Thursday, February 12, 2015

Old Faifthful: Taiyo Ramen


Can't beat old faithful. Miso ramen and gyoza — my favorite gyoza on earth — at Taiyo Ramen. They've added a few items over the years, but the miso ramen and gyoza haven't changed since the first time I wanted in their door (when it was at the current Macy's Ala Moana location) in the mid-1990s.

Perfect on a sniffly night. I saw something on TV the other week about soup being the best thing nutrionally. Think it was a story about a former sumo wrestler who retired young and lives in L.A. Chankonabe, the stew/soup staple of sumo guys, is what they rely on. I think it's similar with our craving for soup and ramen when we're sick or enduring cold weather. I definitely felt much better after this meal.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Itchy Butt: Chicken bowl



Similar to the Korean chicken "box" from last week. This bowl has chunks or strips of fried chicken and rice. I asked them to keep the sauces on the side. There's a sweet-sour (mostly sweet) brown sauce, reminds me of something from a Chinese restaurant. Then there's the sriracha (I think) mayonnaise sauce that actually just tastes like straight, white mayo.

I didn't love either sauce, didn't hate them either. I added my sriracha chili sauce at home (Huy Fong, of course) and dipped some of the chicken in the mayo. For $6 it's a good deal (comes with a drink and I opted for water).

Itchy Butt, I'm starting to really like you.

Friday, February 6, 2015

A&G: Salmon special

Another Friday, another trip to Central Oahu. Wahiawa is always a pleasant place to visit for me. And though I like are few eateries (Seoul Inn) and still want to try that huli chicken roadside spot (they close up 4:30 pm, Tues-Fri), A&G Steaks and Things has free Wi-Fi.

They also have this salmon plate for $10.99. Good? Yes. Very.




Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Itchy Butt: Korean fried chicken



The eight-piece chicken box comes with potato "chips" at $12. It's a pretty good deal. You can choose from regular fried chicken or Korean style. I planned on getting the regular, but after having Jolibee's (my favorite) the day before, I went for Korean. 

Basically, that meant regular with Korean spicy/sweet sauce over the top and, eventually, souping up at the bottom. Tasty, sweet and a little extra spicy as I requested. 

I wish there had been more potato chips; those were pretty good. But there's not much starch in this meal — good for overweight middle-agers like me. The cole slaw was classic, a great neutralizer to the spiciness. Also good: the picked (cubed) daikon. Also excellent with the chicken. And there was a standard small cup of ranch dressing. 

Good deal, all in all, more than enough for two people. I couldn't finish this. The last 3 pieces — these are wings, drumsticks, small stuff — are in my freezer. 

Itchy Butt has been all good to me so far. So much more on the menu I want to try. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Addiction: Garlic pork rinds


Yes, food can be a drug. And one of my drugs of choice is this. If you run inventory for a grocery store and do not carry this, you are missing out on a chance go get fans (addicts) of savory foods HOOKED.

That's right, the only place I could find this before was Foodland in Kalihi (by Dillingham). Now the Foodland near my home (Kapahulu) sells it. FINALLY.

Don't you guys know what is addicting? Apparently, you do now because this "Da Heo" pork rinds (Garlic flavor, not plain, is the drug) is in the beer/liquor section.

Now you have my money. Congratulations.

One weird thing about this brand is... the brand is not listed on the label. It's just "Snack Style Chicharon" aka "An Choi" from Roxy Trading in California.

This joins Huy Fong Sriracha chili sauce, Jollibee fried chicken, Leonard's malasadas, Waiola Shave Ice, Keo's Evil Jungle Prince (curry), Bass Ale and a very few others on my Fully Addicting Drugs that are Not Actually Drugs list.

Keeaumoku Seafood

While I waited for my bulgogi bowl from Itchy Butt, I peeked into their neighbors' shops. The kim chi shop is still there, no bakery items any more. Their desserts were so ono, too bad.

And now there's a seafood shop and the sign inside says, "No previously frozen ahi." I was hoping the recent surplus of fresh ahi would bring the price down in this shop, but it wasn't to be. I still got a half pound of their limu ahi poke, and even though it doesn't have sesame oil, it was super ono. Worth every cent, and the limu was fresh and crunchy.

