Sunset Texas Barbecue – Kakaako, HI

I have been a fan of Sunset Texas Barbecue since they were a food truck out in Haleiwa. Then they moved into a brick and mortar in Wahiawa and I visited them there too. They are finally in town! They’re located across the old Fisher’s where that bagel shop used to be. Super good food, southern BBQ but the prices. Oh the prices. They weren’t cheap before which is okay since you’re paying for some quality smoked meats but it’s hard for me to justify coming here on a regular basis at all. We came on a weekday right before 11am – no line! Here’s what we got!

Beef Brisket Plate (w/cream corn and pinto beans) | $22.00
comes with 2 scoops of rice (or white bread) and 2 sides

They give a pretty good portion of meat and the meat is good! Would have liked a bit more beans but…and the cream corn was good! I wasn’t feeling like potato salad so I went this route.

Beef Brisket x 0.57 lb | $19.95
Pork Rib x 0.60 lb | $18.00

Ehhhh….it’s two pork ribs for $18.00. It’s good, but nothing like great you know? I mean I wouldn’t mind just going to Costco to get their whole slab or ribs for maybe $30? Like I said, it’s pricey! I think if I came back, I’d just get a plate for myself – felt like a better deal. Also, we had to ask for BBQ sauce on the side and pickles on the side. I don’t know if they usually charge extra for it but gosh I feel like at these prices, condiments and pickles should be free?

When you order by the pound, they do give you a small container of pickles and two slices of white bread. I’ll leave you with their menus so you can make your decisions yourself if you want to come here.

Ichiro Japanese Restaurant – Richmond, BC

Ichiro Japanese Restaurant is one of the restaurants my BF really wanted to check out since he’s been before. We thought we were safe for a weeknight dinner without a reservation (spoiler alert, you are not). They told us they were full until late so we were starting to order take-out when a couple left and they said they could seat us as long as we could finish eating before 7:15. I said, if you can feed us fast, we can eat fast. No worry beef curry.

Ichiro Don & Noodle Set | $28.50 (CAD)
prawn tempura, deep fried chicken & BBQ eel on rice

Kaisen Don & Noodle | $29.95 (CAD)
uni, negitoro, mentaiko, ikura and seaweed on sushi rice

This was my set and it was winners! They ran out of something and had to substitute, I can’t quite remember what it was but it doesn’t matter, it tasted great anyway!

Steveston Sashimi | $76.50 (CAD)
tuna, red tuna, scallop, hamachi, atlantic salmon, sockeye salmon, sweet shrimp and spicy sashimi

We shared this sashimi set – so full from our sets but we had to try out the sashimi selection! If we weren’t so rushed, I think we would have enjoyed the sashimi set more. It’s okay, there’s always next time!

Peaked Pies – Whistler, BC

My friend Naomi told me I had to try these Australian meat pies so of course I did! Peaked Pies is a cute little Australian bakery in the Whistler village!

Get Peaked (Add on)
add mashed potato, mushy green peas & gravy to your pie

We ordered two pies and got both peaked!

Steak, Bacon & Cheese
chunky steak pieces infused with ground bacon, layered with a cheddar/mozzarella mix

Traditional Aussie (sorry for the blurry pic)
ground beef, onions & gravy

How was it? Nice and fast stop for some warm comfort food. I actually preferred the steak pie, I like to have chunks of meat to bite into. Learned that I am not a fan of mushy peas so I probably wouldn’t get it peaked next time or would get it peaked without the peas. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to return during the winter time!

Zog’s Dogs – Whistler, BC

For sure had to try poutine while I was in Canada and Zog’s was the place to go! Very short post today lol.

Zog’s Classic Poutine

Yeah, I wasn’t impressed. I don’t know if it was just this place that made it junk or maybe I’m just not into fries slathered in gravy and cheese curds. Not a fan.

Jalapeno + Cheese Smokie
beef and pork stuffed with cheese and jalapeno

Saving grace of the meal. I love myself a good hot dog. This hit the spot. Love the spice and cheese, and the char from being grilled. Yum!

Araxi Restaurant – Whistler, BC

One of our top meals of the trip was from Araxi Restaurant. What a wonderful restaurant, and yes, senior citizen dining time so we had the restaurant almost to ourselves. No worries, it filled up quick!

Complimentary Bread and Butter

Okay that butter ball in the olive oil was just to be fancy. It wasn’t good because it’s literally butter sitting in olive oil. I would have been fine with just butter.

Carnival (drink on the left) | $10.00 (CAD)
muddled cranberries, lime, mint, maple syrup, ginger beer

The drink on the right is beer, lol. Carnival was my drink. It was good! I ordered two that night!

Toro Sashimi | $26.50 (CAD)

I think this was toro wild albacore tuna – not sure I’ve had this before and the sight of the white fish kind of startled me. No worries, it was good!

