I could be in the heart of paris in less than 15 minutes.
Paris is home to some of the best restaurants in the world and I made sure to budget some money for a proper meal or two. I thought I had made a reservation for Pierre Gagnaire’s 3 star place, but when I showed up they informed me that I had booked for Gaya, his more casual restaurant. It was disappointing to not get to eat at one of Paris’ best restaurants, but my meal at Gaya was amazing. I had the menu of the day, which consisted of a cold mussel and bean soup, roast chicken with mushrooms, and a tart but delicious dessert. The flavors were great and everything was executed to perfection. The wine was a perfect companion for the food.
Honolulu lacks diversity in non-Asian ethnic eateries. Our only Ethiopian place was a short lived pop-up that had a degree of sourcing difficulties. I took advantage of multicultural Paris and had the best Ethiopian food of my life at Queen of Sheba. The injera was so sour and so good.
My “last supper” and biggest splurge meal of the trip was at Passage 53. A friend of mine joined me and we did the tasting menu. It was one of the best meals of my trip and Passage 53 lived up to the hype. The dishes were creative, flavorful, and well balanced. The “white dish” consisting of squid and cauliflower stood out visually and taste-wise. Thanks to Ono Kine Grindz for yet another great recommendation.
I had a brief, but really nice stay in Paris. Just as before, the people were great, the food was amazing, and it was difficult to leave this special city. Paris was an ideal last stop on this great adventure and I hope to visit again in the future!

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