Posts Tagged ‘santa miyoshi’

Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 26, 2012

September 26, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
3 days
!
8)

Holy mackerel! Can’t believe Rice Fest is almost here! Guess we’re just gonna haveta take you into Rice Fest weekend with a few (what else?) rice-themed WIH photos! Hope to see y’all on Saturday! πŸ™‚

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 26, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 26, 2012

Points for Photo #1…
* Name dis dish: 3 points
* Name da oddah dishes: 2 points each
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 26, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 26, 2012

Points for Photo #2…
* Name dis dish: 3 points
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 26, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 26, 2012

Points for Photo #3…
* Name each soosh: 2 points each
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Last Week’s Results (9/19)
Points for Photo #1
* My fave item hea: 3 points (Large Wunton Mein – Otto)
* Location: 2 points (Shige’s Saimin Stand – WahiawaWahine)
* General area: 1 point (Wahiawa – WahiawaWahine)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Kamehameha Hwy – WahiawaWahine, Kukui St – Otto)
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point (May – Otto)
* Year photo was taken? (duh!): 1 point (2007 – WahiawaWahine)
Totals This Week

  • 5 points – Otto
  • 5 points – WahiawaWahine
Round 7 Leadahz

  • 67.5 – carokun
  • 54.0 – Paco
  • 33.0 – Coconut Willy
  • 19.0 – rayboyjr
  • 11.0 – tweetpeep22
  • 10.0 – Kage
  • 07.0 – pink lady
  • 06.0 – Takeshi
  • 05.0 – Otto, WahiawaWahine
  • 04.0 – che, J-Dog, soogs
  • 03.0 – Ynaku
  • 02.0 – pink lady
[Da Leadahboard]

VH07V SPOTTED!

For this week’s “Spotted“, we have local, turned national recording artist Justin Young showing some VH07V up in Cali.

Photo #3
Justin Young with some VH07V
Justin Young with some VH07V

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* I’ve been looking into outsourcing the fulfillment duties (shipping, inventory management, etc.) for the VH07V brand because it’s getting shmall kine hard to manage part-time. No can handle Randall! If all goes well, I should be then able to open up an online ordering site. Stay tuned!

* In the meantime, I’ve been jammin on all kine new hats. Whatchu tink of this sampo color combo?

VH07V Black/Red 210 Fitted
VH07V Black/Red 210 Fitted

* My friend Shari continues to be a selling machine for her Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure team: Team VH07V! Below is a photo she took of her second order, and believe it or not, she still has another few orders in the queue. If you’d like to donate to her team, please visit the Team VH07V page. If you’d like to join her team for the walk (October 21st), click on this link.

2nd order for Shari's Team VH07V
2nd order for Shari’s Team VH07V

* As one of the sponsors for this year’s Rice Fest (duh!), VH07V will be responsible for producing both the official Rice Fest shirt (for sale at the event at the VH07V booth) and the shirt for all volunteers. Here’s an online album of the process these shirts went through to get screened in time for this Saturday’s Rice Fest! Special thanks to Lanakila Custom Products for coming through in the clutch!

Rice = Life shirts for Rice Fest
Rice = Life shirts for Rice Fest

Where/When you can find VH07V in the coming weeks:

  • 09/15/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. Lamar. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/22/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 4:30pm game vs. Nevada. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/29/12: 3rd Annual Rice Fest – As a sponsor of the event, VH07V will also have a booth at this year’s Rice Fest where we will sell all of our VH07V shirts in addition to the custom event shirt! Come on down to the Ward Warehouse complex to visit our booth any time from 11am-7pm.
  • NEW 10/07/12: 7th Annual Hawaii Fishing & Seafood FestivalVH07V will have a booth at this festival on Pier 38 from 9am-4pm.
  • 10/13/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. New Mexico. Stop by and say hi.
  • 10/19/12-10/21/12: 48th Annual Food & New Products Show – Get your Christmas shopping done at the Blaisdell all weekend! Come visit us at our booth for a free gift!
  • 11/10/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 2pm game vs. Boise State. Stop by and say hi.
  • 11/24/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. UNLV. Stop by and say hi.
  • 12/01/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. South Alabama. Stop by and say hi.

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)


3rd Annual Rice Fest!

