Thursday, August 17, 2017

welcoming committee

"someone" enjoying my bag & suitcase❤︎ #malia #bombaycat #hawaii I had shared this photo on Instagram, but realized I hadn't here.

I think this was either my first or second night in Hawaii...I found my furry niece, Malia, in my suitcase rubbing her face against my summer bag, welcoming me back...I guess.

Now every morning, we tell each other "good morning" and then she gets some (unwanted) hugs.

Krazy aunty "terrorizing" her furry niece...I know she loves it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ono hawaiian foods

1st (& last) time kau kau-ing with @rexmaximilian at ono hawaiian foods as they will close at the end of the month❤︎ #onohawaiianfood #kapahulu #hawaii #kaluapig #laulau #lomilomisalmon #pipikaula #pickledonions #poi #haupia #latergram Met up with my Flickr friend, Rex.

He mentioned that Ono Hawaiian Foods was closing so if we could have lunch there...

To tell you the truth, I'd never eaten there, in all of the 50-something years they were in business (sorry!)

Growing up, my family would always make lau lau, lomi lomi salmon, haupia...and on special occasions we would make kalua pig...

So, rarely would we go out to eat these foods.

Anyway...we got there a couple minutes before opening and by the time the place opened there was a nice line.

Lots of people taking out, but there were also quite a bit dining in.

Rex ordered their kalua pig plate, while I went with their lau lau plate...both $18.00 (plus tax)

Each plate comes with lomi lomi salmon, haupia, pipikaula, pickled onions and rice or small poi (we both chose poi).

I really enjoyed the family style dining.

The lau lau was HUGE but super moist and very well seasoned.

The kalua pig was tender and flavorful.

One day old poi was on the tart side but delicious with the lomi lomi salmon.

It was nice experiencing this place, though sad that they will close at the end of the month.

Thanks for suggesting this place and meeting up Rex!

Ono Hawaiian Foods (closing at the end of August 2017)
726 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.737.2275

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

champions malasadas

heard they are selling their business, so I'm getting my fix❤︎ #malasada #hawaii #championmalasadas I don't quite remember when my Aunty Marian told me that Champions Malasadas was closing...

They are still looking for someone to take over their business, so this trip back I made sure to get my fix in.

The price is $.90 (plus tax)...a little higher than the last time I had them, but still under a dollar.

When the business changes hands, I hope the quality won't change...

The malasadas are still light and fluffy..and will always be my favorite.

Monday, August 14, 2017

thank you!

thank you @rtkmatsu & S for sharing your "flavors of hilo" & dried aku❤︎ #pineapple #avocado #lilikoi #ume #jam #driedaku #hawaii #bigisland #hilo So thankful for all the kindness.

Yesterday morning, reader Ryan and his wife S, drove up to deliver and share some avocados, pineapple, homemade jams & some dried aku (skipjack tuna).

The avocado was creamy, pineapple was sweet & dried aku was delicious.

We are looking forward to catching up with you two when Satoshi comes in a few weeks!

Thank you again!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

hawaiian pie company

coconut mini pie morning❤︎ #hawaiianpieco #coconut #pie #kalihi #hawaii Went to Hawaiian Pie Company, since I saw that they had bread pudding as their special.

The guy working behind the counter wasn't too informed and didn't even know what I was talking about when I asked him.

Then when I told him I wanted to get the coconut mini pie...he didn't even know that they had them in their showcase...dude!

Anyway, the pie is filled with lots of!

I'm glad I tried this, I'll be back.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

kan zaman (kaimuki), via gelato & snacks

Untitled I was lucky to be able to meet up with Deb as she's quite busy these days with work.

We met at Kan Zaman in Kaimuki.

I had their shop in Chinatown on my "to try" list and then recently, they opened another shop in Kaimuki.

Deb and I both had their falafel sandwich...loved the salad dressing, it was fruity.

Unfortunately the falafel were overcooked so they were quite hard & dry.

The sauce they served this with didn't add much to the sandwich...bummer

I did enjoy the iced mint tea, perfect for the hot day that it was.

Our waiter while nice was super antsy asking if we were ready to order dessert, and we had only just started eating our lunches!

It was great having the whole place to ourselves, though I hope they do well here.

Untitled After lunch, we went over to Via Gelato for dessert.

Deb had their Apple Pie gelato, nice chunks of apple pie in there!

