Robata JINYA – Honolulu, HI

We recently tried the omakase at Robata JINYA. We parked at the Ward Theater parking and walked across the street, they are located where Nobu used to be. This is the first time I went to the restaurant, we were seated at the sushi bar. I think next time, I’d like to try the regular restaurant menu!

This post is just going to be a lot of pictures because I don’t have the names of almost all the dishes we were served! I believe we ordered the JINYA Signature omakase which was $120 per head. Be warned, come hungry.

J. Girl | $8.00
blood orange juice, sparkling water, grapefruit, lime, strawberries and salt

Mocktail for me. Nice and refreshing. I think this was the drink I ordered? My dining companions ordered sake I believe. Funny story of the night? Chan’s water had to constantly be replaced. Flies/bugs kept flying into them!! It was almost comical at one point. I think he had at least 2 water cup changes that night. Okay, here comes the pictures!

Ringer Hut – Ala Moana, HI

Ringer Hut has reopened at Ala Moana! They are on street level on the post office side. We were excited for them to open and got in before they got super busy! It’s a very nice new space, clean and bright. It was a great meal ruined by the group who came in after us. They were acting very snobbish and just being so rude and sassy. At one point, they asked for hot tea and was informed that they did not serve hot tea – the male diner asked, what kind of restaurant is this? Then when the wait staff asked if they could take the menu back since they already ordered, he said, I guess you can take it if you have to. Get a life. Take a hike! Blah! It’s free to be nice, everyone.

Nagasaki Champon (Regular Size) with Deep Fried Gyoza (6p) | $22.00

Chan got the noodles and we shared the gyoza. The noodles have a nice broth! The gyoza is good but I’m not usually a fan of deep fried gyoza, I prefer them steamed/pan fried.

Nagasaki Saraudon (Regular Size) with Yakimeshi | $23.50

Oh yum! My dish! Saraudon – didn’t know this existed! You can’t tell from the pic but it’s like fried egg noodles underneath all this nice gravy and toppings. I love noodles made like this – it was delicious! And yes, I had to order the side fried rice. I always want to try different types of chahan – was too full to eat it but it tasted great as leftovers! Nice umami flavor. I would definitely get this again!

Karaage (5) | $8.00

We got a side order of karaage to share. Was good! Hard to complain about fried chicken.

The wait staff were very nice, it was within the first few days of opening so I think they are still getting into the groove of things. It didn’t matter for us, the service was great and the food came out quick! I would definitely come back!

Mixed Plate Friday

Remember this from last week? Well I didn’t want to shell out almost $20 for the same hot pot set and watercress (Don Quijote had it for $6.99 a bunch versus the $3.99 I paid at Marukai – what???) so I went to Sam’s Club and bought a pack of baby spinach and their baby bella mushrooms. I prefer the baby bella mushrooms over the white mushrooms – I feel like there is a nuttier taste. I made it the same way and I think it tastes great too! So I guess I have other options now!

Pepsi Zero Lemon

Saw this at Nijiya and couldn’t resist. I love Pepsi Zero and also love when lemon is added to cola! It’s a win win – this is obviously an import from Japan. How was it? It was good. I barely got a taste of lemon though, so you’re better off just drinking Pepsi Zero.

Beef Chow Fun | $11.95

Fun Station has daily specials and Beef Chow Fun was on special for $11.95 (on Fridays) – very appealing compared to their usual $15.75 price. Just felt like a mixed noodle for lunch that day so I am glad I got it! Was very good! I drench it in sriracha but that’s besides the point. 🙂

The Social Honolulu – Honolulu, HI

I haven’t been to The Social Honolulu in many years but always enjoyed their food. Honestly, I have had pretty junk service experiences in the past which made me a bit weary to come in this time. I do think sometimes if you do not plan to drink alcohol, there is a prejudice! Well this time, I was coming in with two teenage boys which even more so signaled no drinking would happen. We came in during a weeknight and it was SUPER slow. Like only one other table slow and this was during dinner time. Hopefully they pick up later in the night for the drinkers. I was pleasantly surprised because I got very good and attentive service this time!

