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CITY FOR TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITES!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

SNOW FACTORY

SNOW FACTORY
McCULLY SHOPPING CENTER
1960 KAPIOLANI BLVD, #115
HONOLULU, HI  96826
808-946-7669
HOURS:  Sunday thru Thursday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
                 Friday and Saturday 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM

I have been looking at the Snow Factory sign for years but have never gone in the place.  Always thought it was just another small Shave Ice stand.  My Daughter wanted to try it so we approached the entrance and saw the sign that says "Its not Shave Ice - Its not Ice Cream and its not Frozen Yogurt".  What could it be we asked?  My Daughter said "Its Snow".  We entered to find a small counter and three tables that were all filled with people eating these large bowls of what looked like fluffy ice cream.  Did not look that appetizing to me so I let my Daughter order.  She went with a Strawberry/Chocolate Combination with Azuki Beans ($6.02).  In a few minutes the young staff had her bowl ready and we all dug in.  My Wife and Daughter loved the taste and texture.  I did not.  Give me Baskin Robbins any day of the week over this stuff.  It was two against one on the Snow Factory with my girls giving it two big thumbs up.  One thing my Daughter did not notice is that the toppings on the counter are free.  Had she realized this when ordering she would have loaded it up with the Gummy Bears.  Checking the Snow Factory website I found that they call this frozen cotton candy.  It is made with fruit and juice bases mixed with milk and then frozen in layers.  With only 150 calories per serving I may try to like this stuff.
SNOW FACTORY IN THE MCCULLY SHOPPING CENTER
THIS SIGN CAUGHT MY EYE AND IMAGINATION - WHAT IS THIS STUFF?
SMALL TAKE OUT OR DINE IN COUNTER WHERE YOU ORDER
SPECIALTY COMBINATIONS
LOTS OF FLAVORS
LOOKS DELICIOUS
FREE TOPPINGS
SPECIAL TOPPINGS
STRAWBERRY AND CHOCOLATE WITH AZUKI BEANS
KIND OF LIKE THINLY SLICED ICE CREAM
FAMILIES WERE MOWING LARGE BOWLS OF THIS STUFF

Saturday, November 28, 2015

HAPPY VALLEY PASTA AND PIZZA

HAPPY VALLEY PASTA AND PIZZA
3106 MONSARRAT AVENUE
HONOLULU, HI  96815
808-737-0080
HOURS:  Daily 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM

We have been driving by Happy Valley Pasta and Pizza for years and have always wanted to try it.  Funny thing is that in all those years I have not heard one person comment or talk about the place and have never read a review.  One of the reasons we have never made it to Happy Valley is because the parking can be quite difficult in this area of Monserrat Avenue which is a lively hub for locals and tourists alike.  On weekends the foot traffic here is like Waikiki with Japanese tourists, joggers, bikers and foodies.  We arrived early around 11:30 AM and found parking right behind the restaurant.  There are probably 6-8 stalls there.  Entered to find the restaurant completely empty.  During the next hour while we dined there were only about three more tables filled.  We were greeted and seating by a smiling Japanese lady who sat us at a nice table in the back next to a window overlooking Monsarrat Avenue.  She gave us menus and immediately brought us a ice cold mug of ice water.  Reading the menu, I learned that Happy Valley is a Japanese/Italian Restaurant owned by a Japanese family who has seven restaurants in Japan and entrusted their eldest Son to open a location in Hawaii.  I scanned over the menu and liked the way they separated the Pasta offerings under Tomato Sauce, Cream Sauce and Oil Sauce.  Made my decision easy as I only wanted a Pasta with Tomato Sauce.  We started our meal with the Carrot and Onion Salad ($4.98).  This is a large salad with a lot of raw onions.  The thinly sliced carrots were sweet but you could barely taste the marinade.  The salad included a little bit of lettuce and some capers.  We actually liked the salad and finished all of it except for a pile of onions.  From 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM the restaurant offers a free side salad and soft drink with each Pasta or Pizza.  This makes dining here a really good deal.  The complimentary Caesar Salad was delicious.  We loved the dressing and croutons.  The Homemade Meatballs with Tomato Sauce ($13.98) is offered with Penne or Spaghetti.  We went with Spaghetti.  The Pasta was cooked perfectly and the sauce and Meatballs were really good.  Could not figure out why they put broccoli in this dish but what the heck, always need some veggies in the diet.  The Meat Meat Meat Meat Pizza ($15.98) included Hawaiian Sausage, Pepperoni, Bacon, Karaage Chicken and Vegetables.  The Pizza was excellent and better than most we have had in Hawaii.  Liked everything on the Pizza with the exception of the Karaage Chicken.  Liked the Pizza Sauce and the fact that the Pizza was thin crust but not too thin.   All in all this was an excellent lunch with everyone giving it a thumbs up and wanting to return.  Service was good and picked up at the end when one of the workers or Manager approached our table to say that he gave us a 10% discount because he loves my Daughters television commercials and his Dad used to work with my Wife.  Made us feel like family in Happy Valley.  I would recommend Happy Valley Pasta and Pizza and will definitely return.
Great deal from 11:00 to 5:00 when they throw in a complimentary Salad and Drink.

HAPPY VALLEY PASTA AND PIZZA
HAPPY VALLEY ON MONSARRAT AVENUE AT THE BASE OF DIAMOND HEAD
GREAT DEAL FOR LUNCH - FREE SALAD AND BEVERAGE WITH PASTA OR PIZZA PURCHASE
SMALL NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT WITH A LITTLE JAPANESE INFLUENCE
HAPPY VALLEY PASTA AND PIZZA MENU
PASTAS WITH TOMATO AND CREAM SAUCES
OIL SAUCES, JAPANESE SPECIALS AND RISOTTOS
PIZZA MENU
A LITTLE HAPPY VALLEY HISTORY AND NOTES
HAPPY VALLEY DRINK MENU


COMPLIMENTARY CAESAR SALAD SERVED DURING LUNCH
CARROT AND ONION SALAD
HOMEMADE MEATBALLS WITH TOMATO SAUCE
MEAT MEAT MEAT MEAT PIZZA

LA PIETRA HAWAII SCHOOL FOR GIRLS

LA PIETRA
2933 PONI MOI ROAD
HONOLULU, HI  96815
808-922-2744

I don't usually blog about schools but after visiting La Pietra for my Daughters basketball game I wanted to post some photos of this beautiful Hawaii school at the base of Diamond Head and a few hundred yards from Kapiolani Park and Waikiki Beach.  The campus is so tranquil and stunning that it reminded me of visiting a museum or estate in Europe or Italy.