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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Where To Go In Hawai'i? Food Edition- Repeat

I have a new friend going to Hawai'i and so hopefully she will take my advice and go to at least half these places!

I decided to re-post this from 2009, every one of these choices is still valid with the exception of #5 in Kailua, I originally posted Boots and Kimo's and they are still great, but they moved to a larger location and now there are buses that deliver tourists there.....long wait times!  Call ahead to check the best time.

I am changing my pick (here) to Times Coffee House in Kailua (check out their facebook page, here).  It's a small diner with good food and regular or decaf coffee, no frills.  Local favorite without the tourists. 

There is a song that makes me smile called Honolulu City Lights by Keola Beamer. It represents a moment for me when I am flying away from "home" and watching the lights as my plane takes off for the "main land". I now live in Pittsburgh, PA and whenever possible love to fly in or out in the middle of the night so I can see this type of beautiful.

Get a pair of Slippahs as by the time you leave you will get a sign like this as a souvenir:

I was speaking to a friend of mine from Canada and he is not the first person to say to me: "I am going to Hawaii, will you tell me some places to go?" I thought about it and decided I would post a Cheers to his luckiness to go to my hometown,....a little jealousy also. =) "Cheers"

If you are in Waikiki and are staying in Waikiki....Walk around, don't drive. Everything is walking distance....some further than others, but its not a horrible walk. If you are leaving Waikiki than it might be a little further than you expected. Take a hotel shuttle, drive or even the bus system. It was rated number 1 in the bad can you be if you are on an island? Called "The Bus". (click for link to their website) Decide what you want out of your might not need a car at all. Write down your musts and your goals for the trip and you can call your hotel and usually they are pretty helpful with giving you tips.....also check out the as they are the visitors bureau site and can have links to things I don't mention.

(my top 10)
By the way, you should go on a diet before and after the trip. During your trip....wear some elastic. =)

1. Dukes in Waikiki/or Hula Grill Waikiki
Best Pupus

Dukes is downstairs and has a more laid back "slippahs" atmosphere and Hula Grill is directly upstairs from them, with a little more of a dressed up atmosphere, I believe they would not turn you away though, if you had on the slippahs. If you are in Waikiki anyway, then by all means this is where you will have a good time, enjoy good food, and walk back to where you wanna go, or take a cab (parking is expensive).

My Menu Picks:
Dukes:CHINESE STYLE BEEF SHORT RIBS in a Ginger braised with fresh pineapple relish 18.95....You're on Vacation so you're gonna spend a little money on a dinner, might as well be this one. =) Okay, so maybe this isn't a pupu, but go ahead and share it and don't get anything'll be okay with that.

Hula Grill: SCALLOP AND LOBSTER POT STICKERS w/ a Guava Plum Sauce 10.50
"I would pay 10.50 for just the guava plum sauce!" I don't care for lobster, but this is the best representation of lobster I have ever had....don't share it! =)

2. Top Sushi Pick: Genki Sushi
This is my favorite for someplace local, laid back and reasonably priced. I always went to the one on Kapahulu Ave (even though it was a fight for parking.)....But it is worth it. This location is an old bank so you will see little left overs from its earlier business, like the bank vault doors.
When you go you will be given a table and along the side of the table there is a conveyer belt. The conveyer has your favorite "fast food sushi" already made up. Pick up your plates and stack them on the table when done. Each color plate has a price associated with it, so when done you might have 10 plates at 1.10 per plate, but you are totally satisfied. Don't worry you will have a picture menu to match what you want to eat, and if you don't see it, ask and they will get it for you. It is good sushi, so don't worry about getting sick! My favorite is pretty simple: the tuna sushi (rice, nori and tuna like in a tuna salad sandwich)believe me, it is yum!

3. Top Local Style Plate Lunch (two picks)
Irifune: Totally slamming Garlic Ahi(Tuna fish) Fried Rice! But you can only get it at lunch time (at least that is the way I remember it) Give them a call and tell them you want to know when they are making it. Sorry, no website.....yes it is totally local. Get it to-go and take it to the beach or beach park down the road (Kapiolani Park)....If my friend Pete is still cooking there, tell him I said "howzit!"