This restaurant also had a prix fix menu – it was $55.00 (CAD) for three courses. I think it was well worth it!

Fresh BC Oysters
chef’s selection of four fresh shucked oysters, chow chow sauce (wat), mandarin oil

We both love oysters so we both got this as our first course. Delicious! The chow chow sauce is apparently the pickled veggies on top? What? Anyway, was a good dish.

Elderflower Glazed Duck Breast
rootdown farm carrots and turnips, carrot ketchup, crispy rice cake, farmer jesse’s mustard greens, black garlic duck emulsion

My main entree! Can’t go with duck and this one was so good. Nice and crisp crust and perfectly rare inside. A slight taste of game but nothing overpowering. The look of the veggies (not peeled and kind of brown) would usually deter me but I know this was a swanky place so I ate it and was fine (lol)!

Peppercorn Crusted Venison
paddy’s wild fennel, truffled mushroom puree, endive leaves, pickled mountain huckleberry game jus

My BF’s dish, venison! I think this might have been my first time trying it and well, it tastes like meat. I don’t know what people expect haha. You know what was SO good? That truffled mushroom puree. You can’t really see it but it was like a dark grey puree that might deter others, but it was SO SO GOOD.

Dark Chocolate ‘Snickers’ Bar
milk chocolate mousse, candied peanuts, caramel popcorn, peanut ganache

Not my dessert but it was enjoyed!

Black Forest Gateau
dark and white chocolate mousse with flourless chocolate cake, brandied cherries and chantilly cream

Man, when we have all these three course meals – I am so full by the time dessert comes. I would rather have like fresh fruit or something but the always seem to have heavy desserts. This was mine, couldn’t finish it but it was good. Here’s a blurry picture (sorry) of the inside!

Wasuta Pasta – Richmond, BC

Another restaurant I had my eye on in Richmond! Wasuta Pasta – I love when Japanese and Italian cuisines fuse together! We also liked having fun trying to make the name rhyme, try saying it outloud! Well this restaurant didn’t disappoint, we made it there basically at last call for lunch so we had the restaurant to ourselves. Service was still good and the food was *chef’s kiss*!

Complimentary Side Salad

Crab Cream Croquette | $15.00 (CAD)

Yum! This was our appetizer and it was delicious! Nice plump chunks of crab. Love the crunchy breading outside with the creamy inside! And the cream tomato sauce on top added a nice acidic hit.

Prawn Arrabbiata (Special) | $30.00 (CAD)

This was a daily special so it might not be on the menu if you go. Super good! Nice and spicy with a great portion of prawns! Super good.

Mentaiko Carbonara | $21.00 (CAD)

Always love mentaiko with pasta. Another great dish, I liked the prawn pasta dish more but it was great to have both to have the best of both worlds you know? So good! Can’t wait to return here to try more dishes one day!

Mixed Plate Friday

Sweet and Spicy Trail Mix | $7.00

I never heard of this Sweet Sentiments but they had a pop-up at Nordstrom last weekend so I decided to support local! It’s pretty good! It does have a bit of a kick to it and she uses stuff I like to eat, love the little goldfish too lol

Shoyu Chicken Mozzy | $5.50
homemade aromatic shoyu chicken laced with kewpie mayo, topped with thin sliced sweet onions, crowned with melty mozzarella

I’ve been wanting to try Coco’s Cravings 808’s baked goods for a while now! Always salivate when she posts her sales. She had a pop-up at Nordstrom last weekend so I got to try it! How was it? Well to be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed. It was $5.50 for this bun, it wasn’t bad but definitely not great you know? I still would love to try her pepperoni one and the cinnamon bun was pretty good!

Sorry, I got this image off the internet and not sure who the owner is. If it’s you, please let me know and I can credit you. Remember this building? It brings a smile to my face when I see this picture, it’s bittersweet. I’m so sad to see Keeaumoku turn into high-rise central, we lost so many of our favorite businesses. On the left, you see Jae-il Video, I used to love going there as a high schooler. You see, I was super into K-pop in high school so I used to take the bus to this shop to rent VHS (yeah I’m old, so wat) of the music shows. The Korean ahjumma thought it was cute that this chinese girl who couldn’t speak Korean would come in to rent tapes. She would always greet me so warmly and they would even give me free Korean magazines and posters (I WAS IN HEAVEN – THAT WAS LIKE GOLD TO ME). I hope that family is doing well nowadays.

Cha Kee – Richmond, BC

One of the places I wanted to try the most was Cha Kee in Richmond. They actually opened not too long ago and the social media videos just made them look so scrumptious…and the price point? On point! Super good deal for the breakfast set. We came right before they opened at 9AM and get one line already but I was like 2nd in line (score!). The line grew and grew after that, all Chinese people so I was in the right place lol.

