Sunday, July 31, 2016

'ama'ama at aulani disney resort

Yesterday, I lunched with my Aunty M and Aunty V at 'Ama'Ama at Aulani Disney Resort.

'Ama'Ama is the Hawaiian word for mullet.

It was my first time eating at the resort.

Very touristy, but the view of the lagoon is quite relaxing.

Aunty M and I had the Harris Ranch Natural Angus Chuck Burger : smoked gouda, red onion marmalade, kamuela tomatoes, arugula, bacon aïoli on a brioche...the red onion marmalade and bacon aïoli were so good on this burger.

Aunty V had their 1/2 Chicken Salad Sandwich with a cup of Ewa Corn and Potato Chowder...the soup was cheesy and topped with bacon...looked good!

We all ate half of our meals and saved room for dessert...

A lemongrass creme catalana topped with crispy coconut chips, coconut water jelly, a sesame cookie and lychee gelato.

And the mocha chantilly(?) chocolate mousse layered between crisp chocolate wafers, surrounded by white chocolate, topped with a gelato and coffee jelly cubes...super decadant!

It was quite a humid day but it was nice to be out and about.

Thank you for lunch Aunty M!

'Ama'Ama at Aulani Disney Resort
92-1185 Ali'inui Drive
Kapolei, Hawaii
Phone: 866.443.4763 for reservations 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

back to magnolia bakery, la palme d'or & pierre marcolini

Yesterday, I met up with my friend Mineko.

Since she hadn't been to Magnolia Bakery, we decided to lunch there. (shh...I didn't tell her I ate there a couple of days before).

I tried their Kale & Red Quinoa Salad : chopped kale, red quinoa, wheat berries, chickpeas, tomatoes, green beans, butternut squash and toasted almonds, lemon shallot vinaigrette...super puckery but delicious (I want to re-create this one!).

Mineko had their Napa Cabbage and Broccoli Slaw : napa cabbage, broccoli slaw, edamame, tomato, red onion and cilantro, ponzu vinaigrette and chopped peanuts. She also added chicken.

She also had their Lilikoi Passion Tea but said this was super sour!

After lunch, we went to La Palme D'Or to find something sweet.

Mineko went with their Earl Grey Velvet. The cake was super tender and moist with a hint of earl grey.

I tried their Lemon Tarte.

There seemed to be gianduja on the bottom so that the crust wouldn't get soggy...delicious.

It's so nice that the shopping center has tables and chairs for you to enjoy foods/drinks without having to pay for the extra service (wish we had more of these type of spaces in Osaka).

It was a nice time chatting and catching up.

Mineko was super sweet to gift these chocolates by Pierre Marcolini to me.

A different type of cacao from a different region.

I'm so happy that Mineko had some time to meet up.

She mentioned she will be travelling to Japan, so I hope we'll be able to meet up again there!

Thanks for a great day Mineko!

Friday, July 29, 2016

magnolia bakery & forty carrots

Tuesday, I met up with my Aunty M1 for lunch.

We had agreed on meeting in front of Magnolia Bakery, but somehow my Aunty thought we were meeting in front of Longs Drugs...

Since the free wifi at Ala Moana is super spotty (read junk), I ran down to Shirokiya and used their wifi and quickly found out that she was waiting in front of Longs Drugs...

In the end, we decided to lunch at Magnolia Bakery...

On this day, the stove/oven that does their skillet and egg dishes was kaput so we had to choose from the other items on their menu.

Aunty went with their croque monsieur and a side salad, while I chose their B.L.A.T. with chips (lots of bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce and "kick butt" chipotle aioli).

I'm glad they weren't too busy nor too noisy.

After lunch we went up to Forty Carrots inside of Bloomingdale's and shared a plain fro-yo with shredded coconut and chocolate sprinkles.

Thank you Aunty M1, it was nice to spend some time with you.

