Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TASTETable: Miso & Ale

I'd never made it out to any of Miso & Ale's pop-ups on the windward side, but they are finally at TASTE for lunch on Wednesdays. Check it out!

Amazing salt & pepper fried chicken, kim chee fried rice, and salad. omg for the chicken. for the weekly schedule...check it out because it changes every day.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Regal Bakery expands to McCully

Regal Bakery has expanded from its airport site to McCully Shopping Center (in the Regal Diner plate lunch / dim sum spot...which still serves plate lunch and dim sum. They just added a donut display case in the front).

Can't miss the giant donut outside the shop:
 You are greeted by a tempting display case of donuts at the entrance. Only $10 for a dozen!
 The entire menu:
 My box of a dozen assorted:
 Wow. Seriously a work of art. They only do cake donuts.
 Frosted flake crunch and multi-colored jimmies:
 Maple and cinnamon sugar
 Orange and pink
 Coconut and oreo crush:
Regal Bakery
The original:
3040 Ualena St
Honolulu, HI 96819
(808) 834-4423

The new one:
1960 Kapiolani Ave
Ste 115
(next to 7-11)
Honolulu, HI 96826

Monday, April 30, 2012

Blaisdell Farmers Market (Wednesday evenings)

I went to the Blaisdell Farmers Market specifically for Andrew Le's "The Pig & The Lady" booth (Street inspired Vietnamese cooking) but got distracted but a bunch of other yummy things.

Apple banana bread pudding (can't remember the name of this booth...2 guys who do catering...)

 And their homemade pastrami on homemade foccacia sandwich. Must try this next time.
 Yummy fresh produce...just $1 for this ginormous bunch of green onions!
 Pupus from the Otsuji Farm stand...they sell their own produce but also yummy dishes made from their produce. The poke topped tempura "dino kale" was a winnah.
 Close up:
 Then finally made it to The Pig & The Lady. It was mobbed...a line to order and every seat taken up.

We tried:

"Dau Hu Nhoi Thit Sot Ca Chua" Pork & Shiitake Mushroom stuffed Tofu braised in Tomato sauce
 " Xio Ga " Savory Vietnamese Sticky Rice, steamed chicken, lup cheong, topped with a fried egg
Must go back to try the pho and the vegetarian curry. The Blaisdell Farmers Market is put on by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation every Wednesday from 4 to 7 pm. They have a higher concentration of prepared foods (similar to the KCC farmers market) so it makes a great stop for dinner on the way home, or if you're visiting Hawaii without access to a kitchen to make use of the produce.

Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall Lawn
777 Ward Ave

Honolulu, HI 96814

Sunday, April 29, 2012

First visit: Whole Foods Kailua

I love to browse grocery stores. And think about what I would eat if money and calories were of no concern.

Went with two girlfriends yesterday to Whole Foods Kailua, which opened about a week ago. It's much more spacious than the Kahala Mall location, with high ceilings, but yet still the same familiar Whole Foods feel.

Walking in you are hit by the fresh produce:

 Interestingly, they've moved the bulk dry goods up to the front by the produce, instead of buried in a center aisle:
This is new (or at least I've never seen it in Kahala): sprouted bulk goods. Not entirely sure how you can sprout a dry legume / bean.

 Behind the produce is the fish & poke section...including limu from Paepae o He'eia
 Poke on sale for $12.99 a pound (pretty good given the recent ahi shortage)
And local Waialua Estate chocolate in the bakery.
Next trip: to scope out the entire bakery section...


Whole Foods Kailua
629 Kailua Rd
Ste 100

Kailua, HI 96734
(808) 263-6800

Monday, April 23, 2012

2 stellar mediterranean / lebanese meals

I go through phases of only wanting to eat one type of food: hot pot, hawaiian plate, or poke. Recently, it's been mediterranean food. The garlicky-ness of the hummus and baba ganoush, the lemony flavor of the tabbouleh or grape leaves, and the spicy meats in the lamb or chicken shwarma.

Recently, I tried two (new to me) mediterranean restaurants, although I believe they've been around for quite some time.

The Olive Tree Cafe: on the backside of Kahala Mall, right next to Wahoo's Fish Tacos AND their own wine / greek ingredients deli / grocery. Perfect to pick up a bottle, since OTC is BYOB.

 Seating is limited but includes indoor & outdoor options. Tough to get seating unless you get there right when they open at 5 pm.
 We started with the baba ganoush AND the hummus.
 Close up of the hummus...
 ...and the baba ganoush. Both were delish, but if I had to pick one, I'd go with the baba ganoush (roasted eggplant mashed with garlic)
 Fresh fish shwarma (lamb or chicken are also options)
Then today we walked downtown with the intent of heading to the Doner Kebab place off of Fort Street Mall, but ended up at "good & healthy" lebanese, which is in the alley off King btw Alakea and Richards St.