I chose the Fierce Chocolate and Coffee Toffee with nice pieces of toffee here and there.

Untitled Deb spoiled me with all these snacks! Huge bags of the latest Lay's flavors as well as some things from Trader Joe's and other goodies.

It is always nice catching up with Deb and I appreciate her taking time out of her busy day for me.

Thanks Deb!

Kan Zaman Kaimuki
1127 11th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.260.1763
Hours: Sundays–Thursdays: 11:00–21:30
Fridays-Saturdays: 11:00-22:30

Friday, August 11, 2017

falafel banh mi

Untitled Tried the Falafel Banh Mi for dinner at La Tour Cafe yesterday...

Falafel, Harissa Hummus, Firecracker Sauce, Pickled Carrot & Daikon, Cucumber, Cilantro

So good!

Loved how the falafel was crisp on the outside but moist on the inside.

The bread (which they make) and served this on was so good too!

BFF Wen tried their Tuna Avocado Deli and enjoyed it...she doesn't like mayo-ey sandwiches so I'm glad it wasn't goopy.

thanks for today! #sunset #nofilter #hawaii The sunset was a nice way to end the day...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

apple tv

Untitled My brother cancelled the cable television and is using Apple TV with DirectTV, which if I understand uses Wi-Fi to stream in programs.

The sad thing is that all the local (Hawaii) channels are no longer viewable...

The remote is something I need to get used to using too...

Do you have Apple TV?

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

mr donut's & bakery

mr. donut's (huge) apple fritter❤︎needs more apples #mrdonut #hawaii #doughnut #downtown #applefritter Not sure when or how I heard about Mr Donut's, but I do remember that Jalna, checked them out.

FYI: They are not the same company as Mister Donut (MisDo) in Japan.

Anyway, since I was near the shop yesterday, I went to check them out.

I bought their apple fritter...HUGE!

Bummer though not much apple in it.

If I do go back to the area, I wouldn't mind trying the doughnut holes...

Mr Donut's & Bakery
134 Bishop Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.545.2961
Open 24 hours

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

fete hawaii & honolulu coffee

Untitled Met up with family friend, D, for lunch at Fete Hawaii.

When we got there the place was pretty empty but when we left it was packed!

I ordered the Eggplant Tartine : Grilled Fête toast, red pepper feta, Babaganoush, fried zucchini...delicious!

D chose the Brunch Sausage Sandwich : Italian sausage, sunny local egg, cheddar, maple syrup, brioche bun, field greens, frites,
bread & butter pickles, ketchup

D's sandwich was messy eats, but he said it was delicious.

Bummer that the ketchup they served the fries with was a bit watery...

Untitled D also gave me these macarons from Honolulu Coffee.

They were delicious, most were cream filled.

My favorite was the coconut (not pictured).

Downtown is still quite scary to me with all the homeless walking around, but it was nice to meet up & catch up with D.

Thanks for today, D!

Fete Hawaii
2 North Hotel Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.369.1390
Hours: Mondays-Thursdays 11:00-22:00
Fridays: 11:00-23:00
Saturday 11:00-23:00
Pau Hana (Happy Hour) Mondays-Saturdays 14:00-17:30
Closed: Sundays

Monday, August 07, 2017

harbor pier 38 & via gelato

Met up with Mineko today.

We had lunch at Harbor Pier 38.

I'm glad this place wasn't crowded, so we got to chat & lunch leisurely.

Untitled We shared this crab & artichoke dip...super creamy!

Untitled I had their reuben...not too sure what was making this so salty...the chips or the meat inside the sandwich...

Untitled Mineko had their clam linguini...looked delicious!

Untitled After lunch we went to Via Gelato.

We both got affogatos.

I chose Mint Chip, while Mineko chose Green Tea.

Surprisingly Green Tea matched with a shot of espresso.

I enjoyed how the mint flavor of my gelato wasn't overpowering.

Untitled Mineko gave me some omiyage...a lipstick & these chocolates by Pierre Marcolini...I think I will share these with Satoshi when he visits in a couple of weeks.

It was great catching up with Mineko, I hope she had a nice time too.

Thanks for a great day!

p.s. I hope you can view the photos...when I pressed preview, I couldn't see any of the photos...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

tacos zarate

<UntitledSince the last visit to Tacos Zarate, they moved to Kahala.

In the spot where Antonio's Pizza and Honolulu Burger Company used to be.

