et al. – Kahala, HI

Hey folks. Sorry for the unexpected absence! It got super busy at work so I’ve been just passing out at night…lol. I also wasn’t eating out too much so I didn’t have a lot to share. I have been keeping busy in the kitchen! If you can believe it, I made my own kimchee from scratch and also fresh strawberry mochi! I think I did a pretty good job at it if I may say so myself. Anyhow, today’s post is about et al, a newish restaurant located in the new shopping center across from Kahala Mall. They are located in the new Foodland Farms! Let’s get to the food shall we?

Pineapple Regina | $9.00

This drink is not on their menu but if you go to their Yelp page, it’s all over the place. Of course I would order it. Why wouldn’t I order it? It is so pretty! Looks do make a difference to me, sorry. When we ordered the drink, the waitress said oh I think we can make that drink for you! Well, this must be a ploy because unless they have cleaned pineapple leaves ready to go at all times, this must be a way to get people interested. Well it worked for us! We both ordered it. Was it good? Ehhh…it was okay but not great. I don’t think I am dying to reorder it.

Hawaiian Clam Chowder | $9.00
ulu, smoked meat, clams, grilled sourdough

Not my appetizer but it was thoroughly enjoyed!

Maui Beets | $11.00
sweet land farm chevre, orange, preserved plum, pistachio, lemon basil pesto

My appetizer! I am a sucker for beets…and these were good. So delicious. Interesting combination of flavors but they all came together and tasted delicious.

Short Rib Arancini | $15.00
sumida farm watercress puree, sweet land farm gouda

Ah, I would call this the star of the night. Sorry I didn’t get a shot of the inside, it’s basically like a risotto ball mixed with short rib meat…breaded and fried. Delicious!

Hamakua Mushroom Risotto | $18.00
hon shimeji, truffle, nori

Funny story. One of their specials was a seafood risotto, come time to order, my friend asked for the risotto and our waitress did not clarify which risotto dish. So here we are. We got the mushroom risotto that’s on their main menu. It’s a good dish, only my friend doesn’t like mushrooms so that didn’t work out too well. If you like mushrooms, you would like this dish.

Casarecce | $27.00
braised pork, clams, garlic, truffle, sherry, parmesan

My dish! Okay, so like the menu isn’t super clear on their dishes. I had no idea what a casarecce was. I had to google many things on the menu before I knew what they were. Then I learned that casarecce is just the type of pasta for this dish. I am sorry to report, was pretty disappointed in this dish. Very strong sour taste…strong citrus? I was a bit confused since there isn’t lemon listed as part of the ingredients? The pork was also salty…pork was served up like a kalua pig. Not a great dish, I wouldn’t order it again. Well unless sour and salty is your thing.

E.V.O.O. Sponge Cake | $10.00
mirin strawberries, basil leaf crumble, olive oil gelato

This cake was…okay. Olive oil as the fat in a cake, what do you think of? What do you expect? I think the cake was alright, a bit dry and crumbly. Wasn’t my cup of tea, probably wouldn’t order it again.

Okay, I realized that this is a less than stellar review. Though, I really enjoyed the ambience and decor of this restaurant. Even though the dishes we got weren’t to our liking, I actually wouldn’t mind heading back to give them a second shot!

Mixed Plate Friday

It’s your favorite day of the week! And it’s your favorite day of the week because of my blog posts right? Of course it is (not at all delusional). Here we go besties!

One of the easiest and go-to pasta dishes, it is made with a sauce packet. No shame. I like to add fresh baby kale to the mix to feign healthiness. Let me live.

Here’s the sauce packet I use. If I make a whole box of pasta, I need 2 packages of this (not to be confusing – each packet comes with two seasoning packs…so I essentially am using all 4, is that clear?). I do know aglio olio e peperoncino is quite an easy dish to make from scratch but I’m going to need the preservative taste of this…it has a nice concentrated anchovy/garlic flavor. Love it.

Another dish I made for the past holiday weekend. Nothing special, just a nice baked spaghetti but to make it even lazier, this is just spaghetti with Zippy’s chili (no beans) smothered in cheese. So good. It tastes exactly as it sounds. Why pay Zippy’s for one plate when you can just buy the frozen and make your own. Sam’s Club has the chili for a good price!