Magnolia Bakery (UPDATE: 8/2017 this shop is no longer in business)
Ala Moana Shopping Center Ewa Wing 2nd Floor
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.942.4132
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 7:30-21:00, Sundays 7:30-19:00
Closed when Ala Moana Shopping Center is

Forty Carrots
Bloomingdale's 3rd Floor : Ala Moana Shopping Center Ewa Wing
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.664.7511
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 9:30-21:00, Sundays 10:00-19:00
Closed when Ala Moana Shopping Center is

Thursday, July 28, 2016

hawaiian pie company

Hawaiian Pie Company is a tiny shop located at the corner of Waiakamilo and Colburn in Kalihi.

Apparently they are related to Holy Bakery Manoa & Big Island.

My brother and I recently tried their Mini Caramel Apple Pie...$6 plus tax.

I halved my half and tried one half cold, straight out of the refrig and one half heated up.

When I worked at Lion Coffee, my supervisor once told me that most foods taste good hot, but the test is if they taste just as good cold.

Which is why I tried the pie cold too.

The crust is super buttery, so heated up is the way to go.

I hope to try their mini coconut pie next time I'm home...I'll be back.

Hawaiian Pie Company
508 Waiakamilo Road
Honolulu, Hawaii
Open: Tuesday-Friday 7:00-16:00, Saturday 9:00-16:00 (or sooner if sold out

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

taro brand poi blueberry granola bowl

Have you eaten poi before?

Poi is a thick paste-like substance made from the taro root.

Taro is mashed with a little water until the poi is made.

The consistency is often referred to as "one finger, two finger, three finger poi" as Hawaiians used to and/or still do eat poi "scooping" it up with their fingers.

Growing up in Hawaii, we were often given poi in place of baby food.

And as a child, I remember sprinkling some sugar on my poi to sweeten it up, making it easier for me to eat.

The other day, I was checking out the Foodland ad and this caught my eye...Taro Brand Poi Blueberry Granola Bowl...what?!

The girl at the seafood counter was nice enough to show me where to find it in the refrigerated section (Thank you!)

It's 5 ounces (about 1/2 a cup) of poi, 1.5 ounces granola (almost 3 Tablespoons), 1 ounce of fresh blueberries (almost 2 Tablespoons), 2 packets of honey (8 grams = about 1/2 Tablespoon) and a spoon.

I didn't use the honey because when I put the fruit and granola into the poi it was sweet enough for me.

At $4.59 (plus tax), it isn't very cheap, but it is a nice breakfast/snack that you can enjoy on the go.

I haven't had poi in awhile, so this was nice.

I hope to have this again the next time I'm home.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

lunch with friends

Had lunch with S and BFF on Saturday.

We went to The Counter and got there when it opened at 11:00...only to order then wait almost 40 plus minutes for our food to come out...WT?!

Needless to say, BFF's burger did not have the onion rings that her burger was supposed to have.

S's custom burger did not have the avocado that she requested...

Was it an off day? We hope so, but aren't planning to go back any time soon.

S shared some goodies with me...Red Velvet and Fudgy Brownie from Chocolate & Vanilla Bakery in Kaimuki (I want to go back to try their macaron!), Furikake Popcorn from Island Popper (a food truck), a pretty pair of beach glass earrings.

BFF made some delicious brownie cookies.

I'm glad we've been able to keep our friendships going over the years and able to get together while I'm back.

Thanks S and BFF!

Chocolate & Vanilla Bakery
1115 12th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Closed Sunday & Monday
Open Tuesday-Friday 10:00-18:00, Saturday 9:00-17:00

Island Popper
@islandpopper on Twitter

Monday, July 25, 2016

sophie's gourmet pizza

Got to meet up with Jalna, Mich and her son for lunch on Friday.

Jalna's pizza was 1/2 pesto and 1/2 herb olive oil sauce, mozzarella/parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts, bacon, spinach, spicy chicken sausage and garlic garlic breath afterwards, but super delicious!

