Monsarrat Ave Shave Ice – Diamond Head, HI

To follow up on yesterday’s post, I tried out the Shave Ice placed located right outside of Pioneer Saloon! Monsarrat Ave Shave Ice is literally in the alley between Pioneer Saloon and another place. Very small place and of course located outdoors. Not much place to sit and eat, but it’s okay – just grab your shave ice and go!

141231-01Miniatures <3. This is definitely a way to my heart.

141231-02Cute little cactus plants – I wish I could get my cacti to flower.

141231-03Their syrups are all homemade and they taste great. I got the a mango and lilikoi mix for my shave ice. I actually enjoyed the lilikoi much more than the mango. In the end, it all mixed together anyway and became a good slurpee. Very cute place and great shave ice, give it a try if you’re in the area!

Pioneer Saloon – Diamond Head, HI

I saw a picture of a Pioneer Saloon plate lunch on instagram and knew I had to check them out for myself! In fact, I ran out on my lunch break the next day to give them a try! They are located pretty close to my work place and luckily for me, we went fairly early so there was a parking spot open. I think they have a total of 3 stalls and it is VERY tight and you better like parallel parking. This a Japanese style plate lunch joint and is very cute and quaint! They even have a small little boutique section.

Do not bring your pre-conceived notion of what a plate lunch is to this place. They definitely serve quality over quantity and I really enjoyed it! I was very surprised at the lightness of my plate when I grabbed it but the contents made up for it! Let’s take a look!






Miso Butterfish- $13

141230-06This was Linda’s plate, she was not impressed. For $13, I don’t blame her.

141230-07Deep Fried Baby Tako – $11


Substitute Shiso Rice – 50¢ (Delish!)

141230-08This was delicious! Yes, this was my plate. And yes, I enjoyed eating every single one of those babies…lol. It was very good, I would definitely get it again. I think if I return, I’d like to try a meat dish. Maybe the beef tongue…stay tuned!

Garrett Popcorn

141229-01If you ever find yourself in Chicago, you gotta get Garrett Popcorn. It’s a total tourist thing but I know locals love it too! They have a combination of cheese and caramel that’s called the Garrett Mix. I’m a fan of the cheese popcorn only so I just get that. My cousin was nice enough to bring me a pack back! It’s definitely best fresh but still tastes okay a little bit stale. The cheese flavor is unbeatable, so good. The downtown locations always has a line so I would just suggest getting a bag at the airport and resist not eating it all before getting home.

Birthday Blunder

Okay, maybe this is just me getting old but I’m going to just associate it with having higher standards. Today is my cousin’s birthday and I wanted to treat her to a birthday breakfast. We weren’t sure where to go but finally decided on The Alley Restaurant. I have heard nothing but great things about this restaurant and finally got a chance to give them a try. Well we check in early this morning with 3 small kids and 3 adults in tow, the restaurant is pretty empty and we ask if we can sit in a booth. The hostess coldly responds that booths cannot hold 6 people. Okay, that’s fine. She lets us know that they just need to set up a table for us and asked us to wait outside.

So we’re waiting outside with three rowdy kids that surely doesn’t put me in a better mood. I figure all the empty tables inside shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to set up for us…I mean all they really have to do is push two tables together right? So the time is ticking by and I watch as all these smaller parties walk right in and get seated. I’m getting pretty heated at this point and after 15 minutes, we send someone in to ask about our table. The same hostess tells us the same dang thing, we are just waiting for a waiter to set up the table. I was pretty hopping mad at that point and left, we told her to cancel the table. I don’t understand why only that waiter can set up the table when I saw about 5 workers running around the front of the house. Secondly, all these new tables that just came in will now surely take more of the waiter’s time. The hostess’ pilau attitude just pushed me over the edge. Will I ever taste this restaurant’s food? Not likely now.

Anyway, we ended up going further down the road and tried Pho Five-O for the first time. They had two young men working the front of the house and they were very friendly and efficient. It was nice to see good mannered youngins for a change (gosh I sound so old). They had some pretty good dishes, I appreciated their combination plates. I think their pho was just okay, it didn’t have as much seasoning (spices) as the ones in town.

141228-01This is the summer roll that comes with their combinations. Cute yah?

141228-02Vietnamese Beef Stew over Noodles – verdict? Thumbs up!

141228-03My pho – like I said, not as spiced as I prefer.

Happy Holidays!

Did everyone have a joyful and restful Christmas? I certainly did. I spent all day sleeping, forreal. I woke up with a too much sleep headache. Have you folks had those before? It’s certainly a first world pain huh? But man, it was a real bad migraine. Took a few hours to shake…but I feel much better now. Christmas was nice, I got more gifts this year than years previous. Yay! The surprise gifts were kitchen gadgets which I love! If you ever find yourself wondering what to get me (and I’m sure you all do), cool kitchen gadgets would be it. I have a few days off and it’s going to be interesting. I’m the kind of person who loves a three day weekend but anything beyond it that doesn’t include traveling drives me stir crazy. I do have things to do but gosh…I think I’m still recovering from the worst semester ever. I need a mental holiday. Anyway, here are a few pics to share from yesterday! I also made madeleines for my friend for Christmas! He enjoyed it, I’ll share a recipe very soon!