This year’s Rice Fest will be held THIS Saturday, September 29th from 11am-7pm at Ward Warehouse! There will be cooking demonstrations from Chef Mavro of Chef Mavro Restaurant and his partners Stephanie Lum and Shawn Ching of Hawaii News Now, and Grant Kawasaki of Hawaiian Grown TV & Hawaiian Grown Kitchen and his partner Justin Cruz from KHON2, Santa Miyoshi of Tokkuri Tei defending his “Riceipe” contest belt, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato & ‘Uke’s Rising Stars and Jon Yamasato, and taiko drumming from Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, our 3rd annual SPAM Musubi eating contest, and our attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s Largest SPAM Musubi! Don’t forget to also bring your brown rice or monetary donations for our beneficiary Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Can’t wait! See you there…

3rd Annual Rice Fest
3rd Annual Rice Fest

Saturday, September 29, 2012
11am-7pm @ Ward Warehouse
Interact: RiceFest.com / Facebook / Twitter
RSVP: Facebook Event / Twtvite

Here’s a mini interview I had with Steve Uyehara yesterday morning on Hawaii News Now (in case you’re bored):

http://KHNL.images.worldnow.com/interface/js/WNVideo.js?rnd=329608;hostDomain=www.hawaiinewsnow.com;playerWidth=500;playerHeight=300;isShowIcon=true;clipId=7765131;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=Entertainment;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlay

Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

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Storage Auction at Hawaii Self Storage (Kaimuki location) - Tue, 10/16/12 @ 10am
Storage Auction at Hawaii Self Storage (Kaimuki location) – Tue, 10/16/12 @ 10am

Saimin in Hawaii?

September 24, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
5 days
!
8)

A Monday post! Wha-WHAT!? Yes, I’m working on a local saimin series (like I did with my previous Ramen Quest series) and need your help y’all!

So far, I’ve documented my experiences at Shige’s, Shiro’s, Hamura’s, Nakai, and have a few others up my sleeve, but I wanted to put the call out to you folks to see if you had any other suggestions. In the comment area below, please post your list of fave saimin eateries around town and why and I’ll go check um out. If you have da time, let’s eat there together so I can include you in the article! πŸ™‚

Saimin in Hawaii?
Saimin in Hawaii?

Other than that, my life has been pretty much all Rice Fest (I may even be on tomorrow morning’s news on Hawaii News Now). Hope y’all can make it this Saturday!


3rd Annual Rice Fest!

This year’s Rice Fest will be held next week Saturday, September 29th from 11am-7pm at Ward Centers! There will be cooking demonstrations from Chef Mavro of Chef Mavro Restaurant and his partners Stephanie Lum and Shawn Ching of Hawaii News Now, and Grant Kawasaki of Hawaiian Grown TV & Hawaiian Grown Kitchen and his partner Justin Cruz from KHON2, Santa Miyoshi of Tokkuri Tei defending his “Riceipe” contest belt, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato & ‘Uke’s Rising Stars and Jon Yamasato, and taiko drumming from Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, our 3rd annual SPAM Musubi eating contest, and our attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s Largest SPAM Musubi! Don’t forget to also bring your brown rice or monetary donations for our beneficiary Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Can’t wait! See you there…

3rd Annual Rice Fest
3rd Annual Rice Fest

Saturday, September 29, 2012
11am-7pm @ Ward Warehouse
Interact: RiceFest.com / Facebook / Twitter
RSVP: Facebook Event / Twtvite

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

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(“Like” VH07V!)
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World Wide Ed Blog
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(Random stuffs)

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Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 19, 2012

September 19, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
10 days
!
8)

It’s been another one of those cray cray weeks y’all! After Rice Fest is pau, hopefully things will get a little more back to normal. But until then, we’ve got another one pic week…. We’ll try to make it easy this time so we can get a skosh more than 13 comments. πŸ˜›

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 19, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 19, 2012

Points for Photo #1…
* My fave item hea: 3 points
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken? (duh!): 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Last Week’s Results (9/12)
Points for Photo #1
* Name each item: 1 point each (Futomaki, Cone sushi, mochiko chicken bento, hot dog, spam, ahi ogo poke – Kage)
* Location: 2 points (Tanioka’s – Kage)
* General area: 1 point (Waipahu – carokun)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Farrington Hwy – carokun)
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points (carokun)

Points for Photo #2
* Big Fat Zero

Points for Photo #3
* Fun name for each player: 1 point each (Grumpy, Sneezy, Doc, Happy – carokun)

Totals This Week

  • 8 points – Kage
  • 8 points – carokun
Round 7 Leadahz

  • 67.5 – carokun
  • 54.0 – Paco
  • 33.0 – Coconut Willy
  • 19.0 – rayboyjr
  • 11.0 – tweetpeep22
  • 10.0 – Kage
  • 07.0 – pink lady
  • 06.0 – Takeshi
  • 05.0 – Otto, WahiawaWahine
  • 04.0 – che, J-Dog, soogs
  • 03.0 – Ynaku
  • 02.0 – pink lady
[Da Leadahboard]

VH07V SPOTTED!

