Thursday, July 31, 2014

il lupino

Met up with my friends Val & Greg for lunch the other day and we tried out Il Lupino.

This is actually owned by Wolfgang Zweiner.

Previously, Val, Greg and I had burgers for lunch at his other restaurant, Wolfgang's.

The reason we had the burgers at Il Lupino was because their lunch special menu seemed kinda lacking and the burger seemed the only thing with sustinance.

The burger was cooked to order and came with garlic fries and a garlic aioli mayo.

The fries were pretty limp, but the burger was juicy.

It is always nice catching up with Val and Greg! I hope they enjoyed their lunch as well.

Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar
Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center Bldg. B, Level 1
2233 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 110
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.922.3400

Breakfast 7:00-11:00 (Monday-Thursday) (Fri, Sat & Sun to 12 pm)
Lunch 12:00-17:00(Daily)
Happy Hour 16:00-18:30
Dinner 17:00-22:30(Fri & Sat to 23:30)
La Dolce Vita (Late Night Happy Hour) Thursday~Sunday, 22:30-0:30

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

scratch kitchen & bake shop

While Rex and I were having lunch, he was telling me about his architect friend that had designed and had just opened Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop.

He mentioned that everything he had there was good, especially the bacon chocolate chip cookies.

On the way home after lunch, I had stopped in to see if they still had these cookies, but they were all sold out.

So, while on the way to an appointment, on another day, and while riding the bus, I stopped off, picked up some cookies, then hopped back on the bus and was off to my appointment.

3 cookies for $4 plus tax. The guy working there mentioned if I was going to eat them later, I should warm them up in the toaster.

So, the next morning, that is what I did.

They are the chewy type. I think it could've used a tad more bacon, but overall I enjoyed these.

I hope to go back there to try their brunch or lunch...I'll be back!

Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop (UPDATE: 2019 this location no longer in business)
1030 Smith Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Day: Tuesday-Sunday 8:30-14:30
Nite: Thursday-Saturday 17:30-21:30

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

cheap eats

I think I've told you about Lee's custard pie...well, the other day while I was in Chinatown, I went to see if they had something smaller than a whole pie.

And they did!

Custard tarts and only $1 each!

Ice cold from the fridge, this was nice for breakfast, though I wish I had bought a couple more...

Monday, July 28, 2014

padovani's chocolates

A friend recently gave me these chocolates by Padovani's Chocolates.

Loved the chocolate "map" that comes with the different bon-bons.

Inside was (top) mojito, ginger, macadamia nut (bottom) coffee, champagne, kalamansi.

All were delicious, but my favorites were ginger and macadamia nut (caramelized them coated with chocolate).

Such a pretty and delicious gift. Thank you!

Padovani's Chocolates
The Shops at Dole Cannery
650 Iwilei Road, Suite 280
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.536.4567
Monday to Friday 7:00-17:00
Saturday 10:30-16:30
Sunday Closed

Sunday, July 27, 2014


I love riding the bus here.

Especially when it saves me the stress of looking for parking in some areas of Honolulu.

They recently changed how the transfer system works. Instead of only being able to transfer once, now you can transfer twice within the two hour period that they give you on the transfer ticket.

I also love how the google maps app on my smartphone will tell me the bus schedule here in Hawaii.

Super convenient and accurate too!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

the pig & the lady

Met up with my Flickr friend, Rex.

His photography is currently being shown at The Pig & the Lady in Chinatown.

I had wanted to check out their food there and also check out his show, so this meet up was perfect.

Rex ordered their weekly Banh Mi, which I think was a beef carpaccio.

I went with their Le Saigon Banh Mi--pork belly, ham, chicken liver pate, pickles, roast pork drippings...this sandwich was huge!

Sweet, salty, a little puckery & spicy.

All sandwiches come with an herb salad and either shrimp chips or their pho broth.

I had chosen broth, but I guess our waiter didn't hear me...(insert pouty face) so they served me shrimp chips.

Which was still delicious...

His photos titled "Rides" are up until the beginning of August or so, so if you have a chance to check them out, please do so.

My favorite shot is this one

Thanks Rex for a great lunch, it was nice catching up with you.

I'll be back!

The Pig and the Lady
83 North King Street (Pacific Gateway Center Building)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Monday-Friday: 10:30-14:00
Saturday (Brunch menu): 10:00-14:00
Tuesday-Thursday: 17:30-21:30
Friday-Saturday: 17:30-23:00
Phone: 808.585.8255

Friday, July 25, 2014

via gelato

After lunch at Koko Head Cafe, we still had some time on our parking meters (and space in our tummies), so one of my aunties and I went across the street to Via Gelato.

