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Everything posted by skchai

  1. Uhoh . . . haven't been there in a few months. The number seems to be one they had when I last went. Unfortunately the most likely explanation is that they are no more, but I will check the next time I drive by the place. . .
  2. Shrimp crop lifts farmers' hopes, by Sean Hao HECO cookbook travels through past, by Betty Shimabukuro The last of the Hawaiian Electric Co. home economists collect their best recipes. Recipe Stash, by Betty Shimabukuro old recipes come to light Reign of rice, by Wanda A. Adams rice in the local culture Sassy Kassy's Lunchwagon serving up last special today, by Rod Ohira Tossed salad: A Lunar New Year tradition brings wishes for prosperity and health, by Betty Shimabukuro Yu Sheng, a local and Southern Chinese tradition. Here's a recipe. Art of Rice: Is rice ingrained in your own Island life? Serving up a tasty tradition, by Wanda A. Adams traditional Chinese New Year's dishes Fear no food: A spirit of exploration leads the bold-hearted to new regions of taste, by Betty Shimabukuro Home economists stir up memories, by Wanda A. Adams More on the Hawaii Electric home economists.
  3. If you are looking for Indian groceries, you should check out India Market, 2570 S. Beretania St. #105, right across the street from Down to Earth (and downstairs from Well Bento), which opened last year. Even more recently, Indian Emporium, 2239 S. King opened in the same area - it carries some groceries as well as Ayurvedic herbs, Bollywood DVDs, etc. For Thai food, there is Thailand Market on 3424 Waialae Ave. (approx @ 9th Ave. I think, on the mauka side). For Pan-Hispanic, Mercado De La Raza at 1315 S Beretania St (approx @ Keeaumoku, near Mekong I). For Kosher, Mazal's Kosherland is on 555 N. King St., # 113. Such places are real resources for the community - let's hope they can all stay around. . . Don't forget about the big stores such as Daiei on Kaheka and 99 Ranch in Mapunapuna, which both carry a large range of SE Asia foods in addition to their Japanese and Chinese "base" offerings.
  4. Tad - you ate all that!? I am truly impressed. Pictures are great too; you can actually see the lack of smoke ring in the brisket, presumably dispersed (?) by being finished off in the steamer. Good BBQ is not easy to find in Hawai`i, so the West Hawaii folks may still be happy to have it even if the food is a bit uneven. Thanks so much for the fine report.
  5. I've heard nothing but good things about the place, and Fukui's stuff always impressed back when he was at L'Uraku. However, the guy who thought up the name "Eurasian Tapas" deserves to be boiled alive in a vat of "Thai-style Bouillabaisse".
  6. Great article by Gerald Farinas. We did have a thread while back that covered some related issues. . . plus the fact that wesza was one of the team that brought saimin to McDonald's.
  7. You're right - most hulihuli chicken I've tried doesn't have ketchup. The marinades do tend to vary quite a bit, and as mentioned, are usually not the central focus of the what make the chicken distinct. The chickens are usually different - typically they are smaller Island chickens with more flavor than the supermarket kind.
  8. Here's the recipe from the UH web site. For more info on Ernest Morgado, who started the who Hulihuli chicken fundraising business, and who (at least according to some accounts) invented the term, here is obituary from 2002. To be somewhat irreverent, the marinade is not that important. Most of the hulihuli you buy from church or school fundraisers uses an extremely mild marinade, more like a brine with mild shoyu / ginger / garlic flavor. The main thing is charcoal broiling at high heat over an open fire, turned frequently (hence the name) so it chars but doesn't burn. IMHO.
  9. Great topic - the dark meat katsu is definitely a Hawai`i thing, and a good thing too. All-breast meat is somehow considered such a big deal (to the point of advertising it) in most places on the mainland when they sell boneless fried chicken, and probably mainland versions of chicken katsu take off from that. But too me it cannot be chicken katsu without using thigh meat; that's one of the things that make it distinctive - it doesn't dry out and has a lot more flavor. The other main features are panko bread crumbs and serving it with tonkatsu sauce. In fact, while chicken katsu was obviously a takeoff on tonkatsu (japanese-style pork cutlet), I'm 99% sure it was first popularized here in Hawai`i. I neve noticed in Japan until fairly recently and they use the local word "chicken katsu", instead of "torikatsu" or whatever. The best (and I'm sure one of the first if the not the first) plate lunch chicken katsu's was served at Grace's Inn starting from before I remember, but for a long time Gracie's and Diner's were the two main places selling it. Both served great chicken katsu in the 1980s which I think was still the best I've seen so far. . . with the classic massive serving sliced tonkatsu-style in 1 cm slices so you can see how the breading and meat clung together. . . Never even knew about Mike's. Will check it out soon.