The next two pictures are the snacks I partook in when I watched Black Widow at Ward Theatre. By the way, the movie was great. I didn’t go into it expecting much and she’s not one of my fave characters but I was definitely pleasantly surprised.

Loaded Baked Potato Fries | $9.50
“sidewinder” fries loaded with cheese sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream & fresh scallions

I usually just get a hot dog but these fries are pretty dang good. I like the sidewinder style, nice and crispy on the outside but very soft and “meaty (lol)” on the inside. Salty, a bit too salty. I can only eat a few bites before giving it away.

Banh Mi Style Dog | $8.00
quarter pound beef hot dog, cilantro-lemon aioli, fresh jalapenos, pickled vegetables & slaw

Ah yes, this has been my go-to since they started serving up fancy kine food at the snack bar. I love this hot dog, in fact, I wish more places would sell hot dogs like this. Love the fresh jalapenos, the cilantro-lemon sauce is great…the pickled vegetables and cole slaw is good. The cole slaw isn’t too tangy or wet like American cole slaw so it works great in this. Highly recommend!

Angelo Pietro – Honolulu, HI

I had a hankering for some fusion pasta this week so you know where you gotta go, Angelo Pietro! I made my reservation pretty early in the week and then realized it was on the Saturday of graduation weekend. Good thing I made it early, I think they were pretty booked solid that night. I don’t come here often but boy was service…fast. I don’t mean that in a good way this time. The waiter couldn’t be bothered with us (it was only two of us). They have a happy hour special from 4-6pm for their appetizers, $6! The way it’s listed on the menu, it says, “Raw Potato Salad, Mozzarella Sticks, Calamari Rings” – all in a single line! Makes it look like you get all three. No, it’s $6 each. This is on their temporary paper menu, I think the way they show it on their regular menu is much more clear. Anyway, when I tried to order it (the number 6), the waiter cuts me off and says they don’t have that. Umm…I’m pointing at the menu and look perplexed. He sees what I’m pointing at and says oh, okay yes we have that. Okay like, guys, no other menu items have numbers on it so I don’t know what they don’t have.

Anyway, we got the raw potato salad within 5 minutes of ordering. The pastas we ordered came out 5 minutes after that. We literally got all our food 10 minutes after sitting. Fast is usually good but this was a bit too fast…we barely even ate our salad. Anyway, our waiter was kind of curt in his responses which did not make me want to stay anyway. So how was the food?

Raw Potato Salad | $6.00 (HH Price), $8.95 (Regular)

We picked sesame miso as the dressing. It was very hard to mix the oil into the dressing in those small little containers. I think I should have ordered something fried like the calamari (always with the regrets)

Takana & Bacon Pasta | $17.95
pickled mustard cabbage and bacon in a shoyu sauce topped with nori

Not my dish but I was intrigued by this dish too since I really like pickled mustard cabbage. Not that this dish was junk but it just wasn’t what was expected. The diner expected more of a sweet and sour taste to the takana but it didn’t offer that. The bacon is also not cooked crispy so that was a lowlight in the dish too.

Pork Eryngii Spicy Cream Sauce | $19.95
eryngii mushroom, onions and spicy pork in a garlic cream sauce topped with fried onions & garlic chips

This is my go to past dish here. It’s really good and is actually kind of spicy so that’s my warning to you. It was good! I always enjoy it and it certainly hit the spot for me. Is it worth $20…hard for me to say. Since it’s so delicious and the portion is good, I would say yes!

Recipe: Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta

I made a new recipe today and made it my absolute goal to share it with you folks. I was very excited to try this recipe and realized only when I started cooking what it called for. 10 TABLESPOONS OF BUTTER. TEN. And umm…then I looked at the amount of pasta. 6 OUNCES. What? That’s insane. I don’t know about you folks but I prefer recipes that go by the box because I just rather use it all then save it for later and remember how many ounces are left. I’m lazy that way. So I made many adjustments, wrong adjustments but I can kind of share what I did. I definitely did not add more butter even though I used more pasta…is this how Italian restaurants cook??

