Mixed Plate Friday

Yeah, I tried the plant-based katsu musubi so you don’t have to. Well it’s up to you. It tastes fine, but they deep fry it katsu style so how can it be junk? And yeah, you can totally tell it’s plant based so if you’re looking for a good spam replacement, this wouldn’t be it. Also it’s $3!!!!

Speaking of musubi, I made this assortment for one of the UH football game gatherings the other week! Ger regular spam, red hot dog spam and plain musubi with some furikake. I enjoy the spam musubis I make lol.

I made this the other week because I had a hankering for Korean style oxtail soup. Trying to replenish my iron levels with meat and can you tell I love green onions? Haha, it was good! I had some glass noodles at the bottom too. Was good but got pretty tired of it after a while…hard to make a dish that you then gotta eat up yourself for DAYS.

Sushi Murayama – Ala Moana, HI

Chan treated me to a special dinner at Sushi Murayama! I haven’t been there in ages and I am not quite sure how they run the restaurant now, post-pandemic. Other than two other guests, we were the only ones seated at the sushi counter for their omakase. I’m not sure if they are doing their full menu dining in the full restaurant. Chan decided to try the $155 omakase deluxe set and what a treat! It’s 16 pieces of sushi and yes, they were all high quality.

My only complaint? Much. Too. Fast. I don’t think I have ever complained about fast service, but this was…too much. They put down your first piece of sushi right when you sit. They explain each sushi and the origin of it which is good, but basically once you eat the sushi – the next piece is already plopped down. The chef was super attentive and basically waiting for the moment to drop the next dish. I tell you, we could have finished the meal in 15 minutes because it felt that fast paced. For me, that ruined the experience a bit. Chan and I had a super omakase experience in Seattle which felt almost opposite of this. Gotta give your diners time to savor the food they just ate…I can’t remember much about each dish because it was just all too fast. I got full so fast too so I had to take some home. Well, enjoy the pics lol.

Kan Sushi – Waikiki, HI

Am I finally posting a new place pre-social media frenzy? Maybe, maybe not. I am scheduling this out but when I checked out Kan Sushi – it was before it was crazy busy. We came on a weekday for lunch. Kan Sushi is an all you can eat sushi/pupu/korean bbq/noodles restaurant. I mean, they seriously have everything. Here is the link to their current menu. Currently, the lunch price is $29.95 or $35.95 for dinner. The only difference is that select items are only available for the dinner price. But when you dine there during lunch and want to pay the dinner price, you can…and you can order dinner items! To me, the dinner items wasn’t enough for me to want to pay extra so we went for the lunch deal!

Kan Sushi is located in Waikiki in the old Todai/Makino Chaya location. Parking is a bit of a pain in the butt, but it is free for kamaaina! Entrance to parking is on Ena Road, there are signs in the parking with a QR code that you need to scan before heading into the restaurant. Once you’re in the restaurant, you fill out the online form and your waiter/waitress gives you a coupon code to input that gives you I believe 2 hours of free parking. Yes!!! 9/2/23 Parking Update: I am seeing that parking now costs money. It was free when I went to dine.

Nicely renovated!!

Tunapeno (4pcs)
spicy tuna, tuna tataki, jalapeno, spicy mayo, sriracha, soy mustard

Good, not great. I really don’t like their spicy tuna and if you know me, I love spicy tuna. They season it weird and the ahi is basically a paste, no bueno.

Truffle Salmon (2pcs)

Yum. I love truffle! This was good! Each nigiri order comes with 2pcs, I shared this with my friend. Yum!

Snowflake Salmon (2pcs)

Not quite sure why this is called snowflake salmon – I think there is supposed to be a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Do you see any sprinkling of cheese? It was good, but nothing spectacular.

Beef Belly Truffle Fries

No. No. No. No. The fries were soggy and not fried well. Beef belly? It’s basically bulgogi on top. And truffle? Where’s the truffle taste? There was absolutely none.

Bacon Pork Belly (Garlic)

I was happy to see KBBQ on the menu and was relieved when we ordered this that it wasn’t a huge serving. This is a managable size and was good!

Cajun Shrimp Udon Pasta

Okay, don’t hate me but this was probably my favorite dish of the meal. I really enjoyed it! Noodles were cooked well, love cajun seasoning and they were pretty generous with the shrimp. Definitely would get this again!

Tom & Jerry Roll (8pcs)
spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, avocado, salmon, pico de gallo, garlic flake, ponzu

This one was a risky order. 4 of the rolls are topped with pico de gallo, the other 4 are topped with crunchy garlic. The rolls are spicy tuna and shrimp tempura (you already know how I feel about their spicy tuna). You know what? The pico de gallo worked really nicely, added a nice fresh crunch to the dish. The cilantro and onions were wonderful. The pieces with crunchy garlic, not great. This is a risky order because it can really fill you up. I don’t know if I would order this again.

