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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

OAHU - PART 2 - Honolulu

This next part is during the 2 days we first arrived in Oahu.

The first day we just explored around and went sightseeing. Our first local dining experience was at Ala Moana Center. A friend of mine told me that the Kalua Pig from their food court was the best. So we went to check it out!

We walked into the Makai Market Food Court at Ala Moana and there were lots of different vendors and it was pretty busy. We walked around and only noticed one place that was selling Kalua Pig so I guess that was the one she was talking about.

Poi Bowl Hawaiian Food
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 949-8444
- Kalua/Lau Lau Plate (served with 2 scoops of rice & macaroni or tossed salad) $8.95~
- Side of Kalua Cabbage (small) $4.25~
First of all, I have to say that the ladies that worked there were all quite rude. They hurried people along and were very stingy. We asked for extra chopsticks and were waved away. WTF?!? She didn't even look at me...and just waved me away like I was some annoying fly or something. Not cool, old lady!! The food didn't look very appetizing. The Kalua Pig was dry, so was the pork in the LauLau. And the flavor wasn't all that great. Fail... :( The Kalua cabbage was ok though. I think that was the only good thing in the meal. I think you can totally skip the food court here...

Walking around the center, I unintentionally discovered this awesome Japanese food court in the 3rd level in front of Macy's.
Shirokiya: Specialty Food Court @ Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 973-9111
- Ebi-Takoyaki (5 pieces) $3.80~ My first time having Takoyaki. It looks and smells better than it tastes. haha. The batter was wayyy to thick and heavy. Not much octopus at all. Apparently that's how it normally is.
- Andagi (red bean, custard, chocolate filling) $4.50~ It's a "Japanese" donut. I liked the custard filling the best. More like a cake donut.
- Shumai
It was pretty cool. They had all different stands and vendors all cooking and prepping ready-to-eat items. Most of the stuff are wrapped and you can just pick it up to go, or eat there. So many different Japanese foods, and they all looked sooo good. We got a few things to snack on since we didn't eat that much at the regular food court. Definitely worth going back to try more stuff!

For dinner, we were walking around all the shops and hotels by Waikiki Beach and we noticed this little ramen place with a constant line out the door. We decided to give it a try.
Ramen Nakamura
2141 Kalakaua Ave, Ste 1
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-7960
- House Special: Szechwan-Style Spicy Ramen (topped with fried minced pork, round onion, bean sprouts, and chili peppers) $9.50~
- Ramen Combo (Hakata ramen, small fried rice and 3 pc. gyoza) $13.90~
- Mini Ramen & Small Fried Rice Set (Shio ramen) $10.30~
It's a tiny place...maybe seats about 20-25 people at a time. But they move pretty fast. We didn't have to wait too long. For the price, you get a pretty good quantity of food. The ramen is pretty good. Not as good as Mitsuwa in LA but it was yummy. I really liked the fried rice as well. I would recommend it. :) Cash only though. Most places in Oahu seemed to be cash only...

The next day was Thanksgiving and we were making our drive up to North Shore. We planned on checking out Chinatown since it was on the way. And close to Chinatown... we hit up another great recommendation.
Liliha Bakery
515 N Kuakini St.
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 531-1651
(From bottom left, clockwise)
- Green Tea Roll $1.49~
- Coco Puff (chocolate filling) $1.29~
- Mini Cream Puff (custard filling) $1.15~
- Chocolate Cream Puff (custard filling) $1.20~
They are known for their Coco Puffs. It's the chantilly frosting on top that totally makes it. I couldn't pinpoint what the flavor reminded me of. But it was pretty awesome. The puffs themselves were light and thing. Plenty of filling inside and weren't too sweet. One of the best cream puffs I've had.

Surprisingly most of the stores and restaurants were closed in Chinatown... What?? Asian people don't close on Thanksgiving?!? haha. But we walked by this dim sum restaurant and decided to get some lunch.
Yee Hong Pavilion
100 N Beretania St. Ste 101
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 524-9988
- Steamed Shrimp Dumping $2.45~
- Steamed Chives and Shrimp Dumpling $3.15~
- Steamed Pork Hash (Siu Mai) $2.45~
- Steamed Dried Scallop Dumpling $2.45~
- Gai Lan (Chinese vegetable with oyster sauce)
- Beef Flat Noodles
They didn't come around with carts and had really stopped making food since it was after lunch hours. But we were able to order what we wanted. Which is actually better cuz then we get them fresh! The dim sum was decent. The shrimp was really fresh. And it was the biggest plate of Gai Lan I've ever seen at a dim sum place. haha. Not too bad.

Fast forward through the days in North Shore and we're back in Honolulu again. YAY! :) Back to civilization! haha.

For our first dinner back, we went back to Shirokiya at Ala Moana Center. The scene at night is a little different than when we were there during lunch. All the ready-to-eat stands were closed and all the made-to-order counters were open towards the back.
Kohmen @ Shirokiya
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 973-9111
- Pig Bone Broth Ramen of Soy Sauce (full toppings) $10.95~
- plus Grilled Pork Rice Bowl (combo) $3.95~
There were 2 ramen counters. This one definitely had a longer line, plus their pictures looked better. haha. The ramen was pretty good. Again, Mitsuwa in LA is still better but the texture here I liked a lot. The grilled pork rice was pretty good too.

For dessert, I had my eyes on the crepe counter. hehe.
Crepe Harajuku @ Shirokiya
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 973-9111
- Mini Crepe (strawberry, banana, whipped cream, chocolate sauce) $3.95~
- Ice Cream Parfait (2 scoops of ice cream, pineapple, banana, whipped cream, chocolate sauce) $3.75~
The crepe was done well. It had a nice mild flavor and I liked the texture. But the ice cream parfait turned out to be a better deal. It was cheaper and had more fruits and ice cream.

So I realized I'm not a huge fan of local Hawaiian food. I mean, it's fine but I wouldn't crave it. But there's some great Japanese food here. I guess there's no surprise there. hehe. YUM! :)


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