Saturday, June 30, 2012

nuuanu okazuya

You know, if I walk into your establishment, look over the foods you are selling and a sign catches my eye, namely..."oki-dog".

Don't get all grouchy and give me 'tude because I order it...

If you don't have all the ingredients that day, put a sign over "that sign" ...

But no-o-o, you didn't, so I ordered it!

I'll give you half-props because it was delicious, a little too heavy on the garlic in your chili and oki-dogs usually have okinawan shoyu pork in them, but it was still good.

Instead of ending this post on a bad note, what I will rave about is your sweet beet namasu, super crunchy and more sweet-sour!

I'd definitely come back for this.

Nuuanu Okazuya
1351 Nuuanu Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.533.6169
Mondays-Fridays 5:00-13:00, Saturdays 5:30-14:00, Sundays 7:00-13:00

Friday, June 29, 2012


One of my mom's friends gave us some eggplant recently, so my mom suggested that we make miso-ae with it.

Miso-ae (mee-so-ah-ay) "ae" means to "coat it" in a miso sauce.

After washing and slicing the eggplant, I sauteed it in a non-stick pan, added a little water and covered it until it was tender.

Next time though, I will peel the eggplant because the skins were tough and bitter.

With the okra we received from another of my mom's friends, I used half of the miso-ae sauce on some okra and red bell pepper.

After washing and slicing the okra and red bell pepper, I also cooked this in a non-stick pan until it was tender.

Okra's slimy/sticky quality (especially when heated) is believed to help fight off heat exhaustion in Japan, which I've written about here.

Here's the recipe I used for the miso-ae sauce: makes about 1 cup
adapted from "The Legacy of the Japanese in Hawaii: Cuisine" by HJCC (Hawaii Japanese Cultural Center)

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2.5 tablespoons miso (soy bean paste)
1.5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ground toasted sesame seeds

Combine and pour over cooled veggies.

NOTES: I really liked the okra version. I think this would be good with other types of veggies, maybe even as a dipping sauce for vegetable sticks.

I'm making this again.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


While most things in Japan are teeny, everything here are bambucha (huge)!

Remember those blueberries I talked about before?! see?!

And then my mom's friend gave us this papaya, I think they call this one "watermelon" papaya because it is as big and heavy like a watermelon.

Also, I think the insides are supposed to be light pink like a watermelon too.

It's probably gonna take us a week to eat it...

I bought a multi-vitamin and omega-3 supplement to take while I'm least I don't have a problem swallowing pills...yet!

Another friend of my mom's, grew these okra.

In Japan, our okra is maybe 3 inches long, max, almost like fingers.

These were at least 4 to 6 inches and really thick!

This roll of toilet paper was as wide and thick as a roll of paper towel....eep!

So, I'm freaking out with all these big things...anything freaking you out these days?!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

alicia's market

Realizing I've never been to Alicia's Market, we stopped in to pick up some lunch as well as foods for the week so we wouldn't have to cook.

I chose their 1 choice mini plate with poke (po-kay)...$9.95 and chose their char siu and spicy ahi (yellow fin tuna) poke.

Each plate comes with rice, salad and some kim chee. Their salad is delicious, with lots of "stuff" in it, kinda similar to how my mom makes her potato mac salad.

Would you believe the poke was hotter than the kim chee?! I kid you not.

Mom chose the 1 choice mini plate...$6.95 and chose their char siu ribs.

Their char siu and char siu ribs are delicious, very meaty and flavorful. She liked the salad too because it actually had veggies in it, not like some plate lunch places that serve mac salad with just macaroni and mayo in it.

We also picked up their roast chicken, shoyu style. You can get it as is (whole) or they can chop it up for you.

We asked them to chop it up for us and everything gets chopped, even the drumsticks!

The flavor of this chicken is mild on the shoyu but still very tasty. I think this one cost $9-something?!

And lastly, we picked up some fried ahi (yellow fin tuna) belly...$7-something.

This was good, just enough salt, a very thin outer coating and with a squeeze of that lemon, it was perfect with some rice!

A really tiny store but lots of things to choose from. Parking can be kinda slim during their peak times but we'll be back.

Alicia's Market
267 Mokauea Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.841.1921
Open Mondays-Fridays 8:00-19:00, Saturdays 8:00-18:00

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

libby manapua

On our way home from an errand the other day, Mom and I popped into Libby Manapua Shop.

This place has been around for ages and yet it was my first time trying their food, sad yeah?!

We ordered 4 pork manapua (char siu bao), 4 pork hash and a veggie roll to try.

