Sunday, August 31, 2014

scratch kitchen & bakeshop

I wrote about Scratch earlier this summer.

Since Satoshi was coming for the week, I asked Rex if he would like to meet up at Scratch for lunch.

He said he had some time, so Satoshi and I met up with him for a late lunch.

I ordered the Calentado--Spice rubbed shredded beef, sofrito rice, deep fried jalapeno, salsa verde

This oozy egg surprised me.

Also, that deep fried jalapeno surprised me too, I bit into it thinking it was fried okra...

I loved the spice rub of the beef, smoky and the combination of flavors were tex-mex.

Apparently this is a breakfast dish served in Columbia.

Satoshi went with their Creole Shrimp 'n Grits--Smoked cheddar polenta, andouille, fried eggs, red eye gravy

He really enjoyed this. Of course he ate the shrimp heads too.

At first Rex said that he was going to order the Tiramisu pancakes, which he had tried before.

Instead he tried their BC Burger--Big Island beef, crispy bacon, smoked cheddar, spicy guac, "bacon" english muffin, crispy smashed taters

He said he was glad he chose this.

Chef Chan sent out these baked goods---carrot cake scone with a cream cheese topping, peach & marscapone turnover, bacon chocolate chip cookie and a peanut butter honey muffin--which, even if we were full, we demolished them! Thank you Chef!

This is another great place to gather for brunch. I'm glad we got to check it out and I'm glad Rex got to meet Satoshi.

We'll be back.

Scratch Kitchen & Bakeshop (UPDATE: 2019 this location closed)
1030 Smith Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.536.1669
Hours: Day: Tuesdays-Sundays 8:30-14:30, Night: Thursdays-Saturdays 17:30-21:30
Closed Mondays

Saturday, August 30, 2014

thank you

It was a crazy 6 days for Satoshi...filled with lots of eating and drinking.

I'm happy we were able to see most of the people and eat at most of the places on his list.

I'm grateful that over the 7 weeks I was here I was able to spend lots of time with family and meet up with new and old friends.

We're headed back today, I am definitely not looking forward to the humidity over there...

Talk to you from the other side of the world.

Be well everyone.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

no rain = no rainbows

What would Hawaii be without rainbows?!

I couldn't imagine it without!

A little drizzle or passing shower and usually you'll get to see one.

It is one of the best parts of coming home.

p.s. Just a heads up...Satoshi is here for a short vacay, his schedule is packed (thanks to me!) so it may be quiet here. Have a nice week!

Monday, August 25, 2014


I am amazed at how time oriented my "niece" is.

She's been on a diet since I last saw her, so she's lighter but seems to be hungrier...

She wasn't too verbal last year, but, has gotten very verbal since.

Everyday when my brother's alarm goes off, she knows that it is breakfast time, so she comes to wake all of us up by meowing loudly.

Then every afternoon at about 4-ish, she and I have this convo...

Malia: "Aunty I'm hungry"
Me: "but it's too early to eat, wait until 6"
Malia: "No, feed me now"
Me: "No"
Malia: "Please?!"
Me: "No, it's too early"
Malia: "C'mon..." (then she brushes up against me)
Me: "No" (then I ignore her)

At about 6, when I eat, I feed her...then when my brother comes home, she meows loudly thinking she'll be fed again.

It's funny because the only way to get her to look straight at the camera is when she is in "feed me" mode.

Cute, yeah?!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

another nice one

We've had some rainy days, which means some muggy days.

But we've had lots of beautiful sunset days too.

Hope things have been nice where you are.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

tucker & bevvy

Met up with Deb at Tucker & Bevvy.

According to the internet, Tucker and Bevvy is a slang term meaning "food and drink" in Australian.

There are many items on their menu, decisions decisions...

We ordered the Kale and Quinoa Salad, this comes with kale, quinoa, roasted kabocha (pumpkin), tamari roasted seeds (pumpkin & sunflower) and 2 poached eggs.

The poached eggs I thought could have been a little more oozy.

But the! I really enjoyed this. Lots of crunch from the seeds and I think the kale salad was dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.

I want to re-create this!

We also ordered a side order of rosti. This is similar to what we call hash browns. So crispy and not mushy in the!

Lastly we ordered the Tim Tam waffles. Almost everyone we've seen on social media has ordered this.

If you don't know what a Tim Tam is, you can read about it here.

Thank goodness the waffle wasn't sweetened because the Tim Tams and vanilla ice cream made things super sweet. Oh, and if you feel there is not enough sweetness with the ice cream and biscuits, feel free to use the maple syrup that they give on the side...oy!

