28 thoughts on “Restaurants (2021)

  1. 12th Ave. Deli

    Porchetta sandwich
    Porchetta is something that looks and sounds good, but everyone time I’ve tried this, it has disappointed me. The pork is often not moist enough and/or not so flavorful. Unfortunately, this was the case for this sandwich.

    Meatloaf melt
    This is basically a patty melt. Solid.

    BLT (Bacon, lobster, tomato)
    Lobster sandwich with bacon bread. (All the breads are made in house.) To me the lobster didn’t have much flavor. This also came with an avocado spread, which was just OK. The bad thing is that it overpowered the sandwich. I couldn’t really taste any bacon as well.

    french fries
    House made, natural cut. Solid.

    Caprese
    They make their own burrata. The texture was nice, but the flavor is very mild–and maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

  2. Fooki (Pearl Kai)

    I thought I posted this, but I guess not.

    I believe this is a Taiwanese restaurant, known for their beef noodle soup. They also have these beef pancakes, almost like quesadillas, I guess. Quick comments: The broth was good, but we got it spicy. The problem is that they seem to make the broth spicy by dumping in that red chili oil, which makes the soup…well, oily.

    The noodles were just meh. (I also had the won tons which were generic.)

    The beef pancake thing was pretty good, served with a hoisin sauce.

    1. After your comment on oily soup, I went to look at the pictures on Yelp. The beef noodle soup is normally this brownish, gravy-like color, whereas Fooki’s seems to be a little bit more clear (without the chili oil). Was the meat a little tough? I sort of like the beef noodle broth, but normally I don’t care for the meat because it’s sort of tough.

  3. Youpo Noodles (Kaka’ako Farmer’s Market)

    Cumin Lamb ($16)
    Beef ($14)

    Hand-made Northern Chinese style noodles–like fried noodles, not like ramen. The noodles are wider, like paparadelle, but a little less wide. They put it in a takeout bowl, which is not puny, but not super large either. If I use the Don gauge, I would guess it would be borderline for him in terms of value.

    Verdict:
    The noodles had that nice chewiness of fresh noodles. That stands out the most. The taste was nothing exceptional in my view.

    For the cumin lamb, my point of comparison is the cumin lamb at Hunan Cuisine–maybe a top ten dish for me. The cumin lamb at Youpo is not at the same level. (I think they may need more cumin.) But overall it was solid.

    The sauce in the beef noodle was a little more mild (in terms of taste), but it may have been better. (I’m not sure how to describe it, though.)

    Both were spicy, but not too much. Larri said it could have been spicier. I sort of agree, but if it was spicer it could easily have been too hot for me.

  4. Shabuya

    I’m pretty sure Reid went here and didn’t think it was all that great. I believe he was comparing it to Home Sweet Cafe and said the dipping sauces and shiru wasn’t great. I agree with that. The thing that makes Shabuya good though, is the ingredients. The Chuck Eye Roll (beef) and pork shoulder is great. Better than any meats that I got at any other shabu shabu place. I actually wish they had that same beef at pho places. I also thought the clams was really good too. The shiru is about the same as Ichiriki, but Shabuya’s dipping sauces is average at best.

    1. I don’t remember the meats being exceptional–but I don’t think I got the pork shoulder, or the chuck eye roll. I think we got the rib eye (or maybe it was the chuck eye). Was it sliced super thin? It was when I went and I didn’t really care for that; it was too thin.

      Yeah, I didn’t care for the shiru or dipping sauces. Larri really did like the spicy miso shiru–and she liked it with clams.

      1. Shabu shabu meat is thin? You thought theirs was thinner than most? I like that, like the yakiniku brisket. I think when I went for lunch only had five different meats. We didn’t get chicken, but got everything else. It’s all you can eat so why not? Are you saying you didn’t at least try everything? I forgot to add the angus beef toro (that’s what it’s called) wasn’t great. The texture was rough and the meat was slightly tough.

    2. I don’t think I tried everything.

      From what I remember, the meat was so thin that when you ate it, it was like eating rice paper. That’s an exaggeration, but that’s sort of the feeling. Maybe the meat was so thin that when the fat rendered and meat lost water, there wasn’t much left. The small serving size and the relatively long wait time between servings were two other big problems for me. By the way, you know how eating kona crab and moi can be frustrating because it’s like eating crumbs? That’s sort of the feeling I had.

      I don’t think I’ve eaten at another shabu shabu place, unless Ichiriki counts (I think of their food as as nabe) or that place at the top of Waialae Ave. Whatever the case may be, the meat there was not cut so thinly

  5. Shay’s Smashburger (Foodtruck across from The Forty-Niner Diner; located in a used car parking lot.)

    I had the American ($6), with an extra patty ($3). This is basically their deluxe burger (add lettuce, tomato, and oinions). Their regular and deluxe also come with cheddar cheese and special sauce. (More on the latter soon.)

    We also tried the fun guy ($7), which comes with harvarti cheese, crimini mushrooms, bacon jam, and an truffle aioli.

