Thursday, August 31, 2017

the alley

Before I forget, on the day that Satoshi went back to Osaka, he wanted to eat breakfast at The Alley.

He ordered their loco moco.

It must of been good because as soon as he put some into his mouth he said, "umai" (ooh-my)...which means "delicious" in Japanese.

I was still kinda full from dinner the night before and just wanted something small, so I ordered their blueberry cream cheese, look how massive the thing is?!

I swear you could've made two or three little scones from it...

But it was so good, especially since they heated it up before serving it.

Satoshi really enjoys eating here and the food is good...we'll be back.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

gina's barbeque

I'll be heading back at the end of the week, so I wanted to post stuff that I didn't get a chance to...

Tried Gina's Barbeque...I'm pretty sure this place was around when I was going to UH (University of Hawaii), though I don't remember if I had ever eaten here before.

I ordered their Bi Bim Kook was $8-something (tax included).

Lots of noodles, spicy kim chee and their bean sprout namul, sweet barbeque meat and cabbage...

So much food I ate this for 2 meals...I'll be back.

Gina's Barbeque
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.735.7964
Hours: 10:00-22:00

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Satoshi's whirlwind vacation sadly came to an end today...he's heading back as I write this.

He had so many things he wanted to do and people to see, but just not enough time.

When he arrived his request for lunch was at The Alley...for their garlic shrimp.

We tried the Button Up Cafe in Pearl City.

Where he had their housemade corned beef hash benedicts.

Their food was delicious! and I still can't believe there is a brunch place where Diego's used to be...

He had garlic shrimp at Romy's.

Man, I didn't realize the wait for an order takes almost 40 minutes!

Views at Sunset Beach. (click on the photo to see the video)

His first snow puffy from Paalaa Kai Bakery.

A visit to the newly renovated International Marketplace.

A beautiful space, I hope this place can make a go of things.

We bought some pineapple cakes from Kula & Kō, for his friends...I wish the packaging for these were easier to pack in small suitcases (they are long rectangular boxes).

He visited the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk for the first time and was kinda shocked at how expensive gyoza was...close to $7 (plus tax) (in Osaka we pay half that price...)

We tried Kulu Kulu's Hello Kitty Waffles, which remind me of the baby castellas that we get in Japan, except that these were a little too sweet for us.

His first butter roll at Liliha this was buttery goodness!

Breakfast with Ryan and much fun, though he thought that Rocky's loco moco was on the teeny side...

Furikake Seared Ahi at Fresh Catch...delicious.

Our first time trying Dorito Salad...Oh em easy to make and sinfully good.

Dinners with family.

Just reconnecting...talking story, laughing and eating...good times.

He also got to play catch with my cousin's son and "maybe" work off some of the food he's been eating...

He also got to see his favorite view. (click to see the video)

He was shocked to see all the changes going on because of the rail system coming up.

And I am pretty sure we will both need to go on a diet after this...

I hope he had a nice and relaxing time, even if we were on the go for most of the time he was here.

Have a safe trip back and see you soon!

Button Up Cafe
719 Kamehameha Highway
Pearl City, Hawaii
Phone: 808.454.5454
Closed Mondays
Hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays 7:00-14:00, Sundays 7:00-13:00

Kula & Kō
International Marketplace, 2nd floor
Waikiki, Hawaii
Phone: 808.692.6788
Hours: 10:00-22:00

Kulu Kulu
Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
Ala Moana Shopping Center
Phone: 808.931.0503
Hours: Daily 10:00-22:00

Friday, August 25, 2017

saying goodbye

(if you click on the photo it should take you to the video)

Yesterday, Satoshi's classmate, Gen, who was fighting leukemia passed away suddenly.

Satoshi is in shock.

Thank you for your friendship.

We'll miss you.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

ginza bairin

Went to Waikiki to lunch with Val and Greg yesterday.

We went to Ginza Bairin because it is right next door to where Val and Greg work AND they take reservations.

According to Greg, there is a tonkatsu place that recently opened up on Kapahulu Avenue that is stealing the show at the moment.

I don't think I will make it there this trip home, so maybe next time.

Anyway, as always it was nice catching up with Val and Greg.

The tonkatsu sandwich was just right and cooked perfectly!

Thanks for lunch Greg!

p.s. Satoshi will be coming in today so it may be a bit quiet here...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

mauna kea tea

Glad I got to check out the Made in Hawaii Festival.

