Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hawaii 2013

Too busy since I got back. But wanted to share what I did in Hawaii. Lots of fun and eats.  But not so good as a photographer. Here's a recap with a few reviews and photos here and there. I need to post this now or I'll never get it done. 

Where I went
  • Hiking at Tantalus; I posted about this hike here
  • potluck with my girlfriends from high school [a mini 35th class reunion]
The Girls--Oh my, I just realize how white I am!
  • Waipahu People's Market
  • Went around the island because of a traffic jam [that's what you do when you live on a island]
  • Dole plantation on the hunt for Wailua Estate Chocolates. 
Mom and Dad @ Dole Plantation
Dad and Mom keeping me company on my hunt.
  • Hiking in Hawaii Kai and waterfall
Looking down
Looking down from the Hawaii Kai hike
  • KCC Farmer's Market
  • West side of Oahu beaches [wish I brought my swimsuit]
@ Yokohama

Shave ice
Had a few things on my list to do while I was back and shave ice was at the topt. I had some on the first night back.
  • One of the shave ice stand in Shirokiya Food Court: pretty close to what we serve. They had these little balls that burst with a citrus flavor.
  • Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha: Well, this is my kind of shave ice super fine with fresh fruit and homemade syrup. I had pineapple and green tea and tasted the guava. Pineapple and guava were so good. The ice cream was made with tahitian vanilla. Yummmm!
  • Frostcity: This type of shave ice the flavor in the ice and ice looks like they use a planner (sp?) They had a lot of interesting flavors but were out of the ones that I was most interested in. I had raspberry/milk combo and it was light and refreshing with the fruit and those tiny balls again. Very light.
Places I ate [I have no complaints; food and company were great]
  • Palace Saimin: Old style saimin shop on North King St. near Farrington HS. Super small parking lot, good luck. I had large wun tun min with a bbq stick. Wun Tun was really good, I should have gotten the small, couldn't finish. BBQ stick good taste not to sweet but a little tough. 
  • Sweet E's: Ha! Talk about being a crazy foodie. 2nd day back, suffering the effect of jet lag and get a text from a friend if I wanted get some breakfast we can leave at 8 so we get back in time for our luncheon with the girls at 11. When you are a foodie, it is all about pacing yourself. 
Kalua Pork Benedict with a crispy hash brown
  • Nico's: Heard a lot about this place. went for lunch with my cousin and parents. For a place that is not really close to anything it was crazy busy for Monday lunch. People in Hawaii love good food and travel a long way and do crazy things to get it. I had the Grilled Ahi salad. It was delicious and great portion.
  • Papa Ole's: on our crazy drive to avoid terrible morning traffic, we end up stopping here because 1) E had heard it was good 2) we wanted a snack 3) we needed to use the bathroom. Located in a strip mall in Hauula next to post office, it looked like a local style drive-in. We just wanted a snack to keep us going till we got to Hawaii Kai for our shave ice. We order a mixed plate to share, garlic chicken and teri beef. Both was good and more than enough for a snack. One of the best part of going there was the bathroom. You have to walk through the kitchen [very local] to the back of the restaurant and the beautiful view of the mountains. Doesn't hurt that the kitchen staff was so nice and chatted with me as I waited my turn. Nice place to stop. 
Jan and Tia
Two of my three shave ice partners at Papa Ole's waiting for our snack 
  • Diamond Head Market Grill: We stopped here after drive around the island and eating shave ice to do a tasting of their sweets [not that needed to eat anything else]. This a old friends' place and in a old style drive-in and mini market that serves more upscale dishes and has tons are great bake goods--best known for Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones. These are giant. One can feed 2 people. Moist and perfectly sweet with tons of blueberries in it. The other big favorite is the sweet potato bread pudding. They use the purple okinawan sweet potato. Again, giant serving of creamy soft bread pudding. If you are roaming around the Waikiki/Kapahulu area, great place to stop to pick up bite to eat.
  • Off the Wall: Another find from my foodie partners. Okinawan fusion place, for my quest of getting ideas for the restaurant--Andagi stuffed with Braised Shoyu Pork.
  • Shige's: other saimin style shop. I hear they make their own noodles and it was good. Had a bbq stick, a little too sweet for my taste, a thin cut on the meat. [hmmm. . . maybe this could be a special. Won Ton Noodle soup with a bbq stick].
  • Acapulco: Chile Verde. hmmm . . . Porky, Garlic-y and delicious . . .hmmm.
  • Fancy sushi place Ala Moana: I can't remember the name. Interesting food--kind of fusion-like
  • Dim Sum place on the upper floor of Ala Moana: Lunch with some Aunties, Uncle, and my cousin E. 
  • Forty Niner's: I've always wanted to come, heard they have good saimin but I really needed some fish and they had an ahi special. It was good but I think next time I'm sticking with big bowl of saimin. We had haupia pancakes for dessert. My foodie partners were scoping it out to see if it was a replacement for crazy early morning drive to Kailua. It was good, nice flavor, super big portion. The experts opinion was a thumbs up.
  • Kamehameha Bakery: for the poi doughnuts. 1) they are giant; 2) there was a line of at least 6 people on Saturday morning; 3) I love this old style Hawaiian bakery--everything looked so fresh.
    You can see the line from the people inside and the shadows
    • Cinnamon's: haha! this was brunch after our poi doughnut and taste-testing at KCC farmers market. I don't know how I was able to eat anything else. I can't remember what I order, I think I had the Mahi Mahi Eggs Benedict. One think I know we also shared their Guava Chiffon pancakes. That sauce was really nice--not overly sweet, just right.
    • The deck at Waianae Rec Center: for pupus after a day roaming Oahu from Kalihi to Diamond Head to Kailua then off to the west side beaches. 
    • Kabuki's: Old style Okazuya to pick up my dinner to take on the plane--roll of maki sushi, fried fish and kombu maki. Perfect dinner for my plane ride home.
    The people I've seen
    So many friends and family that I haven't seen in at least 3 years or more than 20 years.  Wish I had been a better photographer on this trip. Too busy enjoying myself. Can't wait to come back for a visit. 

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