Then other news came trickling in....the kitchen was going to be run by the original chef of Common Theory. 'Nuff said. So I held off on coming for a bit, but finally decided to give it a go a couple of weeks back.
It was a Sunday and the bar was full and the really nice patio area was half full....and there was one poor guy running the bar and the dining area, a really nice guy named Danny.....I felt for him.
The beer selection was a bit limited, but had 2-3 items I was ok with. I went with a Port Brewing Shark Attack Red Ale, then turned it down when my food arrived.
The menu seemed a bit pricey, but it's hard to make that determination when you haven't tried anything, so I went full steam ahead. And of course, being from Hawaii, I love my poke, so I thought it would be a good place to start ($9.50). I think for most, this would be ok. Me, well, I'm not a big fan of saku fish....that boned, skinned, pre-cut, vacuum packed, and frozen stuff has a texture I don't enjoy.
I would have appreciated a bit more shoyu and less sesame oil. And I thought the "wasabi pesto" needed more wasabi.
I went with the Garlic Parmesan Wings, which was basically simply fried wings with a dollop of a garlic-cheese paste on them.
Man, that was a not so great first visit. Still, I decided to visit again. This time I saw the sign for $1 off draft beer during "Happy Hour" - 4-6pm. It's nothing like, say, Iron Pig's half price happy hour. It was also kind of a bummer when I was told that Sculpin and the Shark Attack Red were excluded from happy hour pricing.....it's only a dollar, but really......
This time around I asked for a recommendation with regards to one of my dishes. Queried about my tolerance for "heat", the Habanero Calamari ($8.50) was recommended.
And this was probably the best item I had at Coastal Crave; tender, nice spice, cooled by a decent aioli. It was on the greasy side....but this is pub grub, right?
I also decided to try the Bone Marrow ($15).
This seemed a bit over-priced and the marrow looked really black. It wasn't too bad, but in spite of the color, there were quite a bit of red, under done parts. This actually made the Wagyu Bone Marrow at Copper Onion seem amazing.
Pretty uneven, almost like the place is over-reaching a bit. I'm glad that it seems the neighborhood folks are coming out and supporting the place, but I wish the food was a bit better and the beer selection more interesting....though I saw most people drinking Bud Light, Corona, and Shock Top......
As you can tell. I was ready to call it quits....but for some reason, I decided on one more try. I saw a nice looking sandwich go out on my previous visit, so I thought I'd order it; the Duck Melt ($13).
I really enjoyed the melted Havarti cheese, slightly milky, creamy, it really added to the sandwich. I thought the duck confit needed a bit more flavor, and the whole thing was super rich. I wish the pickles were a bit more assertive; it would have been just enough acid to cut the richness. The habanero aioli actually detracted from the overall flavor and seemed out of place. Also, the bread had been griddled a bit too long and some of the areas were bitter. The fries were nice and for some reason....maybe the acid component, the ketchup tasted really good.
The folks here seem very nice, though the service can be a bit slow.
I'm glad that places like this are opening in the neighborhood. Like I said about Luce's, I'm not the kind of guy who is just "happy to have xxxx in the neighborhood". And while the menu seems "interesting" (extra " " on this) with stuff like "Gator Cakes" on it. I'm just going to have a burger next time. I'll probably be better off. I hope.....
Coastal Crave 3065 Clairemont Dr San Diego, CA 92117
Funny, the Missus says that my demeanor changes as soon as I get off that plane and the island humidity hits me. Something happens. I'm able to fall right back into my "old self", relaxed, laid back...and then the pidgin starts!
Of course, the next thing we're looking for is poke. Like I've mentioned before, I'm a "townie"....to me there's only one decent place to get poke in the Waipahu/Ewa Beach area and that would be a place i've posted on several times before....
Tanioka's Seafood and Catering:
We always visit a couple of times.......
Much has changed over the years....the question used to be, "limu or shoyu?"
Nowadays, it runs the gamut....
Not the prettiest presentation....Styrofoam and sauce "all ova' da' place."
But it hits the spot.
