Saturday, April 28, 2012

Turquoise Coral

Tobi coral button-down, Turquoise studs via Basique Threads!

Turquoise and Coral: My absolute favorite color combination of Spring 2012! I know everyone is in a craze over seafoam/mint, but come on, both turquoise and coral are bright, vibrant, strong colors that can stand alone or stand together.

I'm also obsessed with my new turq studs via Basique Threads! I'm usually a hoop-earring or drop-earring-kinda-gal, but I love how simplistic yet standout these pair of earrings are.

Asos leopard belt, BDG jeans, Jeffrey Campbell wedges


It was my weekly lunch with the boys, and we were all trying to think of a place that would be convenient to eat at in the Kalihi area. Utage was it! They're known for their Okinawan food, but more specifically their Shoyu Pork. Utage (neighboring Young's Fishmarket) is a very casual lunch place with many old-timers or business people meeting for lunch. We were probably the loudest bunch in the restaurant.

What I love about Utage is that all of their lunch sets comes with a drink, soup (miso soup or soup of the day), the entreé and dessert! A really great deal.

Btw, there are lots of great menu items, but don't forget to check out their Specials on the board.

Verdict? When I think of Okinawan, I always think of Sunrise Restaurant in Kapahulu, however I thought that the value at Utage was a huge plus. Sunrise Restaurant's food was tastier and seemed more authentic, though you couldn't beat the price at Utage, especially if I'm in the Kalihi area. Shoyu Pork was nice and salty-sweet. Very pungent flavor. You can also order it with different veggies, though I prefer by itself. The best pieces of shoyu pork? The chunks with some fat on it.....just melts in your mouth!

Ong Choy Rice Soup- essentially ong choy and rice in a miso-soup-based broth. I liked it!

Kyle ordered their Tempura

Allen had an unadventurous bowl of Oyako-don. Come on, you can get this anywhere!

Thank you Brian Terayama for ordering the Oxtail and letting me sample!

Oxtail was decent. Very light broth and meat was soft, but not fall-off-the-bone tender.

Me and Tamas had the Shoyu Pork. A nice hefty bowl of just pork. We definitely had our portion of protein that day, plus a bowl full of rice. Both Tamas and I couldn't finish it all!

Homemade Coffee Gelatin. No sweetener. Just coffee and jello. Not my thing, but it came with the meal, so I can't complain.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dash Gastropub

I've heard very mixed reviews on Dash, but was actually very impressed with it! I came here with my friend, Aaron, who was visiting from SF, and described the food to him as "Gourmet Bar Food." I don't know if that was the right wording, but Aaron said how pleased he was after and had expected a lot less.

We walked in and noticed how large the place was, and practically every table was taken...on a Wednesday night! Pretty popular place! Thank Goodness my good friend, Kelley, reserved a table for us, so we were promptly sat down. The drink menu looked delicious, and we couldn't decide on food, so we just asked Kelley for help. Ume-Chiso drink for me, Tanqueray Martini for Aaron, plus an array of 4 different menu items, including Ahi Tataki, Garlic Bacon Fried Rice, Butter Fried Mochi, and the Ginger Chicken Bao Sliders that were on Special that night. I think we ordered enough!

The only thing I was SO disappointed about? A lot of my friends told me to make sure I tried their Yuzu Chicken and Green Tea Waffles. Kelley said they were "by request" that night, because the Chef said the waffles came out ugly and didn't want to put it on the menu. So of course, we ordered them "by request." She came back and said the Chef was grouchy and didn't want to serve we lost out! No Yuzu Chicken and Green Tea Waffles!!! Boooooo, Dash.

But, honestly, that's about the only negative that night! I thoroughly enjoyed the food, the atmosphere was great, and Aaron and I had a lovely time catching up after years of not seeing each other.

What do I recommend? I highly recommend the Ginger Chicken Bao Sliders if they have it that night. It's a Special, so be sure to ask. Those sliders were our favorite of all of the dishes. The crunchiness mixed with the light ginger taste and tender chicken equaled a winner in my book! Plus, I really liked how much food you got for the price. Great deal.

The only thing Aaron and I didn't care for was the Butter Fried Mochi. A little too mushy and sweet for my liking. I would have liked if the Mochi was a bit more fried. This wasn't a terrible dish, though.

