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Sunday, May 31, 2015

BAN'AN

BAN'AN
3212 MONSARRAT AVENUE
HONOLULU, HI  96815
808-429-5657
HOURS:  Daily 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

My favorite Shave Ice spot is located on Monsarrat Avenue near the base of Diamond Head Crater.  It was closed on this day so my Daughter got on her phone and did a search.  "Ban'an" she screamed.  "Lets go to Ban'an".  She said all of her friends at school talk about this place and we must try it.  Not knowing what to expect we walked up Monsarrat and found a Food Truck in a parking lot next to a Coffee place and across from the Aloha Petroleum Gas Station.  There was a young kid waiting inside the truck with a huge smile.  He asked if we had any questions and if we were ready to order.  I looked over the menu posted on the truck and did not know what the heck this was.  I just went for the Original not knowing what to expect.  My Daughter ordered the Amazon.  We strolled across the parking lot to where there is a bench in the shade and sat down.  A few minutes later the smiling guy in the truck delivered our Ban'an to us.  I asked him what this stuff was and he explained that the Original was 100% fresh Hawaii bananas blended and frozen.  No sugar, color or preservatives added.  Tasted like Banana Ice Cream only fresher.  I thought the stuff was delicious.  In the cup there also was grated Coconut, Crispy Quinoa, Honey, Pineapple and Papaya.  All fresh local ingredients we were told.  The Original Cup size was $6 and it was very filling.  Don't think I could ever eat the larger versions.  The Amazon ($6 Cup) was a huge hit with my Wife and Daughter.  They loved the flavor of the Acai.  None of us really got the Quinoa but I guess it is something local and healthy.
This was a very refreshing dessert on a hot Hawaii day.  Nice to sit back near Diamond Head and enjoy the views and people watching.

BAN'AN ON MONSARRAT AVENUE NEAR DIAMOND HEAD
DIAMOND HEAD IS ACROSS THE STREET
AFTER HIKING DIAMOND HEAD MAKE A STOP AT BAN'AN
BAN'AN IS A FOOD TRUCK IN A PARKING LOT
WHAT IS BAN'AN?
BAN'AN BOWLS ARE LOCAL, FRESH AND DELICIOUS
A BAN'AN WILL SET YOU BACK $6 - $9 
THE ORIGINAL AND THE AMAZON
THE AMAZON
THE ORIGINAL


DIAMOND HEAD MARKET AND GRILL

DIAMOND HEAT MARKET AND GRILL
3158 MONSARRAT AVENUE
HONOLULU, HI  96815
808-732-0077
HOURS:  Monday thru Sunday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

I love cruising the back side of Diamond Head.  Before getting married I actually ran 5 miles around Diamond Head and Kapiolani Park 5-6 days a week because I liked the runners rush, being outdoors, seeing shorts and bikinis and I had no money to do anything else.  Running was a big part of my life back then and eating was usually a bowl of Ramen Noodles.  Diamond Head Market and Grill was on my running route as I ran up Monsarrat Avenue toward Kapiolani Community College and the entrance to Diamond Head Crater.  Fast forward to today and I drove right up and parked in front of Diamond Head Market and Grill.  We walked up to the window where you place your order and reviewed the menu of Burgers, Sandwiches, Plate Lunches and Salads.  I popped my head in the window and saw a cook on the line at my left.  He was cooking on the grill but turned to the window and looked at me.  Seemed a bit pissed off that he had to cook and work the window.  He did not say much but started to take our order.  After he took our order another man came to the window and took over so the cook could return to the grill.  Trying to keep in healthy, I went for one of the Daily Specials.  The Garlic Herb Chicken Breast Gyro ($12).  Tasted like a regular Gyro but with chicken.  Not bad at all.  Served with Romaine Lettuce with a Honey Mustard dressing.  The Dressing was light and they did not over pour it on the lettuce so I liked it.  The Spicy Korean Chicken with Kalbi Ribs ($14) was a nice plate of food.  The Chicken was not too spicy but had a good flavor.  The Kalbi Ribs were delicious.  Served with Rice, Kim Chee and Salad.  Everyone liked the Kim Chee here.  The Kalbi Beef Rib Plate ($13.75) put a smile on my Daughters face.  She was quite quiet as she emerged herself into the ribs as she chew the fat off the bones and then sucked them clean.  The Kalbi Ribs here are excellent.  Food here while not cheap is quality and good.  There is also a small market where you can buy pre-made sandwiches, salads and entrees to take home or to a picnic.  They also have some really tasty looking Scones and desserts too.  Great place to pick up supplies for a day at the beach.  