These guys used to sell their gelato from a food truck and now have a "brick and mortar" shop.(or maybe they still have their truck?)

Aunty had their lilikoi...which she enjoyed...

While I had their fierce chocolate and salted caramel, both of our cups were keiki (child) size....$3 plus tax each.

Fierce chocolate was super rich and chocolatey, while salted caramel had a little saltiness to it and some chocolate covered coffee beans in it (or at least that was what I thought was in it).

Keiki size was the perfect amount especially after eating lunch.

It was funny because we saw many others there that had just dined at Koko Head Cafe too.

So many other flavors to choose from, I'll be back.

Via Gelato
1142 12th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.732.2800
Hours: 11:00-22:00

Thursday, July 24, 2014

koko head cafe

Went to check out the newly opened Koko Head Cafe with my two aunties. This restaurant is in the old 12th Avenue Grill spot and they only serve brunch.

We waited close to an hour for a table. FYI: Your whole party has to be there to be seated.

We shared the following dishes: The cornflake coated french toast this comes with billionaire’s bacon,creamy black pepper maple, frosted flake gelato.

Pillows of french toast coated with cornflakes then deep fried. Kinda reminded me of good!

Kitchen sink salad...this changes daily and depends on what ingredients they have.

This particular day was a "green goddess" theme.

Loved the dill in the dressing.

We wondered how they got the cucumbers to become "stars".

The Don Buri Chen...Miso smoked pork, five spice pork belly, French-style scrambled eggs, house-made pickles, chicharron, sushi rice.

Our chicharron had been sitting while we were finishing up our salad, so this was

But, the smoked pork and the pork belly were awesome!

The place is quite noisy so don't expect to have much conversation. Just take in what everyone else is ordering.

There was one party of older people and the guy pulled out his smartphone. The waiter asked him, "Would you like me to take a photo of you folks?"

And the guy said,"Nah, I just wanted to take a picture of the food!"...too cute!

Despite the wait and noise, the food is good...I hope to bring Satoshi here.

I'll be back.

Koko Head Cafe
1145C 12th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Open from 7:00-14:30

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


It was my first time trying 'ulu (pronounced ooh-loo in Hawaiian...breadfruit a.k.a. artocarpus altilis.

When I was younger I was a really picky eater and whenever my mom baked these in the oven, the smell really turned me off.

I'm glad I tried it.

I think my Aunty said she baked it then sauteed it with butter.

The texture was a bit "spongy", but the taste reminded me of sweet potato...delicious.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

down to earth

Love the salad bar at Down to Earth.

For $9.99 (plus tax) per pound, you can get an assortment of different salads.

I really like the curried quinoa, though I took more shredded beets...

What have you been enjoying?

Monday, July 21, 2014

hawaii sights

What a krazy storm we had Saturday night. Lots of rain, thunder and lightning!

This particular sunset happened after practically a whole day of rain during the week...beautiful!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

los chaparros

Met up with my cousin and his family the other day for lunch.

They have been seeking out Mexican food ever since they moved here and were eager to try Los Chaparros.

It is a tiny shop with a tiny parking area.

The food is decent.

I had their lunch special a soft taco and a crispy taco with shredded beef.

Loved how crunchy the crispy taco was and how it wasn't oily/greasy.

I hope they enjoyed their lunches as well.

It was nice catching up with them.

Thank you!

Los Chaparros
2140 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Closed Mondays
Dinner: 17:00-21:00 (until 22:00 on Fridays & Saturdays)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

aloha salads

Love the salads at Aloha Salads.

Recently tried their Big Island Beet Salad...beets, mango, candied mac nuts, cranberries, goat cheese, greens, balsamic glaze, passion orange vinaigrette.

I think they could do away with the vinaigrette and just add a little more of the balsamic glaze.

It also comes with a pita.

Sweet, salty, and a little sour from the good!

Friday, July 18, 2014

on a walk

Last year after I returned to Japan, my father was put into facility care.

Well, I finally got to see what the place looks like and was also able to meet the woman in-charge of the facility.

It is actually really close to my parent's house, really convenient.

Every week a sing-along group from my Dad's church comes.

They play the ukulele and sing various songs.

It is for all the residents there.

The parking isn't too good though.

So, I walked over to meet them for the sing-a-long the other day. It was so hot and humid...gah! (and it was only 9-ish in the morning!)

It was only about a 30 minute walk, but when I arrived, I was perspiring from head to toe...blah.

