Archive for the 'American' Category

Splashers Grill

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

We stayed over for a night in Kona for the long Labor Day weekend, and it was so nice! The beach, sunsets, and all the people… it reminds me of Waikiki a little bit, but less crowded.

There were also canoe races at Kailua Bay, which my friend told me is the biggest canoe race in the world. Even Japan was there representing with their flag hanging from the back of their canoe!

Kona Canoe Races

We wanted to watch the race and we were hungry too, so we chose to have burgers and beer at Splasher’s Grill. They had a perfect view of the race. The burgers also looked very good and juicy.

Splashers Grill Splashers Grill

We ordered two Big Splash Burgers and I had a Fire Rock Pale Ale (so yummy!).

Big Splash Burger Big Splash Burger closeup

The Big Splash Burger has a thick 1/2lb beef patty, sesame seed bun, 2 slices of cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickle, and a choice of fries, onion rings or green salad. Our neighbor had onion rings, and they were HUGE — would like to try those next time. This burger was so good! The patty was especially very juicy and flavorful. The toppings were all fresh, and the cheese was a nice rich cheddar. The bun was also nice and toasty. Bev loved the fries — they “stayed crispy from start to finish”.

Splasher’s Grill was a great choice if you want a good burger and fries, plus the view can’t be beat!

Check out what else we saw in Kona!

Ono Kine Grindz?!

Reid, I didn’t know you had your own restaurant!! :D


I really wanted to go here, but never had the chance to.

On the way back to Hilo in Waimea, someone noticed me from my blog. I never expected that to happen! Whoever that was, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to talk more… my hands were full (of rice and poke from Foodland) and we were just about to leave, but it was nice meeting you… have you left a comment here before? Thanks for saying hi!

And lastly, we don’t get these in Hilo…

Beautiful Kona sunset

Splashers Grill
75 Alii Dr
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
(808) 329-9694

Hilo Bay Cafe

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

One wouldn’t expect to find a place such as Hilo Bay Cafe in Hilo. Just take a look at this place.

Hilo Bay Cafe Front Inside Hilo Bay Cafe Bar

Where are we? It looks like some chic jazz cafe in San Fransisco or something. Well, I’ve actually never been to one, but it feels like this would be something like it. A full bar, warm lighting, and light jazz music are some of the first things you’ll notice as you walk in. The staff is very warm, friendly, and professional.

Sometimes it’s nice to “get out of Hilo”.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

I started with one of my favorite beers (and they have it on tap!), a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I got so excited to drink it that I almost forgot to take a photo.

We were served a plate of bread and butter.

Wonderful Baguette

This baguette was one of the best I’ve ever had. The crust was very rich, hard and crusty. Inside was moist with a very dense crumb — chewy and tasty. So good. Anybody know where they get their bread from?

French Onion Soup

The French Onion Soup ($5) was good and came with a generous amount of stretchy cheese. I only wish that the toast in the soup was more toasty, since it was more soggy than anything.

Spinach Salad

Warm bacon spinach salad with blue cheese and apples ($8). This was really good. The bacon was really hearty, and the cheese was rich. The spinach was fresh with a nice tangy sweet dressing. Apples were a nice touch too.

Half of a Bay Burger

Blue Bay Burger with Gorgonzola Cheese and Garlic Fries ($8) — half portion shown since I shared it. This was great. The burger tasted very fresh and was nice and thick… it went great with the gorgonzola cheese. The tomato and lettuce were really fresh too. Fries were crisp with a subtle garlic flavor — very good.

Blackened Ahi with Baby Romaine

Also ordered was a Blackened Ahi Caesar with Organic Baby Romaine ($9). This one was said to be really good. I got to try the Ahi and it was very flavorful and fresh. The romaine looked nice and crisp too.

I’ve already been here a few times, and Hilo Bay Cafe never fails to impress with their fresh organic ingredients, relaxing ambience, and great drinks. Their prices are also very reasonable. Highly recommended!