DIAMOND HEAD MARKET AND GRILL ON MONSARRAT AVENUE
YOU CAN SEE DIAMOND HEAD FROM THE MARKET AND GRILL
AWARD WINNING BREAKFAST MENU
BURGERS AND SANDWICHES
PLATE LUNCHES
SALADS, SIDES AND DRINKS
WE WENT FOR TWO OF THE SPECIALS 
THERE ARE A FEW SMALL TABLES OUT FRONT BUT MOST PEOPLE ORDER TO GO
SPICY KOREAN CHICKEN AND KALBI RIBS
KALBI BEEF RIB PLATE
GARLIC HERB GRILLED CHICKEN GYRO
THE MARKET IS NEXT TO THE TAKE OUT WINDOW
MARKET FEATURES PRE-MADE SALADS, SANDWICHES AND MEALS, DESSERTS AND DRINKS
GREAT LOOKING PREPARED MEALS
FORGET ABOUT COOKING TONIGHT - JUST HIT THE DIAMOND HEAD MARKET


ALASKAN KING CRAB

ALASKAN KING CRAB
DINNER AT HOME

One of my favorite dinners at home is Alaskan King Crab and a salad.  Whenever we visit Costco I make it a point to see if they have the large crab legs at a good price. Usually they go for around $12-$14 per pound.  Not a bad deal when Mahi Mahi is going for around the same price these days.  We always select the largest and fattest legs and avoid the claws.  For our family 1-2 legs per person is more than enough to fill us up so I purchased six crab legs for around $30.  Preparing the crab legs is simple.  I use our pasta/steamer pot that has a steamer basket at the top.  First I cut the crab into pieces so it will easily fit into the basket.  Bring water in the pot to a boil and then lay in your crab.  Steam for around ten minutes and you are done.  Normally these crab legs are so sweet that you do not need any butter to dip them in.  Just cut the legs with some kitchen scissors and pull out the crab meat.  We have served the crab legs solo with a salad and also with steak or prime rib for special occasions or  when entertaining guests.  

ALASKAN KING CRAB LEGS 
CUT IN SMALLER PIECES TO FIT INTO THE STEAMER BASKET
PLACE CRAB LEGS IN STEAMER FOR AROUND 10 MINUTES AND THEY ARE DONE
CUT CRAB LEGS DOWN THE MIDDLE WITH KITCHEN SCISSORS AND THEY ARE EASY TO EAT
DELICIOUS AND SWEET ALASKAN KING CRAB WITH A SALAD.  YUMMY!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

OMG - OAHU MEXICAN GRILL

OAHU MEXICAN GRILL
2633 S. KING STREET
HONOLULU, HI  96826
808-724-6683
HOURS: Monday thru Thursday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
                Friday and Saturday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
PARKING:  One Hour Validation at University Square
www.omg.menu