Some tips? Parking in their Valet Only lot can be a hassle. There are very few spaces, and they are all taken up whenever I have gone. Street Parking is your best bet. I guess this is the second negative about Dash, though I will go through the hassle because Dash is so worth it!

Ladies, order their Ume-Chiso cocktail! You will not be disappointed!

4 Dart Boards!

Ume Chiso Mojito!

Ginger Chicken Bao Sliders- SO good.

Ahi Tataki- Spicy, so just take out the slice of jalapeno!

Garlic Bacon Fried Rice- delicious! A little on the salty side, but I loved the Takuan garnish.

Butter Fried Mochi- cute pinwheel shape, but we could have left this out.

P.W.K.- People Wanna Know! People DO want to know what's in this! It's for all you Tequila lovers. And don't you just love the Li Hing Mui-dipped Lemon!?!! Such a colorful treat.

MikiNola faux leather jacket

Forever 21 necklace, Short necklace c/o Mom and Dad via Thailand!!

Tobi Top and Shorts

Jeffrey Campbell booties

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sam's Kitchen

Craving garlic shrimp, but don't care for the drive to North Shore? Then, you have to try Sam's Kitchen! Located right in the heart of Kapahulu by Waiola's (you park at Waiola's too), you may have easily overlooked this small, little gem of a place. It's got the cute, old Hawaiian décor- lots of wood and floral print, plus even a live band on some nights! Very low-key and casual, I definitely felt strange stepping in there with heels.

What's good? So far, "everything," I've heard, however I have only tried their shrimp. Pick from 4 flavors and you may love them all- Garlic, Spicy Garlic, Pesto and a flavor you can only find there- Matsuri, which is essentially a salty mix of Japanese spices, salts and furikake. My favorites are their Garlic Shrimp and the Matsuri. Only gripe? Instead of the corn on the cob and salad, pile on more rice and shrimp, please!!!

They also are known for their Kava- about 5-6 different kinds, though, my friends Jason and Jared prefer their Suva. Not my thing, but I gave it a sip. I didn't drink enough to feel the effects- usually a numb, calming feeling, but to get there, you're going to have to drink that "earthy-tasting" water. Bottoms up!

Can't wait to go there to try more things on their menu...and maybe even give Kava another try. We'll see!

Only thing- parking is tricky. Park on the street or if you're lucky, you can score one of Waiola's limited spaces.

Matsuri and Garlic Shrimp

Pesto and Spicy Garlic- Spicy is REALLY spicy, though the waitress also named Sam, said it's inconsistent based on Chef. They use Sriracha, so if the Chef has a heavy hand that day, well then, it can be REALLY spicy. I must've gone on that day...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pretty in Punk

Got dressed with this very light-colored outfit for the night, but felt the need to put on an edgy necklace to balance out these rad Sam Edelman spiked heels I scored at Nordstrom Rack. Loved the spikes so much, I had to order the same shoes in gunmetal. Stay tuned for those babies!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Greek Marina

I was craving Greek food like mad last week, but didn't want to drive to Kahala for my favorite Hummus from Olive Tree Café. Plus, I figured I hadn't been to Greek Marina in Koko Marina, for years and decided to give it a go. Would it be just as good as Olive Tree? Thankfully, Joe had finished a hike and was ready for lunch just in the nick of time! We went!

Verdict? Their Mix Souvlaki (Chicken, Shrimp and Lamb) was not my favorite. I prefer it in the pita with Tzatziki (like a sandwich), plus the lamb pieces were extra tough and on the gamier side for me. The shrimp was perfectly-grilled, but the chicken was a little dry and tough as well. 

I thought the Hummus was decent, though I still prefer Olive Tree's over it. Their Calamari is rated high on Yelp, so we also gave that a go. I thought it was just okay though.

What I did enjoy was their Dolmades, or Stuffed Grape Leaves. So good!!! I would definitely order those again. Can't wait to try the Dolmades at Olive Tree!

Greek Marina's food was decent, their price was a bit more pricey, but the convenience is a big plus. Also, I liked the outside seating with the marina in the back and the breezy air. Nice atmosphere.

Hummus- ask for extra Pita!



Mix Souvlaki

Shrimp and Chicken on one side....

Lamb chunks on the other side