Steph, Wen and I went to check them out for lunch today.

The space is clean and bigger than when they were on King Street.

I ordered the Carne Asada Nachos and a small drink.

The server made a mistake and gave me a large drink.

Loved the cheese sauce and the carne asada was super tender.

Will definitely be back to try other things on their menu.

It was nice catching up with Steph and Wen too! (Thank you!)

Tacos Zarate
4210 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.892.1565
Hours: 11:00-21:00
Closed Sundays

Saturday, August 05, 2017

scratch kitchen & meatery

yoga bowl❤︎catching up with J, Mich & her son, first time meeting @vickinags & L...thanks for today! #scratchkitchenandmeatery #ward #hawaii Met up with Jalna, Mich, K, V & Leslie for brunch at Scratch Kitchen & Meatery at Ward.

They don't take reservations, so Jalna wanted to be there when they opened, so we met up at 9:00.

Luckily, V was with us because as soon as the doors opened, she zipped right in...thanks V!

Most of us ordered the Yoga Bowl...crispy brussels sprouts, root vegetables, brown rice-farro, roasted chickpeas, sunny egg, tahini (?)

Mich had the benny but on this day, they didn't have english muffins so they instead served them on brioche.

Her son had their milk & cereal pancakes.

V had their smoked salmon sandwich...huge!

I was a bit disappointed with this bowl...most all the brussels sprouts and sweet potato was burnt...the sweet potato undercooked too.

Still it was nice catching up with everyone.

Untitled I received these calamansi & cookies from Mich & her gonna squeeze the calamansi into juice. (Thank you!)

Untitled Honolulu Aunty gave me this cute tote! (Thank you!)

Untitled V gave us this cute Foodland bag, poke stuffs & coffee (Thank you!)

Untitled Leslie made these delicious vegan cookies (Thank you!)

Untitled Jalna shared her mi goreng stash and also some of her creative projects...AND she treated all of us to brunch (Thank you Thank you!)

It was so nice to put faces to blogs & comments.

Thanks for arranging today and again for treating us Jalna!

Scratch Kitchen & Meatery
1170 Auahi Street
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.589.1669
Monday-Sunday 9:00-15:00 (brunch/lunch)
Monday-Saturday 17:00-21:00 (dinner)

Friday, August 04, 2017

piggy smalls

LFC & catching up with @leonardkam ❤︎thanks for today! #laotionfriedchicken #piggysmalls #ward #hawaii #latergram Met up with long time friend, Len for lunch at Piggy Smalls.

It is the second restaurant by The Pig & the Lady and is located in the old space of Kua'Aina in Ward Centre.

Man, the whole Kaka'ako area has changed...more parking near the Ward Centre, more condos...super unrecognizable.

In fact, July 30th, Ward Warehouse closed its door for good...sad, yeah?!

I ordered the LFC, which stands for Laotion Fried Chicken.

The chicken is double fried, doused with their money sauce, and sits on kaffir, fried shallots and peanut slaw

Messy eats but really good...spicy, sweet, salty and sour.

Len had their J. LUDOVICO CHICKEN PHO...spiced local chicken broth, ginger, calamansi, aromatic herbs, fresh rice noodles.

It is always nice to catch up with him and I am glad we have continued our friendship over the years.

I noticed they do take out too...I'll be back.

Thanks Len!

Piggy Smalls
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Phone: 808.777.3588
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays: 11:00 - 21:30*
(*15:00-17:00 take out & limited menu outdoor dining only)
Sundays: 11:00-16:00

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

la tour cafe

Untitled I think I tried this sandwich back in December when I came back for a family emergency...

I love all the "stuff" in this sandwich from La Tour Cafe...

Albacore tuna salad with cranberries, fennel seeds, capers, almonds, avocado & hummus...their housemade chips are super crispy too.

Gotta try to recreate this one.

What did you have for lunch?

Monday, July 31, 2017

good to be home

Untitled It's like 10 degrees cooler than Japan here...bonus: I got to see this beautiful sunrise glow from the right side of the plane.

I'll be posting from here for awhile, but the dates and time will reflect Japan time.

Have a good week!

Friday, July 28, 2017


Untitled Warning: this post is about semi (cicada)...

When I was in Tarumi the other day, I noticed several trees loaded with semi (cicada).

If you are looking at this post on a smartphone, pinch the photo to'll see all of them.

