Saturday, July 31, 2010

hawaii eats

Something different from Tanioka's.

I've been here several times over the years and enjoy their food which is reasonable and good.

Spicy Ahi Inari...This is an inarizushi topped with some spicy ahi (tuna). Inarizushi is some sushi rice, rice that is seasoned with sugar, vinegar and salt and stuffed into a fried tofu pocket. The fried tofu pocket is seasoned with mirin (sweet rice wine) and shoyu (soy sauce).

This version was quite spicy, there was also some green onion, a little mayo, shredded nori (laver) and some tobiko (flying fish egg) mixed in with the spicy ahi.

I loved the heat from the ahi, there was also sweet, sour and salty flavors from the sushi.

I also had part of their mochiko chicken musubi, that thing is still HUGE.

Talk about being content...have a nice weekend!

Friday, July 30, 2010

daydream

This daydream comes from Ewa Beach Park.

There is an excellent view of Diamond Head.

You can stand under an Autograph Tree a.k.a. Pitch Apple a.k.a. Clusia Rosea and see mejiro, a tiny green bird with whites around its eyes, seeking out nectar.

There is a pod on that tree that is wooden and looks like a flower.

Before the pod "blooms" there is a tiny "flower" pattern on it too.(cute, yeah?)

Gazing out at this ocean is way nicer than looking out at Osaka's, which is usually "black"...this daydream will be perfect to look back on in a couple of months!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

hawaii eats

When I made plans to meet up with my friend, Len, we intended to try Liliha Bakery.

Then I saw something on FB (Facebook) which mentioned them being closed on Mondays...so I contacted him and we decided to check out Pancakes and Waffles in Kapalama instead.

I had seen posts on the place here and here...their photos will make you drool!

We got there a little after 12:30 and the parking was crazy as it was peak lunch hour. Luckily we circled once and were able to find a stall.

The menu has so many choices that you may have a hard time deciding...we did!

I chose the bacon waffles...4 crispy pieces of bacon baked into a waffle. How brilliant is that?!

Len chose their Strawberries and Cream waffle, this comes with a lot of whipped cream and strawberry sauce topping.

Each plate comes with some whipped butter. There is maple syrup and other condiments on the table.

After we ate everything on our plates we were full! It was a great place, the food comes out rather quickly and we were able to find seats without having to wait.

Thanks for a great lunch Len!

Pancakes & Waffles (City Square Shopping Center)
1284 Kalani Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.847.7770
Open: 6:30-14:00

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

hawaii walks

Some random sights on my walks...for the majority of pictures I use my iPhone, so the photos are sometimes blurred (sorry in advance).

A rainbow.

I think this is a Dodge Dart.

White ginger. I've seen this in several yards. This one was the closest to the street. Love the fragrance.

Someone had okra in their yard.

These okra are L-O-N-G and HUGE, not like the kind we get in Japan which are kind of stubby.

Sunrise.

I think this is another type of Dodge.

And another rainbow. It is amazing where you will see them.

This mo'o (lizard) wasn't on my morning walk, but near the Art Museum downtown.

Ooh, and remember the bunny? Well, I walked past the house and they had silkie bantam chickens (a black one and a brown one)! Sorry the photo is blurry, I was trying to take the photo before someone noticed me.

Pua keni keni (Fagraea berteriana) is also in season now. Love the fragrance of this flower too.

And some miniature plumeria (Frangipani)...hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

hawaii eats

The last time I ate at Jurison's Inn, was too far back to remember what I ate.

Their food is good and we happened to be in the area recently, so we picked up some lunch to take home.

My dad and I got their special teri-beef and kim chee burger. I got mine with fries, dad had his with tossed salad.

These sandwiches are HUGE! Lots of spicy kim chee and lots of sweet teri-beef.

The sweet, salty and spicy combination is out of this world. I really liked their onion buns too. Really soft, though with all that kim chee, the bottom bun was kinda smushy and soggy.

My dad and I ended up eating this with forks (and fingers).

Mom chose their teri-chicken sandwich.

She also chose a whole wheat bun and tossed salad. She liked the flavor of the chicken. She noted it was "messy" to eat...as everything fell out when she bit into it.

For $6.25 plus tax, you really get your money's worth, in my opinion. Each sandwich comes with fries, macaroni salad or tossed salad. You can also choose what type of bun you would like...though we had soggy buns, we'll be back.

