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Sunday, April 27, 2014

IOLANI SCHOOL FAIR

 IOLANI SCHOOL FAIR
HONOLULU, HAWAII

IOLANI SCHOOL FAIR
563 KAMOKU SREET
HONOLULU, HI  96826
808-949-5355

My daughter loves the Iolani Fair even though she had to work in a booth here for four hours straight on her birthday.  She was happy to do it and spent many more hours eating, playing and enjoying the rides.  Eating is probably one of the best things to do at the Iolani Fair.  There are dozens of food booths serving up everything from Hawaiian Food, Korean Food, Waffle Dogs, Burgers, Gumbo, Chili, Fried Twinkies, Steak, Shrimp and Gourmet dinners and desserts.  The food booth lines can get long but many are worth the wait.  I headed straight to the Gourmet Food Tent and found a few interesting creations that were delicious.  The Beef Brisket Loco Moco ($9) included Rice, Beef Brisket, Egg, Gravy and Fried Onions.  The egg was cooked perfectly and when you broke into the yoke, it flavored the rice perfectly.  The Brisket had great flavor but was a bit dry.  Did not make a difference as this dish was delicious.  The Pasta Bolognese ($9) was also very good.  Pasta was cooked perfectly and topped with a light Meat Sauce and served with a very tasty Garlic Bread.  These two selections were winners!  Next up we tried the BBQ Corn ($3).  Wow...the corn was so very sweet and had a good BBQ flavor.  I could have eaten a dozen of these but opted to share just one with my wife.  We waited in line longest for the KC Waffle Dog.  These little Dogs are a Hawaii institution and were served in a restaurant many moons ago.  The restaurant closed but you can still find the Waffle Dogs and events and Fair's all over Oahu.  The KC Waffle Dog is simply a Hot Dog in Waffle Batter.  Served with a relish that almost tastes like Tarter Sauce.  Ended the evening right before the rain came down with a Waiola Shave Ice ($3.50).  I went with straight Root Beer and loved it.  I like spending a few hours at the Iolani Fair.  Great to see friends and my daughter having such a great time with her friends.  In addition to the food and rides we spent some time listening to some great music performed by local kids and made our way through the tents where they sell plants, logo items for Iolani and other general merchandise.  The Fair is great but bring lots of cash or a credit card.  I gave my daughter $100 and she came back for more.

2014 IOLANI SCHOOL FAIR IS A CIRCUS OF DREAMS
THIS YEARS FAIR INCLUDED A MIDWAY WITH A FEW RIDES
RIDES WENT UP, DOWN AND ALL AROUND
CROWDS WERE LARGE AND THE LINES WERE SOMETIMES LONG
THE ZIPPER WAS VERY POPULAR
WE HEADED FOR THE GOURMET FOOD TENT
GOURMET FOOD TENT FEATURED LIVE COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS
BEEF BRISKET LOCO MOCO AND PASTA BOLOGNESE WERE 18 SCRIPT ($9) EACH
FOOD COOKED TO ORDER AT THE GOURMET TENT
BEEF BRISKET LOCO MOCO WAS EXCELLENT
PASTA BOLOGNESE ($9)
I WANTED TO TRY THE TURKEY LEG AND GUMBO BUT WAS TOO FULL
CHILI WAS POPULAR BUT I DID NOT KNOW WHAT TACO RICE IS
ROASTED CORN BOOTH WAS VERY POPULAR
THE CORN WILL SET YOU BACK $3 
CORN WAS MY FAVORITE OF THE EVENING - SWEET AND DELICIOUS! 
THE KC WAFFLE DOGS HAD THE LONGEST LINE
WAIT IN LONG LINE AND PAY $4 FOR YOUR KC WAFFLE DOG
THE KC WAFFLE DOG 
ADDED A BIT OF THEIR PICKLE RELISH
THERES A HOT DOG IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WAFFLE
WAIOLA SHAVE ICE STAND WAS PACKED
SHAVE ICE FLAVORS AND TOPPINGS
ONE WAIOLA SHAVE ICE WITH ROOT BEER FLAVOR 
ROOT BEER SHAVE ICE
VANILLA ICE CREAM WITH AZUKI BEANS
HUGE LINES FOR THE MALASADAS