  10. Thanks for reviving this thread, Gastro888 and JumblyJu. Welcome, HexiumVII, to eGullet and this forum. The restaurant suggestions you made, are right on. I had Jurison's mochiko chicken a few months ago and it real good, though crispy almost to the point of a karaage. The Imari karaage is great too - not greasy at all, same with the kind they serve at Minato though perhaps not as much shoyu in the batter / marinade. For those who are not familiar, karaage is Japanese fried chicken dish that is made from first soaking the chicken in a seasoned soy-based marinate, then swirling it in batter before frying. Some people actually put the soy sauce directly into the batter. Mochiko chicken is made by again marinating the chicken, but then usually be dipping in a plate full of seasoned mochiko (glutinous rice flour), sometimes mixed with cornstarch or flour, before frying. Some people actually make a mochiko batter instead. Here's a Minato Bento with the karaage even more obscured, between the ebi fry and the teri chicken. Here's an Imari Bento with the karaage in the upper left (in front of the chicken katsu chunks). Sorry! Don't have picture from Jurison's. . . But speaking of chicken, here is Zippy's version of "Korean" chicken. "Korean" chicken is similar to karaage except that it is soaked in the sweet chili-garlic sauce after it's removed from the fryer. See earlier discussion on Chicken Alice - I embarrassed I still didn't look her up and get to the bottom of the mystery of how it got started! As you mentioned, JumblyJu, Hulihuli chicken is such a part of the fundraising scene here. Maybe the biggest is Mid-Pac Academy. When they're having their annual hulihuli chicken fundraiser, the entire lower Manoa smells like chicken on the hibachi!
  11. Speaking of places that closed, we were in Kaimuki the other day and after a lot of wandering around decided to head over to Sis Kitchen. Only to find it closed - on a Friday night. Asked the lady over at the Kahuku Papaya place next to it and she said they had gone out of business. Checked their website and it's no longer occupied. How can? They had great reviews and were just named on the Advertiser's Hawai`i's Best Restaurants list. Sorry to say we didn't go that often ourselves but it seemed they were doing decent business. Anyone with any insight? So sad. . .
  12. Seemed like the Yamada restaurant group that had been owners for the past few decades just lost interest, and the Gyotaku people were looking for a new property for expansion after they had cut ties with the ill-fated Kyotaru Restaurant Group. Seems to me Gyotaku has really picked up much of the same clientele that Suehiro used to have, though the menu is less "local Japanese" than Suehiro. I remember going there and eating tonkatsu when I was six or seven years old. . . Butterfish nitsuke over tofu - there's got to be other places that serve it, even after the Wisteria closed down. Or it may be a long shot - you can ask someplace that serves butterfish nitsuke if they would prepare it tofu style for you. . . can't be that much of a stretch. . .
  13. Thanks to all who have posted so far - it's really fascinating how the humble plate lunch is reaching out into all corners! crosparantoux, your post got me thinking, and I agree with you that the appeal of plate lunch to non-kamaaina has nothing to do with "exoticness" and more with universal, down-home appeal that just happens to come from a partly non-Western context. The very fact that it is heavy, bountiful, and simple, yet a change of pace from burgers and pizza, is it perhaps its main appeal. That's one reason why people who are not from Hawaii, and who don't go in for "healthy Asian" veggie-chicken-rice bowls, find themselves at home in plate lunch joint.