Take-out these days means styrofoam containers, but "way back when" all our take-out orders in Hawaii came in these types of "pie boxes" made of thin cardboard?! I'm happy to see Libby hasn't changed their style.

Their manapua "breading" is so soft and chewy and the inside is filled to a nice "bread-filling" ratio.

The pork hash was also good too, it was filled with so much meat that the outsides were falling off!

The veggie roll was too hard and chewy...meh!

We'll just stick to the manapua and pork hash...we'll be back!

Libby Manapua Shop (UPDATE: 2019 out of business)
410 Kalihi Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.841.2253
Open Tuesdays-Sundays 6:00-14:00

Monday, June 25, 2012

quiet days

The rainbows are somethings that I miss about Hawaii.

Hope you have a nice week.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

regal bakery

I think I heard about Regal Bakery from my twitter friends awhile back.

So, since I was passing by the airport area the other day, I stopped in to see if they had any doughnuts left.

I picked up their coconut, walnut & rocky road...90 cents a piece.

Their doughnuts are mostly all cake type, which can sometimes be really dry and tasteless, but these were very moist and delicious.

I think my favorite out of these were the coconut and walnut. The rocky road was okay but they had those tiny marshmallows you find in sugary cereals that are kinda styrofoam-ish?!

Still, I wouldn't mind trying some of their other flavors like maple bacon...I'll be back.

Regal Bakery
3040 Ualena Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.838.1229
Hours: Monday-Friday 5:30-13:30, Saturday 8:00-14:00

Saturday, June 23, 2012

foodie wednesday

My BFF needed a ride into town for an appointment early Wednesday morning, so I stopped into the Beach Bum Cafe for some coffee, which I had heard about from Rick.

I tried their Honey Typica which was grown on the North Shore of Oahu. I liked this. It was a medium dark roast with only a little acidity...$2.25 for an 8-ounce cup.

I also tried their peanut butter cheesecake...$3.85. This was a little hard, but delicious.

Then, since I had some time to kill, I walked around. There were many spots for wi-fi, so I sat around using it.

I then came upon a bagel shop called "This is it...too!" and decided I should actually have something for breakfast.

I tried the Rossi's omelet (hash browns, bacon, egg & cheese) on a bagel of your choice. I chose their whole wheat.

For some reason, many on the web, don't like this place for bagels, but I enjoyed this, every breakfast item rolled into one omelet and their bagel had cranberries here and there too....$4.50

Afterwards, I played tourist...loved the reflections on the buildings.

Have you seen the new "Hawaii Five-O"? This is where their "headquarters" is located, right across from the Iolani Palace...ooh and last time I was home, I spotted Daniel Dae Kim near Whole Foods in Kahala. (see, I still need that camera in my eye...)

All in all, despite a few drizzles it was a great day.

Beach Bum Cafe (closed 2014)
1088 Bishop Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.521.6699

This is it...too!
1001 Bishop Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.526.2280

p.s. Happy 49th wedding anniversary to my Mom & Dad! Love you guys!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Many foods remind me of home, but one is particular is Zippy's chili.

Their chili is thick and spicy.

I had a craving for this recently so I bought the chili and added my own brown rice and a "no nitrate" hot dog.

Perfect on a drizzly day.

450 Kamehameha Highway
Pearl City, Hawaii
Phone: 808.483.3775

Thursday, June 21, 2012

cookie corner

Yesterday I had to run some errands, and Cookie Corner just happened to be nearby.

I had a hard time deciding, but finally chose 2 chocolate chip with walnut cookies.

Their cookies are chewy, and I love the fact they don't skimp on chocolate or nuts.

They have many locations on Oahu, check out their website to find one near you.

Cookie Corner
98-1005 Moanalua Road #209 (Pearlridge Uptown)
Aiea, Hawaii
Phone: 808.483.0491

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

pho five-o

It was the last day my brother would be in town, so we had lunch at somewhere he wanted to check out...Pho Five-O.

My mom went with the fried noodles with seafood...this had more veggies than seafood, in my opinion, but she enjoyed it.

My brother chose a vermicelli with a spring roll and barbecue meat, this looked tasty. (sorry no photo)

And I went with the short ribs and rice...this was a bit on the fatty side, but the meat was pretty tender.

We enjoyed their food and want to try their take-out.

Pho Five-O
98-202 Kamehameha Hwy.
Aiea, Hawaii
Phone: 808.487.5091

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

hawaii shops

I noticed this shop when I went to the Pearl Highlands Center today.

Honolua Surf Co. now has an outlet shop there. Apparently they just opened 3 weeks ago.

If you love surf fashion, you'll love this place, oh and everything in their store is 50% off! nice!

