Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Saturday, I received an enthusiastic message on the phone from JCCH (Japanese Culture Center of Hawaii) to thank us for our donation...

Too bad I wasn't home to take the call, I would've mentioned that they should train their volunteers to be as cheerful.

Still, I'm happy they called.

Monday, July 30, 2018

elote fries

Tried the Elote Fries at La Tour Cafe recently.

Elote is a Mexican Street Corn...grilled corn slathered with a creamy sauce, topped with cotija cheese, garlic, cilantro & chili.

Having never tried elote, I was curious about this version.

La Tour Cafe's version is crispy pomme frites (french fries), cotija (mexican feta) & sour cream sauce, charred corn & jalapeno, red onions, cilantro, elote seasoning and crispy garlic (there was also a grilled lime to squeeze over everything).

This was spicy, garlicky goodness.

I'm glad I tried this and would definitely eat this again.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

teruya's andagi

Got together with some of my aunties yesterday for lunch.

Aunty M1 hosted and bought vegetable bentos from Teruya's Andagi.

Apparently they used to sell foods when Shirokiya was actually a store with their food hall upstairs on the East side of the Ala Moana Shopping Center.

The food and andagi were great but spending some time with my aunties, even though we are all not related was priceless.

Thanks Aunties!

Teruya's Andagi
1104 Pensacola Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.389.1714
Closed Sundays
Hours: Mondays-Fridays 10:00-15:00, Saturdays 9:30-13:00

Saturday, July 28, 2018

thanks for today

Went to see "Won't You Be My Neighbor", the documentary about Mr Rogers.

Did you grow up in this era?

For those of you too young to know about Mr Rogers, please look him up on YouTube.

I feel he was influential in my childhood.

His voice, his songs, his message (that we matter and that we are loved) resonate in what I think we need in the world especially these days.

Have you gone to the movies lately?!

It's been ages since I've seen a movie in the US and I was shocked at the price of popcorn.

I should've brought snacks in to the movies, but didn't, so I bought a bag of hurricane-style (butter, furikake and kakimochi) popcorn afterwards from L1 Iniki, a shop in Pearlridge, which turned out to be my very late lunch.

Still, it was a good day.

I'm glad I saw this, it's not a trendy movie and will probably never be shown in Japan.

It was nice reconnecting...Thank you Mr Rogers

Friday, July 27, 2018

back to black sheep cream co.

BFF and I went back to Black Sheep Cream Co and I tried their Rocky Road which is called "buckle up it's gonna be a rocky road"...rich chocolate cream, chocolate covered almonds and roasted marshmallows.

They "roast" the marshmallows just before serving so it comes out warm.

The ice cream is so good!

So many more flavors to try...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

bon dance

It's Bon Dance Season in Hawaii.

If you'd like to know what bon dance is, please read this.

I went to the Wahiawa Ryusenji Soto Mission's Bon Dance on Friday with Aunty M.

There was a nice turn out.

Mini chicken hekka (similar to sukiyaki) sold out fast...

I had their chicken bento...delicious.

Andagi is always a must.

It was our first time going to this bon dance and I'm glad we did.

Thanks Aunty for inviting me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

thank you

My Aunty Vi shared more delicious mangoes from her stash.

And she also gave me a key chain with this printed on it...if the quote looks familiar it is from Winnie the Pooh.

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

more danshari

More danshari (purging)...my dolls that relatives have given me over the years.

I donated these to my mom's church, since the JCCH refused to take them due to storage issues.

I hope they will find new homes too.

Monday, July 23, 2018


If you've been wondering what I've been up to.

I've been doing some danshari (purging)... and recently donated a lot of dishes to the JCCH (Japanese Culture Center of Hawaii).

Like my Mom's china.

Apparently, this set made by Meiyo China was often brought by Military Personnel when they returned from Japan.

I remember my relatives in Okinawa mentioning that they tried to visit my Dad when he was at Camp Schwab, but weren't allowed to because they were Okinawan and they didn't speak any English.

The day we brought the dishes to the JCCH, I was disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm we received from the volunteer there.

Still, I hope they will find new homes.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

dream cake

Found out through social media that all the St Germain bakeries and Dee Lite Bakeries will close in August.

If I'm not mistaken, they were the first Japanese style bakery in Hawaii.

My father loved chocolate and one cake that he enjoyed was dream cake.

The cake is airy, the frosting whipped light with chocolate shavings all over.

I recently bought a dream cake from Dee Lite Bakery, the cake was more of a spice cake, but still very airy.

Still, I think Dad would've enjoyed this one.

It's sad to see these icons in Hawaii culture disappear.

Friday, July 20, 2018

arirang bbq

Saturday, V contacted me, she had some avocados and wondered if I had some time to meet up.

Wednesday, I had an appointment, so we planned to meet up for lunch after that.

Near the area my appointment was at, is V's favorite place for Korean food, Arirang BBQ.

