This beachfront property is getting a makeover

This awe-inspiring beach house at sunset on the north coast of O’ahu is a surfer’s dream home and a healthy place for owners and their children to enjoy inside and out. outside.

Navigating from the house side to the backyard is easier with the addition of Beachside LED lighting and existing tiki torches. Steve’s gardening department installed puka lava pavers on the lawn to help keep mud and prevent falls.

Beachfront property wasn’t always that perfect picture. The overgrown vegetation, loose gravel, and massive boulders in the original landscape were not suited to the owners’ current lifestyle. They needed a great place for their family to be active and able to withstand the coastal climate.

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On either side of the house, low-maintenance plants that can handle the coastal climate surround the perimeter, including tall areca palms for added privacy.

To remedy this, Steve Dewald of Steve’s Gardening Service was tasked with bringing Steve Mechler’s landscaping to life, allowing the family to fully enjoy their outdoor spaces.

“It was just loose river pebbles,” Dewald explains of what the space looked like. “It was like walking on marbles. It was dangerous and slippery.

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Just outside the kitchen are cedar planters with fresh herbs and lettuce that the owners have planted.

It’s Saturday morning, and it’s early. Really early. Earlier than I’ve ever woken up on a weekend, and, judging by the quiet streets of Wahiawa, earlier than most of the rest as well. Except, that is, for a line of determined foodies already forming at Uber Factory, a nook barely there tucked away in a small alley next to the Kamehameha highway. The bakery is home to the iconic Uber Pies, mouth-watering and photogenic little desserts made from ube, an Asian yam known for its brilliant purple hue and often used in Filipino cuisine. I take my place in the rapidly growing queue – we’re 10th in a row and the joint hasn’t even opened yet – behind people stocking up on pies for first birthday parties, inter- islands and weekend adventures. Alerted and ready, chef Andy Dalan and his Uber Factory teammate wear matching purple t-shirts, while filling boxes and boxes with pies, handing out pre-ordered packages and topping squares of cheesecake for their horde of clients.

Chef Andy Dalan fills shortbread cups with his special ube recipe.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino

“Today is our busiest day,” says Dalan, a modest, laid-back man who grew up eating ube. The craze leaves him unperturbed. Sometimes, he says, “the line will wrap around the building.” He’s spent the last three days baking pies and treats in anticipation of the weekend rush, when customers are ready to make the trip to Wahiawa for their fix, and tonight he’ll be doing even more. It seems the demand is almost insatiable. The alley where the bakery is located is more of a corridor for cars than a real artery. The last time I was here, in fact, although I grew up a few miles away, I got completely, hopelessly lost, and I’m not the only one. There is no sign near the street touting the clearly neon purple mark, nor any indication on the sidewalk that creamy, fiery social media treats are just a few feet inside.

A platter of ube pies
Photo: Aaron Yoshino

But Dalan’s downright addicting masterpieces tend to hook you (he makes 10,000 pies a week!). The vibrant shade of purple in her signature ube offering made them instant Instagram darlings, and her knack for nod-worthy toppings – lit by a gourmet and pastry backdrop – made Uber Factory love more. to the Internet generation. And the taste? Succulent, creamy and fresh little things, with a pastry texture that holds every molded shape of your spoon or your teeth, with all their imperfections; what puddings dream of being when they grow up. It’s all housed in a solid base of shortbread crust that doesn’t flake or crumble, but give and give and give until it breaks. Today, Dalan is also offering a White Koi iteration of the pie, with layers of white chocolate and passion fruit – and they’re already hitting the store by the dozen. Behind the back counter, Dalan patiently garnishes the second dish of the day, a square of ube cheesecake: first, with three tablespoons of ube whipped cream, then a smear of delicately balanced orchid-purple candy, and finally, a pinch of pieces of butterscotch and macadamia chopped hazelnuts. The result is a living and edible masterpiece.

A square of decadent ube cheesecake topped with ube whipped cream, butterscotch chunks, chopped macadamia nuts and a smear of purple candy.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino

The original ube pie, the one that started it all, was created on a whim, says Dalan, when he was executive chef at the Waimea Valley restaurant. He had just finished his shift, was going to a party in Waikiki, and had to make dessert on the fly. Using the this and that he had at hand, “I just prepared something and added anything,” he said with disdain. “The Okinawan sweet potato; I had custard. But I haven’t tasted it yet, not until I got to dinner. Normally, I don’t eat my own stuff. When he did, even he had to admit: it was good. Everyone at the party agreed. It wasn’t long before the Coconut Cordless made a splash on this whimsical dessert, and the demand was too much for Dalan to handle alongside his daily work. When a baker friend’s little store opened, he jumped on it, quit his chef job, and committed to Uber Factory full-time. Since then, he’s caught a few retailers and is constantly creating new flavors while exploring other potential Uber Factory projects in his modest Wahiawa kitchen. (Insider ball: be on the lookout for an ice cream sandwich.) This is the perfect place under the radar for him, someone less interested in making as much fuss as possible and more interested. doing what he loves, at a pace he can handle, no matter the size of the Uber Factory empire.

Chef Andy Dalan flames the tops of ube pies before putting the tray in the oven to bake.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino

“It’s an old-fashioned city,” he says. “We are happy here. Even when we started, in the first year, everyone was telling us, “Develop, develop”. This is not the reason why I opened this business. It would be the same as resuming my job as executive chef. I could, but I said no. That’s what I wanted to do, ”he says, standing in his purple kitchen. It’s definitely a respite from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu, where neighboring bakeries and coffee shops seem to compete with each other for likes, shares, and sales. Things have changed over the past two decades for the tiny center of Wahiawa, and it has undergone little transformation as a result, mostly in the form of trendy new stores and restaurants, much like Uber Factory itself. The spirit of a less traveled road and perhaps a little more authentic history (say, of a passionate and talented baker just trying to practice his craft in relative peace), remains, however. In some ways, this city serves as an unlikely sanctuary for inspired designers looking for a chance to breathe. And in the case of Uber Factory, in particular, it’s worth waking up.

Uber Factory

Open Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 71 S. Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa, Oahu,

At the front of the house, concrete was placed to create a yard, which the owners decided to make easier for children and reduce maintenance. The home’s drainage included drainage chains – as part of the home’s original design – and Dewald and his team installed a new drainage system with several drain wells that allow water to seep in. in the ground.

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Terri S. Tomasini