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Kauai Lifestyles

Sam Choy's Travel Tips

Sam Choy in his home kitchen with a bowl of poke and grape tomatoes. Photo courtesy of Sam Choy.

Sam Choy in his home kitchen with a bowl of poke and grape tomatoes. Photo courtesy of Sam Choy.


When I interviewed Sam Choy over the phone for an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, he graciously answered a few questions for Tasting Kauai’s readers. As a regional legend, it’s simpler to link to Sam Choy’s bio, than list his lengthy accomplishments. We discussed food and travel, then Sam shared tips on finding the tastiest bite of culture. 

Haku Lei, a Hawaiian Crown of Flowers

A handmade haku is a celebration of life. Daniel Lane photo

A handmade haku is a celebration of life. Daniel Lane photo

A handmade haku is a celebration of life. Daniel Lane photo


When I think of aloha, I think of Elvrine Chow, owner of Heavenly Hakus. She glows with joy and her smile is always bright. It must be from working around beautiful flowers. Elvrine spends her days picking flowers in full bloom and weaving them into a haku lei, or head lei, called lei poʻo. People wear them as a crown to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and promotions. In fact, when we released the first edition of our Kauai restaurant guidebook, Elvrine gifted me a haku for the book signing.