All kinds of food items, clothing, knick knacks and crafts that are made in Hawaii.

Jam packed with all sorts of vendors.

I'm glad I got to pick up this green tea made by Mauna Kea Tea.

The tea is grown on the slopes of Mauna Kea and is organic.

Can't wait to share this with Satoshi.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

koa pancake house & liliha bakery

BFF had to get a blood test done, so we went bright and early then hit Koa Pancake House afterwards for breakfast...corned beef hash, over easy eggs and a short stack (3) all for $6.95 (plus tax) eats!

Loved how crisp the corned beef hash was and the pancakes were fluffy!

We then went on a little errand in town and hit Liliha Bakery on the way home.

Went in for cocoa puffs but came out with a poi doughnut and maple bacon doughnut.

I had seen a lot of hype about these poi doughnuts online.

They are good AND not greasy!

The maple bacon doughnut was more like a brioche dough with thick maple glaze and good!

Early morning foodie adventure...Thanks W!

Monday, August 21, 2017

ka makana ali'i, moena cafe & new friend

Checked out Ka Makana Ali'i, a new shopping mall in Kapolei with Aunty M and Aunty V.

HUGE. Everything is one level and sort of spread out.

I think their marketing target is resort...

There aren't too many stores or restaurants open yet, but we did get to check out Moena Cafe.

Moena Cafe's flagship shop is in Hawaii Kai, and they already have one in Japan and one in Taiwan.

So this place is already popular with the Japanese tourists.

I tried their fruity french toast...delicious but a little was a bit on the burnt side too.

Still it was nice catching up with the two aunties.

Back at Aunty V's, I got to make a new friend, Griffin.

He's feral, so not too people friendly.

I'm glad he didn't hiss, scratch or bite especially since I probably smell like my furry niece...

All in all, a great day, thanks Aunty M for lunch!

Ka Makana Ali'i
91-5431 Kapolei Parkway
Kapolei, Hawaii
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 10:00-21:00, Sundays 10:00-18:00

Moena Cafe (Ka Makana Ali'i Shopping Center)
91-5431 Kapolei Parkway, Suite #1001
Kapolei, Hawaii
Phone: 808.628.4737
Mondays-Fridays 8:00-21:00
Saturdays 7:30-21:00
Sundays 7:30-20:00

Sunday, August 20, 2017

library card

On this trip back, I tried to use my library card to borrow a few things.

But, I guess it had been awhile since I last used it because in that time, they had placed expiration dates on the cards and mine was expired.

So, I had to go down to the library, show ID and renew the card (no charge).

There were a few cookbooks I was interested in, so flipping through them through the library was a nice way to actually see them before buying.

Also, I was able to borrow a season of a TV show on DVD for a dollar.

I appreciate the library also transferring books that I wanted to see from one library to a library closer to me.

Do you use your public library?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

kona red

Tried this cold brew by Kona Red, which I believe is a local company that uses the nutrients from the coffee berry and infuses it into their coffees.

I enjoyed this, smooth.

It's a 3-day weekend is Admissions Day, the day Hawaii became a State.

Have a nice weekend.

Friday, August 18, 2017

big island coffee roasters

Last summer when I went to Hilo, I picked up Big Island Coffee Roasters' Puna Kazumura, which was a medium roast coffee.

While we enjoyed this, I was interested in trying their Medium Dark blends...

So on this trip back, I ordered their Road 1 Espresso (medium dark) and Stout Heart Dark (dark).

Can't wait to try these.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

welcoming committee

I had shared this photo on Instagram, but realized I hadn't here.

I think this was either my first or second night in Hawaii...I found my furry niece, Malia, in my suitcase rubbing her face against my summer bag, welcoming me back...I guess.

Now every morning, we tell each other "good morning" and then she gets some (unwanted) hugs.

Krazy aunty "terrorizing" her furry niece...I know she loves it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ono hawaiian foods

Met up with my Flickr friend, Rex.

He mentioned that Ono Hawaiian Foods was closing so if we could have lunch there...

To tell you the truth, I'd never eaten there, in all of the 50-something years they were in business (sorry!)

Growing up, my family would always make lau lau, lomi lomi salmon, haupia...and on special occasions we would make kalua pig...

So, rarely would we go out to eat these foods.

Anyway...we got there a couple minutes before opening and by the time the place opened there was a nice line.

Lots of people taking out, but there were also quite a bit dining in.

