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CITY FOR TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITES!

Friday, March 27, 2015

PARADISE

PARADISE
LANIKAI AND MAGIC ISLAND,  HAWAII

My daughter shot this photo at Lanikai Beach.  Just wanted to share a little bit of paradise.
I took the sunset photos with my IPhone on Magic Island in Honolulu.  One of the great things about living in Hawaii is that you can enjoy beautiful sunrises and sunsets from different sides of the Island.

SUNRISE AT LANIKAI BEACH
 SUNSET AT MAGIC ISLAND
 BEAUTIFUL MARCH EVENING IN HONOLULU
 HAWAII REALLY IS PARADISE


Sunday, March 22, 2015

NORDSTROM GELATO BAR

NORDSTROM GELATO BAR
HONOLULU, HAWAII

NORDSTROM GELATO BAR
ALA MOANA SHOPPING CENTER
1519 KAPIOLANI BLVD
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-953-6100 Ext. 1618
HOURS:  Monday thru Saturday 9:30 AM - 9:00 PM
                 Sunday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

My Wife was in a store in Ala Moana Shopping Center for over an hour.  I grabbed a seat out front at tables that face the Nordstrom department store.  To my right was a coffee stand and to the left was a big picture of Gelato in a large glass cup.  The temperature outside was around 80 degrees.  Did not take long for me and my daughter to leave our table in search of a scoop of Gelato.  The Nordstrom Gelato Bar is small with a service counter and room for two people to sit.  I looked over the various colors and flavors of Gelato and was immediately drawn to the Chocolate Fudge.  My daughter went for the Acai Berry.  The two single scoop Gelato's in a cup were about $8.50 total.  I liked the Chocolate Fudge but it melted too fast and was not all that cold.  This is what I don't like about Gelato.  I prefer real Ice Cream that is ice cold and a bit harder consistency.  The Acai Berry held up a little better and did not melt as fast.  Enjoyed sitting at the outdoor tables here with my best friend enjoying some Gelato, talking and people watching.  Not a bad place to be on a Sunday in paradise.

NORDSTROM GELATO BAR LOCATED IN ALA MOANA CENTER
TAKE A BREAK FROM SHOPPING AND ENJOY SOME GELATO
GELATO AND SORBET IS MADE FRESH LOCALLY
I SAW THE CHOCOLATE FUDGE AND WENT FOR IT
CHOCOLATE FUDGE GELATO
ACAI BERRY GELATO

IYO UDON

IYO UDON
HONOLULU, HAWAII

IYO UDON
ALA MOANA CENTER
1450 ALA MOANA BLVD, SPACE 2054
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-955-5888
HOURS:  Monday thru Saturday 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
                 Sunday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM

The former Panya Bistro location in Ala Moana Shopping Center is now home to Iyo Udon.  This is part of an Osaka, Japan based company that has over 30 Udon restaurants in Japan and Korea.  Hawaii marks the first venture into the United States for the company who's owner made his fortune building and operating over 600 hair salons in Japan.  From hair to noodles makes sense to me.  We chose to eat at Iyo Udon because my daughter had some dental work done and she was looking for something soft to eat.  Her friends recommended Iyo Udon so we decided to give it a try.  We arrived to find a small line of patrons in line around lunchtime.  This gave us time to look at the menu photographs and figure out how to order.  When our time came we ordered by name or number from the large menu hanging above.  I ordered the Regular Spicy Kake Udon and then watched the employees take fresh noodles and place them in a strainer.  They were then immersed in hot water and placed in a bowl that had already been filled with the broth.  The bowl was handed to me and placed on a tray.  I pushed my steaming hot bowl of noodles down the line passing large plates of Tempura that you can add for an additional cost.  I went with a single piece of Shrimp for $1.79.  My daughter added Shrimp and Fish Cake at $1.79 each and my Wife got the Mixed Vegetable Tempura $2.49.  After paying for the meal which was under $25 for three people with tax, we took our bowls to a table where you can add Green Onion, Tempura Flakes, Pickled Ginger and assorted sauces.  I loaded my Udon bowl with lots of Green Onions and a little bit of Pickled Ginger.  First off I have to say that the prices here are incredibly low for Ala Moana Center.  The Udon is $3.79 to $4.79 per bowl.  How this place makes money in the high rent district is beyond me but I will enjoy while we can.  The Spicy Kake Udon ($4.99) was actually pretty delicious.  There were small finely diced pieces of some kind of meat, garlic and spices that gave this bowl of noodles a kick.  When my nose started to run I knew the heat level was good and that this deserved the "spicy" designation.  Not too spicy though.  It was just right.  My Daughter enjoyed her #13 Bukkake Udon ($3.79).  Again how can you serve something in Ala Moana Center for this low price.  She consumed every noodle and all of the broth without coming up for air too many times.  Must have liked it and it did not irritate her dental work.  The Beef Bowl ($6.49) included a large portion of rice along with finely diced beef with lots of onions.  The onions added a sweetness to the dish that my Wife enjoyed.  The entire family liked the Mixed Vegetable Tempura ($2.49).  This was kind of like a light version of Onion Rings with thin slices of carrots thrown in.  All in all this was a good meal at a very low price.  If you are craving Udon while in Ala Moana Center, I would say you cannot go wrong at Iyo Udon.

