Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dong Yang - Korean in Wahiawa

Dong Yang
546 Olive Ave
Wahiawa, HI 96786
(808) 621-5031

J insisted we drive out to Wahiawa for some authentic Korean food. Quite unassuming from the outside, Dong Yang is a great option for Korean if you’re out in Wahiawa, although I don’t know if I would drive out there again just to eat there.
The Dong Yang special plate: meat jun, fish jun, fried mandoo, kal bi, and bbq chicken

Yook kae jang – spicy beef soup with egg, beansprouts, spinach, etc – ono over rice

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Aiea Bowl
Aiea Shopping Ctr Fl
Aiea, HI 96701
(808) 488-6854

I’ve been hearing all about the food and desserts at Aiea Bowl. I went on a Friday night after dinner so unfortunately was too stuffed to try any of the real food (everyone was ordering the fried chicken, need to try that and the oxtail soup next time I am there) but there is always room in my belly for more dessert :)

We started with a slice of carrot cake ($6 or 7 for a ginormous slice) – it was a sharp contrast to Ted’s Bakery. While Ted’s is smooth and almost textureless (in a good way, it blends well with the frosting), Aiea Bowl’s has distinct texture with the shreds of carrot and large walnut chunks. It was a 3 layer cake with a very thin schmear of frosting between layers.
Then we tried the lemon crunch cake – light lemon cake with a lemon curd layer, and creamy whipped cream frosting sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs. This was good but not as good as the carrot cake (and possibly not even as good as the Costco lemon cooler cake, which I am currently obsessed with).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Milano freezer - Manoa Marketplace

Milano Freezer opened up at Manoa Marketplace relatively recently. I like their frozen yogurt because it reminds me of Red Mango – something about not having self-serve frozen yogurt (like Yogurtland or Menchies) seems to keep it higher quality and more smooth/creamy.

It’s $3.25 for a small and toppings are normally $0.75 each. Luckily they were having an early bird special – a small + 3 toppings for $3.95. There are actually 4 or 6 flavors of frozen yogurt everyday, but I stuck with the original. They also have a full freezer of gelato, with fun fruity flavors like lilikoi, and also chocolate peanut butter. You can get a punch card, and get one free frozen yogurt after purchasing 10. apparently they advertise their daily specials on Facebook and Twitter, so sign up to find out about the deals!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The lobster burrito

Caliente del Sol
888 Kapahulu Ave Ste.160
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 739-2777

This is my brother’s current food obsession: the lobster burrito from Caliente del Sol on Kapahulu (in the Safeway complex). My first question to him was “how much does this lobster burrito cost?” but it’s actually the same price as the chicken or beef, since it’s not actually lobster meat, but rather mahimahi with a lobster sauce (whatever that means).

I thought it was a little bland – rice, beans, mahimahi and lobster sauce – but whatever floats your boat. I also asked if there was a salsa bar, but apparently the food safety folks have shut it down, and now require Mexican restaurants to provide individually sealed portions of salsa, so they have those in a little fridge instead of the salsa bar.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ted's Bakery...the best pies & cakes

Ted’s Bakery
59-024 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
(808) 638-8207


This was definitely the highlight of my trip home this month. Anyone in Hawaii when asked about “Ted’s pies” will automatically respond “ohhhh, chocolate haupia pie” (or in my case, since I don’t do chocolate, “ohhh, macadamia nut cream pie”). But not everyone knows that Ted’s Bakery on the north shore also does plate lunches, fried rice, loco moco, and more pies, cakes and pastries than you can count.
We went for lunch on a weekday; it was full but luckily not too packed. We were unfortunately too late for spam musubi (“All sold out. You have to come for breakfast”) but got a garlic shrimp plate for lunch instead. It comes with 2 scoops rice, 1 scoop mac salad, 6 or 8 shrimps (peeled, swimming in butter and sprinkled with some nice parmesan) and a portion of sweet chili sauce for dipping. Yummy buttery goodness.

Then we moved onto the “breakfast” course, with one of their famous donuts (it’s a regular glazed donut but for some reason in a log-shape). Tasted like a cross between a donut and a malasada.
Finally, onto dessert. We couldn’t decide, so ended up with a slice of pie, cheesecake and carrot cake. They were all to die for, but the carrot cake was definitely the winnah. I would drive back out to the North Shore anytime for a slice of that heavenly cake.