Saturday, April 26, 2014

CELEBRATING 450,000 PAGE VIEWS

CELEBRATING 450,000 PAGE VIEWS
www.greateatshawaii.blogspot.com

ENJOYING A COLD BREW AT THE HOFBRAUHAUS IN BAVARIA

Mahalo for checking out this little food blog from Hawaii.  
More food, golf and fun coming from Hawaii and the World!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

HOME BAR AND GRILL REVISITED

HOME BAR AND GRILL
HONOLULU, HAWAII

HOME BAR AND GRILL
1683 KALAKAUA AVENUE
HONOLULU, HI  96826
808-942-2237
HOURS:   2:00 PM - 2:00 AM

Once again was very happy with Home Bar and Grill on Kalakaua Avenue.  This place is terrific when you want to share plates of great food with friends.  I would call it a hipper and younger version of the Side Street Inn.  I love Side Street but Home Bar and Grill has some awesome food and service that should not be missed.  The service here is top notch and the waitresses are pretty darn fine.  The girls here work all of the tables and do not just hang out in once section.  We had at least four to five different girls visit our table to see if we were o.k.  There was always someone coming by to take care of our drinks and food.  The food is amazing and comes out of the kitchen fast.  Don't miss the Seared Ahi.  This is a bargain at $15 and the flavor is awesome.  On this visit the fresh Ahi melted in your mouth and finished with a light Cajun kick from the spice rub.  This is one of the best pupus ever on this blog.  I love it!  Also love the Tater Tot Nachos.  Hard to stop eating the Tater Tots when they are topped with Sour Creme, Jalapeños, Salsa and Bacon.  The Caesar Salad is a great dish to share along with the Kim Chee Fried Rice.  Order the Fried Rice with eggs over easy and then break the yolks over the rice.  This is delicious.  Everything looks good here.  I saw huge plates of Pork Chops with Onions, Fresh Poke and Ahi Sashimi that made my mouth water.  The Burgers also look amazing.  I  am going back to try everything on the menu here.  Heck, maybe I will go back this week.   
This is a TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITE!
Click link below for my original post on Home Bar and Grill and to see the menu

HOME BAR AND GRILL ON KALAKAUA AVENUE IS A TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITE
LARGE SEATING AREA FOR GROUPS WITH LOTS OF WIDE SCREEN T.V.'S
PLAY SOME DARTS AT HOME BAR AND GRILL
LIKED DA RING STINGAH HOT SAUCE ON THE TABLE
SEARED AHI SASHIMI
THIS IS THE BEST SEARED AHI DEAL IN HAWAII
SEARED AHI SO FRESH IT MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH.  SEASONED TO PERFECTION TOO!
SALTED SOY BEANS
TATER TOT NACHOS
CAESAR SALAD 
BIG JOHN'S  SPICY KIM CHEE FRIED RICE


Sunday, April 20, 2014

PHUKET THAI RESTAURANT

PHUKET THAI RESTAURANT
HONOLULU, HAWAII

PHUKET THAI RESTAURANT
401 KAMAKEE STREET, #102
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-591-8421
HOURS:  Monday thru Sunday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM 