(808) 737-1141
563 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

L&L Drive in (pull up, go inside, pick your item at the counter, pay and sit or go)....I know I know, this is so popular if you are anywhere in California they are popping up as Hawaiians migrated and HAD to take it with them. These are all over the island so you won't have too much trouble getting to one. I would suggest the one at Ala Moana Shopping Center if you are doing a day of shopping, if you are in Waikiki, there is one there too on the main beach front.

I ALWAYS order the Chicken Katsu Mini plate (not so mini) Scoop Rice, Scoop Mac Salad, and lots of Katsu style chix deep fried......and don't forget the secret recipe Katsu Sauce! this is under $5.00 and the tasty yum yum yummiest straight to your waistline type food....I did say to where elastic, right?

4. Best Shave Ice: (Two Picks)
Matsuyamas Shave Ice, Haleiwa

If you take a drive to the North Shore, than you might as well head over to Haleiwa (pronounced: Hah-Lei-Eve-Ah) because you are already there. The Shave Ice is light and melts to the touch, topped with your favorite flavors......I need a shave Ice machine! You will head here if you are looking for some surf watch. These are big waves people so unless you are a pro, check with your nearest lifeguard on whether you are clear to get in, you will see the "Don't go beyond this point" "Dangerous Waves" all over the beaches here. Its nice to sun bathe and check out some hotties (girls and guys). Check with the local papers to find out if there is a surf competition going on while you are in town. You may want to see it, or avoid the crazy parking situations. (I think its worth it to go)

Island Snow, Kailua Seriously, You have to get Shave Ice. If you don't make it to the North Shore, than you gotta go to the Windward side. Island Snow is the best place to get it over this way. My family all lives in Kailua and it is my favorite place to go. Relaxing, Welcoming, Beautiful. Go to Kailua Beach (boat ramp or Lanikai-Mokulua Isles).

5. Best Breakfast spots: all second to Moms cooking of course! One for the Tourists and one for traveling to my favorite neck of the woods:

In Kailua: Boots and Kimo's

...My favorite and the reason to go: Macadamia Nut Pancakes....not just any mac nut pancake, the vanilla cream butter topping and mac nut chunks throughout are to die for. This place is small so be willing to wait cause its a local favorite and worth it.

Waikiki or "Waiks" as we like to call it:

Wailana Coffee House

(24 hour-better than most)
Address: 1860 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815 808.955.1764
Close enough to Waiks between Waiks and Ala Moana Shopping Center. I used to live a couple blocks from here. Super good at any hour. For my friend, you can walk here from where you are staying.

6. Best Burgers:
Teddy's Bigger Burgers Kapahulu (Waikiki)

Check out the website. These are definitely bigger and better then the norm. Tastier too......get the sauce!

7. Best Bakery:

Leonard's Bakery
933 Kapahulu Ave., 737-5591

This Bakery is a family MUST. You have to get the tasty donuts called "Malasada's". This place is so good, it even made it on the Food Network for top ten Donuts in the U.S. Yup Top Ten. And it wasn't the bottom of that list either. Hawaii, Represent!

8. Best Desserts:
Don't get this mixed up with Leonard's and the Malasada's...Malasada's aren't counted as desserts in my book....its a staple. If you want to celebrate with a nice flavorful Island style cake, get it from them.

Liliha Bakery
515 N. Kuakini St., 531-1651

The famous Coco Puffs (yum) or the Guava Chiffon(favorite) or the Chocolate Haupia Chiffon(other favorite) get my drift. go to this place. I don't care if you are visiting, you can take it to your conference or meeting to share with a couple of friends.......seriously, you'll get a promotion!....or eat between the two of you and slice it up and give the rest to the Front Desk Staff at your Hotel....they will appreciate it, really....tourists don't usually do that and it is a customary thing us Hawaiians often do for each other.

9. Best Alcoholic Beverage with a smile
.....Now...this depends. Are you looking for a late night party scene or a quaint sit down talk to each other setting?