Garlic Fries | $16.00
Add Fried Pepperoni | $3.00

crispy fries tossed in our social seasoning and topped with garlic sauteed in butter

Uh yeah, you see that right. This dish cost $19.00. Insanity. What can I do? Teenagers freaking love fries. Was it good? Well yeah, they made the fries well done and crispy. But the cost? Do I think it’s worth it? No, too pricey but it is good if that helps!

The Social Moco | $23.00
beef patty, crispy corn beef, sauteed onions and mushrooms, 2 sunny side eggs, brown gravy, rice

A pretty nice heaping! Enough that my bro couldn’t finish it. And brada can EAT. He enjoyed it! Don’t think he realized corn beef would be part of it but luckily he doesn’t mind corn beef. Also, isn’t it cornED beef?

Truffle Bacon Penne Pasta | $24.00
bacon, black truffle pate, beurre blanc, penne, shredded parmesan

Shared this dish with my brother. Pretty good! Good truffle taste – a nice dish!!

Garlic Bacon Fried Rice | $19.00
sauteed garlic, caramelized onions, bacon, corn, special sauce, harizuke, 2 sunny side eggs

If you know me, you know that bacon is not my thing. But for some dishes, it just works. This is one of them. I love this fried rice. I don’t know why. It’s nothing stellar but it just all works together. Just a good classic comfort dish. Yum!

Frog House – Honolulu, HI

I’m just girl, blogging in front of the world, asking you to love Frog House. Nah, don’t love Frog House cause then I don’t want them to get so busy I cannot eat there. The parking is already a mess – but once you get past that, you’re good! Great food, great prices and just super super super love their banchan.

Look, Frog House is serious business about their banchan. And I have never had a bad banchan. And you know what? I’ve had banchan at other establishments and feel like they make it as an afterthought and that a lot of them turn bad quickly. I have never had that issue with the banchan at this restaurant, it is all made with love. They also randomly serve up different ones to different tables. I don’t know how they choose but I don’t mind either way. I was surprised she served up the little anchovies (?) to our table since we were like the only non-Koreans there but we ate em up!!!


I forgot the price – sorry! They usually serve this up with oysters too but oysters haven’t been good lately so they don’t serve it up with oysters anymore. They try to make it up by serving more pork. This dish will do but I do wish they would boil the pork up with seasoning. I think it makes a difference!!

Bibimbap | Lunch Special

Another one of my favorite meals from this restaurant. So good. So generous with all the veggies, they give you the sauce on the side so you can make it as spicy or mild as you want. I usually get so stuffed by bossam and banchan that I just take this home. Yummy…

This restaurant hits another cardinal rule, it had like all Korean customers. You know that means it’s GOOD.

Mixed Plate Friday

Ichiran Ramen (Home Kit)

How much does the kit sell for at Don Quijote nowadays? $30? Not worth it. Don’t do it. I bought this kit home with me from Japan – they sell it for about $20 there for 5 servings. This bowl shows off 2 servings. I bought the fancy sliced up char siu from Marukai and added some roasted nori (the one made for onigiri). Looks good ah? Yeah it looks good, tastes just alright. Try Ichiran when you go Japan but the home kit is not worth it.

Spicy Curry Pan | Dell’s Kitchen

Dell’s Kitchen and Pasta Miology is close to my work so I like to try it from time to time. I usually like curry pan – the one that’s like a stuffed deep fried donut. I saw this and wanted to try it and well, if you like bread you’ll like this. It’s very bready. The curry is pretty good but not enough balance of filling and bread.

You ever have a super lazy day and just want to eat some vegetables but don’t want to deal with all the prep? This was my time. I went to Marukai and got a bunch of watercress (was only $3.99 which is cheap nowadays) and then I saw a Hot Pot set in the produce section. It’s just a variety of veggies (won bok, choy sum, mushrooms and a small bunch of dried konnyaku noodles). Something possessed me to get it, even though it wasn’t a big amount of veggies and cost $10. Well I didn’t care, and I didn’t want to buy all these different veggies separately to clean and prep (yeah they are ready to use in the kit too!). Honestly it would have been pricier to buy all the different vegetables separate and I would have probably made TOO much vegetables that I cannot finish quickly. I heated up some butter and cooked the mushrooms first…then added the rest of the kit veggies. Then, I added the washed and cut up watercress and a big heaping spoonful of Better Than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base. The watercress lets out a lot of water as it cooks which becomes the sauce. I threw the konnyaku noodles at the end of cooking for 1-2 minutes and it nicely thickens the sauce too. I really loved this dish, I would definitely do it again!

