Monday, October 31, 2011

Pa'ina Cafe Ward Warehouse

You know all about Pa'ina Cafe in their Koko Marina location from here...but have you ventured to their original location at Ward Warehouse? Head down to their newly-renovated restaurant located in the old Chowder House. They also have a wider menu featuring Coffee and Teas, different Acai Bowls and Smoothies, and also a lot of to-go stuff like dips/cookies/boiled peanuts.

At lunch, it can get really crowded, but the seating area is large and there are lots of tables to fit every type of need. Sit at the counter if it's just you for a quick bite, or sit at a bigger table if you're with work friends.

I had just eaten some spicy ahi cone sushi at Tanioka's earlier that morning, but my friend Ike wanted to grab lunch. Met him at Pa'ina at Ward, and wasn't in the mood for more poke. I had always been curious about their Caprese Salad, so I opted for that and a Iced Thai tea drink. Ike ordered their Hawaiian Bowl, which is what I always order, and boy, did it look delicious.

Let's just say that I will never order a salad from Pa'ina again!! Not enough balsamic vinaigrette and not enough olive tapenade. I should've known...never order a salad from a place that specializes in poke bowls!

Lesson learned.......

Long line at lunch

I went back to Pa'ina Cafe Koko Marina the next day to satisfy my craving!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

You Are What You Eat

Yep, this is what I've been eating so far. Somehow, as much as I like to experience different foods, cultures, and tastes, I've really been craving my favorite foods recently.

Here we have Tenkaippin and their famous Kotteri Ramen. I'm not a fan of onions, so I get it without negi and extra menma (bamboo shoots).

Then, we have Fatboy's Mushroom Swiss Burger for only $4.95! Such a deal. Best burger I've had on the island. I love the combo of the sweet bread bun, the secret sauce they use and a heaping serving of sauteed mushrooms with the most gooey swiss cheese ever. Burger cooked to perfection.

Bottom left corner, we have Sushi King. Love their array of sushi and pretty arrangements. Faves are Unagi, Ikura, UmeShiso, house miso soup (BEST on the island), and of course, I love their Agedashi Tofu. I think they serve it the best here.

Zaratez in the bottom middle has been my favorite for some time now. I'm not a big mexican food fan, but Paul's tacos have seriously got me craving them on a weekly basis. Sorry to say, but Zaratez officially closed, today, Thurs, and will be moving onto better things in the food industry. Paul, the owner, said he is looking into catering or opening a pop up restaurant somewhere in the Kaka'ako area. We wish you the best Paul, and look forward to eating those carnitas tacos again in the future! For now, I'll have to dream about them...

Lastly, we have one of my other weekly favorites, Shirokiya. Newly renovated earlier in the year, this place has become a great Pau Hana/Happy Hour spot for everyone. With the Beer Garden having the most cheap beer on the island (it seems) and a huge variety of Japanese specialty food, this place has got it goin' on! It has definitely become a local favorite, as well as a favorite for tourists. Every 2-3 weeks or so, they host a different ramen stand from Japan. They have everything from Tonkotsu to Hakata to Red Miso, Black Miso and White Miso ramen! It is worth it! Get down there!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I was skeptical to try Bernini after reading reviews of disgruntled Yelpers. I knew they specialized in high-end Italian, but Yelpers said they were appalled at the high-end, nose-up attitudes the staff had there. I really like to enjoy my meals, and not have to be bothered with a sassy waiter or waitress. Though I boycotted this place for awhile, I finally gave in after seeing my friend, Rayna's facebook pics. The food looked delicious- pizza with truffle oil and honey, pasta with uni, colorful fruity desserts...I had to give in!!

So, there we were, Joe and I, in Bernini on a Saturday Night. It wasn't too crowded but there were a lot of couples drinking wine and having pizza. That seemed like the norm. It also seemed like the practical thing to do with Bernini's pizza costing about $20 a pop! This is about 3 slices per 2 people. I honestly wanted to try ALL of their pizza, but had an emergency phone call. We ended the night with one Norcia Pizza (mushrooms, sausage, mozzarella, walnuts and truffle oil), and had to run. What a wonderful combination that pizza was! I'm not a big fan of walnuts, but they drizzled the right amount on top. It was perfect, especially with their equally crunch and thin crust. A big winner.

