Mixed Plate Friday

Just wanted for be fancy…

Yummy soft tofu slathered in goma dressing and chili oil. Delicious!

Vegetable Board | $15.00

Grilled Marinated Vegetables, Quinoa, Avocado, House Pickled Vegetables, Roasted Beets, Grilled Asparagus

I had this over the summer for dinner at Tango Contemporary Cafe. I enjoyed it a lot! But gosh, was I eating healthy or what?

Lunch Bento | $10.00
marinated boneless short ribs, wing dings, kielbasa sausage, shumai, taegu, takuan, fishcake & kimchee

We ordered bentos from Taka’s Box Lunch for an office retreat and I thought the price was pretty good! I was trying to call them all day on a Friday and sent them a message on Instagram with no response. It was a bit frustrating but I finally got a hold of someone on Monday morning and was able to put my order in. I heard they are pretty busy on Fridays so I understand. The orders all worked out and I thought it was pretty good. I like laugh at wing dings and ribs – the “s” makes it sound like you get more than one. You don’t. It’s okay, still worth it.

KYM Bento Sushi & Catering (Formerly Akyth) – Kalihi, HI

Remember the old school bentos from Akyth? They hold a special memory for me because I remember them from all the high school fundraisers we used to do. Either fundraisers or these bentos would be what was used to feed us for various events. Some people can be haters but I always enjoyed these bentos. They charged cheap prices for these bentos and it always tasted great. And yes, I am one of the few people out there that does like luncheon meat (I don’t prefer it over spam, I am not an animal).

They are no longer called Akyth, they are called KYM Bento Sushi & Catering. Anyway, I must have seen someone’s post about their bentos recently and had a real hankering to get it. SO I DID. I think in the past, you really had to plan early to get their bentos because everyone orders through them. Well this time, I called early on a Saturday morning and asked to put in a take-out order and they were fine with it! I ordered 4 bentos, maki sushi and a few musubis. Let’s check it out!

Chicken Bento with Luncheon Meat | $6.45
rice, mochiko chicken, luncheon meat, kamaboko, takuan & andagi

I loved the nostalgic taste of their mochiko chicken, I haven’t had it like this in any other restaurant. I love it. It’s a unique taste that is just so comforting for me. Now that I realize how easy it is to pick up bentos from them, I will definitely be returning soon. And $6.45? How can you beat that price??

How the bento looks after slicing and removing the huge piece of chicken thigh! I inadvertently sliced the luncheon meat too, two birds with one stone! Oh and the mini andagi is gone, lol.

Deluxe Maki Sushi (8 pieces) | $7.25
red and green ebi, egg, tuna, kampyo, mushroom, choy sum

Absolutely love maki sushi, especially when they include the ebi. This is sooo good, so full of innards. Maki sushi takes so much prep work, I would definitely prefer to pay professionals for it. They also have a mustard cabbage roll but I didn’t try it, saw from reviews that it’s very good. There’s always next time!

Spam Musubi | $2.65

Yes, it’s just a spam musubi. Nothing special. In fact, the spam isn’t even seasoned with teriyaki sauce (which I actually like) but I liked it! And I like that they give you a piece of takuan with it! I like spam musubi of all kinds so this was great for me.

Hot Dog Musubi | $2.65

Can you go wrong with Hawaiian hot dogs? It’s the best. This is what you get when you order the hot dog musubi. Winners (wieners?)!!!

I updated their Yelp page with the current menu if you want to check out the options and prices…support local folks!

Mitsu-Ken Okazu and Catering – Kalihi, HI

I haven’t been to Mitsu-Ken Okazu and Catering since they were located in their original School Street location. It was a miracle they had so much business in their original location with no parking! I decided to try their new location out last week because I had a hankering for some good ‘ole garlic chicken. Their new location has a lot of parking, much easier to maneuver especially early in the morning. It can be a bit confusing when you get in since there are a lot of folks standing around, head straight to the cashier if you are ready to order. The folks standing around are most likely waiting for their food.

