Lox of Bagels – Kalihi, HI

With a name like Lox of Bagels, how could one resist going?? When I learned of them opening up in Dillingham, I just had to go. I have this terrible thing about not wanting to go backwards in my morning commute and going to Sand Island would be going backwards. Good news for you early birds, their bagel sandwiches are available right when they open…no waiting for lunch time!  I didn’t get pictures of it for this post, but I also tried the bagel puffs.I wasn’t a huge fan of bagel puffs, it’s like a sweet manapua but with harder bread. That’s a no thanks from me…sorry. Let me share the breakfast sandwiches!



Breakfast Bagel – Bacon, Egg and Cheese on a Sun-dried Tomato Bagel. Pretty good! Look at that oozy cheese…


140731-04Manhattan Delight Bagel Sandwich – I think the pictures say it all. And yes, it tasted as good as it looks!


140731-06Chicken Salad Bagel Sandwich – good! I had this for lunch so the bagel was harder than I would have liked. Definitely eat these sandwiches fresh unless you like harder bagels.

Fook Lam – Chinatown, HI

Fook Lam was a 50/50 chance. Why? Any Chinese restaurant that has good ratings on Yelp could be a restaurant that pleases the crowds and not necessarily the Chinese folk. I’ve gotten plenty flack from my friend who insists I take her to authentic Chinese restaurants so the pressure is on. She won’t let me forget a certain Chinese restaurant we went to…which I never claimed was authentic Chinese. Aiya, the pressures of being Chinese. Anyway, I finally got to try Fook Lam out a few weeks ago and I liked it. It’s located in the Chinese Cultural Plaza on the first floor facing River Street. The restaurant is clean and they get plenty good eats. The waitresses are fast and efficient and parking is validated. I haven’t been to Cultural Plaza since kid times so I didn’t realize how nice their parking lot is. I mean compared to the other places I have parked, their parking spaces are spacious! Let’s check out the food shall we?

140729-01Shrimp and Chive Dumpling – I prefer the pan fried one to the steamed one

140729-02Black Bean Spare Ribs – delish!

140729-03Shrimp Dumpling – good!

140729-04Seafood Roll – good as always. Always winnas.

140729-05Baked Custard Bun – These were fresh out of the oven and heavenly. One of my most favorite sweets…ever.

140729-06Siu Mai – I know pork hash isn’t loved by all…but I have always loved it. One of the dining companions commented that the skin on these dim sum dishes were great. Not hard and thick (don’t say it!) – just the right amount of softness.

140729-07Deep Fried Shrimp Balls – not bad, not great. I think you pay for the looks…hehe.


140729-08Short Ribs Look Fun – I saw this picture repeatedly on Yelp and just had to try it. Eh, it was alright. It wasn’t spectacular. It was just look fun mixed in with spareribs. Nothing special, glad I tried it but I won’t be ordering it again.

Little Sheep Hot Pot – Ward Center, Hawaii

Little Sheep Hot Pot opened up in Ward Center about two months ago. It’s located on the second floor right next to the old Borders (Boy do I miss Borders guys). I was excited to see another hot pot place open up but the reviews soon after opening was not great. I definitely held off of going because of it…bad reviews and long wait times are not my cup of tea. Well I was off during a weekday and decided to check them out for lunch since they are known for having a pretty good lunch deal. It was an okay experience overall with a very bumpy start. We were the second ones in the door and there were a lot of people there. We were one of the first ones to order and can you guess? I watched as every table starting getting their food and my anger grew. Hello. We all order the same thing. Raw sides and a pot of soup, no tell me my soup takes longer to boil. The waiter apologized profusely and said there was a mistake. Okay, fine. Even after the apologies, it took a long while to get my pot of soup and sides. His English wasn’t that great so he kept saying, give me a minute….which sounds rather rude the way he said it. Well, service was pretty good after the food arrived though. The waiter was constantly walking up and down to check in. He could tell I was plenty steamed and when the food got there, I ordered rice. It’s $1.00 per bowl of rice…but they were pretty generous with it. He said, okay I got it. Like insinuating he was giving us the rice on the house because of the crazy slow service (he didn’t – why am I not surprised?). Anyhow, Let’s check out the food!

