Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pokeway

Pokeway lets you make your own poke bowl. It's the Subway sandwich concept for poke. You can choose between 1-3 scoops of protein. They offer ahi, salmon, hamachi, tako, and tofu. They use fresh fish from the fish auction. Your protein gets mixed with the sauce of your choice and it sits on top a bed of rice and salad. They have 8 different sauces to choose from but my favorite is the sesame. You also get 3 sides and toppings. The poke bowls range from $9-$13.

They are located in downtown Honolulu at Fort Street Mall inside the 1132 Bishop Street building; right across 1132 Cafe. There are some tables outside the shop so you can eat there. They are only open Monday- Friday from 10am-3pm. If you need parking, the closest street parking is on Bethel Street or Pauahi Street.

1132 Bishop St., Ste 143
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 206-1006

Ahi (small)

Salmon (small)

Hamachi (small)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mochi Lab

Mochi Lab is known for their butter mochi creations. They put filling into the center of the butter mochi so it has an extra burst of flavor. You can only find them at the Farmers Market (Blaisdell Concert Hall, Kailua, and Ala Moana Center). The butter mochi is $3 each but you're going to want to buy more than one. My favorite is the pandanilla because it's different and no one on the island makes mochi with pandan. If you follow @mochilab808, you can find out their flavors of the week.

For more information about Mochi Lab, visit mochilab808.com.

Pandanilla, Purple Sweet Potato, Lilikoilada



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ricado's Italian Restaurant

Ricado's serves up delicious Italian food for a reasonable price. They are located inside the Pearl Kai Shopping Center a few doors down from Baskin Robbins. The interior of the restaurant has dim lighting but the space is big. The wait staff is super nice and they will keep refilling your bread basket with fresh bread while you wait for your food.  I recommend the cabonara because it's different from the other Italian restaurants. They don't crack a raw egg on top of it but it's still really tasty.

This is a popular dinner spot for locals who live on the West side of the island.  If you plan to come for dinner, reservations are recommended because it gets busy. The best time to eat is before 6pm. After 6pm, there is a crowd and the parking lot is full.

98-199 Kamehameha Hwy
Aiea, HI 96701
(808) 484-0215

Caesar Salad

Carbonara

Veal Saltimbocca

Fettuccine Salmon Alfredo

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Kona Coffee Purveyors | b. patisserie

Kona Coffee Purveyors | b. patisserie is a coffee shop in the International Market Place. They are located by the Kuhio Ave entrance of the market place. The beverage menu is small but they have a variety of pastries and desserts. My favorite is the kouign amann by b. patisserie. I was surprised that it's consistent with the kouign amann I ate at their San Francisco shop. If you're visiting from out of town, I recommend the black sesame kouign amann because you won't find at the SF shop. The mocha from Kona Coffee Purveyors was good but it was strong. I stayed awake for more than what I needed.

There are a few tables inside and some outdoor seating in front of the shop. The prices are high. If you plan on getting a beverage and a pastry, it will be around $10. If you park in the International Market Place structure, you can get validation if you make a $10 purchase. The validation will give you free parking for 1 hour.

International Market Place
2330 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 845-1700

Kouign Amann

Sesame Kouign Amann

Croissant

Cafe Mocha

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Senia

Senia is in Chinatown next to The Pig and the Lady. They now open for lunch and there is a $35 Prix Fix lunch menu. The menu consists of 3 courses but you have 4 options for the appetizer, 4 options for the entree and 2 options for dessert. You can also add on some of their popular dinner items like the poke cracker and chicken liver mousse. This is a pricey lunch but it's reasonable compared to the dinner. The food is delicious, the presentations are amazing and the service is excellent. The wait staff is friendly and they made great recommendations on the food and drinks. 

If you haven't tried Senia yet, this prix fix lunch is a good way to try the food and see if it's for your taste and you can go back for the dinner. The restaurant is small so you need to make a reservation. For lunch, casual dress code is fine but there are some diners who dressed formal. For parking, I recommend the Marin Tower parking lot; you enter on Smith Street.

For more information about Senia, visit restaurantsenia.com.

75 N King St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 200-5412

"Poke" Cracker

Chicken Liver Mousse

Hirabara Chopped Salad

Beef Tartare

Mafaldine

Porchetta Sandwich

Upsidedown Cake w/ Vanilla Beeswax Ice Cream

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Rita's Italian Ice Hawaii

You can cool off this summer with Italian ice and frozen custard from Rita's. They are located inside Tiki's Family Fun Center next to the Regal Theaters in Dole Cannery. This is a mainland franchise and their first Hawaii location.

You need to get the vanilla frozen custard because it's delicious. If you want to step it up a bit, get the gelati; which is a combination of Italian ice and frozen custard. The regular size will cost you less than $5 and you won't be disappointed. You can park in the Dole Cannery parking structure and they'll give you validation. Depending on what time of day you go, there may be a lot of kids inside Tiki's but Rita's is in the back so you can go in get your frozen treats and get out. If you don't mind the noise, you can stay inside to eat because they have some tables and chairs.

For more information about Rita's visit, ritasfranchises.com.

Tiki's Family Fun Center
735 Iwilei Rd
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 206-9143

Mango Gelati

Strawberry Gelati

Frozen Custard Swirl

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Yauatcha

Yauatcha is a high-end Chinese restaurant located in Waikiki. They are known for their roast duck but they also take dim sum to the next level using quality ingredients and creating beautiful presentations. All the steamed items are made after you order it so you're getting it fresh. The service is excellent and our waiter made great recommendations on the food and drinks. Everything tasted delicious and my favorites were the venison puff, prawn & crispy beach curd cheong funn, truffle duck, and duck salad. The outdoor seating is nice especially in the evenings because you'll get a light breeze.

