Posts Tagged ‘Kahului’

Hawaii Ramen Quest – Part III

December 1, 2011
Part I | Part II |  Part III  | Part IV | Part V

With winter in full swing and Hawaii’s “chilly” weather freezing everyone to the core πŸ˜› , there’s no better comfort food than a nice, hot, steamy bowl of ramen. And while eating at some of my go-to ramen picks (i.e. Yotteko-Ya, Tenkaippin, etc.) would be ideal, sometimes, patronizing your friendly, neighborhood ramen spots is the way to go to help warm the soul.

This next batch of spots in our Hawaii Ramen Quest consists of some of the more non-traditional, localized interpretations of ramen. Stemming from what appears to be of local Chinese influence (with the use of cabbage, bean sprouts, corn, mapo tofu, etc.), these ramen joints often have multiple locations in very convenient areas around town, and I would venture to guess that they are conceivably some of the most popular amongst the locals. Although I don’t associate any of these with the “straight from tha muthaland” flavor and style of ramen I’m accustomed to, there’s no doubt that I still frequent many of these for my noodle fix on the regular.

First up is Daiichi Ramen & Curry in Aiea.

I don’t usually venture out around lower Aiea too often except when I take a wrong turn from Aiea Bowl or Ice Garden, so when I actually did one day, I noticed a sign with big red letters calling me. It said Daiichi Ramen & Curry and I immediately thought to myself, “Oh, thaaaaat’s where it is!” Now you gotta understand, with a name like that (which means “#1” in Japanese), I will place very high expectations on the ramen coming out of the pots there. But then again, with a name like that (gotta love the confidence BTW!) it has to be good right? I’ve heard a lot about this place before but it wasn’t until a recent check-in by @abaggy earlier this month that my curiosity got the best of me. I dragged co-workers and friends Maribel and Trina to come along for the ride.

Maribel & Trina pose outside Daiichi Ramen & Curry in Aiea Shopping Plaza
Maribel & Trina pose outside Daiichi Ramen & Curry in Aiea Shopping Plaza

The first thing you notice is that it is very clean (perhaps even remodeled). Surprising, as they been around for quite some time. The next thing you notice is the two giant posters hanging on the wall advertising their “new” Tonkotsu and Tan Tan Ramens. Smart choice as those have been the popular styles of ramen here in Hawaii as of late.

Trina and I got one of each, while Maribel got the “Special Combo” with Mini Ramen & Curry choices.

Tan Tan Ramen - Healthy soup cooked for over 12 hours with chicken bones, pork rib bones and fresh ground sesame seeds, made fresh daily. - $7.75
Tan Tan Ramen – Healthy soup cooked for over 12 hours with chicken bones, pork rib bones and fresh ground sesame seeds, made fresh daily. – $7.75

Tonkotsu Ramen - Healthy soup cooked for over 12 hours with soft rib bones made fresh daily. - $7.75
Tonkotsu Ramen – Healthy soup cooked for over 12 hours with soft rib bones made fresh daily. – $7.75

Ramen from the Special Combo, Two choice - $8.75
Ramen from the Special Combo, Two choice – $8.75

Mini Curry Rice from the Special Combo, 2 Choice - $8.75
Mini Curry Rice from the Special Combo, 2 Choice – $8.75

Maribel and Trina posing with our ramens
Maribel and Trina posing with our ramens

The flavor wasn’t quite there for the Tonkotsu ramen, but the Ton Ton definitely had a lot of kick. It made all of us cry just a bit. LOL!

Daiichi Ramen & Curry
Aiea Shopping Plaza
99-080 Kauhale Road, Bldg A
Aiea, HI 96701 (Street View)
(808) 486-7432
Daily: 10:30am-9:30pm

Note: A new location also just opened up at 1029 Makolu Street in Pearl City (808-455-9898), which is the strip mall with Starbucks, Kozo Sushi and Panda Express FYI.

 

Next up is Sumo Ramen & Curry. They’ve got 6 or so locations sprinkled across Oahu now, but the one we visited for this review was the tiny one in the Moanalua 99 food court area.

Sumo Ramen & Curry at Moanalua 99
Sumo Ramen & Curry at Moanalua 99

We had the little one with us so everything had to be ordered in “to go” packaging (… You know, just in case. LOL!), but everything was pretty tasty nonetheless. They have quite an extensive menu with offerings in the curry, fried noodle, udon, fried rice, cold soba and ramen categories, in addition to various appetizers you don’t usually see at a place like this.

Spicy Chicken Wings Appetizer - $3.75
Spicy Chicken Wings Appetizer – $3.75

Wifey ordered the Mochiko Chicken Curry Combo, while I got, what else?, the Tonkotsu Ramen. At least I’m consistent right? πŸ™‚

Tonkotsu Ramen - $7.50
Tonkotsu Ramen – $7.50

Here’s a shot of our entire meal.

Spicy Chicken Wings appetizer ($3.75), Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.50), and wifey's Mochiko Chicken Curry Combo ($9.50)
Spicy Chicken Wings appetizer ($3.75), Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.50), and wifey’s Mochiko Chicken Curry Combo ($9.50)

Sumo Ramen & Curry
Moanalua 99 Food Court
1151 Mapunapuna Street, Suite W-9
Honolulu, HI 96819 (Street View)
(808) 833-3139

 

IchiBen in Pearl City’s Times Square Shopping Center is a somewhat newer addition to the ramen scene, but has quickly gained popularity amongst the locals in the area. They specialize in fried rice, curries Korean style BBQ, and their ramens. The attention to detail with their ramen broth is evident by the meticulous description on their menu:

Our special cooked-from-scratch broth is low-simmered for 8-10 hours, resulting in a clear stock with layers of intense flavor. The ingredients include pork shank bones, chicken, shiitake mushrooms, kombu, dried shrimps and scallops, onions, garlic, ginger and leek. You can choose from Shoyu or Miso flavor. The third choice, Paitan, is kanchi for white soup. This signature pork and chicken soup is slow-boiled for 10 or more hours until the stock turns a milky white color. It is rich in collagen and flavor, also known as tonkotsu, and it’s a regional style from Southern Japan. Ours is delightfully light and smooth, without the greasy taste because of our constant skimming all day. We do not use MSG in our cooking, including the soup stock.

Here’s a shot of the Seafood Ramen with Paitan style broth.

Seafood Ramen with Paitan broth - $8.45
Seafood Ramen with Paitan broth – $8.45

Wifey seemed to be happy with her order of the Shoyu version.