Despite the heat and humidity, it was still fun.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


My Aunty (the one that made the tarte), was kind enough to share with us some of the mango that she received from a friend of hers.

I'm not sure as to what type of mango it was but it was good.

Thanks Aunty!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

sunday dinners

We had Sunday dinner at my Aunty's the other night.

In addition to all the delicious food, we ended with this beautiful mango tarte.

Apparently this year's mangoes are kinda scarce due to bad!

Hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

liliha bakery nimitz

The second location of Liliha Bakery opened recently on Nimitz. This is where Sam Choy's BL & C(breakfast lunch & crab)restaurant used to be.

The place is huge!

But...since they "just opened" is krazy chaotic!

Be prepared to wait at least 30 minutes (or more) for a table.

And while perusing the menu over and over for that 30 minutes trying to decide what to eat, don't get too hungry for too many items...

They aren't serving their full menu...yet.

Um, then don't show me your full menu if you aren't serving everything that is printed on it...ahem!

Anyway, in the end, we all ordered different breakfast items (for dinner).

I had their two eggs (over easy) this came with choice of protein, which I chose portuguese sausage. It also comes with a scoop of rice and toast or butter roll, I chose butter roll.

The butter roll comes with their fluorescent jelly.

My brother and Aunty had their loco moco, which they enjoyed.

And then we ended with cocoa puffs.

Still delicious!

So, they still need to work out lots of kinks, and parking may become a problem, but all the best to this location!

Thanks Aunty for dinner!

Liliha Bakery Nimitz
580 N. Nimitz Highway
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.537.2488

Monday, July 14, 2014


Found a huge peach at the market.

The price was kinda huge too...close to 400 yen (with tax)...

It smelled nice...was delicious!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

croque mexican

A couple of lunches before flying out to Hawaii, I had this...a croque mexican.

One of my favorite bakeries in our area, À bientôt, had this unique "sandwich".

I read "croque mexican" on the tag in front of the tray and had to try it.

Thinly sliced bread. Chili. Lots of cheddar cheese and a slice of eggplant.

Kinda lasagna-ish.

I think the chili could have been a little spicier, but I still enjoyed this.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

after the storm

The typhoon passed.

Our area was super lucky.

Not much rain nor much of anything...well, lots of icky humidity.

Okinawa, Kyushu, Shikoku and the northern parts of Honshu got hit pretty hard.

I hope these places can recover quickly.

I'm flying out to Hawaii today. Talk to you from the other side of the world.

Be well.

Friday, July 11, 2014

le plaisir

Even though the typhoon was forecast to pass by our area, yesterday, my host-mom, my host-brother's wife and I met up for lunch, to celebrate my host-brother's wife's birthday.

The skies were grey and gloomy and it was super super humid.

Lunch was at a French restaurant that my host-brother's wife had wanted to try...Le Plaisir.

Located in a tiny building the restaurant is tiny too.

In fact, you need to make reservations to dine there.

We were the only customers the whole time...nice!

Lunch started off with a glass of champagne mixed with raspberry liquer...

(When we ordered this, the chef asked "are you sure? it is a rather strong drink. I've had several people pass out after drinking it...whoa?!) It was delicious!

Next came a sauteed scallop salad on mesclun greens.

The scallops were cooked perfectly and well seasoned. The vinaigrette wasn't overpowering.

The daily fish was a tai (sea bream) that was prepared poêlé style which means "pan fried" this was served with a nice light butter sauce.

The fish was also prepared excellently with a nice crisp skin.

Next came the meat dish...Beef entrecôte aiguillette (thinly sliced beef) with a red wine sauce.

So tender and the sauce was rich.

Perfect with homemade baguette.

Dessert is pictured above. A crêpe filled with homemade vanilla ice cream and topped with caramel and mandarin oranges.

Coffee or tea was also served, we all chose coffee.

Not many photos, but it was a nice leisurely lunch and the food delicious!

I'm happy they invited me to tag along. Happy Birthday, K!

Le Plaisir
2-10-22 Nakayamate-dori
Kobe, Hyogo
Phone: 078.251.0220
Closed Sundays, Reservations only
Lunch 12:00-14:00, Dinner 17:00-22:00

Thursday, July 10, 2014

things I'm liking

Random things I'm liking...

This bowl for sauce/dressing.

My Twitter friend H sent this to me recently.

It is made by a potter named Shimizu Kumiko, who is with the Maruhachigama in Tamba.

This type of pottery is called Tachikuiyaki. I like the pretty blue glaze. (Thank you!)

Corn Kim chee Fritters.

