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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

J.J. DOLANS

J.J. DOLAN'S
HONOLULU, HAWAII

An Irish Pub with New York Pizza from two guys in Chinatown. Sounds crazy but this place works. Good Pizza, service and crowd. We had a great time at J.J. Dolan's and will be returning again this week. There is nothing and I mean nothing on the menu but pizza. Around nine specialty pizzas and then a large list of build your own type pizzas. We opted for three of the specialty pizzas. Pizza Margherita was by far our favorite. This is a simple pie with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil served on a thin crust. Next time I would order this with extra sauce. We also tried the "White Pie" which is described as a Jersey Shore Classic. Mozzarella cheese and Ricotta Cheese served with what tasted like no sauce. The first bite of this pizza was not too great, but after a few bites the flavor was o.k. Our third pizza was the evening special. Sausage, peppers and tomato sauce. Like the Margherita this pizza was really good. The crowd here was hip and the server was really good. The bartenders made a point to visit our table to make sure we were happy with the food, beer and wine. Everything was good and I enjoyed the evening here with friends and family. Pizzas run around $16. There is only one size which is about 14". We had four adults and three kids with us. Three pizzas filled up everyone and we had plenty to take home.















SIDE STREET INN

SIDE STREET INN
HONOLULU, HAWAII


One of the best finds in all of Hawaii. This place rocks with great food. Side Street Inn is a hidden gem that it well known to locals and void of a lot of tourists. Located on a small street across from the Ala Moana Shopping Center and buried in an industrial area full of girly bars the Side Street Inn is a destination not to be missed when in Honolulu.  Parking is almost non existent here so they offer valet parking that is quick and courteous. The food is served family style in large portions. The Fried Rice is the absolute best in Hawaii. Full of meat and veggies and cooked perfectly every time. The steak and onions is awesome as are the Fried Pork Chops. The Spinach Salad is fantastic too. Just about everything you order here is great eats. We sampled the Steamed Clams, Chicken Katsu and a Steak that was just delicious. I really need to take notes next time we eat here. There are so many dishes that I would like to talk about. The problem is that the beer keeps flowing while the dishes come. We are having so much fun meeting people at the tables next to us and sharing food from table to table. The next day you wake up and say "wow" that was fantastic food.














Sunday, April 19, 2009

BUFFALO BOYS HOAGIES - STEAK HOAGIES & WINGS














BUFFALO BOYS HOAGIES
HONOLULU, HI

I was excited when the food section of our local newspaper wrote about a new spot that specialized in Chicken Wings and New York style Hoagies. Finally some good New York style food in Hawaii I thought. After two visits to Buffalo Boys I am sold on the Hoagies but not the wings. And these are the only two items on the menu. There are Steak Hoagies, Chicken Finger Hoagies, Buffalo Wings and a few salads and that is it. Simple an not complicated.
During my first visit we tried the Buffalo Wings with "Hot" sauce ($7.99 for 10 pieces). The Wings took a while to come out of the kitchen, but when they did they were served steaming hot with a side of bleu cheese dressing and a very small bag of mini carrots. There were like four carrots in the bag. Not enough for me and my daughter. The Wings are very standard. Deep fried and covered in Frank's Hot Sauce. Kind of bland and not hot at all. If only they could have spiced them up or added something to the sauce. My daughter tried the Kids Combo Meal which includes a 6" Steak and Cheese Sub (just meat and cheese), French Fries and a drink. At $3.99 this is a good value. The thinly sliced beef had some flavor and the cheese was melted and gooey. The bread however was hard as a rock on top and crunched apart all over the place. It turns out this place gets their bread baked fresh from a local Vietnamese bakery that we visit quite frequently. As with the Vietnamese place, if the bread is not fresh it is hard as a rock on top. This ruins any sandwich. On my second visit the Kids Combo sandwich had a fresh roll that made a big difference. There are only two types of Hoagies served here. A 100% Sirloin Steak version and a Chicken Finger version. We tried the "Fire Hoagie" which is a steak sandwich with fried onions, hot peppers, melted white American cheese and a SECRET SAUCE. This is a good deal and served two of us for $8.89. This is a good sandwich and included two types of cheese. American and a Cheddar or Cheese Wiz. Next time I order it we will ask them to add more peppers. They add flavor but there was only a few on the entire sub. The Secret Sauce seems like some sort of mayo. We asked for some lettuce to be added to the Kids Combo sub and were charged an additional .65 cents. Thought this was a rip. The staff here is friendly and they did come around to see if we liked the food. I do like it and probably will return for another Fire Hoagie. UPDATE: THIS PLACED CLOSED DOWN.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