Jurison's Inn
Waikele Premium Outlets
94-799 Lumiaina Street
Waipahu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.676.1171

UPDATE: I thought I had never tried Jurison's teri-beef kim chee burger, but actually found it in my archives...4 years ago! here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

culture shock

Do you have to pay for bulk trash pick-up? We don't in Hawaii.

I was amazed at all the different things people throw out. Some actually look like they threw out EVERYTHING from their houses.

In Osaka, we have to PAY for everything we throw out that isn't considered "burnable" (there is a list, with pictures, to go off of).

If the item is bigger than the city issued "non-burnable" trash bag, then it needs to have a 300 yen (about US$3) seal for items up to 1 meter long (a little over 3 feet).

And if the item is longer than 1 meter (over 3 feet), then you need to purchase another seal for another 300 yen (about US$3)..so it needs a total of 2 seals.

Big items like washers/dryers...lawn mowers would need to be arranged with the city to have them picked them up and hauled away, of course, for a nice sum.

We've never had to do this YET, though our appliances are coming up on their 10th year and I'm crossing my fingers they will hang on for as many more year as possible.

I know each country has their quirks but I do think that if Hawaii started to charge for the pick-up of big items they probably wouldn't have to be shipping their other trash off to other states and paying those states to take it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

hawaii shops

I love that we can get lavender from Maui.

I love the products from Ali'i Kula Lavender.

In the past I've bought their culinary lavender. You only use a little at a time when cooking/baking, so I still have quite a bit.

Their soaps are great too. I've bought their goat milk bar in the past, this time around I'm trying their mini-sized soaps, they smell wonderful.

I also can't wait to try their lavender earl grey tea (Did someone say tea lattes this Fall?)

What are enjoying right now?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

daydream

For those days, when it is gloomy out with rain.

Maybe a chill in the air.

Or feeling a bit homesick.

Maybe you had a bad day.

Here is something to daydream with.

A photo of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel...

And something we rarely see in Japan, a rainbow taken from my parent's backyard (wish the neighbor's solar heater wasn't in the way...)

I'm bookmarking this post for those gloomy days...you should too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

hawaii eats

You know I thought I had posted about Liliha Bakery's Coco Puffs, but looked through my archives and couldn't find anything on them.

These tiny cream puffs are filled with chocolate pudding and topped with a creamy chantilly frosting....addicting stuff!

I think the price went up a bit and they are now US$1.25 each...still delicious.

I spotted this Chevrolet Corvair in their parking lot. If it wasn't raining on this day, I probably would've been able to walk out to take a better photo of it.

Liliha Bakery
515 North Kuakini Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone:808.531.1651

It's Friday here, hope you have a nice weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

hawaii eats

The last time I ate at Panya, my experience was kinda sketchy.

This time around, I met my friend, Mineko.

She had an appointment to get to after lunch and this was the closest place to it.

The place was packed and we were seated at the counter.

This wasn't too bad, except that after we ordered I spotted the biggest cockroach on their wall! (without my glasses on even! eew!)

I quietly told the waitress but it was so far up the wall that there just wasn't much they could do but pray it didn't fall (or fly) on anyone sitting under (or around) it...eep!

Mineko ordered the Japanese curry with beef and fresh shiitake.

It came with a huge scoop of rice and the curry smelled really spicy.

I chose the Panya club sandwich on 7-grain bread...because I wanted bacon.

The bacon was thick and chewy (which was still delicious) and I really liked the 7-grain bread.

Despite the "thing" on the wall, we had a nice lunch and catch-up. (Thank you!)

I know I said the last time that I didn't think we would be back and now I mean it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

hawaii eats

It seems as though frozen yogurt places have taken over in these parts...everywhere you look there is a frozen yogurt shop.

This was my first trip to Menchie's with my friend, Wen.

It is the same concept as Yogurtland...take a cup, fill it up with the flavor(s) of your choice, pick your toppings, weigh and pay for it.

I tried the red velvet with red velvet cake topping, chocolate overload with chocolate brownie topping and pistachio with mini reese's pieces...everything except the pistachio yogurt tasted good.