Even though it was super sweet, this was a nice way to end the meal.

As for beverages, we both ordered their fresh pressed juices.

Deb had their Bevvy Q--watermelon and red apple. While I chose their Sunrise--carrot, orange and ginger. So refreshing and good!

Waitress Sondra made things fun and cheery. And the food was really nice! I'm also glad I got a chance to spend some more time with Deb. I hope she enjoyed this brunch as much as I did...I'll be back.

Tucker & Bevvy (2018 UPDATE: this location closed)
Hee Hing Plaza, #203
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.732.0050
Open daily 6:30-14:30

Friday, August 22, 2014

cracker jack'd

I had seen this snack at Wal-Mart and bought some to try.

Not really reading the label, I assumed that there would be popcorn in there since the name was "Cracker Jack'D".

Upon opening the package, this is what came out.

Nuts and cereal. (I felt a bit "jack'd" pun intended)

I then read the package and it was supposed to be oat clusters. Instead it looked more like a savory "granola".

This was super salty and you seriously need to eat it with a spoon.

I hope the chocolate peanut butter one is better, though I don't have high expectations after this version.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


So, I took out from La Tour Cafe last week.

I am pretty sure if I had eaten what I had bought at the restaurant, the results may have been better.

Ordering the Crispy Chicken Sandwich. It comes with a slaw on the sandwich...cue a "red flag"

After getting my order, I didn't get a chance to eat right away...

Then as I took the sandwich out, I noticed the "pool" of slaw juices at the bottom of the box...this made the bread a bit soggy and chewy.

And then I spilled my mint water (insert pouty face)

After cleaning things up, I resumed eating, but by then the bread was really chewy.

At least the chicken was still crispy.

I think most items are best eaten in-house...despite this bad experience, I'll be back.

UPDATE: After writing to them about my dining experience, they wrote back and said they would speak to management about my concerns. I look forward to eating there again on my next trip home.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

odds & ends

Some odds and ends that never made it to a regular posts...papaya (Thanks Aunty!)

Ba-Le's lumpia. I don't care for their iceberg lettuce, so I just bought the lumpia and put it on top of my own salad, drizzling the nuoc cham as good!

1st time trying Chicken Assagio at Assagio's. This was on an outing with BFF. The dish was so flavorful with the capers, olives and roasted red bell peppers! (Thanks BFF!)

Palama Market's kimbap...still $3.50 plus tax but the rolls seem to be getting a little "skinnier".

Tanioka's bento (teri beef & mochiko chicken) and a bag of their boiled peanuts...yum!

Nanding's pan de coco (filled with coconut), lup cheong roll and chicken empanada. It was my first time trying the pan de coco and them both!

Homemade fried rice with some char siu and portuguese sausage....mmm!

Chinese chicken this salad!

Zippy's small chili rice.

Waialua Soda Works' Root Beer.

Chun Wah Kam's char siu buns. This version's meat to bun ratio beats their manapua (char siu bao), hands down.

Cold Brew Coffees...when Hurricane Iselle was approaching, I made up a batch of cold brewed coffees. Decaf for my brother and Regular for me...I figured if we didn't have electricity, we'd at least still have coffee for a couple of days...

Tanioka's poke salad. It's actually just a salad that comes with 1/4 pound of your choice of poke for $6.95 plus tax. Not bad and the salad is huge!

So, some usual suspects as well as some new tries at old favorites...what have you been enjoying?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Earlier this month marked the one year anniversary of my mom's passing.

There was a hatsubon service at her church for all members who had passed away since the hatsubon service that was held last year. This meant that even members who had died just a month ago were included in this service.

I wrote about hatsubon in Japan here.

Over the weekend, we also held a small service for family.

The food was catered and I cleaned the house as best as I could to get it ready for guests.

I hope everyone had enough to eat and it was nice to see both sides of our family get together.

I must say that there is still a big void without her here.

Missing you Mom.

Monday, August 18, 2014

100% hawaiian, llc

After Diego's closed, there was a plate lunch place that went up in their space.

That plate lunch place closed and now 100% Hawaiian, LLC is there.

Their menu is quite large and everything seems to be homemade.

I like that they serve breakfast "all-day".

I was craving a teri burger when I checked them out, so that is what I ordered...$3.50 tax included.

It doesn't look like much, but the patty was well seasoned with the teriyaki flavor. No goopy sauce on the burger.

They don't serve it with lettuce. And if there was mayo on the bun, it was just a little.

Everything seemed reasonably priced.

I wouldn't mind trying their $5 breakfast and plate lunches....I'll be back.

