Archive for May, 2008

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – May 7, 2008

May 7, 2008

In the tradition of “Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego?” (don’tya just love that song?), I’m starting a new, more exciting trend called “Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto?” Catchy ain’t it? 😛 Periodically, I’ll take a scenic shot of this beautiful paradise we call home and have you guess where exactly in Hawaii it is.

Since I’ve made you suffer looking at ugly photos of me and my issues for two days in a row now, I thought it might be a nice treat for you to see why it’s “Lucky you live Hawaii!”

[Photo hint: It’s somewhere in town in Honolulu, Hawaii. Yeah, I know it’s hard to tell, but you didn’t want it to be THAT easy didya?]

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - May 7, 2008

So go ahead and post your guesses below. Go guess um go guess um goooo!

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Guys and Nails Just Don’t Get Along

May 6, 2008

I’ll be the first to admit that my nails are pretty hideous. Short, ragged and unkept as can be, with not a single drop of moisturizing lotion on ’em. But I’m a guy, they’re supposed to be. Sure I work on the computer all day, but when the work day is pau, I do guy stuff. I play sports, change my own oil, and drink beer (sometimes in that order).

Once in a great while, this one, overachieving finger of mine is successful in growing its nail to a normal length. When it does, I like to see how long I can keep it going before it joins the others back to ugly-hood. That “normal” time is now. But I find that doing the most basic of tasks is a challenge. I can’t imagine how hard things would be if all of my fingers were sissy like this.

My Nails

Over the past few days, I’ve been documenting the goods and the bads of having a long nail, and wanted to throw it out there to see if anyone else had any positives (or negatives) that would make me want to keep this thang a-growing.

Negatives:

  • Tying shoelaces
  • Pushing the button on my car stereo
  • Typing
  • That non-stop, “fingernails-on-the-chalkboard” feeling whenever I scratch something.

Positives:

  • Scratching things or picking food out of my teeth (or digging for gold! Mahalo Bruddah Lee! 😛 )
  • Precise button/menu pressing on my touch screen phone
  • Opening soda/beer cans with ease
  • Throwing a mean knuckleball
  • Can wag my finger, shake my head and say “Oh no you di-in’t!” with authority.

Talk to me…

My Monday Night Reality Show Updates:
– Flavor of Love 3 – Flavor Flav brought back fan favorite Thing 2. YES! Now it’s between her, “Black” and that repulsive “Sinceer”.
– The Hills – Heidi refocuses her energy at Bolthouse Productions (who really cares!?) and Lauren and Audrina drift further apart. Awww!

Happy Boys’ Day, Boys!

May 5, 2008

Well, not really. Today is technically “kodomo no hi” (Children’s Day). But I say Heckwitdat! Like Timberlake says, “I’m bringing sexy back!” Girls of the world have their Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) every March 3rd, so we should have our own day too right? *grin*

So how did I spend Boys’ Day so far? Bleeding in a hospital bed. Well, not quite, but close.

In a softball game yesterday afternoon, I took my usual place at Shortstop. Nothing out of the ordinary. The sky was clear and the sun beamed down on us as always. In the second inning, a hot shot came scorching down my way. Again, nothing out of the ordinary. But today, for some reason, that scorcher decided to get nuts and take a bad hop on me. A bad hop right in my face.

As soon as it hit, I knew it was bad. Aside from the sound it made when it smacked me in the kisser, I could hear the reaction of my teammates as well as the other team. The “ooohs!” and the “ohhhhs!” were echoing.

As I slowly made my way back to my feet, I could see my shirt stained with blood from where I covered my mouth. I then ran my tongue across the back of my once straight teeth, and found a virtual rocky mountain side at the tip of my tongue. Three of my bottom teeth caved in from the impact and were loose. Coach John made me laugh by asking if they were crooked before, but I think he was serious in his questioning.

With an already depleted lineup (we had only 8 players) I told myself to “man up” and keep playing. Others kept telling me to go home or go to the hospital, but I wasn’t having any of that. Besides, the doctors probably couldn’t have done anything besides give me an ice pack and tell me to take it easy. The real “fixing up” would be the next day when I go to the dentist.

