Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Mandarin Restaurant

The Mandarin Restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Imperial Plaza. The entrance is on Cooke Street. The exterior of the restaurant has tinted glass so it's dark and you can't see inside. If you come during the lunch hour, they have lunch specials. All their specials are listed on sheets of paper and tucked under the plexiglas of the table. They have a big menu. The portions for their noodle dishes are good. The entree portions are a bit small and they are pricey. I recommend trying the salt and pepper pork chops. They taste better than the ones you get at the other Chinese restaurants. Their pork is thick cut and you get 4-pieces in an order.

The restaurant was quiet during the lunch hour so reservations are not required if you have a small group. They have round tables so they can accommodate large groups. They accept credit cards. For parking, Cooke Street usually has parking spaces but you need to feed the meter. The restaurant will validate your parking if you park in the Imperial Plaza parking lot.

For more information about The Mandarin Restaurant, visit

725 Kapiolani Blvd. C-123
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 593-1188

Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings

Salt & Pepper Pork Chops

Singapore Rice Noodle

Beef Chow Funn

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Nook Neighborhood Bistro

The Nook is located in Puck's Alleys. They are tucked inside the parking lot where Kiss My Grits used to be. The interior of the restaurant is small but you feel very cozy eating brunch in here. They also have outdoor seating. The staff are very friendly and their prices are reasonable.

If you come on the weekends for breakfast, expect a long wait for a table. They are super busy and they don't accept reservations. If you don't want to wait for a table, you can order take-out. I prefer coming for a late lunch (after 1:30pm) instead because there is no wait time and the food comes out quick. I haven't been disappointed with anything on the their menu. I recommend trying their scones and muffins. They have different and unique flavors everyday. My favorite item is the chicken and waffles. The waffle are made with mochiko so it has the soft chewy texture inside and the toasty waffle crunch outside. It's great for sharing while you order something else as your entree.

From my own experience the preferred payment method is credit card because I ran into a few times where they had to wait to get me change. It's just more efficient to pay with a card. I think they offer parking validation but I'm not 100% sure as all the times I've visited, it was a Sunday and parking was free.

For more information about The Nook Neighborhood Bistro, visit

1035 University Ave #105
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 942-2222

Mochiko Chicken & Waffles

Asian Pear Grilled Cheese

Matcha Waffle

House-made Shinsato Pork Sausage


Sunday, October 12, 2014

On Dong Chinese Restaurant

On Dong is located on S. King Street between Kaheka and Kalakaua. They are known for their jajangmyeon and the sweet & sour pork. I highly recommend ordering both if these dishes. If you can handle spicy foods, order one of their noodle soups. The soups are red, very red.

The inside of the restaurant is a bit cramped so I don't recommend going with more than 4 people. They have one round table that can seat a big group but it's really tight. One of the seats end up blocking the walkway so the waitress will constantly ask the person to scoot in.

They have parking in the back of the restaurant. If there's an attendant on duty, you need to ask for validation. The restaurant will only validate up to 1 hour so watch your time.

1499 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 947-9444

Sweet & Sour Pork


Pork Fried Rice

Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup

 Black Bean Noodles (Jajangmyeon)