Recipe: Jacket Potatoes

This isn’t a super detailed recipe, in fact, there are no details. I saw videos of this dish on my TikTok, super popular dish in England. Jacket Potatoes are basically their version of baked potato but I think jacket potato sounds so much cuter. Never made jacket potatoes before, heck, I’ve never even made baked potatoes before but I was super curious. The ones I see on TikTok, the potatoes come out of the oven so freaking crispy on the outside and soft on the inside…I just had to do it!!!! Their toppings are a bit unique…one had tuna mayo and baked beans with melted cheese on top. Curiousity got the best of me.

The worst part about this recipe? Having to poke holes into the potatoes. I use a metal fork and I meticulously stab it, I don’t play around. It’s a nightmare.

LOL, did you know they sold pork and beans this size! I saw it at Don Quijote and just had to get it. We barely made a dent, still tickled me!

After I prick the potatoes and dry them off I generously oiled them (olive oil) and salted each side. Place it on a wire rack and into the oven at 425° for 2 hours. After one hour, you turn the potatoes over. Now this is for the big russet potatoes and baking time makes it perfect. So crispy on the outside and nicely fluffy on the inside. This picture is after I sliced it open and added slabs of butter in. What they do is, they add the butter with a butter knife and cut it into the potato flesh. You’re like making mashed potatoes basically within the skin. Then you add salt and pepper to taste. Is this how you make American baked potatoes too? IDK!

I added the tuna mayo, heated baked beans and shredded cheese on top and covered the plate with foil to achieve…

THIS! A few minutes of foil-age, you get the ooey gooey jacket potato! How was it? NO THANK YOU. LOLOLOL. It was super bland. Sorry, I know this is an English dish so I should have known better. Honestly, I am already not a huge fan of potatoes so I did not enjoy this dish. Luckily I had chili on the side, so the others had chili cheese potatoes. I had a few potatoes left over and made it american style after that which was enjoyed. That’s my adventure into jacket potatoes. If anyone really wants the recipe, let me know but there isn’t much to it!

Hula Grill – Waikiki, HI

Chan and I were invited to a wonderful Sunday brunch with friends at Hula Grill! I have never been there before but was looking forward to it, even if it is in Waikiki (lol). Parking is pretty non-existant, we decided to park in Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. If you purchase $10 worth of goods from a Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center tenant, you get parking validation! It’s $2.00 for 3 hours with validation but hold the phone – there is a Kamaʻāina special too! Spend the $10 and you can go to their Helumoa Hale Guest Services desk and get validation for FREE parking for 3 hours! What a deal, music to my Chinese ears.

Hula Grill has an open air dining concept, it was a nice breezy and sunny day so we had a beautiful view of the beach during our meal. It was wonderful! So how was the food?

Strawberry Mochi Waffle | $19.00
maui grown strawberries, whipped mascarpone, manoa honey

One of their signature dishes! It was delicious. Nothing beats a fresh waffle out of the grill you know? It was so nice and crispy – it’s mochi but not at all chewy. We asked for a side of maple syrup and yum!

Wasabi Bloody Mary | $12.00
spicy twist with wasabi, soy sauce & our homemade bloody mary mix & vodka

Chan’s drink. He said it barely had any wasabi taste and actually…more of a horseradish taste.

Lemonade Slushie | $9.00
fresh juice from the big island of hawaii

My drink! This is a virgin drink so no worries, I liked being all fancy with my black straw. Smallish looking cup but was good and lasted me the entire meal! You know what would be good? A lihing rim…mmm…

Seafood Omelet | $23.00
lobster, shrimp & crab, spinach, fresh herbs, lemon hollandaise, jack cheese, tarragon aioli, mixed green salad

This was the most popular dish at the table. In fact, all three of them ordered this dish while I got the loco moco. I tried a bit of Chan’s, was pretty good! Okay, I know this will sound silly considering what I ordered but I thought this would be too rich for me. Rich meaning…cream/dairy heavy. I don’t do well with that!

