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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Junpuu

Junpuu is known for their ramen. They open daily for lunch and dinner. The inside of the restaurant is small but their service the excellent. The staff come by frequently to make sure your water cups are filled and you're happy with your food. I enjoyed the garlic Tokyo tonkotsu ramen and the fresh potato chips with Himalayan sea salt. The ramen ranges from $10 to $12 a bowl and you also have the option of adding on extras like an ajitama egg.

They are located at the corner of S. King and Victoria Street on the ground floor of the Medical Arts Building. They don't accept reservations and the wait time is around 30 minutes if you come at the usually lunch or dinner times. I don't recommend coming with more than 4 people because of how the tables are set up. There is parking in the building and they will validate. The building parking is free after 5pm. An alternate parking option is street parking on Victoria or Young Street.


1010 S King St.
Ste 108
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 260-1901

Homemade Potato Chips

Gyoza

Miso Ramen w/ Ajitama Egg

Garlic Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen w/ Ajitama Egg

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Roast Duck Kitchen

Roast Duck Kitchen is known for their Chinese BBQ. Their most popular item is the roast pork and that sells out fast. They also have roast duck, roast chicken, ginger chicken, char siu, and gau gee. I recommend trying all their stuff but the roast pork is my favorite. The skin is always crispy and the pork is tender. They offer lunch plates that come with 2 scoops of rice and your choice of roast duck or roast pork for under $10. Since this place gets so busy, it's best to call in your order by 11:30am and let them know your pick-up time.

They are located inside the Aiea Shopping Center on the 2nd Floor. You can park by Times Supermarket and take the escalators up. The first shop you see with yellow and red is them. If you go around lunch time, expect to wait 15 minutes because they do get backed up with orders. There are a few tables outside to sit and eat but this is mainly a take out place. They accept cash and credit cards.

99-115 Aiea Heights Dr.
Ste 206
Aiea, HI 96701
(808) 486-0005

Roast Pork (1/2 lb)

Roast Chicken (half)

Roast Duck (half)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Moku Kitchen

Moku Kitchen is in SALT at Kaka'ako. Their menu offers American food with Hawaiian fusion. The ingredients in a lot of their dishes are sourced locally. There are some similarities in the menu with Monkeypod Kitchen (owned by the same chef). The dishes that I enjoyed at Monkeypod Kitchen, I also enjoyed here. The kalua pork pizza and duck tacos were good but the jalapenos were a bit too much for me. I noticed a lot of the dishes here have jalapenos or something spicy in it. 

This is a very laid back place that you would come with your friends to hang out. The interior of the restaurant is big and it's spacious. They have a bar inside and outdoor seating.  The happy hour is from 3pm-5:30pm; the pizzas are $9, most of the drinks are $2 off, and select appetizers are 50% off. For regular dining, their prices are still reasonable. If you're driving, park in the SALT parking lot because the rate is cheaper. Don't park in front of Moku Kitchen, that small lot has a 1-hour limit. If you're coming on a weekday, walk-ins are fine but if you're coming on the weekend, I recommend making a reservation a few days in advance. Kaka'aako is becoming a popular neighborhood with all the new condos popping up.

For more information about Moku Kitchen, visit mokukitchen.com.

660 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 591-6658

Duck Tacos

Garlic Truffle Oil Fries

Roasted Squash Ravioli

Kalua Pork Pizza