Mixed Plate Friday

On a walk around the UH Manoa campus, I spotted this note on the ground. It was the Monday after graduation and I was just so intrigued by the letter. Simple note. Do you think it’s authentic? Do grandparents sign letters with “Grandmother”? I guess I would assume Grandma or something less formal? Not sure. I felt sad that it was littered on the ground. So what do you folks think? Real letter or like a plant to catch attention? Either way, sweet but sad message.

Spicy Tofu Poke Bowl | $11.75

Walked down to Down to Earth (ha!) but didn’t get my usual tofu pockets, decided to try this spicy tofu poke bowl instead. How was it? Well it tastes like a health food store made it, does that help you? Get a big helping of hijiki salad which I love. Rice was kind of hard. The tofu was just alright. I wouldn’t get it again.

Miso Butterfish Bento | $14.00

It is dangerous that Mai Musubi is so close to work, since I walked down to Le Flowers to get a lei, swung by here to grab breakfast and lunch. This bento was supposed to be my lunch but I ate it for breakfast (lol). It was good! Two good sizes pieces of fish, I enjoyed it. I don’t enjoy their fried chicken but I enjoy this.

Tokyo Disneyland

This one is a short post, we didn’t do much here. Actually, I basically ate the mochi balls and left. Sad yeah? I think I either have to go with someone who is super into theme parks or it’s just wasted on me. I’ve been many times. If I were to just walk through the park, I would probably pick DisneySea over Tokyo Disney.

Hot Dog Set | ¥1090

Not the best – I just thought I had to get one more thing before leaving the park. We left before even dinner time and mind you, we ate lunch at a outside restaurant too.

My must get anytime I come to this park, these dang alien mochi balls! I forgot each one is filled with a different flavor, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. I’ll eat the vanilla one even though I don’t like vanilla haha.

Mixed Plate Friday

Get this. I was in a mood but still always follow the rules. So I’m driving up Piikoi to go onto the freeway right? And you folks know, the right and left lane people always be trying to cut us rule followers. I don’t let them cut because why should I have to wait forever to get on the freeway while you folks just cut last minute? It is so maddening! Anyway, earlier this morning it happened. This stupid jeep was on the left trying to cut me, we were bumper to bumper at the red light. I was not going to let him in. But he kept moving forward and steering his car like he was just gonna cut anyway.

Well guess what. No. I didn’t let that happen. And as the light turned green and I went gas em, his passenger, some white lady busts out her phone and points it at me out of the window. Yeah! Like she’s trying for record me for not letting them in??? Girl are you crazy. I hope you enjoyed the view of me pissed off in my big black sunglasses I got from my eye surgery. It was obviously a rental car (dumb tourist). I was hopping mad but I ain’t going to engage with them. I just drove off. How rude right??? I almost like her post the video and me find it to tell everyone exactly what happened.

Spicy & Shoyu Ahi Poke Bowl | $12.99

Before the pandemic, Aja used to fill up the cold case with sushi and bibimkooksoo. Still no bibimkooksoo but I did try this poke bowl the other week! Pretty good! Pretty good portion for $12.99 even if it’s a lot of rice.

Homemade Bahn Mi Toast

Haha I’m calling it toast because I didn’t have any french bread. But I just toasted up one slice of bread, shredded Sam’s Club chicken with mayo, made my own carrot/daikon pickle, fresh cilantro and some homemade pickled jalapenos too! It was delicious! The boys loved it too, all three of them! Hard to find dishes that all three enjoy.

Homemade Tuna Pasta Salad

Did I post this before? I just made my own pasta salad one day and used cottage cheese as a base for the dressing to make it healthier. I just needed the wetness of the cottage cheese to make a dressing and for me it works. I added fresh dill too to make it even more flavorful. I forget the recipe already, if you want it, let me know and I can try to type one up and post. I enjoy this dish!

Recipe: Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Let me start this post off with a funny and TMI question. And if you’re not a woman, please feel free to browse past this paragraph. How do you put on your bras?? I’ve been having really bad shoulder problems (rotation issue) and when I could no longer put on my bra like before, I took action and got a referral to PT. That’s when I started talking to other women that I found out…it’s hard for a lot of people to put on their bras that way? I thread my arms through and reach my arms to my back to put on the clasp. I learned that a few of you clasp it up front, then turn the bra to the back and then put on the straps? How many of you do this?? Just genuinely curious.

Anyway, so yes. I have now completed 2 weeks of PT. Two more to go and I gotta say, this week really showed me how effective it has been. I haven’t realized how my shoulders have really been holding me back and making me feel miserable. I mean, when I sit still, my shoulders don’t ache but movement is super inhibited by the pain. I feel like I got a burst of energy back this week and I know my shoulders are so much better and looser than before. So right now, I can’t speak highly enough about PT and its benefits. If you have body aches that are bothering you, please consider doing PT if that’s an option. You’re worth it!