Apparently this place used to be at the Moanalua Shopping Center and moved to Kalihi.

A tiny shop, this place is run by two ladies that make everything from scratch.

No MSG is used.

I tried the Bi bim kook soo...cold noodles, veggies and some beef.

I got the mild and it was just enough spicy for me.

(That's V's banchan in the photo)..and even though it was super humid, she ordered their Hot Beef Vegetable Soup.

It was nice to catch up with her.

Besides the avocados, V also gave us all these other goodies.

Like Ubae, which uses ube (ooh-bay...Filipino for purple sweet potato) and sells these tiny cheesecakes...a little too sweet but I'm glad she gave these to me to try.

The avocados were creamy and delicious.

There was also peanut and mac nut candies from Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery.

And a nori almond snack which I'm planning to bring back with me to Japan.

It was nice chatting with V and I appreciate her kindness and thoughtfulness.

Thank you V, for lunch, meeting up and for all these goodies.

Arirang BBQ (2021: no longer in business)
1111 Dillingham Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.848.0803
Closed Sundays
Hours: 11:00-20:00

1284 Kalihi Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.439.3224
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 9:00-18:00, Sundays 9:00-16:00

Thursday, July 19, 2018

kahai street kitchen

It has been about 7 years since I've been back to Kahai Street Kitchen.

In that time, they moved from Kalihi (where Kahai Street actually is) to Moiliili.

After running an errand I stopped to pick up lunch yesterday.

Their Guava BBQ Brisket Sandwich.

You can choose tossed salad, mac salad or fries to go along with your sandwich and I chose tossed because I planned on eating my sandwich at home.

The bun was soggy by the time I reached home, but over all I enjoyed this sandwich.

The brisket was tender and juicy.

The sandwich also had 2 pieces of crispy bacon, jalapeno slaw, tomato and lettuce.

Their food does take awhile to come out, but I think it is worth the wait.

I'll be back.

Kahai Street Kitchen
946 Coolidge Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.845.0320
Closed Sundays & Mondays
Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays 10:30-19:30, Saturdays 10:30-14:00

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

15 cents

If you live in or planning to visit Hawaii, a new law applies a 15-cent charge for bags which started on July 1st.

Groceries, clothing, pretty much anything needing a bag will cost you 15-cents (each) unless you brought your own bag (s).

The only thing exempt is take out foods.

It can add up if you forget your bag.

I like that it will cut down the amount of plastic bags Hawaii will be using.

Monday, July 16, 2018

foodie july (first half)

Some of the new things I tried in the first half of July...

Stumptown Cold Brew with Coconut Cream & Sugar...I used half the carton (serving size is the whole carton) and diluted with more iced coffee...this was delicious.

Juicy and ice cold mountain apple...delicious!

1st time at Pieology.

You can put any amount of toppings and the pizzas are all the same size and price.

Fun, fast and good.

Firestone Walker's Nitro Merlin Milk Stout...chocolatey, a little smokey.

Would've been nice(r) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it...

Moena Cafe in Kapolei serves dinner and we went there while my Dad's sister was in town...

The braised short ribs were tender.

The okinawan sweet potato mash was a little too sweet and a little too coconut-y.

Restaurant Kuni's catering menu...great service and perfect for the memorial service we had for my Dad.

Zippy's Dream Cake...Dream cake was one of my Dad's faves...this version was kinda meh...

My brother thought the chocolate was kinda too oily...

Gina's Fish Jun...the sauce was sweet and sour which was different from other fish jun I've had.

The taegu was overly soft and sweet too.

Will try some other sides next time.

7-eleven has a 7-eleven day on July 11, in which they give away free small slurpees.

I had never had one, so I went to check them out...I didn't know how to operate the machine (sad, yeah?!), so I needed coaching from the masses standing in line behind me (Thank you!)

Li hing mui slurpee was super sour but tasted more like cherry...meh, but at least I got to try.

Li hing mui is a Chinese preserved plum which is similar to dried Japanese umeboshi...if you salivate when hearing either, you probably grew up in Hawaii.

Japan's 7-elevens need slurpees though...

Meat Jun Bento from Paalaa Kai Mini Mart...only $6 and the meat is tender and flavorful.

My Aunty M1 commented that BFF W and I have gone here quite often this trip home...I told her that "it is closer to get to from Pearl City"...

The malasadas from Paalaa Kai Bakery, called Sada's Malassadas...are super poofy and stay that way the next day.

The sugar melts (the next day) but the malasadas stay intact and doesn't smoosh like others (you know which ones), nor are they oily....love!

While others go to this bakery for their snow puffies, I have only been buying this malasada.

Black Sheep Cream Co.'s "Rub some bacon on it"....Peanut Butter Cream and their Homemade Maple Bacon Toffee...so so good!

That is their single scoop (HUGE) and only $4.50 (tax included).

This place is hard to find...it's between SuperCuts and Subway near the Waipio Costco...no signage outside and the interior is dark, so they don't look like they are open...