Mich's son had created his own and it looked ono (delicious!)

I chose the Hawaii Pie-O : original crust, zesty sriracha red sauce, mozzarella, salami, char siu, portuguese sausage, pepperoni, topped with fresh cilantro and cilantro aioli. This was good too! Not overly spicy.

Jalna was so nice to share with me a bag of Taro Ko chips, homemade UH bag (nice!) and also a Hello Kitty charm!

Mich shared some Regal Foods' cornflake cookies, homemade mango bread (so good!), some BBQ chips and a mango from her tree!

It was so nice to meet Mich's son and also to catch up with Jalna and Mich.

Thanks Mich for treating us to lunch! I'll buy lunch next time!

Sophie's Gourmet Pizza
Koko Marina Shopping Center
7192 Kalanianaole Highway (next to Zippy's)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Open everyday: 11:00-20:30

Friday, July 22, 2016

foodie tuesday in kaimuki

These days there are so many eateries in Kaimuki.

I have quite a bit bookmarked and have been trying to check them out whenever I'm in Hawaii.

Tuesday, I was able to meet up with Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.

For lunch, we checked out Sprout Sandwich Shop.

This shop has 3 counter seats and two tables.

Most people take out and lots stand on the sidewalk out front to wait for their order.

Deb tried their Big Kah-tuna (tuna salad, havarti cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and sprouts).

Deb isn't a big fan of sprouts but forgot to tell them to switch it out, her sandwich was a bit messy too.

She also had their homemade Limeade.

I ordered the Floater (roasted turkey, apple slices, brie, lettuce, pickled red onion)...loved this sandwich especially with the pickled onion in it.

I also had their ginger cooler (ginger, lemon, lime and some cayenne)...boy that had a kick!

After lunch, we went for dessert at Via Gelato.

Since the weather was hot and a little humid, this really hit the spot.

Deb had their olive oil, balsamic strawberry and stracciatella.

Deb treated me to their affogato with fierce chocolate good! (Thank you!)

She also gave me so many goodies...homemade syrup & jam, as well as some new (to me) foodie books and other snacks to try.

I appreciate that she was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to meet up.

It was nice catching up with her.

Thanks for a great day, Deb!

Sprout Sandwich Shop
1154 Kokohead Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: n/a
Open everyday 10:00-14:30

Thursday, July 21, 2016

pierre marcolini

Also in the Ewa Wing of Ala Moana are upscale shops and some cafés/eateries.

I went to check out Pierre Marcolini on the third floor.

Apparently, this shop is the only one in the U.S.

Since it has been quite warm and humid, instead of chocolates I decided to try their macarons...$3.80 a piece! (plus tax)

Palet Or Fondant (caramel ganache with dark chocolate)...super rich caramel!

Pistache (white chocolate ganache with pistachio)...nice!

These were very pricey! but very delicious.

They had other items on their take-out menu like their cacao bowl and soft serve, which I wouldn't mind trying.

I'll be back.

Pierre Marcolini
Ewa Wing, 3rd floor
Ala Moana Shopping Center
Phone: 808.951.0456
Hours: Mondays to Saturdays 9:30-21:00, Sundays 10:00-19:00
Closed when the shopping center is

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

shirokiya japan village walk & musubi iyasume

Yesterday, I got to meet up with Gaye and her daughter for lunch at the new Shirokiya.

They've moved from their original spot to the new Ewa (west) wing, where Sears used to be.

The space is made to look like a retro-Japanese village...and is actually a huge food court! I think there are close to 60 kiosk eatery stalls (not all filled yet) and supposedly seating for about 900?! (according to their website)

Anyway, let's just say you could get lost in there (we did!)

Lunch was from Musubi Iyasume.

Jalna wrote about this shop on her blog, here.

I tried their bacon, egg, avocado and spam musubi and their fried chicken stick...both were good!

It was nice that there was a lot of seating.