LITTLE VILLAGE NOODLE HOUSE

LITTLE VILLAGE NOODLE HOUSE
HONOLULU, HI

We joined several couples for a Friday night dinner in downtown Honolulu. Since the Little Village has received many local food awards I was excited to try their food. When we arrived we were greeted and promptly seated at a large round table with a big turntable in the middle. Little Village is a BYOB establishment so our guests brought some beer and wine. The staff was quick to find some wine glasses for our table. The service here is really good. The food comes out fast and fresh. We were a bit limited on our selections since it is lent. No meat dishes were ordered. The restaurant is very accommodating when it comes to ordering vegetarian dishes. They do just about anything to meet your dietary needs. We tried the Lettuce Wraps, Mu-Shu Roll, Green Onion Pancakes and Pot Stickers for appetizers. All were pretty good for vegetarian with the exception of the Green Onion Pancake. Tasted like card board to me. For our main dishes we kept mostly to shrimp dishes. Spicy Shrimp, Walnut Shrimp and Sweet and Sour Shrimp. The Spicy Shrimp was "hot". I mean smokin hot. Hard to get this one down. I love the heat but it was a little overboard. I loved the Sweet and Sour Shrimp and my daughter devoured an entire bowl of the Shrimp with Black Bean Sauce. It was good. Nothing at our table really stood out. I thought most of the food was pretty bland. I need to go back and try some of the meat dishes before I write this place off.

LITTLE VILLAGE NOODLE HOUSE IN HONOLULU















BEACHHOUSE AT THE MOANA SURFRIDER

BEACHHOUSE AT THE 
WESTIN MOANA SURF RIDER
HONOLULU, HI


I was quite surprised when the Westin made their elegant and beautiful veranda into a steak house.  How could a major tourist hotel on Waikiki beach compete with Mortons, Ruth Chris and the other steak places in town.  Well, the Beachhouse does it well with their food, but quite frankly the service sucks.  The service is nowhere near what you receive and Mortons or Ruth Chris.  From the time we arrived to the time we left the service was way under par.  We had been seated for thirty minutes before our drink order was taken.  And we had to flag down the busboy to get the drinks rolling.  When the waiter finally arrived he was out of touch.  Did not know the menu and had zero personality.  Thank goodness for the beautiful view of the ocean from our great table near the end of the Veranda.  I was totally surprised when the wine came.  They poured just a few ounces into the glass.  Huge glass with very little wine.  There was about one ounce left in the bottle and instead of pouring it in the glass the waiter pulled back the bottle.  My guest asked what he was going to do with such a small amount of wine and politely asked him to pour it.  He did.  The service here is really bad.  Employees stand around and talk rather than take care of customers.  There is no feeling that you are appreciated as a guest.  The food is good but very expensive.  A bone in Rib Eye runs around $45.  This is just for the steak which is served ala cart with some terrible tasting seaweed thing.  The steak was cooked to perfection and delicious.  Made up for the poor service.  I tried the Ceaser Salad.  It was absolutely huge and big enough for two.  It was topped off with three large and fresh anchovies and a pretty good dressing.  My friends tried the tomato and onion salad with balsamic dressing.  They both loved it but said the tomato was too hard.  The Beachhouse is one of the most beautiful places to eat in Waikiki.  Sitting out on the Veranda overlooking the ocean is a great experience.  If they can only get the service on par with their competitors this place would be great.  I recommend the management dine at Ruth Chris in Waikiki.  Then they can experience what service is all about.



















TANGO CONTEMPORARY CAFE



















TANGO CONTEMPORARY CAFE
HONOLULU, HAWAII

Tango is a rare gem located in the Hokua Condominiums at Ward Center.  We arrived at 11:30 am for lunch and the place was already filled.  The host gave us the option of sitting at the counter and we went for it.  Good thing we did because by 12:00 there was a line to get in.  I had no idea what kind of food was served here and had not talked to anyone who had eaten here.  The menu is part Japanese with Sushi and Tempura and part American bistro.  We started with the Onion Soup.  It was delicious.  Sweet caramelized onions topped with Gruyere & Parmesan Cheese ($5.50).  I would go back just for a cup of this soup.  We tried the Trio of Temaki Sushi ($9.00).  Three pieces of sushi; Spicy Tuna, Tempura Shrimp and Crab Salad.  It was o.k. sushi, but nothing to get excited about.  For the main course I opted for the Mahi Mahi Sandwich ($8.50).  Two fresh pieces of Mahi served on a Nori Roll and topped with a little Tarter Sauce.  The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked.  Served with French Fries or a Nalo Greens salad.  The fries were golden brown and delicious.  My friend tried the Grilled Pesto Glazed Salmon Salad.  It was huge and he said it was great.  Served with Nalo Greens and a mix of tomato and asparagus.   The salads are big and so are the entrees.  The Hamakua Mushroom Risotto with Asparagus seemed to be a popular item and looked great.  I can't wait to return to Tango for dinner with the family.  Most everything on the lunch menu is under $10 so it is a really good deal.  Dinner features Bouillabaisse, Sauteed Moi, Hoisin Glazed Salmon, Plank Steak (steak served on a cedar plank), Rack of Lamb, Pork Chops, Duck Breast and a Lobster and Goat Cheese Ravioli.  Dinner entrees run about $17-$20.