Tanioka's Seafood and Catering 94-903 Farrington Hwy Waipahu, HI 96797
We also hit a place around my old neighborhood. Usually it's Ono Seafood, but the Missus wanted some smoked marlin, so here's another I've posted on before.
Man, I remember when this was Pizza Hut!
We actually prefer the smoked seafood and stuffs like taegu tako to the poke here.....
Just a couple of quick things to get us over "Hump day".
Poke at Costco Mission Valley:
I've seen them in Costco's back home in Hawaii, but never in San Diego, until a recent visit to Costco in Mission Valley. Of course, other than gas, I really don't get to Costco that often. It just so happened that I needed enough toilet paper to last until the next millennium.
It looked to be part of the Seafood Fair. Did I buy any? Well, no....heck I don't even buy the stuff they sell in Costco in Hawaii. I did ask the guy if the fish was "gassed", that is, treated with carbon monoxide. They guy looked at me strangely and shrugged his shoulders....whatever that means.
And while you'll never catch me eating this stuff....though I've been known to have brown rice on occasion to please the Missus (don't get the Brown Rice Shio Koji Chicken...it's a double whammy), I thought it kind of neat that Nijiya is really working on keeping up with things.
I also noticed Chicken Karaage being sold with various sauces. I do enjoy chicken nanban - basically chicken seasoned with vinegar and, yep tartar sauce, though I try to get the sauce on the side when I remember to. A little goes a long way. I thought a sauce made with kurosu, a brownish vinegar made from unpolished rice might be really good on karaage. I was wrong; the sauce had been thickened too much, it was too sweet, without enough sour tones. Not my thing.
Still, it's quite interesting to visit and see new things, which seem to quite often....I usually grab a bento or something for lunch here about every other week.
Nijiya Market 3860 Convoy St Ste 109 San Diego, CA 92111
Can you guess the restaurant?
Had dinner with some good friends a while back....not my kind of place, though the portions were huge..... Much of it was dry, overcooked, tough, and seemed like it had been lying around for a while. I hadn't been here in ages and now I remembered why.
Enough to feed an army though.... Can you guess where?
Not everything makes it into a post, I've deleted many photos for posts that never got started....that Mariscos place where I got ill, that very good fine meal with no lighting....though unless we're travelling, I usually don't even break out the camera for those type of meals. And the one's I just never got around to.... I've done these "Never Made the Cut" posts before. Here's another batch.....
Recently, "Kha" sent me an email for some Hawaii recommendations, which included some requests for the North Shore.......
One of the places was Mackey's Shrimp Truck.......I sent him a photo and realized I never posted on the place.
Which made me realize that I had photos from meals during our travels that I never posted on. Too much time had passed.....
Sometimes I even had a very good meal, but the lighting was just too bad......like this revisit to The Old Fashioned.
Pickled Pork Hock...pickled egg.....
Nice burger.....and cheese curds of course....
And an adorable Server.......
But that lighting....ick......
I just plumb forgot about our revisit to Fresh Catch....
We enjoyed the poke much more this time around....
The Missus loved the really aged poi.....which was a surprise.....it was really funky.
This last one is from Tunis. It was a surprisingly decent meal......
This was pretty inexpensive as well.... in the Airport in Tunis! Airport staff and flight crew were on the other tables....so I guess this is the place!
So that's it....another Clearing Out the Memory Card post! Have a great weekend!
Man, I didn't even notice I hadn't done this post....time to catch up!
After returning from the Big Island, we had maybe a full day to get our grinds in....the Missus wanted to make the most of it and I had wanted to check out Keeaumoku Seafood, and tiny shop just mauka of Beretania Street. Oh....yes, in case you didn't know, we never used East-West-North-South while I was growing up, in fact, I was kind of confused with those directions when I first started working, then living on the mainland. Back "home" we use "mauka", toward the mountains, or "makai" towards the ocean.
Anyway, the shop it a tiny one with barely a handful of parking spaces right in front of it. Funny, I still remember when Nippon Theatre was across the street from here....man am I getting old!
Anyway...we wen' score one of the spaces right in front of the place.
