Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Foodie Goodies For August!

Calamari Somen Salad from Pineapple Room

From this to that

Grandma's Lemon Ice from Via Gelato!

Lemon Ice and Ginger

Kaisuke Crab Ramen from Shirokiya

Strawberry Mojito, White Corn Guacamole and Kids' Sundae from CPK

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shimazu Store

You don't know how long I've been wanting to try Shimazu's Shave Ice! Either it's been bad timing and I've just eaten, or they're closed when I want to go. Plus, it's a little out of the way and parking is practically non-existent.

Well well well, life is all about timing.

After Dim Sum one Sunday, we decided to get some dessert. It was the most perfect day. Around 230pm, and the sun was blazing. Mouth watering.

Aside from all of the rules/signage, the shave ice is pretty amazing. Actually, I don't think the shave ice texture is any different from Waiola's, but the selection of toppings and add-ons are wondrous. Enter, Creamy Haupia topping for $1.25. Well worth it, I tell ya!

Not to mention, the flavor options! Since no pictures are allowed, from what I can remember, there were delightful flavors like Red Velvet Creme, Creme Bruleé, Green Tea, Green River, Li Hing Pickled Mango, Strawberry Colada, Georgia Peach, Key Lime, and Mojito! So many to choose from, but only 3 flavors allowed per cone.

I don't have pictures of the variety of sizes you can pick from, but believe me, some are larger than a child's head. Heck, larger than an adult head.....aka Extra-Large and called "The Larry." I don't know how these people finish it! A friend and I shared the Small and that was good enough for both of us!

What flavors did we choose? Peaches N Cream, Li Hing Apple and Melona. Azuki Beans, Ice Cream and of course Creamy Haupia topping. Oh wait, and Condensed Milk, please!!

Once you're inside, NO PICTURES OR VIDEO ALLOWED!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pho Thinh

I've heard about Pho Thinh's Crab Pho Special (Bun Rieu) on Saturdays, which I'd love to try, but I had to settle for their regular menu one Tuesday for lunch. My cousin Kory has been here many times and knew I wanted to eat here, so he met me here. He usually gets the Medium Pho with tendon and tripe and egg he adds in a ton of different sauces and veggies.

I, however, stuck with a typical small Pho with fatty brisket (you have a choice of fatty brisket or regular brisket) and also rare beef. Regular pho noodles too, please!

When it comes out stifling hot, I then add in my veggies- lots of thai basil and culantro (the long leafy green, not cilantro) and a lot of freshly-squeezed lime or lemon juice! Let that all steep for a bit, and then DIG IN!

I know Pho Thinh is favored by many. A lot of my friends have commented on how Pho Thinh is their favorite Vietnamese place to get Pho. And that means Pho Thinh must be pretty damn good, because there are A LOT of Pho places to choose from in Hawaii.

Verdict? I liked the broth a lot. It's much more on the sweeter side, which I appreciated. The fatty brisket was definitely FATTY, so I'll definitely get the regular brisket next time! We also ordered the Summer Rolls, which were delicious too. I liked that they gave each of us a sauce dish, so we didn't have to share. Thank you, Pho Thinh, you know I like lots of sauce on my summer rolls!!!

As for parking, they have a small lot they share with Mama Woo's and a few other places. Park in Pho Thinh's designated stalls OR ELSE. If those are filled up, there's a number of street parking stalls close by.

PS- Reasonably-priced. Thumbs up!

Empty now, but when we left, this place was bustling with people! Families, couples and many tables filled with business people.

Summer Rolls

Looks a little plain, but there's tripe and tendon in there!

Thai Basil, Culantro, Bean Sprouts, Lemon wedges, and Asian Chili

My Pho with fatty brisket and rare beef

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bogart's Omelettes!

I've been telling my Mom to head over to Bogart's for some time now. She finally had the time to get over there, and ever since, has been obsessed with their omelettes! I just want to use that line "I told you sooooo" on her ;)

Bogart's is great, because you can get their entire menu at any time of the day. Breakfast for dinner? Heck yeah! And that's just what Mom and I did one day.

She had their yummy Chicken and Mushroom Omelette, and I had my ever-so-favorite and their ever-so-popular Crab and Avocado Omelette. Both have the creamiest consistency...I think that's what makes it! We asked what kind of cheese they use, and they were a bit defensive and secretive with it. All we got was "a mix of 5 cheeses." It's alright Bogart's, we'll just keep on coming by!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I wanted something simple and easy for a quick dinner out. I picked my trusty BDG black skinny jeans and couldn't pick a top. Then, my vintage Express button-down caught my eye. I admit this color combination- navy blue and black, are definitely more suitable for fall, but who cares!? As long as you are comfortable, right?