I also lightened the photo, so it is a little easier to spot them all...

Midori and I were sort of screaming as we took the photo...eek!

If you are interested in seeing the video I shot of them a few years back you can click here, to hear just how noisy they are.

Tidbit from Satoshi: only the male cicadas chirp...

Hope it is cooler and quieter where you are...have a nice weekend.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

cafe ria ria

Yesterday I got to meet up with Midori and Naomi.

It had been 4 years since the last time I had met up with Midori and many many moons since I had met up with Naomi.

Untitled We met up at a little cafe called Cafe Ria Ria.

The owner is a friend of Midori's.

She grows most of the veggies that she uses.

Our lunch had all sorts of different flavors...and also came with some grilled eggplant soup and brown rice...1500 yen (tax included).

Untitled Dessert was a melon shortcake.

In Japan, shortcake is a layered cake with fruit--different from the shortcake found in the States, which I think is made from biscuits.

The melon had just been picked that morning.

Lunch also came with a beverage...Naomi & I chose seasonal fruit sodas (kiwi and ume respectively) and Midori tried a sea buckthorn drink (which looked like coffee with lots of milk in it...she said it was very different, a bit sour).

The food was delicious and I liked the laid back feel to the cafe.

It was nice to get together and hopefully our schedules will jive to meet up again later this year.

Thanks Midori & Naomi!

Cafe Ria Ria
1-2-7 Kasumigaoka
Tarumi, Hyogo
Phone: 078.771.0863
Hours: 9:00-18:00
Closed Mondays

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

minoo candle road

Untitled Saturday night we checked out the Minoo Candle Road event.

Candles lit the way to the Minoo Falls.

Untitled So many people out and about.

Untitled The walkway through the shopping arcade was packed with vendors and people!

Untitled Of course, the humidity was killer.

Untitled Ramune, a drink seen a lot during Summer in Japan and Yuzu Cider were definitely needed...

(Even though both were labelled with Minoo's logos, both were not made in Minoo (bummer), though the Yuzu Cider did use yuzu (citron) from Minoo.)

My archives do not show this event so I think this was a rare time that we were able to check this event out.

(I think most times we are in Hawaii or remember after the event is over)

Even though it was super grossly humid (and we didn't go all the way up to the Falls), I'm glad we checked it out.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

gate 2

Untitled Recently a baseball themed salad shop opened in Grand Front Osaka called Gate 2.

To understand the humour behind the name of the shop, you need a little background...Gate 2, pronounced in Japanese is "get two"...translated to baseball speak is a double play.

The main shop is called Fielder's Choice which apparently means this.

The shops interior circles around the Yankees, with the seating area looking like their locker room...all their salads are named after baseball players.

Satoshi chose "Babe"...mixed lettuce, smoked salmon, egg, avocado, corn, cucumber, red onion with onion dressing...1200 yen (plus tax).

He also chose the soup set...300 yen (plus tax).

Untitled I chose "Mantle"...mixed lettuce, chicken, quinoa, granola, apple, red cabbage, broccoli with honey mustard dressing...980 yen (plus tax)

The salad is then chopped to your liking...I chose fine, while Satoshi chose the standard, you could also do chunky.

All salads can be turned into wraps or added to rice bowls for additional costs.

The one peeve Satoshi had was that "Jackie" named after Jackie Robinson was not a Yankee...

A bit pricey, this was actually a nice portion of salad.

They do also have a breakfast menu, but only on weekdays.

I dunno if we'll be back but I do want to try to recreate some of the other salads at home.

Also, it is nice to see more and more salads appearing as mains here.

Gate 2
Grand Front Osaka South Building 1F
Umeda, Osaka
Phone: 06.4256.6766
Hours: 8:00-21:00 (Monday-Friday), 10:00-21:00 (Weekends, Holidays)

Monday, July 24, 2017


Untitled Hankyu Department Store in Umeda is having an Asian Fair.

All sorts of foods and knick-knacks from countries like Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam.

I recently tried this...called Ku-lon in Japanese, the kanji (chinese characters) translated to English is Kowloon.

The dessert is made by a shop called Hong Kong Sweets Ka Ka, apparently a Japanese company with shops in Tokyo.

refreshing❤︎ #hankyu #asiafair #osaka #japan #hongkongsweets #大阪 #香港スイーツ #アジアフェア2017 #阪急百貨店 #九龍 #香港スイーツ果香 Kanten (agar) orbs hold tiny pieces of fruits...blueberry, kiwi, mango, watermelon, as well as many others (in some photos online I spotted raspberries, strawberries) floating in a simple syrup.