Rex ordered their kalua pig plate, while I went with their lau lau plate...both $18.00 (plus tax)

Each plate comes with lomi lomi salmon, haupia, pipikaula, pickled onions and rice or small poi (we both chose poi).

I really enjoyed the family style dining.

The lau lau was HUGE but super moist and very well seasoned.

The kalua pig was tender and flavorful.

One day old poi was on the tart side but delicious with the lomi lomi salmon.

It was nice experiencing this place, though sad that they will close at the end of the month.

Thanks for suggesting this place and meeting up Rex!

Ono Hawaiian Foods (closing at the end of August 2017)
726 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.737.2275

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

champions malasadas

I don't quite remember when my Aunty M told me that Champions Malasadas was closing...

They are still looking for someone to take over their business, so this trip back I made sure to get my fix in.

The price is $.90 (plus tax)...a little higher than the last time I had them, but still under a dollar.

When the business changes hands, I hope the quality won't change...

The malasadas are still light and fluffy..and will always be my favorite.

Monday, August 14, 2017

thank you!

So thankful for all the kindness.

Yesterday morning, reader Ryan and his wife S, drove up to deliver and share some avocados, pineapple, homemade jams & some dried aku (skipjack tuna).

The avocado was creamy, pineapple was sweet & dried aku was delicious.

We are looking forward to catching up with you two when Satoshi comes in a few weeks!

Thank you again!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

hawaiian pie company

Went to Hawaiian Pie Company, since I saw that they had bread pudding as their special.

The guy working behind the counter wasn't too informed and didn't even know what I was talking about when I asked him.

Then when I told him I wanted to get the coconut mini pie...he didn't even know that they had them in their showcase...dude!

Anyway, the pie is filled with lots of!

I'm glad I tried this, I'll be back.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

kan zaman (kaimuki), via gelato & snacks

I was lucky to be able to meet up with Deb as she's quite busy these days with work.

We met at Kan Zaman in Kaimuki.

I had their shop in Chinatown on my "to try" list and then recently, they opened another shop in Kaimuki.

Deb and I both had their falafel sandwich...loved the salad dressing, it was fruity.

Unfortunately the falafel were overcooked so they were quite hard & dry.

The sauce they served this with didn't add much to the sandwich...bummer

I did enjoy the iced mint tea, perfect for the hot day that it was.

Our waiter while nice was super antsy asking if we were ready to order dessert, and we had only just started eating our lunches!

It was great having the whole place to ourselves, though I hope they do well here.

After lunch, we went over to Via Gelato for dessert.

Deb had their Apple Pie gelato, nice chunks of apple pie in there!

I chose the Fierce Chocolate and Coffee Toffee with nice pieces of toffee here and there.

Deb spoiled me with all these snacks! Huge bags of the latest Lay's flavors as well as some things from Trader Joe's and other goodies.

It is always nice catching up with Deb and I appreciate her taking time out of her busy day for me.

Thanks Deb!

Kan Zaman Kaimuki (UPDATE:2019 out of business)
1127 11th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.260.1763
Hours: Sundays–Thursdays: 11:00–21:30
Fridays-Saturdays: 11:00-22:30

Friday, August 11, 2017

falafel banh mi

Tried the Falafel Banh Mi for dinner at La Tour Cafe yesterday...

Falafel, Harissa Hummus, Firecracker Sauce, Pickled Carrot & Daikon, Cucumber, Cilantro

So good!

Loved how the falafel was crisp on the outside but moist on the inside.

The bread (which they make) and served this on was so good too!

BFF tried their Tuna Avocado Deli and enjoyed it...she doesn't like mayo-ey sandwiches so I'm glad it wasn't goopy.

The sunset was a nice way to end the day...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

apple tv

My brother cancelled the cable television and is using Apple TV with DirectTV, which if I understand uses Wi-Fi to stream in programs.

The sad thing is that all the local (Hawaii) channels are no longer viewable...

The remote is something I need to get used to using too...

Do you have Apple TV?

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

mr donut's & bakery

Not sure when or how I heard about Mr Donut's, but I do remember that Jalna, checked them out.

FYI: They are not the same company as Mister Donut (MisDo) in Japan.

Anyway, since I was near the shop yesterday, I went to check them out.

I bought their apple fritter...HUGE!

Bummer though not much apple in it.

If I do go back to the area, I wouldn't mind trying the doughnut holes...

