Archive for the 'Japanese' Category

Takoyaki at Farmer’s Market

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Takoyaki Vendor at Farmer's Market

Yay! Found some great takoyaki at the farmer’s market today. First time seeing this vendor here. Really nice guy! After chatting a bit, we found out they are associated with Miyo’s (not sure how, though).

We went early, so they just got setup and it was still hot and fresh and so moist. Very tasty!

swim fishy swim

They also had some taiyaki (Japanese pancakes) filled with sweet red beans, cheese, or cinnamon apple. We got two red bean pancakes. They were so good too! Still warm and toasty.

Come early because they seemed very popular! I hope this vendor stays here for awhile.

P.S. Stay posted… Bev and I just celebrated our 2 year anniversary and went to Fujimamas. :) Man, that was one of the best meals ever! I’ll post again within a week.

Sushi En Fuego, Kona Waterfront Row

Thursday, August 16th, 2007


We went go holoholo with some friends in Kona… and we ate at Sushi En Fuego, a brand new restaurant on Waterfront Row. This place is so new, they didn’t even have their liquor license yet… which is good news! You can spend more $$ trying the food and drink your own booze! We ended up dragging a cooler filled to the brim with beer. *good times*


Sushi En Fuego translates to “Sushi on Fire” — it’s supposedly a fusion of Latin and Japanese. Most of their offerings are spicy and they have a good variety of sushi and non-sushi items. Ambiance is beautiful here at sunset since many of the tables are on a balcony. Service is also very attentive and fast. Our first dishes were served in under 10 minutes.


Shiro Maguro (albacore) slightly seared ($5.50). Very fresh and wonderfully creamy texture… no fishy flavor. Best news? Huge pieces of fish! There was a light sauce on it and the rice was good texture. Great start.


Spicy Tuna Roll ($6). Very good. Nice brief spicy kick. Bev thought the spiciness was just right — I thought it should be spicier. Avocado made for a good pairing.


“Pollo Lolo” Chicken Skewers w/Mac nut miso sauce ($10). We all loved these. The chicken was nicely charred with a sweet cumin flavor. Accompanying it was a spicy mango salsa (which was excellent) with homemade chips.


Red Dragon Roll ($14). Spicy tuna, cucumber topped with unagi, masago, bonito and eel sauce. This was mouthwatering. I love unagi.


Left: Beef and Reef ($13) – Soft shell crab, daikon sprouts, asparagus topped with seared beef and tataki sauce.
Right: Catepillar Roll ($13) – Unagi, avocado, masago.

I wasn’t able to try either of these. *tear* I’m sure they were good though… how can go wrong??


Salmon Cerviche w/ mango and lime ($12). I only heard from across the table that this was “really good”. *sigh*


Lobster Roll with Tempura Asparagus ($12). Nice balance of lobster and crispy asparagus. They didn’t skimp on the lobster either. Very yummy!


Tempura Spicy Tuna Mushrooms ($11). I never got to try these, but my friends said that it was their “favorite” and “make sure to tell them it was reaaaally good on your blog”. Hahahaa…


Dessert time! Tempura Banana Split ($6) — this was one of their specials. Wow. This one was so delicious! The bananas were fried tempura style and they were really sweet and juicy. The chocolate sauce was very rich. Three scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry). If you only have $6, just get this. The only funky thing was that they fried the cherries tempura style — it made them have a really bitter flavor… but we thought it was funny. Tempura maraschino cherries????

Overall, we all had a great time here at Sushi En Fuego. The food, ambiance, and service was all top notch. Highly recommended!

Sushi En Fuego
(808) 331-2200
Waterfront Row, Kailua Kona
Hours: 11-3 & 5-10 (Tues-Sat), 4-9 (Sun), Closed Mondays

13th Annual Ho’olaule’a

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

13th Annual Hoolaulea

Hilo town was rockin’ with the best Hawaiian music and sooo much food! It’s amazing how much people gather for this… I’m sure this is the largest event every year on the Big Island. See my last post for an aerial shot from last year. It felt like this year was even huger!

Last year, I had a sad experience: I was so indecisive about what to eat that I ended getting a generic BBQ chicken plate, and after, I had a very empty feeling deep down inside. This year, my strategy changed: walk around and just try a little bit of everything… plus, now that I have a wonderful wife, it’s easy to share portions… quality not quantity, right?

So here is our Ho’olaule’a food adventures!

First, we started off with some pupus.

Poke Your Way Truck Poke Your Way

1/4lb poke ($3.00) from Poke Your Way. What was really cool is that after you order your poke, you can add on what you like to your own poke from a nice tray of condiments (no additional cost). We added in some ogo seaweed, inamona (kukui nuts), green onions, and a chili pepper (this guy is hot!). The ahi was very fresh and nicely seasoned with crunchy hawaiian salt. It was good poke… melt in da mouth kine!

Next, we moved on to Nori’s tent for a bowl of…

Nori’s Saimin Nori’s Sign

Saimin! ($3.00) Man, Nori’s makes a really good bowl of saimin. Their noodles are so fresh tasting — they have a nice chewy texture to them. Their broth is also very flavorful and rich.