I did want some color, though, so I added it to my feet! I bought these Zara beauties awhile back, but haven't had the chance to strut them. These heels added the perfect amount of color, and I loved how the outfit came together in the end. The purple-coral-navy blue color combo really won my heart!

Earrings via Basique Threads

Zara heels

Express button-down, Ginger 13 necklace

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Top Places To Visit on Oahu- TOURIST EDITION

I was recently asked by my friend, Reid, to do a post on my 'Top 10 Places a Tourist Must Visit Before Leaving Hawaii.' Well, honestly, Reid, I couldn't narrow everything down to just ten places!!

After lots of brainstorming and researching, this is what I have so far. I will add to it as I go along in my food journeys. Please click on the name to be linked to an original post for more info. I hope this helps all of you visiting Oahu for the first time or coming back for a paradise vacation. Enjoy!!

North Shore Shrimp Trucks- Giovanni's, Romy's or Fumi's or Ted's Bakery is also one of my favorites too!
After your stop in North Shore, hit up the Dole Plantation for Dole Whip
Another highly noted place for Shrimp- Sam's Kitchen. Not to mention, they are known for their Kava flavors.
Best Udon- Jimbo's
Best Ramen- Tenkaippin or Yotteko-Ya or Shirokiya always has a variety of ramen stands available.
Best Korean- Ah Lang aka Angry Korean Lady
Shave Ice- Waiola's Shave Ice, Shimazu's
Leonard's Malasadas
Oxtail Soup- They Alley at Aiea Bowl, and bowl while you're there too!
KCC Farmer's Market- every Saturday 7-11am or Tuesdays 4-7pm
Zaratez Tacos and Burritos- found at Tues KCC Farmer's Market, Wednesday HNL Farmer's Market and Thursday Kailua Farmer's Market- all 4-7pm.
Hawaiian Food and Poke- Young's Fishmarket. Check out their Butterfish Lau Lau on Fridays. OR Ono Hawaiian Food as some would recommend.
Breakfast- Moena Café, Café Kaila, or Sweet E's, Bogart's
The BEST Pancakes- Boots and Kimo's
Crepes- Crepes No Ka 'Oi
Poke/Poke Bowls- Tanioka's, Paina Café
Happy Hour- Amuse, Pearl Ultralounge, Mai Tai Bar, Cafe Duckbutt
Sushi- Kona Kai, Sasabune, Imanas-tei, Gazen Izakaya, Tokkuri-Tei, Yanagi Sushi, Sushi King
Acaí- Bogart's, Blue Hawaii Lifestyle
Kamehameha Bakery- Poi Glazed Donuts
Gastropubs- Dash Gastropub, Pint + Jigger, Real a Gastropub
Taco Tuesdays- Mai Tai Bar, Serg's 
Bento and Okazuya- Fukuya's
Mochi Ice Cream- Bubbie's
Japanese Cafeteria- Shirokiya- everything from ramen to udon to okonomiyaki and takoyaki

Other notable restaurants- Zippy's, Pineapple Room (for lunch), 12th Ave Grill, Arancino (Beachwalk or Marriot location), Assagio's, Nico's.

Other honorable mentions- Eat The Street and Art After Dark- every last Friday of the month.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Best Denim Vest

One should always have a good denim jacket hanging in their closet. I'm going on a trip soon to Chicago, DC, NYC, and Dallas, and I know I'll be packing my denim jacket for chillier nights out.

But, what about denim vests? I love that they're coming back in style, and in a variety of ways- cropped, destroyed, acid-washed, you name it, it's out there! Not to mention, it's so versatile and can be styled in a number of ways. I love that you can be biker-chic one day and then pair it with a girly maxi dress the next day.

Getting ready for an early Pau Hana Happy Hour, I wanted to wear something comfy, yet sophisticated. I would be mingling with the business crowd, of course! I found my vintage Mink Pink tunic from Bamboo Sky and knew that would go perfectly with the vest. Added my trusty Jeffrey Campbell wedges and I was off!

House of Aria denim vest

Restaurant I-naba

A few days after being turned away at I-naba for lunch, Chris and I went back for dinner. Excited to use our 10% off coupon, we walked in and were greeted. We sat at the counter- almost all the tables were taken. No reservation.