Seafood Ramen with Shoyu broth - $7.95
Seafood Ramen with Shoyu broth – $7.95

On a return visit, I wasn’t really in the mood for ramen (it was hot out), so I read the menu’s description of their “Flaming Grill” options and was sold. I swear, the guy who wrote these should win some kind of award for always making me so hungry! πŸ˜›

Our BBQ chicken and Kalbi are marinated in Korean-style sauce with shoyu, sugar, ginger, garlic, black pepper and sesame oil for at least 12 hours to bring out the full flavor. Grilled to perfection and served with steamed rice, macaroni salad and tsukemono.

IchiGrill - 1 fillet of chicken and 2 slices of kalbi short ribs - $9.95
IchiGrill – 1 fillet of chicken and 2 slices of kalbi short ribs – $9.95

I actually liked the Korean BBQ items more than the ramen here. Very flavorful and tasty!

IchiBen
Times Square Shopping Center
98-1254 Kaahumanu Street, Suite B-06
Pearl City, HI 96782 (Street View)
(808) 488-4200
Sun-Thu: 11am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm

 

Mililani natives would know all about our next stop: Genki Ramen, which has a location on each side of the H2 (Mililani Mauka and Mililani town). Working out here in the often chilly-willy Central Oahu locale, it’s easy to make a quick lunch run to either location. Here are co-workers and friends Wendy and Maribel during a recent visit to the Mauka location.

Wendy and Maribel pose with our spread from Genki Ramen
Wendy and Maribel pose with our spread from Genki Ramen

Wendy ordered the Pork Vegetable Fried Noodles, which, ironically (at a ramen shop), is one of my favorite dishes here.

Pork Vegetable Fried Noodle - $7.50
Pork Vegetable Fried Noodle – $7.50

I usually order the Seafood Fried Noodles sans the radioactive looking ginger or the Mabo Tofu Ramen, but since this is a Ramen Quest, I took one for the team and ordered the marquee item on the menu: The New Genki Ramen (Big Bowl)!

New Genki Ramen (Big Bowl) - $9.75
New Genki Ramen (Big Bowl) – $9.75

Although da buggah is HUGE, it’s rather deceiving because, like many of the other ramens on their menu, the noodles seem to always be lacking. To me, they overstuff the bowl with cabbage and bean sprouts and never have enough noodles at the bottom for me to slurp on.

Maribel got the Combo A Set which included a Mini Shoyu Ramen, Fried Rice and 4 pieces of Gyoza.

Combo A Set - Mini Shoyu Ramen, Fried Rice and 4 pieces of Gyoza - $7.75
Combo A Set – Mini Shoyu Ramen, Fried Rice and 4 pieces of Gyoza – $7.75

Genki Ramen II (Mililani Mauka)
95-1840 Meheula Parkway
Mililani, HI 96789 (Street View)
(808) 626-7829

 

Rumor has it that there was some kind of rift (ala Gomaichi and Goma Tei) that caused one owner to leave Genki Ramen to start this next ramen restaurant chain: Ramen Ya. Although there is one in Kahului (Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center on Maui), and one to open soon in Hawaii Kai, this review is for the somewhat new location in the Pearl Highlands area.

The menu is remarkably identical to Genki Ramen’s one so I went with what I knew best and ordered the Mapo Tofu Ramen. Yep, it’s spelled “Mapo” here.

Mapo Tofu Ramen - $7.25
Mapo Tofu Ramen – $7.25

Co-workers and friends Erin and Diane went curry and ordered the Deep Fried Gyoza Curry Rice and the Curry Ramen respectively.

Deep Fried Gyoza Curry Rice - $7.75
Deep Fried Gyoza Curry Rice – $7.75

Curry Ramen - $7.25
Curry Ramen – $7.25

Erin and Diane with our food at Ramen-Ya
Erin and Diane with our food at Ramen-Ya

If you like Genki Ramen, you’ll like it here as well (and vice versa).

Ramen-Ya
1170 Kuala Street, Suite 308
Pearl City, HI 96782 (Street View)
(808) 456-8868
Daily: 10:30am-9pm

 

I never even knew this next place existed until I did a site visit in the area for work. Since it was lunch time and we were mad hungry, Maribel (yes again) and I decided to scope things out at Ton Ton Ramen.

The menu is fairly extensive with noodle, udon & rice dishes, combos, side orders and a variety of special ramens including the Black Sesame Tan Tan Ramen, Ippin Ramen, Oxtail Ramen, and the one I got, which was the very popular Soft Rib Ramen.

Soft Rib Ramen - Ribs are slowly cooked over 8 hours until tender & juicy. Ramen is served in a garlic shoyu base with traditional half cooked egg. Original Japanese style. - $8
Soft Rib Ramen – Ribs are slowly cooked over 8 hours until tender & juicy. Ramen is served in a garlic shoyu base with traditional half cooked egg. Original Japanese style. – $8

The soft boiled egg was a nice touch, though it wasn’t quite as soft-boiled as I would’ve liked it. The nori was also a good attempt at being authentic. The soup needed more flavor but the soft rib was definitely soft and tasty.

Surprise surprise. Maribel got a combo yet again. LOL! This time around, she got the Mochiko Chicken Combo, which included the Mochiko Chicken, a mini ramen, and gyoza.

A happy looking Maribel with her Mochiko Chicken Combo - $9.45
A happy looking Maribel with her Mochiko Chicken Combo – $9.45

Ton Ton Ramen
94-050 Farrington Highway
Waipahu, HI 96797 (Street View)
(808) 677-5388

 

Back in the day, when we used to go clubbing (yes, THAT long ago), this next stop was one of our staples: Taiyo Ramen, thanks to its late night hours of operation. Located in between the now two defunct Blockbuster and I Love Country Café locations off Piikoi, this ramen joint has stood the test of time and endured the ups and downs of the market.

I don’t have any current prices or photos, but here are a few dishes from way back in 2006.

Gomoku Ramen
Gomoku Ramen

Seafood Udon
Seafood Udon

Soba from Taiyo Ramen
Soba from Taiyo Ramen

Makes me want to get drunk and go there again for old time’s sake. 8)

Taiyo Ramen
451 Piikoi Street, Suite 105
Honolulu, HI 96814 (Street View)
(808) 589-2123
Mon-Thu 10am-1am
Fri-Sat 10am-3am
Sun 10am-9pm

 

And speaking of late night eats, here’s a quickie shot of my Oxtail Ramen from none other than Sanoya’s. Ahhh, the memories…

Oxtail Ramen from Sanoya's
Oxtail Ramen from Sanoya’s

Not exactly gourmet eating, but good enough for those late night cravings.

