Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smoothies cheap and good

This is my smoothie. It's healthy, cheap and quick. Cheap. Did I mention that? Yeah, if you're tired of paying 5 bucks for a smoothie at Jamba Juice, do this:

8-10 ice cubes
2 bananas
1-2 tbsp orange juice
5-6 frozen strawberries
1/2 to 1 cup water

Dump it all in the blender and rock. Actually, I got ice first, then bananas, then water and OJ, then strawberries. Any other order, particularly the first drop, will get my Osterizer stuck.

I refined this mix to taste as close as possible to my favorite Jamba flavor: Orange Appeal. Slightly tart, but strong on the sweet side. I finished off my big mug and now I'm shivering at 12:23 p.m. in Honolulu. Awesome.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Weeks, maybe a month since my last visit to Yogurtland in Lower Manoa. They have new flavors, but I still like plain tart, pistachio and vanilla bean the best.

Nov. 27, 2011

Yamamoto green tea

Have some tea? Yamamoto is not as minty or sharp as the Triple Leaf. I like them both.

Can you see the sky?

'Yama' is mountain in Japanese, but I didn't think
about it until after I shot this

Daily Bread

Another Saturday morning and another trip to the worm tea shop and my favorite bakery. I got my pastry fix — the guava rocks — and a fresh loaf of rye bread. It's awesome.

They're always beautiful and fresh

Cream cheese, blueberry and guava

My rye loaf getting sliced

Might try this next time

Breakfast at home the next morning with Daily Bread rye. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Triple Leaf

Triple Leaf. "Relaxing tea. Promotes relaxation and restful sleep. Caffeine free."

Does it really promote relaxation? I say yes. Ready for a nap.


Lunch time at Tanioka's is a first here. It's not so crowded later in the day, but lunch time is madness. Almost like a Black Friday for musubi!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Counter guy: "Welcome to Frost City!"
Me: "So ... this is Hong Kong style?" 
Counter guy: "No. This is Taiwanese style." 

I feel like I was questioning his kung fu. Crane style or Drunken Monkey? Anyway, he recommended watermelon, but his favorite is almond, so I got almond. here goes . . .

This is really sweet, but not a heavy sweet aftertaste. The ice is almost dry, but tasty. not sure what to do with this candy cane straw thing. Anybody want it?

Wait. If this place is all about Taiwan style, what happens if the premier of China demands to visit here for a big almond bowl with lychee balls? Do they lock the door on him? "Your money is no good here!" I want to see that.

Actually, the premier would love this stuff, especially on a hot Hawaiian day. Who knows, this might inspire a truce and better relations between the two sides. But if the premier stiffs the shop, that would be bad news. You know, if he ever comes here for an ice-cold sweet treat, it's on me. I'll do my part in the name of world peace. 

Sumo Ramen

An occasional visit here hits the spot when I'm craving their mochiko chicken curry on rice. Just wish they had kim chi or tsukenomo on the side. This is sweet mainland Japan style curry, with a little kick. Always worth it, but now they serve it in a wide bowl. Feels like there's more than usual. I like a good deal like that.

Nov. 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Okata Bento

This is one of those places that are often closed by the time I'm out of the home and roaming around town. If you're a typical night owl by choice or profession, you know what I mean. So many eateries in Hawaii are breakfast-lunch joints. Once the clock hits 2 o'clock, it's their pau hana time. I never felt like I missed any of these places.

It's different with Okata Bento. I'd passed by it a thousands time, paid no mind. So many places to satisfy the hunger up there on the hill, on top of Kaimuki. But I was at the camera shop on this day, and really hungry. Okata stands next door, so I took a look. It wasn't just the menu I scanned. I looked inside the small kitchen and liked the way the cook went about business. The pots and pans were straight out of a classic diner scene, down-home cooking, not a fusion cathedral of perfection — which would've been just fine, too.

But the kicker was the food that was in my hands after a few minutes. Oyako donburi, done just right by a guru. To them, it's just another sale, another customer. To me, it was the perfect breakfast at 2 p.m. on an otherwise normal day. I felt grateful. I felt satisfied. The bowl never made it home. I consumed most of it while I sat in my car across the street, in the 3-minute parking zone, too hungry and too happy to remember my time was up.

Nov. 4, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Varsity

Haven't been here in years, since it was ... can't even remember if it was before Magoo's. But it was an early Saturday night, work was pau already, and the UH game was on. Headed to The Varsity after the Kapaa-‘Iolani game, met up with Tyson Alger of The Garden Island newspaper.

The brews were terrific. The pizza was super cheesy. Might be the only time I've ever thought there might be too much cheese. Onion rings were good, not great. Next time, I want to get there before 2 p.m. to try their breakfast menu.

This was a Kona beer, forgot the name of it, but it was good

This is the large pizza, three toppings, good deal

This is the Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Wet Hop - ono!

I was done with my beer and sat there for another hour watching UH rally, then lose to Fresno State. Oh well, at least the food and beverages were good. Normally I won't drink and drive, but the one hour was plenty, and the loss was sobering, to say the least. Drove the four blocks home and crashed out.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ken Fong

Been a year or two since the last visit to Ken Fong Chinese Restaurant. I was hungry, missed a meal or two by evening, so I gorged on cold ginger chicken. One our basketball kids, Thomas, ordered lemon chicken. I asked about the soup of the day and it was squash soup, which I imagined would be basic salty chicken-broth soup with squash in it. Instead, it was gray and very, uhh ... earthy. Once I got used to the direct hit on the palate, it actually was pretty decent. Just water, squash, pork and a little salt. In the color of poi water.

Nov. 16, 2011