From the cold case, it seems that this place makes poke in small batches, which is not a bad thing. The poke did look a bit dried out as well, but we weren't here for poke. There was a rather stern mannered Korean woman working and a very sweet young lady who was Filipino. She really did a nice job putting together our plate.
I'd really come here for one thing.......this:
No...it's not the brown rice, ok? The Missus did insist on that to counter-act the rich and wonderful fried Ahi Belly. Man was this good! A slight resistance before melting away in your mouth. This being Ahi, not Aku, the flavor wasn't too strong for the Missus.
You also get an order of poke with the Ahi Belly. I chose the sesame oil poke, which was coated with masago. sadly, it wasn't very good. The fish was tough and this was strangely lacking in flavor.
The Missus really wanted to balance out the scales and we ended up going to Whole Foods in Kahala, where She built a massive salad. We had our meal at one of the tables right outside the market.
Man, we're still talking about that Ahi Belly.......
Keeaumoku Seafood 1223 Keeaumoku St Honolulu, HI 96814
On our last full day on the Big Island we decided to just relax. We took a walk down Ali'i Drive then back around Kuakini Highway.
It was a quiet day, so we just drove around a bit and talked about lunch.....yes, you know us. Teshima's"old school Japanese restaurant" charm had really gotten to the Missus. So with not much else to do, we drove back up to Kealakekua and stopped by Teshima for lunch.
The Missus was craving fish so She immediately went for the "Fresh Catch" Sashimi Tray ($17.50) which was ahi.
For some reason, the Missus really enjoys the old fashioned tsukemono and sunomono. Ditto the old school miso soup.
The fish was very, very fresh, and the Missus scarfed up all twelve pieces in no time.
I went with the "Monday Special" ($12.75). Now I've read some complaints about the prices and portion sizes at Teshima.....but take a look at this for $12.75........
Five slices ahi sashimi, the teri beef was very "local" a bit chewy. The fried fish here is quite good as well.
The makizushi and inari sushi take me back to "small kid" time...though combined with a chawan of rice....man, that's more carbs than I usually consume in a whole day, or two, nowadays.
The Missus got the fried fish, tsukemono, sunomono, and miso soup.
So I had an order of the famous shrimp tempura($7.25) as well.
If you like crunch, these will fill the bill. The tempura is surprisingly light and crisp.
We both thought that it tasted a bit of old oil that needed to be changed though. There seemed to be a bit of an off taste and even some greasiness to all the tempura.
So in the end a good meal, but not wow'd by the tempura.
Teshima Restaurant 79-7251 Mamalahoa Hwy Kealakekua, HI 96750
We spent the rest of the day "just cruisin' around". Went to various stores, including a couple of health food places and walked around a bit.
After a very typical afternoon nap, we went out and took another walk around......through Long's, Hilo Hattie looking for gifts for the Missus's relatives and friends.
As it was getting to late afternoon, we discovered we were still pretty full. So we thought we'd go for some poke and beer for dinner. We walked back to the KTA and the pre-packaged selection looked terrible, so we went across the street to Sack n' Save. The poke selection there was better. I eventually settled on some ahi limu with inamona and of course boiled peanuts (not pictured), which went well with the Mehana Humpback Blue, which was the best of the three we gried during this trip.
This was ok. Not the best quality fish, the ogo kind of tough and dry, but passable.
I'm not a big fan of seaweed salad, but the Missus likes it......
As evening settled we saw a good number of locals who seemed to know each other parking in the back of the King Kamehameha. It seemed like there was a big party going on. So after eating and a quick shower we headed downstairs and strolled over to Kailua Pier.
That's Ahuʻena Heiau in the foreground. I guess some company was having their Christmas Party....yes, it was that long ago.
The chatter and laughter brought smiles to our faces as we just sat and took in the wonderful Kona evening. We had a great time in the Big Island. It had been too long since we were here last. We'll be back again soon......
