Mixed Plate Friday

My brother Jensen got me this super cute Lego Cherry Blossom kit just cause. Aren’t those gifts the best? Just thoughtful and a surprise? I built it up the other day and am proudly displaying it in my office! I love it!!

Have you tried ELEVEN at Foodland Farms Ala Moana? It is more of a small plates and drinks bar but they specialize in a brunch buffet on the weekends! It is $35 for the buffet and includes Prime Rib. I think it’s worth the while to try the different foods and hey you can grind down on unlimited prime rib. One missing element? No poke! I think that would really make the buffet and hello, they make so much poke already in the store!

We checked this place out from watching it on a YouTube video, you can check it out here. There is no free mimosa though – sorry!

First plate! I forget what get already. Broccolini, ulu hash browns, pulehu chicken, portuguese sausage, eggs, salad with fresh beets (!).

Second plate is for all the good stuff. More ulu hash brown, eggs, yummy chicken, fried jasmine rice, prime rib and the pork belly. Oh the pork belly!!! Nice smoky flavor, so good and also bad for you lol.

Smoked Meat and Clam Chowder

We were all excited for the clam chowder. Who can resist a good clam chowder? It was good! We were one of the first diners of the morning and the soup was a bit cold. I’m thinking maybe it didn’t have enough time on the heater yet? Maybe they count on the heater to heat it up? If it was hotter, would be mo’ betta! This would be a good place to host any friends who are visiting Hawaii! Here is the menu.

The 220 Grille Restaurant Pt. 4 – Diamond Head, HI

I did it again. I’m sorry Honolulu Aunty. I made an order and realized right after that it was their last week of service for this session lol. I must have a knack for doing this. It’s okay, I’m going to document the meals here and patiently wait for a new session. Do they open during the summer? Gosh I sure hope so.

2 Lady Farmers Country Fried Pork | $13.00
w/ Creamy Pepper Gravy, Mashed Potato, Green Beans & Corn

This was my lunch (I ordered more food for other meals lol). How was it? Blah. The pork and gravy was a bit salty but the beans and potatoes were super bland. I had to add plenty hot sauce to eat the two side dishes but I do appreciate the use of fresh string beans! I thought it was country fried steak at first and then realized it was pork after. The pieces of pork were nice though!

Beer Braised Beef Cheek Bowl | $12.00
Local Grass Fed Beef Cheek with Onion Jam Sauce, Egg Katsu, Simmered Daikon and Sesame Edamame

Great price for the dish and portion! And look at the perfectly gummy egg. Good dish! I enjoyed it! The cheek meat was nice and tender.

Teri Provolone Cheeseburger | $11.00
made with Locally Sourced Grass Fed Beef with Sautéed Onions and Mayo, served w/ Fries, garnished w/ Island Lettuce, Sugarland Tomato & House Made Pickles

Okay we always order one of these because it’s always winners and today was no different. Definitely a steal of a deal and delicious!

Local Beef & 2 Lady Farmers Pork Bolognaise with Spaghetti & KCC’s Mushroom Cave Oyster Mushrooms | $12.00

Not my dish but boy did I have dish envy when I saw it! The two people who ordered it and both liked it! I would definitely get this next time to try myself!

Cup of Banana Cream Pie | $5.00
with Caramel & Shortbread Cookie Crumble

I love bananas so I wanted to give this a shot! Not a fan of whipped cream and nilla wafers so I might not be the best audience for this dish. But if you like what I named, you would like it!!

Matcha Green Tea Bread Pudding | $4.00
with Cranberry Compote and Vanilla Anglaise

Not my dish but I was told it was a big thumbs down. It looks like they forgot to give her the cranberry compote and vanilla anglaise which it could have used. The bread pudding itself was hard as a brick and bitter so I can see why she was missing the sweet components! Shucks!

Mixed Plate Friday

Loco Moco | $11.00

Yum, loco moco. I can’t resist! We have Holoholo Bistro on campus and they have become a great staple. I love that they make such a variety of dishes and their super cute decorating style. A little pricey but to me this was the perfect portion. They also take Apple Pay which I now use too much because it is so dang easy to use. If you want to check them out, they also opened their own brick and mortar spot in Kailihi where Meg’s used to be!

Homemade Tanghulu

I couldn’t resist. I wanted to make it and TikTok had a microwave version. Came out pretty good! Well 2 things, don’t do the microwave version. The sugar liquid basically needs to be boiling hot to work so it’s better to be on the stove top. 2nd, these do not store well in the fridge. You gotta make it and eat it right away, if not, you’re just looking at a melted sugar syrup mess.

Look at my new water bottle! I hung this cute and cheap chain I got from Amazon. I’ve used it for a week and the chain broke already (lol). Ah it’s okay, it was cute while it lasted! I love this water bottle because it deceptively looks like it doesn’t have the sipping straw but it does! You can chug or sip! I love it! And if you hold it at the right angle, you look like a koala drinking it. I heard Costco might start carrying a two-pack soon – that would be a great deal!!!

Mixed Plate Friday

Okay, today is more of a mixed bowl Friday cause I am just going to feature one thing. Remember the cute miso soup I shared with you the other week! Chan’s friend visited from Japan and gifted me a Hello Kitty collaboration! I WAS SO EXCITED BECAUSE LOOK….!

lol, I had to smash a hole in Hello Kitty’s face.

Look at all those “guts” that were in the cute Hello Kitty head! And oh my gosh! The heart and bow-shaped fish cake? COME ON. The package comes with 2 packs, I can’t wait to have the second one!!!

