The Hibachi restaurant in Lahaina, Maui is dining at its finest! Home of “Mo’ Butter Mo’ Better.” 

Shhh… it is the secret ingredient.

Stranger Danger

When you dine at a Hibachi restaurant, the host smushes you into a table that seats upwards of twelve people. Did I mention this is indoor dining only?

Back in the day before COVID, you would always have to share a hibachi table with peeps called strangers.

I barely remember those pre-COVID days, but if my mind serves me correctly, we would just sit down, and simply ‘grin and bear it.’

In those days, my greatest fear was the stranger who sat next to me who was either too loud, too drunk, elbowed me too much, spat food when they spoke, had not so subtle fahrt slippage, or all of the above. 

Kinda kills the ambiance of fine dining. Don’t ya think?

At a minimum, if I knew the person sitting next to me, I could make a big stink and complain. 

By the way, I wonder…can you get COVID through a fahrt?

On second thought, perhaps this was not the best dining choice during COVID.

Whatever. The salted butter sprinkled with salt and a side of grilled shrimp is to die for girlfriends!

Love Thy Table-Neighbor

I know, you are thinking, ‘she is such a biatch!’ Excuse me sistah! Oh my, what short memories you have. Perhaps even worse than mine!

There is COVID in Hawaii. And even though there may not be COVID in Florida, Arizona or Texas, I do not need to be literally sittin’ on top of a stranger. Then again, if my table neighbor is gorgeous and super-hot…there is always an exception to every rule! Shhhh. don’t tell my husband.

COVID Dining

The big question of the evening: Would we be lucky and get a table alone, or would we have to dine with strangers? 

No more guessin’! We were escorted to the table, which was empty. Hallelujah! Alone at last! 

And then… came the other family.

Oy. A million meshuga (Yiddish for crazy) thoughts were racing through my rather unstable mind. This family could be from Mars for all I knew. Actually, I could deal with a family from Mars. Mars instituted mandatory COVID vaccinations.

A family from Mississippi Arizona, South Dakota, not sure. Red States, conspiracy theories, vax chips implanted in your body…yada yada yada.

But really. Humor me. Just imagine, we actually had to share a table with strangers! We have never, ever done that during COVID! Shiat!

My word! What was a girl to do? Where could I run? The good news was that the restaurant stuck us with only one family.

Phew, what a relief. I suppose due to COVID, we did not get a third family literally thrown in our laps!

As it was, we were literally sitting on top of each other. No joke. However, I had to laugh because I believed the air I was breathing was laden with COVID spikes, and they were infiltrating every orifice of my body.

Rather than totally lose my mind, I needed to put my thinkin’ cap on. What would my Spiritual Advisor Dr. Fauci tell me to do?

Like duh! He would have told me not eat indoors at a restaurant. Hmmm. He sounds like my ‘ole big mama! 

If he only knew the COVID mess I got myself into. Where was the social distancing? Where was my mask?

And then, I did what any COVID paranoid lunatic would do: I moved my chair and table setting to the very end of the table. My plate was hanging off the table. A useless effort to maintain a teeny-tiny bit of air space between myself and the stranger next door.

Rest assured it would have been easier to just sit away from the table facing the corner.

I was plotzing. FYI, Yiddish word for ‘collapsing or fainting.’ The translation: Sistahs, I thought I was gonna die! It was over; yep, right there in the hibachi restaurant. Sayonara folks.

Why the worry? First of all, no one wore a mask at the table. Why should we? We had to show our I.D. and vaccine card.

But wait. This is COVID. Where is this family from? Mississippi? Did they really get vaccinated? Was their VAX Card legal? How can I find out this information?

Vetting Process

You know it sistahs! I looked over this family with a keen eye. Oh please. I was in stealth mode. I was not blatant. You know me… I am the most subtle person ever! Just like a bull in a China shop! But I had to be careful. If they were from Texas, were they packin’ a pistol? I just did not know.

The Chef

At a Hibachi restaurant, it is the luck of the draw who is your Chef.

And we scored big.

The Chef, who happens to be a part-time comedian and part-time knife magician, finally came on stage to his grill.

He brought the hibachi ingredients: about five pounds of salted butter and three pounds of salt. Grilled salted butter with a dash of shrimp, steak, chicken, and vegetables was the cuisine for the evening.

Knives Out

The Chef entertained us with a show of flippin’ and spinnin’ sharp knives. One false move, and adios to your table neighbor. At least that would have created more space at the table.

Mo’ Butter is Mo’ Better!

What can I say, I love hibachi! I love grilled butter sautéed with salt, and a hint of shrimp, steak, lobster or chicken. I loved grilled butter with a side of garlic and a hint of fried rice.

The dinner was great, as always. I suppose due to COVID, the Chef did not throw shrimp at us to catch with our mouths. Too bad. I loved watching someone get shrimp thrown in their eye!

Oh well, maybe next year.


Rental Perk

My neighbor in the Hamptons wants to rent their house for the last two weeks of summer.

And oh, what a house! Before I start advertisin’ this property, I must issue a disclaimer: I am not a real estate broker.

The House

Situated literally steps from the beach, recently flush with upgrades such as new toilets and a kitchen, this is the quintessential home to create new memories.

And… wait for it! Here is the kicker: the house comes with a Jewish Mama!

No other home in the Hamptons boasts this feature. Yes! You could rent a Hamptons summer home with your very own ‘Annette’! Amazon has ‘Alexa’, this home has ‘Annette’.

I Want Annette!

OMG! The new rage to span the globe, is to rent a vacation home that comes with your very own Annette!

Imagine the possibilities! COVID separated families. It was terrible. Well, maybe for some.

I am confident there are many sistahs and brothas who used COVID as a great excuse NOT to visit with their family! Oh, my word! What a blessin’! For 18 months, there was no naggin’, no guilt. Amen to that!

I for one, did not receive any unsolicited opinions from my mama during COVID. Actually, I am lyin’. If my mama tells me what to do, I just sing the ‘La La’ song in my head over, and over and over, and simply tune her out.

We all know, since the beginning of the Universe, all mamas, give unsolicited opinions. It is in our DNA. And yes, it is true, I tell my kids what to do. No surprise there my sistahs! OH, and by the by, they hate it. Girlfriends, let’s hold hands in solidarity and shed a tear for our sad, angry children. Remember our words that forever ring in our kids ears, the battle hymn of “I TOLD YOU SO!”.

The Rave!

Word on the street is the elite Hamptons real estate brokers are vying to get this rental listing.

What can I say? The lifestyles of the rich and famous always look for the ‘next big thing’.

Indeed! This rental beach house offers all the comforts of ‘home’. What an opportunity to be on a vacation with a Jewish Mama for two whole weeks.

Annette is THE Next Big Thing!

Annette is absolutely amazing. Defies aging. She is 96 years young. Walks up and down stairs; yes, incredible. One foot after the other. Does not even get winded. Even comes with and drives her own car!

You betcha! Annette has a zest for life that can’t be matched! She never met a cocktail she did not like and is a wonderful dinner companion at the finest, most expensive restaurants.

Incredibly intelligent; well read; very funny; a great conversationalist, and very loving. What more could you ask for in a mama? Oh yes. She is also very controlling, and she will tell you what to do! Remember it’s her house — her rules. Welcome to home sweet home!

How do I know everything about Annette? Because she adopted me! Lucky, right?!

Who needs Alexa, when you can shout out in the kitchen and say “Annette! What is the weather in Bridgehampton today?”