Okay, here’s another recipe that I found online. I needed another way to eat broccoli, getting tired of the two ways I eat it. Well, I’ve always liked balsamic veggies in the restaurants so I gave this a try. It was great! I love it. I also decided to add zucchini and green beans to the party. Thank god for our farmers market at work, I really hope they continue to come during the summer time.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables


Broccoli (I buy the ready to use bags from Sam’s Club or Costco)
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 bunch of green beans, cleaned with the ends cut off, chopped

Balsamic Marinade
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried basil
freshly cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, dried basil, and pepper. Set the marinade aside.

Lay out vegetables onto a baking sheet (single layer if able), drizzle marinade all over the vegetables.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven, give the vegetables a good stir, then return them to the oven and roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and have browned on the edges. Don’t be alarmed if the marinade blackens on the baking sheet, that part will not be scooped up with the vegetables.

Recipe Credit: Budget Bytes

Mixed Plate Friday

Cream Cheese Guava Danish

My wonderful coworker got me this nice morning breakfast treat this week! She got it from Wallflour Bake Shop. Oh my gosh, and I got to try it while it was fresh and it was soooo good. So buttery and flakey and just delicious. I’ve never been to this bakery but if this pastry was an indication, go for it!

Somen Salad

How cute is this? How cute is the spam heart? This was part of the offerings of a cute 15th birthday party. Oh man, the mother put so many details into the party. The decorations and the food, I could absolutely tell she put so much work into the party. It’s really all the little details that count you know? I noticed them all and I hope her daughter appreciated them too!

Spicy Black Bean Jalapeno Dip

I got onto this wagon too late. I know they had this a few months already and finally only got it like a week ago. Well dang it, it is GOOD. Not too spicy but guess what. It’s all gone already. And I see it says limited time so I guess I won’t get to eat it again. Sigh. Now I’m scouring the internet for bean dip recipes, who would have ever thunk it. If you ever see this in stock again, let me know!!!!

The 220 Grille Restaurant Pt. 2 – Diamond Head, HI

I’m back again with yet another 220 Grille Restaurant review! Part 1 can be found here. Last time, I shared it a bit too late so they closed for a bit. They are open again but you only have until the 27th! I am not sure how often their sessions open up, I do hope they have summer menus! Support KCC culinary students and enjoy some nicely priced food!

Pūlehu Island Grass Fed Beef Steak | $14.00
w/ Spicy Shoyu Lomi Tomato Salsa, Steamed Rice & Furikake

Shared this plate with my coworker, we enjoyed it! Very simple salt and pepper seasoning on the steak. What I like is the nice sear and char. They also ask how you want it, we asked for medium rare. The tomato salsa didn’t have a lot of flavor so it didn’t bring a lot to the plate. The veggies were nice and rice is rice. I would order again!

Old School Teri Burger | $10.00
made with Locally Sourced Grass Fed Beef with Sauteed Onions and Mayo served with Fries, garnished with Mari’s Garden Lettuce, Tomato and House Made Pickles

Not my dish but I had it before and this is still the hands down most bang for your buck dish. Huge burger with homemade patty. Where can you get burger and fries for $10? Get down here!

220 Grille Pan Fried Calamari Steak | $13.00
w/ Creamy Lemon Caper Sauce, w/ Kahuku Sea Asparagus, Tomatoes, Edamame, Carrots & Small Kine Farms Mushrooms served w/ Mashed Potato

They had two calamari dishes that day, I kind of wish I got the one on special versus this one. The calamari was nicely breaded and fried, and nice and tender inside! The mashed potatoes were bland, if no more gravy, the mash should be buttery and salty. Not so. The creamy lemon caper sauce was needed for the dish, but was so thick and chunky that it was like a stew. I mean I liked it but are we stretching the term sauce here? Tasted ono!

2 Lady Farmers Pork Cutlet | $13.00
with Gravy, Mashed Potato and Succotash

Not my dish, but it was nicely cooked! And they pack the gravy separately which is great! No soggy pork cutlet!

Warm Pineapple Peach Cobbler | $4.00
with Fresh Whipped Cream

My dessert, I love myself a cobbler. If you want fresh pineapple and peaches, you won’t find it in this. It’s canned for both I think but I don’t mind that. I enjoyed the dessert because I love the cobbler topping. And it’s $4! I wouldn’t mind trying their other desserts though!

Mixed Plate Friday

For those who know, know! Gateway Cafe is located in the Gateway Student Housing for UH students but their cafeteria is open to the public! For $12.25 at lunch – you can get a pretty good buffet! They put up daily menus every week so you can take a look and see if you are interested. Here’s a sampling of a recent lunch I had. The pasta is hit or miss but on this day, it was a hit! The pink vodka sauce is chef’s kiss. I can’t forget to eat my hot dog. They also advertise their in-house baked bread but I am pretty irked that the last few times I’ve gone…no bread!!! I would pay just to eat that bread. Give me the bread!