Hilo Bay Cafe
315 Makaala Street, Hilo, HI 96720
Phone: (808) 935-4939

Hilo Yacht Club

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

The entire office at work was treated to a nice Christmas luncheon at the Hilo Yacht Club, a beautiful recreational club sitting on the beach (Reed’s Bay).

View Another View Inside

This is an exclusive recreational club kept alive by its members who pay an initial and monthly fee which varies depending on your age and living location. Members can use all of their facilities as well as their banquet rooms for special events. So is it worth joining here for the food?

I started with the French Onion soup with Gruyere Cheese ($4.50)

French Onion Soup

Sadly, this soup tasted more like beef broth with soggy bread and onions. The onions still had a small crunch to them, not caramelized at all, which onions in a proper french onion soup should be. Even the crust of the bread was soggy, and the bread was not even good bread. French onion soups need bread that can hold up to the soup and stay crusty, me thinks!

Rib Eye Steak (medium rare) with mushrooms & onions ($14.95)

Rib Eye Steak

The steak tasted good and was well seasoned, but was unevenly cooked and was a bit tough considering it was a rib-eye. Half of the steak was thin and other half was thicker, making one side well-done and the other a medium. I wish they cut it thick instead of thin and large. Vegetables were good and buttery though.

Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

Chocolate Mousse

I think this was the best thing that came out of the kitchen so far. The mousse was smooth, chocolaty, and not too sweet. The strawberries were ripe and sweet. It was a great ending to the meal.

Here are some of the other dishes ordered which I didn’t get to taste:

Lobster & Crab Salad with Fresh Fruits and Sherbet ($9.50)

Lobster and Crab Salad

Homestyle Chicken Curry ($8.95)

Chicken Curry

Mud Pie ($3.95) and Chocolate Brownies with Kona Coffee Ice Cream ($3.95)

Mud Pie Brownies

Food-wise, this club just doesn’t cut it, but they offer a lot more including an oceanview pool, three tennis courts, a black sand volleyball court, and beautiful views of the beach.

The Chowder House

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Honolulu, Oahu

Late night chowder cravings brought us here. Our last visit was quite awhile ago and we recalled some decent chowder. Chowder House is located in Ward Warehouse. There were about 7 other tables occupied at around 9pm.

The Chowder House outside Inside the Chowder House

We were promptly served some water and given our menus. Service was very friendly.

They have a bar with some beers on tap. I tried a Keoki Gold Draft brewed in Kauai ($3.25) for the first time.

Keoki Gold Draft from Kauai

This was a very refreshing, somewhat fruity, medium-bodied beer. It kept a nice head too.

We both ordered chowders: one New England Clam Chowder and one Corn Chowder ($4.75 each).

New England Clam Chowder Corn Chowder

The chowders filled our chowder cravings, but they didn’t taste like what we remember them. Both of the chowders tasted a bit watery. The clam chowder, to me, tasted too starchy and not creamy enough. I think the corn chowder actually tasted better. What made it even worse was that the clam chowder was served warm, not hot!

We also halved a hamburger deluxe w/fries ($7.25) to go with our chowders.

Burger Deluxe and Fries Burger close-up

This burger was hit and miss. The burger patty was fresh tasting, flame grilled, tender and not over cooked. The bun crumbled as eating it. Toasting the bun might’ve helped it. The fries were the worst! Many of them were chewy, soggy and oily. If you zoom in on the fries you can see what I mean. We ended up not finishing the fries, and rarely do I waste french fries.

This “Ginger Fire” sauce was sitting with the other condiments and it caught my attention.

Ginger Fire Sauce

I sampled it on the burger, and it tasted yummy. Then I sampled it in the chowder and it was… yummy but kind of weird. This sauce had a hot ginger kick, sort of like the heat that comes with eating raw ginger. The heat hits sharp and hard but did not linger too long. Interesting stuff.