For this week’s “Spotted“, we have another video of a little SkinnyHawaiians silliness involving everyone’s favorite drink: Green River. A few months ago, I posed a question out to y’all about where the BIL can find some Green River in Hawaii these days. After researching that, I actually tried to make it on my own and suddenly became an expert at it. πŸ˜› Here’s how that turned out…


How to Make a Green River Drink – SkinnyHawaiians

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* My two new colorways are FINALLY in! Gray/Green for the new football season and Blue/Pink (partially for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure walk)! Both are selling like hotcakes so far, especially the Gray/Green one!

New Blue/Pink & Gray/Green colorways from VH07V
New Blue/Pink & Gray/Green colorways from VH07V

* Speaking of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, my friend Shari continues to sell products and get mad donations for her team: Team VH07V! As of this writing, her team is up to $625 in donations and is at 63% of her $1,000 goal. Help them reach that goal by clicking on that link and making your tax deductible donation! I will also personally donate proceeds from the sale of the Blue/Pink VH07V shirts during this drive right back to Shari and her team. If you’d like to join her team and walk, click on this link.

Join Shari's Team VH07V and get this sexy shirt! :)
Join Shari’s Team VH07V and get this sexy shirt! πŸ™‚

* Last week’s tailgating kine action prior to the Hawaii Warriors vs. Lamar Cardinals game was a great success. Did you guys go? Got to hang out with some friends I haven’t seen in a long time and have a few before the game. Even got a good seat to catch a glimpse of the first ever Warrior Walk, a tradition that coach Norm Chow instituted this year where the players and coaches walk through the crowd before heading towards the stadium. Here’s some footage I was able to catch of the first ever Warrior Walk:


Warrior Walk – First Hawaii Warrior Walk Before Lamar Game

* As one of the sponsors for this year’s Rice Fest (duh!), VH07V will be responsible for producing both the official Rice Fest shirt (for sale at the event at the VH07V booth) and the shirt for all volunteers. Check out this sample for our volunteers. Pretty legit right? πŸ™‚

Rice = Life volunteer shirts at Rice Fest
Rice = Life volunteer shirts at Rice Fest

Where/When you can find VH07V in the coming weeks:

  • 09/15/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. Lamar. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/22/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 4:30pm game vs. Nevada. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/29/12: 3rd Annual Rice Fest – As a sponsor of the event, VH07V will also have a booth at this year’s Rice Fest where we will sell all of our VH07V shirts in addition to the custom event shirt! Come on down to the Ward Warehouse complex to visit our booth any time from 11am-7pm.
  • 10/13/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. New Mexico. Stop by and say hi.
  • 10/19/12-10/21/12: 48th Annual Food & New Products Show – Get your Christmas shopping done at the Blaisdell all weekend! Come visit us at our booth for a free gift!
  • 11/10/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 2pm game vs. Boise State. Stop by and say hi.
  • 11/24/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. UNLV. Stop by and say hi.
  • 12/01/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. South Alabama. Stop by and say hi.

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)


Hawaii Meth Project Garage Sale

Don’t forget, this Saturday (Sept 22 from 8am-1pm), my home storage facility – Hawaii Self Storage in Mililani – will be holding a “Garage Sale” to help support the Hawaii Meth Project. Buy great stuff and support a good cause at the same time. If you wanna pick up some VH07V merch while you’re there *grin* , message me on Facebook and I’ll see if I can swing by and meet you at my unit.

Hawaii Self Storage Garage Sale to support the Hawaii Meth Project
Hawaii Self Storage Garage Sale to support the Hawaii Meth Project


3rd Annual Rice Fest!