Which leads us to today, celebrating my Boys’ Day, getting a root canal and my grill re-rearranged for a whoppin’ $492 (after insurance!). Oh what fun.

One of my teammates Neil called me the “manliest of men” for continuing to play after the incident. I laughed not just because of the comment, but because right then, I knew it would make an apropos, “manly” post for WWE (World Wide Ed).

Anyone else with horror stories out there?

***WARNING***
The following photo is of my jacked up grill. For those who have a weak stomach, you may wish to take your mouse off that scrolly bar. For those daring and few, keep on a scrollin’ to check out the loveliness that is me (you’ve been warned):

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful!
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful!

Jason Mraz at the Road Runner Music Hall

May 4, 2008

Jason Mraz at the Road Runner Music HallOn Friday, we headed over to the Road Runner Music Hall to check out one of my favorite artists: Jason Mraz. Now I know it’s very unbecoming for one dude to be a fan of another dude, but I’m comfortable enough with my dudehood to admit that I am indeed a superfan of this uber talented brutha. Not only is he a virtual wordsmith, can get down on the guitar, and can sang like nobody’s business, he has a personality to boot. After meeting him, he also seems as genuine and sincere as they come.

Before taking the stage, he actually took the time to go around the room and greet everyone in person. He made small talk, signed autographs, took photos and most importantly, was real and made you feel important. On stage, he went all out and probably sang longer than he should have (in a good way). He was also very appreciative of everything and everyone (fans, radio stations, etc.) It was such a breath of fresh air to see an artist of his caliber not tainted at all.

If it’s possible, I think I’ve become an even bigger fan of Mr. A-Z. You could even say I’m Mrazmerized.

Now, before you think I have a major man-crush on him, lemme get back to my power tools, grunting and shaving my back hairs. *grin*

P.S. Mraz’s new album “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.” drops on May 13.

Who’s your favorite artist?

MMA Television Programming for May 2008

May 3, 2008

MMA Television Programming for Hawaii – May 2008 (All shows are in HST on Oceanic Time Warner Cable): [Updated 05/28/08]
Info may be updated after original post date so keep checking back.