150928-01How does this look? This was before I made a few adjustments because…bugga was RICH. Looks pretty right?

150928-02You can never have enough garlic. Never.



Crimini Mushrooms

150928-05Does it help that two of the ten tablespoons of butter is used to saute the mushrooms? I didn’t think so.

150928-06Don’t these shrimp look great? Sorry, I just feel so proud at how I cooked them. I got them from Don Quijote on sale.


Chiffonade of Basil (yes, I had to look up that word)

150928-08What makes this sauce creamy? Cream cheese. All cream cheese. Oh yeah, there’s the butter in this pan. Along with garlic and basil, smelled so ono.

150928-09It will be super lumpy until you throw in the pasta water, then it smoothes out real quick!

150928-10Here is everything mixed together….mmm….

150928-11So what did I do after I ate this and didn’t like it? I added chicken broth. A LOT of chicken broth to thin out the sauce. I also added more cracked black pepper and squeezed a lemon in there. Cream sauces are so tricky, especially for reheating. I packed a couple of containers for lunch this week and poured in more chicken broth to help it not be a clumpy mess when I reheat them.

I got the recipe here. I know I didn’t sell it too well in this post but if you want to make the recipe, please do! I think I messed it up by adding my own quantities. If any of you do want to know the quantities I used, let me know and I can share it. Have a great week folks!

The Pineapple Room – Ala Moana, HI

This was my first visit to The Pineapple Room and quite possibly my last, I really wanted it to be better but it really wasn’t. The menu and prices were definitely overrated and overpriced. Not a lot of choices – I think the only good deal would be the Loco Moco but you have to get it as part of a prix fixe menu, I wasn’t hungry enough for that. Anyhow, maybe their lunch menu is a bit better because dinner was a disappointment.

141105-01Well this was good. I enjoy this kind of bread, is this a plain focaccia? I could have had more of this…and I think we did.


141105-04Shrimp Escargot. Garlic shrimp with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. It sounds good right?  It wasn’t. It was like eating a salt lick. It was incredibly salty, the salt and parmesan cheese is too much.

141105-03Here is the bread. Half grilled and half burnt. Obviously half of the bread was inedible, not that I cared for the hard bread anyway. I used the focaccia to eat the dip…hehe.


141105-06Seared Ahi served puttanesca style over spaghetti. This dish includes portuguese sausage, tomatoes, olives, capers in a light tomato broth. Kristian enjoyed this dish a lot and the fish looks like it it was cooked on point!

141105-07Miso Garlic Butterfish – this was my entree. I enjoyed the root salad a lot, the rice was pretty good. The fish was good too. Pricey though.


Win-Spuntino – Kaimuki, HI

I’m still around! I think it’s time for a little break so I can focus on staying alive…lol. Last week was another whopper but I got through it, yay! Once this semester is over, I will go back to regular blogging again. I don’t know if I can take two classes in the same semester again. Or if I do, I should do it in Spring semester rather than Fall. I hope you are all doing great! I’ll do quick updates here and there as I can.

Here is one of them! A recent lunch I had from Win-Spuntino. Still a good deal but this dish is still way too rich. There’s a lot of oil so I spent my time trying to eat it…while also draining it. The amount of garlic is awesome and I love garlic. They usually serve their dishes with linguine which is what I prefer but this is the second time they ran out of linguine. I don’t get how – it’s their primary noodle and I was one of the first customers of the day.


141013-02Shrimp Scampi – $11.25


Candi’s Cafe – Kalihi, HI

I am alive! I had two papers due this week so I really had to hunker down and get them done. I am happy to say I got both of them in and on time. I still have papers and presentations to prep for but I am going to give myself a little free time tonight. I’ll get down and dirty again tomorrow. Work is also nuts! It’s not a good combination. I’ve been told I look tired and I believe it. I hope you folks are prepared for the potential storm! This one felt like it really crept on us yeah? I think I’m pretty prepared. I do have to fill up gas but I’m afraid to check out the lines. I wish there were cameras all over so I coud look before leaving the house. I hope Hawaii doesn’t have much damage from this storm like the last two we were preparing for. Anyway, just wanted to share a review of Candi’s Cafe today. I’ve been dying to try them out, now that I have, I’m good. The staff there are super nice but the food was mediocre. Let me explain…

