Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sound Bites 14.0: Oahu, Hawaii

My first time in Hawaii was filled with eating, beaching, and exploring.  I was surprised by the Japanese influence on architecture (some of those apartments and houses looked like they were imported from Tokyo), the lush vegetation (Oahu felt like buildings and streets were just plopped down into plant life, whereas LA has always felt like greenery was struggling to survive in the city), the strong sunshine (I got sunburned sitting in traffic on the way to North Shore), and the beautiful, blue, smog-free skies. 

Here are some of my fond memories of full bellies:

  • Coco Puff  (Lilha Bakery) - I'm not usually a fan of coconut, but my friend said this bakery was famous for coconut cream puffs and, I have to say, they were deliciously sweet with a chocolate surprise in the center.  
    Right: Coco Puffs. They are larger than they appear
  • Portuguese Sausage Breakfast (McDonald's) - after my first time having Portuguese sausage, I instantly became
    Top: McDonald's. Bottom: Sunny Side Bakery
    a fan.  I still can't decide which I love more:  SPAM or Portuguese sausage. Unfortunately, I accidentally ordered the meal without SPAM, but it was still good.  I love how rice is offered almost everywhere on the island.  The included soy sauce was great on the eggs! 
  • Fried Rice Special with Vienna Sausage, Portuguese Sausage, Scrambled Egg; Pear and Peach Combination Pie (Sunny Side Bakery) - 3 of us shared this.  I can't even imagine one person finishing the Fried Rice Special alone.  In hindsight, we should have ordered the egg fried instead, but the scrambled style didn't detract from the tasty fried rice.  Surprisingly, it was the first time we had seen a different preserved meat on the menu:  Vienna sausage.  The bakery is known for their pies and no surprise, we ate it all in its flaky goodness before I could snap a shot.  First time having Hawaiian Sun (I tried Passion Orange drink).  I'm officially addicted.  

  • Udon with Okra, Curry Udon with Chicken & Eggs (Jimbo's Restaurant) - friend
    Top: Udon w/ Okra. Bottom: Curry Udon
    loved her cold thin udon (first time I had ever seen thin udon).  The simplicity of my Udon with Okra allowed me to appreciate the fresh noodles (made daily, says their sign) although it would have been nice if the okra pieces were cut bigger or left whole.  Jennio's Curry Udon was divine in scent and flavor. 
  • Poke (Tamura's Fine Wine & Liquors) - not only do they have a good selection of wine, beers, and liquors, but they always have delicious poke!  Wish we had had more time (and stomach space.  This was pre-lunch) for a rice bowl. 
  • Long Rice Chicken (Helena's Hawaiian Food) - one of my favorite Hawaiian dishes.  I could eat a huge bowl of it and have this as a replacement for chicken noodle soup. 
  • Shrimp Scampi (Giovanni's Shrimp Truck) - best shrimp scampi I've ever had (so good we ate this at both locations) and loved how they topped the rice with garlic.  We could have scared off vampires after this meal.
  • Steamed Ahi Belly (Sushi Ten) - never seen this on a menu in LA before.   I was unused to the
    oily sauce the fish was sitting in, but by the end, I wish I had more belly and sauce. 
  • Hula Dog (Hula Dog, formerly Puka Dog) - they were very friendly there even though we rushed in 10 minutes before closing.  How did I order my dog? 
    1. Taro and bacon bread:  this was a special.  I don't usually like taro, but for some reason I loved taro everything in Hawaii, especially this bread with bacon bits!
    2. Polish sausage
    3. Garlic lemon secret sauce - mild
    4. Pineapple (love pineapple anything!) relish, lilikoi mustard:  sweet and tangy sauce that burst out with the first, and ensuing, indulgent bites
  • "Award Winning" Side Style Famous Fried Rice, Pan Fried Island Pork Chops (Side Street Inn) - a mountain of delicious fried rice with char siu, Portuguese sausage, bacon, and veggies.  I regretted not ordering the "Works", which included lup cheong and kim chee.  Ketchup seemed out of place on the pork chops plate, but worked surprisingly well with the crispy chops.
  • Dole Whip (Dole Plantation) - wish Disneyland served whips with fresh pineapple pieces and in a pineapple cup / coin bank!
  • Passion Fruit, Lychee, Raspberry with Dark Chocolate Chips Mochi (Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream) -
    great flavors and loved that some of them were dipped in chocolate.  Don't know why I haven't seen that here. 
  • Pineapple, Coconut, Lemon Flavor with Azuki bean, Vanilla Ice Cream Shave Ice (Matsumoto Shave Ice) - cute shop (yes, we all bought something there. Great merchandise!) and featherlight shave ice with flavors you can actually distinguish, so it's not just coloring. 

  • Mai Tai (La Mariana Sailing Club) - lovely tiki hideaway that made a great Mai Tai.  Luckily, they start serving drinks early (11AM).  Unluckily, they close early (9PM).     

Song Pairings:
Mixtape 2.0: Ni Hao Hawaii