I was excited to learn that a new Mexican Restaurant had opened up near University Avenue.  OMG - Oahu Mexican Grill has been receiving some pretty good reviews so we made a visit to give it a taste.  First off this is not a Mexican Restaurant.  It is a take off on the Chipotle or Taco Del Mar concept where you choose a burrito, soft taco or bowl and then pick your fillings.  The menu is limited to Burritos, Soft Tacos, Salad and Bowls so don't come here looking for Crunchy Tacos, Enchiladas, Taquitos or anything fried.  Like the Chipotle chain, OMG markets themselves as fresh and homemade and they use all natural, steroid, antibiotic and hormone free meat products.  We parked in the University Square parking lot on the corner of University and King Street.  You can get a validation for up to one hour when dining here.  We entered to find a few patrons sitting at the tables and one waiting in line.  The front line counter was busy though as the employees appeared to be making a few to go orders.  They apologized for the wait in line and really tried to speed things up.  Problem is that every flour or corn tortilla here is steamed first.  Think they only had one steaming machine so it can get backed up.  A nice line formed behind us during the lunch hour.  We ordered a Grilled Steak Burrito ($9.25) plus another ($2) for Guacamole.  First you choose your rice and then your beans.   We went with Spanish Rice and Refried Beans.  The meat is added and then you continue choosing toppings.  Shredded Lettuce, Salsa Fresca, Chipotle Sauce and Guacamole.  This was a very large $11 burrito when finished.  I ordered Two Tacos ($9.25) with one Grilled Steak and one Barbacoa (Shredded Beef).  For the Grilled Steak I went with a Corn Tortilla, Spanish Rice, Refried Beans, Chipotle Sauce and Salsa Fresca.  For the Shredded Beef Taco I went with Spanish Rice, Refried Beans, Lettuce, Chipotle Sauce and Salsa Fresca.  A Burrito and two tacos plus drinks was $28 without tip.  What a lot of people will like about OMG is that the Burritos and Tacos are quite large because of all the Rice and Beans.  They also give you large helpings of the meats.  My Wife and Daughter shared the Burrito and between the two of them did not finish it.  Verdict on the Burrito from my girls was that it was large but lacked flavor.  The individual ingredients did not stick out with taste as it does at Chipotle.  I remember eating a Burrito at Chipotle and tasting each individual ingredient and then everything as a combination and it was wonderful.  That did not happen at OMG.  The Tacos were large and I did not finish either one of them.  Probably took two bites out of each one and then threw in the towel.  Not because I was full but because the taste was not there.  I grabbed a fork and picked out a bit of rice, then some beans and then the meat.  Eating each component to see if any had flavor that I liked.  While it was not bad, it just did not hit the mark for me.  I am a traditionalist when it comes to Tacos and don't need Rice and Beans in them to fill me up.  My Wife and Daughter felt the same way and said they would not come back.  I don't want to knock this place because I think that many people who love big portions and mild flavors will like the place.  Just not the place for me if I am craving Mexican food or tacos.

OMG - OAHU MEXICAN GRILL NEAR THE CORNER OF KING STREET AND UNIVERSITY AVENUE
OAHU MEXICAN GRILL HONOLULU 
OAHU MEXICANA GRILL MENU
BURRITOS, SOFT TACOS, SALADS AND BOWLS
CHOOSE YOUR FILLING
CHOOSE YOUR TOPPINGS
SIDES AND SODAS
PARTY MENU
KIDS MENU
OMG HAS SMALL SEATING AREA
ORDER AT THE COUNTER
OMG MENU IS POSTED ON WALL ABOVE COUNTER
KEEPING IT A LITTLE MORE HEALTHY AND FRESH
PICK YOUR FILLINGS AND TOPPINGS AS YOU GO DOWN THE LINE
THESE GUYS MOVE PRETTY FAST
$11 STEAK BURRITO WITH GUACAMOLE
LARGE BURRITO FILLED WITH LOTS OF RICE AND BEANS
STEAK BURRITO WITH GUACAMOLE
TWO TACOS FOR $9.95 
STEAK TACO ABOVE - SHREDDED BEEF TACO BELOW
STEAK TACO WITH TWO CORN TORTILLAS
GOOD AMOUNT OF MEAT IN THE TACO
SHREDDED BEEF TACO
SHREDDED BEEF TACO WITH FLOUR TORTILLA
MILD SAUCE ON TABLE