Breakfast Deluxe • $6.75

2 Scoops Fried Rice, 2 Eggs (any style), 2 Strips of Bacon & 3 Pieces of Portuguese Sausage

Great deal! I don’t really like bacon but wanted to get their breakfast so I got the deluxe! I shared the bacon with my coworker and enjoyed the breakfast. I like that you can order your eggs the way you want it, they are pretty quick too! This was ono.

Fried Saimin Bento • $7.50

Fried Saimin, Garlic Chicken, Egg Omelette, Portuguese Sausage & Rice with Furikake

This is a great deal! And this bento has everything I want in a bento! Great fried saimin, portuguese sausage (yes, I got it again!) and of course the garlic chicken! I didn’t get to heat it up for lunch but it still tasted good cold. I love that I can pick up breakfast and lunch before heading into work. Mitsu-ken, once a classic, always a classic!


Sumo Drive-Inn & Catering – Honolulu, HI

I was surprisingly active this past weekend. After weekends of just lounging about lazily, I did some shopping both Saturday and Sunday. I hadn’t been to Waikele in a while so I headed out there on Sunday. I went right when they opened so I scored some good parking on both sides. The traffic going in was horrendous, I guess they’re doing some crazy road work over the weekends heading West. I was all mad driving when I saw two mopeds cruising along. Of course, no helmets. There were cops all over so I was hoping they were getting pulled over. Dangerous for them to be on the freeway!

Anyhoo, our office is always on the look out for new catering options for the different events we run. When Sumo Drive-Inn and Catering opened nearby in the old HK’s spot (you folks remember that place?), we had to check it out! Their bento selection and prices are INSANELY cheap. We went during their soft opening and enjoyed their bentos quite a bit so we are already in business with them for our next event. We also learned that days after we did our office taste test, they have raised their prices. I definitely don’t blame them and whatever price they raised it will probably still be a great deal. I can’t see them raising the prices THAT much. Their website still has all the old prices but there’s no way a place can stay in business with these portions and prices. You’ll see what I mean soon enough…I’ll be listing the prices we paid.


150222-03Regular Bento A ($5.00) – Hoki, Fried Chicken (a whole thigh!), Luncheon Meat, Hot Dog and Egg


150222-05Regular Bento B ($5.00) – 2 pcs Fried Chicken, Egg, Luncheon Meat, and Hot Dog

This is the bento I got! Yes, two whole thighs! When I see fried chicken as part of a bento, I assume just nuggets of fried chicken. I was pleasantly surprised to find thighs in here! My complaint was that the chicken was a bit saltier than I would have liked, other than that, I enjoyed it!

150222-06Regular Bento C ($5.00) – Teri Beef, Fried Chicken, Egg and Luncheon Meat



Regular Bento D ($5.00) – Mochiko Chicken, Egg, Luncheon Meat and Hot Dog

150222-09Regular Bento E ($5.00) – Hoki, Mochiko Chicken and Egg

150222-10Keiki Bento E ($4.00) – 2 pcs Maki Sushi, 1 pc Cone Sushi, Hot Dog, Hoki (half piece), and choice of Mochiko Chicken or 1 pc Fried Chicken (which would be the whole thigh again!). What a deal!!! This diner chose mochiko chicken.

150222-01Yokozuna Bento ($8.00) – 5 pcs Maki Sushi, 1 pc Cone Sushi, Mochiko Chicken, Hoki, Teri Beef, Hot Dog, Egg and Luncheon Meat

What a deal! I should have gotten this one! I would next time, I love that their bentos comes with the choice of maki sushi and cone sushi. We talked to the manager when we were there and he mentioned that when they fully open – they will have a daily menu of over 40 plates to order. I’m pretty stoked to have a place like this by work again – especially on days I just have to get away from on-campus offerings.