I have posted over one thousand blogs on this site and really have been fair to restaurants that we visit.  I call them as I eat them yes, but this one is in a class by itself.  Phuket Thai Restaurant may take the prize as being the WORST meal of this blog.  This place is up there with the Waimea Taco and Fat Boy frozen burger patty which I hated.  The food here is terrible.  To a point it was uneatable and we left most of it on the table when we departed with stomach aches.  Started with the Spring Rolls ($9.25).  The rolls were soaked in oil and that is all you could taste.  This was not fresh oil either.  The oil was old and infused the Spring Rolls with so much oil flavor that everything else was lost.  The lettuce leaves served with the rolls were limp and warm.  The mint was black on the edges.  The Phuket Stuffed Chicken ($12.50) were served burnt.  The outer crust was almost black and thick.  Once inside the stuffing was good but again you tasted an overwhelming oil taste even after putting peanut butter and hot sauce on this.  The Yum Nam Tok or Thai Beef Salad ($10.50) was again uneatable.  The beef had the flavor of a burnt wok.  Really hard core burnt wok.  Nothing tasted fresh.  Our family loves Paht Thai Noodles and we usually finish the dish or bring it home.  The Paht Thai with Chicken ($10.95) here was an exception.  We all took one or two bites and stopped eating it.  Left the entire dish on the table and did not take the leftovers home.  It was bad.  Really bad.  Again there was a lack of freshness.  Lack of flavor too.  One thing we did like here was the Sweet and Sour Fish ($14.95).  This fish was actually good.  Moist and flavorful.  The vegetables however were overcooked and again did not seem fresh.  Our entire family agreed that this was one of the worst meals in ages.  When asked if we would like the food boxed up to take home, we all said "NO".  There is a serious problem here in the kitchen.  Combination of ingredients, freshness and preparation.  The oil definitely needs to be changed for one thing and they need to clean the woks.  Really pisses me off to spend $70 on a meal and have this kind of food served.  This meal has inspired me to create a new recognition on this blog.  Instead of TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITE, I will now have a TASTE OF HAWAII OPALA which in Hawaiian means garbage.  Click below to see a previous post on Phuket Thai Restaurant.  This will be the last one because I am never going back here.  
This is the first TASTE OF HAWAII OPALA AWARD WINNER (GARBAGE)

PHUKET THAI RESTAURANT ON KAMAKEE.  THERE IS A BAR BUT ON THIS NIGHT IT WAS CLOSED
AND YOU HAD TO BRING YOUR OWN BEER OR WINE.
PHUKET STUFFED CHICKEN 
STUFFED CHICKEN 
THAI BEEF SALAD - THE BEEF WAS UNEATABLE AND HAD THE OIL FLAVOR FROM THE WOK
OIL INFUSED SPRING ROLLS WITH BLACK MINT AND LIMP LETTUCE
SWEET AND SOUR FISH WAS ACTUALLY GOOD
SWEET AND SOUR FISH WAS MOIST AND HAD GOOD FLAVOR
PHAT THAI NOODLES WITH CHICKEN.  NOT FRESH AND NOT GOOD

Thursday, April 17, 2014

HAU TREE LANAI

HAU TREE LANAI
AT THE NEW OTANI
HONOLULU, HAWAII

HAU TREE LANAI
AT THE NEW OTANI
2863 KALAKAUA AVENUE
HONOLULU, HI  96815
808-921-7066 Reservations Recommended
HOURS:  Breakfast 7:00 AM - 10:45 AM
                 Lunch 11:45 AM - 2:00 PM Daily (12:00 - 2:00 Sunday)
                 Dinner 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM

