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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

YANAGI SUSHI

YANAGI SUSHI
HONOLULU, HAWAII

YANAGI SUSHI
762 KAPIOLANI BLVD
HONOLULU, HI  96813
808-597-1525
808-591-8223 FAX
HOURS:  Monday thru Saturday 
                 Lunch 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
                 Dinner 5:30 PM - 2:00 AM
                 Sunday 
                 Lunch 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
                 Dinner 5:30 - 10:00 PM

I have been visiting Yanagi Sushi on and off for twenty years.  Probably one of Hawaii's finest Sushi Bars.  I remember back in the day I stopped going here because it was a bit too expensive for my budget.  While it still is, this time I was treated by a rich guy who is somewhat of a Sushi Snob.  He demands the best and freshest and will pay whatever the cost.  We rolled up to the Sushi bar and were greeted by Koji the Sushi Chef.  Koji was the friendliest and nicest Sushi Chef I have ever experienced in all my years in Hawaii.  He recounted stories of fishing adventures in Mexico and golf outings in California and Hawaii.  Just a great guy who made our meal just that much better.  The sushi here is top notch.  Yanagi goes through a ton of sushi so you always can count on getting fresh fish.  The Sushi Chefs are lightening fast and their presentations are flawless.  This is a great Sushi restaurant that should be on every Sushi Lovers hot list when visiting Hawaii.  You can check out Yanagi's entire menu and prices on their website link above.


YANAGI SUSHI ON KAPIOLANI - VALET PARKING IS A MUST
ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SUSHI BARS IN HONOLULU
RAW SWEET SHRIMP
SHRIMP HEADS ARE FRIED
SALMON
TORO (AHI BELLY)
TORO IS SO FRESH IT JUST MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH
HAMACHI
 AWABI - LIVE ABALONE WAS MOVING WHEN THEY BROUGHT IT TO THE TABLE
SCALLOP
COOKED SHRIMP

OPAKAPAKA WITH BUTTER SAUCE AND ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

 OPAKAPAKA WITH ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
DINNER AT HOME

It is amazing how shopping at Costco can influence what we eat.  I have not bought 2 lbs of Brussels Sprouts in two years and then Costco packages them up and I buy 2 lbs in one day.  What the heck do you do with two pounds of these things I thought.  Well you better find a recipe that the entire family will like.  That I did......Simply cut the sprouts in half and tossed in bowl with lots of garlic, shallots, pancetta, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cooked in oven at 450 degrees for around 20 minutes.  Waited until they got crunchy dark.  This totally takes away any bitterness and leaves a sweet tasting sprout that we all loved.  Served with some fresh Opakapaka (Snapper) that I simply seasoned and grilled.  Finished the Opakapaka off in the oven for 10 minutes and topped it with butter, white wine and whipping cream sauce.  This was a fantastic dinner.  The Opakapaka cooked up perfectly and was restaurant quality.

2LBS OF BRUSSELS SPROUTS FROM COSTCO
CUT SPROUTS IN HALF AND TOSSED WITH GARLIC, PANCETTA, SHALLOTS,  OLIVE OIL, SALT AND PEPPER.  PLACED IN OVEN AT 450 DEGREES FOR 20 MINUTES.  TURNED THEM ONCE. 
FRESH HAWAIIAN OPAKAPAKA 
SPICED THE OPAKAPAKA UP WITH ASIAN SEASONING BLEND AND GRILLED ON BOTH SIDES.
PLACED PAN IN OVEN TO FINISH COOKING FOR 10 MINUTES
OPAKAPAKA SERVED WITH BUTTER, WHITE WINE CREAM SAUCE WITH
ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH GARLIC AND PANCETTA



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BILLY'S KILLER SOUTHERN BBQ

BILLY'S KILLER SOUTHERN BBQ
FOOD TRUCK

BILLY'S KILLER SOUTHERN BBQ
755 KAPAHULU AVENUE
HONOLULU, HI  96816
808-779-4076

Kapahulu Avenue has a great little lot filled with Food Trucks.  One of them is Billy's Killer Southern BBQ.  We rolled in not knowing what to expect and ended up ordering the most expensive thing on the menu for lunch.  The Chicken and Rib Combo ($16.50) contains chicken, ribs, beans and macaroni salad.  The Chicken and Ribs literally fell off the bones.  Great texture and a bit of flavor.  While the chicken was covered in BBQ Sauce, we found the Ribs totally naked.  The sauce is a bit mild and was not enough to make this worth $16.50.  Don't get me wrong.  This is good quality food and it is cooked to perfection.  Just lacked the knockout flavor to make me cough up $16.50 again.  I need to try some of the other menu items before I write this place off for good.

