Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Korean frozen yogurt...

Red Mango
227 Lewers St
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-0848

Yelp reviews

I’m torn, with so many frozen yogurt choices in Honolulu now! Other than being in Waikiki, Red Mango is definitely a winner. A clean, brightly lit shop with a number of outdoor tables. Ordering is easy: there’s only natural or green tea flavors. A bunch of toppings to pick from (beautiful fresh fruit) but not as many as Yogurtland, which can be overwhelming, or too easy to pick toppings that end up tasting really bad together. Red Mango keeps it simple.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Frozen yogurt wars heating up

Milano Freezer
98-150 Kaonohi St
Aiea, HI 96701
(808) 488-7976

So aside from the tacky name, Milano Freezer (an LA chain?) is a new entrant in Hawaii’s nascent frozen yogurt wars. All of us fro yo fans used to complain about the lack of pinkberry or red mango in the islands, and then Yogurt Land opened up around July in Manoa. I thought that Milano opened up after Yogurt Land, but after reading some reviews on Yelp, I realized they’ve been around for at least a year already! So I guess I have to say that they were the first ones (aside from Yami Yogurt, which has always had the plain flavored fro yo).

Milano serves both gelato and fro yo. Their fro yo is delish – super soft and creamy, just the right texture and sourness. They have 4 flavors every day: always plain, and then 3 rotating fruit/green tea flavors. We also tried the gelato, and I’d have to say go with the fro yo. It tasted more like frozen yogurt than gelato to me, but I guess that’s a bonus if you’re looking for a dessert that’s on the lighter side…

Monday, September 15, 2008

Italian kisses in Kailua

Baci Bistro

30 Aulike St
, HI 96734

(808) 262-7555

Yelp reviews

So I have to say that this evening’s dinner started out in a very disappointing manner. We wanted to try out Formaggio Grill – a new outpost of Formaggio wine bar in Kailua – but they don’t take reservations. We showed up around 7 pm on a Saturday, hoping that it wouldn’t be too crowded, with the rain and the Saturday night movie showings, but that didn’t work out. The sweet hostess told us it would be a 45 minute wait. We weren’t in the mood to wait so long. She recommended Saeng’s Thai (in the same strip) but we decided to go look around Kailua for something else.

Our 2nd choice was Casablanca, for some Moroccan fare. Unfortunately, they were full as well, and told us it would be a 20-30 minute wait. Finally, we found a table at Baci Bistro. I had very low expectations, plus I wasn’t even really in the mood for Italian. If there’s any Western food that’s easy to find in Shanghai, it’s Italian. But since it was a crowded Saturday night in Kailua, we went for it.

It turned out to be a lovely evening. From the outdoor seating (despite the rain), to the friendly service, to the amazing cheesecake, Baci comes highly recommended.

We started with the garlic toast (roasted garlic with toasted Italian bread) so-so, and the eggplant tower (roasted eggplant served with an eggplant spread and fresh tomatoes) which was much better.

The yummy eggplant

Pass on the roasted garlic...there's not even very much garlic!

Our entrees included both pastas and meat dishes. The pastas tasted primarily freshly made (with the exception of my spaghetti) Everyone’s favorite by far was the gnocchi, in a delish cheese sauce.

The gnocchi are to die for:

Lobster with spaghetti: excellent buttery lobster, just average spaghetti in a plain tomato sauce

Black fettuccine with scallops

Meat lovers papperdalle: chicken, beef and sausage

Veal (I am blanking on the name) with your choice of veggies or pasta

Even though we were stuffed after all of the pasta, I felt the need to splurge on dessert. The manager recommended the marscapone cheesecake, and we also threw in some vanilla-chocolate profiteroles and the crème brulee. The cheesecake was absolutely to die for: high, white and creamier than a new york style cheesecake, served with raspberry sauce made from fresh berries. The crème brulee was just so-so (a little too soft and runny under the burnt sugar crust), and I can’t report on the profiteroles, since I don’t eat anything with chocolate in it.

On top of the lovely meal, I also learned that baci means ‘kiss’ in Italian…as evidenced by the big set of lips on the restaurant’s sign outside, as well as the copy of ‘il bacio’ in the restrooms

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Japanese market in town

Nijiya Market
1009 Univeristy Ave
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 979-8977

Yelp reviews

Nijiya market opened at Puck’s alley while I was gone (technically, the grand opening is next week, 9/19). It’s like a mini, organic version of Don Quixote’s combined with Kokua market or Down to Earth.

Prepared foods:

Yum, Japanese ice cream treats:

Wide variety of soy sauce and sauces:

In house brand of organic brown rice:

Cutest little rice cracker/crouton type things:

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Coming home

Flying back to Hawaii tomorrow; can't wait! Expect more posts soon...