141017-02Burger and Fries. My friend had this plate, she was not impressed. It was nice to see a hand formed patty but it was dry and not flavorful. What a shame…


141017-04Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

This was my dish. Meh, it wasn’t great. The sauce was a bit rich. The shrimp had a bit of a freezer burn taste and they cut it into small chunks which I thought was hiding how little shrimp they give. What made it worst was the long wait we had! It was almost 30 minutes. I highly suggest you phone in orders early if you don’t want to wait. Limited parking too.


This aloha friday couldn’t have come fast enough. It’s been a pretty junk week for me…real junk. I also had a class presentation tonight and I woke up feeling sick. I think I did okay for the presentation. I got my major points out – I felt nervous but got through it fine I think. Just glad it’s over. Now I gotta think of my other presentations. I think my next one for this class will be more of an activity so I won’t have to talk the whole time. Yes! I hope you folks had a good week though. I’ll share a nice and serene picture I took a few weeks back.

140919-01Nice yeah? Filter and nice font later. This is shot from Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail.


You didn’t think I would leave you without some food pics right? Another dish I tried from 711 recently. Not too shabby!

140918-02I didn’t know this was there…but look! A sheet of plastic on top! I think it’s to help the cream sauce from burning when you heat it up. That’s just my guess…I hope it doesn’t give me cancer!


How was it? Pretty good! This picture makes it look kind of lumpy huh? It wasn’t…the noodles were still pretty firm and the sauce was nicely preserved!

Win-Spuntino – Waialae, HI

Win-Spuntino is a brand spanking new restaurant that opened up in the Market City Shopping Center. They are located right by Foodland, above the Thai restaurant. I know what you’re thinking, there’s a two story place there? Yes, there is. Anyhow, this restaurant got an interesting start. The owner of the cell phone shop that was located by Anytime Cafe had to move locations and found they had too much room in the new space so they decided to open the cell phone place along with an Italian restaurant. Interesting starts aside, they serve up some pretty good food! I’ve been waiting for a good priced, good tasting, take-out Italian eatery for a while now. I have a lot of pictures to share in this post because it was an office order. My biggest piece of advice, forgo the sandwiches and garlic bread and go straight for the pasta. That’s the good stuff. Let’s get started shall we? Oh! By the way, I found out that the old Fun Factory space will become a Walgreens. As if that parking lot couldn’t get more congested and junk right? Okay, now on with the pictures and review!

140810-05Small Eggplant Parmigiana Sandwich and Salad Combo – $7.75
We had a decent sized order, this is a great deal. Six inch sub along with a small salad – they were nice enough to pack the salad separately to avoid the dressing running into the bread. How was this sandwich? My coworkers didn’t enjoy it. They found that the eggplant wasn’t cooked long enough so the eggplant was a bit too firm/crunchy for their taste. They enjoy their eggplant a bit more cooked/mushy, FYI.


Small Meatball Sandwich and Salad Combo – $7.75
It was all right, nothing special.

140810-09Small Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich and Salad Combo – $7.75
It’s okay, would taste better fresh (it was eaten a bit later). Also, they put raw romaine in all their sandwiches. That’s a bit weird and not necessary.

140810-07Small Italian Sausage Sandwich and Salad Combo – $7.75
Oh blah. I was really looking forward to this sandwich because…look at the sausage! How awesome does that look? Big chunks of whole sliced sausage. Well I saved this one for dinner since I had pasta for lunch. The bread is terrible. Does not hold up well. The sausage? There was a weird taste to it. Not like spoiled or anything, I just didn’t like this sausage and I like all kinds of sausage. Okay let’s move on with the commentary…

The following salad pictures are the salads that come with the small sandwich combos. Big salads I say!