    The patties are 1/4 pound, made up of brisket and short-rib, I believe.

    Verdict?

    I preferred the fun guy, although the special sauce was a big reason for this. Basically, it was basically the same sauce as Teddy’s, which disappointed me. I like Teddy’s sauce (although I’m starting to like it less and less), but I didn’t want to eat a burger with the same sauce. If I wanted that, I’d just go to Teddy’s. Also, the burgers didn’t seemed to be seasoned well in my opinion.

    Here’s the thing, though: the burgers seem like a good deal. The regular is $5. For a 1/4 burger, that’s a pretty good deal in my view. (Fries were $3, and they were the thicker shoestring style fries.)

    1. Man, I’ve been trying to get there for weeks. It’s always been too crowded in the lot. I’ve considered parking at that park by the water and walking over. Okay, by “weeks,” I mean “Once on MLK day and once about two weeks later.”

  6. Pizza Mamo (Hotel Street, between Nu’uanu Ave. and Smith St.)

    Two styles of pizza–Brooklyn and Detroit. The former is basically New York style pizza or close enough. The Detroit style is similar to a pan pizza–except a whole pie is just four 4″x6″ squares. For over $20, that’s kinda pricey to me. I think the Detroit style comes with cheese from Wisconsin.

    The ingredients, including the sauce, was the good, if not very good. The bread/crust for the Detroit style pizza was tasty as well–including the burnt cheese on the edges. The Brooklyn dough was solid, but I think I prefer Boston’s. Overall, it kinda reminded me of Antonio’s bread (if you guys remember that place)–maybe it’s a little better.

    We had the Brooklyn style with fennel sausage, which I liked, and onion. I like the sauce, more like tomato sauce than marinara, which I liked.

    1. Yeah I haven’t been, even though it’s close to my house. I think it closes on weekends or hardly opens on weekends. I was waiting to go with Reid so he can drop Jolene’s name and get us a discount.

    2. I hadn’t thought of that approach, but we’ll have to try it.

      I must say that I’m not that excited about the menu. I thought it looked it good at first, but when I looked again, I wasn’t as enthused.

  7. ‘Ili’ili Cash and Cary (Mo’ili’ili in the old Watanabe Bakery spot)

    They have pizza and (sub)sandwiches. I believe the pizza maker is the guy from Prima and V-Lounge. We tried three styles–spicy meatball, off white (with two types of cheeses, onions and something else), and pepperoni.

    First the crust. I was worried it would be too soggy in the middle as that was my experience with the V-Loung pizza. That wasn’t the case. The crust airy and on the dry side, with the dryness and taste of a cracker. The edges are puffy-hollow. I kinda liked it, but I think I prefer the taste and chewiness of Boston’s a bit better. The crust overall was fairly robust, not too thin, either.

    The spicy meat, cut in flat slices, is similar or the same to Prima’s, which I think is solid. The pizza comes with a non-sweet tomato sauce which was used in moderation, both of which I liked. It also comes with argula, which is just an OK combination.

    They give a lot of pepperoni, so that’s good. It’s tasty, too.

    The off-white was good. The onions were like French onion soup and baked into the bread. (One of the cheeses is riccota.)

    They also sell pizza’s by the slice, and they have those square style pizzas that seem thicker.

    A whole pie is about $25. These are good pizzas.

    1. Yeah it is that guy from V Lounge. My coworkers (the ones who still work in the office) got takeout from there a few weeks ago. My sandwich-loving coworker really liked her sandwich. My picky eater coworker (who’s about 50% as picky as Reid) didn’t care for the pizza.

      1. Coincidence. One of those same coworkers just submitted his monthly food column to our staff newsletter (edit partially by me) and his review is very positive. Two thumbs up and one sideways from the coworkers, then.

    2. Mitchell,

      Can you ask your friend who ate the sandwich, which one she had, and what were the portions like? The sandwiches are like $17, and I was worried it would be kinda small from the price.

      By the way, for what it’s worth, the final verdict about the pizza, from the rest of my family, was negative.

    3. Unless her hands are really tiny, the sandwich seems pretty small, which was my impression from other pictures I saw. Bummer.

    4. It looks comparable to a Subway 6″ sandwich. If I’m not that hungry, a 6″ sandwich would not leave me hungry, especially if I drank a carbonated drink. But if I were really hungry, I would probably want more. But a 6″ hoagie for $17 better be really, really good.

  8. Do you guys know Cyrus Goo (the original proprietor of Cafe Laufer) opened a new spot in the Ala Moana Hotel? He’s got a lot of the familiar desserts there, including the fruit gelee, but my friends haven’t noticed the hazelnut torte. I’m staying away until I’m fully vaccinated, but if you’re brave and you want to check it out, the same friends recommend you get there before everyone else discovers it.

    1. I did not know this. I looked this up and apparently it’s part of a hair salon. It’s called Cafe at DaDa, or something like that. I’m interested in checking this place out.

      Did we have a thread on places just for dessert and coffee? I need to start one up again.

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