Although our chowder cravings were fulfilled, I’m sure there are better places for chowder in Hawaii. Maybe we came here on a bad day?

The Chowder House
1050 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 596-7944

Ken’s House of Pancakes

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Ken’s House of Pancakes neon sign

Ken’s House of Pancakes is a legend in Hilo. Located on the corner of a busy intersection near the hotels and the airport, locals and tourists alike flock to this seemingly always busy restaurant for their huge fluffy 3-egg omelettes, sumo sized saimins and loco mocos, burgers, oxtail stew, and a whole array of local and American foods. Also, where else can you go for a sit-down meal at 3am in the morning in Hilo? Ken’s is the only place!

Here is a sampling of their menu. Notice the Sumo Moco at the bottom!

Ken’s Menu Ken’s Loco Moco Menu

From the menu:
“Sumo” Moco – This is a serious “bell ringer”. 6 scoops rice, choice of spam (4), 5 oz. Lean “Home Grown” beef patty (2), or 6 oz. mahi-mahi. Gravy + 3 eggs any style. *drool*

Ken’s has a relatively new thing going on that when anyone orders a “Sumo” menu item such as the Sumo Moco or the Sumo Min (a huge amount of saimin and garnishes), they ring this bell really loud…


…and all the waitresses/waiters yell a resounding, “SUMO”!!!!!!! They seem to have gotten it down to a science already, with perfect timing. Even the regulars join in and yell “SUMO”!!!! It gets especially louder as the clubbing-folk stumble in after the night is over.

The people at Ken’s are very warm and full of the aloha spirit. Even at the most crowded times, you can see that they are under pressure, but they still keep their cool and are nice and attentive. It feels like a big family in there.

On this visit, we sat at the counter since there were no seats available. The cooks and waitresses were going at it full blast.

Rush time for Ken’s

Here’s their counter setup. The ketchup and tabasco is offered when the food comes.

Ken’s Counter

I ordered the “Pocho” (under $7).


3 eggs with portuguese sausage, onions, and cheddar cheese. Don’t mistake this for one of their omelettes… their omelettes are bigger and fluffier. I ordered this since I wasn’t feeling hungry enough for their huge omelettes. The eggs were soft and the portuguese sausage was tasty. I put shoyu and tabasco all over. :D

It also came with pancakes.

Ken’s Pancakes

Ken’s pancakes are deliciously fluffy and yummy. They also have coconut and lilikoi syrup by request, which is a great option! Although these aren’t the best pancakes I’ve had, they are still very good.

Also ordered was their Oxtail Stew (~$10).

Ken’s Oxtail Stew

The oxtails are extremely tender and the tomato-based stew has a deep, rich flavor. The serving is very generous, with lots of oxtail. Carrots and celery accompany the oxtails. On the side is mac salad and 2 scoops rice. Tabasco is highly recommended for dis one! I know you guys stay drooling already!

On another visit, I had a loco moco, which I just have to include here!

Ken’s Loco Moco

Ken’s Loco Moco Closeup

Ken’s loco moco is one of the better loco mocos in Hilo. The hamburger patty is big and freshly grilled. The gravy is homemade and is lighter (in color) than the regular packaged brown gravy used by most places, but it also tastes better than most places. The gravy matches the loco really well. The eggs (it came with two, but you can’t really tell in the picture) were cooked just right. At $5.45, it’s a more expensive loco moco, but still a good deal for a nice sit-down place.

Also really good are Ken’s fries, served by the basket (shown halfway eaten already).

Ken’s Fries

The fries are really crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Excellent.

A pancake house has to have good coffee, and Ken’s coffee is always hot, fresh, and rich.

Ken’s Coffee

They keep a thermos container full of coffee at your table so that you can drink as much as you like.

Hilo is very lucky to have Ken’s House of Pancakes and I couldn’t wait to feature them on here. :)

Ken’s House of Pancakes
1730 Kamehameha Ave.
Hilo , HI 96720
(808) 538-1877
Open 24 hours.