I'd seen on my friend's Instagram that she had eaten there and ordered Hot Soba with Nametake Mushrooms. That's what I was craving, though I didn't see it on the menu. I asked our waitress if I could order that, and yup, no problem! I also ordered a side of their Japanese poached egg, and on special, an order of Konbumaki, my fave!!

Chris ordered a set of Cold Soba and Tempura. His tray looked ONO! Almost wished I had ordered that when his came out!

Verdict? Well, let's just say I don't think I'm a big fan of Soba. Maybe it's the monotony of soba. Pick up noodles, dip, eat, pick up noodles, dip, eat. It's a very simple and plain meal. Chris even commented on how unsatisfied I looked! That's when I wished I had some of Chris' tempura. Haha!

As for the Konbumaki......well, that was just delicious. I almost wanted two more orders of it!! So beautifully-marinated and tasty, just like how I remember it at New Year's. But then again, $5 for 4 small pieces?! Yikes. And boy, those set meals were not the most reasonably-priced. Come with some moolah in your pockets.

What I really did enjoy was the Soba-yu at the end of the meal. Our waitress brought us a container filled with hot soba water (that the noodles were originally cooked in). You pour that into your soba dipping sauce and then, drink up! Enjoy like soup or tea. Very calming.

Chris and I ended up getting dessert at my favorite Gelato truck, Via Gelato. On weekends, she's parked on Ward by Sports Authority from 6-10pm. Chris ordered half Green Tea Haupia and half Banana Lilikoi. I got half Banana Lilikoi and half Ginger. Absolutely delectable.


September calendar already up?? Or was it left up since Sept last year........?


Zaru Soba

Soba-yu time!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sakura Terrace

When foodie friend, Chris told me he was coming home for a couple weeks, I was excited! Foodie adventures, I thought!! It's always great when the people you eat with are just as excited and curious as you are. Most of them are not as adventurous nor do they want to try a whole slew of menu items, but with Chris, I wasn't worried!

We had our minds set on I-naba for their soba lunch, but when we arrived, we were turned away, saying they were closed temporarily for lunch that day. Of course Chris and I were disappointed, but they gave us a 10% off coupon to use next time. Score! We'd be back in a few days, I'm sure.

What to eat, what to eat. Then I remembered Sakura Terrace! I would always see it as I drove past on King Street, and had always been curious about it. Yelp reviews weren't great, but I was still curious. It looked like a wooden house and was shaded by small palm trees on the side. It was also just down the road from where I-naba was.

Don't worry about parking- they have a private lot with quite a few spaces. Chris and I lucked out and parked in the last 2 spaces.

When I first stepped into Sakura Terrace, I was amazed how breezy and cool the place was. You can either eat indoors or outdoors, but both are open-air. I love that! I always love to eat outdoors, especially if it's a gorgeous day out, which it definitely was.

I immediately thought to myself- Ok, if I don't like the food here, I definitely like the ambiance. I would of course come here for a leisurely lunch with a girlfriend or Mom. It's just so ideal. And these two ladies sitting by us had the same idea- they sat for hours, exchanging birthday gifts and drinking white wine, while casually munching on sashimi. Ain't that the life!

Verdict? You're paying for the ambiance, I believe. It's a bit high for spicy ahi poke bowls, not to mention the $18.99 Unagi bowl! Outrageous. Trust me, I really wanted to get it, but couldn't reason putting out that much for Unagi that I can get for $6 at Don Quixote. Instead, I thought I'd get a regular Spicy Ahi/Ikura bowl, plus share a Garlic Shrimp and dessert with Chris. Win, win that way.

I wouldn't get the Spicy Ahi/Ikura bowl again. It was good, but I'd definitely like to try some other Sashimi and Ala Carte items, plus a different dessert. They had so many options! I loved their Garlic Shrimp with crispy rice. Beware, though, there's lots of oil soaked into the rice on the bottom.

Chris seemed to love his Spicy Ahi bowl as he slurped it all up and even ate some leftovers of my Spicy Ahi. I just wished that they gave more Ikura!!!

For dessert, we ordered their Green Tea Cheesecake, which looked extremely..........what's the word....unique? Bright green colored with green sauce drizzled on top. To me, the color wasn't appetizing at all, but hell, let's eat! It was unique that's for sure. Not the lightest cheesecake you'll ever eat, it was pretty dense. Definitely worth a try. Our waitress said it was one of the more popular desserts.

I'll definitely be back, Sakura Terrace!


The Bar

Outside Terrace

Other part of the outside terrace

Garlic Shrimp with Crispy Rice and Spicy Mayo sauce

The Green Tea Cheesecake