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

Have you folks tried those furikake wonton chips at Foodland? They now sell it alongside their housemade tortilla chips. Those wonton chips are TOO DAMN GOOD. It’s not hard crispy, it’s a nice and light crispy. And everytime I go into Foodland and look at their dips because I bet they would be good with those chips. I broke down and got this dip to try. It was okay, I think it’s a gimmicky name. It’s really just creamy salmon dip with furikake haha. But I enjoyed it! Glad I tried, not sure I would buy again (cause it’s pricey!).

Oh yum. I forget the price of this but it was a good sandwich, this was also from Foodland. And a bit blasphemous but I ate it cold. I bet it would be super good warmed up in a toaster oven.

Don’t you love a good ‘ole Hawaii style potluck party? Look at all this glorious food on one plate. I was in heaven, can’t go wrong. Loved it!! Spinach rolls are one of my favorites of all time!!

Recipe: Mixed Eggplant Bucatini

A trip to the mainland means a trip to Trader Joes. Especially if you’re from Hawaii! Another TikTok recipe, I saved this and decided to give it a try! Easy easy recipe. 4 ingredients!

That’s basically it! Cook up your pasta according to your preference (doesn’t have to be bucatini, choose what you like!) – save the pasta water. Heat up the eggplant with tomatoes and onions and jar of eggplace garlic spread with sweet red peppers on the stove top. Add maybe 1/2 C of your hot pasta water to make the mixture more “saucy” – do it to your liking. Throw in the cooked pasta and mix it up! Top with shredded parmesan cheese (whatever cheese you like).

Looks good ah? My own notes, not enough salt. It’s a bit sweet for my taste. Perhaps you can salt your pasta water (I didn’t) or add salt when you’re making it to your taste. I ate it with hot chili oil so it tasted great for me. I’m glad I bought two servings worth, I can still make another batch!

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.

Big Kahuna’s Pizza – HNL Airport, HI

I’ve been wanting to try Big Kahuna’s for a long time now but I am never out by the airport. I had a pick-up at the airport this past weekend and it married up perfectly for a dinner run. I called in my order and timed it perfect for the pick-up. It was a Saturday night so I called in about an hour beforehand and the order was ready to go when we got there. They also have a special, buy one get one half off of their 12″ pizzas. The parking lot is pretty expansive and the restaurants validate for 2 hours I believe. There is a grace period of 10 minutes so we didn’t really need validation.

12″ Sumo Special | $23.85
pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage, bacon, Portuguese sausage, kalua pork, onions, fresh mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, and black olives

Hands down the best pizza of the night. Look at all those toppings! And the crust is perfect, thin but not too thin. Nice and crispy. We noticed that although our pizzas were ready, they grab it from the oven when you get there so you’re not getting pizza that is sitting around getting cold! Super good.

12″ Portagee | $23.45
Hawaii’s king of sausage with sliced tomatoes and sprinkled with green onions

Good, not great. How can I compare this one after I had the Sumo?? And the price difference is so small! This one was okay but hands down, order the sumo!!

Garlic Cheese Balls (12) | $8.95
baked in butter and garlic, topped with our five cheeses

This is one of the dishes they are known for and it’s one of the dishes I was dying to try. We actually ordered the 6 pack and they gave us the 12 pack (charged us for the 12 pack too) by mistake. It’s okay, it’s double the amount of balls for only 2 bucks more, so this was a better deal. how was it? Well…good, not great. I think if they served it alongside marinara sauce (even better, spicy marinara), it would have been way better. So yeah, a bit dry for my taste.

Recipe: Cheese Stuffed Italian Sausage Pasta

I already have to start this post with an apology for that abysmal photograph. Honestly, I thought this dish was just okay. Perhaps if I got the spicy italian sausage next time, I would like it better. I saw it on Tik Tok (duh) and it was so easy that I couldn’t resist making it. It’s not much of a recipe honestly.