Loco Moco | $23.00
two eggs, pork fried rice, braised short rib, kalua pork, portuguese
sausage, shiitake mushroom gravy

What constitutes the dish loco moco to you? How would you feel if it was missing the burger patty? I guess I didn’t read the menu clearly and assume a hamburger patty was included. It isn’t. Is it a good dish? Sure-ish. The fried rice was good even though it had peas. The braised short rib was good, kalua pork was average, the portuguese sausage was junk (IDK what brand they use but no good) and gravy was good. Wait, this is more of a jeer than a cheer. It wasn’t bad but I think I would get another dish next time.

Mixed Plate Friday

Chan bought this and was going to put away before saying to me, this is something you can’t eat. Is that a challenge? I asked why and he said, it’s actually spicy. GIVE ME A CHANCE! Yeah, I can’t handle spicy that well anymore. Do you see the corner? It says Korean Spicy. They trying to tell you, they not playing around folks.

Uhhh yeah it was spicy. My brother was like…it was just like shin ramen. LIES. It’s way spicier! I did eat a few bites and my face didn’t drip so let’s call it a win okay?

Strawberry Tanghulu | $4.99 (per skewer)

Yoajung was pretty smart to capitalize on this trend. I’m surprised they are the only place that sells this? At least that I know of. Do you know any other places that sell it? It’s a pain to make, I’ve made it before. But man, I saw it on social media again and just wanted to eat it. They have a long line but the line moves super fast. The tanghulu is already made in the fridge, when they run out, they run out. These are not made to order. I wanted the mandarin orange one but they were out.

How was it? Well, it tastes like strawberries coated with sugar, lol. It’s exactly what you would expect. Well since our strawberries are more sour than sweet, it’s a nice balance. The sugar isn’t too thick or hard so I don’t think you will break any teeth. Was nice to try, a bit pricey but it was a nice little treat!

Pho K&A Local Vietnamese Cuisine – Kapahulu, HI

I got to try Pho K&A the other week and was very pleasantly surprised! Their parking is horrific. If you know this building, you just hope to score street parking right up front or you’ll have to circle the area for other parking options. There is a tiny lot behind the building so we gave up and parked in it. Here’s where it’s messy. I do not like that parking lots now have QR codes to pay for parking. I know it’s supposed to be easy but using random QR codes can be sketchy. Also, within this lot – there were TWO QR codes. Both on signs that was for parking in the lot….the QR codes went to two different websites. And one was more expensive than the other? My god. I was like huh? I finally went with the website that at least said Diamond Parking – the other one didn’t even mention Diamond Parking on their site. What a mess. So yeah, I wouldn’t park in that park lot unless you absolutely have it.

Updated Note: Okay, while I have no proof that this was the origin…my card was compromised, the weird parking QR codes situation is the only thing I can point to right now. Do not park in the back and scan those QR codes to pay parking. Find street parking!

Sorry for the parking rant, the food there is super good. The folks who run it are super friendly and the restaurant is SUPER CLEAN. If that matters to you, but it is. My companion said the bathroom is crazy clean, old but clean.

Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp | $15.00
shredded green papaya, shrimp, basil, peanut, special salad dressing, fried onions served with fish sauce

Star of the show, hands down. If you’ve seen papaya salad in other restaurants, you know they generally chop it into like big matchsticks. Look at how finely julienned this is, it really made a difference. The seasonings and toppings were on point, drizzle some of their homemade chili saute sauce on and it’s just chef’s kiss. Highly recommendeed! They are generous with the shrimp too!

Beautiful clean veggies for the pho (lol)

Build Your Own Pho (Steak/Brisket) | $15.00

Beef Short Ribs Pho | $22.00

I felt like I wanted more meat this day. I needed to help my depleted blood supply (iykyk). I’ve seen pictures of this type of pho at other restaurants and just wanted to go for it. Looks pretty generous, three ribs. I’d say it was a good amount of meat, but don’t expect the ribs to be full of meat, you know? How was it? Well, good not great. This is the only thing in the bowl with the noodles and greens. I guess I just prefer my combination pho, with all the different types of meat to munch on. Nice to try but wouldn’t get it again. Will try the combination pho next time!