Tonkatsu Tamafuji – Kapahulu, HI

Sorry for the week long unannounceed break folks. I’m at the tail-end of a crazy crazy semester at work and I’m just spent. I still feel spent by the way. Oh and remember how awful it was for us to go through termite tenting? We found frass again but then I started reading more, I get that there could be leftover frass in furniture that could appear later. My family of course freaks out, we are covered for five years and a technician was sent out. Then my family freaks out that furniture is not covered. I don’t know what to say folks, I’ve learned way too much about termites in the past few months and I really don’t understand why the process has to be this difficult. I’ll have to continue to monitor and call again in 2 weeks if we see new activity I guess. Ugh.

Sorry for the rant! I haven’t been to Tonkatsu Tamafuji in YEARS. And when I say years, maybe even over a decade. You can make reservations on their website but the reservations are like booked out for nearly a year out. My god, people must love tonkatsu. We came on a Thursday AFTERNOON for a 4PM dinner. Yeah, I actually beat my record for senior citizen eating time. And wouldn’t you know? The place was packed with us reservation holders and then a whole line of people lining up for the walk-in line. WILD. I couldn’t believe it!

Sesame Seeds

Were they the first restaurant to do this in Hawaii? You grind your own sesame seeds to add your tonkatsu sauce in. Mmmm, freshly ground sesame seeds smell so good!

Pickled Vegetables

Complimentary! I heard they change these up every time. Ehh, they were okay. Sorry if I’m being a hater. I don’t like cabbage tsukemono when it still has the raw taste you know? I was excited for the choy sum (?) tsukemono on the right but that was also just okay. Just a bit bland. And don’t hurt me, I don’t like umeboshi so I can’t judge that for you folks.

Jyukusei (Aged) Pork Loin Katsu Teishoku (240g) | $27.50

I went for the medium set, 180g sounds so manini. So when I was looking at the menu, I was asking Chan which pork is better cause get Pork Loin Katsu and Pork Tender Loin Katsu. From the name alone, you would think the tender loin would be the best? Nope, it’s this one, the Ro-su. Super good and moist because there’s some fat in it.

Yummy, perfectly fried. It was delicious. The teishoku also comes with unlimited rice (oh my god the rice!) and unlimited shredded cabbage. They serve the cabbage with a goma dressing and a ponzu dressing. You can choose the white rice, seasoned mixed rice or 5 grain rice. We all went for the white rice and that was a great choice. You don’t want your rice competing with all the flavors! You also get a choice of red or white miso soup with either clams and green onions or tofu and seafood.

All in all, a good dining experience! Kind of pricey but I guess you are paying for the quality and service. And if I could eat more, I would definitely be asking for more rice and cabbage. We dined here in mid-April and our friends were looking up the next available reservation and it was in January 2025. CRAZY STUFF. I think it’s also because you don’t need to put a credit card to hold your reservation, and I think the wait-list line all got seated so maybe it just all works out.

Robata JINYA – Honolulu, HI

We recently tried the omakase at Robata JINYA. We parked at the Ward Theater parking and walked across the street, they are located where Nobu used to be. This is the first time I went to the restaurant, we were seated at the sushi bar. I think next time, I’d like to try the regular restaurant menu!

This post is just going to be a lot of pictures because I don’t have the names of almost all the dishes we were served! I believe we ordered the JINYA Signature omakase which was $120 per head. Be warned, come hungry.

J. Girl | $8.00
blood orange juice, sparkling water, grapefruit, lime, strawberries and salt

Mocktail for me. Nice and refreshing. I think this was the drink I ordered? My dining companions ordered sake I believe. Funny story of the night? Chan’s water had to constantly be replaced. Flies/bugs kept flying into them!! It was almost comical at one point. I think he had at least 2 water cup changes that night. Okay, here comes the pictures!

Ringer Hut – Ala Moana, HI

Ringer Hut has reopened at Ala Moana! They are on street level on the post office side. We were excited for them to open and got in before they got super busy! It’s a very nice new space, clean and bright. It was a great meal ruined by the group who came in after us. They were acting very snobbish and just being so rude and sassy. At one point, they asked for hot tea and was informed that they did not serve hot tea – the male diner asked, what kind of restaurant is this? Then when the wait staff asked if they could take the menu back since they already ordered, he said, I guess you can take it if you have to. Get a life. Take a hike! Blah! It’s free to be nice, everyone.

Nagasaki Champon (Regular Size) with Deep Fried Gyoza (6p) | $22.00

Chan got the noodles and we shared the gyoza. The noodles have a nice broth! The gyoza is good but I’m not usually a fan of deep fried gyoza, I prefer them steamed/pan fried.

Nagasaki Saraudon (Regular Size) with Yakimeshi | $23.50

Oh yum! My dish! Saraudon – didn’t know this existed! You can’t tell from the pic but it’s like fried egg noodles underneath all this nice gravy and toppings. I love noodles made like this – it was delicious! And yes, I had to order the side fried rice. I always want to try different types of chahan – was too full to eat it but it tasted great as leftovers! Nice umami flavor. I would definitely get this again!

Karaage (5) | $8.00

We got a side order of karaage to share. Was good! Hard to complain about fried chicken.

The wait staff were very nice, it was within the first few days of opening so I think they are still getting into the groove of things. It didn’t matter for us, the service was great and the food came out quick! I would definitely come back!

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!

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!