The "lebanese veggie platter" ($9): tabbouleh, hummus, a grape leaf, tahini dressing salad, and 2 falafel balls.

The deets:

Olive Tree Cafe
4614 Kilauea Ave
Ste 107

Honolulu, HI 96816
Neighborhood: Kahala
(808) 737-0303

Good & Healthy Cafe
212 Merchant St
Ste 3

Honolulu, HI 96813
Neighborhood: Downtown
(808) 566-6365

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My latest obsession: Poke

I've been completely obsessed with poke. I think it all started when I moved back home a year and a half ago. I was never super into it growing up, but after spending 7 years in China, I learned how to eat all sorts of things I never would've considered back in the day, so now naturally poke fits in on the easy end of that scale.

My two top spots without a doubt are Tanioka's and Tamura's. Tanioka's when I'm out on the west side (which unfortunately, isn't very often) and Tamura's when I'm in town (it's in Kaimuki) or driving back from the North Shore. Tanioka's might win overall, just because they have so much other ono grindz to choose from ... musubi, bentos, sushi, hawaiian plate, etc. Then again, Tamura's does have the full alcohol selection (it's also a wine shop, at least in Town).

Here's the poke selection:

My dream birthday celebration includes a poke cake from Taniokas:


 Tamura's poke bowl with kalua pig and lomi salmon
 Tamura's spicy crab poke
Best lunch ever: Tamura's spicy ahi and limu poke, with 2 musubi from Fort Ruger Market
Here's one I just checked our recently: Ono Seafood (not to be confused with Ono Hawaiian Food across the street on Kapahulu). Ono Seafood is so tiny; it's hard to find:
 Inside Ono Seafood
 Ono Seafood spicy ahi and shoyu limu

For a sit down lunch with friends, I choose Pa'ina Cafe at Ward. Inside Pa'ina Cafe - super cute upgrade compared to their old kiosk
 Pa'ina Cafe mix bowl
 When I'm downtown and craving poke, I go to Ahi & Veg. I didn't have such great luck with my spicy salmon bowl at the Fort Street mall location:
But the just-opened location off of Bishop St (corner of Queen or Merchant? Next to Cake Couture) and I had much better luck with the spicy kim chee poke...winnah.

All this poke was getting $$ on my wallet, so I gave a shot at making my own. I thought, how hard can it be? Chop up some raw fish, add some shoyu, green onions, salt,avocado, whatevahs. But I found out the freshness of the fish really matters: buying it at Don Quixote and taking it home just can't compete with the freshness the poke markets are getting. I'll just have to find a better source for fish! (Below, my attempt at salmon-avocado, spicy ahi, and ahi green onion pokes)

Mmmm...Whole Ox Deli

Wow. I just had lunch at He'eia Pier earlier this week and we were talking about how "the boys" are opening a new concept this week: The Whole Ox. Everyone and their mother was there for the grand opening on Wednesday (and seem to have spent all day there - breakfast and lunch!). According to Honolulu Pulse, 

For months, there was buzz that Robert McGee (formerly of Apartment3 and Plancha Honolulu) was planning to open a new business in the former Blue Ocean Thai Restaurant space on Keawe Street. McGee used fundraising site IndieGOGO to collect donations for a smoker (costing roughly $11,000) and produce his own cold cuts.

McGee sources his pork from Maui and his beef from Hawaii Island (although not sure which ranch) I believe. We got to try both meats today, splitting a dry aged burger and the smoked pork sandwich. Although the menu is short (less than 10 items) it was soo hard to pick what to eat, because they all sounded so ono.

From the outside: super cute renovation of Blue Ocean Thai!

 Outdoor picnic tables

Ordering at the counter

The menu on a chalkboard behind the counter

This was actually the line at its shortest
 The Doug...something...pancetta (?)
 Smoked pork
 And...omg...the best burger I've ever had. It didn't need any condiments; the meat was that flavorful.
** Update 4/23/2012:
I went back again and tried the roast beef sandwich (per the rec of one of the staff). It was beautiful but not as good as the burger. My friend also recommends the french fries (actually fried potatoes) which are fried baby (fingerling?) potatoes...$4 a serving but big enough to share.

Here's some of the salads & pate / headcheese / prepared meats:

The deets:

327 Keawe St
Honolulu, HI 96813
No phone yet