If you're from Hawaii, I'm sure you heard Vegas called the "Ninth Island". I'm pretty sure that ore ex-pats from Hawaii live in Vegas than the rest of the United States combined. I'm not sure what the allure is, but I do remember folks I know packing up and moving back in the 90's, drawn by the gambling and the lower cost of living. Bozo told me that Vegas gets over 250,000 visitors from Hawaii a year and you really can't help but run into them. You'll run into them every which way you turn if you stay at the "capital of the Ninth Island", the California Hotel in downtown.
It was quite a phenomenon, how Sam Boyd and the California Hotel developed such a beloved relationship with local folks. In fact even been a book written about it. Cheap flights (remember "Didi Ah Yo and away we go?") and locals love of gambling sealed the deal. I still remember my first trip to Vegas with friends....of course we stayed at the Cali. I recall getting in at night...oh, the bright lights, oh the gambling! Then I got up in the morning and pulled back the curtains and I swear, all I saw was, desert, railroad tracks, and gila monsters.
I didn't think I'd get the Missus to the Cali; there's so much else to interest Her. I could have lured Her with the oxtail soup from Market Street Cafe, but they only start serving that from 11pm. So while the Missus was occupied elsewhere, I decided to visit for old times sake. The crowd and believe me, it was pretty busy, looks a lot older nowadays. But Market Street Cafe is still going strong with folks waiting in line at 915 in the morning.
It was nice wandering around a bit.....great memories of those really cheap junkets we used to take. I've had many a meal at Aloha Specialties which wasn't open yet on this morning.
I don't really gamble anymore....the Missus gets major chest pains watching me lose perfectly good money which could have gone to Her next pair of Christian Louboutins. But I thought I'd part with a twenty for old times sake at the slots. Two pulls later I was up over $550! You always get the better odds at these type of places. I played it down to $500 and cashed out quickly. The folks working here have always been very friendly....probably because of the Hawaii connection.
I took a quick walk down Fremont Street, which looked really depressed......
Then it was time to hele......
I headed back up to Spring Mountain Road. I thought I'd treat myself to two medium size lunches, the first was to grab some poke at Hawaiian Style Poke.
Now the thought of eating fish in the middle of Nevada might seem a bit odd to you, but with all the transplanted locals....well, I was curious. I initially thought of hitting up the popular Poke Express, but Bozo told me that this little, fairly hard to find shop near the corner of Wynn and Spring Mountain Roads was the way to go....so I did.
The shop is tiny, with a fish counter and trays of small batches of fish. There are different "seasonings" on the fish, but it looks like they pour on the same shoyu based "sauce" on everything. Fair enough, as the fish looked pretty fresh. I drove across the street to the plaza that holds 99 Ranch Market and had at my poke under this.....
Both the spicy garlic and shoyu poke were ok.
The spicy garlic wasn't very spicy and though there was some garlic flavor it was pretty salty from the shoyu. The shoyu poke was also on the salty side and you could tell the fish wasn't really "A" grade....though I gotta say, the prices aren't bad, $14.99 a pound if I recall. There were a couple of pieces with fibrous "sugi" and a few that were plain tough.
Our little road trip took us from the Keauhou Farmer's Market, through Kamuela, with a stop at Village Burger. Just outside Hilo, we made a stop at one of those "old familiar places", Akaka Falls State Park....which actually has two waterfalls; the smaller Kahuna Falls....and the "Big Kahuna", Akaka Falls.
The trail here is really easy, about a half mile total and was a good opportunity for the Missus and I to get out and stretch our legs.
Not much has changed here....except there's now a $5 parking fee.
There's something about bamboo that cools me and gives me that relaxed "aaaahhh" feeling.
Before heading to our hotel, we drove into Hilo, near the airport and hit up Big Island Candies.
I've often recommended visiting Big Island Candies when in Hilo, but always add on...."make sure to bring money." They'll start serving you samples from the time you walk in the door, don't be surprised if you've done the ol' credit card damage before leaving. I was surprised not to see a tour bus or two in the parking lot while we were there.
Instead of staying around Banyan Drive, we opted for the Dolphin Bay Hotel, in a semi-residential area, right across the Wailuku River from downtown Hilo. The place reminded me of those 60's-70's apartments I grew up in. No A/C, but there was a kitchenette....so we decided, as we often do, to self cater.