MMM carrot cake

A selection of pies

Ted's from the the waves

Pineapple cheesecake...a layer of carrot cake, pineapple puree, cheesecake, and more pineapple

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

taiwanese bubble tea: coffee or tea?

coffee or tea?
1960 Kapiolani Boulevard
McCully Shopping Center

Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 942-4357

i visited coffee or tea today after reading a long list of very passionate reviews (both positive and negative) on yelp, including some saying that this was the best bubble tea in hawaii.

it's a cute little place in mcccully shopping center on the first floor, next to fantastic sams. they said the milk tea (with either tapioca, tea jello or one other chewy thing that i can't remember, $3.50) and the jasmine milk tea ($3.75) are their best sellers. i got a sample of the bubble milk tea and it was definitely good! the bubbles were perfectly chewy and not too hard.

i ordered a lilikoi green tea ($3.75) with tea jelly ($0.75). the drink is made of lilikoi syrup and green tea, no milk.

see the jelly at the bottom?? it's like jello, very bland though. just nice and chewy :) starbucks in china does a coffee jelly in the frappuccino during the summer, and that very clearly tastes like it's made from coffee, but this one was much more neutral.
you can also order the jelly or pudding by itself:

Monday, October 05, 2009

lunch at vietname cafe pho saigon

Vietnam Café Pho Saigon
52 N Hotel St
Corner of Smith and Hotel (Chinatown)

one of my absolute favorite places to go for pho in chinatown is vietnam cafe. i finally realized this time around that i think it's because the broth is a little sweeter, which somehow makes the pho taste richer and more homemade to me.

a regular size pho ($6.50)

and then spring roll bun ($7.50)

first meal back home: serg's mexican kitchen & tropic rush

serg's mexican kitchen
2740 east manoa road
honolulu weekly

tropic rush
2919 kapiolani blvd.

came home for a wedding and wanted to try some new restaurants while i was here for this brief trip. went for mexican near manoa marketplace. it's no korean taco truck (no fusion here) but some welcome mexican in manoa. the flautas (a tortilla wrapped around a meat filling, fried) are the specialty, but they also have enchiladas, burritos, tacos and menudo (but that's only fridays and saturdays).

the outside of serg' was packed on a thursday evening.

close up of the flautas
our entire meal: echalote (sp?) corn covered in mayo and chili, with white cheese, a taco al pastor, the flautas, and a taco salad

for dessert, we went to the new tropic rush fro yo at market city (and they are about to open another location on kapahulu). it's just like yogurt land, but with a surfer-tropical theme. it's self serve fro yo (i think they had 10 or 12 flavors the day we were there) with fun tropical flavors like lychee-mango and passion fruit.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

best of honolulu

Best of honolulu

i am dying to try deluxe pastry shop's donuts ... although i can't say i necessarily agreed with their selection of menchie's as the best fro yo in honolulu...

Monday, February 09, 2009

Pho Mai Lan

1160 Maunakea St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 528-3663

One of my favorite things to do when I'm at home is to try new pho places in Chinatown. Pho is one of the few foods that are impossible to find in Shanghai (well, there are Vietnamese restaurants, but none of them make a decent bowl of pho. Which makes no sense to me, since all of the ingredients are readily available here. And it's more similar to Chinese food than other foreign cuisines.) So basically I am craving pho every day by the time I get home.

I really liked Mai Lan as a new option downtown. It has a very extensive menu - way more choices than just pho and summer rolls (even though that was all we ordered...will have to try something new next time!)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

One last meal

This is quite an old post, but I still wanted to put it up here. On my last night in Honolulu, I insisted that the fam go out to eat with me...first pho at Hale Vietnam (not my first choice for pho, but more convenient than going to Chinatown) and then red mango in waikiki!

The pho:

Lemongrass chicken bun:

Seafood soup (this was pretty bleh)

Highlight of the meal:

Sunday, February 01, 2009

An old favorite

Mmmm, Gina's meat jun felt like 5 pounds of food in there!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Highway Inn

94-226 Leoku St
Waipahu, HI 96797
(808) 677-4345

Consistently rated one of the best hawaiian restaurants/catering businesses in Hawaii. Don't really make it out to Waipahu all that often, but we were driving back from Makaha and thought it would make a great lunch stop. It's super casual inside and looks like it hasn't changed a bit since 1960. I thought the Hawaiian food was equivalent to Ono's (my fave!) but the beef stew was to die for. Definitely try it if you are out there.