I actually threw some into my bulgogi bowl and that was a great combo.



1223 Keeaumoku St
Honolulu, HI 96814

Itchy Butt: Bulgogi Bowl

I'd only had their grindz once, maybe a year ago, and it was good. Thing is, Itchy Butt isn't someplace I normally go to. Well, I found out they're open until 10:30 pm, so that changes things for me.

The bulgogi bowl is just $6 and includes a drink. Tasty, quality food fast. I took a photo of the bowl, but something was wrong and I probably didn't push the button hard enough.

It was filling, though, and I will be back much more. Itchy Butt is located on Keeaumoku Street across from Cartwright Park.


1229 Keeaumoku Street
Honolulu, HI 96814

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Guri Guri: Tasaka ohana legacy

Condolences to the Tasaka ohana. I don't know any of their family, but the passing of their Guri Guri founder, Henry, is poignant and I wish the best for them.

Guri Guri was the invention and creation of Henry Tasaka's dad, Jokichi, way back in the day. My family (mom's side) comes from Maui and though they've all relocated to Oahu in the years since, it kind of hits home a bit for me. The way Henry kept the tradition, the recipe, the heart of what their family does is rare these days. I hope Guri Guri carries on and brings smiles to the world forever.

See the story in the Maui News.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Really, Huy Fong makes popcorn now




I was just wandering through the food court (or whatever you prefer to call it) at Shirokiya last night after picking up some 20% discount food for dinner. I came across the beer hall area (of course) and saw this on the counter.

For $5.49 (something like that), I could try authentic (?) Huy Fong Sriracha popcorn. I asked the cashier if this was good. She said yes, scratching her nose.

"Why are you lying?" I asked.

She said, no, it's good. I didn't argue. I walked out the door with a 3.5-ounce bag of actual Huy Fong popcorn. Of all the great brands out there, this is one that hasn't, to this point, sullied itself with mega merchandising stuff. I have a Huy Fong Sriracha T-shirt (thanks to my brother, Kimo), but on the Huy Fong website, last I checked, they don't market those kinds of things.

More power to them. But this popcorn is for real. The first bite of a couple of kernels were surprisingly... sweet. I thought, where's the kick? But a few mouthfuls later, it's on. The burn is on.

Goes well with your favorite beverage.

One question I had for the cashier was: why shouldn't I just get regular popcorn and squirt Sriracha sauce all over that? She had no answer. I felt pushy and backed off. But I have the answer. If you squirt wet sauce all over popcorn, your hands will be wet, you would probably end up rubbing a tiny bit into your eye(s) and regret it mightily. This popcorn is dry, dry, dry. Tasty, tasty, tasty. Not the best value for more than 5 bucks, but treat yourself now and then. At least it's healthier — fiber, no butter, and chili peppers are good for your blood circulation — than most snacks.

There's probably a maniacal, ludicrous and genius recipe out there already that includes this Sriracha popcorn.


Friday, January 23, 2015

A&G Steaks and Things


There's more than one thing a bit unusual about A&G Steaks and Things in Wahiawa.

1. They have a $6.99 steak plate with choices: brown or white rice, green salad or corn. Sure there are other steak joints around the island, but...

2. This place has FREE wi-fi. That may not matter to most people, but with my modem (Verizon) acting wacky, wacky, wacky lately, having free wi-fi matters. Especially in Wahiawa, where the only other free wi-fi I know of is McDonald's. No Starbucks around here that I know of, and SB doesn't have a good steak plate.

There's more.

3. They not only offer steak and shrimp and all kinds of goodies, they have the best assortment of sauces: A-1, homemade sauce (sesame oil in there?), sriracha (Huy Fong, the original and best) and shoyu. There's one more I didn't try.

4. The TV is large and on. Now, I'm not a watcher of the CW Network, and the show they have blasting here is a clone of the old Jerry Springer Show. It's annoying, but after about 5 minutes, I can't help being interested in these couples that are having big issues. You know the old formula, lie-detector tests, the boyfriend had children with other women while his longtime girlfriend was pregnant, yada yada.

I almost skipped this place because Sunnyside is only a few blocks away. But I wanted to try it out, plus there's a bubble tea shop two doors away that offers azuki bean smoothies.