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Sunday, November 30, 2014

AGU RAMEN

AGU RAMEN
HONOLULU, HAWAII

AGU RAMEN
925 ISENBERG STREET
HONOLULU, HI  96826
808-492-1637
HOURS:  Daily 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM

We were still looking for another neighborhood gem when we visted Agu Ramen in Moilili.  The restaurant is in the location of the old Da Kitchen and across from Old Stadium Park.  We arrived to find the place packed around lunch time and had to wait outside for a few minutes.  The polite staff came out and said they could seat us at the main double bar that runs the length of the dining room sitting maybe six people on each side.  We took the seats and were greeted enthusiastically in Japanese as we took our seats.  The all male wait staff was on our table quickly offering drinks and menus.  We looked over the menu and had no idea what to order.  The waiter came back with water and asked if we were ready to order or had any questions.  I asked what he would recommend and he mentioned the Gyoza, Karaage and a few other sides.  We ordered the Gyoza and Karagge Chicken as appetizers to share.  I asked about the "spicy" Ramen and he directed me to the Spicy Kotteri and said that it got hot at level 3 where they use Thai Chili's.   My girls ordered the Original Kotteri and I went for the Level 3 Kotteri.  A few minutes passed and our appetizers arrived.  The Gyoza ($5.75) was a bargain and delicious.  All three of us thought that it was the best dish of the meal.  Gyoza was fresh and filled with pork and a hint of ginger.  Delicious.  Could have eaten them all by myself.  The Karaage Chicken ($10.75) was good but really lacked flavor.  It was served with a vinegar based sauce that helped but the chicken really needed some spice.  Seems like it as just fried.  The Original Kotteri Ramen ($12.75) was really oily and bland according to my wife.  Both her and my daughter took scoops of my spicy broth and added it to their Ramen to try to kick up the flavor.  My Spicy Kotteri Level 3 ($13.25) cleared my sinuses and made my nose run. Really was the perfect level of heat for me.  The first few bites were hot but after I got into the noodles and ate more the heat was fine.  My favorite part of the Ramen was the boiled egg that had absorbed the flavor of the broth.  The broth however was super oily and greasy.  Difficult to enjoy or finish something with this much oil.  Our impression of Agu was good.  Liked the vibe and feel of the place and the service was excellent. 

AGU RAMEN ON ISENBERG ST ACROSS FROM OLD STADIUM PARK
SMALL BISTRO IS CLEAN, HIP AND COOL
AGU RAMEN SELECTIONS
SOME LIKE IT HOT LIKE ME
AGU SEASONAL SELECTIONS
AGU EXTRAS
AGU SMALL AND REGULAR PLATES
AGU BEVERAGES
SAUCES, SPICES AND PEPPER
READY TO EAT
GYOZA
GYOZA DIPPED IN A LITTLE SHOYU AND CHILI OIL
KARAAGE CHICKEN
FRIED CHICKEN NEEDED SOME FLAVOR
ORIGINAL KOTTERI
ORIGINAL KOTTERI WITH EGG, PORK, GARLIC, GREEN ONION AND EGG
SPICY KOTTERI LEVEL 3
SPICY KOTTERI WAS VERY GREASY AND OILY