140725-01If you’re looking for a classy decor for hot pots, this place would be it.

140725-02Watermelon Juice is worth all the money in the land. This carafe costs $6.95. Incredibly refreshing and tastes like the perfect fresh and sweet watermelon. You can’t beat it!!

140725-03My sauces. They have one sauce bar, and it has nothing on Sweet Home Cafe. It’s very simple but do-able. They also have raw cilantro, green onion and garlic. I love that.

140725-04$12.95 for the lunch set. It comes with this and a soup of your choice for hot potting. We definitely over ordered…we got two sets so it was two of these!

140725-051/2 order Bean Curd Knots – $2.95
Do you see the texture of this by looking at it? Doesn’t it look like…rubber gloves cut and tied into knots? It looked and felt that way a bit. It didn’t taste like rubber gloves but I gotta say the look and texture threw me off. I wouldn’t order it again.

140725-061/2 Order Watercress – $3.95
A bit pricey but these greens went perfect with the soups we got!

140725-071/2 Order Sausages – $3.75
Pretty good! Tasted a bit like a Chinese version of Longanisa. I enjoyed it.


140725-09Pork Belly – $7.95
Look at the presentation of the pork belly. I think that’s included in the price…hehe. Thinly sliced, you gotta really hold onto the meat as you put it in the soup because it shrivels fast and you can lose it real quick.


House Spicy Pot / House Original Pot


Take a look at the spicy pot…can you see what caused our faces to melt?


We ordered extra spicy…do you see it??

140725-13This soup was like ALL CHILI PEPPERS. I mean look at it! It was crazy hot! We were dying by the end…I’m surprised I never get a stomachache later that night. Was spicy but good!

I just reviewed my receipt and realized they charged us for a child’s meal too. So I think what they do is they charge your party based on your the number of people…and not just the pots of soup you order. I think that’s pretty junk. We had already ordered two sets that easily could feed 3-4 people, so why did they have to tack on the child’s rate? It wasn’t a big fee ($1.98) but gosh, that was unnecessary. So while the food was alright, I’m not exactly rushing back. Well, maybe they could open a juice bar and sell the watermelon juice…

Ireh Restaurant, Keeaumoku, HI

Ireh Restaurant! Gosh I hadn’t been here in a while and now wonder why! They specialize in vegetarian food but have many other dishes as well! Very healthy Korean cooking, and delicious. I used to come here to eat their topokki or the rabokki. So topokki is the rice cake sticks in the sauce and veggies…they also offer a version that is topped with cheese. Rabokki is the same dish but with ramen noodles added. I love that one. One time, I asked if they could make it rabokki with cheese. They said no. Why? I couldn’t tell yah. I should just bring my own cheese and sprinkle it on top…ha okay I probably won’t.


140723-02They are a bit sparse in terms of ban chan. This was it, kimchee and this onion/pepper vinegar pickled side. I like both and I’m fine with the lack of ban chan…although I wouldn’t take this little from other Korean restaurants!

140723-03Oh yes, metal silverware is the only way to eat Korean food!


140723-05Kimchi Hand Cut Noodle – $11.95
Hand cut noodles, the noodles are made with sesame leaves. You can totally taste it – it was very good!


Bean Noodle – $10.95
This is what I wanted to come for! One of my guilty pleasures is watching mok bang, and one of those people eats this a lot. I was so curious about the taste! This white broth is basically a really thick soy milk. I knew it was going to be a bit bland…but I had to try it at least once.

140723-07Sliced cucumber, boiled egg and a light sprinkling of peanuts…and some noodles peeking through!

140723-08So how was it? Delicious! Much better than I thought it would be! Yes, the flavor is a bit simple but it has a clean taste. I can see why people would eat this while they are sick, very mild and easy to eat. It has just a slight taste of ground sesame/peanuts. I think the combination of this dish with the kimchi hand cut noodles helped us feel properly full. Give them a try! I also recommend their pan fried dumplings, so delicious! I saw that the price of the dumplings are now $11.95, a bit pricey but give it a try at least once.