Koi Catering and Take-out – Kalihi, HI

Note: Koi Catering and Take-out is closing down their Dillingham location on 2/13/15. They will still be operating their food truck. Get your fix now before they close!

Yes, back to the mecca of food. Kalihi! Koi has been around for a few years now and we’ve done a rare lunch order here once or twice before. We decided to do another order this past week and I wanted to share some pictures with you! We were able to get the order in early in the morning and apparently they had a black-out right before we had to pick up the food! Luckily our food was all ready to go. I won’t be able to provide too much feedback – only on the dishes I actually tried. I also apologize ahead of time for the crazy amount of pictures. It’s all food related so it’s worth it right?


Oh man, their parking lot is TIGHT. Good luck if you plan to come here right at lunch time.


150205-03Garlic Ahi Caesar Salad – $9.20

We had two orders of Blackened Ahi Caesar Salad but this is what we got. They made a mistake on the salads. Luckily the diners didn’t mind too much although they were disappointed. One good mistake was that the person who ordered the mini received a full size salad. I like good mistakes.


150205-05Regular Garlic Chicken Plate – $7.50



150205-07Regular Garlic Ahi Plate – $9.20

I got this plate for dinner and actually ate it cold. It was still pretty good! The fish wasn’t overcooked and I enjoyed the sweet wasabi aioli on top. I would definitely get this again!


150205-09Regular Furikake Mahi Mahi Plate – $9.20


150205-11Regular Steak and Portabello Mushroom Salad – $8.00

$8.00!! Can you believe it? I think that’s a great deal! I love portabello mushrooms and the steak looks perfectly cooked! The diner who had this salad was VERY happy.


150205-13Regular Mushroom Chicken Plate – $7.50

I was really interested in getting this dish until I read the description. Deep fried chicken with mushroom gravy. I only like oven baked chicken with mushroom gravy. Can you see the piece of chicken to the left? It looks so dry! I like a bit of crisp on my chicken but not rock hard pieces like this.


150205-15Chicken and Portabello Pasta – $7.75


150205-17Koi Bento – $10.20

A lot of people ordered this bento. This is a picture of one of the better bentos. I think it sounds like a great deal because you get a piece of garlic ahi, steak slices and garlic chicken. Was it good? I didn’t have too many compliments on it and it’s a bit pricey.

150205-21Pesto Mahi Mahi Pasta – $8.00

Ah this was such a disappointment. This was my lunch. I read glowing reviews about this dish and the great flavor. Did I get this on the wrong day? The mahi mahi is breaded and pan fried with no seasoning. The pesto is mixed in with the linguine but there was barely any pesto flavor on the noodles. The entire dish was so bland – I had to add my own sauce to make it edible. I would have preferred a sauce with the mahi mahi. I think the best part of the dish was the garlic bread – it was terribly bad but delicious for you.


150205-19Regular Da 60/40 Hamburger Steak Plate – $8.50

Okay I have to give you the regular price because this is another glorious mistake. This diner ordered a mini and received a regular. There is no way this can be a mini size! So what do you folks think the 60/40 means? It’s a beef and bacon patty. Are your arteries hardening as you read this? I got to try a small piece of this hamburger and it was GOOD. Good thing the diner got all rice, gonna need that to balance all the salt and gravy. Definitely a decadent dish.

Sushi Company – McCully, HI

Sushi Company has been around since 1999 but I only got to try it very recently! I really have no excuse, it’s such a short drive from my workplace but I never had motivation to go. I’ve seen a few pictures pop up on Yelp which makes their food look mighty good and they have great prices so I had to give them a try. So how did it go? The parking lot is a bit awkward but luckily they are the only one open at lunch time so I think they have ample parking. Parking at night? They have the new Izakaya Torae Torae next door so that will definitely be a bit of a nightmare. Sushi Company knows they are in the grab and go business and they adhere to it. I got my order within five minutes of ordering – I thought that was awesome.