Ono Hawaiian Food Lau Lau

How about some lau lau ($4.00)? This was from Ka ‘Uhane Hemolele Ka Malamalama Church… some long da church name. These guys have a lunch wagon right off bayfront. I always wondered how their food is. So how was the lau lau? ONO BRAH! Everything was so moist and there was a nice piece of fat (very important). Nice size too… and good balance of luau leaf and pork. Recommended.

Pizza Hawaii Pizza

Pizza Hawaii had a stand, but I didn’t get to take a photo. We ordered a slice of pepperoni pizza ($4.00), and it was so yummy! I love thin crust pizzas and this one was very thin crust NY style. The crust at the end had a nice bubbly crust too. Excellent… best in Hilo maybe?

We wanted to get some malasadas from that place in Papaikou called Baker Tom’s since I’ve heard they have good malasadas, but they were out! :(

Baker Tom’s Malasadas

So we got some ice shave from Higa’s instead.
Higa’s Higa’s Ice Shave

Vanilla and Strawberry ($3.00). This was almost a great ice shave… the ice was very light, fine shaved, and the syrup was really tasty. But the guy pouring the syrup didn’t put enough syrup and the middle was just ice.

Ok, we are pretty satisfied.

We didn’t have room to try Aunty Peaches “Onolicious Poi Balls”. There was a huge line for this.

Poi Balls

That’s ok. We were so happy that we got to try a lot of different Hilo foods all in one place. So much better than just a BBQ chicken plate lunch!

Aerial shot of food lines

This is how packed it gets where the food is.

Oh yeah, and the music was awesome!

Kapena Kapena Kapena Ho’onua

Kapena and Ho’onua! They were both really fun.

Can’t wait for next year!

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

Ice Shave and a Hot Dog

Monday, June 12th, 2006

Brah, it was one scorcha of a day in Hilo Town today. Plus, I was off of work because it was Kamehameha day, so no air conditioned office. But I’m not complaining. I was able to enjoy one of the great pleasures in Hilo while getting some much needed sun! (I gotta be one of the whitest Filipinos)

Street next to Itsu’s

So what would you do if you were driving down this road at high noon? I’m sure you know the answer! :)


Itsu’s Ice Shave Menu

Mr. Itsu himself was there making ice shave for everybody. Bev and I ordered a Coconut Deluxe Bowl. Deluxe means that the ice shave comes with vanilla ice cream and azuki beans (made as a sweet red yummy paste). I’ll let the photos explain…

A nice scoop of vanilla ice cream is put on the bottom of the bowl/cup.
Itsu scooping some ice cream

Next, the azuki bean paste is layered over.
Azuki beans

Then shaved ice is put on top and formed into a nice big ball.
Itsu making ice shave

Pour some a generous amount of coconut syrup, and you get the bestest ice shave on the Island!
Itsu’s Ice Shave Itsu’s Ice Shave half

It was perfect and so refreshing. The shaved ice was really fluffy and the syrup was really tasty, and the azuki bean paste adds a nice tangy texture. Bev really liked the ice cream too.

Itsu’s is also famous for their $0.95 hot dogs, and now I know why. They are so good.

Itsu’s hot dog Itsu’s hot dog closeup

You can choose what to put on the hot dog. Get “da yellow sauce” (they’ll know what you mean) — it seems to be a combination of mayo, mustard, and maybe relish. The bun was served very soft and moist. The hot dog is the red kine (redondos?) — really juicy. It all just melts in da mouth and everything tasted so good together. Especially with an ice shave in the other hand. Highly recommended. :)

Other Posts on Itsu’s:

Itsu’s Fishing Supplies Inc
810 Piilani St Hilo
(808) 935-8082

Hilo Lunch Shop

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Okazuya-style places are great if you want a nice variety of food at great prices, and Hilo Lunch Shop is one of the most popular ones in Hilo.

Hilo Lunch Shop Entrance Hilo Lunch Shop Inside

It was only 12:30 when we got here, and already most of the food was gone! No more sushi, and a lot of the hot plates were missing/empty. Luckily, there were still some choices left. We made it just in time. Here is what we got to share…

Hilo Lunch Shop Plate

2 scoops rice, 4 pcs nori chicken, 2 pcs breaded Ono (Wahoo fish), nishime, mac salad, and a spring roll. All this for $7.98. Not bad for 2 people… I’m lucky Bev is a light eater.

Nori Chicken Closeup

We both thought everything was really ono. Bev especially liked the nori chicken and mac salad. They are famous for their nori chicken… very flavorful and moist inside, while being crispy on the outside. It’s so good. The mac salad was actually a potato/mac salad with cucumbers, eggs, and carrots — really yummy. Everything else was good too. The breaded Ono was nice and moist inside, the nishime was fresh and tasty. The spring roll was big and crisp, but just average tasting.

Hilo Lunch Shop serves up some onolicious food. Just make sure to get here well before noon!

Hilo Lunch Shop
421 Kalanikoa Street, Hilo, HI 96720
Phone: (808) 935-8273