  • Fri, May 2 @ 3:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Inside MMA:
    Inside MMA is your opportunity to step inside the world of mixed martial arts and find out what it takes to be a champion. Hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice provide all the latest news and highlights, along with features, analysis, and rankings.
  • Fri, May 2 @ 4:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    DREAM 1:
    The exclusive debut of DREAM on HDNet! From the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, Mirko “Crop Cop” Filipovic returns to the country that made him an MMA icon. And Gesias “J.Z.” Calvancante, one of the top fighters in the world, takes part in the first round of the lightweight tournament. [Fight Card]
  • Sat, May 3 @ 4:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    DREAM 2:
    A classic rematch and the middleweights highlight DREAM 2, from Japan! Lightweights Gesias “J.Z.” Calvancante and Shinya Aoki rematch after their bout at DREAM 1 ended in a controversial no-contest. Legendary middleweights Dennis Kang and Kazushi Sakuraba participate in the opening round of the middleweight tournament. [Fight Card]
  • Sun, May 4 @ 3:30AM on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL Channel 1008
    Strikeforce on NBC:
    Strikeforce on NBC brings you face-to-face with some of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the nation, every Saturday night! From top professional competitors and champions to the up-and-coming challengers, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on the world’s most extreme sport. Experience the adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding action that comes with each round in the cage – this is a series that will put MMA fans on the edge of their seats!
  • Tue, May 6 @ 1PM on ESPN Channel 0222 or HD ESPN Channel 1222
    Kimbo Slice on E:60:
    Correspondent Rachel Nichols updates an E:60 exclusive report on Kimbo Slice as he prepares for the first ever primetime mixed martial art fight Saturday, May 31.
  • Wed, May 7 @ 7PM on SpikeTV Channel 0559
    The Ultimate Fighter:
    Both teams are rooting for Matt Brown to beat down Jeremy May, and everyone is shocked when two nice guys transform into savages in the Octagon.
  • Fri, May 9 @ 3:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Inside MMA:
    Panelists include fighter Josh “The Babyface Assassin” Barnett, Dan “The Beast” Severn, and clothing company vice president Tom Atencio.
  • Fri, May 9 @ 4:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Maximum Fighting Championship – Anger Management (LIVE!):
    Fight fans love to see heavyweights throw down, and two of the largest in the weight class will clash when Gary “Big Daddy” Goodridge and Eric “The Big E” Pele climb into the ring at MFC 16 LIVE from the River Cree Resort and Casino. Also fighting on this loaded card is undefeated welterweight star Ryan “Real Deal” Ford who puts on the gloves for the first time since his controversial win over Pete Spratt on HDNet at MFC 15. Ford will attempt to keep his record unblemished against C.J. Fernandes. [Fight Card]
  • Sat, May 10 @ 9PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    DREAM 3 (LIVE!):
    Catch the second round of the DREAM lightweight tournament exclusively on HDNet! Eight fighters will enter the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and four will advance. Four of the participating lightweights ranked in the top ten in the world by Inside MMA. [Fight Card]
  • Sun, May 11 @ 3:30AM on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL Channel 1008
    Strikeforce on NBC:
    Strikeforce on NBC brings you face-to-face with some of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the nation, every Saturday night! From top professional competitors and champions to the up-and-coming challengers, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on the world’s most extreme sport. Experience the adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding action that comes with each round in the cage – this is a series that will put MMA fans on the edge of their seats!
  • Tue, May 13 @ 1PM on ESPN Channel 0222 or HD ESPN Channel 1222
    Gina Carano on E:60:
    ESPN’s E:60 newsmagazine show will feature Gina Carano.
  • Wed, May 14 @ 7PM on SpikeTV Channel 0559
    The Ultimate Fighter:
    The training and development of professional Ultimate Fighters.
  • Fri, May 16 @ 1:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Inside MMA:
    Inside MMA is your opportunity to step inside the world of mixed martial arts and find out what it takes to be a champion. Hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice provide all the latest news and highlights, along with features, analysis, and rankings.
  • Fri, May 16 @ 2:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    The IFL, from the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena, CT (LIVE!):
    LIVE on HDNet not one, not two, but three championship belts will be on the line when the IFL invades the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena! Ryan McGivern puts his middleweight title on the line against talented IFL newcomer Dan Miller. The heavyweight belt will be at stake when Roy “Big Country” Nelson steps into the ring against Branden Lee Hinkle. Ryan Schultz, who grabbed the title from Chris Horodecki and ruined his perfect record on HDNet in December, will defend his title for the second time in three months. This time it will be the Lithuanian terror Deividas Taurosevicius attempting to snatch his lightweight crown. [Fight Card]
  • Fri, May 16 @ 7:30PM on Oceanic PPV Channel 0260 or Oceanic HD PPV 1260
    X1 Legends:
    For the first time in Hawaii television history, this locally produced MMA event will be aired LIVE on Oceanic Time Warner Cable in both high definition (Digital Channel 1260 – $39.99) and standard definition (Digital Channel 260 – $29.99). There will also be a LIVE Internet stream available at x1ppv.oceanic.com for $19.99. The Friday night live broadcast starts at 7:30pm with a replay to follow immediately. [Fight Card]