Sanoya Rahmen
1785 S King Street, Suite 4
Honolulu, HI 96826 (Street View)
(808) 947-6065

 

And finally, here’s a “fast kine” location we recently hit up at the Manoa Marketplace: Nishi Mon Cho Ramen. As you’ll see in the photos, we again ordered everything in take out containers because we had baby with us. Our parents were pretty hungry, but wifey and I weren’t so we decided to share something small. I got the daily (Friday) special, the Curry Beef Rice & 4 pcs Gyoza combo, while wifey got a mini shoyu ramen.

Nishi Mon Cho Friday Special - Curry Beef Rice & 4 pcs Gyoza - $6.99 (with wifey's mini shoyu ramen on the side). Yes, I'm not a fan of cooked carrots. :P
Nishi Mon Cho Friday Special – Curry Beef Rice & 4 pcs Gyoza – $6.99 (with wifey’s mini shoyu ramen on the side). Yes, I’m not a fan of cooked carrots. πŸ˜›

Some of the other daily specials at Nishi Mon Cho Ramen
Some of the other daily specials at Nishi Mon Cho Ramen

The warm, fuzzy story behind this visit was that the worker (who appeared to be the owner) was very friendly and accommodating with us, noticing our obvious apprehension (whether to eat in or take out) due to our situation with the little one. She shared information about her own kids and made everyone feel very comfortable.

Nishi Mon Cho Ramen
Manoa Marketplace
2851 E Manoa Road #1-104
Honolulu, HI 96822 (Street View)
(808) 988-9928
Daily: 10:30am-9pm

 

And that’s it! Whew! That was a packed one! If I don’t see or talk to you guys soon, have a safe and happy holiday season. See y’all next month/year! πŸ™‚

Part I | Part II |  Part III  | Part IV | Part V

A Weekend In Lana`i

December 1, 2009

Close your eyes with me for a second.

Now imagine a stunning paradise, filled with breathtaking magnificence and splendor. Can you see it? Can you feel it? It’s right there isn’t it?

Now open your eyes.

Chances are, the place you just dreamt about looked strikingly similar to the picturesque island we’re about to visit…

As the 1 year wedding anniversary for wifey and I approached, I thought it’d be a fun little surprise to whisk her away to somewhere unique and different for the weekend. A place that neither her or I have ever been before. After putting up with me for 365 days after all, she pretty much earned it right? πŸ˜›

So for a short weekend, we decided to close our eyes and get swept away to the island now known as the “Private Isle”, formerly the “Pineapple Isle” (“Pineapple Isle” because it used to be a place where a quarter of the world’s pineapples were produced and “Private Isle” because 98% of it is privately owned by David Murdock via Castle & Cooke). Here are some tips on how to best enjoy your “Lanaian” adventure. Hope it helps!

You’ve pretty much got two choices in terms of booking a flight to Lana`i: Island Air (who also provides flights to Hawaiian Air) and go! Airlines. Mokulele Airlines (who has recently partnered with go!) also has flights via their charter service, but booking a flight directly via their web site, at the time of this writing, was not working.

According to their route map, for flights to Lana`i, go! flies out of both Honolulu and Kahului via their go! Express service, while Island Air (and Hawaiian Air) only has flights out of Honolulu. On this occasion, booking through Island Air directly gave me the cheapest fares.

Boarding our Lana`i bound plane at sunset via Island Air
Boarding our Lana`i bound plane at sunset via Island Air

Ed’s Tip: If you’re weary of planes, it may be a rough take-off for you. Since it is a smaller, propeller powered flight, you will hear and feel everything during lift off. Once airborne though, everything is smoove.

Upon landing in Lana`i City, you will deplane, walk into the terminal and turn right towards the shuttle service check-in counter.

Shuttle service check-in counter
Shuttle service check-in counter

As long as you’ve made your reservation through one of the resorts (or Hotel Lana`i), the shuttles will be ready for your arrival. At about $20 per person for unlimited rides, it is totally worth the investment. Trust!

Ed’s Tip: Unless you are planning on going gallivanting around the entire island (which is mostly via off-road jeeping), there really is no need to rent a car. The shuttle stops at the three major destinations of the island: the Lodge at Koele at the top of every hour, in Lana`i City (Hotel Lana`i) at the :15 minute mark (Manele bound) and :45 minute mark (Koele bound) of every hour, and at Manele Bay at the :30 minute mark of every hour.

Lana`i shuttle arriving at the Lodge at Koele
Lana`i shuttle arriving at the Lodge at Koele

Arriving at the hotel, you are immediately pampered and made to feel like royalty. You are greeted with a kukui nut lei, and, instead of standing and waiting in a long line to check in, you are asked to take a seat, while offered a hot towel to freshen up. Did I mention that they bring you a sweet pineapple beverage to quench your thirst too? Geez, a fella can get used to this!

We chose to stay at the Four Seasons Resort, Lana`i, The Lodge at Koele, a great alternative to the other two Lana`i options: Four Seasons Resort Lana`i at Manele Bay, and Hotel Lana`i.

I can’t really speak on Hotel Lana`i because I’ve never stayed there, but I would highly recommend staying at the Lodge at Koele. And though absolutely beautiful, the Manele Bay resort is the most expensive of the three and is almost like any other beach resort you’ve been to, especially if you’re from Hawaii. Hotel Lana`i is the cheapest and most central (right in the heart of Lana`i City), but you will not get the luxury of the Four Seasons.

The Lodge at Koele was a dream. You are in Hawaii, but it is almost like you are not in Hawaii. Like you’ve been swept away to a high-class countryside villa in the middle of the forest, complete with tall pines, its own pond, and elegant art strewn all about. And because of all of the greenery (and because of the higher elevation), it is much cooler – cold even – than its Manele counterpart (which sits right on the ocean front).

Four Seasons Resort Lana`i, The Lodge At Koele
One Keomoku Hwy
Lana`i City, HI 96763 (map)
(808) 565-4000
Twitter: @FSLanai

Ed’s Tips: As expected at such a luxurious resort, rates are not cheap. Be sure to ask for the kama`aina rate (if you’re local) and/or special golf packages (if you’re a golfer). If you’re on Twitter, be sure to drop them a line. They are very active on there and seem to appreciate anything and everything Lana`i. Tell ’em @worldwideed sent ya and… ya never know! πŸ™‚ They’re doing Twitter right fo sho.

One of the recommendations given to us was to try the food at Lana`i City Grille at Hotel Lana`i, so shortly after checking in and freshening up, we caught the shuttle (at the top of the hour) over to Hotel Lana`i for dinner.

Lana`i City Grille sign at Hotel Lana`i
Lana`i City Grille sign at Hotel Lana`i

Wifey and I shared the Crab Cakes and Soup of the Day (a spicy lobster bisque) to start.