  14. Here are some "ahi price watch" articles from this year's Advertiser and S-B: Fish supply up in time for New Year's Customers pleased by 'ahi prices
  15. I don't know if you can exactly call this "culinary" news, but. . . Buyout of restaurants completed, by Andrew Gomes Shrimp farms get boost: by Jan TenBruggencate due to a hard-won designation as an environment-friendly product Food For Thought: Specialty meats are limited here, by Wanda A. Adams hard time if you're looking for organic or free-range meats Coffee quality, price up By Request: Still yearning for long-lost recipes, by Betty Shimabukuro She found one for the toong mai; now she's looking for Moa Ta Haari Light & Local: Homemade mochi delightful, by Carol Devenot Key Ingredient: Hijiki, by Eleanor Nakama-Mitsunaga Sticky mochi holds a tradition together, by Zenaida Serrano More New Years' Stuff Food for Thought: Foods on hand drove old recipes, by Wanda A. Adams Wanda describes old recipes such as poki wai and palaoa.
  16. Great news, Reid! Sorry for not replying earlier as I was out of town. . . I'm not surprised - I've noticed for a long time the number of times other, out-of-town, blogs talk about or link to your blog, so people are definitely paying a lot of attention to your work. Always impressed by how you manage to cover such a wide range of Honolulu's eating options. Keep up the great work. . .
  17. Actually, the Hawai`i meat jeon is different from "dong geu rang ddaeng", though I should have remembered the latter are sometimes called gogi (i.e. meat) jeon. Confusing! Local-style "meat jeon" (the English word "meat" is always used) is made from pieces of intact beef about the size of chicken-fried steak, which are dipped in egg and pan-fried (actually, sometimes deep-fried!). To those who haven't tried them, "dong geu rang ddaeng" are little egg-dipped seasoned meatballs that are pan-fried - one of those things that if I'm at a buffet party I'll just keep hanging around the table and take "just one more" around 50 times. Even more than other plate lunch places, L&L built its reputation primarily on giving you huge piles of food for a reasonable amount of money. I think it must be a kind of residual plantation worker mentality - the Hawai`i-style plate lunch was originally designed as cheap food to appeal to tired workers of many nationalities coming in together after sweating it out for 10 hours in the sugar cane or pineapple fields. And this outlook towards taste seems to be retained in contemporary plate lunch concepts, even though the contemporary customers, decendants of the cane workers, are probably sitting on their butts all day. Anyway, Russ, it was nice of the Times to run that article! I think, in an earlier plate lunch thread, wesza revealed the secret origins of this mysterious side dish, once shrouded in the mists of time. . . Sounds like we're going back to Trader Vic days in some ways - with "Hawaiian" being attached to all sorts of East Asian foods to make them seem both alluring and less alien.
  18. Tad - you had some great holidays. Thanks for remembering all the beautiful details to share with us. You're lucky to have grown up in a family that not only knew food but cared enough about it to develop family traditions for each holiday that everyone could remember. that sounds real good . . . hmm. . . an idea ahead of its time. A cured pork butt would go real well with the slightly bitter luau leaf wow, what was that? kalua turkey is something that is coming back - Kailua High School even set up a community imu for Thanksgiving where people could rent out spaces. One thing that I love about local holiday traditions is that they're not just about the nuclear family - they involve the extended and hanai family, often mixing together the food traditions from the various branches. Your mention of big sashimi platters reminds me that it's about time that the newspapers here will be starting their New Year's Ahi sashimi price watch. Have no idea what the prices are going to be this year but that's one holiday food custom that is distinctively and invariably part of Hawai`i culture.
  19. This is some amazing stuff - don't know how I didn't notice it the first time around. Will have to try aladin too when we're in LA. . .
  20. Rachel - the turkey is indeed such an essential part of the Thanksgiving celebration in the United States, which is, more than any other holiday I'm aware of, defined by the food that is eaten. Indeed, most kids would be hard put to remember anything about Pilgrim fathers and such, but focus entirely on eating turkey. So I guess it would not be surprising that immigrants who want to adopt the Thankgiving celebration should feel obligated to cook a turkey, like it or not, rather than the foods associated with the harvest / thanksgiving festivals of their own cultures. Koreans have their own indigenous thanksgiving holiday, Chuseok, which is one of the high points of the year, yet immigrants choose to celebrate American Thanksgiving and Chuseok separately rather than making Thanksgiving into an alternative Chuseok. On the other hand, Canadians, at least to my experience, do not seem to feel a strong need to celebrate both Canadian and American Thanksgivings. While there are obviously a lot of factors involved in this, it suspect the differences in the reconcilability of food practices has something to do with it. Tad - looking forward to your family holiday meal report!