I hear that in the evenings this place fills up! especially with the $1 beers.

It was nice catching up with Gaye and checking out the new Shirokiya.

Thank you for lunch Gaye!

I hope to bring Satoshi here soon.

Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
Ewa Wing, Ala Moana Shopping Center
Honolulu, Hawaii
Hours: 10:00-22:00 (2nd and 4th Sundays 10:00-21:00)
Closed when the shopping center is

Musubi Iyasume
inside Shirokiya Japan Village Walk

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

five guys

Just before coming to Hawaii, Five Guys opened in Mililani at the end of June.

Anything new in Hawaii attracts krazy lines, so this was no exception.

Family friend, D, and I went to check them out on Saturday.

The line was from the door to the parking lot when we got there just before 11:00.

Lots of people took out their order so we were able to find seats.

I ordered the Little Bacon Cheeseburger with BBQ sauce and grilled onions.

I also ordered 2 drinks one for me and one for $16.40 (plus tax)

(The difference between a Bacon Cheeseburger and Little Bacon Cheeseburger is that the Little has one patty where as the Bacon Cheeseburger has two.)

D ordered the Little Cheeseburger with everything on it.

He ordered a regular sized Five Guy style fries and we shared....not sure of his total price.

FYI: the large can feed 4 to 6 people (per the cashier)

They got my burger wrong by adding in grilled mushrooms and the fries were "fluffy" (steamed?) not crispy.

While I've had better burgers, I am glad we got to try this.

Thanks for meeting up D!

Five Guys
95-1249 Meheula Parkway
Mililani, Hawaii
Phone: 808.312.3407
Hours:11:00-22:00 daily

Monday, July 18, 2016

locks of love

It's been six years since I donated hair to Locks of Love.

It took some time before I could get it to at least the accepted minimum length of 10 inches, so I was finally able to send them a donation.

Hoping it helps someone.

Friday, July 15, 2016

ginza bairin

Got to catch up with Greg and Val.

We had lunch at Ginza Bairin and I had the same thing I had last time we ate here...tonkatsu sandwich.

The quality of the food is still good, and though we still detest their adding an automatic 15% service charge, they did give us a little kama'aina (local) discount.

Always nice catching up with these two. (Thanks you guys!)

The building I used to work in many moons ago, used to be Mitsukoshi department store (way way back in the day).

Then it changed to Planet Hollywood then a stuffed bear shop...and now it is a Longs Drugs!

The funny thing about this place is that it doesn't honor the sale ads they print in the newspaper...

It's open 24 hours, so we'll see how long it lasts...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

harbor pier 38

Got to meet up with my cousin, G, and his family at Harbor Pier 38 for lunch.

The interior of the restaurant is huge! I'm glad that they keep the windows open so that the noise from chatter doesn't linger.

Some restaurants are so noisy that it makes conversation inaudible.

My cousin and I had the ahi tuna melt (the name is a little redundant...ahi is tuna in Hawaiian).

You can choose how you wanted the fish cooked and we both got it medium rare.

The wasabi aioli that was on the bun had a lot of heat.

The cross cut potato chips were light and crispy! And they served it with what tasted like a clam dip...good stuff!

My cousin's wife had the soup of the day (asparagus) and their seafood skillet.

It was nice to catch up with them.

I hope to bring Satoshi here the next time.

Thanks G and family for lunch and for a great day!

Harbor Pier 38 (UPDATE: January 2018 closed)
next door to Nico's at Pier 38
1129 Nimitz Highway
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.550.3740
Hours: Lunch: 10:00-15:00, Happy Hour: 15:00-18:00, Dinner: 17:00-21:00

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Over the weekend, I visited Hilo with my Aunties.

The weather wasn't forecast to be nice, so we often got caught in passing showers....

I was able to get my hands on some lychee from the Farmer's good!

We got to try some fruit mochi from Two Ladies Kitchen (Rainier Cherry (top), Mandarin Cutie (middle) and Saturn Peach (below))...all so good!