  • Sun, May 18 @ 3:30AM on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL Channel 1008
    Strikeforce on NBC:
    Strikeforce on NBC brings you face-to-face with some of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the nation, every Saturday night! From top professional competitors and champions to the up-and-coming challengers, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on the world’s most extreme sport. Experience the adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding action that comes with each round in the cage – this is a series that will put MMA fans on the edge of their seats!
  • Tue, May 20 @ 5PM on SpikeTV Channel 0559
    UFC 84 Countdown: Penn vs Sherk:
    Go behind the scenes as BJ Penn (Hilo, HI) and Sean Sherk (Oak Grove, MN) prepare for a lightweight championship battle. See how they train, eat and live in their home towns.
  • Wed, May 21 @ 7PM on SpikeTV Channel 0559
    The Ultimate Fighter:
    The training and development of professional Ultimate Fighters.
  • Fri, May 23 @ 3:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355?
    Inside MMA:
    Inside MMA is your opportunity to step inside the world of mixed martial arts and find out what it takes to be a champion. Hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice provide all the latest news and highlights, along with features, analysis, and rankings.
  • Sat, May 24 @ 4PM on PPV Channel 0701 or HDPPV Channel 1700 (preshow starts at 3:30PM)
    UFC 84 ILL WILL: Penn vs. Sherk:
    The fight game can get very personal and the war of words between UFC Lightweight Champion “THE PRODIGY” BJ PENN and former champ SEAN “THE MUSCLE SHARK” SHERK has taken personal to a whole new level. The talking stops and the real competition begins as these two men step into the Octagon to determine the undisputed king of the 155-lb. division. (See trailer and ordering information) [Fight Card]
  • Sun, May 25 @ 3:30AM on KHNL Channel 0008 or HDKHNL Channel 1008
    Strikeforce on NBC:
    Strikeforce on NBC brings you face-to-face with some of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the nation, every Saturday night! From top professional competitors and champions to the up-and-coming challengers, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on the world’s most extreme sport. Experience the adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding action that comes with each round in the cage – this is a series that will put MMA fans on the edge of their seats!
  • Sun, May 25 on Oceanic PPV (TBD)
    King Of The Cage: Opposing Force:
    King of the Cage returns this May with the premier of its 3 hour show “Opposing Force”. Superstar Welterweight World Champion Aaron “Slam” Wetherspoon returns to the cage after a one year hiatus to excite fight fans and again defend his 170lb World Title Belt. Also, watch Paul Arras put his undefeated record of 4-0 on the line and be there to witness the amazing slams of Rick Legere. Combined with another exciting eight fights, direct to you from the San Manuel Casino in San Bernardino, California, King of the Cage, “Opposing Force” promises an action packed night to remember. You don’t want to miss this, on Events iN DEMAND Pay-Per-View.
  • Wed, May 28 @ 7PM on SpikeTV Channel 0559
    The Ultimate Fighter:
    The training and development of professional Ultimate Fighters.
  • Wed, May 28 @ 7PM on on Versus 0210 or HGOLF 1216
    TapouT:
    The TapOut crew revisits some of their favorite fighters from season one with a look back at some of the best fights and most outrageous moments. New fight footage, where are they now interviews and a sneak peak at what’s ahead for season two – It’s all part of this very special Tap Out extravaganza.
  • Fri, May 30 @ 3:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355?
    Inside MMA:
    Inside MMA is your opportunity to step inside the world of mixed martial arts and find out what it takes to be a champion. Hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice provide all the latest news and highlights, along with features, analysis, and rankings.
  • Fri, May 30 @ 4:30PM on HDNET Channel 1355
    Best of DREAM 1:
    The most exciting fights from the first event from DREAM, a new mixed martial arts promotion from Japan. Featured match-ups include the long-awaited return of Heavyweight Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to Japan, Hayato Sakurai fighting as a Welterweight, as well as the opening round of the 16-man Lightweight Grand Prix tournament. The first round is highlighted by a controversial fight between Top 10 fighters Gesias Calvancanti and Shinya Aoki, plus fights from other top Lightweights Tatsuya Kawajiri, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Joachim Hansen and rising American star Eddie Alvarez.
  • Sat, May 31 @ 3PM on SpikeTV Channel 0559
    Ultimate Iceman – Chuck Liddell
  • Sat, May 31 @ 5PM on SpikeTV Channel 0559
    UFC Unleashed Special Presentation:
    Featuring Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva.
  • Sat, May 31 @ 8PM on CBS Channel 0007 or HD Channel 1007
    CBS/EliteXC Saturday Night Fights:
    MMA’s history making debut on network television. Scheduled fights include Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson, Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith, Gina Carano vs. Kaitlin Young, Phil Baroni vs. Joey Villasenor and Brett Rogers vs. John Murphy. [Fight Card]
  • Sun, June 1 @ 3PM on Versus Channel 0210 or HDGolf Channel 1216
    WEC (Faber vs. Pulver):
    Former UFC Lightweight Champion, Jens “Lil Evil” Pulver returns to 145 pounds, a weight at which he has never been beaten, as he looks to defend his legacy against the #1-ranked featherweight in the world – WEC Champion “The California Kid,” Urijah Faber. A win for Pulver secures his spot in MMA history. A win for Faber takes him one step closer to becoming the greatest featherweight fighter ever. [Fight Card]