  21. Rachel - the stir-fry station was still there until a year ago at Manoa Gardens. There are a few people who do miss it. . . 4000 calories sounds around right. Joan - Yes, like more traditional plate lunch places, Yummy's specializas in the giving huge quantities for the price. And, as you mention, the food is for the most part acceptable to Korean-Koreans, as long as their expectations are at the fast food level. Even the unfamiliar dishes meat jun (which was actually invented by an earlier Honolulu Korean fast food chain, either Ted's or Kim Chee I), while not something you would see much of in Korea is not something that would be totally out of place. I wouldn't be surprised if it starts catching on in Korea. BTW, here are some articles from the school newspaper, Ka Leo, about the recent changes: Sodexho negotiating with new food vendors Sodexho serves up change Survey key in vendor changes
  22. Interesting article from the LA Times: Hawaiian Food's New Mainland Fan Base by Julie Tamaki (may need to register) The article implies that Hawai'i's fast food, led by the L&L juggernaut may be the next big American fast food phenomenon. It cites the 100+ Hawai'i-style plate lunch places that have popped up in California and elsewhere in the Western part of the mainland as evidence. However, there is a caveat, which is that: Can anyone who's frequented plate lunch establishments on the mainland, explain more precisely what this "ethnic following" might refer to? Hawai`i expatriates? Asian-Americans? Something else? Anyone want to take a stab at this? Another somewhat controversial point in the article is its implication that Eddie Flores (L&L CEO) is labeling other Hawai`i plate lunch competitors on the West Coast "copycats", though the quote is ambigous on whether he explicitly said such a thing: L&L did not invent the plate lunch concept, which after all has existed for generations. So what exactly constitutes a copycat? Anyone who tries to sell plate lunch on the mainland? Or are there places that are actually trying to pass themselves off as L&Ls? West Coast people, can you give us the real deal on all this?
  23. O.K., here is something about the changes that have taken place in the main dining area of the University, the Campus Center Dining Room. As mentioned, the entire structure has been taken over by PBHK, the parent company of the Yummy's Korean BBQ fast food empire, which has made the Korean-style plate lunch a ubiquitous item in Honolulu. PBHK has some 30-some-odd outlets in Honolulu, and has recently begun to expand its operations to the West Coast and Japan. While most of these are Yummy's, they also run a variety of other kinds of outlets including Bear's Drive-In, a traditional local-style plate lunch place, Lahaina Chicken Company, which specialized in carved roast meats; and Mama's Spaghetti House, a basic red-sauce Italian fast food place. All four of their dining concepts are represented in the Campus Center setup, and since students have to have burgers to feel complete and whole, there is a fifth stall there called the "Burger Factory". The look and feel of the premises are just as institutional as ever, but the various stall "islands" have been fast-food-ized with florescent display menus posted behind each wall. We can start with Yummy's. Without going into much detail about whole the Korean fast-food phenomenon here in Hawai`i, I can summarize by saying that you go through the line and pick one or a combo of (kalbi, bulgogi, bbq chicken (dak gui), fish jeon (pan-fried in egg batter), "meat jeon") or a "light" alternative such as bibimbap or "tofu soup" (ersatz tubu tchigae). Then you get to pick four sides, which include a number of common Korean panchan but also a few local adaptations and simplifications that you'd never find in Korea or even LA for that matter. The choices include Nappa cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi (sliced instead of stuffed as you would find in a "proper" Korean restaurant), watercress namul salad, miyeok muchim seaweed salad, mung bean sprout namul, a shredded daikon salad with chili peppers on it, seasoned dried cod taegu, mac salad (of course), potato salad made with large pieces of unpeeled salad potatoes, and plain boiled corn, all stacked in massive piles in metal trays. This is fast food, remember? Even the recognizably Korean dishes are customized to local tastes, and are not quite as hot and slightly sweeter. In addition to the four sides, they throw in a piece of fried mandu (potsticker) and hobak jeon (egg-batter fried zucchini). That's the "regular" meal. If you want to eat a more human-size portion, you can order a "mini", which is a couple dollars less. Here is a combo regular plate with bbq chicken and kalbi. The side dishes are (left to right), seaweed salad, watercress salad, cucumber kimchi, and cabbage kimchi. On a diet? Here's the meat jeon mini with only two sides, one