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CITY FOR TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITES!

Friday, February 26, 2010

SHABU SHABU HOUSE - HONOLULU, HAWAII






















SHABU SHABU HOUSE
HONOLULU, HI

One of my Pal's is addicted to the Shabu Shabu House on Kapiolani. He invited me to lunch and offered to pay so I went. The restaurant is clean and the waitress was efficient and nice. We ordered a mixed plate of thinly sliced beef, shrimp, tofu, noodles and vegetables. The meal came with a bowl of rice and lots of fresh cut green onions on the side. Each seat at the counter has its own bowl of boiling water. You place the food into the hot water and it cooks. The problem for me that the hot water has no flavor and the food comes out bland. There are three types of sauces on the table to help kick up the flavor. None really hit the button with me. The portion of beef and shrimp was big for lunch but so was the price. At $19.99 it is a bit too expensive for lunch and too much food for me. I piled on the sauces and still couldn't find that flavor that my friend so loved. I then piled on some salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Got a little better, but still did not hit it on taste.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

BRICK OVEN PIZZA - WAILUA, KAUAI

BRICK OVEN PIZZA
WAILUA, KAUAI

Just down the road from the beach shack is a pizza joint that I have always wanted to try. The original Brick Oven Pizza is in Kalaheo, Kauai. I have customers on Kauai that eat there and say they make a good pizza. When Keli said she wanted pizza for lunch I put the car in gear and headed for Brick Oven Pizza in Wailua. The menu states that the pizza's are hearth baked with a homemade touch. I couldn't see a hearth but the pizza oven in the kitchen looked like the ones you see in most pizza parlors. They serve three sizes of pizza here. 10", 12" and 15". Prices range from $11.50 for a small to $35.00 for a large. Toppings are pretty much standard.
We tried a medium UltiMeat ($23.65). The pizza is a thin crust which we really liked. They brush the crust with garlic butter which adds a little flavor and lots of fat. The UltiMeat includes homemade sauce which was good, sausage, pepperoni, lean beef, portuguese sausage, smoked ham, salami, pepperoni and bacon. We actually messed up and ordered the wrong pizza. We really wanted the Brick Oven Super that has all of the above plus veggies. Both the pizza and service were good. A bit expensive, but you are on Kauai. We will visit Brick Oven again and again.

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KAUAI PASTA COMPANY - KAPAA, KAUAI

KAUAI PASTA COMPANY
KAPAA, KAUAI

We love spending time at our beach shack on Kauai. The condo is located in Kapaa on the East Shore of the Island. Kapaa is a laid back down where shorts, slippers and a t-shirt often makes you over dressed. There are a lot of restaurants in town and we try to visit them all during our visits. Kauai Pasta was recommended by several locals. We drove by a few times and saw that it was a very bland looking space that looked unimpressive. I read quite a bit on Kauai restaurants and could not find any mention of this place in local tourist magazines or restaurant guides. To my surprise I found that they advertise very little if at all. With nowhere else to go on my Birthday we ventured into Kauai Pasta just looking for a good meal. We showed up around 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday night and were quickly greeted with two extra large smiles. The hostess welcomed us and then promptly sat us at a table in the newly enlarged space in the back of the restaurant. We loved the feel of the place and paintings of Italy that really lit up the walls. We were told that the Chef came from Roy's restaurant and was amazing. With that in mind, we began to order Family Style so that we could try different dishes. First order was the Garlic Herb Grilled Portabella Mushroom Salad ($9.95). This is a big salad that easily feeds two people. Local greens with fresh mozzarella cheese, vine ripened tomatoes, fire roasted peppers and a balsamic vinaigrette. This was yummy. The tomatoes were fresh and there was just enough mozzarella. The mushrooms were delicious but not enough to take over the dish. We shared a Margharita Pizza ($12.95). It was a bit bland and had way too much cheese. There was no sauce so the pie was a little dry and lacked flavor. For our main entree, we chose the Fresh Clam Linguini ($21.95). At this price I was expecting large fresh clams. Wow...how wrong was I. The clams were the smallest I had ever seen. Half the shells were empty and they had no taste. Furthermore, the menu described the dish as being fresh clams sauteed with garlic, basil, white wine, tomatoes and white sauce. I didn't think the white sauce would be heavy creme but it was. The dish was all creme and no clams. What a waste for $21.95. We ended the meal with an Apple Crusty with vanilla ice creme. This was a good dish but nothing to get excited about. The service was good and we enjoyed the place. Will return to give some of the other dishes a try. Maybe the homemade Lasagna or Veal Marsala. The wine was good at $8.00 per glass.

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