Ongoing/repeat shows include UFC Unleashed (UFC) on SpikeTV (0559), Various Specials on HDNet Fights (1355), World Extreme Cagefighting and WEC Wreckage (WEC) on Versus (0210) or HGOLF (1216), TapouT on Versus (0210) or HGOLF (1216), UFC Wired (UFC) on KFVE (0005), and ICON Sport TV on KFVE (0005).

If I missed anything, send it on over and I’ll add it to the list. Thanks!

Speed Racer Movie Giveaway

May 2, 2008

Since it was cars you wanted, it is cars I am going to give you.

I’m Giving Away:
One free movie pass, good for two, to a special advance screening of Speed Racer.
It is for this Sunday, May 4th at 10AM at Consolidated Ward Theaters.

Why am I doing this? For one, it is simply a way to thank you for allowing me to be a part of your community. I hope I can be of enough interest for you to want to stick around for a bit. The second reason is for curiosity’s sake. Let me explain…

As the new kid on the block, I find myself a little “deer-in-the-headlights”-like still. A little baby, if you will, trying to figure out how to walk. I don’t quite know my place around these here parts and would like to reach out and ask for your help. So that I can get a better understanding of what it is you’re looking for, comment this post with some suggestions on what you’d like to see me ramble about. The comment with my mos’ favorite idea(s) will get the movie pass and a swift, er gentle pat on the back. 🙂

I promise that this is not a bribe or some scheme to get you guys to bump up my readership and comment counts (though it is a pretty dang good idea if I was actually that smart! 😛 )… I am honestly very interested in knowing what you feel is missing and if I could somehow fill that void.

Ed’s Easy Rules:

  • I will pick da lucky buggah by Friday or Saturday morning. Sorry to be so vague, I would say Friday, but I may not be near a computer after the Friday night Jason Mraz concert. 🙂
  • Once the winner is picked, we’ll have to arrange a time and place for the handing off of the pass, OR, I can leave it here at Oceanic for you to pick up (during normal business hours). Whichever’s easier.
  • Please be sure you are actually able to attend (or know someone who can) because I’d hate to pick the winner, only to find out that you can’t make it.
  • Acceptance of the pass means you will not hold me or Oceanic Time Warner Cable liable for anything whatsoever.

The Official Rules (fine print on the pass itself):

  • The screening is non-transferable. Please arrive early as seating is limited and is not guaranteed. Theater is not responsible for overbooking. No one will be admitted once the film begins. This pass is the property of Warner Bros. Pictures, which reserves the right to refuse, revoke or limit admission at the discretion of an authorized studio and/or theatre representative at any time.
  • The screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending you agree not to bring any audio or video recording device into the theatre (audio recording devices for credentialed press accepted) and consent to a physical search of your belongings and person. Any attempted use of recording devices will result in immediate removal from the theatre and forfeiture of such device. Camcording in a theatre is a federal felony. Please allow additional time for heightened security. You can assist us by leaving all nonessential bags at home or in your vehicle. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. thanks you for your cooperation.

About the Movie:
From writer/directors Larry and Andy Wachowski, the creators of the groundbreaking “The Matrix” trilogy, and producer Joel Silver comes the live action, high octane family adventure “Speed Racer.” Hurtling down the track, careening around, over and through the competition, Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is a natural behind the wheel. Born to race cars, Speed is aggressive, instinctive and, most of all, fearless. His only real competition is the memory of the brother he idolized – the legendary Rex Racer – whose death in a race has left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill.