scoop of rice, and no extras. The sides are cabbage kimchi and potato salad. Incidentally, meat jeon, at least this kind of teriyaki steak-sized portion, is not something that you would be hard-put to find in any restaurant in Korea. Beef is relatively expensive, and the idea of coating a good piece of beef in egg (as they would the more common fish jeon or with hamburger) still seems like a waste there. But in Hawaii, meat jeon may be the second-most popular Korean entrée after kalbi. You eat it with "meat jeon sauce", which is either seasoned soy sauce or a chili-bean paste and vinegar combination. Here indeed are the two meat jeon sauces (don't worry about the romanization - everybody here spells it their own way). Lot of people mistake the red one for ketchup, which is why they have to put the big signs on them. On to Bear's. This place, as meantioned serves up a more traditional-style local plate lunch, which typically means a meat entrée derived from some combination of Japanese, Chinese, and Western food, as well as two ice cream-scoops of rice and mac or tossed salad. The entrees here include teri ahi (yellowfin tuna), fried shrimp, chicken katsu (boneless chicken fried in panko bread crumbs), popcorn-size garlic chicken, mushroom chicken, Japanese-style chicken curry, local-style beef stew, and the old-time local favorite hamburger steak (is there any other state in the union that still eats hamburger steak?). Unfortunately, no Spam. My friend told me that Bear's is so-called because the Prez and CEO of PBHK, Peter Kim, was the placekicker for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team in the early 80s under coach Bear Bryant. I doubt the Bear would would have indulged much in teri ahi though. . . Here indeed is the teri(yaki) ahi plate, with both mac and toss, which you can get if you ask for it. Although people often say that even locally-produced food is more expensive here than on the mainland, local fish are one exception. Only in Hawai`i can you get a half-pound plus piece of broiled ahi as part of a fast food plate. The teriyaki glaze is sweet, sweet, as is typical here, but laid on with moderation and is balanced by a reasonable dose of garlic. . . And not dry either - how about that for a school cafeteria? The only other place I've tried here is Lahaina Chicken Company, which serves up your choice of roast pork loin, beef rib, or whole chicken, as well as fried chicken and broiled spareribs. So its basically a Western-style carvery although, sorry, no roast lamb with mint sauce for us locals. I eat here because roast pork is one of my guilty pleasures, and my wife doesn't eat pork, and anyway it's a long story. . . So here is the roast roast pork plate along with the classic Anglo-Saxon sides of peas, string beans and mashed potatoes. Got a little bit of thyme n' (or?) rosemary rub on the crust, though the crackling is not included, which is probably a good thing for my diet. Can't eat this too often. Besides the various PBHK hot food operations, there are small sections where you can pick up pre-packaged sushi and such. Anyway, looking at it from a macro-perspective, it seems from rough observation that business at both the Campus Center and Manoa Gardens is picking over last year. So its good business. Also probably does a better job of catering to the tastes of the various international student groups, though it would be nice if Yummy's would serve some Asian-style breakfasts in the morning. Maybe not necessarily more nutritiounally sound than before, but at least if you're looking for something healthy (which I usually fail to do) you can find it, and it doesn't have to be a tossed salad either. . .
  24. Aargh. . . bad timing - I really wanted to try at least one Halal Chinese restaurant while I was there. Great pictures, Tad. One site that I've found very useful in understanding the Halal strictures is Halal and Healthy. And sorry if this really belongs on another thread, but I mentioned that we're coming in on the evening of Dec. 21. December 22 or 23 would probably be the best days for me, if any of you have time. Lunch or dinner, whichever works. We're staying in Monterrey Park (guess why) but would be happy to roam around as well. Have had a chance to get together with Tad before but would it would be great to meet Joan, Julia, Chris, and any of the others who can make it. Sorry you can't be there, Arnab; will not watch any Simpsons but will try to find some Bangla food and down it in your honor and in honor of the (hopefully safe) Bharat-Bong (I hope this is not an insult) cricket test matches in Dhaka and Chittagong.
  25. Great start to your foodblog, Jupiter. Will be checking it out regularly in the future, and hope other will be doing so as well. Keep it up - I'm sure along with Reid, Larry, and others, you'll have the local food scene completely covered soon!
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