It is getting tough to find those hidden Hawaii gems that you want to share with friends and visitors. As concrete, designer retail stores and high rises buildings take over Waikiki and Honolulu our choices for outdoor oceanfront dining have become slim.  Really slim.  There is however one little gem just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki that will take you back to the old Hawaii and let you feel what Hawaii is all about.  The place is the Hau Tree Lanai and it is located near Diamond Head inside the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel.  This place has history with me as I lived in this hotel for almost two months when I was first transferred to Hawaii back in 1986.  Believe it or not I was afraid to venture into Waikiki and stayed mostly around this hotel for my entire stay.  Loved having Kapiolani Park, the beach and Diamond Head at my doorstep.  I remember the rooms being very small but it was all i needed and it was on the beach.  On weekend mornings I would dine at the Hau Tree Lanai and enjoy Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce served with rice.  This was one of my favorite breakfasts of all time and now it on the menu at our house at least once a month.  You can search this blog for my recipe and preparation.  I loved the fact that it is quiet on this end of Waikiki.  It is removed from the tour buses, sirens and drunken screams that overwhelm Waikiki.  You can hear the birds here, the wind and the ocean.  Place is so special that immediately after being married in Honolulu me and my wife came to the Hau Tree Lanai to enjoy a very private meal.  Fast forward to today and I was happy to be invited to back to the Hau Tree Lanai by a friend.  Shame on me for staying away from this place for so long.  I arrived at the small entrance and it seemed like yesterday as the Bellman came forward to valet my car.  I walked up the steps to the hotel entrance and nothing really had changed except for maybe the furniture.  Concierge desk, front desk, bathroom, bar and Hau Tree Lanai were all the same just remodeled and refreshed a bit.  The bar is cooled by trade winds and a few ceiling fans.  No air conditioning here.  Just the cool Hawaii breezes coming up from the ocean which is right in front of you.  This is paradise to me.  We enjoyed a drink in the bar area along with some Sliced Steak served pupu style.  Cut into small bite size pieces and served with some fresh and crisp Cole Slaw that was really delicious.  At 5:30 they opened the restaurant which is directly below the bar.  The huge Hau Tree magically covers most of the dining area and the view is of a beautiful white sand beach and the ocean.  I noticed a plaque on the rail in front of my table.  I was surprised to see that it paid tribute to the old Hamburger Stand that stood on the beach here for decades.  I remember eating those burgers during my stay here many moons ago and was sad when the stand was removed from the beach.  The dining area has not changed much.  Just new tables, chairs and tablecloths.  Service was good on this evening but not great.  Waitress was really good about checking on drinks and the waiter was very friendly.  Just a bit slow at times.  I ordered the Caesar Salad ($15).  Salad was good but not worth the price.  There was too much dressing and next time I would ask for half the dressing or have it on the side.  For my main course I went for the Seafood Mixed Grill ($46).  Saw that it had Mahi Mahi, Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops.  I looked at the menu and saw that the Mahi Mahi alone was $43.  So for another $3 I went for the Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops too.   Glad I did.  All were good and so was the Mahi Mahi.  Served with Couscous and sautéed vegetables.  Food was really good.  No complaints at all.  The evening was beautiful with a great sunset and mild breeze.  We were here on a weeknight and ate during sunset.  The restaurant was only about 1/3 full.  I thought of all the tourists down the road in Waikiki eating at chain restaurants and hotel restaurants that are loud, crowded, overpriced and lousy.  This is the place to be I thought.  Even after all these years in Hawaii the Hau Tree Lanai delivers that old Hawaii feeling that reminds me of why I love this place so much.  The Hau Tree Lanai is a 
TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITE! 

THE HAU TREE LANAI BAR IS GREAT PLACE TO ENJOY A COCKTAIL AND PUPUS
HAU TREE LANAI  OCEANFRONT SEATING 
TABLES OVERLOOKING ONE OF THE NICEST BEACHES IN WAIKIKI
THE VIEW FROM OUR TABLE WAS INCREDIBLE 
I REMEMBER EATING AT THE BURGER STAND THAT ONCE STOOD ON THIS BEACH
ONE OF THE BEST VIEWS AWAY FROM THE CROWDS IN WAIKIKI
CAESAR SALAD WAS GOOD BUT NOT $15 GOOD
SEAFOOD MIXED GRILL SERVED WITH VEGETABLES AND COUSCOUS 
SEAFOOD MIXED GRILL INCLUDES LOBSTER, MAHI MAHI, SHRIMP AND SCALLOPS
BEAUTIFUL SUNSET AT THE HAU TREE LANAI
DOES NOT GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS IN WAIKIKI
SO LUCKY TO LIVE HAWAII