100% Hawaiian, LLC (UPDATE: 8/2015 : now runs food truck)
719 Kamehameha Highway
Pearl City, Hawaii
Phone: 808.454.5454
Hours: Mondays-Fridays 5:00-14:00, Saturdays 6:00-14:00

Sunday, August 17, 2014

saying goodbye

My father's sister passed away recently.

He has a lot of siblings and we rarely get to see most of them.

I am glad I had the chance to see her, even if it was two years ago.

Sending her immediate family this amazing sunset.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

the curb

I had a chance to check out The Curb.

If I'm not mistaken, they used to be a pop-up type shop that specializes in coffee.

Since they recently moved into a space in Kaimuki, I went to check them out one afternoon.

It was really hot and muggy this particular day so I went with their Nitro Cold Brew...$3.75 plus tax.

This was a little lighter roast than I prefer but still very nice as an iced coffee.

I'll be back when I'm in the area.

The Curb (UPDATE: 2024 moved)
3538 Waialae Avenue, Suite#101
Honolulu, Hawaii
Open Mondays-Saturdays 6:00-18:00, Sundays 6:00-14:00

Friday, August 15, 2014

sweet e's cafe

Got a chance to meet up with my good friend, Gaye. We decided to brunch at Sweet E's Cafe in Kapahulu.

I had forgotten how teeny the parking was at Kilohana Square.

Gaye ordered the Homemade Corned Beef Hash Eggs Benedict.

We shared....super tasty corned beef hash and here's the oozy!

I ordered the Stuffed French Toast with Blueberry Cream Cheese.

We shared this one too. We loved that this wasn't sickly sweet.

This is a great place to brunch! I'll be back.

Some cute goodies from Gaye, those Hello Kitty items are to keep your earphone cords or any other cords from tangling...thank you!

It's always fun spending time with Gaye, I hope she had a nice time too!

Thanks Gaye!

Sweet E's Cafe (UPDATE 2016: they moved to 1006 Kapahulu Avenue, same hours and phone number)
Kilohana Square
1061 Kapahulu Avenue, Suite #185
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.737.7771
Open everyday from 7:00-14:00

Thursday, August 14, 2014

chobani flips

Been enjoying Chobani Flips in the mornings...Almond Coco Loco (Coconut yogurt with dark chocolate & honey roasted salted almonds), Nutty for Nana (Banana yogurt with dark chocolate and honey roasted salted almonds)

Tropical Escape (Pineapple coconut yogurt with hazelnuts, toasted coconut and granola), Blueberry Power (Blueberry yogurt with chia, pumpkin & sunflower seeds and walnuts) and Peachy Pistachio (Peach yogurt with dark chocolate and pistachios).

All were delicious. It was my first time trying chia seeds, they reminded me of poppy seeds.

Have you tried these? Which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

another good one

My aunties and I recently went to La Tour Cafe for dinner.

I tried their porchetta sandwich, which was on their specials menu.

Roasted pork belly, caramelized onions and arugula in a toasted baguette.

What makes this sandwich shine is the crispy pork skin that you get in random bites.

I really don't think there is anything bad on their menu.

I'll be back!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Ever since Satoshi changed over to the iPhone, he and I have been using an app called "LINE".

It uses very little data and you can make free calls with it to others who have the app. You can also call people who don't have the app or to people who have land lines but the call will cost a small fee.

A bad thing with this app is that if you try to call someone who uses the app but the person doesn't pick up, you can't leave a voice message for them.

A nice thing about this app is that you can also chat (text) with someone who also has the app. It is good for Satoshi and I because we are with different carriers.

In Japan, if you are not with the same carrier they charge you different rates for texting, emails and calling another carrier.

So the other day, he texts me this...

S: "Are your email address and passwords okay?"
K: "think so why?"
S: "Big hacking happened"
K: "where?" then I try calling him but he is on the train, so we end the call
S: "Is it only in Europe"
K: in Japanese "I don't know what you are talking about"
S: he calls me

Turns out he was listening to a podcast and they were talking about the time when Internet Explorer was hacked and everyone was told to change their passwords.

I told him this was quite a while back.

So, he says, "oh sorry, I thought it was happening now"

Anxiety level rose a little with that one but at least all was well...sigh.

Monday, August 11, 2014

tea time taiwan

Yesterday I was able to meet up with blog friend, Sheri of Happy Little Bento.

She and her family are on vacation here and she was nice to invite me along to have some boba tea with them.

Unlike Taste Tea, Tea Time Taiwan doesn't allow you to sample your order before they hand it over to you.

