Our hotel was a short walk from the Ala Moana Shopping Center, the largest shopping center in Hawaii, and the largest open air shopping center in the world. It’s a bit odd walking through the complex since the common walk ways are open air (meaning it’s humid and 28-30C), only to pass by store fronts that are fully air-conditioned, and blasting a (comparatively) frigid 20C breeze out the doors, but I digress.
The Ala Moana has a full set of sit-down dining establishments on the top floor of the shopping center, and a rather expansive food court on the south side ground floor. One of the busiest vendors in that food court is Yummy Korean BBQ. It’s a chain of korean take out restaurants on the island of Oahu.
I ordered the “mini plate” of chicken katsu with sides of choy sum, and corn, served over rice.
This chicken cutlet is breaded and deep-fried to a hearty crunch, and served with a savory tonkatsu dipping sauce. This tasted fine, but I found it some of my chicken slightly dry and overcooked. The choi sum is garlicky and served cold.
While my companion ordered a dinner combo of kalbi, with choi sum, bean sprouts, fried potato salad, and cabbage, served over rice.
The kalbi is marinade beef short rib, cut thin across the bone, and grilled. It was slightly over cooked on the first visit. We subsequently went to a different Yummy Korean BBQ location later, ordered the kalbi again, and it was much better the second time around. The bean sprouts are lightly stir fried with a strong sesame oil aroma. The fried potato salad, tastes more or less like any other potato salad, but at least it was well seasoned (it’s not uncommon for potato salad in Hawaii to be quite bland, they tend to like it that way).