Crab Cakes - Tomato Corn Salsa and Tobiko Remoulade - $14
Crab Cakes – Tomato Corn Salsa and Tobiko Remoulade – $14

Soup of the Day - Spicy lobster bisque - $9
Soup of the Day – Spicy lobster bisque – $9

Then, she moved on to the Pecan Crusted Catch of the Day (Mahi) while I took on the Grilled Filet of Angus Beef.

Pecan Crusted Mahi - Chipotle Honey Butter, Chorizo Potato Puree and Seasonal Vegetables - $34
Pecan Crusted Mahi – Chipotle Honey Butter, Chorizo Potato Puree and Seasonal Vegetables – $34

Grilled Filet of Angus Beef - Aged Cheddar Potato Cake, Roasted Root Vegetables and a Classic Bearnaise - $39
Grilled Filet of Angus Beef – Aged Cheddar Potato Cake, Roasted Root Vegetables and a Classic Bearnaise – $39

Ed’s Tips: Make a reservation as it fills up fast here. Especially on Friday nights when local band Alapa Drive jams for the locals and tourists alike. Also, portions are pretty big here. Bring your appetite!

Lana`i City Grille
828 Lanai Avenue
Lana`i City, Lana`i, HI 96763 (map)
(808) 565-7211
Wed-Sun: 5pm-9pm

One thing we noticed early on about Lana`i is the people. They’re extremely friendly and filled with Aloha. And I’m not talking about those in the industry, catering to us tourists. They’re almost required to be nice to us. I’m talking about the local locals. Walking around, we were regularly greeted with smiles, several “Howzits!” and an occasional “Aloha!” I was really impressed and happy to see that the Aloha Spirit is alive and well here!

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of crime here either. Enjoying our meal, we missed the shuttle headed to Koele. No problem, we’ll just walk it back. Other than a crazy cat that leaped out of the woodworks, we felt completely safe in the darkness (street lights are few and far between). Safety? The result of a laid back lifestyle I guess.

Ed’s Tip: The walk between Lana`i City and the Lodge at Koele follows a single road (Lana`i Ave) for about a mile and takes approximately 20-25 minutes. Not too bad. If you don’t want to wait for the shuttle to come back around. It’s also a good way to walk off your meal if you find yourself overeating. 8)

The next morning, we hit up the town square that surrounds Dole Park, also referred to as “the city”. It’s a cute, quaint little town that is actually listed on the National Trust’s list of most “endangered historic places”.

One place that we were regularly told we HAD to check out was a place called Blue Ginger Cafe, right in the heart of Lana`i City.

Blue Ginger Cafe, Lana`i
Blue Ginger Cafe, Lana`i

Not only did they seem to have the longest hours of any merchant in the square (6AM-8PM on most days), they also had a full fledged bakery selection and a flat screen HDTV to boot. Let’s just hope that they have Oceanic Time Warner Cable service for this free plug. πŸ˜‰

Their menu ranged from breakfast items (including Omelettes, Pancakes, French Toast, etc.), plate lunch kine stuffs (Hamburger Steak, Loco Moco, Chicken Katsu, etc.), burgers, sandwiches, saimin, fried rice, “healthy choices”, their bakery options, and more!

Since it was breakfast time, I had to go with my all-time favorite breakfast meal: Corned Beef Hash and Eggs! Awwww yeaaaahhh!

Regular Breakfast - 2 Eggs, Choice of Meat (Portuguese Sausage, Patty Sausage, Corned Beef Hash, Spam, Bacon, Ham), served with Rice, Fried Rice, Hash Brown or Toast - $7.50
Regular Breakfast – 2 Eggs, Choice of Meat (Portuguese Sausage, Patty Sausage, Corned Beef Hash, Spam, Bacon, Ham), served with Rice, Fried Rice, Hash Brown or Toast – $7.50

Wifey enjoyed their blueberry turnover with a coffee. Perhaps she enjoyed it a little too much because she ordered 2 more to go! πŸ˜› Nah, they were actually super onos!

Blueberry Turnover - $2
Blueberry Turnover – $2

Blue Ginger Cafe provided a great escape from the touristy resort life, and brought us back to grass root, mom and pop-type living/eating. Highly recommended!

Blue Ginger Cafe
409 7th Street
Lana`i City, Lana`i, HI 96763 (map)
(808) 565-6363
Mon, Thu, Fri: 6am-8pm
Tue, Wed: 6am-2pm
Sat, Sun: 6:30am-8pm

Following breakfast, we made a quick stop back at our room to freshen up before heading to Lana`i’s other Four Seasons property: Lana`i at Manele Bay.

Looking out into Hulopo`e Bay from the Manele Bay resort lobby area
Looking out into Hulopo`e Bay from the Manele Bay resort lobby area

Looking into the Manele Bay resort lobby area
Looking into the Manele Bay resort lobby area

The pool area at the Manele Bay resort
The pool area at the Manele Bay resort

As you can see in the photos, The Lana`i at Manele Bay resort is a very ritzy, beach-type resort. The kind you see in magazines and those “Win a Trip to Hawaii” contest fliers. πŸ™‚ If this is more your style, then I would say go getum and book away!

Four Seasons Resort Lana`i at Manele Bay
One Manele Bay Road
Lana`i City, HI 96763 (map)
(808) 565-2000
Twitter: @FSLanai

As for us, we were just passing on through, on the way to the beach that sits behind the resort: Hulopo`e Bay.

Overlooking Hulopo`e Bay
Overlooking Hulopo`e Bay

At the bottom of the trail, you’ll meet up with one of the friendly employees who will hook you up with towels, an umbrella and beach chairs (and covers) to help you lounge and relax on the amazing oceanfront. And, oh yes, more refreshments!

The life
The life

Ed’s Tip: Both resorts’ systems are connected, so I am told that as long as you are staying at one, you can charge things at the other no problem. That means that you don’t have to worry about carrying around your wallet/money. Just charge um to the room!

The beach is absolutely gahgeous. Everything you’d wish for in a dream beach: white sand, clear, blue water, and barren! Aside from the dozen or so other beach-goers at the time, we pretty much had the whole beach to ourselves.

Hulopo`e Bay, Lana`i
Hulopo`e Bay, Lana`i

Ed’s Tips: Keep to the left side of the bay (if you’re facing the ocean), as there are rocks and reef on the right side. Pack your goggles. The water is so clear that you’ll be able to see all the way to the bottom of the ocean. You might even catch tiny fish swimming around your legs like us.

Once you’ve had your fill of Hulopo`e Bay Beach, head southeast along the beach (left if you’re facing the ocean) until you get to a little trail that leads to one of two of the trail’s highlights: The Hulopo`e Bay Tide Pools.