140810-22Pea Salad – it wasn’t mine but it doesn’t look too appetizing to me…peas look a bit mushy as well


140810-26Pasta Salad – yes, it’s served on a bed of romaine lettuce. All their salads are…lol


140810-24Tomato and Mozzarella – this was my salad. I was all excited for it thinking it would be a lot like a caprese. Hmm…didn’t work that way. The tomatoes, cucumbers and cheese are marinated in a very light balsamic vinegar dressing. The cheese was a bit firmer than I expected and very flavorless – I didn’t enjoy this salad.


140810-21Curry Chicken Salad – this is probably the winner of all the salads. If you like a mild curry, you will like this. You must also like raisins. Wish I got this!

140810-06Garlic Bread – $3.00
Blah. Not worth it for 3 bucks. You might as well go to Foodland and grab your own loaf to bake up…I have a big issue with their bread in general


140810-02Chicken Alfredo and Mushrooms – $9.50


140810-04Shrimp Scampi – $11.25
Oh my gosh. I knew what I was getting into when I ordered this. All kinds of good and dangerousness for my body. Shrimp scampi soaking in butter and garlic. They are so generous with shrimp and the sauce was delicious. It was SO good. I would definitely order this again.


140810-11Chicken Marsala – $9.50


140810-13Chicken Sorrentino – $10.25
Chicken, Eggplant, Cheese, Mushrooms, Butter and Marsala Sauce



Chicken, Bacon and Shrimp Casino – $12.00 (Daily Special)


140810-19Spaghetti with Meat Sauce – $7.75
How can you lose with this much pasta and meat for 8 bucks?? This usually comes with Linguini. Their pasta dishes come with linguine by default but spaghetti is also available!


140810-17Linguine Meatball – $8.75 (with spaghetti instead)
My coworker kept this dish for dinner (putting it in the fridge of course) and didn’t think the spaghetti held up real well. I wouldn’t mind trying it with linguine.

Anyhow, the pasta dishes were great! They give incredible portions for crazy great prices. I don’t know how they are going to stay in business with these portions and prices. Even though I say this, I will still be disappointed if any of this changes! They are doing great for now, I hope they keep it up!

Recipe: Angel Hair with Tomatoes, Peas and Basil

I played around with a recipe this past week and came up with this dish! I’m very happy I did because it tastes delicious! And other than the dab of mayonnaise you throw in to make it creamy, it is very good for you! Let me share the pictures first:

140312-01Doesn’t that look good? I tried to make it look good for a picture, I need to wipe the sides off better next time, lol.

140312-08I used three roma tomatoes and two pints of grape tomatoes

140312-03Me and my crazy garlic again, I used a whole bulb

140312-04My basil was a bit wilted in the fridge but they tasted fine! I sliced up 20 basil leaves for this recipe

140312-05Angel Hair Pasta – cooked just below al dente since you heat it up in the sauce too

140312-06Frozen green peas, it can be left frozen even up until cooking

140312-07Heat up some good olive oil and saute the garlic

140312-08Add the tomatoes

140312-09Once the tomatoes release some liquid, add the basil

140312-10As the mixture cooks down, more liquid comes out. I added about 1/4 cup of mayonnaise to this to make it creamier

140312-11Add the peas in just as the sauce is done. You don’t want to overcook the peas so add it at the end to just warm them up

140312-12Here it is! Finished! And so delicious. I added salt and pepper to taste and then added a mozzarella and parmesan shredded cheese right before consumption.

Angel Hair with Tomatoes, Peas and Basil


1 lb. Angel Hair Pasta (I used Barilla brand)
1 bulb of Garlic, minced
3 T Olive Oil
3 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
2 pints Grape Tomatoes, sliced
20 Basil Leaves, julienned
1 package of Frozen Peas

1 tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Pepper
1/4 C of Mayonnaise
Mozzarella/Parmesan Cheese according to your taste

Heat up the olive oil in a big skillet, add the garlic to saute. Once the garlic has browned for about a minute, add all the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes has cooked down a bit and released liquid, add in the basil and mix it together. Lower to medium heat and continue simmering. Once the mixture has released enough liquid to become a sauce (about 5 minutes), add the mayonnaise to thicken the sauce. Add the frozen peas and simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasoning according to your taste.

Turn off the heat. Add the noodles in and mix it up.  Sprinkle cheese on top as you serve the dish. Enjoy!