During my visits home, mornings are "my" time. I'll take a drive, fill gas, pick up stuff for lunch/dinner, find a wi-fi connection, and basically just drive around........at 5-6am. I really wanted the D's to enjoy some of the "local" food I grew up eating. Of course, being raised in the Kaimuki/Kapahulu area, Leonard's is on that list. I'm still quite flabbergasted when I see tour buses and even a limo pull up to the very non-descript bakery that is Leonard's and the lines we experienced on our last trip home were just not fun. I'm sure you can go later in the evening.....but for me, malasadas were made to be eaten early in the day. The Missus and I tried the malasadas from the Leonard's wagon in Waikele and really didn't care for what they sold....cold, greasy, somewhat gummy. So it had to be a trip to Kapahulu. I didn't expect to encounter too many lines at 530 in the morning.......
There was a line, but only four folks in front of me. It seems that Leonard's is popular with the military as two groups of men in fatigues dropped in while I waited in line. There's something about the heavenly smells when I walk into Leonard's that just takes me back to "small kid time".
Over the years, Leonard's has expanded their line of malasadas to include filled versions. Being the old fuddy-duddy that I am, I still go for the original plain sugared version. Though I also bought a half dozen haupia filled as well.
Man, these always take me back...... MrD enjoyed having his with soy milk for breakfast, telling me it was like a sweet youtiao! You know, I never thought of that.....
Leonard's is one of those iconic places that you should check out at least once if you're ever in or around Honolulu. Here's a neat little trivia thingy, Leonard's is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Did you know that the original location that Leonard Rego opened his bakery is actually in the building where Ono Hawaiian Food (another iconic eating establishment) is located?
933 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
The trip for the day was Dole Plantation. Maggie seemed to really enjoy the maze......
This is the Ohia tree and the blossoms are called Lehua. I stopped Maggie from picking these, by telling her the legend of Pele and Ohia.
The story goes that Pele (the Godess of fire) fell in love with a handsome man named Ohia whom she wanted to marry. Ohia, however told Pele that he was in love with a maiden named Lehua and turned her down. Well, as you imagine, this didn't sit well with Madam Pele....she turned Ohia into the twisted looking Ohia tree. Lehua became heartbroken and the gods took pity on her by turning her into the Lehua blossom, so that she and Ohia would be inseparable. To this day, it is said that picking the Lehua blossom will cause rain.....tears falling because Ohia and Lehua cannot bear to be separated.
The late afternoon meant another shopping trip and my in-laws took the D's to a luau. I dropped them off and went to pick-up dinner. I had been wanting to check out Kapiolani Coffee Shop for their oxtail soup a long time favorite since reading about it on Reid's blog back in 2004. Never let it be said that I'm not a patient person.....since that time, Kam bowl has closed down and the shop is now located in Waimalu Shopping Center.
Based on the menu, I'm pretty sure that this is one of the originals when it comes to oxtail soup.....
Funny thing is, I remember having my first bowl of oxtail soup at a restaurant on Kapiolani, next to where Aloha Motors was......could it be? I couldn't find any information on that.
The restaurant is quite small and very, very, old school.
The oxtail soup ain't cheap, almost $14 for a bowl, which comes with two scoops of rice....oh, as old school at KCS is, they did ask me if I wanted brown rice! Man, my soup arrived at my table in like two minutes.....
The standard condiment is some grated ginger and shoyu(soy sauce). I thought the broth was a bit too salty, even for me, very mild anise tones, and frankly, I prefer a bit more "fat" in my broth. This one was very clear. Lots of cilantro and green onions.....
The oxtails were excellent....not falling to pieces, but just tender enough. Personally, I prefer some nice fatty bits and gelatinous goodness, these had been prepped to remove a good amount of that stuff.
I still prefer the oxtail soup I had at The Alley to this and the portion to price ratio seemed a bit on the small side. Still it was good to be able to finally get that oxtail soup off my "list". Plus, I enjoyed the old school feel of the place.
Hey.....is that waitress calling me an Ox?
Kapiolani Coffee Shop
98-020 Kamehameha Hwy
Aiea, HI 96701