Have a good week.

Restaurant Kuni
94-210 Leokane Street
Waipahu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.671.1100
Hours: Lunch 11:00-14:00, Dinner 17:00-21:00

Pearlridge Uptown
Aiea, Hawaii
Phone: 808.200.5085
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 10:30-21:30, Sundays 10:30-20:00
Closed when the mall is

Black Sheep Cream Co
94-1235 Ka Uka Boulevard
Waipio, Hawaii
Phone: 808.620.7904
Hours: 10:00-21:00

Thursday, July 12, 2018

foodie june

Earlier in mid-June, BFF W and I were able to get in our last Tacos Zarate fix, they closed up for good June 14, 2018.

On this particular day, I had their fish tacos, super crunchy outside and tender fish inside....will miss their food.

Fish jun bento from Palama Supermarket...enough for two meals!

I also tried the meat jun bento (no photo) and love both!

Kalapawai Cafe & Deli has a shop in Kapolei, I tried their tuna sandwich.

Lots of veggies and lots of tuna salad...and their fries are crispy...so good!

Lychee from the Big Island (Island of Hawaii) were being sold at Costco...some weren't too sweet but for the most part they were delicious.

With all the krazy vog (volcanic smog) from the Big Island, it makes for beautiful sunsets.

Tried Ruscello restaurant in Nordstrom with my aunties.

It was a day when they were going to turn off all the power in the area that my parents home is located, to do some maintenance work, so I made sure to get out of the house.

The crispy panko chicken salad was similar to mochiko chicken but crispier...delicious. (Thanks Aunty M for lunch!)

Pineapple Mint Iced Tea from Island Vintage Shave Ice...super refreshing on that blazing day. (Thanks Aunty M1!)

Mango from Aunty V's stash...Thank you!

Tillamookies...Tillamook ice cream sandwiches filled with mint chocolate chip was meh...the mint seemed to be more peppermint like those hard red and white candies than spearmint.

1st time trying the baked manapua and custard bolo bao from Honolulu Kitchen.

The baked manapua is huge and the outside is really sweet & sticky.

Custard bolo bao is similar to Japan's melon pan but softer and filled with custard.

I'm glad I tried both.

Have you tried the fried chicken from Paalaa Kai Mini Mart (next door to Paalaa Kai Bakery)?

It was my first time.

The skin is so crispy and the chicken so juicy...I dare you not to eat all the crispy skin...I couldn't stop eating it.

1 piece chicken and a musubi under $3! I now understand why all the surfers were hanging out and eating this in the parking lot.

Da Snack Shack is a tiny food court at Pearlridge with 3 shops sharing the kitchen.

Annie's Kitchen, a Vietnamese restaurant is one of them.

I tried their bbq beef banh mi...too bad all their veg was cilantro and not much daikon-carrot pickles.

Also, bummer their beef wasn't tender.

(My brother tried their BBQ Pork Sandwich a couple weeks later and said it was good)

1st time trying HAL special from W & M Bar-B-Q...teri cheese burger topped with lettuce, tomato & onion AND slices of teri beef!

So good, dunno why I have never ordered this before...

1st time trying Donut King.

I tried their chocolate coconut cake doughnut...so moist!

And so cheap too, under $2.

Teri beef sandwich from Shiro's...the beef was super tender...delicious.

Been wanting to try Aloha Cones for some time, but their shop in town has parking issues, so am glad they also have this shop in that Da Snack Shack at Pearlridge.

I tried their mini chirashi and added avocado and edamame for $1 each.

The fish is so so fresh! and the edamame and avocado so generous.

Whew...a list of stuff I tried during June..some new places, some new (to me) items at familiar eateries.

Kalapawai Cafe & Deli
711 Kamokila Blvd.
Kapolei, Hawaii
Phone: 808.674.1700
Hours: Mondays-Thursdays 5:00-21:30, Fridays 5:00-22:00, Saturdays 7:00-22:00, Sundays 7:00-21:30

inside of Nordstrom Ala Moana
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.953.6110
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 9:30-21:00, Sundays 11:00-19:00

Island Vintage Shave Ice
Ala Moana Shopping Center 2nd Floor
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.942.7770
Hour: Mondays-Saturdays 9:00-21:00, Sundays 10:00-19:00

Paalaa Kai Mini Mart
66-1425 Kaukonahua Rd
Waialua, Hawaii
Phone: 808.637.9182
Closed Tuesdays
Hours: Wednesday-Saturdays & Mondays 5:00-18:00, Sundays 5:00-16:00

Da Snack Shack (UPDATE: 2019 all shops in this food court no longer at this location)
Pearlridge Uptown
Aiea, Hawaii
Phone: 808.888.8668
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 10:00-21:00, Sundays 10:00-18:00
Closed when the mall is

Donut King
Market City Shopping Center
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.258.4119
Hours: Mondays-Fridays 6:00-19:00, Saturdays & Sundays 6:00-17:30