Hulopo`e Bay Tide Pools
Hulopo`e Bay Tide Pools

Hulopo`e Bay Tide Pools
Hulopo`e Bay Tide Pools

Hulopo`e Bay Tide Pools
Hulopo`e Bay Tide Pools

While on the beach, I shoved my T-shirt in wifey’s bag in a feeble attempt to get a tan. During the hike, I decided to put my shirt back on so I reached in wifey’s bag to pull it out. To our surprise, a friendly little scorpion decided that he wanted to come along on the hike with us. Yeah a scorpion! WTH!? OK, so it probably wasn’t very friendly, but it was little. In my haste, I shook off my shirt and sent the scorpion flying into one of the tide pools. Sorry little guy!

My buddy, the little scorpion, floating around in one of the Hulopo`e Bay's Tide Pools
My buddy, the little scorpion, floating around in one of the Hulopo`e Bay’s Tide Pools

Ed’s Tip: Not sure how common these are in the area, but beware of the possibility of mini scorpions. Shake off your bags and clothing just in case.

Continuing along the trail, we got to the other highlight. The crown jewel of the area. None other than Pu`u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock).

Pu`u Pehe Rock
Pu`u Pehe Rock

My first thought when experiencing this remarkable work of Mother Nature was “Wow!” with the first word seeping outta my mouth being “Ho!” And it’s even more amazing as you get closer.

Pu`u Pehe from the cliff's edge
Pu`u Pehe from the cliff’s edge

The rock even has an amazing story to go along with it: It is believed that Pu`u Pehe was named after a beautiful young princess from Maui by the same name. She moved to Lana`i after falling in love with a young warrior from the island. Afraid to let others see her beautiful princess, the warrior hid her in a sea cave near the rock. One day, while away gathering supplies, terrible weather hit the area. Before he could return in time, the strong, storm waves had already drowned his princess in the cave. Distraught, he asked for help from the gods, who helped him climb up to the top of the steep rock where he eventually buried his beloved princess before jumping to his death.

Talk about romantic yeah?

Either way, it’s truly a majestic sight and is a definite must-see while on Lana`i.

Pu`u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)
Pu`u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)

Pu`u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)
Pu`u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)

Pu`u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)
Pu`u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)

Oops, the bottom of the hour is coming up. We better hurry back to the shuttle stop before it takes off without us!

A quick shuttle ride back to our hotel and a power nap later, and *poof* it was time for din-din. We weren’t all that hungry so we opted to stay in and try the resort’s Terrace Restaurant on for size. Located right across the lobby, next to the Great Hall (that included live lounge music by a local pianist), it was a relaxing meal after a long day.

Wifey enjoyed the House Made Lobster Ravioli, while I opted for the “Design Your Entree” option with my Tiger Prawns and Hamakua Mushrooms combo.

House Made Lobster Ravioli - Cabernet Butter Sauce Over Wilted Swiss Chard - $30.
House Made Lobster Ravioli – Cabernet Butter Sauce Over Wilted Swiss Chard – $30.

"Design Your EntrΓ©e": Grilled Tiger Prawns with Mango Relish and Sauteed Hamakua Mushrooms (Garlic Butter) - $33
“Design Your EntrΓ©e”: Grilled Tiger Prawns with Mango Relish and Sauteed Hamakua Mushrooms (Garlic Butter) – $33

And then it was on to dessert with the waitress-recommended Baked Chocolate Tart.

Baked Chocolate Tart - Kona Coffee Ice Cream - $9
Baked Chocolate Tart – Kona Coffee Ice Cream – $9

Terrace Restaurant
Four Seasons Resort, Lanai, The Lodge at Koele
One Keomoku Hwy
Lana`i City, HI 96763 (map)
(808) 565-4000

With our bellies satisfied, it was time to head back to our room to hit the hay in preparation for our last full day on this beautiful island. Aww, too soon! 😦

Ed’s Tip: If you’re a movie buff, your room comes equipped with a DVD player. You can rent from a limited selection of DVDs from the front desk for free.

The next morning marked the actual anniversary date for wifey and I and was cause for celebration. We decided to step out onto our patio area with the blueberry turnovers from Blue Ginger Cafe, hot coffee and tea from downstairs, and a little bubbly in the form of a Piper-Hiedsieck bottle of Brut Champagne, compliments of the wonderful staff at the Four Seasons Resort’s Lodge at Koele. Much love guys!

Piper-Hiedsieck Brut Champagne, compliments of the Four Seasons Resort's Lodge at Koele.
Piper-Hiedsieck Brut Champagne, compliments of the Four Seasons Resort’s Lodge at Koele.

Ed’s Tip: Coffee and Tea are served in the lobby area from 5:30AM-8AM every morning. We were also told that pastries would be there too, but perhaps you need to go early for those?

After sharing our memories of the last year together, it was time to make the best of our last day on the island. We started by exploring the vast grounds of our own resort, the Lodge at Koele.

Sign for the Four Seasons Resort Lana`i, The Lodge at Koele
Sign for the Four Seasons Resort Lana`i, The Lodge at Koele

Looking out towards Keomoku Highway
Looking out towards Keomoku Highway

Looking towards the Lodge at Koele's main building
Looking towards the Lodge at Koele’s main building

Enter the main building and you’ll be amazed by the Great Hall. Here’s a panoramic view.

Panoramic of the Great Hall
Panoramic of the Great Hall

Exit through the back of the main building and you’ll run into a curious statue, one of the many art pieces around the property.

Statue at the Lodge at Koele
Statue at the Lodge at Koele

Walking forward for a bit, we hit the Pineapple Fountain, a popular spot for weddings.

Pineapple Fountain
Pineapple Fountain

To the left is the property’s pool and hot tub area and to the right is the Reflecting Pond. Filled with Koi, this is one of the property’s main focal points.

The Reflecting Pond
The Reflecting Pond

Probably a good a time as any to play tourist. We obliged.

Using the Reflecting Pond as our backdrop
Using the Reflecting Pond as our backdrop

Close by, there is a greenhouse called the Orchid House and Gardens. Here’s a description from the web: The greenhouse at Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele is filled with the sweet scents and vibrant colours of orchids, hanging ferns, potted palms and tropical flowers. On the walk up to the greenhouse you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the mountains and the lake. Admission is free.

Orchid House and Gardens
Orchid House and Gardens

To the right, is a cool, temple-like structure with an Asian influence. Check it!

Asian influenced, temple-like structure
Asian influenced, temple-like structure

Depending on the season (I’m guessing), you may notice turkeys scurrying around the resort grounds. They’re not very friendly, but cute nonetheless. πŸ˜›

Turkeys on the Lodge at Koele grounds
Turkeys on the Lodge at Koele grounds

Continuing right, you’ll find one of the coolest, golf-related things I’ve ever seen: a full, 18-hole miniature golf putting course, complete with water hazards, sand traps and all! Just ask the front desk to rent a putter and ball. It’s free.