My friend, Wen, tried caramel/dulce de leche and blah!...it didn't taste like anything near caramel nor dulce de leche, actually, we couldn't figure out what it tasted like.

I think I still prefer Yogurtland.

Menchie's
4450 Kapolei Parkway (near Target)
Kapolei, Hawaii
Phone: 808.674.1320

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

culture shock

It's an election year in Hawaii. This means that everyone running has their election signs just about everywhere.

I think the law in Hawaii is that the sign needs to be on private property...kind of an eye sore, right??

And then there are the sign wavers...people who stand out in the hot sun waving, trying to get your attention for their candidate, hopefully not causing you to get into an accident in the process as you drive past.

But, you know what? I would take this type of campaigning any day over the type that Japan has which I've written about here and here.

Like we say, "lucky you live Hawaii".

Monday, July 19, 2010

hawaii eats

I went to Diego's for my Mexican food fix the other day.

The last time I was home, I tried the carne asada with chips and loved it.

Then Dennis commented that he saw carne asada with fries where he lives, and I remembered seeing that on Diego's menu too.

I knew that carne asada with the chips would be awesome but wanted to try it with fries...

So, I asked the guy if I could get a small carne asada with chips and fries. I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask and the worst thing he could say was "no".

Luckily, they weren't too busy...they gave me a half order of chips and fries with the carne asada and a nice dollop of guacamole...US$6.25 (with tax).

I think if I had eaten it right there in the shop, the fries would have still been crispy but since I drove home and then ate, they were quite limp.

The chips were still on the crisp side but were very very salty.

The meat was delicious and not too much gristle this time around.

I think the next time (probably the next time I come home) I will get the carne asada with chips and ask them not to salt it.

For a "small", this was HUGE, I think I've soothed my craving for Mexican, for now.

UPDATE: as of 3/2012, this place has closed

Sunday, July 18, 2010

hawaii walks

I've been trying to go on walks every morning...the weather is usually cool.

If you are lucky, the morning rain will have stopped. (Sometimes I get caught mid-walk in a passing shower.)

The sun is just starting to get out of bed and you can feel the energy of the neighborhood waking up and getting ready for their day ahead.

Here are some things I've seen on my walks...the humane society's truck. I wondered what they were looking for? Hopefully nothing bigger than a dog or cat.

This house has a cotton tree in front. At first when I saw it, I thought someone had "decorated" it with cotton balls here and there.

Might be kind of hard to see the cotton, I was walking past when I snapped this.

I love how big the sky is in Hawaii.

Not many electrical wires to block your view, not many buildings either, well, where we live anyway.

Without these obstructions, it makes the sky real big!

This house has many birds, every morning they are chattering away.

To my surprise on this particular walk, there was a cute dwarf bunny, just out in front.

When it saw me stop to try to take its photo, it hopped back inside the fence.

A guy under his Dodge Dart praying that it will run so that he can go to work.

What interesting things have you been checking out on your walks?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

hawaii helps

Baking in Hawaii is so so so different from baking in Japan, well, in my kitchen in Japan anyway.

In Japan, I don't have a "real" oven, my "oven" is the size of a dormitory microwave oven.

Sure, it can toast, bake, broil and microwave, but because of its size and because the element only heats the perimeter of the oven, I can only bake on my turntable (if I want things cooked/baked properly).

Which means I can bake 6 muffins at a time or a round cake.

No 9-inch x 13-inch pans and anything bigger than an 8-inch square pan is kind of sketchy.

My motto: Anything that can fit on the turntable is a go, anything that can't is a no.

So, yesterday even though it was miserably humid, I helped my mom bake scones and muffins. She made 1 batch of muffins (24 muffins) and 6 times the recipe for scones...6! (in the end, I think we ended up with 48 scones)

It was a family project as dad was in charge of greasing the scone pans.

I was in charge of pulsing the dough in the food processor which I did in several batches.

What amazed me was that she had 4 scone pans!

We were done in no time and I was in awe of the volume that we baked.

I know mom bakes a lot throughout the year but I guess you never truly appreciate stuff like "an oven" until you don't have one, one that size anyway.

It is Friday here, hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, July 16, 2010

hawaii eats

Lunch on Tuesday was from Ba-Le.

I love their banh mi sandwiches. If you search this site, you'll probably see several posts on Ba-Le.

