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!!!

Bossam

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!

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.

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!

Wagaya – Moilili, HI

Another trip to Wagaya Ramen, another post. I’ve been coming to Wagaya basically since they opened and it was a nice little ramen shop run by a couple. The wife would work front of the house and it was just a nice friendly restaurant. I can’t quite put my finger on it now, the food is still good but it’s lost a bit of it’s charm? They are quite popular so they have a lot of hired help and the waitress I had during this visit, felt like she couldn’t be bothered that we were dining there. No smile, no enthusiasm, rushing us to order. Never checking on us. It was a bit sad to see, they’ve lost the comfort feeling I used to love. I will say their ramen is still one of my favorites but the service has much left to be desired.

Chili Cucumbers | $4.75
chili spiced japanese cucumbers

I always love chili cucumbers! Nicely seasoned, not too spicy.

Gyoza | $6.50
japanese style pork, cabbage and chive gyoza. prepared pan-fried.

Can’t go wrong with gyoza.

Calamari | $8.75
tender japanese squid in aonori tempura served with shoyu aioli

One of my favorite appetizers, nicely breaded, seasoned and fried. I like the aioli too!

Potato Mochi | $6.25
potato with mochiko, tossed in a sweet shoyu butter glaze and wrapped in nori

My brothers love this so this was all them. Gobbled up!

Tan Tan Men | $15.95
rich sesame broth is perfectly balanced with mild spice and miso ground pork. topped with ground pork miso, 2pc char siu, half a soft-boiled egg, choi sum, sesame, nori and shredded chili.

Garlic Wagaya Ramen (Kuro) | $14.95
our classic tonkotsu ramen is kicked up a notch with garlic. our most popular ramen! topped with 2pc char siu, a soft-boiled egg, choi sum, kikurage mushroom, sesame seeds, nori, green onion, and fried garlic bits.

This is the ramen I always get. I think I neeed to stop getting the black garlic oil on ramen, too rich for me. Very tasty though. I order it level 3 spicy, I can’t handle that much spice and also they start charging past level 3 (lol).

Mixed Plate Friday

Gumbo Bowl | $16.00
chicken & sausage gumbo with rice

Unfortunately, this post does not start with a winner. I’ve always wanted to try Soul Fusion and now that they’re on the UH campus, I had my chance! How was it? I mean it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. Is gumbo supposed to be more soupy liquid than thick? Maybe I was expecting more of a stew, this had very little guts (if you know what I mean). Tasted fine but then my coworker and I both had to run to the bathroom very quickly after eating our dishes. Heh, sorry for the TMI, just letting you folks know. Not that the food went bad or anything – just might be a bit rich for those who are sensitive to that.

Shrimp Dumplings Soup (Hong Kong Wonton) | $11.95

Okay, this post might be full of complaints (in fact I think it is. I got this from Yung Yee Kee Dim Sum and while I am usually a big fan of their food, this is not it. It tasted fine! It’s just that this is what $12 gets you. It was like I think maybe 5 wontons? I didn’t pour my soup in yet. I think I can go Chinatown and at least get noodles with it for this price. That was a bummer. Tasted fine but was not worth it.

Dry Mein | $5.99

I saw this at 7eleven and wanted to try it. I love dry mein but it was a small portion. The taste was fine, I just don’t think it’s filling enough to be an entire meal. Also, you can see my awesome skills of overheating things in the microwave. Yum, melted plastic with my food.

Thanks for the patience everyone. We finally got the house tented. It was a horrendous week. We were originally supposed to tent on a Saturday but they called us the day before telling us it had to be rescheduled due to weather. I mean, we had a hotel booked and it is very hard to transport my father (who is very much immobile) around. It was an absolute nightmare.

The day before our rescheduled day was also windy and I was scared they would cancel again but it wasn’t, yay. They gave me a window of 10AM – 1PM for the tenters to come so I figured maybe I just take half day off work. 1:30 rolled around and no one came, I called them asking for status. She tells me they are finishing a job in Kailua and will be here in 30 minutes. Kailua to Kalihi in 30 mins? I don’t think so. I estimated moreso 3PM. Guess WHAT. 3PM – still no one. I call at 3:30PM and they had to call and try to track the guys down and told me it would be another 20 minutes. I’m sure you know where this is going. They arrived at like 4:30PM. We decided to stick around to watch the tent go up, that takes another 2 hours. It’s hard work! These guys were all wearing like slippers and slip-ons…didn’t look too safe to me but I guess they get super grip or something.

This was just an awful week because it was the peak busy week for me at work and then having to deal with tenting, cleaning and packing stuff out – it was hell week. Just glad it’s all done. There’s gotta be an easier way to fumigate, this was insane. Anyway, hope you folks have a great weekend!

Mr. Ojisan Neo Bar & Sushi – Honolulu, HI

Mr. Ojisan Neo Bar & Sushi moved from Kapahulu to I guess the Moilili area a few years ago, this is my first time at this location. They are located in the same building as the old Sanoya Ramen – private parking lot in the back! Chan and I had a great time with our dining companions, great food and company! They were playing sports on 3 TV screens and Kpop videos on another one. I kept my eye out for my baby Jimin (BTS). 🙂

Shishito Peppers w/Yuzu Miso | $8.00

Yum! I don’t know how strong of a yuzu taste I got from these peppers but the miso was a nice touch. I loved the sweetness!

French Fries | $8.00

Can’t go wrong with fries ‘bah. Perfect food for drinking (not that I would know).

Misoyaki Butterfish | $20.00

Can’t go wrong with a perfectly cooking miso butterfish. Perfectly seasoned and cooked, so moist and tender. Yum! Pricey but worth it to me. You can make it a teishoku meal for $4.00 and get tonjiro soup, tsukemono and rice too.

Wafu Steak | $27.00

Anything coming out on a sizzling plate is good ah? It’s smothered in onions, ponzu sauce, daikon and garlic chips. How can you go wrong? Was delicious and perfectly cooked!

Sashimi Platter | $39.00

Gotta give the Ojisans behind the sushi counter something for do! Very nice sashimi platter! Was full from all the ono food! I also tried their lava cake for dessert, forgot to take a pic! But the lava cake was really good too!

Nice restaurant, super laid back with folks from all walks of life dining here. I would definitely return!

‘Ili‘ili Cash & Carry – Moilili, HI

I have wanted to try ‘Ili‘ili Cash & Carry ever since they opened up a few years ago. Chan had a hankering for pizza this past weekend so we ordered some in! I would call this like elevated pizza so expect to pay a pretty penny for it, but hey, what doesn’t cost a pretty penny these days right? They have online ordering available so you can place your order and head in to grab your food! Let me show you what we tried.

‘ili‘ili Supreme | $31.00
tomato/olives/pepperoni/sausage/onion/peppers

How was it? Good, not great. Nothing spectacular you know? Feel likes it was lacking a little something – spice? More seasoning? Not enough veggies?

Funghi | $31.00
fiore di latte, mushrooms, herbs, pancetta, parmesan

Once again, good but not great. It feels like each pizza is just lacking one thing that could make it great. This one? I think if it had the addition of garlic – it could have really made this one awesome.

Choke Garlic Balls | $13.00
add pepperoni | $2.00

Ding ding ding, and we have a winner! This was my favorite dish but how could you go wrong with garlic balls (lol). I mean it was soaked in garlic butter – so good. So so so good. Definite must have! Even though the pizza was a bit lackluster, I do still want to try their sandwiches one day.