Avocado Ball
krab meat (imitation crab), spicy tuna, poke, crunch, hot sauce, avocado, spicy mayo, eel sauce, tobiko, cheese powder (did not see cheese powder on this either)

Okay, this wasn’t really my dish. It’s so pretty to look at but it is HUGE. Good news? No rice, it’s filled with imitation crab (they called it krab and krab is all over the menu) and chunks of random fish. I was already too full so I couldn’t partake in this but hey, if you like avocado, go for it!

Roly Poly Roll
krab meat, salmon, masago, green onion, eel sauce, soy mustard sauce

Not my dish again, it’s salmon wrapped with you guess it, krab salad. It was alright. OH AND BY THE WAY, THEIR SHOYU AND WASABI is some of the weakest tasting I have ever had. Imagine using watered down low sodium Aloha Shoyu or something. Sneak in your own kikkoman or yamasa packets, the junk shoyu really ruined my eating experience.

All in all though, I would return because the price point is great. This is a good place to go with picky eaters too since it’s not just sushi, you can order all kine food!

Tori Ton – Moilili, HI

Tori Ton is one of my go-to Japanese restaurants…great izakaya! If you love Japanese food and drinking, here you go! I don’t do so much of the drinking but I love eating (ha!). I hadn’t been here in quite a while so it was nice to visit again – I wonder if there is new ownership. There seems to be slight changes in the food but actually, I think the changes have been good!

Yummy Cucumber | $4.90

One of our go-to’s! Well these all are. This is perfect with the TKG rice we get. It’s salty and sesame oily…so good with rice.

French Fries with House Made Anchovy Butter | $8.50

Yes, yes, yes and yes! I was hooked on these that night. Love the taste of anchovy and can’t go wrong with butter. Yeah it’s not healthy but let’s live a little!

Healthy Tofu Salad (half size) | $6.50

Here was a nice attempt at me trying to be healthy during the meal trying to fill my stomach with some veggies. It was good! Just a basic salad though with goma dressing.

Pork Wrapped Quail Eggs | $3.60 (each skewer)
Pork Wrapped Japanese Rice | $5.80 (each skewer) – w/Egg Yolk +$1 (each)

Yum yum yum. Winners!

Premium Rice with Fresh Egg | $5.80

The RICE and EGG! They also serve like a seasoned soy sauce with it as you mix the raw egg with the hot rice. I forgot that the sauce is really salty and put too much haha.

Charcoal Grilled Chicken Skin | $2.95 (each skewer)

Oooh, this was good too! They have a chicken skin dish as an appetizer but this one is way better. You can’t beat the grilled taste!

Ichiro Japanese Restaurant – Richmond, BC

Ichiro Japanese Restaurant is one of the restaurants my BF really wanted to check out since he’s been before. We thought we were safe for a weeknight dinner without a reservation (spoiler alert, you are not). They told us they were full until late so we were starting to order take-out when a couple left and they said they could seat us as long as we could finish eating before 7:15. I said, if you can feed us fast, we can eat fast. No worry beef curry.

Ichiro Don & Noodle Set | $28.50 (CAD)
prawn tempura, deep fried chicken & BBQ eel on rice

Kaisen Don & Noodle | $29.95 (CAD)
uni, negitoro, mentaiko, ikura and seaweed on sushi rice

This was my set and it was winners! They ran out of something and had to substitute, I can’t quite remember what it was but it doesn’t matter, it tasted great anyway!

Steveston Sashimi | $76.50 (CAD)
tuna, red tuna, scallop, hamachi, atlantic salmon, sockeye salmon, sweet shrimp and spicy sashimi

We shared this sashimi set – so full from our sets but we had to try out the sashimi selection! If we weren’t so rushed, I think we would have enjoyed the sashimi set more. It’s okay, there’s always next time!

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

Sweet and Spicy Trail Mix | $7.00

I never heard of this Sweet Sentiments but they had a pop-up at Nordstrom last weekend so I decided to support local! It’s pretty good! It does have a bit of a kick to it and she uses stuff I like to eat, love the little goldfish too lol

Shoyu Chicken Mozzy | $5.50
homemade aromatic shoyu chicken laced with kewpie mayo, topped with thin sliced sweet onions, crowned with melty mozzarella

I’ve been wanting to try Coco’s Cravings 808’s baked goods for a while now! Always salivate when she posts her sales. She had a pop-up at Nordstrom last weekend so I got to try it! How was it? Well to be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed. It was $5.50 for this bun, it wasn’t bad but definitely not great you know? I still would love to try her pepperoni one and the cinnamon bun was pretty good!