Packed-young crowd
Kelley O'Neills
(packed with people-college crowd)
311 Lewers St
Honolulu, HI 96815-2344
(808) 926-1777
I decided not to link to their website as it wasn't the best type of organized

I have a few stories NOT to tell you about Kelley's but mostly, its a lot of fun if you are going later like after 11pm. Before than, its laid back and chill(not many people) after that Whoa! you better not give stink eye to the door person and be patient for your favorite beer. If you think this is cool, look across the street at Moose's Bar, and they are pretty packed also. Sometimes, you can't get in. As for me, I am into Kelley's over Moose's, but that was my crowd.

Chill with beach side:
The Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian (The Pink Hotel)

. Although it may seem uptight at first, in the hours around sunset this is a local favorite to go to. You can't take your drinks off property (but remember you are in the US and there are still liquor laws in Hawaii)

Overall, drinks are drinks. You can get a good drink with a good atmosphere just walking around and finding something close to where you are staying. walk along Waikiki beach and you will see about 20 beach bars that catch your eye.

10. If you checked out all of the above and you are still looking for number 10, then you are probably going to need another dress size before you go home, or go on the poor diet from spending all your money in Hawaii.

Best Manapua (A.K.A: Pork filled steam buns or baked):
Char Hung Sut-
this link is to another blog called ONO Kind description of the place....
64 N. Pauahi St., 808-538-3335 Downtown area.

Call ahead and order for pick up early....I mean early, they usually sell out by 6-7 am of the favorites. Be prepared, if you call, they speak quick and "Diner-Like" you better figure out what you want. ask around if you don't know. not typical restaurant or bakery like setting. This place is a whole in the wall "Warehouse" type place. You walk in and think you are in the wrong place. Go to the counter (be aggressive-but don't cut in line) and tell them you want 6 steam manapua's and 10 pork hash, this will feed you and your tag a longs as well as those new friends you met at the hotel. Look at the wall for the full menu, but if you want what I get....order the Manapua & pork hash and ditch out. Filled with Sweet Red Pork. It is delicious! reminds me of a sweat shop.(Chinese food) By the way, if you have befriended people at the hotel you might be able to get them to freeze the left over food, this is often brought over the water to California by my family to those craving the tasty treat.....might be too far for trip to Pittsburgh...sorry!

Hope you liked my food picks....I miss it!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday "Rambler"

I haven't been on this blog for almost a year. I am not promising anything, but for today I would like to say Happy Early Birthday to my sister "The Rambler" who has stepped away from her blog also(when I went to visit I saw she posted something!). Lives can be so busy with kids, jobs and school. Hope you all have a wonderful day, week, month, year, life.....

***Warning, there is about 3 uses of the word A$$ in the beginning of the video***

Enjoy the video Sis!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Aloha Oe Youtube Song Choice....... goodbye to September Hello October

Lyrics to ENTIRE SONG (popularized version only uses the Chorus)

Ha`aheo ka ua i nâ pali
Ke nihi a`ela i ka nahele
E hahai (uhai) ana paha i ka liko
Pua `âhihi lehua o uka

Aloha `oe, aloha `oe
E ke onaona noho i ka lipo
One fond embrace,
A ho`i a`e au
Until we meet again

`O ka hali`a aloha i hiki mai
Ke hone a`e nei i
Ku`u manawa
`O `oe nô ka`u ipo aloha
A loko e hana nei

Maopopo ku`u `ike i ka nani
Nâ pua rose o Maunawili
I laila hia`ia nâ manu
Miki`ala i ka nani o ka lipo


Proudly swept the rain by the cliffs
As it glided through the trees
Still following ever the bud
The `ahihi lehua of the vale
Farewell to you, farewell to you
The charming one who dwells in the shaded bowers
One fond embrace,
'Ere I depart
Until we meet again

Sweet memories come back to me
Bringing fresh remembrances
Of the past
Dearest one, yes, you are mine own
From you, true love shall never depart

I have seen and watched your loveliness
The sweet rose of Maunawili
And 'tis there the birds of love dwell
And sip the honey from your lips

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SPACE Tourism.....2015? I see the future!