Gamble With Me – It’s a Sure Bet

May 1, 2008

Ever heard of a sure thing? I have. It’s called Betting with Ed.

Last season, I came in dead last in our Fantasy Football league (trading Adrian Peterson probably didn’t help my cause. – Stop laughing!). This season, I have yet to come close in our weekly American Idol pool. In our NBA Playoff brackets, I’m tied for last (I had Phoenix taking it all. Again, stop laughing!).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no gambling fool. In fact, when I go to Vegas, I barely set foot near the tables. I’d much rather snowboard or feed my face at the buffet. When I do gamble (usually just $21 per day on Megabucks, Keno or a little Blackjack action), I feel like I’m wasting money, and with a mortgage and wedding to pay for, every penny counts these days. :

But yeah, if you’re looking for the highest ROI around, talk to me. It’ll be like taking candy from a baby, baby.

Since this was such a short and sweet post, I started working on adding a MMA TV Programming Schedule to include in here, but da buggah started to get HUGE! I’ll work on it some more and make a post out of it soon. I’m hoping it’ll help you MMA fans stay on top of errthing.

Oh yeah, and by the way, my AroundHawaii.com article just got published today. It’s on that Kapahulu Izaka-ya favorite of ours Tokkuri Tei. Check it out mmmkay?

Tokkuri Tei - The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For

Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For

May 1, 2008
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For | Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

Our company recently completed a weight-loss competition, in which we – depending on how serious you were – stripped ourselves of the bare essentials. For some, these “essentials” included cake, pork chops, deep fried foods, or a combination of the three. For me, it was sushi!

Twenty one “out-of-thin-air” pounds and many, luscious, raw fish dreams later, my stomach was ready to eat itself, but I maintained and did what my momma told me: I finished what I started. So when it was time to treat myself to my “first meal” of sorts, the first (and only!) place that came to mind was Tokkuri Tei, a small, izaka-ya type Japanese restaurant off Kapahulu Avenue.

Tokkuri Tei Sign
Tokkuri Tei Sign

Tokkuri Tei is, by far, my favorite “treat yourself” place to eat. With the most authentic tasting food and most realistic feeling izaka-ya vibe, it is as close to Japan that you can get without the hefty airfare.

I’ve mentioned the word izaka-ya a few times now, including in my title. Some of you are probably scratching your head asking yourself “what the heck is that buffoon referring to?” Loosely translated, the term izaka-ya in Japanese is a sake store/shop. In Japan, the term usually refers to a bar/pub that, in addition to sake (and other alcoholic drinks), serves up food, and good food at that. It’s always a popular pau hana stop for the hard working Japanese population because it’s casual and cheap, and sometimes carries unique, adventurous dishes you don’t often see anywhere else.

Teriyaki Cream Tofu - $7.50: Tofu got a French Twist
Teriyaki Cream Tofu – $7.50: “Tofu got a French Twist”

Tokkuri Tei is no different. They’ve been serving up some of the most innovative, imaginative and irresistible dishes since opening their doors at their initial location on Sheridan Street in 1989. Like their izaka-ya counterparts in Japan, when they were at this location, only a select number of us “in-the-know” knew of this relative hole-in-the-wall hot spot. Since moving to their more spacious Kapahulu location in 2000, the word has gotten out.

Tokkuri Tei’s humble beginnings started when Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, former manager of a Japanese restaurant named Shiruhachi, and Kazu “Kaz” Mitake, former sushi chef for Yanagi Sushi met and started a lunch wagon in Campbell Industrial Park in 1987. (Editor’s note: “Santa” explains that his nickname has nothing to do with Santa Claus. It is a Japanese name that means three times fatter than the others.)

“We were always talking about opening an izakaya type restaurant,” said Miyoshi. “In 1989, we got an investor from Japan and started Tokkuri tei. Originally we tried to name this restaurant ‘Izakaya Non’ literally ‘drinking’, since our corporation name is N.O.N. enterprises, too, but Izakaya Nonbei was open just before us. Kaz’s wife came up with this name “Tokkuri tei”. The logo represents the top view of the sake bottle in ‘masu’ (traditional square sake container).”