Little Oven – Stars and Stripes Edition

The Little Oven opened up on the 4th of July weekend and has been pretty constant since! Get your butt out there to try some desserts before they close again – I warned ya! Anyhow, don’t let this post dissuade you. One bad experience out of many should not be grounds for not trying the place.

Also, my apologies for being lax on the posting. Last week was crazy but luckily I got through it. We had a training on Saturday so I basically worked 6 days…and it was exhausting. I old you know. Haha and yesterday was crazy weather! The high winds, I was scared our roof would be ripped off already! Then the humidity. My god, this weather is terrible. Every time I had to walk out of my office, I felt like the humidity just wrapped around me. I need the rain to come down and push it out! Hope you folks had a good weekend.

140717-01Coffee Cake – $4.00
It was my first time trying this and shucks…it was so disappointing. The cake was incredibly dry. The topping tasted fine yeah, the cake was disappointing. Was I expecting something different? Is it because I was supposed to be drinking coffee as I ate this so the cake would be moist? Ah, I don’t know. I wouldn’t get this again though.

140717-02Milk and Cookies – $5.00




My friend gave me a bit of a ribbing for this one. Milk and cookies does sound a bit silly huh? I figured since it was homemade cookies made by them, it would be good! Well this was Kristian’s dessert, he didn’t seem pleased. He liked them but they definitely were just…milk and cookies, nothing special.

So many Little Oven posts: click here

Izakaya Gazen – Kaimuki, HI

I’ve had my ups and downs with Izakaya Gazen but am happy to report that all my ups have been in recent visits. I think it was my first visit that I had just a terrible time, mediocre food, INSANELY slow service, etc. I feel like they have now picked up their game and the food and service both are good! We came for a meal the other week and it was a good meal again! Let me share the pictures with you.

140716-01Fries with Nori Seasoning and Wasabi Mayo Dip

140716-02Here’s the dip. The fries were good! Hot out of the fryer, great dip too! They serve it with some skinny deep fried sticks. Looks like deep fried like spaghetti to me, nothing great. I think it’s a bit too hard to bite into anyhow. They are generous with the fries so I’m good with just the fries.

140716-03Cabbage with Ikura and Yogurt Dressing

140716-04I don’t think this is one of the more popular salads but it should be! It was delish! My dining companion doesn’t like salad so I had it all to myself. They are quite generous with the ikura…so much so that it was kinda salty at the end since it was all balls (hehe). But it’s a great salad, very refreshing. I’m not a fan of purple cabbage so I picked most of that off but still felt satisfied after eating it!

140716-05Our new tradition. We must get salmon nigiri from all the restaurants! How was it? Eh, it was all right. Nothing special, nothing compared to Torae Torae.

140716-06Hamachi Nigiri – this was all Kristian. He can put in his two cents but he liked it a lot. He enjoyed it more than the salmon. Looks good ah?



Rib Eye Steak with a Ponzu Sauce


140716-10Noodle Omelette! So good! It took a while to come out but was worth the wait! I was super full from the salad so I only took one bite at the restaurant. I had to eat the rest as take-out and it was still delicious! I would definitely recommend it!

Previous Post on Izakaya Gazen

Bad Day

Hi folks. I hope you don’t mind me venting a bit in this post. I just had a terrible day and I almost feel like I need someone to show me there is still good left in the world. I’ll provide an answer before the question pops into your mind. No, I do not have PMS. Hahaha. I have been super stressed at work and I think it could explain why I am maybe a bit hyper sensitive now. Anyway, I had a pretty junk day at work and it followed me home. I am making a batch of fresh haupia for an office event tomorrow and had everything all ready to go. It was simmering away when I decide to taste it. HO THE SALTY. Can you guess what I did? Yes, I used salt instead of sugar. God, I was so upset by then I just wanted for give up.