BILLY'S KILLER SOUTHERN BBQ ON KAPAHULU AVENUE
STEP UP TO THE WINDOW AND GET READY FOR SOME SOUTHERN BBQ
BILLY'S KILLER SOUTHERN BBQ MENU
BILLY'S SOUTHERN BBQ CHICKEN AND RIBS COMBO
CHICKEN AND RIBS
SERVED WITH BAKED BEANS AND MAC SALAD
KAPAHULU AVENUE FOOD TRUCK LOT HAS PARKING AND LIMITED SEATING

SHOGUNAI TACOS

 SHOGUNAI TACOS
FOOD TRUCK

SHOGUNAI TACOS
P.O. BOX 15038
HONOLULU, HI  93830
808-256-4020
EMAIL: info@shogunaitacos.com

Found Shoguani Tacos at 755 Kapahulu Avenue where several Food Trucks congregate during the week.  I wanted to get a real taste for their tacos so me and a friend ordered one of each off the menu.
First off was the Mardi Gras Cajun Shrimp Taco ($7.50).  A flour tortilla filled with Cajun spiced shrimp and grilled onions, tomato and jalapeños.  The Cajun seasoning was spicy hot and the jalapenos added more heat so this baby was quite hot.  Not a bad Shrimp Taco though.  The South of the Border, Mexican Taco ($6.50) was filled with seasoned ground beef, tomato, onion, sour creme, jalapeno and just a bit of cabbage and cheese. This tasted like a ground beef taco or burrito that you can make at home and did not really do it for me.  The Zeus's Glory, Greek Lamb Taco ($8.00) was just a bunch of Lamb cubes on a tortilla.  They totally forgot to add anything else to the taco.  Missing was the tomato, red onion, olive and Tzatziki Sauce.  Now I liked the flavor of the Lamb, but there was nothing else in the taco.  I would have to go back and re-order this taco to truly give my opinion.  The fact that they guy making the taco could forget the ingredients really ticked me off.  The Osaka Joe, Japanese Taco ($7.00) totally confused me.  What tasted like Kalua Pork covered in Bean Sprouts.  I ate two bites of this $7 taco and threw in the towel.  Shogunai Tacos are unique.  Unique in a good way?  I really did not care for them.  These are ingredients thrown in a flour tortilla and called tacos.  Not really the kind of tacos I crave, but good for a lot of their fans who follow the truck.

SHOGUNAI TACOS ON KAPAHULU AVENUE
UNIQUE TACOS TO BE SURE
SHOGUANI TACO MENU - MAY 2013
SERVED UP WRAPPED IN FOIL AND IN PAPER SLEEVE WITH NAPKIN
MARDI GRAS CAJUN SHRIMP TACO 
GOOD AMOUNT OF SHRIMP AND THIS BABY IS PACKIN SOME HEAT
SOUTH OF THE BORDER MEXICAN TACO
FILLED WITH SEASONED GROUND BEEF AND PLENTY OF JALAPEÑOS
ZEUS'S GLORY GREEK LAMB TACO
THEY FORGOT TO ADD THE TOMATO, RED ONION, FETA AND SAUCE
OSAKA JOE JAPANESE TACO

TACO KABANA FOOD TRUCK

TACO KABANA 
HONOLULU, HAWAII

TACO KABANA
755 KAPAHULU AVENUE
HONOLULU, HI  96816
HOURS:  Tuesday thru Saturday 12 PM to 8 PM
EMAIL:  tacokabana808@gmail.com

Found some really good Street Tacos at Taco Kabana on Kapahulu Avenue.  The Chicken and Carne Asada Tacos are $1.75 each and are small but totally filled with meat.  This is the way they serve them in Tijuana, Mexico where I was a fixture at Taco stands for more weekends than I can remember.  Simple marinated meats served with cilantro, onion, (tomato on the chicken) and a really good hot sauce.  The hot sauce helps kick the flavor on these little tacos way up.  It has flavor and heat.  Loved it!  Taco Kabana only served these two items on this day.  I like the fact that they do a limited menu right rather than serving a bunch of items that don't deliver on taste and quality.  These are quality tacos with flavor.  Something you don't find at most Hawaii taco stands.  