I bought a pack of italian sausages (mild) that came in a pack of five. You cut a slit lengthwise (don’t cut all the way through) and then stick mozzarella string cheese into each sausage and then form it around the cheese to make the sausage whole again.

Place the sausages on a wire rack onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 450° for ten minutes.

Prepare your pasta of your choice. Heat up pasta sauce (whatever kind you like!) and place the sausages into the sauce and simmer for about 20-30 minutes after baking. The sausages should maintain their shape in the sauce! Slice up the sausages and serve over pasta with the sauce. Voila!

Mixed Plate Friday

You folks ever make a soup that called for pasta? I’m sure you have. I don’t like my pasta to get too gummy so I actually cook up the pasta al dente separately…then when I finish the soup, I put it into my container to cool it down. I then dump my pasta on top (in this case, a chickpea pasta) and store it like this. As I scoop out servings to eat, I mix it with the pasta to heat up. It works perfectly and the pasta maintains it’s texture!

Just a quick pic of a lazy Sunday breakfast. Toasted everything bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers and homemade jalapenos and red onions. Delicious!

Tots Flight | $16.95
From top, left to right: spicy cheese & bacon tots, bbq chicken tots, and parmesan truffle tots.

Spicy Cheese & Bacon Tots: crispy tots, Paul’s signature Wahl Sauce, pickled red onion, bacon, spicy cheese sauce, Parmesan cheese
BBQ Chicken Tots: crispy tots drizzled with BBQ sauce, topped with BBQ chicken & roasted corn, jalapeno & red onion salsa
Parmesan Truffle Tots: crispy tots tossed with Parmesan cheese, truffle oil and chopped parsley, served with Chef Paul’s truffle aioli

Have you folks Wahlburgers at Ala Moana yet? We’ve gotten take out twice from here and I hate to admit it but they make some pretty dang good burgers and fries. Here is a small preview of their tots flight. I love tater tots. LOL, I think the spicy cheese and truffle ones were good, I would pass on the BBQ chicken ones!

Tangö Contemporary Café – Honolulu, HI

Another post about Tangö Contemporary Café, what can I say? I’m a fan! We don’t come here nearly as much as we used to but I think we come at least twice a year? Food and service is consistently good and it gives me a good excuse to check out Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx while I’m here. Small changes were made here and there, unfortunately, not for the better. I will explain more.

Torani Italian Soda (Passion Fruit) | $5.00

I don’t really drink much alcohol (let Suntory be an example of why I don’t drink much) so I gave this a try. I’m not usually a fan of cream based drinks so I asked for the cream on the side which they happily complied with. I added the cream in and actually enjoyed it quite a bit! Creamy but also refreshing because of the passion fruit. Yum!

Salmon Board | $21.00
gravlax, smoked salmon, smoked salmon rilette, labneh, rye bread

OMG, I hate to do a comparison but I had this in 2019 and it costs $13.00 back then. Crazy! The board is still good as before although I could not tell you the difference between all the different salmons on the board. We just ate em.

Complimentary Bread

We got served the salmon board and I was wondering if they would bring out the bread. I love their bread so much. Or do I just love pesto so much? Does it matter? It’s soooo good. If they didn’t bring the bread out automatically, I would have asked for sure. And yes, I have asked for seconds before. Living that best life.

Washugyu Steak | $40.00
grilled washugyu flap steak, caramelized onion umami butter, herb roasted potatoes

Wow I need to stop looking at my old blog posts. They used to have a grilled new york steak with kauai shrimp which was my friend’s go to dish. We were disappointed when we noticed it was gone from the menu and this was the closest dish. It was just a meh dish, nothing special. Oh and the steak and shrimp plate before was $29!!! Inflation times are wild…

Beef Stroganoff | $30.00
mustard sour cream demi-glace, house-made fettuccine

I felt like a homey cozy dish and this is what i got. Definitely hit the spot for that but I couldn’t help but think that I could make this for way less. Sorry sorry…this post is getting clouded by prices! It was good. But there are other dishes on the menu that offer more “bang” for your buck.