Too bad “Scrumptilicious” was already taken because that’s what the food here is. OK, so there’s nowhere actually named “Scrumptilicious,” but ya get the point.

Ika Yaki - $7.50: Squid pancake taste like pumpkin pie (not quite)
Ika Yaki – $7.50: “Squid pancake taste like pumpkin pie (not quite)”

It’s easy making a “drinking” place with decent tasting food, but Tokkuri Tei has taken things to another level. Part, or I should say most of the reason for their success in the kitchen is the strength of both Kaz and Santa’s culinary background.

“Kaz is a very experienced chef. He is in (the) line of cooking for 30 years and also understands (the) importance of customers’ feedback,” says Santa. “He started working at Zippy’s, Furusato, Marushin, Torigin, Ohortsuku, then Yanagi. I was working for a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo before I came here as a (restaurant) manager. But we had trouble with our chef, so I had to start cooking to maintain the restaurant. Several friends taught me how to cook including Kaz. After I left the restaurant, I worked for Kengo’s for a year as a sashimi cutter. I dealt with 400 pounds of ahi every day. Then I worked for Shogun for little while. Then we started the lunch wagon.”

Santa has won awards in the Aloha Shoyu cooking contests, placed multiple times in Sam Choy’s Poke Contest (1st in 2000, 2nd in 2001), and was a top ten finalist for Tabasco’s cooking contests. At the Kapolei Uncorked event last year, he, alongside of Alan Wong, D.K. Kodama, and other top chefs, was a featured “Culinary Star.” The restaurant was featured in the New York Times, Elle Décor, Travel & Leisure and Sunset Magazine and is one of Oahu’s 100 Best Restaurants as named by the Honolulu Advertiser’s readers.

But don’t take my word for it. Feast your eyes on the shots below of the more popular dishes served here.

Ahi Tar-Tare Poke - $15: 1997 Sam Choy's Poke Contest Winner
Ahi Tar-Tare Poke – $15: 1997 Sam Choy’s Poke Contest Winner

There's a Spider in Da Poke - $16: 2000 Sam Choy's Poke Contest Winner
There’s a Spider in Da Poke – $16: 2000 Sam Choy’s Poke Contest Winner

Stuffed Portobello - $9.50: Portobello stuffed with sticky rice - yes it's half eaten!
Stuffed Portobello – $9.50: Portobello stuffed with sticky rice – yes it’s half eaten!

If you’re a butter fan, try something from their Bata Itame section on the menu. My favorite is the Tako! Imo! (Octopus! Potato!) choice.

Tako! Imo! - $6.50: Potato & Octopus
Tako! Imo! – $6.50: Potato & Octopus

One of the more amusing things you’ll notice about the menu is the descriptions of the dishes. It’s one thing that many of the dish titles are Japanese, but when you see things descriptions like “You Do Who! What?” (Yu Dofu), “I can’t explain. Can you?” (Kanpyo Roll), “It tastes better than worm” (Caterpillar Roll) or my personal favorite “You’ll never know till you try.” (Anago Yanagawa), it doesn’t help much.

Funny, vague dish descriptions
Funny, vague dish descriptions

Thankfully, you can go omakase (“leave it up to them”) if they like you and they’re not too busy. This is when you tell them what kinds of ingredients you like, and they’ll concoct dishes based around those interests. You can rest assured though that whatever comes out of their kitchen, omakase or not, will be top notch!

So what’s next for Hawaii’s best Izaka-ya? Believe it or not, they are planning to publish a cook book. You can be sure that I’ll be the first in line to pick up that puppy. After all, I’ve got 21 sushi-filled pounds to put back!

Tokkuri Tei
611 Kapahulu Ave, Suite 102
Honolulu, HI 96815 (map)
(808) 739-2800
Mon-Fri 10:30am-2pm
Mon-Fri 5:30pm-12am
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For | Tokkuri Tei – Revisited