141226-01Thanks Linda! She showed me a video of this before and then she got it for me for Christmas! I’m interested to give it a whirl! Get it? Wait…did I get that right?

141226-02My friend Kristian never disappoints with his wrapping skills. Look at this! He made like a suitcase out of my present! And the cute little air mail card? IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS. I loved it! Thanks bro!

141226-03So this is what I got! A drawing set! Yes, I would love to start drawing. I’ve always admired people who could draw, wish I could! I really wish I could draw comics…funny huh?

141226-04Just wanted to share a centerpiece from a recent Christmas party! Isn’t that the cutest? They put this together! The doll was bought from a store but the bottom base was homemade…it was so cute! It was a very generous donation to the party and everyone who received one, LOVED it. It was a great party!

Fatal Error Fixed!

Gosh you guys. I wanted to update this blog earlier this afternoon but I ran into a mishap! WordPress asked me to do an update which I did…and it cause my whole blog to crash! I’ve spent hours trying to read through support forums and finally was able to fix it for now by replacing one obscure file…it was all too much. I’m just happy I was able to access my blog again to do an update! So last weekend was full-on hibernation mode. I had two final papers due this past week and I am happy to report that I was able to submit both. Thank god. I do plan on taking class again next semester but just one course this time. I’ve got a lot of updating to do! My cousin is back from school again so it has been nice visiting with her. Just a quick update tonight – including another great plate from Toshi’s Delicatessen & Restaurant. If this place ever closes down, I’ll be super sad. They are definitely one of the last old school ones left – they can’t close down ever!

141221-01My view the past few weeks.

141221-02Yes! This is the way to wrap plates!

141221-04I got a bunch on my plate; saba, teri burger, tofu and their famous chow fun.

141221-03The saba is great, great piece of fish. Had bones so if you get it, be careful. They also let you choose which part of the fish you. The tofu is so flavorful, I loved it. The burger patty was a burger patty, what can I say? But it is definitely homemade so that’s a plus.

141221-05Chow fun! I think I’m going to ask for like at least 2 servings next time. I’m a carb-o-holic. Hope you all are doing well!

2 Weeks to Go!

Want to find a way to be productive? I suggest taking classes. To avoid doing my paper yesterday, I was very productive with my other tasks! As long as I am doing something I feel like I am doing okay. My main concern with my paper was that I didn’t have a real direction of where I was going. Last night at about 9:30 pm, I had a stroke of genius (okay maybe not genius) so I started typing away. I wish I was more thoughtful about it because now I just have a whole lot of text that I have to rearrange and edit down which can be even harder. Anyway, something is better than nothing! I woke up early today and it was so chilly! I loved it. I did laundry and here I am updating my blog because I am avoiding my paper once again.

I’m counting down! 2 more weeks to go. I plan to take just one class next semester but it’s going to be heavy material so I’m hoping it can help me concentrate on what I need to learn. Have you folks finished your holiday shopping yet? All I can say is, thank god for Amazon. I can’t wait to start up cooking again. Hope you folks have a wonderful Sunday. Quick random pics…

141207-02I’ve been on a Nigella Lawson watching binge lately (sorry Darren). I actually just leave her on in the background while I do my paper. I don’t pay too much attention, I just like hearing her voice and the jazzy background music. But what I do LOVE is the whisk she uses! It just looks so cool and effective, it’s definitely for a smaller amount of liquid but I’m sure it’s great for gravies, eggs, etc. I found it on Amazon and bought it for about 7 bucks, not a bad deal!

141207-01Butter mochi I made recently. I didn’t realize how many variations there were for butter mochi recipes! This one definitely came out more cake-like which I thought was okay. I liked that it had a good crust on top. I made it as a bribe to my class on our group presentation day…lol. They enjoyed it, it was cleaned out!

You know what I also love about Sundays? My favorite Korean shows are uploaded onto YouTube. I love watching 2 Days 1 Night and The Return of Superman and am so happy KBS provides subtitled shows for free! The Return of Superman is a show about celebrity dads who watch their kids for 48 hours alone, my current favorite is the three triplets and Song Il Gook! This little clip just encapsulates how cute they are. If you’re not patient enough to watch the entire clip, at least watch from 7:25 to watch them fight and make up, it’s just too cute! The whole clip is just too much cute.

The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood – Ala Moana, HI

Birthday celebrations must take place in a steakhouse, it’s a must. Okay, it’s not a must – it’s a luxury. But what a treat! I’ve been wanting to try Signature Prime Steak & Seafood since they’ve opened and finally got the chance about 2 weeks ago. The restaurant offers an incredible view for an incredible price. I happened to dine there during Restaurant Week (totally unplanned) so I lucked out! Let’s get to the pictures!


141206-02Bread. Meh – nothing special.

141206-03Signature Chopped Salad – delicious!

141206-04Lobster Mac and Cheese – $20
Not worth it in my opinion, sorry. Glad I tried it but won’t get it again.