IYO UDON IS LOCATED NEAR GENKI SUSHI IN ALA MOANA SHOPPING CENTER
THERE ARE OVER 30 IYO UDON RESTAURANTS IN JAPAN, KOREA AND NOW HAWAII
NOTE THE PASSING DEPT. OF HEALTH GREEN SIGN.  THIS WAS THE FIRST RESTAURANT IN HAWAII TO GET FINED FOR NOT PASSING THE HEALTH STANDARDS.  ALL GOOD NOW AFTER $11,000 FINE
STAND IN LINE AND ORDER AT THE COUNTER
THE MENU HANGS ABOVE THE LINE.  ORDER HERE
SMALL MENU MAKES IT EASY TO ORDER AT IYO UDON
REGULAR AND LARGE PORTIONS ARE SUPER CHEAP FOR ALA MOANA CNETER
GRAB A SIDE DISH OF SUSHI, TEMPURA AND VEGETABLES
THE SANUKI STYLE NOODLES ARE MADE FRESH DAILY AT THE RESTAURANT
THE DOUGH IS MIXED AND THEN FLATTENED IN SHEETS
AND THEN TURNED INTO NOODLES IN THE BACK OF THE KITCHEN
THE STAFF COOKS YOUR NOODLES TO ORDER.  SERVED HOT OR COLD
NOODLES ARE COOKED AND THEN PLACED IN A BOWL AFTER YOU ORDER
GRAB A TRAY AND MOVE DOWN THE LINE
MY BOWL OF UDON WAS READY IN MINUTES
TAKE YOUR BOWL DOWN THE LINE AND ADD SIDES 
TEMPURA SHIRMP, SQUID, FISH CAKE AND VEGETABLES AVAILABLE FOR ADDITIONAL COST
ASSORTED SAUCES AVAILABLE
GARNISHES 
TAKE  A SEAT IN THE DINING ROOM AND ENJOY YOUR UDON
#13 BUKKAKE REGULAR SIZE
SHRIMP AND FISH CAKE TEMPURA
SPICY KAKE UDON REGULAR SIZE WITH SIDE ORDER OF SHRIMP TEMPURA
SPICY KAKE UDON WITH TEMPURA SHIRMP
LARGE BEEF BOWL
BEEF AND ONION MIXTURE IN BEEF BOWL
MIXED VEGETABLE TEMPURA
DROP YOUR TRAY AND BOWL OFF AS YOU WALK OUT THE DOOR

SIDE STREET INN

SIDE STREET INN
HONOLULU, HAWAII

SIDE STREET INN
1225 HOPAKA STREET
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-591-0253
HOURS: Monday thru Thursday 2:00 PM - 12:00 AM
                Friday and Saturday 2:00 PM - 1:00 AM
                Sunday 1:00 PM - 12:00 AM