Sorry, I got this image off the internet and not sure who the owner is. If it’s you, please let me know and I can credit you. Remember this building? It brings a smile to my face when I see this picture, it’s bittersweet. I’m so sad to see Keeaumoku turn into high-rise central, we lost so many of our favorite businesses. On the left, you see Jae-il Video, I used to love going there as a high schooler. You see, I was super into K-pop in high school so I used to take the bus to this shop to rent VHS (yeah I’m old, so wat) of the music shows. The Korean ahjumma thought it was cute that this chinese girl who couldn’t speak Korean would come in to rent tapes. She would always greet me so warmly and they would even give me free Korean magazines and posters (I WAS IN HEAVEN – THAT WAS LIKE GOLD TO ME). I hope that family is doing well nowadays.

Nami Kaze – Honolulu, HI

I first tried Nami Kaze when they opened up with an okazuya take-out concept during the pandemic. It was kind of pricey and the food was just alright back then. They said their original plan was to open as a fancy izakaya so they took a break and reopened! They are open for lunch and dinner, we went for lunch. I wish I wasn’t so full that day (I don’t know what from) because I would have ate more. Though what I did have, was good!

Custard French Toast | $22.00
mango lime coulis, coconut tapioca, candied nuts, roasted coconut

Our dining companion was generous to order this to share with the table. Interesting description yeah? Tapioca on bread, carb on carb! Did I like it? I guess I’m not usually a french toast person anyway so I can’t say I enjoyed it as much. The side sauce was mango and I would say it definitely helped! If the description of the dish fits your fancy, try it!

Charred Sake | $16.00
spicy salmon, pickled vegetables, avocado, tobiko, sea asparagus, kabayaki, garlic aioli

Another shared dish/appetizer. So glad we got it, I really enjoyed it! I would definitely order this roll again!

Mentaiko Omelet | $25.00
tomato, ikura zuke, parmesan

Savory Chinese-Style Steamed Egg Topped with Fresh Seafood and Vegetables. Finished in our house sauce. Toasted Bread or Rice

Change your concept of what an omelet is here! This is how it is served, looks good ah? My friend enjoyed it a lot so if you like eggy savory custard, go for it!!

People’s Choice | $28.00
our ginger fried chicken (okazuya style) and fresh ahi poke (choice of house poke sauce – I chose spicy)
served with rice, potato salad, house pickles

To me, this dish is the best deal on the menu. It comes with a great portion of food for a great cost! The chicken was nicely seasoned, tender and nicely fried. Can’t go wrong with rice and poke too. I can see why it’s called the people’s choice!

All in all, it was a nice experience! It’s located by the Pier, close to Nico’s. I wouldn’t mind coming back to try other dishes at lunch or even try their dinner menu!

Mixed Plate Friday

I’ve talked about Toshi’s Delicatessen on the blog already, here. Old school okazuya, super old school. Yes it’s pricey but you are supporting a small family business and let’s keep them open please! I don’t know their plans because the head chef is an obaasan, I really hope they can continue for years to come!

Chow Fun, Omelet, Spam, Salmon, Fried Chicken

Chow Fun, Omelet, Spam, Shoyu Chicken, Stir-fried Veggies with Spam

Oh yum yum yum. They serve what I like to call haole chow fun (sorry if that offends you), while it looks bland – it actually tastes great! I still slather it with hot sauce. How much did these two plates cost? $40…yeah kind of pricey but once again, worth it.

Okay, usually I would do a whole post for this amount of food but let me explain. We came here for a birthday lunch for my brother, he told me he wanted Chubbies Burgers and we haven’t been there since they opened their brick and mortar. Warning, they are super busy. It’s first come first sit booths, but luckily a booth opened up when our food was ready. Ordered plenty for the four of us, wanted to try it all. This came out to just over $100.

Warning for possible grossness: one of the burgers (mine of course) had a hair on top. It was just sitting right on top of the bun like it fell gingerly on top? I don’t know but it was black short and curly and like even as I type this I am grossed out. I didn’t make a big fuss, I took it back up to the counter and showed it to them and just said, just give me a new one…I not gonna make a scene. They apologized and told me I could throw it away and they would give me a new one.

Unfortunately, my appetite was kind of turned off for the rest of the day. It was just one of them days. The burgers are pretty good and fries are okay too. I don’t know if I will be returning soon, there are other smash burger places to try. Also, my tip is to order it to go even if you eat there (unless you know you gonna slam ’em). It’s just easier if you gotta take home the leftovers. They weren’t being very helpful when I was trying to pack things to go (the fries spilled all over my car cause no lid).

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!!