Mr Donut's & Bakery
134 Bishop Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.545.2961
Open 24 hours

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

fete hawaii & honolulu coffee

Met up with family friend, D, for lunch at Fete Hawaii.

When we got there the place was pretty empty but when we left it was packed!

I ordered the Eggplant Tartine : Grilled Fête toast, red pepper feta, Babaganoush, fried zucchini...delicious!

D chose the Brunch Sausage Sandwich : Italian sausage, sunny local egg, cheddar, maple syrup, brioche bun, field greens, frites,
bread & butter pickles, ketchup

D's sandwich was messy eats, but he said it was delicious.

Bummer that the ketchup they served the fries with was a bit watery...

D also gave me these macarons from Honolulu Coffee.

They were delicious, most were cream filled.

My favorite was the coconut (not pictured).

Downtown is still quite scary to me with all the homeless walking around, but it was nice to meet up & catch up with D.

Thanks for today, D!

Fete Hawaii
2 North Hotel Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.369.1390
Hours: Mondays-Thursdays 11:00-22:00
Fridays: 11:00-23:00
Saturday 11:00-23:00
Pau Hana (Happy Hour) Mondays-Saturdays 14:00-17:30
Closed: Sundays

Monday, August 07, 2017

harbor pier 38 & via gelato

Met up with Mineko today.

We had lunch at Harbor Pier 38.

I'm glad this place wasn't crowded, so we got to chat & lunch leisurely.

We shared this crab & artichoke dip...super creamy!

I had their reuben...not too sure what was making this so salty...the chips or the meat inside the sandwich...

Mineko had their clam linguini...looked delicious!

After lunch we went to Via Gelato.

We both got affogatos.

I chose Mint Chip, while Mineko chose Green Tea.

Surprisingly Green Tea matched with a shot of espresso.

I enjoyed how the mint flavor of my gelato wasn't overpowering.

Mineko gave me some omiyage...a lipstick & these chocolates by Pierre Marcolini...I think I will share these with Satoshi when he visits in a couple of weeks.

It was great catching up with Mineko, I hope she had a nice time too.

Thanks for a great day!

p.s. I hope you can view the photos...when I pressed preview, I couldn't see any of the photos...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

tacos zarate

Since the last visit to Tacos Zarate, they moved to Kahala.

In the spot where Antonio's Pizza and Honolulu Burger Company used to be.

S, BFF and I went to check them out for lunch today.

The space is clean and bigger than when they were on King Street.

I ordered the Carne Asada Nachos and a small drink.

The server made a mistake and gave me a large drink.

Loved the cheese sauce and the carne asada was super tender.

Will definitely be back to try other things on their menu.

It was nice catching up with S and BFF too! (Thank you!)

Tacos Zarate (UPDATE: closing 6/16/2018)
4210 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.892.1565
Hours: 11:00-21:00
Closed Sundays

Saturday, August 05, 2017

scratch kitchen & meatery

Met up with Jalna, Mich, K, V & Leslie for brunch at Scratch Kitchen & Meatery at Ward.

They don't take reservations, so Jalna wanted to be there when they opened, so we met up at 9:00.

Luckily, V was with us because as soon as the doors opened, she zipped right in...thanks V!

Most of us ordered the Yoga Bowl...crispy brussels sprouts, root vegetables, brown rice-farro, roasted chickpeas, sunny egg, tahini (?)

Mich had the benny but on this day, they didn't have english muffins so they instead served them on brioche.

Her son had their milk & cereal pancakes.

V had their smoked salmon sandwich...huge!

I was a bit disappointed with this bowl...most all the brussels sprouts and sweet potato was burnt...the sweet potato undercooked too.

Still it was nice catching up with everyone.

I received these calamansi & cookies from Mich & her gonna squeeze the calamansi into juice. (Thank you!)

Honolulu Aunty gave me this cute tote! (Thank you!)

V gave us this cute Foodland bag, poke stuffs & coffee (Thank you!)

Leslie made these delicious vegan cookies (Thank you!)

Jalna shared her mi goreng stash and also some of her creative projects...AND she treated all of us to brunch (Thank you Thank you!)

It was so nice to put faces to blogs & comments.

Thanks for arranging today and again for treating us Jalna!

Scratch Kitchen & Meatery
1170 Auahi Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.589.1669
Monday-Sunday 9:00-15:00 (brunch/lunch)
Monday-Saturday 17:00-21:00 (dinner)