Next time, I'm up for another Norcia Pizza, their Fransescana (mozzarella, mushrooms and prociutto), and their Quatoro Formaggi (mozzarella, asiago, gorgonzola, and parmiggiano drizzled with honey!!!). I'll also have a glass of their Meiomi. It was a nice surprise to see this wine on the menu, as I had first had it in Sedona, Arizona this past July! It's a great Pinot Noir. Highly recommended!

FYI, they are open Tues-Sunday 530-11pm. Last order is 1030pm.

Two LITTLE pieces of bread. That's it?!

Norcia Pizza. Took about 20 minutes!

To drizzle on the pizza.

This pic is from my Sedona trip!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fatboy's (Keeaumoku St Location)

 I get my nails done at Salon Glitter on Keaaumoku. While walking to the back lot to my car, I recently passed by a newly-opened restaurant called Fatboy's. It was hopping with people! I immediately went home and yelped it, and also learned that their original and first restaurant is open in Kailua. It's very popular!

To me, Fatboy's is like a gourmet plate-lunch place. I absolutely loved it! That place was constantly busy with business people having lunch, families, friends all jiving and having a good time. There were also many people picking up take-out orders or picking up some of their pre-made hot food to go. Fatboy's also had a great atmosphere- big windows to see out and the place was lit well, and really clean. You can also watch TV (the Food Network was playing!), or watch the chefs cook up behind the glass windows. Very cool place!

Food was great for the price. These meals range from $7 to $12, and it's not only lunch! Come for Breakfast as well. Some breakfast items are only served on Friday, Sat and Sunday until 1030am (like the Kalua Pig Eggs Benedict I wanted!), but most are served ALL DAY.

My Dad ordered their Kalua Pig and Cabbage Plate, while I opted for their Garlic Shrimp (mild, medium or spicy). Dad's dish didn't look like the usual Kalua Cabbage- it wasn't all mixed together. Instead, it came with a cabbage leaf topped with Kalua Pig. Seemed like such a little lunch, but it also came with white or brown rice and Mac Salad. Dad enjoyed the Mac Salad because it had both egg and potatoes in it! He is always rating restaurants' Mac Salad ;)

As for me, my Garlic Shrimp was definitely GARLICKY! Pretty close to the Kahuku Shrimp Trucks that I love, but not as far a drive. I think I would definitely still drive out to taste that delectable fresh garlic shrimp. Fatboy's version wasn't bad, but wasn't salty enough for me. Seemed like it was drowned in garlic, although, as a garlic-lover, I still inhaled my whole plate!

There is no doubt in my mind that I will come here again. While walking in, a mushroom-swiss burger was being served, and Dad and I almost ordered that. I'm also planning on coming back on the weekend to try that Kalua Pig Eggs Bene for sure!

Kalua Pig Cabbage

Mushroom Swiss Burger on a Sweet Bun- second time there! SO DELICIOUS. Better than the Shrimp!
Mom had their Meat Jun. A nice sweet taste. The sauce to go with it was my favorite. It was like a spicy shoyu. REALLY good. Meat also very tender, but I'd still rate Angry Korean Lady the best on the island!
Dad had their Fish Jun. Pretty good, but again, nothing like Angry Korean Lady!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shirokiya Round Two

It really isn't Shirokiya "Round Two" for me. I've gone to Shirokiya probably 2-3 times a week for the pass 3 months. But, I wanted to post some pictures of more specialty food items that I recently tried besides here. I highly recommend trying their Takoyaki, and I mean ordering a fresh one. Pass on the bentos that are premade and just sitting on the counter. They may feel hot to the touch, but trust me, it tastes so much better when fresh off the burner!

Also tried the ramen stand inside the little corridor. It's by the Mall entrance. They serve hot food dishes as well as ramen/udon/soba in so many different ways! It looks delicious, but I still prefer the traditional Ramen stand that is part of the Ramen Festival. The one that changes every 2-3 weeks. It's so much more authentic and specialized!


Bamboo Sky button-down, skirt and necklace, Steven by Steve Madden booties, Michael Kors watch.

Charsiu Ramen and Tonkotsu Shio Ramen