We were impressed with the rainier cherry, as the stem was still attached to the cherry but the seed had been pitted! The flesh of the cherry wasn't disturbed...amazing pitting technique!

I tried two different loco moco (for Satoshi)...a keiki moco (top) from Ken's Pancakes...meh! the patty was And Cafe 100's loco moco...

Cafe 100 apparently created the loco moco, so you know their version had to be good! (and it was! and it was only $3.50!)

Brought flowers to the family graves...

And visited with friends and relatives.

our main reason for visiting Hilo was to attend the hatsubon service for my Grandma, if you remember, she passed away last December.

I've written about hatsubon before here.

I also picked up some omiyage (souvenirs) for Satoshi and I to try when I get back to Japan.

Despite the off and on rain, it was nice to visit Hilo and reconnect with family and friends.

Thanks Aunty M for inviting me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Last Thursday, I met up with my friend, Len for lunch at Earl in Kaimuki.

This sandwich shop is teeny and when they get busy, be prepared to wait for your order.

Len ordered their Pork Belly Marinara (crispy pork belly, cheese, marinara, I think there were other items in his sandwich but I forgot to write them down) was huge! but he said it was delicious (and filling!)

I ordered the Turkey Bacon Jam Sam (turkey salad, basil mayo, bacon jam, homemade pickle, arugula & tomato)...on this day they were using spinach instead of arugula.

This was so good! now, I have to try making bacon jam...

It is always nice to catch up with Len.

I'll be back to try other sandwiches.

Thanks for lunch Len!

On my ride home, I picked up a nitro cold brew from The Curb in Kaimuki, it had been awhile since I had been back. I really enjoyed this as it was quite hot that day.

1137 11th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Closed Mondays

Friday, July 08, 2016

theo chocolate

Got to try these Theo Chocolate Salted Almond Coconut Bites. Kind of like Mounds candy but palm free, soy free, fair trade and non-gmo.

a bit pricey at close to $3, but I like that they were packed with coconut and that they use a semi-dark chocolate.

I'm glad I got to try this.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

franky fresh

There is an old skool themed burger/sandwich place called Franky Fresh.

I got to catch up with Flickr friend, Rex there.

This was my first time there, though he's been there a couple of times.

I ordered their "Marky Mark", ground natural Niihau lamb burger, seasoned roasted mini bell peppers & tomatoes, grilled onions, feta cheese, kalamata olives, spicy aioli, tzatziki sauce. So filling!

Rex chose the "Fresh Prince", portobello mushrooms, bacon, melted swiss cheese, grilled onions, grass fed beef from the Big Island.

Each order comes with a salad or fries.

Love how the menus are on actual records too.

They also gave us samples of their cereal milkshakes...ours was Cap'n Crunch with crunchberries...way too sweet so just a taste was perfect!

I'm glad he was able to make some time in his busy schedule to catch up.

Thanks Rex!

Franky Fresh (UPDATE: 2018 closed)
3040 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.744.7728
open everyday : 12:00-21:30

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

the past couple of days

Sorry it's been quiet around here. Nothing new to write up about. Will share with you what I've been eating...

Paniolo Burger at Big City good with the bacon, bbq sauce and crispy fried onions!

Salad from Down to Earth's salad the curried quinoa!

Bonding with my "niece", Malia. She usually avoids the cameras, so I was lucky to snap this one.

Disappointed by the $2 avocado that I added to this pastrami sandwich at La Tour Cafe, only the size of my!

Ohana bento from Tanioka'!

Pupu party for one! the Samuel Smith Organic chocolate stout was super chocolatey. Though with Talenti's fudge brownie gelato, it was a super sickly sweet float.

Tanioka's boiled!

Foodland's secret spicy poke should be renamed as super spicy

And a super rare selfie of moi and Malia.

It's rainy and windy here, Happy 4th of July everyone!