Restaurant review: Asahi Grill

For one of the last nights of my winter vacation, I met with my cousin, and his best friend at the Asahi Grill in the Kaakako neighborhood. This is very much a no-frills place, producing simple “local” cuisine.  To be clear, “local cuisine” in hawaii is a fusion of polynesian, chinese, japanese, korean, philipino and portuguese…

Restaurant review: Yajima-Ya

One the first night of my winter vacation, I met my aunt and cousin for dinner a casual local place in the Moana/Makiki neighbourhood. This was a relatively new place, transformed from what was a more traditional japanese restaurant called Hinone Mizunone.  From what I can tell, the owners of this restaurant also operate a…

Restaurant review: The Rice Place

During a winter vacation in Honolulu, my cousin picked me up and took me to a new place in the Kakaako/Ward neighborhood called The Rice Place. This is a small fusion place, with a menu that combines various asian and north american cuisines. We started with the Lettuce Wrap Rice Flour Crepe. This is what vietnamese…

Restaurant review: Chogajib

This was my last night of my vacation.  My cousin decided to take me to a new Korean restaurant that he had noticed. Chogajib Korean Restaurant is a modest place in a small strip mall in the Ala Moana neighborhood, near Wal-Mart. We started with a selection of complimentary appetizers. This included cabbage kimchi (top…

Takeout review: Harbor Pub & Pizza

After a long busy day, I returned to hotel to relax and veg out on the couch watching television.  When dinner time rolled around, I still didn’t have the inclination to go out to out into the hot night, so I decided to pick some place close by.  I chose the Harbor Pub & Pizza,…

Restaurant review: Wailana Coffee House

I woke up with a craving for a heavy breakfast and headed for the Wailana Coffee House.  It’s a family run 24 hour coffee-house in Waikiki, just a hop, skip and a jump from the hotel.  I’d walked past the restaurant many many times in past visits and decided it was time to give it…

Street food review: Waiola Shave Ice

With Hawaii’s year round warm weather, staying cool is part of daily life.  The local specialty is “shave ice”.  This is an evolved version of our community fair “shaved ice”.   “Shaved ice” tends to be course ground ice in a paper cup, drizzled with flavored syrup.  Hawaii “shave ice” is a very fine ice…

Street food review: Hula Dog

Hula Dog is a local  of hot dog chain that serves hot dogs with a distinct Hawaiian flavors. They start by slipping a (unsplit) roll over a searing hot steel tube, toasting the bun from the inside out. Once toasted, they remove the roll, and partially fill the tube with two flavored sauces, then  they insert a…

Restaurant review: Coco Ichibanya Curry House

Dining alone on this occasion, I wanted something spicy.  There was a small Japanese Curry place on the McCully shopping plaza that I had spotted on previous visits and decided to give it a try. Curry House Coco Ichibanya is a Japanese chain of curry houses with locations throughout Asia, as well as the United…

Restaurant review: The Alley Restaurant Bar & Grill

This one is a bit of a curious experience. When I think of bowling alley and food, I’m thinking greasy spoon diner fare. Sandwiches, soup, burger & fries.  The Alley at Aiea Bowl has that, and so much more. This is a bowling alley.  And it looks and sounds like it.  There’s the frequent smash…

Restaurant review: Side Street Inn (Kapahulu St)

During a return trip to Honolulu, I had to revisit The Side Street Inn.  Side Street is a local institution.  It’s basically a pub, with good food.  They emphasize fresh ingredients, big portions (for sharing) and a dedication to island flavors. Just to clarify, island flavors are favored local flavors that reflect Hawaii’s cultural influences…

Restaurant review: Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill

On our last night in Honolulu, our hosts took us to Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill (Pupu means appetizer…. to us, this would be analogous to a Tapas Bar & Grill). Uncle Bo’s looks like a pub.  But the menu is pretty expansive for a pub. We started with a warm spinach salad with walnuts, feta,…