ALOHA! I spent Thanksgiving in Hawaii with my boyfriend and I was extremely happy that I got to wear summer clothes one more time before winter really hit the New England area. We started off with a 3-day trip to Oahu and then the other 8 days in Maui since his family is from there.
Cream Pot @ 444 Niu Street
Cream Pot was the first restaurant we visited. We initially wanted to go to Eggs ‘N Things because a hotel worker recommended it, but the wait was over an hour. At the corner of Eggs ‘N Things, there was a cute little Japanese man, named Tomo, who was passing out flyers and holding up a sign for Cream Pot. I figured it would be nearby, but it was a good 10-15 minute walk. The restaurant was on the first floor of a somewhat small dingy hotel further away from the main shopping area in Honolulu. It was a bit difficult finding it :T When we first entered, we thought it was extremely cute and very Paris cafe-like. There’s also a cute little hobbit door that leads to the kitchen.
I decided to brave the Maguro Benedict and he went safe with the Eggs Benedict. The Maguro Benedict was… interesting. I’m not really used to those flavors even though I love Japanese food. Instead of coming on an English muffin, the eggs were on top a rice patty-like thing. The sauce was an odd shiso flavor that didn’t blend well on my palette. It’s a very Japanese-influenced egg dish and I didn’t enjoy it much. The tuna was fresh though! I read some reviews on Yelp and there were people who recommended this dish. Perhaps it just my personal preference not to eat something like this again.
The Eggs Benedict were okay. Nothing to rave about but nothing to complain about either.
Coffee or Tea? @ 1960 Kapiolani Boulevard
We were waiting for Yotteko-Ya to open, so we went to grab a drink here. It’s located on the first level of the McCully Shopping Center, which is more like a mall strip. I love bubble tea, I’m sure you all can tell so I could be a bit picky according to some. The boba was quite chewy, not too soft or gritty. The milk tea was yummy. It tasted like fresh tea, not powder (yes, some places do use milk tea powder!). It’s no St. Alps, but still pretty good in my book! I also liked that the cafe had Japanese manga for customers to read. It’s very cute and Taiwanese/HK like.
Yotteko-Ya @ 1960 Kapiolani Boulevard #214
Yotteko-Ya is a small little ramen house located on the second floor. We got there around 5:25, 5 minutes before it opened, and there were already people waiting in line. By the time the waitress got here, there were 10+ people waiting. That’s always a good sign!
I ordered the Paitan ramen that they are famous for. They use a broth made from chicken, pork, vegetables and spices that they stew for 10+ hours. They also boastthat eating their ramen will help you look younger because of the collagen in their soup. It sounds a little exaggerated to me. It’d probably make you fat first.
Regardless of whether or not the broth actually makes you look younger, it was delicious. It’s definitely worth it to pay Yotteko-Ya a visit to try their ramen. They use a somewhat squiggly noodle that I like. I still prefer Ippudo over this place, but it’s much much cheaper than eating ramen in NY.
Eggs ‘N Things @ 343 Saratoga Road
We attempted Eggs ‘N Things again the next morning for breakfast. Luckily, we woke up earlier and the wait was only about 15 minutes for 2 people. Go us! The menu offered a variety of breakfast items, but since I was in Hawaii, I should try the Loco Moco. I got greedy and ordered a side of potatoes also. Brandon ordered the Corn Hash and Eggs, which came with buttermilk pancakes.
The Loco Moco was okay. It’s basically a beef patty, soaked in gravy, topped with an egg. The beef patty kind of reminded me of meat loaf or burger patties you got at lunch in middle school or high school. The potatoes were good! I like how it was well cooked with a slight peppery kick.
Brandon’s Corn Hash & Eggs were good, but I think I came to the conclusion that I don’t like beef in my breakfast. His buttermilk pancakes, however, were the best I’ve ever eaten. I couldn’t stop picking at it. It’s really soft and moist, but not too caky. I regret not getting that :(
I recommend coming here early and just going for the pancakes!