I'm lucky enough to remember the fish auction at Suisan, long gone now. Suisan is still the major food and seafood distributor on the island and of course the shop on Lihiwai Street is still open for business.
The Missus was shocked when She asked for samples they'd give Her a couple of pieces of fish to try. I was surprised at the quality of fish for the price.
We ended up buying some "stuffs" for dinner.
If you're staying on Banyan Drive, Lihiwai street is close by.
It also seems that if you buy fish from Suisan, you can take it to the shop next door and they'll fry it up for you.
Suisan Company Limited 93 Lihiwai St Hilo, HI 96720
We were happy to arrive on Saturday, because Suisan, like most of the other shops in Hilo is closed on Sunday.......we often joke that everyday feels like Sunday in Hilo, so Sunday feels like Christmas Day without the festivities!
We wanted to hit up one of our favorite places in Hilo, the Hilo Farmer's Market. We'd be leaving early the next morning, so even though the place was winding down, we wanted to see if things were as we remembered.
Even though the Farmer's Market runs 7 days a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the busiest, with the most vendors. You can get everything from rambutan to musubis here. The Missus loves the papaya from the market.
Located on the corner of Kamehameha Avenue and Mamo Street, you really shouldn't miss it if you're in Hilo.
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sunday 7am - 4pm
Wed and Sat 6am - 4pm
It really seemed like Hilo hadn't changed much....... After driving back to the hotel, the Missus decided on going for a walk....a loooong walk. We'd pretty much seen most of Hilo during our previous visits, so I thought why not.? We walked from the hotel right off of Puueo Street onto Kamehameha Avenue, drifting in and out of businesses, finally stopping on Bishop Street....here you can see a bridge over the Wailoa River.
It hard to believe that this area was once Shinmachi "New Town", a "thriving community" which was wiped out in the tsunamis of 1946 and 1960. If you ever have the chance, check out the small, but interesting Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo.
It was getting a bit sticky out and we headed back....stopping at KTA to refresh ourselves in the A/C and pick up some liquid refreshment. Dinner itself was quite satisfying, all the great veggies and the saussicon we bought at the Keauhou Farmer;s Market.
Because we had samples of the poke from Suisan, we knew we'd enjoy it. Though there seemed to be a lot of "sauce", the two poke we had weren't salty. The Missus preferred the wasabi poke.
There was just enough wasabi in this with a touch of sweetness.
The furikake poke was also good, though not quite as good as the wasabi version.
We both really took to something they called "Hawaiian Candy" at Suisan. It's very crisp, dried fish....crunchy like candy, salty like dried fish, it has an addictive quality that we both enjoyed.
Since this doesn't need refrigeration it lasts and we snacked on it during the rest of our trip. Good stuff!
We had tried the Mehana Red Ale earlier in the trip, so we opted for the Pale Ale, which turned out to be a bit too "hoppy" for the Missus. I still enjoyed it though. I would have enjoyed visiting the brewery, but we were in Hilo outside of their hours.....we'll get that in next time.
Of course, we had to have some boiled peanuts which the Missus just couldn't get enough of. I think She would be perfectly happy if all we ate was poke and boiled peanuts the entire time we were home.
Because we'd be getting an early start the next morning, we crashed early....but man, those coqui frogs, an invasive species of tiny, quarter sized frogs from Puerto Rico which make a very loud "KOOO-KEEE" sound kept me awake. I don't recall it being this bad before. Yikes! Oh well, we were on vacation, so what a couple of million frogs mating outside our window, right? Perhaps things had changed in Hilo since our last visit after all.......
Even though we'd eaten and done the coffee tour thing, it was still pretty early. So I decided to head over to what I'd recommend for a quick first stop in Kona....it's close to the airport, you can stock up on water if you're staying for more than 3-4 days....Costco....yep, Costco. My friends know how much I dread going to Costco, the crowds, the insanity....but here I was going of my own accord. This being the Big Island, meant that Costco might have some interesting items.....
Rambutan seems to be much more popular than I recall......though I hadn't been to the Big Island in almost a decade. They even sell it at Costco.