This time around I tried their BBQ chicken sandwich...US$5.50 + tax (the tax in Hawaii, actually just Oahu, now is something I can't remember)

An Asian style barbecued chicken with a little mayo, the pickled daikon, carrots, cucumber and some cilantro on a toasted crusty baguette. (I love their baguette!)

I also got a sweet potato tapioca to try...US$1.65 + tax

Coconut pudding with tapioca and chunks of purple sweet potato, how can you go wrong with this?!

The tapioca pudding is on the firmer side, rich coconut milk and there are just enough pieces of sweet potato in there.

Life is good!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

hawaii volunteers

Yesterday I went to help my mom's church group make tsukemono (pickles).

They do this throughout the year for different church events. In fact, I've written about it before here.

300 pounds of daikon (long white radish) sounds like a lot, and it is, but with 15 to 20 people cleaning, peeling and chopping, we usually finish within a couple of hours, which actually flies by because we are all so busy.

It is always nice to overhear the chatter that goes on while the ladies are doing their thing, though some cannot do two things at once and some hands stop working while they chat...ahem.

I am also amazed at how the men stay "on their side" of the kitchen and keep to their own conversations.

Though I hate wearing those net thingies for my hair, it is still great to help out.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

hawaii eats

The other day, my cousin's wife, who is visiting Hawaii now, contacted me for lunch.

She said she was interested in trying SOUL, which was a good thing because I too was interested after seeing the photos on Ono Kine Grindz's blog and Tasty Island's post.

We shared the Carolina Pulled Pork Adobo Sandwich--tender pulled pork marinated in a vinegary barbecue sauce topped with their buttermilk cilantro cole slaw on a roll.

The pork adobo, which I know is supposed to be vinegary, was just a bit too puckery for my liking, plus the roll got really soggy from the cole slaw.

We also shared the BBQ Spareribs Plate--4 pork ribs, with Ma'o collard greens, cornbread, buttermilk cilantro cole slaw, vegetarian chili. This is a great plate to get "a taste" of many of their dishes.

I'm not sure if the style of barbecuing was responsible, but the ribs were kind of on the dry side and even if they were tasty, we would've enjoyed them more if they were "fall off the bone tender".

I loved their vegetarian chili though, it had lots of bold flavors and a hint of heat.

The sweet cornbread and Southern sweet iced tea helped to cool things down.

The cole slaw was different, it wasn't creamy it was a little smokey, I enjoyed it, especially with all that cilantro in it.

It was my first time eating collard greens, I liked it and thought the texture and taste was similar to spinach.

We had a nice chat and ate almost everything on our plates! (though I did bring home some leftover slaw)

(If I get another chance on this trip home, I'd like to try some other items, like their chicken!)

Of course, even after a very filling lunch, we still had room for dessert, so we drove down the street to Waiola Shave Ice where we sat and chatted some more.

It was a beautiful sunny Hawaiian day out and I hope my cousin's wife had a nice time, I know I did. (Thank you!)

Soul
3040 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone:808.735.SOUL (7685)
UPDATE: Soul closed as of 7/2012, but is scheduled to relocate to another location soon!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

hawaii shops

So after we ate our yogurt, we headed out to Waikele to check out some of the shops there.

I found these cute boxes of Jelly Belly with Hello Kitty on them at Borders, which will make cute omiyage (souvenirs) for people in Japan.

I also picked up more Bubble Shack soaps at Target. These are made in Hawaii and will wash away any wintry blues or homesickness you may have.

This time around I picked up Local Shave Ice, which smells sweet like the shave ice syrups, Pikake (Jasmine) & Tuberose which do smell like my favorite flowers!

I love how their soaps smell and can't wait to use these in the up coming months!

Monday, July 12, 2010

hawaii eats

Saturday, I met up with my friend, Wen. We debated whether we should eat yogurt or drink coffee.

Yogurt won, so we headed to Yogurtland, which is located close to where we both live.

The sign out in front said that there was a new flavor...Chocolate coconut truffle, you know this was going to be good (sort of).

Inside, the place was packed with kids already on sugar highs and their parents, it was REALLY loud and noisy!

I chose a dollop of chocolate coconut truffle, a mixed dollop of double cookies 'n cream/dutch chocolate and a dollop of peanut butter.

