Nanzan – Kyoto, Japan

I can’t even link this restaurant, I don’t think I can find it. This restaurant was located at Kyoto Station. We decided to take a day trip from Osaka and were starving by the time we arrived at Kyoto. Craving meat, we decided to try this place. The ramen place had a line but this place was empty. Maybe that was a sign. Vicki and I had a funny exchange over this, she thought this restaurant was related to Nanzan GiroGiro in Hawaii, unfortunately it is not! Although I really want to try Nanzan GiroGiro…

Beef Steak Lunch (A) | ¥2700
daily beef steak cuts like Kyoto Wagyu and Japanese beef. 
Beef steak 100g, cattle bone broth soup, salad, rice set.
Beef Steak Lunch (B) | ¥3850
today’s special beef steak cuts like Kyoto wagyu and Japanese beef loin.
Today’s special beef steak 100g, cattle bone broth soup, salad, rice set.
Rice, Cattle Bone Broth Soup, Tsukemono/Kimchee

The bone broth was very clean and light tasting. The tsukemono was a nice touch since I wasn’t expecting it. Yes, that is one kimchee wonbok leaf folded up (lol). It was good, quality over quantity right.


Here is the salad that came with the set. It tasted good, isn’t it so pretty? Yes to plentiful onions yet again. I enjoyed this!

In the end, was this worth the money? Ehh…initially I thought it was kind of pricey. But I guess for a set, this was a pretty good deal! We got both sets and shared, I think I would get Set B on my own if I were to come here again.

Aloha Steak House – Waikiki, HI

Here’s a fair warning. We did not have a good experience at Aloha Steak House. I didn’t even get all the pictures of the food because they seated us at this small little square table and we have to order everything ala carte (like a real steakhouse) but it couldn’t even fit on our table (huh??). I’ll try to break things down in digestable chunks.

Parking: They offer free validated parking at Hyatt Centric. The parking lot is located about two blocks away. Validation is for 2 hours – stay within the two hours! It is $4.00 for every half hour after that. Our service was so slow that we made it out with less than a handful of minutes to spare.

Service: Oh boy, where do I start? Our waitress was both the host and waitress for the entire restaurant. Why? I don’t know. There were about 4 other workers who only ran food out? HUH? Why? It led to huge backlogs in seating and ordering. She had a young man following her all night but he was not allowed to do anything. She forgot our waters and totally forgot one of our desserts.

She certainly turned on her charm for certain tables. And the restaurant was so small that we could hear it all. She was giving out free watermelon ice cream to the other tables. Dumb ole me actually went to this restaurant wanting to try the ice cream so obviously we didn’t get the free sample. In the end, as we were trying to pay out our check, she was too busy cutting up tomahawk steaks at the other tables. Once again, I saw other food runners doing it too so why did she as the only host/waitress do it?

Here’s the best part, we finally flagged down another person to swipe our credit card. A food runner came by to do it and she storms up and tells him not to and that he should not listen to whoever told him to do it and muttered to herself that no one should be running her checks (well, maybe don’t take 30 mins to run a credit card but okay). The only good part of service was that she gave us (and all kamaaina) 10% off our total check.

1/2 LB US Rib Eye Steak | $23.40

The menu is a bit confusing, it says there are two ways to have your steak on a bed of rice or salad. But the steak doesn’t come with that! You have to order those things ala carte, a bit misleading if you ask me. So yes, when you order steak – this is what you get. The meat you order and some corn.

US Rib Eye Steak & Garlic Shrimps | $29.70

This was my dish. I enjoyed it! Good steak, great shrimp and good corn too. Ha.


Garlic Fries ($6.00): Meh. Cold fries served with some golden fried minced garlic. Not great, would not order it again.

Creamed Spinach ($6.00): Are you serious? I have never had such bad creamed spinach in my life. It tasted like they boiled up some frozen spinach, added a teaspoon of cream and no seasoning. Awful.

Mashed Potato ($6.00): Finally a side done right. Was it instant? I don’t think so? I guess the consistency and texture could be mistaken for instant but the taste was good! If you are looking for a mash with some good lumps, this ain’t it.