It was great to see local products being sold at Costco. You can even get local poi!
Or even Hamakua Mushrooms......
And what other Costco has its own Guard-Rooster??? Pretty aggressive little fella'. Make sure you don't take his "reserved space"!
We then headed off back to Kona and was able to check in at the King Kamehameha....which was a good choice for us. Nothing fancy but the location, at the top of Ali'i Drive worked for us. The interior of the hotel is much nicer than the exterior which looked a bit dated. The staff was also very nice, especially the parking lot ladies who always smiled and waved us and in and out.
That taken care of.....means it was time for lunch, right? We headed up Palani Drive to Kuakini Highway, then back down to Ali'i Drive and a small shop called Da' Poke Shack.
The little shop with a couple of parking spots and tables outside has about a dozen varieties of poke...which you can get a la carte as a bowl or as a plate (with two sides).....though the plate seemed a bit steep at $20, we decided that it was something we could share as a rather light lunch.
I ordered the "Shack Special" which was a mildly sweet furikake poke and the "Wet Hawaiian" which was some kind of award winning version of poke....brown rice with kimchi and seaweed salad as our sides.
The portion sizes of the fish seemed to hover around 4-5 ounces. They told me, this was ahi......it seemed like tombo ahi - albacore, or even A'u as the fish seemed a bit mushy. Regardless, it was fresh, the flavors not too bad, maybe a bit on the salty side.
We shared our table with this momona (chubby) dove, who has obviously been eating well.
Not the best poke I've had, kind of pricey, but probably the best in the area.
Da Poke Shack 76-6246 Alii Dr Kailua, HI 96740
Open Daily: 10am - 6pm
We then attended to the next task at hand.....trying to figure out what was for dinner! Since the room had a decent mini-fridge, we decided to check out KTA in Keauhou, which we recalled as being pretty decent. We did make a couple of purchases and headed back to our room with a self-catered meal on hand.
After freshening up, we took a nice stroll up Ali'i Drive a bit....which basically looked the same, except for the lack of tourists. We watched the sunset from the back of the Kona Inn.......which never, ever, gets old.
We then walked up a bit further, cut over to Kuakini Highway and made our way back to our room........and dinner, which was pretty simple. The Missus loves boiled peanuts.
And smoked ahi.......
I really enjoyed the local grass fed pipikaula poke, which I thought was really tasty....didn't like the look of the poke on sale, and frankly, if you don't have a fish counter, I ain't going to buy it.
The pipikaula had a nice chew and the flavor was nice and beefy; this wasn't too salty and was really enjoyable. Totally dinner on the hotel lanai food....and just like old times.......
We enjoyed the pupus with some Mehana Beer, which even the Missus enjoyed. We had decided to boycott Kona Brewing Company. The brewery and restaurant were mere yards from our hotel. However, when we walked over just to find out about the tours, the Hostess/Server was really very rude and condescending......so was another Server I asked. So no more Kona Brewing Company for us......
We got to sleep early....we'd be heading out to Hilo side in the morning.
I won't go into great detail about planning or trip; you can read a bit more in my previous post.
During my last trip, I noticed a lot of construction was taking place on a huge lot on Keaunui Drive. My in-laws live about a ten minute walk away. On this trip we saw that one of the "mega-Safeways" had opened on the property. I thought this was great, with more choices, and maybe with a better fish department than the nearby Foodland. Unfortunately, like Foodland, this place serves up carbon monoxide treated ahi....bummer. I guess we'll stick with Tanioka's. We were pretty much pooped and didn't do much the first evening.
But we headed out early the next morning. In all honesty, I'm not the biggest fan of Whole Foods. I did however, relish the opportunity to check out the Kahala location. I wanted the Missus to have a chance to grab some local produce. I was pleasantly surprised to see a really impressive looking food bar area......
This used to be the location of Star Market in Kahala Mall, which sadly closed in 2007.
It didn't seem like we'd have any time to visit a farmer's market on Oahu, so this seemed a decent option. Of course, driving from Ewa Beach on a week day morning wasn't exactly the most wonderful thing in the world....