TACO KABANA IS SET UP ON KAPAHULU AVENUE 
TWO CHICKEN AND TWO STEAK STREET TACOS FROM TACO KABANA
CARNE ASADA STREET TACO
CHICKEN STREET TACO

MEMORIAL DAY BBQ AT HOME

MEMORIAL DAY BBQ
DINNER AT HOME


Woke up early on Memorial Day and pressure washed the patio in the back yard while I got my Smoker heated up to 225 degrees.   Threw in a 5lb Beef Brisket and proceeded to overcook it in the next 7 hours of smoking.  No big deal.  Live and learn - plus I am in living in Hawaii and safe thanks to the men and woman who have served in our military.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of those great Americans who have sacrificed their lives to protect and serve our Country.  Enjoyed the day and BBQ with family members.  Nice to be at home for a full day without working or running in and out.  Cooked up a little bit of everything on this Memorial Day.  Chicken Breasts and Thighs, Sausage, Shrimp, Rib Eye Steak, BBQ Ribs and of course my overcooked Beef Brisket that I smothered in BBQ Sauce and served up as Sliders complete with a pickle.  Actually tasted really good.  Bought some frozen Calamari and made a light and fresh salad with local Hamakua Tomatoes, Japanese Cucumber, Yellow Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Mint, Cilantro and tossed it all in Balsamic with Olive Oil and a bit of lemon juice.  The wife did up some stuffed Artichoke with Gorgonzola Cheese.  I didn't try it, but everyone loved it and they were gone in minutes.  She also makes some really good Cole Slaw that has the flavor profile somewhat like Kentucky Fried Chicken Cole Slaw but not as sweet.  Her Green Chili Corn Bread Muffins are becoming a staple at family events and I love them.  This was a great spread with plenty of leftovers to send home with family.

READY TO HIT THE GRILL AND IT STARTED POURING RAIN IN HONOLULU
BBQ CHICKEN BREASTS, THIGHS AND GRILLED SHRIMP
GRILLED SAUSAGE
GRILLED RIB EYE STEAK
SMOKED BEEF BRISKET SLIDERS WITH PICKLE
BBQ RIBS
GRILLED CALAMARI WITH CUCUMBER, LOCAL TOMATOES, ONION, YELLOW PEPPERS
WITH CILANTRO, MINT AND BALSAMIC DRESSING
HOME MADE COLE SLAW
CORN BREAD MUFFINS WITH GREEN CHILIS
ARTICHOKE STUFFED WITH GORGONZOLA CHEESE AND BREAD CRUMBS
GREAT SPREAD FOR FAMILY IN CELEBRATION AND REMEMBRANCE OF MEMORIAL DAY

Monday, May 27, 2013

BEEF BRISKET COOKED IN ELECTRIC SMOKER

BEEF BRISKET COOKED IN ELECTRIC SMOKER
HOW I RUINED A $30 PIECE OF MEAT

Took out my MasterBuilt Electric Smoker and attempted my first Smoked Beef Brisket.  Picked up a nice Brisket at Costco for around $30 and followed a recipe I found on the internet.  Put a dry rub on the Brisket and then wrapped it in plastic and refrigerated overnight.  At 6:00 am, I got my smoker up to 225 degrees and placed the Brisket inside.  The recipe I had said to smoke for 8 hours.  After 7 hours I decided to take a look at my Brisket and was surprised to find that it was overcooked and pretty dried out.  Rats.....my first Beef Brisket attempt went bad because I did not monitor the cooking process.  While the meat still had good flavor it was a little dry so I cut it up into small pieces and added a bunch of BBQ Sauce.  Simmered over low heat and the stuff actually tasted pretty good.  Good enough to serve up as Beef Brisket sandwiches.

5 LB SLAB OF BEEF BRISKET FROM COSTCO
DRY RUB - ONION POWDER, GARLIC POWDER, BROWN SUGAR, CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES,
CAYENNE PEPPER, MUSTARD POWDER,  SALT AND PEPPER
APPLIED DRY RUB TO BOTH SIDES OF THE BRISKET
WRAPPED IN PLASTIC AND REFRIGERATED OVERNIGHT
BRISKET WITH RUB AFTER SITTING OVERNIGHT IN THE REFRIGERATOR
SET THE MASTER BUILT ELECTRIC SMOKER TO 125 DEGREES
PLACED BRISKET IN SMOKER FOR WHAT I THOUGHT WOULD BE 8 HOURS
CHECKED BRISKET AFTER 7 HOURS OF SMOKING AND IT WAS REALLY DRY
SALVAGED MY DRY BRISKET BY CUTTING IT UP AND SIMMERING WITH BBQ SAUCE
ACTUALLY MADE SOME PRETTY GOOD BEEF BRISKET SANDWICHES

 2ND ATTEMPT AT SMOKED BEEF BRISKET
CAME OUT MUCH BETTER 

2ND ATTEMPT SMOKING FOR ONLY FOUR HOURS CAME OUT MUCH BETTER