Iced Lemon Tea | $4.00 (CAD)

Hong Kong style iced tea, plenty lemon slices! Nice and sweet and refreshing, yum!

Pineapple Bun with a Slice of Butter | $4.00 (CAD)

They are not playing around with butter. Do you see how “tick” this slice of butter is? It was crazy. Too bad I was full from breakfast because this bun was so nice and warm and toasty against the creamy butter.

Hong Kong Style Satay Beef with Instant Noodle | $11.50 + $1.00 (for the instant noodle) (CAD)
comes with Fried egg and toast

This is the deal I am talking about. Look at how much food you get! It was great!! Delicious. You can get it with macaroni or rice noodle too but I paid the $1 extra for the instant noodles. Oh yum. And they had the szechuan pickles on the side you could add to your soup. The couple before me ordered takeout and their food seemed to take a while, my food came out quick! But gotta show up early! I would definitely return!

Nami Kaze – Honolulu, HI

I first tried Nami Kaze when they opened up with an okazuya take-out concept during the pandemic. It was kind of pricey and the food was just alright back then. They said their original plan was to open as a fancy izakaya so they took a break and reopened! They are open for lunch and dinner, we went for lunch. I wish I wasn’t so full that day (I don’t know what from) because I would have ate more. Though what I did have, was good!

Custard French Toast | $22.00
mango lime coulis, coconut tapioca, candied nuts, roasted coconut

Our dining companion was generous to order this to share with the table. Interesting description yeah? Tapioca on bread, carb on carb! Did I like it? I guess I’m not usually a french toast person anyway so I can’t say I enjoyed it as much. The side sauce was mango and I would say it definitely helped! If the description of the dish fits your fancy, try it!

Charred Sake | $16.00
spicy salmon, pickled vegetables, avocado, tobiko, sea asparagus, kabayaki, garlic aioli

Another shared dish/appetizer. So glad we got it, I really enjoyed it! I would definitely order this roll again!

Mentaiko Omelet | $25.00
tomato, ikura zuke, parmesan

Savory Chinese-Style Steamed Egg Topped with Fresh Seafood and Vegetables. Finished in our house sauce. Toasted Bread or Rice

Change your concept of what an omelet is here! This is how it is served, looks good ah? My friend enjoyed it a lot so if you like eggy savory custard, go for it!!

People’s Choice | $28.00
our ginger fried chicken (okazuya style) and fresh ahi poke (choice of house poke sauce – I chose spicy)
served with rice, potato salad, house pickles

To me, this dish is the best deal on the menu. It comes with a great portion of food for a great cost! The chicken was nicely seasoned, tender and nicely fried. Can’t go wrong with rice and poke too. I can see why it’s called the people’s choice!

All in all, it was a nice experience! It’s located by the Pier, close to Nico’s. I wouldn’t mind coming back to try other dishes at lunch or even try their dinner menu!

Mixed Plate Friday

I’ve talked about Toshi’s Delicatessen on the blog already, here. Old school okazuya, super old school. Yes it’s pricey but you are supporting a small family business and let’s keep them open please! I don’t know their plans because the head chef is an obaasan, I really hope they can continue for years to come!

Chow Fun, Omelet, Spam, Salmon, Fried Chicken

Chow Fun, Omelet, Spam, Shoyu Chicken, Stir-fried Veggies with Spam

Oh yum yum yum. They serve what I like to call haole chow fun (sorry if that offends you), while it looks bland – it actually tastes great! I still slather it with hot sauce. How much did these two plates cost? $40…yeah kind of pricey but once again, worth it.

Okay, usually I would do a whole post for this amount of food but let me explain. We came here for a birthday lunch for my brother, he told me he wanted Chubbies Burgers and we haven’t been there since they opened their brick and mortar. Warning, they are super busy. It’s first come first sit booths, but luckily a booth opened up when our food was ready. Ordered plenty for the four of us, wanted to try it all. This came out to just over $100.

Warning for possible grossness: one of the burgers (mine of course) had a hair on top. It was just sitting right on top of the bun like it fell gingerly on top? I don’t know but it was black short and curly and like even as I type this I am grossed out. I didn’t make a big fuss, I took it back up to the counter and showed it to them and just said, just give me a new one…I not gonna make a scene. They apologized and told me I could throw it away and they would give me a new one.

Unfortunately, my appetite was kind of turned off for the rest of the day. It was just one of them days. The burgers are pretty good and fries are okay too. I don’t know if I will be returning soon, there are other smash burger places to try. Also, my tip is to order it to go even if you eat there (unless you know you gonna slam ’em). It’s just easier if you gotta take home the leftovers. They weren’t being very helpful when I was trying to pack things to go (the fries spilled all over my car cause no lid).