Jajangmyeon | $12.95

Is it time for me to compare the different black bean noodle restaurants in Hawaii? This dish is from Dowon Chinese Restaurant, it was alright. To me the sauce was a bit watered down and kind of sweet. A bit odd. I guess I gotta try On Dong again to compare. Also, I don’t know if they give it for dine in but when you order take out, they don’t give you the raw onions and black bean paste as a side. Boo.

Pan Fried Dumplings | $5.00

This is a funny story. I am usually the runner for food pick-ups in Chinatown. This time, my coworker helped do the run and boy did she get a sweat. I ordered pan fried dumplings from Heaven Chinese Noodle and BBQ Cafe. This place is a super hole in the wall Chinese place at the Chinese Cultural Plaza. And when you find it, it’s hit or miss if you are able to communicate with the staff. I gave an easy enough order, pan fried dumplings for $5.00. They go and ask my coworker how many dumplings. Like what??? How many pieces. So she’s texting me asking and I’m like…whatever comes in that order? I was so confused. I think they eventually said it’s 5 pieces, okay that works great. She got super flustered because they weren’t that friendly too lol.

Anyway, the dumplings were really good and they ended up giving I think 7 dumplings so thank you. I really enjoy their food, very home cooking kine and their prices are good! If you’re curious where they are, they are right next to Royal Kitchen.

Mixed Plate Friday

Bobo Chicken with Red Chili and Mixed Vegetable Skewers | $24.99

Just wanted to share a new dish I tried at Chengdu Taste, not new for their menu just new for me. It was pretty good. It’s a pure spectacle to see each piece of meat or vegetable on a skewer. It comes with plenty of that “soup” but unless you like burn a hole in your tummy, I wouldn’t eat it over rice. I tried, I couldn’t hack it. Good dish though! Got a good mixture of vegetables, chicken and quail eggs.

Poke Nachos | $17.95

Aloha Cones started offering up Poke Nachos so I treated my brothers to lunch there. Gotta support local but also look at the price. LOL, I’m a broken record about price. What I will say is…they give a good portion and I am pretty sure they fry the chips fresh when you order it. They really enjoyed the dish and I guess this is the running price for poke now so I guess I would recommend!

Guava & Cream Pie ($2.19 for 1 | $3.19 for 2)

Hawaii McDonald’s has a limited time Guava & Cream Pie and it was all over social media so of course I had to try. The day I wanted to try it, all the locations close to me were sold out. I think they make a batch for the day and when they’re out, they’re out. So I went to a location and sent my brother in to buy it. I’ve had bad luck with online ordering sometimes and I didn’t want to order it online and then get there and get told no more. Well instructions were misunderstood and he picked up 4 pies instead of the 2 I wanted. Ha! Anyway, so how was it? Pretty good. Like a guava cheesecake! And I may be in the minority on this but I actually like baked pies, more so than fried pies.

Daiki Suisan Kaiten Zushi – Osaka, Japan

This is the second time I’ve been to Daiki Suisan Kaiten Zushi, it’s not a fancy restaurant by any means but they serve up good sushi at good prices and the service is super efficient. It’s like a dream genki sushi if you will, only tastes better and is cheaper. What do I miss in Japan though? Spicy Tuna!

Can you tell I was PMSing and craving weird foods?

LOL yup, I eat like a child. I just had a hankering for hamburg steak and Japanese does it best! Or does Hamburg do it best? Hmmm…

Sorry, I don’t have a lot of details on the pricing! I can’t access their menu and it was all done through either ordering on their ipads or grabbing right off the revolving belt which was great, that belt was fully stocked at all times. If I am ever back in Osaka, I would most definitely return. Oh yeah, it’s definitely a tourist trap but I just need to brew my own green tea, mind my business and chomp down!

Universal Japan – Day 2

Most popular and biggest attraction by far. I didn’t know that you had to reserve a ticket to even walk in so we got stopped as we tried. No one speaks good English so I had to play around with their mobile app until I figured out how to reserve tickets. It’s free to walk through, they just have timed visit slots. I think I tried to reserve it at like 10 AM and couldn’t get a window until 3 PM. Highly suggest you check in right when you arrive to reserve your time slot! You cannot do it ahead of time, they make sure you are on property to reserve.

It’s pretty surreal when you walk in, you really feel like you are in the video game! I didn’t even know they had a ride, not that I ride rides. I just enjoyed walking through!

Red Shell Calzone with Cheese & Ketchup Spaghetti Filling | ¥850

This tasted like it sounds. Not good. I don’t think they even serve it anymore lol. I was so full from eating earlier in the day, how do people eat so much at theme parks???

Mixed Berry Christmas Highball | ¥650
Non-Alcoholic Christmas Fruit Cocktail | ¥550

Special drinks for the holidays! I had the non-alcoholic drink. It was gooood!

I forget what this drink was called but I thought it looked cool, it was also not mine lol. I think it was enjoyed!!!

Pretty Christmas tree/show to end the night!