18 hole miniature golf putting course
18 hole miniature golf putting course

Ed’s Tip: Unless you’ve got mad, Tiger Woods type skillz like me πŸ˜› , you may want to either putt and run, or have your friend/mate/partner go up ahead and “protect” your ball. Some greens are really fast, with impossible turns, that your ball will inevitably be drawn to go for a swim in the shimmering water. πŸ˜‰

Our last day in Lanai was coming to a close, but we were starving. One last stop at Lanai City to grab lunch should do the trick. We hit up Blue Ginger Cafe’s neighbor Canoes Lana`i (formerly Tanigawa Restaurant, est. 1953).

Canoe's Lanai Restaurant
Canoe’s Lanai Restaurant

The sign out front said, “Home of the Famous Tanigawa Burger” so you betchyo bottom that’s what I hadta have. (And yes… for you eagle eyes out there who noticed the “Closed” sign above: this photo was taken the day before. Sheez, let a brutha slide once in a while won’tcha? πŸ˜› )

Tanigawa Burger - Mrs. Tanigawa's original recipe. A Lana`i tradition since 1953 - $2.30 each with an order of curly fries - $2.09
Tanigawa Burger – Mrs. Tanigawa’s original recipe. A Lana`i tradition since 1953 – $2.30 each with an order of curly fries – $2.09

Ed’s Tip: The Tanigawa Burger runs on the small side, so I would advise you to order two if you’re hungry. At least that’s what the waitress told me all the local boys do.

Wifey was craving fried rice at Blue Ginger the other morning, but they were all out. The urge must’ve still been ever-present cause she fried riced it up here for lunch.

Fried Rice and Egg - $5.69
Fried Rice and Egg – $5.69

Canoes Lana`i Restaurant
419 7th Street
Lanai City, Lanai, HI 96763 (map)
(808) 565-6537
Open daily: 6:30am-1PM

Before we knew it, it was time to wake up from this dream and head to the airport for our flight back home to reality.

View from Lana`i Airport at dusk
View from Lana`i Airport at dusk

But then again, our eyes were open the whole time…

Wowie In Maui – Part I

February 1, 2008

Part I | Part II | Part III

No, the “wowie” in the title is not what you think, Cheech. I’m actually referring to all of the exciting things you can do while exploring the beautiful island of Maui. And in true World Wide Ed fashion, let’s take the logical approach and break this thang down by sections, starting with the West Side of the Valley Isle… WessssSiiiide!

Pretty much as far West as you can get is the city of Lahaina. If touristy shopping is your bag, then this is your place. As somewhat the equivalent of a countrified version of Waikiki, Front Street is where you’ll find all the little shops and restaurants to please your palette. (I may be alone on this one, but for some reason Front Street also reminds me of the Fisherman’s Wharf area in San Francisco. Anyone else?)

Front Street, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
Front Street, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Front Street, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
(map)

We ate the ribs at Front Street Grill and Bar, but I honestly don’t remember much. Not that it was bad, but it just wasn’t memorably good, naw-mean. It is however, a great place for fresh air and people watching, as the restaurant overlooks Front Street.

Ribs from Front Street Grill and Bar
Ribs from Front Street Grill and Bar

Front Street Grill and Bar
672 Front Street
Lahaina, HI 96761 (map)
(808) 662-3003

Working our way east, we cannot forget to mention Iao Needle at the Iao Valley State Park. I say “mention” because I unfortunately have no photographic proof of actually going there, just my memories. *blush* But since my memories are useless to you, here are a couple of useful links to help you get edu-ma-cated. While you’re off visiting those, I’ll type up my favorite cheesy Iao Needle joke for when you come back.

Welcome back. How were those links? Pretty cherry ah? Anyway, here goes with the cheesy Iao Needle joke:

Q) How did Iao Needle get its name?
A) One day, dis guy wen sit on um and yelled “Iiiiiiaowww!”

Yeah, lame, I know… but don’t say I didn’t warn you. *grin*

One thing to note, be sure to bring your umbrella-ella-ella, as it rains often here.

Iao Valley State Monument/Park (Iao Needle)
End of Iao Valley Road, Highway 32
Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793 (map)

Ohhhh K, moving right along…

How ’bout a little crispy manju action from Home Maid Bakery?

Home Maid Bakery sign
Home Maid Bakery sign

Inconspicuously located on Lower Main Street in Wailuku, this mom & pops store has been baking up fresh pastries and sweets like malasadas, doughnuts and their popular crispy manju since 1960. My personal favorite is the peanut butter filled mochi. You heard it here first! πŸ™‚

Home Maid Bakery
1005 Lower Main Street
Wailuku, HI 96793 (map)
Bakery: 244-4150
Office: 244-7015
Open 7 days a week, 5am-10pm

Moving east, we hit the Queen Kaahumanu Center, for those of you getting a bad case of shopping withdrawals.

Queen Ka`ahumanu Center sign
Queen Ka`ahumanu Center sign

With a good sized food court, 6-screen movie theater, and the usual shopping center shops and anchor tenants (see store directory here), you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss local favorite Koho’s Grill & Bar.

Having a little too much fun in front of the Koho Grill and Bar sign
Having a little too much fun in front of the Koho Grill and Bar sign

Be forewarned though. It is often crowded here and is known to (sometimes) take long with food orders. Today, I got the veggie burger with fries.

Veggie burger with fries
Veggie burger with fries

Queen Kaahumanu Center
275 W Kaahumanu Ave # 1200
Kahului, HI 96732 (map)
(808) 877-3369
Mall Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:30am-9:00pm, Sun: 10:00am-5:00pm
Koho Grill & Bar
275 W Kaahumanu Ave # 245
Kahului, HI 96732 (map)
(808) 877-5588

In case you didn’t enough of yo shop on, we’ll head to the next mall, Maui Mall on nearby East Kaahumanu Avenue. They’ve also got a bevy of stores of interest like Long’s Drug Store, Fun Factory, and the 12 theater Maui Mall Megaplex (see store directory here), but the real reason most visitors come here is get a tasty treat from the ever-popular Tasaka Guri Guri.

Tasaka Guri Guri sign
Tasaka Guri Guri sign

This famously sweet, juice, soda and condensed milk concoction is undeniably addicting, and the prices are still mom and pop-ish (starts at just $1 for 2 scoops).

Tasaka Guri Guri
Tasaka Guri Guri

Tasaka Guri Guri
70 E Kaahumanu Ave
Kahului, HI 96732 (map)
(808) 871-4513

Another merchant in the Maui Mall with name value is IHOP (International House of Pancakes), the first in the state.