140514-01Garlic Chicken Bento – $6.40



140514-04How was the bento? Not bad. Great price. The chicken was good, not tender but not overly hard so it was fine to eat. I think they cook it ahead of time and keep it heated – there’s no way I could have gotten my bento so quick if they had fried it fresh. What did I notice after eating the bento? MSG attack. They definitely use MSG in their food, my mouth/throat was dry all afternoon.

140514-05Spicy Ahi Don – $7.25


140514-07I thought the way they make their spicy ahi looks so delicious. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the red fish eggs. How was it? Pretty good. Not the best spicy ahi I have ever had but definitely not bad.

Kokoro-Tei – Moilili, HI

Okay wait. I gotta laugh…I looked up their Kokoro-Tei‘s website for this blog and couldn’t help but laugh at one of their pictures. It’s nothing bad, but if you know this place – when you walk in, their display cases are empty. It’s usually because they make your bento to order so it’s all fresh. I just found it funny that one of their main pictures includes a full display case. Maybe it’s just me. How are you folks doing? I’m participating in a conference today and tomorrow. Today was a bit rough – 12 hours. While I am exhausted, I feel like I’ve gained so much today. Tomorrow is gonna be a hard day, they will be challenging us quite a bit but this is what I signed up for and I am looking forward to it. Nervously looking forward to it.

Ho…today was so shame. I didn’t eat breakfast and they provided a breakfast of fresh fruit and doughnuts. I didn’t feel like doughnuts so I only ate a few pieces of fruit. My stomach was freaking growling all morning. One of them was SO loud that I had to apologize to my neighbor, I felt so bad! It’s shame too but what can I do? I can’t control it. Well I can. I will tomorrow by eating breakfast before the start – I’m not a big fan of continental breakfasts.

Anyway! Sorry for the tangent. We got some lunch at Kokoro-Tei last week and I wanted to share pictures with you! Their prices are incredibly reasonable and I feel like their bentos are super Japanese. I don’t know how that sounds to you, but let me share the pictures and explain.

140328-01Nori Sake Bento – $5.00

140328-02$5 bucks! It comes with a nice piece of salmon, a deep fried filet of fish and then a tempura style fish cake! Tell me that doesn’t look delicious! And I love the entire sheet of nori on the rice.

140328-03Hamburger Steak Bento – $6.50 (I think!)

140328-04My coworker enjoyed this bento a lot. She thought the hamburger was very flavorful.

140328-05I couldn’t decide on a bento so I ordered their omurice and wanted to try the ala carte order of Rib Eye Steak. Here is my steak, I asked for medium rare. What are your thoughts looking at this picture?

140328-06That’s not medium rare, Jenny. Yes, I agree. This was definitely well done. Over done. But luckily for them, it’s rib eye so the meat was still tender. The garlic sauce is one of about 3 choices, it was SALTY. Do not just pour it over the steak if you order this. A small dip is plenty.

140328-07Omurice – $5.50

140328-08Doesn’t that look amazing? It tasted crazy good. My food took 20 minutes – I was getting a bit frustrated as I watched as everyone who came in after me get their orders. I finally stepped up to the counter and asked what the hold up was. The cashier apologized to me and told me he made a mistake of taking my omurice order when he wasn’t supposed to so I think the kitchen was working hard to make this dish! I’m not sure why they didn’t just tell me it was a mistake, I could have ordered something different. But boy, was this worth the wait. I thought the demi glace would be too salty but it wasn’t at all. What a great dish. I think they run out of this dish early so order early!

I really enjoyed their food and would like to come back. $5.00 for that seafood bento was an incredible deal, I don’t see how they make a profit! Do you see what I mean about their bentos being super Japanese? Their bentos feel and taste authentic to what I think Japan would serve up, other bento shops have assimilated their meals to cater to Hawaii tastes more I think.