Saturday, November 29, 2014

HOLOHOLO BAR AND GRILL

HOLOHOLO BAR AND GRILL
HONOLULU, HAWAII

HOLOHOLO BAR AND GRILL
2494 S. BERETANIA STREET
HONOLULU, HI  96826
808-369-7297
HOURS:  Monday thru Thursday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Bar Open until 12:00 AM)
                 Friday 11:00 AM -10:00 PM (Bar Open until 1:00 AM)
                 Saturday 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM (Bar Open until 1:00 AM)
                 Sunday 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Cruising through Moilili to pick up our Christmas Tree and saw the Holoholu sign.  Decided to pull in and take a look.  We looked in the window at first to find the entire dining room empty on a Saturday afternoon.  My wife said it was empty so we should not go in.  I paused and thought the same thing just before I was going to put the car in reverse and pull out.  "Lets try it" I said.  Could be a neighborhood gem.  Since we had not read or heard anything about this place I thought it might be good to check it out.  We entered into a bright and clean hallway and turned right walking to the main dining room.  It was completely empty so we walked back and saw the sign that said the bar was open.  The bar is on the left as you walk in.  There were maybe three tables filled with people watching the USC vs Notre Dame football game.  One table was large with about ten people and the others were 2-4 people just eating, drinking and watching football.  The waitress approached us with a big smile which was nice.  She quickly took our drink orders and came back with both Breakfast and Lunch menus.  It was almost 2:00 pm so we went off the lunch menu.  My wife immediately picked out the Sweet Potato Fries ($6.95) and ordered the Small size.  Served what was called a Horseradish Aioli Sauce.  The fries were not crispy at all and were cold.  The Aioli Sauce tasted like straight mayonnaise with no flavoring.  I don't like dipping anything into straight mayo so I passed on this dish.  The Smoked Meat small portion ($14.95) was delicious.  Thin slices of pork marinated and cooked to shiny perfection.  Served with a bit of salsa and grilled onions.  This dish is good and very smokey.  The salsa helps the dish and I wish there were more of it on the plate.  Also liked the onions and wanted more.  This is the kind of dish where you want to eat a little of the meat and mix it up with something else.  The meat is addicting but it is tough to eat an entire plate of smoked meat.  Highly recommend having this dish to share.  The Drunken Seafood small portion ($17.95) included Clams, Calamari and Shrimp in a sweet Beurre Blanc Sauce.  Served with bread.  We ordered a scoop of White Rice ($2.50) to go with the Drunken Shrimp.  This really worked out well when you put the seafood and sauce all over the rice.  The rice elevated the dish and made it a meal.  There is a lot of sauce in the bowl and the rice was the perfect place to put it.  Food and service were good here.  I will revisit again to try some other menu items.  The Steamed Fish, Kim Chee Dip and Kim Chee Teriyaki  Burger caught my eye and I want to try them.

HOLOHOLO BAR AND GRILL ON BERETANIA STREET
PLENTY OF PARKING IN FRONT OF THE SIDE ENTRANCE WHERE YOU ENTER
RESTAURANT SECTION 
RESTAURANT SECTION WAS CLOSED ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON
WE SAT IN THE BAR AND ORDERED FOOD AND DRINKS
LIKED THE LOOK AND FEEL OF HOLOHOLO
VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHS OF HONOLULU ON THE WALLS
GREAT TO SEE HONOLULU BEFORE THE HIGH RISE BUILDINGS
THE NATATORIUM WITH PEOPLE SWIMMING - FIRST TIME I HAVE SEEN PHOTOS LIKE THIS
HOLOHOLO LUNCH MENU
HOLOHOLO BREAKFAST MENU
SWEET POTATO FRIES
SMOKED MEAT

DRUNKEN SEAFOOD


Friday, November 28, 2014

THANKSGIVING DINNER 2014

THANKSGIVING DINNER 2014
DINNER AT HOME

Blessed to spend Thanksgiving at home with family and friends.  Enjoyed a great meal that we began prepping the night before.  Cooked for hours on Thanksgiving Day and then began our feast around 3:00 PM.  Other than burning my fingers which resulted in me not being able to golf for a few days this was an incredible meal.  Had so much food that we made a trip to feed a cancer patient and her family.  Our warmest wishes to everyone celebrating Thanksgiving and the Holidays.