This was of course, Whole Foods, and the pricing reflected that. I'm not a big fan of the prepared and hot foods, many of which I find on the bland side. But the choice of all the local vegetables was very nice. The Missus and I had sort of a breakfast with stuff like Sumida Farms watercress and Ho Farms Tomatoes.
The Missus just loved the watercress and we bought some stuff for dinner.
Whole Foods Market Kahala Mall Shopping Center 4211 Waialae Ave, Ste 2000 Honolulu, HI 96816
Our next stop was set to be Tamura's Kaimuki, but their poke department doesn't open until 1030, so we decided to get something to eat. Well, we already did breakfast, so I guess we need to call this brunch?
We headed down to Ono Seafood and decided to share a poke bowl. We went with a "combo" poke bowl; for 50 cents more ($7.50), you get two different poke. The one item that I enjoy eating brown rice with is poke....the Missus loves the "brown rice revolution".
The fish here has been sparkling fresh on all our visits. The poke is not over-sauced and the texture of the fish is not compromised. The Missus really enjoyed the wasabi version of the ahi poke, while I liked the less heavily flavored "Hawaiian" style, with inamona adding a bit of nuttiness, and limu for some crunch. All the juice from the poke flavored the rice nicely, though the Missus has a bit of an issue with putting cold raw fish on top of hot rice...... I on the other hand have no such qualms......
Ono Seafood 747 Kapahulu Ave.Apt 4 Honolulu, HI 96816
We then headed back up the hill to Tamura's.
For some smoked tako, smoked fish, and some other stuff for dinner.
Tamura's Fine Wines & Liquors 3496 Waialae Ave. Honolulu, HI 96816
We decided to make one more eating stop..... We've done breakfast and brunch, so I guess this one is officially lunch? Anyway we headed to Mapunapuna and the former location of 99 Ranch Market. I'd always thought this was a weird location for a market and 99 Ranch Market didn't last that long. It's now a sort of food court with some shops....great for the working folks in the area. Though it still looks kind of seedy.....
I'd heard about a little place that makes a nice take-out chirashi with decent quality fish, called Take's Fish Market.
The place is run by a very nice older Japanese couple. They seem very mild mannered, even shy. I ordered the Kaisen Chirashi and was told it was going to be about 10 minutes. So while the Missus walked around I waited a while and actually saw them cut my fish fresh.
I then went for a walk and got the Missus to order something for me from another stand (see below). When I got back, my bowl was ready.
The shari (sushi rice) was prepared decently, not too sour or wet. The fish was very fresh, the hamachi impeccable. By no means is this an earth-shattering chirashi......but looking at the quality and price ($9.95), this is pretty darn good. I really can't, by any means, call this fast food. If I worked around here, I'd be having this just about every week.
Take's Fish Market 1151 Mapunapuna St Honolulu, HI 96819
While waiting for my chirashi, the Missus and I took a walk. It was just after 11 and this place was packed.
The place was doing major business! Looking at the food the other folks were eating, I could tell....this ain't Panda Express. So I got the missus to order me something while I went back to see if my chirashi was ready.
What the missus ordered for me was the Roast Duck Pan Fried Noodles ($7.95). The Missus handed the styrofoam container over to me and I was surprised at its heft. Opening up I noticed that man, this place really packed it in.
The Missus loved the gooey sauce on the vegetables....mostly napa cabbage. There was a good amount of crisp noodles, one of my favorite thing. I found the sauce more like a fairly bland gravy which needed some flavor. The duck was super meaty and wasn't too salty, though it was on the mild side with regards to anything resembling five-spice or bean paste flavor.
Still, this is a load of food........we had half of it left for dinner.
Mini Garden Express 1151 Mapunapuna St Honolulu, HI 96819
Speaking of dinner........it seemed like the Missus could not get enough watercress. We bought some Sumida Farms watercress and Ho Farms tomatoes and made a salad....and drizzled on a bit of soy and sesame oil for flavor.
Along with the stuff from Tamura's.
The smoked tako seemed a bit too sweet for our tastes.