Watermelon Ice Cream | $7.50

The infamous ice cream! Okay, I was super excited to try this and was a bit disappointed. It wasn’t the ice cream’s fault, I guess I was wanting more of a sorbet but it was definitely a vanilla ice cream with a light hint of watermelon. If you know me, I don’t like plain vanilla ice cream so it was a bit of a downer for me. Cute idea though!

The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood – Honolulu, HI

Signature Prime Steak & Seafood is a great restaurant with an awesome view in Ala Moana. I’ve celebrated a few holidays here and whew, I hope you save up if you want to have a good meal here. But what’s great about Signature is…they have a pretty good Happy Hour too! Decided to come early on a weekday to try it out. We came by like 5pm because we heard it gets pretty busy for Happy Hour, and that was true, we got one of the last tables!

Ahi Poke | $12.50 (Happy Hour)

This was good! Nicely seasoned, nice pieces of fish. I enjoyed the addition of avocado. Would have loved some rice with it but there I go being too asian again.

Rustic Truffle Mashed Potatoes (add-on to Prime Rib Eye) | $3.00

Your eyes aren’t fooling you here. Yes, it was only $3 as an add-on to our steak. Pretty generous serving and truffle? Well, I have a thing for truffles so I am all win for this.

Garlic Fries | $7.50 (Happy Hour)

These are one of the best garlic fries I have ever tried. Subtle garlic flavor and very snack-able sized fries. They weren’t too thick nor too thin and was perfectly fried, yes, recommend!!

12 oz. Prime Rib Eye | $25.00 (Happy Hour)

This alone is worth it for Happy Hour. How am I going to drag myself to eat a regular steak in the restaurant for regular price (at least double the cost) when this definitely sufficed. The taste and quality was there, dang, do I have to do senior citizen dinner times for life?

Seafood Trio | $9.50 (Happy Hour)
Oyster, Jumbo Shrimp, Ahi Sashimi

I couldn’t resist. I was still kind of hungry after our food and had get this. A seafood trio for $9.50 sounded like a steal for me. I predicted that it would just be one piece of seafood for each because of the cheap price, I was kind of right! They did give two slices of ahi though, score! The ahi has a sort of wasabi/horseradish cream sauce on it. I enjoyed it! I enjoyed all three and would definitely order this again.

Happy April!

No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. The food I am featuring on this post is legitimate! If you work at UH Manoa, I highly suggest you give it a try. Today! All jokes aside, we noticed long lines every Wednesday at the Campus Center food court and found out it was because of their steak plate special. I decided to give it a try the other week and I can see what the fuss is about. The plate is very reasonable and they are very generous! I am scheduling this post ahead of time so maybe you’ll see me in line today for this plate. I also hope my jet lag is gone by the time this publishes too! Warning: gratuitous pictures of meat follows…



150401-03They also had macaroni and cheese as a choice, I was VERY tempted but decided to get some greens on my plate.

150401-04Steak steak steak. And look! Not overcooked at all. They actually just refilled it as I got to the front of the line. It was fate.

Island Style BBQ – Kalihi, HI

Island Style BBQ is one of the few restaurants I follow on Facebook and I always salivate at their daily specials. If their shop wasn’t so hard to get to, I would go there more often. They don’t have parking and it’s in a bit of a sketch area but shoot, if there was parking – I’d still go, sketch or not. Well, I hate to report that I had a bad dish and I have to share it. They had posted a picture of their Blackened Steak with Garlic Herb Butter on their Facebook page and it looked AMAZING. I went about a week ago and ordered it, and gosh…it was such a disappointment. I might give them another chance with another dish because they have such good ratings!