BRINED OUR 24 POUND BIRD OVERNIGHT IN WATER, SALT, BROWN SUGAR,
THYME, ORANGES, LEMONS, CHICKEN STOCK, PICKLING SPICE, CINNAMON
AND PEPPERCORNS 
PLACED KOSHER SALT AND FRESH GROUND PEPPER IN CAVITY OF TURKEY
MADE A COMPOUND BUTTER THE NIGHT BEFORE.  BASIL, THYME, SAGE, CHIVES AND GARLIC
MADE A ROASTED GARLIE PUREE THE NIGHT BEFORE.  CUT WHOLE GARLIC AND CUT IT IN HALF. ADDED SALT, PEPPER AND OLIVE OIL.  WRAPPED LOOSELY IN ALUMINUM FOIL AND ROASTED IN OVEN AT 400 DEGREES FOR ABOUT AN HOUR
AROMATICS FOR TURKEY CAVITY - THYME, APPLES, CINNAMON, SAGE HEATED FOR ONE
MINUTE IN MICROWAVE OVEN AND THEN PLACED INSIDE THE TURKEY
BASTED THE TURKEY HEAVILY WITH THE HERB BUTTER AND ROASTED GARLIC INSIDE AND OUT
PLUS UNDER THE SKIN
STUFFED THE TURKEY WITH THE AROMATICS PLUS CELERY, ONION, LEEKS AND CARROTS
VEGETABLES INSIDE THE BIRD AND IN THE ROASTING PAN
LINED THE ROASTING PAN WITH ALL VEGETABLES ABOVE PLUS THE TURKEY GIZZARDS, GIBLETS, NECK, GARLIC CLOVES, BAY LEAVES, PEPPERCORNS AND CHICKEN STOCK
TURKEY IS STUFFED AND READY FOR THE OVEN
24 POUND TURKEY GOING INTO CONVECTION ROAST MODE @ 500 DEGREES FOR FIRST
THIRTY MINUTES.  THEN LOWERED TO 350 DEGREES FOR FOUR HOURS
TURKEY IN THE OVEN - NOW GOTTA WORK ON ALL THOSE SIDE DISHES
BASTED WITH DRIPPINGS EVERY HOUR.  NOTE:  TENT THE TURKEY WITH ALUMINUM FOIL AFTER THE FIRST 30 MINUTES AT 500 DEGREES
TURKEY COOKED TO PERFECTION AND 170 DEGREES.  PLACED THICKLY SLICED BACON AND COVERED FOR LAST HOUR.  TENTED WITH FOIL
OUR 24 POUNDER IS READY FOR THE TABLE
ALL THOSE ROASTED VEGETABLES MAKE A GREAT GRAVY.  DEGLAZE PAN ON HIGH HEAT WITH RED WINE.  THEN TRANSFER TO A DEEP POT ON MEDIUM HEAT.  REMOVE THE NECK AND PEEL OFF ALL THE MEAT INTO THE VEGETABLES.  REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES.  USE A HAND BLENDER TO BLEND THE MIXTURE.  ADD FOUR CUPS OF CHICKEN STOCK, SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE.
THIS MAKES A VERY THICK AND SUPER FLAVORFUL GRAVY FOR THE TURKEY
APPETIZERS - CHEESE PLATTER, DEVILED EGGS, LIVER PATE, SHRIMP COCKTAIL, LIVER PATE,
HAWAIIAN STYLE POKE AND FRESH AHI SASHIMI
HAWAIIAN STYLE POKE AND FRESH AHI SASHIMI
ASSORTED CHEESE
DEVILED EGGS WITH DILL AND A FEW WITH JALAPENO
SHRIMP COCKTAIL WITH HORSERADISH COCKTAIL SAUCE
SHRIMP COCKTAIL
LIVER PATE
2014 THANKSGIVING DINNER
BRUSSELS SPROUTS, MASHED POTATOES, CRANBERRY SAUCE AND GRAVY
ROASTED THANKSGIVING TURKEY WRAPPED IN BACON
BAKED GREEN BEENS, APPLE AND SAUSAGE STUFFING AND CREAMED CORN
FRENCH GREEN BEANS WITH MUSHROOMS, CHCKEN BROTH, ROASTED ONIONS,
BACON, GARLIC AND SOME HALF AND HALF.  TOPPED WITH FRIED ONIONS
SAUSAGE AND APPLE DRESSING WITH SAGE AND HERBS
CREAM CORN
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON, SHALLOTS, GARLIC, RED WINE
VINEGAR AND HONEY
MASHED POTATOES WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND BUTTER
CRANBERRIES WITH WALNUTS
GRAVY
BLESSED TO ENJOY GREAT FOOD, FRIENDS AND FAMILY
WORST PART OF DAY IS THAT I BURNED MY FINGERS IN THE KITCHEN
ENJOYED SOME GREAT HOBEL WINE