I'm glad I tried this, I don't know if they actually have a dessert like this in Hong Kong but it was so refreshing and hit the spot on such a hot and humid day....540 yen (tax included).

Saturday, July 22, 2017

colorful tomatoes

Untitled Been seeing colorful tomatoes at the market lately...

jazzing up instant pasta with colorful tomatoes❤︎ #colorfultomatoes #osaka #japan #彩 #トマト #大阪 #eatingtherainbow I used some to jazz up some instant pasta the other night.

thursday❤︎ #eatingtherainbow #blueberry #colorfultomatoes #omelette #coffee #osaka #japan #ブルーベリー #トマト #彩 #オムレツ #珈琲 #大阪 #米 #ゆかり #rice #yukari And some to jazz up our omelettes for breakfast the other day.

These were quite sweet.

Rainy season has ended here, though the weather dude says we will have a rainy week next week.

Have a nice weekend.

Friday, July 21, 2017

foodie thursday in blazing kyoto

Untitled Yesterday I got to meet up with Hiromi.

It had been awhile since the last time we met up.

Instead of hanging around our area, we ventured to Kyoto.

We were worried that the weather might be rainy but it was blazing sunny.

Lunch was at Yaoichi Honkan.

If I am not mistaken, this shop was originally a fruit & veggie grocer turned recently into a high-end grocery store with restaurants and other shops.

We ordered the steamed veggies this came with all sorts of side dishes...1380 (tax included)

You can have seconds of rice & miso soup too.

The veggies are apparently grown up on the rooftop...Delicious.

As we left, the place was packed.

Untitled Then we walked across to the Higashiyama area for something sweet at Kisshokaryo, a shop dedicated to kinako (soy bean powder).

Hiromi ordered their matcha milk shaved ice.

While I tried their kinako parfait & an iced coffee...1520 yen (tax included).

The top is a meringue which you need to gingerly break.

Next layer...Tea jelly (I think it was hojicha (roasted green tea).

Then...Tonyu cream (soy milk cream).

There was also some cookies in the middle.

After eating the meringue there wasn't any sweetness to the rest of the parfait so they give you some kuromitsu (literally black honey).

I enjoyed eating this as it wasn't too sweet or filling.

Even though it was blazing (and super humid) was nice to get out and about.

We hope to come back (when it is cooler) to check out more places...Thanks Hiromi!

Yaoichi Honkan
220 Sanmonji-cho, Sanjo-sagaru, Higashitoin-dori, 2F
Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Phone: 075.223.2370
Closed Tuesdays
Hours: 11:00-15:00 (lunch), 17:00-21:00 (dinner)

306 Ishibashi-cho, Higashioji-dori Higashi hairu Furumonzen-dori
Higashiyama, Kyoto
Phone: 075.708.5608
Hours: 10:00-19:00

Thursday, July 20, 2017

551 (namba)

Untitled We got to try the main store for 551 on our way back from Nara.

The restaurant area is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building.

It was after the lunch crowd and there was still a line for seats.

I was actually surprised that the line moved quite quickly.

I ordered their mabo eggplant yakisoba.

A combination of deep fried noodles and sauteed noodles, topped with their spicy mabo sauce, eggplant and veggies.

It was a change of pace to see cucumber and watermelon radish in there...

Untitled I tried their char siu man (bun), something only sold at this shop.

Untitled I had envisioned it to be similar to the steamed manapua (char siu bao) we have in Hawaii, but it wasn't the canton style char siu and there was lots of shiitake in there.

Still, it was better than the nikuman (meat buns) sold at the convenience stores.

Untitled Even though it is was blazing hot, Satoshi almost always never fails to order soup noodles of some sort whenever we eat at places like this.

This was their seafood ramen.

Untitled And another item he almost never fails to order is gyoza or "gee-why-oh" as he likes to call it...

I'm glad we got to try the main shop's food.

They have more items on their menu than at most other of their restaurant type shops.

I guess whenever I want to get my Cantonese char siu fix, I need to check out Ou-lou or Heichinrou.

3-6-3 Namba
Chuo, Osaka
Phone: 06.6641.0551
Hours: 11:00-22:00 open everyday