I added Side Street Inn to my top favorite restaurants of all time list for many reasons.  Number one being the food.  Number two being the variety of dishes and number three being the consistency of great flavors.  Last but not least would be the ambiance and service which is old school local Hawaiian style which I love.  We recently had two sets of guests in from the mainland and we could not think of where to take them for dinner.  I asked both of them what they wanted "steak, seafood, pasta or local style".  Both chose "local style" so we took them to the Side Street Inn on two different nights.  When you arrive at Side Street Inn, I recommend using the valet parking which is right in front of the restaurant.  There is not much parking in the area and using the valet just makes things more stress free.  Valet fee is $5.00.  I did not shoot photos on the first night, but boy how I wish I did because the spread of food was amazing.  Seared Ahi, Steamed Clams, KalBi Steak, Garlic Chicken, Wedge Salad, Spinach Salad and three different desserts.  We ate family style sharing all of the dishes amongst the four of us and our out of town guests were happy and satisfied.  The next night was a little bit more subdued on the food side but the experience was the same.  Happy and satisfied!    
We started with "Da Wedge" Salad ($10).  This baby is huge.  A full half head of Iceberg Lettuce served with Bacon, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Crumbled Bleu Cheese and Bleu Cheese Dressing.  One order was enough for four people and it was delicious.  Next up was the House Specialty Pan Fried Island Pork Chops ($20).  On this visit the Chops were cooked and seasoned to perfection.  The meat was moist and seasoned with lots of black pepper.  On other visits the Chops have been good but sometimes overcooked and dry.  Not this time.  Perfection!  The Pork Chops are served with a side of Ketchup which always takes me back to my youth when we would eat those very thin and tasteless Pork Chops at home and then smother them in Ketchup.  A visit to Side Street Inn would not be complete without eating the Award Winning Side Style Fried Rice ($12.50).  This is hands down the best fried rice in Hawaii and one of our families favorite dishes in the world.  Always perfectly cooked rice filled with large amounts of Char Siu, Bacon, Portuguese Sausage, Peas, Carrots and Green Onion.  We always bring the leftovers home and enjoy this for breakfast.  If you are a lover of Fried Rice, this is the real deal and not to be missed.  Another dish that should not be missed if you are a fish lover is the Chinese Style Steamed Kampachi ($20).  In my opinion this is one of the best seafood dishes in all of Hawaii.  The Kampachi is perfectly cooked, moist and so delicious with the Hot Peanut Oil and Sauce.  Had this fish two nights in a row and I would eat it again the next night if I could.  There are restaurants in Honolulu that charge $30-$40 for a piece of fish like this and they do not compare to this. That is the beauty of eating at Side Street.  When you go "family style" and share everything on the table you get to enjoy small bites of many dishes rather than just one or two.  A few bites of meat, a few of the fish, some salad and fried rice.  Now that to me is great eats!  I love the Side Street Inn and it is a TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITE.
Click links below for more posts on the Side Street Inn;

SIDE STREET INN IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE HAWAII RESTAURANTS
CASUAL LOCAL BAR NEAR ALA MOANA SHOPPING CENTER
EAT AT THE BAR AND ENJOY SPORTS ON THE MULTIPLE FLAT SCREENS
TABLE AND BOOTH SEATING - I RECOMMEND GOING FOR A BOOTH
SIDE STREET INN MENU
BEEF AND PORK DISHES
FISH AND SEAFOOD
CHICKEN, FRIED RICE AND NOODLES
SALADS AND TOFU
APPETIZERS AND SIDES
SIDE STREET INN SPECIALS
"DA WEDGE" SALAD
PAN FRIED ISLAND PORK CHOPS SERVED WITH KETCHUP
"AWARD WINNING" SIDE STYLE FRIED RICE 
CHINESE STYLE STEAMED KAMPACHI


AHI AND KAJIKI POKE SPECIAL


FARMERS SALAD (LITE PORTION)



STEAMED CLAMS




SIZZLING BONE-LESS KALBI

DON'T MISS DESSERT AT SIDE STREET INN 

RB'S ICE CREAM PIE - BABANA CRUNCH

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CRUNCH