Taste of Manoa – Manoa, HI

Every semester, UH Manoa holds a Taste of Manoa festival. It’s great because they offer up $1 plates and the plates are very generous! They held one about two weeks ago in conjunction with the opening of the new recreation center. It was super crowded but I loved seeing the new recreation center, it took a while but I think everything looks great now!

The dishes they had were pretty good, but I ended up doubling up on a few because I didn’t like the soup or dessert. I’ll share two highlights! I forgot to take a picture of the chili cheese dog – that was good too!  Full size!

140425-01Mahi Puttanesca Bruschetta with Island Greens and Citrus Vinaigrette
Pretty good and the fish was cooked perfectly!

140425-02Deep Fried Garlic Pork Ribs with Asian Slaw
Look at that! Only $1! Seriously, a great deal. And surprisingly, I enjoyed the cole slaw again. Am I starting to like cole slaw in general? Uh oh…

Seed Restaurant – Waialae, HI

This is probably not going to be a well-received review of the restaurant but I have to be honest in my reviews. I am surprised that Seed Restaurant is averaging 4.5 stars on Yelp right now. Based on my experience, I’d give them a 2. But let me explain why. I also think Seed Restaurant is ultra cool for doing what they do in terms of being a justice restaurant. You can read more about their mission at their website.

We showed up to the restaurant at about 6 pm on a Saturday night. I expected it to be busy and to have a wait. We were greeted very nicely by the hostess, she was definitely training. While the trainer and the trainee herself were very nice – it was incredibly disorganized. They were constantly giving estimated seating times that were already passed (i.e. You should have a table at 6:30 – when it was already 6:45, etc.). They told us a few times that we would get a table soon because people were finishing up their meal. Well, we waited over an hour. There were a few tables of folks who were done with their meal and were just chatting for the longest time…I feel like that’s kind of rude if you see a whole bunch of people waiting to get in!

Anyway, I observed the service that night. Not only was the wait list a bit of a mess – I overheard a customer whose reservation was lost and it was for a big party. Anyway, after an hour or so – we finally get seated. We got our seat in the back corner and by the way – this restaurant doesn’t have air conditioning (just an FYI on how to dress).

Our waitress came up to our table and didn’t utter a single word. I had to say hello and then just tell her we were ready to order (since we had an hour to browse the menu). We tried to order fresh juices but were told the juicer had just broke. Disappointment #1. How was the food? Oh boy, here we go…

140414-01Baked French “Fries” – $2.50
What a disappointment. Even sliced so thick, the fries were dry and hard as a rock. I don’t know how they were able to overcook such big slices of potato but they did. Inedible.

140414-02Signature Fresh Catch (Ono) – $13.95

140414-03Sigh. Where do I start? Overcooked and underseasoned piece of fish. It was so dry – I felt like a can of tuna would have given better quality fish. There was no flavor at all, luckily my dining companion had dipping sauces I could use. What a waste…

140414-04Here are my mixed vegetables. I basically got all carrots – they trying to tell me something??

140414-05Shabu-Cut Grilled Meat Platter – $12.95
Does the meat look koge to you? It’s definitely not how dark the photo is, this is how it looked in person.

140414-06Doesn’t that look…burnt? My poor friend…he was not happy.

140414-07Here are his mixed vegetables. There are two dipping sauces, one is a garlic chili sauce and one is some kind of herbed oil but it basically tasted like oil. I was biting into the chili pepper to access some kind of flavor for my meal and paid dearly for that…lol.

We were originally going to order dessert too but definitely did not feel like ordering it after the food and service we received. I watched as our waitress talked to every table around us, making conversation, etc. I don’t know why she treated us poorly compared to others. Needless to say, we will not be returning anytime soon. It’s really too bad because I do want to support the mission of this restaurant. Maybe I can give them a chance after a year or so, they have only been open for a month.

By the way, thanks everyone for the kind words on my last entry. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to respond – it’s been hectic and I had to get a new post up. Will definitely respond soon. 🙂 Today, we went to bai san for my Mom. I do appreciate my family coming together to show up for her. She didn’t have her family here in Hawaii but my Dad’s side always shows up in spades. Much mahalo for that. Hope you folks are doing well – I’m excited for the three day weekend. Look at me, it’s not even Monday yet. Happy Monday folks!