Blackened Rib Eye with Garlic Herb Butter – $13.99

You see the top right corner? I legitimately thought they were being generous and threw in a piece of lobster (don’t ask me why I thought that) because it looked white and meaty. Well upon closer inspection, it was just a big lump of fat. In fact, half the plate was basically fat. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a bit of fat with steak, not big chunks of it. Do you see the bottom left corner? I think it’s like the oil and butter melted together from the steak. The rice was drenched in it. Ughh…

150108-02The white spots are where the butter rounds melted

150108-03I ordered the steak rare because I figured it would cook a bit from the drive home. This is actually one of the better pieces, I would say the steak was more so medium than rare. I know I ordered a blackened steak, but it was just…super burnt tasting on the edges. The burnt edges, globs of fat and oil drenched rice was just too much bad for me and I spent a pretty penny on this plate too! I wouldn’t get this again.

The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood – Ala Moana, HI

Birthday celebrations must take place in a steakhouse, it’s a must. Okay, it’s not a must – it’s a luxury. But what a treat! I’ve been wanting to try Signature Prime Steak & Seafood since they’ve opened and finally got the chance about 2 weeks ago. The restaurant offers an incredible view for an incredible price. I happened to dine there during Restaurant Week (totally unplanned) so I lucked out! Let’s get to the pictures!


141206-02Bread. Meh – nothing special.

141206-03Signature Chopped Salad – delicious!

141206-04Lobster Mac and Cheese – $20
Not worth it in my opinion, sorry. Glad I tried it but won’t get it again.

141206-05Rustic Truffle Mashed Potatoes – Part of the Restaurant Week Menu! Delish.

141206-06Creamed Corn – Part of the Restaurant Week Menu!
So simple yet so delicious. The corn was so fresh and crisp – ahhhh so good.

141206-0712 oz. Filet Mignon – $52.95
Birthday treat for the birthday boy! He seemed to enjoy it!


Prime Rib Eye – Part of the Restaurant Week Menu!

141206-09Medium Rare. Funny story, my friend always goes for medium well and I go for medium rare. We’ve been noticing that my meat has been cooked more well than his. What’s up with that? Nah, but my meat was still pink so I’m fine with it.

141206-10Dragonfruit Sorbet – Part of the Restaurant Week Menu!

The restaurant week menu was the best deal ever. It comes with a salad, two full sides, a meat of your choice AND dessert – all for $55! How do you beat that price? I think I would definitely return here for restaurant week! This dessert? I wouldn’t get it again. You see all the black seeds in there, I spent all night having to spit them out. Sorry. Am I supposed to swallow those seeds??

141206-11Complimentary Birthday Cake

For all the shy folks out there, there was no singing involved. When I got my check, they accidentally tacked on the charge for this cake. I was not amused. I was also not amused that I had to call them out on it. I couldn’t find my waitress so I called over the manager and he apologized profusely so all was well in the end. Look at the size of that slice!

Koa Pancake House – Kaimuki, HI

Koa Pancake House is a breakfast/lunch chain of restaurants in Oahu. If you’re looking for a quick and decent breakfast, Koa is the place to go. I wouldn’t say they are great but they aren’t bad. They have a good amount of tables and chairs so you could eat quickly and go. They also have runners who come around refilling coffee if you bought a cup!  Pretty nice. Anyway, just wanted to share a breakfast I had. I would not recommend it…

140602-02Steak and Eggs – $8.95

140602-03I don’t know if you can tell but this is a very thin piece of steak. Also, they asked how I wanted it done…I don’t see how you can do anything but well with such a thin piece of meat. I really didn’t enjoy this breakfast, the grill marks on the steak were completely burnt. The entire steak tasted just burnt. Disappointing.

140602-01Blueberry Waffle – $4.75
This is the waffle my dining partner got. She liked it! It’s a very thin waffle but she enjoyed it and it was thin and crispy.

BLT Steak – Honolulu, HI

I have been wanting to try BLT Steak for a long while now.  The reviews on Yelp are glowing so I booked us a table on Christmas Eve.  How was the experience?  Well much like the quality of my pictures, terrible.  It’s really such a shame.  Let me share with you through pictures.

140104-01Ribeye Steak – Medium Rare ($46).  Overcooked, tough and expensive.  The first bite was good and it was all downhill from there.  My friend asked for medium well and received like medium rare.  Great right? Continue reading