Honolua Surf Co. Outlet (UPDATE: this location no longer in business)
1000 Kamehameha Hwy, Suite 208
Pearl City, Hawaii
Phone: 808.454.0606

Monday, June 18, 2012


Breakfast in our household is usually really simple.

We start off with some papaya and then have some kind of carb (like toast).

Today's was apple cinnamon bread from Larry's Bakery.

Their bread is really good. Soft with lots of apple and cinnamon.

Good toasted with a slather of butter or just as is.

Sometimes I also have some plain yogurt with some fruit.

The cups of yogurt here are a little bigger than the ones we get in Japan, so I usually eat half and save the other half for another day.

The blueberries were HUGE the size of marbles! I've never seen blueberries this big in Japan.

To drink, some coffee or green tea.

What are you having for breakfast?

Larry's Bakery (UPDATE:2018 no longer in business)
4369 Lawehana Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.422.0059
Hours: M-F 6:00-13:00
S 6:00-12:00
Closed Sundays & Holidays

Sunday, June 17, 2012

the flight

FYI: my posts won't be changed to Hawaii time.

So, the menu on the flight changed, for the better, whoo!

I've written about the Syaarii bar wraps previously, here, so I was pleased to see that it was part of our inflight meal.

A ham wrap and a fried shrimp wrap. The fried shrimp wrap's outer was coated with purple shiso...yum!

Mon chou chou still does their dessert, only now they have a branch called Le Ciel (the sky) Mon chou chou.

This time around it was their chocolate version....I only ate half but it was delish.

I liked the fact that JAL incorporated local businesses in their meals.

The plane was packed (though I think it was a smaller plane), which is good for Hawaii because that means more tourists are travelling.

Check out the sky last night...It's good to be in Hawaii.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

it's that time of year...

I'm off to to you from the other side of the world.

Friday, June 15, 2012

bar ista

This coffee place called Bar Ista (get it?!) has been on my list "to try" for some time now, and we finally got a chance to.

A tiny shop with only 8 counter seats, my only peeve about this place is that they allow smoking...bah!

They have really cute cappuccinos though.

We'll be back, when hopefully smokers aren't.

Bar Ista
2-6-1 Kitakyuhojimachi
Chuo, Osaka
Phone: 06.6241.0707
Closed Sundays & Holidays
Hours: 11:30-22:00

Thursday, June 14, 2012

le noued papillon

I had been wanting to bring Satoshi to Le Noued Papillon ever since I had eaten there with my French class.

Well, yesterday, I got the chance to bring him here for a belated birthday lunch.

Our meals started off with a slice of pate campagne & a tiny octopus simmered in a tomato sauce....mmm!

For my main, I chose the coq au vin (chicken simmered in red wine). It was my first time trying this dish and it was delicious. The sauce was quite rich.

Satoshi, not a fan of chicken, went with the eggplant & pork moussaka, I don't think this dish is "French" but it sure was tasty.

Our meals came with a drink of choice, and we both chose a glass of red wine.

And to finish, tiny profiteroles...perfect ending to a great meal.

Satoshi said he enjoyed the food, and I'm glad I was able to bring him here...we'll be back.

Le Noeud Papillon
1-5-7 Azuchimachi
Chuo, Osaka
PHone: 06.6262.0123

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

weather index

Fun! an index to drink beer based on the heat in Japan.

And one to eat ice cream...I'm pretty sure you don't need to tell me twice.

Do you have interesting weather indexes where you live?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

grill de kamaya

Next door to Irish Curry is Grill de Kamaya.

There is a large kama (oven/kiln) in the middle of the restaurant. Perfect for winter, but not really for summer.

We sat closer to the large open window/door at the front of the shop, the place was quite homey with lots of wooden tables and chairs.

There was another kama behind Satoshi but it wasn't in use, they said they only use it to smoke meats in it.

We started off with some salmon carpaccio, fresh and delicious.

Next an order of shin-tamanegi (spring onions). These were either roasted or braised.

Sweet and tender.

We tried their cumin lamb.

This was grilled.

Tender and very flavorful.

Next an order of their shiitake.

I think this was braised.

Lots of garlic and chili...yum!

And to finish an order of their seafood paella.

This was not as flavorful as the other dishes, but a nice end to a great meal.

For all these dishes and 2 glasses of wine...4100 yen, not bad.

As we walked back, we noticed this tako (octopus) Osaka!

We'll be back.

Grill de Kamaya (UPDATE: this shop is no longer in business)
3-6-13 Toyosaki
Kita-ku, Osaka
Phone: 06.6373.1321
Closed Sundays & Holidays
Lunch: 11:30-15:00
Dinner: 17:00-23:00