From NYT:

Boeing said Wednesday that it was entering the space tourism business, an announcement that could bolster the Obama administration’s efforts to transform the National Aeronautics and Space Administration into an agency that focuses less on building rockets and more on nurturing a commercial space industry.

The flights, which could begin as early as 2015, would most likely launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida to the International Space Station. The Obama administration has proposed turning over to private companies the business of taking NASA astronauts to orbit, and Boeing and Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas won an $18 million contract this year for preliminary development and testing of a capsule that could carry seven passengers.

Current NASA plans call for four space station crew members to go up at a time, which would leave up to three seats available for space tourists. The flights would be the first to give nonprofessional astronauts the chance to go into orbit aboard a spacecraft launched from the United States. Seven earlier space tourists have made visits to the space station, riding in Russian Soyuz capsules.

“We’re ready now to start talking to prospective customers,” said Eric C. Anderson, co-founder and chairman of Space Adventures, the space tourism company based in Virginia that would market the seats for the full article here.

I cannot believe my eyes. I am so glad to finally read about Progress in Space and Aeronautics. When I was very young and living in the Big Island, HAWAII I remember my fascination in Space and the stars that sparkled in it. I would sit on my driveway at night looking to the sky and waiting to see a falling star or trying to catch a cloud. In a world where I talk so much about nonsense and chatter away, when I look to the sky, it is the only thing I know that silences me. I can stare at it for hours without a thought, just taking it all in.

The Challenger flight that took the lives of Michael Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, and Judith Resnik was devastating. I was in elementary school and remember how sad we all were. The Astronaut Ellison Onizuka was from Hawaii and his nephew Lonn Onizuka was a student in my class.

With this new announcement, I find myself viewing a future that is promising to my children. I see the awe in the sky and dreams my children will see in science and astronomy. I have seen the space program become less important to those that hand out the $$$$ and have seen where we could have been, but couldn't without the right funding. So Congratulations to the future that will allow more dreams of space exploration become reality!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

I am inclined to say something....

I am inclined to say something, that may make some of you disagree with me....even be mad at me.....or dare I say HATE ME! I am aware that there are those out there that have been personally affected in the first and second degree by 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan, but before I say anything controversial wanted to address that I am so proud of our men and women that fight for our country and of all the sacrifices of the families, friends and even those caught in the crossfire.
Here it is....
It is hard for me to say out loud the words, "I am proud to be an american"....even though I am really proud to be an American. I am glad my children were born in this great country, although they have lived only with this war going on longer than they have been alive.

I am saddened by the misdirection of hate, the strong belief that the 5 "known" attackers on the twin towers, the pentagon and the flights that carried out the master plan somehow represent the entire nation of the religion they have faith in.

I KNOW that every religion has it's extremist followers that will do ANYTHING to prove their faith, that when they are guided to believe an evil deed will deliver them grand rewards.......does not mean that all followers are of that same guidance.

The hatred directed at the Muslim Religion and it's Mosques, puts us on the path of those same extremists that carried out the terrible plan in 2001.

I wish that on this day we remember that all those beautiful people who have given themselves on a day they did not expect will represent not the war that followed their end, but that they represent the begining of the time of peace between many people of all sorts. That we remember that this country has come to be as great as it is through tolerance, INclusion, acceptance and faith of all sorts.

I hope I do not offend any of you with my words. I just wanted to get this off my chest.


By the way, I am adding a link to my new blog which is children's book readings. I needed to test the link so I am doing it here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Book Reading Video by Me for my little ones!

My first Video Book reading for my kids. If you happen to watch this, let me know what you think. I am gonna try and make more of them for my kids and my niece. Editing was interesting and fun! I used my voice note from my Blackberry and converted the file to an .amr with a freestar conversion software. It was pretty fun! I have a few voice notes I want to convert to a useable audio program for my movie maker program that came with my HP. Enjoy!