You want to save this place for a special occasion because you'll find yourself spending between $60-$80 per person if you want to leave full. This amount does not include drinks. If you park in the International Market Place parking, the restaurant will give you validation for 1 hour. Depending on how much food and drinks you order, your dining experience may take about 3 hours. You should make reservations a few days in advance because they do get busy. I highly recommend giving this place a try and a small tip; don't order items you'll find at the dim sum restaurants in Chinatown.

For more information about Yauatcha, visit yauatcha.com/waikiki.

International Market Place
2330 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 739-9318

Venison Puff

Shrimp & Chive Dumpling

Morel Crystal Dumpling

Shanghai Siew Long Bao

Roasted Duck Pumpkin Puff

Prawn & Crispy Bean Curd Cheong Funn

Crispy Duck Salad

Chili Squid w/ Oatmeal

Truffle Duck

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tonkatsu Tamafuji

Tonkatsu Tamafuji is known for their deep-fried pork loin. They are a chain in Japan and this is their first Hawaii location. The quality and taste of the food is excellent. The teishoku's are in the $20 range but you get rice, cabbage, miso soup, and tsukemono with it. I recommend the pork tenderloin over the pork loin because the meat is juicer. This will probably be the crispiest tonkatsu you've ever eaten on the island and you'll want to go back for more.    

They are located on the 2nd floor of the Hee Hing Plaza in Kapahulu. You can easily spot this place because they always have people waiting outside on the balcony. They don't take reservations and the wait can sometimes take up to 60 minutes. Do not go in big groups because it holds up the entire restaurant. There is parking in the Hee Hing Plaza for $2 but sometimes it's free because the attendant is not there. The restaurant suggests parking inside FHB's parking lot after hours.

449 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-1212

Jyukusei Pork Tenderloin Katsu Teishoku

Jyukusei Pork Loin Cheese Katsu Teishoku

Pork Loin Katsu Don

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sweet Creams

Sweet Creams specializes in rolled ice cream. They are located across Ala Moana Center next to Manichi Ramen. Their ice cream rolls are the best compared to the other ones I've tried. The ice cream is always smooth no matter who makes it. I recommend the berry tasty rainbow and the cookies n' cream. The keiki size gives you 5 rolls and it hits the spot especially if you've already eaten a meal before coming. If you want to go all out, get the large but make sure you eat it quick so the rolls don't melt.

The price range is $6-$8. If you don't like their flavors, there is an option to create your own. The best times to go are between 12:30-1:30pm and 6pm-7pm. If you are going after 7pm, be prepared to wait. They accept cash and credit. There is a shared parking lot with the other businesses but it's a hit or miss depending on how many people are waiting in line.

For more information about Sweet Creams, visit sweetcreamshawaii.com.

1430 Kona St. #102
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 260-4725

Cookies 'n Cream

Frozen Hot Cocoa

Berry Tasty Rainbow



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Yacchaba

Yacchaba is an izakaya but they are the first in Hawaii to offer smoked dishes. If you order the smoked items, a small grill is brought to your table. The meats are partially cooked but you finish the cooking yourself. Along with the smoked meats, there are different flavored salts you can sprinkle over after the cooking is done. I enjoyed the different salts but I didn't care for the meats but I liked the other dishes from the kitchen. The food tasted good. The portions were small and the prices are high. I had a table in the corner and service was not good. It took the waiter a long time to give us water and we asked more than once.

I recommend making reservations in advance; they are only open for dinner. The parking lot gets full quickly so if you can get the first seating of the night, you have a better chance of getting a parking space or you'll have to circle around for street parking. They are located right across the Hawaii Convention Center so if you happen to be there for an event, this is a good dining option.

1718 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 945-0108

Fried Yamaimo Potato

Tofu & Avocadao Salad

Fried Sweet Corn

Gyutan Beef Ami Yaki

Fried Ebi Bread

Chicken Karaage

Ankake Dashimaki Tamago

Yaki Musubi

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sammies

Sammies is known for their sandwiches. Abe is the chef and owner. He continues to build his menu with new daily specials. I highly recommend the cubano but it sells out so you need to be in the shop by 12pm if you want it. The sandwiches are priced between $9 - $12. It's a good deal because the sandwich is big. If you have a small appetite, you can share your sandwich with another person. It's always cut in half then wrapped up.

The shop is open Monday - Friday between 11am-4pm. You can eat in or take out. There are 4 small tables and counter seating. For payment, cash and credit is accepted here. For parking, there is street parking on S. King Street or Kaheka Street. There are parking lots nearby but I think it's more expensive than the meters on the street.

1467 S. King St
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 219-5938

Torpedo

French Dip

Cubano

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Edge by Tamura's

The Edge by Tamura's is a restaurant located in Kaimuki. It is owned by the same people who run Tamura's Fine Wine & Liquors. The restaurant has a huge selection of drinks and a bar on the first level. The dining room is upstairs. The menu is a mix of seafood and meat. They have a few varieties of poke but getting the sampler is best. Your waiter will let you know what poke they're offering that day because it changes daily. The entrées are about $15 each and the cocktails are $10. My favorites were the king crab poke and the garlic sweet potato fries.

The interior lighting is dim but it's a great place to come and unwind after work with your friends. I recommend doing family style so you can try more of the food. They are only open for dinner and reservations are recommended if you want to sit upstairs in the dining room. The street parking is free after 6pm or you can park in the paid lot between 11th and 12th Ave.

For more information about The Edge by Tamura's, visit theedgebytamuras.com.

3605 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 732-3340

Poke Sampler

Garlic Sweet Potatoes Fries

Kataifi Scallops

Tamura's BBQ Ribs

Bone Marrow