By the way, this is their milk tea with coffee jelly in it. The coffee jelly is sweetened so you don't need to sweeten up your tea too much. I ordered it light sugar.

Disappointing was their honey toast...totally hollowed out toast and not even a full or half loaf...

It was so sweet of Sheri to give me a jar of this...I can't wait to try it! (Thank you!)

I hope they enjoy the rest of their stay and I hope we'll be able to meet up again in the future!

Tea Time Taiwan
98-1254 Kaahumanu Street #172 (facing Kaahumanu, street level)
Aiea, Hawaii
Phone: 808.488.8898

Sunday, August 10, 2014

eVIP club

I'm always on the lookout for free wi-fi spots in Hawaii.

Before coming back to Hawaii this summer, I had read something somewhere that Ala Moana Shopping Center would be offering free Wi-Fi to anyone who joined their eVIP club.

So, I signed up.

Can I just say that the two times I've been to Ala Moana, I have not been able to get any free Wi-Fi.

I think they don't have the Wi-Fi set up, either that or the range is very very limited.

Anyway, I did receive an email from them in conjunction with T & C Surf...just show T & C the email and receive a free hat...whoo!

Next time I go to Ala Moana, I hope I can log on...

p.s. Whew! we were lucky with "Iselle", we had lots of wind and rain. The people on the Big Island and Maui weren't so lucky, many of them lost power, and had damage from fallen trees and such.

Still, I'm thankful that no one was injured or worse.

Now we have to wait and see as to what "Julio" will do...stay safe everyone!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

talenti's gelato

Been able to try some Talenti's gelato while I'm here...Mediterranean Mint, kinda funky tasting mint gelato, but loved how there were lots of dark chocolate shards were in there.

Coffee Chocolate coffee gelato with dark chocolate shards...yum!

Sicilian Pistachio...I think they should either chocolate coat or caramelize the pistachios, too soggy to just blend them in there. Oh, and they should peel the skins off of the nuts too...meh, I've tasted better.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup...teeny peanut butter cups in chocolate gelato, how can you go wrong?!

What have you been enjoying?

Friday, August 08, 2014

three for three

Rowena commented the other day that, "Geez, with this place being in your 'hood, why cook? We would be in heaven if we had an eatery like this just down the street"...

BFF and I have since been back to La Tour Cafe, two more times...

The second time, we both had flatbread pizzas...I had the Italian (Salami, Sopressata, Mortadella & Proschiutto with olives and Arugula).

She had the Pepperoni.

Oh the crust is crispy! So good...better than flatbread.

With just enough toppings to keep the pizzas from being too greasy.

Then on the third time, I went with their Melted Reuben(Premium pastrami, corned beef, sauerkraut, relish and Dijon on a marbled rye...not sure what kind of cheese they used)

If it weren't for the gristle running through a couple pieces this sandwich would've been perfect, but overall it was good.

BFF had their bacon jalapeno cheddar burger (minus the jalapeno). You should know that whenever BFF eats burgers she will order them "well done".

And when she orders them "well done" there should not be any pink...none.

So, this was their "test", could they do it?...and it was perfectly cooked, just how she wanted it.

We're three for three and looking forward to trying more things on their menu...whoo!

p.s. we have two hurricanes approaching, I have some posts lined up, hope it won't be too krazy over the next couple of days!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

the nook

It had been awhile since our last foodie adventure, but I was lucky that blog friend, Deb of Kahakai Kitchen had some time to meet up.

We chose The Nook which recently opened in Puck's Alley.

The place is teeny.

Kinda loud with everyone crammed in there eating and chatting.

But, the food was good.

Deb went with their pork belly benedict--poached eggs, crispy pork belly, English muffin, hollandaise. This also came with some potatoes and toast!

Talk about carbs...

She let me try part of the pork belly and it was really crispy and with the gravy, it was delicious!

I went with the malasada breakfast sandwich (pictured above).

The malasada "bun" holds a house-made pork sausage and an over easy egg.

Look at that ooze!

Sweet and savory, perfect balance.

Deb tried their iced tea of the day and I went with their house-made lilikoi soda.

We were kinda of scared of their metal straws though...

It was fun trying a new place and catching up with her.

There are other items on their menu that I wouldn't mind trying, I'll be back!

Oh and Deb was so sweet to share with me some teas and a Trader Joes chocolate bar! I can't wait to try them. (Thank you!)

Thanks for another great foodie adventure, Deb! I hope you enjoyed our adventure too.

The Nook
Puck's Alley
1035 University Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.942.2222
Open Tuesday-Sunday 7:00-15:00