Kona Coffee Ice Cream Cake | $8.00
kona coffee, vanilla and italian chocolate ice cream, chiffon cake

Okay okay, I hate to compare one last time. But their portion for this dish got WAY smaller and now costs $1.00 more. Here’s a picture of the old version. Kind of a bummer yeah?

Chocolate Brownie | $8.00
served with vanilla bean ice cream

This was my dessert. I felt like something warmed up so this hit the spot. Was good! One of the few times I will eat vanilla ice cream (when it’s served with chocolate on the side).

Monarch Seafoods – Kalihi, HI

After Jalna did her mega post on Monarch Seafoods, you know I had to go right? ABSOLUTELY HAD TO. And even with the clusterbutt of a mess Dillingham is in now…? I still went. I initially forgot where they were so I had to circle the block like 2 times through the crazy road work. Finally spotted them and double parked in their side garage. We were running in and out anyway!

Garlic Roast Pork with Gravy | $13.95

Out of all the dishes she shared, the roast pork with gravy was the one that made my mouth water the most. Oh my. So ono. Had a few dry slices in there but it’s okay, get the gravy to make em wet (LOL) but mostly tender slices. Their salad dressing is amazing. So good. I just relooked at their menu and see that they sell a 24 oz. bottle for $12.50 – I may have to partake in that next time I go!

Garlic Butter Sauteed Tiger Shrimp with Zucchini + Mushrooms over Linguine | $14.95

Was this good? Sure. Would I get it again? Probably not. It’s a pretty simple dish that you can make on your own I think. It’s served with a cream sauce, give it a try if you are into this kine pasta!

Nori Wrapped Crabmeat Stuffed Ahi | $14.50

Here is the dish they are known for! Is it good? Ehhh…I think it’s okay. I don’t think it’s anything to write home (or blog about) – it’s a bit dry to me. Not a lot of flavor so to me, it was just alright. My brother kept dipping it into the salad dressing haha. I don’t know why I was expecting a bigger taste explosion so I was a bit let down. But I would still return to

Menu as of February 2023 (Click to Enlarge)

AROMA ITALIA – Diamond Head, HI

Was looking for a new Italian place to try and I found AROMA ITALIA on Yelp. The reviews were pretty good and the food pics were amazing. I had to give it a try! They look like a take-out shop but offer dine-in service. It was kind of cool that all the workers had an Italian accent, makes it feel authentic somehow. Hope that’s not offensive. Their parking lot is not it. They are in the same lot as Bogart’s Cafe and boy was that lot was tight and had choke cars no matter what time it was. Good luck to you.

La Bomba Pizzetta (8″) | $16.00
tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, topped with fresh italian burrata, arugula and balsamic glaze

Yum yum. Perfect little pizza to start as an appetizer. It was good. I think this was my first experience with burrata. Not quite sure what the hype is with the cheese is, is it because it’s runny? It tastes like mozz to me, lol.

Linguine Pescatore | $23.00
light marinara sauce, jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels and fresh parsley served over linguine pasta

I think I asked to substitute pink sauce for this dish because I just wanted to try pink sauce! They checked with the kitchen and said yes so here the dish is! It was delicious! But the winner dish of the night was a weekly special…

Pappardelle Alla Crema Di Funghi | $20.00
pappardelle pasta tossed in a creamy mushroom sauce with sauteed chicken

I don’t usually like cream sauces because it can be too rich but it was nice to share the two pasta dishes. This dish was so good. The pasta was perfect, great seasoning. Sad it was only a weekly special but they do allow you to build your own pasta dishes so I bet you could create something similar on your own.

Would I come back? Why yes, I think I would! It’s funny, I always want to try the osso buco at Italian restaurants and they are always out when I want to order it. What can I do?? The search continues.