Maui's IHOP sign
Maui’s IHOP sign

This is the very IHOP that was well documented during Season 3 of American Idol, when it was revealed that Hawaii contestant Camile Velasco used to work for her parents here before trying out for the singing competition.

Today, I ordered a hard-to-ruin, eggs, hash and link sausage breakfast, also known as the Quick Two-Egg Breakfast.

Quick Two-Egg Breakfast: Two Eggs, Two savory pork sausage links (or two bacon strips), plus hash browns and toast
Quick Two-Egg Breakfast: Two Eggs, Two savory pork sausage links (or two bacon strips), plus hash browns and toast

Yeah, I didn’t order pancakes at the International House of Pancakes… Sue me! πŸ˜›

IHOP
70 E Kaahumanu Ave
Kahului, HI 96732 (map)
(808) 871-4000

Did I hear somebody say doughnuts? Your wish is my command. Sitting on nearby Kele Street, the State’s only Krispy Kreme Doughnuts location awaits us.

Krispy Kreme sign
Krispy Kreme sign

With a plethora of flavors and styles, hand-carrying a few dozen of these tasty treats home is always a popular omiyage option for those of us who live on another island.

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Selection
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Selection

(Tip – I’ve mentioned this before, but if you’re cheap, you can come here and sometimes be offered free samples of their popular Original Glazed doughnut, fresh off the conveyor belt).

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
433 Kele Street
Kahului, HI 96732 (map)
Phone: (808) 893-0883

Enough with the eats you say? Fine. Let’s head south and hit up the Maui Ocean Center to see Hawaii’s most spectacular marine life in action.

Maui Ocean Center sign
Maui Ocean Center sign

Your first attraction (follow along using the park map) to the right of the entrance is the Living Reef, defined as “Hawaii’s beautiful tropical fishes and living coral reefs, in awe-inspiring marine habitats.” Here are scenes from the Living Reef.

Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center

Upon exiting the Living Reef, you’ll pass by Turtle Lagoon – “Hawaii’s green sea turtles are a wonder to behold,”

Maui Ocean Center - Turtle Lagoon
Maui Ocean Center – Turtle Lagoon

before hitting the Tide Pool – “Enjoy an up close and personal look at Hawaii’s marine life.”

Maui Ocean Center - Tide Pool
Maui Ocean Center – Tide Pool

And then you’ll make your way to Hammerhead Harbor: “Come eye to eye with Hawaii’s most unusual sharks, scalloped by hammerheads.”

Maui Ocean Center - Hammerhead Harbor
Maui Ocean Center – Hammerhead Harbor

From there, we’ll go into the Marine Mammal Discovery Center,

Maui Ocean Center - Marine Mammal Discovery Center
Maui Ocean Center – Marine Mammal Discovery Center

which includes the Hawaiians and the Sea display and the Open Ocean tank and tunnel. Following are some scenes from here.

Maui Ocean Center - Marine Mammal Discovery Center

Maui Ocean Center - Marine Mammal Discovery Center

Maui Ocean Center - Marine Mammal Discovery Center

Maui Ocean Center - Marine Mammal Discovery Center

Maui Ocean Center - Marine Mammal Discovery Center

For more detailed information about the various exhibits, visit the visitor information page at mauioceancenter.com.

Maui Ocean Center
192 Maalaea Rd
Wailuku, HI 96793 (map)
(808) 270-7000

We round out our western tour of Maui by traveling south to a fun Italian Restaurant called Bada Bing in Kihei. It’s no high class restaurant by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re looking for simple, like-home pasta, or as I like to call it: “Spaghetto,” this is your place.

Bada Bing Menu/Display
Bada Bing Menu/Display

Looking for fancy tablecloths and air conditioning? Fuhgedaboudit! It’s checkerboard table covers and ceiling fans for you. But the eats hits the spot.

One Big Meatball - 1/2 lb Meatball Smothered in Marinara Sauce - $9.99
One Big Meatball – 1/2 lb Meatball Smothered in Marinara Sauce – $9.99

Meat Lasagna - $11.99
Meat Lasagna – $11.99

Bada Bing
1945 S Kihei Rd # G
Kihei, HI 96753 (map)
(808) 875-0188

What’s that you say? Not enough Wowie in Maui for ya? Relax Tampax. I’ve got you covered next month in part deux. Since we mostly stuffed our faces in this one, prepare your bones for some action next month with Ziplining and Lava Tubing as well as some sights to behold like Kaumahina State Wayside, Wai`anapanapa State Park and a beautiful sunrise at Haleakala. How ’bout that for some Wowie!? πŸ˜‰

Part I | Part II | Part III

Shave Ice Ice Baby

July 1, 2006

Something fishy is definitely going on here… The airports have been bustling with college folk and local eateries and nightclubs are a’ bumpin’. You’re no longer alone at the beaches and malls, and there’s an unusually large amount of parties and family functions to get to. And let’s not ignore the fact that you’re sweating profusely like Kalua pig at a luau. Yep gang… like Bell Biv Devoe’s Poison, Summer is in full effect!

So what should we do this summer as the sun torches down on us and parches our tender little, post-winter throats? Nothing. The weather hasn’t changed here in Hawaii since, like, forever silly.

But seriously… Let’s just say, you know, hypothetically, that we were coming out of one of our coldest “winters” ever. Brrrr… And this “Spring” thing also did a number on us. Wouldn’t we be looking forward to Mr. Sun showing his adorable face to us and defrosting our buns? Wouldn’t you be craving a refreshing, beverage-ish snack, that’s both an island favorite and a tourist attraction all the same?

Say no more. The Ed is here to help you.

Shave Ice, as it’s known here in the islands (not snow cones or shaved ice), is the perfect summertime treat to quench one’s thirst buds after a long, hot day in the sun. Yes, it is a bit clichΓ©, but you have to admit, gathering a bunch of friends to laugh and gossip and share small kid time stories, while lapping up this magical frozen water/syrup-py concoction is still good times.

One such place that specializes in this delicacy is the original Waiola Store, located on the corner of Pa`ani and, of course, Waiola.

Corner of Pa`ani and Waiola
Corner of Pa`ani and Waiola

Hidden on an inconspicuous road, and nestled in between homes in a quiet neighborhood, this island favorite sits peacefully on the corner, as sweets-seeking patrons stop by.

Waiola Store
Waiola Store

(! – Not to be confused with Waiola Bakery & Shave Ice, located on Kapahulu Avenue. For purposes of this review, I’ll be sticking to the O.G. – Original Gem – Waiola Store that got it all started)

Waiola Store actually started as a small convenience store, selling miscellaneous knickknacks like sodas, chips, crack seed and frozen goods many moons ago.