Well I gathered myself up. Dumped the ruined mixture away and headed to Foodland to grab more coconut milk. I got the coconut milk and decided to grab a small box of sugar cause of the salt incident. As I’m grabbing the pack of sugar, one of them is full on leaking. Like even the shelf is a mess. There is a clerk behind me moving things around on a shelf. I wonder to myself, should I be that good samaritan and let her know or ignore it? My back story to this? Everytime I have done a good samaritan deed, it has busted up in my face. I think you know what’s coming. So I turn around to her and say very nicely, I think this sugar is leaking – maybe you want to take it off the shelf? She glares at me and then proceeds to put it back on the shelf. Yeah, seriously. So I just turn around and say okay and walk away. As I’m walking away, I can totally hear her muttering something at me (I couldn’t hear the exact words). I sure as hell didn’t want to stay in the store any longer after that. Anyway, I was so damned upset as I drove home. I am still upset now. Just bad experiences with people is tearing my spirit down today. It doesn’t help that I still have the taste of salted coconut milk in my mouth..haha.

I hope to make a successful haupia recipe tonight – I have never made fresh haupia before so we will see how it turns out. Hope you all are having a better day than me.

Tenkaippin Ramen – Kapahulu, HI

I got to try Tenkaippin Ramen the other week and boy was it disappointing. It was just sad to see how low it has fallen. First, we got there about 15 minutes after they opened. We were the only customers. The place looks run down and it smells strongly of cleaning liquids. Very strongly. That didn’t bode well for my appetite. The waitress working was very nice which was good. The television was playing their Ultimate Japan show which is really cute…it’s a nice distraction while waiting for your food.

We ordered our usual Kotteri Ramen and got a side of gyoza. How was it? What’s going on?? I feel like they changed the recipe for the worst. Considering this is a ramen chain from Japan, shouldn’t they stick to a consistent flavor? The soup used to have a strong chicken bone marrow taste and it was wonderfully thick. How is it now? Well the soup is still thick but it’s lacking major flavor. I could stand the gritty texture when it tasted like marrow, now it’s a non-descript grittiness that I couldn’t enjoy. The gyoza was fine but gyoza never knocks me off my feet anyway. Let me know when they go back to their old school ways.




Pile on the garlic and chili topping, it’s gonna need it.


Kotteri Ramen – $9.05
Kotteri Ramen Set B (Comes with 3 piece Gyoza) – $10.75

My previous post on Tenkaippin can be found: here.

Bibimkooksoo – Palama Supermarket

Dang, my favorite jajangmyun is no longer being served at Palama Supermarket! It looks like they revised their entire menu and carry a lot less stuff now. I would say they now only serve very typical Korean BBQ take-out dishes which saddens me. I hope they one day carry these noodles again. Since I was already there, I got their bibimkooksoo. I gotta say, it was a pretty good deal! They give a lot! Check out the pics.



Ryan’s Grill Happy Hour – Ward Center

The last time I went to Ryan’s Grill – it was such a forgettable experience. The service was severely lacking and the food was nothing that I needed to return quickly for. We decided to give Ryan’s Grill a try the other week and it was such a great experience! I am so glad we gave them another chance. Our server was awesome, the food came up in a timely manner and tasted great! Oops, I’ll be honest. I came here twice in 2 weeks because I had to try their happy hour too! This post is for the happy hour. The service for the happy hour was not as good as my dine in experience but I usually expect that…sadly.

140709-01Lilikoi Mojito – not part of Happy Hour…and not great. I actually enjoy the liliko mojito at Kincaid’s more (which you would think is the same since they are sister restaurants)

140709-02Jamaican Jerk Fries – $5.95
Delicious! Much better than I expected. I’m not sure what qualifies as Jamaican – I felt like the spices were reminiscent of Thanksgiving.


140709-04Kobe Sliders – $7.95
Not bad – not great. Not something I would order again.

140709-06Kalua Pig Quesadillas – $6.95
Pretty good! The mango salsa is good too…would have been good if we had something to spoon it onto the quesadillas (yes, we did ask…haha)

140709-05Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip – $8.95
Delicious!! My favorite appetizer from Ryan’s. The dip is on point and the focaccia bread is nicely seasoned and super soft. Great dish!