As for toppings, I put some crushed butterfinger on the peanut butter, mistakenly put some coconut flakes on the cookie chocolate swirl and some sliced almonds on the chocolate coconut truffle.

They also had something called "popping yogurt" which looked like tapioca.

Not knowing what it was, I took a little of it...well, you know how ikura (fish roe) pops in your mouth and you get a blast of saltiness? This was the same except it was sweet.

We think the label was wrong though because we swore the blast was lychee not yogurt flavored.

I also had a frosted animal cracker, boy, those things are getting smaller.

By the time we bought our yogurt, the crowd had weaned and we were able to sit and chat without having to shout at each other.

It was great to catch-up over some yogurt and then we were ready to do some shopping.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

hawaii

Yesterday was quite a long day.

After pushing off from the gate, they realized that the interior lighting wasn't working so, we had to be pulled back in for them to fix it.

I think if the flight had been during the daytime, they wouldn't have turned back to fix it, but since this flight was at night, interior lighting was kinda important.

So, we started out being half an hour delayed.

Which didn't seem too bad, I fell asleep before we took off and the next thing I knew was that dinner was being served.

The one thing I noticed was that we were never asked to choose between the types of meals being served. In fact, all of us on the upper deck had the same meal, and a really skimpy meal, in my opinion.

A hamburger patty served on scrambled egg, grossly sweet teriyaki sauce and some wilted looking cooked veggies and rice. There was also a salad with a dollop of egg salad, a piece of squid & a cherry tomato. A really teeny bowl of fruit with 3 cubes of apple and a sliver of canned pear.

Most people rave about the food they've had on JAL, but with all their financial problems, I think they've had to change some of their ways.

Highlight of dinner was this:Mon Chou Chou's roll cake. I'm glad they didn't change this part of the meal.

I was able to watch a Japanese film & "Alice in Wonderland", both were good in my opinion.

After landing, I had thought we would take the Wiki-Wiki to Immigrations, but with all the construction around the airport, we didn't. Instead, we had to walk from one end of the airport to the other through a man-made sort of tunnel.

Getting through immigrations didn't take me too much time, it was the overlapping of 3 flights that sent baggage into overload that snagged me.

It took almost half an hour just to get my bags!

When I finally came out it was just before noon, my parents had driven round and round the airport plus down Lagoon Drive...we had a quick take-out lunch from Burger King and then I had a short nap.

It was nice to see my Grandma and Aunty at dinner and nice to be in cooler conditions even though we had some light rains.

It is good to be home, even though it was a long day.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

bambucha

I know I said the next post would be from Hawaii, but I just had to share with you this awesome find before I left.

The day before I was to leave for Hawaii, I was in the "boycott" market because it was really hot, I didn't want to walk too far, and I only needed a couple items.

They were having a Tottori fair. If you remember we went to Tottori in 2008.

Anyway, as I happened to walk past the produce area, I noticed this beauty.

Most veggies in Japan markets are not sold with their greens so this really stood out.

Another thing that stood out was the price...110 yen (about US$1.10) for this one bambucha (huge) beet!

Even though I was supposed to be cleaning out my fridge to go to Hawaii, I had to get it.

The last time I saw a beet in the market was a couple of weeks back (and before that I'd never ever seen one in the markets here), it had no greens on top, it was half the size of this one (or smaller) and they were trying to charge 498 yen (about US$4.98) for it!

As I brought it home, I loved how the greens peeked out above the lip of my tote bag.

After bringing it home, I wondered how I should cook it. Usually when we have fresh beets in Hawaii, I think my mom steams them.

Instead I decided to roast this one because I didn't want to stand by the stove.

Though I have roasted all sorts of other veggies, this was my first time roasting a beet, especially one this large.

After chopping off the greens, I washed the beet then drizzled olive oil and popped it into a 220C (425F) oven for 30 minutes.

While the beet was roasting, I washed the greens and stalks and threw them into a heated dry pan and added some water and covered it to wilt and steam them.

After 10 minutes or so, I took them out and chopped up the greens.

When the beet was done roasting I let it cool and peeled the thin layer of skin off.

Usually when we eat this in Hawaii, we make a shoyu-mayo mixture to dip into or just eat with mayo (Best Foods, of course).

I've heard our President doesn't like beets...he doesn't know what he's missing.