Inside Waiola Store
Inside Waiola Store

It wasn’t until they started gaining popularity as a shave ice selling hotspot that they really took off. Now, you can’t find a day when the crowd inside the store compares to the line outside near their specially created shave ice side window.

Shave Ice window at Waiola Store
Shave Ice window at Waiola Store

Waiola’s, as they are endearingly referred to as, is known for their finely shaved ice. You won’t find the rock-hard chunks of ice here. They also offer a vast menu selection with unique flavors and add-ons that you may not see at other shave ice specialty stores. Unique add-ons like mochi balls, li hing mui seeds, lilikoi cream and chocolate syrup.

Waiola Store's ecclectic menu
Waiola Store’s ecclectic menu

On this occasion, I didn’t get too complicated. I just ordered a small cup with mochi balls and condensed milk… strawberry flavor.

The famous Waiola shave ice
The famous Waiola shave ice

(! – That’s something I forgot to mention. If you’re new at this shave ice ordering thing, the flavor should be the least of your worries. To fit in like you’ve been doing this for years, be sure to order your size and add-ons first. This way, they can start preparing it for you. The flavored syrup is added last and, as such, you would order that last.)

Waiola Store
2135 Waiola Street
Honolulu, HI 96826 (map)
(808) 949-2269

Waiola Bakery & Shave Ice
525 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815 (map)
(808) 735-8886

======================================================================

The Island Snow store in Kailua serves up shave ice alongside of their collection of surf/snow/street apparel. It’s a popular stop for those going to one of the many beautiful beaches on the Windward side, Lanikai being my favorite.

Island Snow sign
Island Snow sign

In addition to being able to buy their name brand apparel at the same time as your treat, Island Snow has a few other unique features when it comes to their shave ice flavors. They have catchy names that turn ordinary-sounding flavors into exciting ones. Godzilla Grape, Kuulei Coconut, Da-Kine Lemon Lime and Kailua Coffee to name a few. They also set up their colorful collection of syrups above a lighted counter-top, much like you’d find your assortment of drinks at a fancy nightclub or contemporary bar.

Island Snow flavors
Island Snow flavors

This time, I ordered a regular with no ice cream… Pali Lilikoi & Wacky Watermelon combo. Pretty big eh?

Island Snow shave ice
Island Snow shave ice

(! – All shave ice treats from Island Snow include up to 3 flavors & a scoop of ice cream, unless you don’t want it.)

Island Snow – Kailua
Kailua Beach Center
130 Kailua Road
Kailua, HI 96734 (map)
(808) 263-6339

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What’s a conversation about shave ice in Hawaii without mention of the world famous M. Matsumoto Grocery Store in Haleiwa town, otherwise known as Matsumoto’s Shave Ice?

M. Matsumoto Grocery Store sign
M. Matsumoto Grocery Store sign

Matsumoto’s has the richest history and gets the largest media coverage of any shave ice store in the state and perhaps the world. And though there are many naysayers who claim that Waiola’s or even Haleiwa neighbor Aoki’s is better, you can’t question Matsumoto’s popularity.

Like Waiola Store, Matsumoto’s started as (and continues to be) a convenience-type store. Though, these days, most of their products caters to the tourist and shave ice crowd (sun tan lotion, hats, logo apparel, beachwear, snacks, etc.).

The menu looks like the same one they’ve had since they opened, and the prices seemed to have stayed the same as well. Just $1.30 for a small! Over the years, they’ve attached little one-piecers as they’ve added new flavors like mango, lychee and melona. Funny, but cute. A reminder of the mom and pops feel still present here.

Matsumoto's menu
Matsumoto’s menu

The equipment they use looks quite heavy duty. Is that an industrial strength motor? Wowsers!

Matsumoto's shave ice machines
Matsumoto’s shave ice machines

The photo from my friend’s shave ice came out nicer, so we’ll show it instead of mine. She ordered a vanilla/cotton candy combo FYI.

Matsumoto's shave ice
Matsumoto’s shave ice

(! – Be careful of the killah bees when eating outside. They usually swarm around the trash can slurping on the sweet juices. I’ve never been stung, but you never know… Just be sure you’re not in the area when they are hungry!)

M. Matsumoto Grocery Store
66-087 Kamehameha Highway
Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712 (map)
(808) 637-4827

======================================================================

Other notable shave ice joints around the state:

Jo Jo’s Clubhouse – Waimea (Kauai)
On the way to or coming back from the long drive to/from Waimea Canyon, you’ll see the bright sign of Jo Jo’s from Kaumualii Highway.

Jo Jo's Clubhouse
Jo Jo’s Clubhouse

Jo Jo’s Clubhouse
Mile Marker 23, Kaumualii Highway (Hwy. 50)
Waimea, Hawaii 96796 (map)
(808) 635-7615

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Itsu’s Fishing Supplies Inc. – Hilo (Big Island)
Known to the locals as “ice shave”, Itsu’s serves up this winner alongside of local style plate lunches, in addition to doubling as as a fishing supplies store.

Itsu's Fishing Supplies, Inc. (Photo by Nancy Vereze)
Itsu’s Fishing Supplies, Inc. (Photo by Nancy Vereze)

Itsu’s Fishing Supplies Inc.
810 Piilani Street
Hilo, HI. 96720 (map)
(808) 935-8082

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Scandinavian Shaved Ice, Inc. – Kailua-Kona (Big Island)
Across from the Palace in town, this shaved ice has ice cream in the middle. (Mahalo for the info Wendy & Jay!)

Scandinavian Shaved Ice, Inc. (Photo courtesy jatbar.com)
Scandinavian Shaved Ice, Inc. (Photo courtesy jatbar.com)

Scandinavian Shaved Ice, Inc.
75-5699 Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI. 96740 (map)
(808) 331-1626

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Tasaka Guri Guri Shop – Maui Mall, Kahului (Maui)
Yeah, I know, this is not really shave ice, but we can’t pass up the chance to mention this famous sweet, sweet, juice, soda and condensed milk concoction can we???

Noelle, Kelvin, Hillary, myself, Grant and Shari outside of Tasaka Guri Guri
Noelle, Kelvin, Hillary, myself, Grant and Shari outside of Tasaka Guri Guri

Tasaka Guri Guri Shop
70 E Kaahumanu Avenue
Kahului, HI 96732 (map)
(808) 871-4513

======================================================================

I know I’ve missed tons of your favorites from around the state. I guess that’s what you get for keeping me cooped up all day here in Mililani. Sorry dudes and dudettes, but be sure to let me have it by posting your favorite shave ice (or any sweets) hotspot in the comments section below. Now stop reading this and get back out there and enjoy your summer won’tcha?