141206-05Rustic Truffle Mashed Potatoes – Part of the Restaurant Week Menu! Delish.

141206-06Creamed Corn – Part of the Restaurant Week Menu!
So simple yet so delicious. The corn was so fresh and crisp – ahhhh so good.

141206-0712 oz. Filet Mignon – $52.95
Birthday treat for the birthday boy! He seemed to enjoy it!


Prime Rib Eye – Part of the Restaurant Week Menu!

141206-09Medium Rare. Funny story, my friend always goes for medium well and I go for medium rare. We’ve been noticing that my meat has been cooked more well than his. What’s up with that? Nah, but my meat was still pink so I’m fine with it.

141206-10Dragonfruit Sorbet – Part of the Restaurant Week Menu!

The restaurant week menu was the best deal ever. It comes with a salad, two full sides, a meat of your choice AND dessert – all for $55! How do you beat that price? I think I would definitely return here for restaurant week! This dessert? I wouldn’t get it again. You see all the black seeds in there, I spent all night having to spit them out. Sorry. Am I supposed to swallow those seeds??

141206-11Complimentary Birthday Cake

For all the shy folks out there, there was no singing involved. When I got my check, they accidentally tacked on the charge for this cake. I was not amused. I was also not amused that I had to call them out on it. I couldn’t find my waitress so I called over the manager and he apologized profusely so all was well in the end. Look at the size of that slice!

Recipe: Baked Chicken Tenders

This past thanksgiving, I made chicken tenders. I didn’t go anywhere near turkey! I decided that I should make something the boys would eat, and boy did they enjoy it. I found a recipe that called for chicken breast and it’s baked in the oven. Super healthy! I’ll share some pictures of the process, the recipe with my notes and of course the original recipe source! Here goes!


Finished product, looks pretty good ah?

141204-02Such a easy recipe. First step? Marinate the sliced chicken in buttermilk for 2 hours or overnight (I went for overnight).

141204-03When you’re ready to go, you just have to combine the rice crispies, salt, white pepper and paprika together. My first batch was a bit poor, I thought I was supposed to keep the rice crispies more whole. I learned that I had to crush them much more to get a proper breading of the chicken.

141204-04I bought wire racks for this recipe, what a great investment. I’ll be able to use this a lot more in the future I’m sure!

141204-05Can you tell my first batch to my second? lol, I put way too much paprika in the first batch. The paprika is really more for color, not at all spicy.

141204-06Make sure you spray the wire rack with cooking spray to keep the chicken from sticking. You have to cook the chicken for 11 minutes on each side. When you turn it, just spray the chicken with a bit more cooking spray. The cooking spray will help it crisp up.

141204-07Another picture of the finished product! So good and so easy to make…I would definitely recommend this!

141204-08The honey sriracha honey mustard sauce – not my thing. I’m not a fan of the strong dijon mustard taste, if you like dijon mustard – you will love it.

Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders with Sriracha Honey Mustard
Recipe Credit: Domesticate Me 

Yield: about 10 chicken tenders


    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders/tenderloins
    • 1 cup fat-free buttermilk (I used low fat)
    • 3 cups crispy brown rice cereal (I couldn’t find crispy brown rice cereal so I just used regular Rice Krispies)
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I used the Costco salt grinder – cranked it about 8-10 times)
    • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (I put in about 2-3 dashes)
    • Cooking spray
For the Sriracha Honey Mustard:
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons Sriracha (I used a whole tablespoon because I love spicy food!)


  1. Place the chicken tenders in a shallow baking dish. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken tenders and make sure that they are well coated in the liquid. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Feel free to let them marinate overnight if you’re a planner!)
  2. Once your tenders have marinated, remove them from the fridge and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray, place it on top of a baking sheet and set aside. (Note: Depending on the size of your rack, you may need to use two, or bake the chicken tenders in batches.)
  3. Pour the crispy rice cereal into a shallow bowl or baking dish. Use your hands to lightly crush the cereal. You don’t want to pulverize the rice, but you do want to break it up into smaller pieces so that it will stick to the chicken more easily. Add the paprika, salt and white pepper to the cereal and mix to combine.
  4. Now it’s time to coat your chicken fingers. I like to form an assembly line by placing the chicken tenders/buttermilk dish next to the crispy rice mixture, followed by the prepared wire rack.
  5. Remove the tenderloins from the buttermilk one at a time, shaking lightly to remove any excess liquid. Place each tender in the crispy rice mixture and use your hands to press the cereal onto the chicken. You want each tender to be thoroughly coated, people.
  6. Place the coated tenders on a wire rack and mist with cooking spray. (I like to use an olive oil spray, but any old spray will work.)
  7. Transfer the chicken tenders to the oven and bake for 11 minutes. Carefully remove the tray from the oven, flip the chicken fingers over and mist again with cooking spray. Return them to the oven and bake for another 11 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the tenders are golden brown.
  8. While your chicken fingers are cooking, prepare your fancy dipping sauce. Place all the ingredient for the Sriracha Honey Mustard in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  9. Serve your crispy chicken tenders hot alongside Sriracha Honey Mustard.