Royal Kitchen @ 100 N Beretania Street Suite 175
After Eggs ‘N Things, we went to pick up the rental car and pick up a snack before going to the North Shore. We stopped by at a Chinese bakery called Royal Kitchen. It’s really small and dingy, but the buns were good. We got the Kalua Pork (pulled pork) and Cha Siu. I really like the bread because it was very light and fluffy. The meat was lean and flavorful.
Matsumoto Shave Ice @ 66-087 Kamehameha Highway
Our first stop on the North Shore was to go get some shave ice. Matsumoto’s is probably the most popular for tourists on the island. It’s actually about 60 years old! When we got there, there was already a long line. Luckily, it went pretty fast. The store looks more like a tourist gift shop with a random stand in the back for shave ice. We decided on a small guava, lilikoi (passion fruit) and li hing flavor shave ice over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with condensed milk. It was yummy! My favorite flavors were the lilikoi and li hing. The ice cream and condensed milk enhanced it by adding a creaminess. I should’ve gone back for seconds!
Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp Truck @ 56-781 Kamehameha Highway
We got a bit lost on our search for shrimp trucks. Originally we wanted to go to Giovanni’s but we passed it on the way to Matsumoto and weren’t going back that way. Then when we looked for shrimp trucks on Brandon’s iPhone, we wanted to go to Famous Kahuku Shrimp Truck, which we confused with this one. It turned out pretty good anyway. I’m not really sure how much more amazing Giovanni’s or Famous Kahuku could be. Shrimp is shrimp right? As long as it’s fresh. We ordered the Spicy Garlic Shrimp, which was oozing with heat and flavor. Although it was good, I think the whole shrimp truck thing is a bit overrated.
Ah-Lang @ 725 Kapiolani Road Suite C119
I love love love this place! Ah-Lang means Angry Korean Lady, according to the menu, but the lady there was anything but angry. She seemed pretty nice actually. It’s an extremely small restaurant with probably around 6 tables maximum, not good for big parties. It’s just simple cheap tables put together with a few cheap chairs, not romantic. The food, however, is definitely delicious. It’s like home cooking from your adopted Korean mom.
We started with a Green Onion with Mixed Seafood Korean Pancake. Angry Korean Lady’s version was very different from what I’m used to. As you can see, it’s more green onion than cake. It was a bit scary looking at first, but it actually didn’t taste bad at all. I do still prefer more pancake than vegetable in my korean pancake.
We also ordered the Kalbi & Meat Jun BBQ combo. I’ve never had Meat Jun before and I like it! I wonder why Korean restaurants don’t make it. Meat Jun is thin sliced marinated pork covered and fried in egg batter. Oh so yummy! I think Charmin Bear J would love this dish. The Kalbi was also very savory and tender. If you’re in Honolulu, come by and visit the Angry Korean Lady :)
Goma Tei @ 1200 Ala Moana Boulevard (Ward Center)
The very last day in Oahu, we decided to meet up with Brandon’s friend. I had my heart set on going to Gomaichi but they were closed for the duration of our visit. Brandon knew I really wanted ramen, so his friend took us to Goma Tei instead. I read all the Yelp reviews and they all suggested the Tan Tan ramen, which I never had. I’m a ramen fanatic and was pretty excited. To my dismay, Yelp reviewers screwed me over. This was the most disgusting ramen I’ve ever eaten in my life. I ordered the Tan Tan Ramen with Chicken. Brandon got it with Pork Katsu. It was equally gross. The soup is very thick and grainy. It had an overpowering sesame flavor that made the broth bitter tasting. I barely touched it. The guy who suggested to come here didn’t even order ramen! Smart guy.
Oahu had its ups and downs. I really enjoyed places like Matsumoto, Ah-Lang and Yotteko-Ya. Other places like Goma Tei and Cream Pot, I have to remember to stay away from on my next visit. Yuck.
– Charmin Bear T