Fresh corn, some kim chee, edamame, red bell pepper & some onion added to the fritter batter. So easy and so good (with beer)!

Recipe here

Daruma maguro, which is apparently the young version of Mebachi maguro.

This piece was super tender. Slicing it for poke (po-kay) was like slicing butter!

This came from Chiba, it was 189 grams for 752 yen. Not bad for local. I'm not sure if it was caught in Chiba or farmed.

Super fresh!

Andes salt and pepper Doritos...

look how "black" these chips are!

Not sure as to how they got them this black but they are really peppery!

White Belg by Sapporo.

Super fruity with orange peel and coriander.

Mint candies. I know some people hate this combo, but I love chocolate paired with mint.

Summer is pretty much the only time you see this flavor combo here...

Haagen-Dazs' Green Tea & Chocolate ice cream sandwich.

Chocolate wafer with green tea ice cream and a surprise piece of chocolate in the middle...crispy, yum!

Charles VII Biscuits filled with dark chocolate by Maison Fossier.

The biscuits reminded me of Hawaii's creme cracker and are slathered with dark chocolate...nice!

The coconut cookie from City Bakery.

Super chewy with lots of coconut in!

What are you enjoying these days?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

w bolero

Last month, I met up with Twitter friend H.

Lunch was in Honmachi and afterwards we walked around Utsubo Park. Amazingly the roses were still in bloom.

We then had some dessert at W. Bolero.

They have a very small eating area, and we were lucky to grab a table.

I ordered the Citronnier (biscuit, chocolate ganache, lemon buttercream, almond sponge & dacquoise).

I liked the tartness from the lemon buttercream and the rich chocolate ganache.

Another nice thing was that the iced coffee I ordered also had coffee "ice cubes" in it, so the coffee wouldn't dilute when the ice melted.

It was nice meeting up with H. I hope she also had a nice time.

They also sell baked items like cookies which I wouldn't mind checking out, I'll be back.

W Bolero
4-7-4 Kawaramachi
Chuo, Osaka
Phone: 06.6228.5336
Closed Saturdays
Hours: 10:00-20:00

Tuesday, July 08, 2014


So remember these guys?

Well, I think they started turning into moths(like the picture above).

Sorry the photo is blurry, I was trying to take it without scaring the moth away.

I am pretty sure the moth came from one of those caterpillars because when I opened the screen door to go out onto the lanai, there were a couple more of them...

p.s. massive typhoon (Neoguri) approaching Okinawa, hope everyone in its path will be okay.

Monday, July 07, 2014


Finally, Greek yogurt in the markets...

Now, if they would only make bigger containers...have a nice week!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

le bois

Friday I had several errands to run, including an appointment with my dentist.

Lunch was at Le Bois.

A cute cafe. I liked how the windows let in lots of light.

Things started off with some cake salé. This had some ham, green olives as well as some hazelnuts in it.

I ordered the metzgerei kusuda's bacon salad lyonnaise...1300 yen.

Metzgerei means butcher in German. There is a deli in Ashiya called Metzgerei Kusuda. I wouldn't mind checking this place out sometime.

Topping the salad, two generous slices of bacon. Fried up...not crispy but still delicious! (Doesn't my photo look like someone smiling?!)

Also with the salad came a cold pumpkin potage, some pickled veggies (cauliflower, myoga (Japanese ginger), onion & red bell pepper), a cold potato salad (I think this was the Lyonnaise part of the dish) and a soft cooked egg.

There was also a generous piece of warm baguette.

It was nice tearing off pieces and dipping them into the potage and into the soft cooked egg.

Ending the meal was a nice taste of their chocolate & ginger cake with some iced coffee.

Super full, I wished they had told me I could take home any leftover baguette earlier, so I didn't try to finish it all off.

I wouldn't mind bringing Satoshi here, I'll be back.

Le Bois
1-5-22 Koraibashi 2F
Chuo, Osaka
Phone: 06.4706.2200
Closed Mondays, Hours: 11:00-23:00

Saturday, July 05, 2014

tsurutontan top chefs

It had been awhile since we ate at Tsurutontan, so we recently had lunch there.

Satoshi went with their Mochibuta Curry Udon. Mochibuta is a brand name of pork that is supposed to be of high quality.

He enjoyed this...doesn't it look like a pool filled with curry?

What amazes me is that he never fails to order a hot dish on a hot day, perspiring all the while eating.

Me, I always go for the chilled or cold items.

Like this 30-item salad udon.

Sesame dressing and a little dollop of kochujang (I think). Tons of veggies.

I'm glad this place is still around...we'll be back.