This year’s Rice Fest will be held next week Saturday, September 29th from 11am-7pm at Ward Centers! There will be cooking demonstrations from Chef Mavro of Chef Mavro Restaurant and his partners Stephanie Lum and Shawn Ching of Hawaii News Now, and Grant Kawasaki of Hawaiian Grown TV & Hawaiian Grown Kitchen and his partner Justin Cruz from KHON2, Santa Miyoshi of Tokkuri Tei defending his “Riceipe” contest belt, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato & ‘Uke’s Rising Stars and Jon Yamasato, and taiko drumming from Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, our 3rd annual SPAM Musubi eating contest, and our attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s Largest SPAM Musubi! Don’t forget to also bring your brown rice or monetary donations for our beneficiary Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Can’t wait! See you there…

3rd Annual Rice Fest
3rd Annual Rice Fest

Saturday, September 29, 2012
11am-7pm @ Ward Warehouse
Interact: RiceFest.com / Facebook / Twitter
RSVP: Facebook Event / Twtvite

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

VH07V Facebook
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(“Like” VH07V!)
Facebook
Facebook
(Add me! πŸ˜› )
Twitter
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(Follow me!)
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(Random stuffs)

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Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012

Rice Fest countdown = 17 days! 8)

So what bettah way to start than with a picture of a festival of rice? πŸ˜‰ Go getum gang!

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 12, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 12, 2012

Points for Photo #1…
* Name each item: 1 point each
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 12, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 12, 2012

Points for Photo #2…
* Name of dish: 5 points!
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 12, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 12, 2012

Points for Photo #3…
* Fun name for each player: 1 point each
* Real first name for each player: 3 point each
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Last Week’s Results (9/05)

Points for Photo #1
* Location: 2 points (Cafe Laufer – Paco)
* General area: 1 point (Kaimuki – Paco)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Waialae Ave – Paco)
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points (Paco)

Points for Photo #2
* First name of bride & groom: 10 points each! (Jen – carokun)

Points for Photo #3
* Name of sammich: 3 points (Grilled Mahi – Coconut Willy)
* Location: 2 points (Kua’aina – Kage)

Totals This Week

  • 6 points – Paco
  • 10 points – carokun
  • 3 points – Coconut Willy
  • 2 points – Kage
Round 7 Leadahz

  • 51.0 – carokun
  • 50.0 – Paco
  • 33.0 – Coconut Willy
  • 17.0 – rayboyjr
  • 11.0 – tweetpeep22
  • 07.0 – pink lady
  • 06.0 – Takeshi
  • 04.0 – J-Dog, soogs
  • 03.0 – Ynaku
  • 02.0 – Kage, pink lady, che
[Da Leadahboard]

VH07V SPOTTED!

For this week’s “Spotted“, we have Japanese ice skating legend Miwa Nishida as she sports her Blue/White Logo T colorway during a recent practice session at the Olympic Prep Arena in Yokohama Japan. Here’s Miwa’s blog post about it!

Japanese Ice Skating legend Miwa Nishida sports her VH07V Tee at the Olympic Prep Arena in Yokohama Japan
Japanese Ice Skating legend Miwa Nishida sports her VH07V Tee at the Olympic Prep Arena in Yokohama Japan

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* Still waiting for my two new colorways to come in. Gray/Green for the new football season and Blue/Pink (partially) for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure walk (and because it looks cool! πŸ˜‰ ). Will keep y’all posted!

* Speaking of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, my friend Shari has been ON FIRE with collecting donations/pledges for her team: Team VH07V! As of this writing, her team is up to $550 in donations and is #1 so far amongst all teams from Hawaii. Help them reach their goal of $1,000 by clicking on that link to make your tax deductible donation! I will also personally donate proceeds from the sale of the Blue/Pink VH07V shirts during this drive right back to Shari and her team.

Join Shari's Team VH07V and get this sexy shirt! :)
Join Shari’s Team VH07V and get this sexy shirt! πŸ™‚

* As one of the sponsors for this year’s Rice Fest (duh!), VH07V will be responsible for producing both the official Rice Fest shirt (for sale at the event at the VH07V booth) and the shirt for all volunteers. The sample I saw looked SICK! Can’t wait to share it with you guys!

* Other than that, I’ve been running low on a lot of stock just waiting for my “fill-in” shirt request to get filled. I plan on being fully loaded just in time for the new football season and the upcoming Rice Fest on the 29th.

* Depending on the tailgating sitch, I plan on being in the parking lot at Aloha Stadium this Saturday prior to the first UH Warrior home game. You guys going? If you wanna stop by and ask questions about VH07V or see some samples (or just hang out), holla!

* Last week, I visited my sticker guy on Maui to talk “bidness”. Found out his shop also did hats. It turned out to be quite the productive visit as I was able to get a bunch of new hat styles produced super fast kine (same day!). Which one do you like da bes?

Six all new hat style from VH07V!
Six all new hat style from VH07V!

For your banner, sticker and embroidering needs, contact my boy Aaron from Double Portion Banners and Decals k? He’s super on it!

Where/When you can find VH07V in the coming weeks:

  • 09/15/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. Lamar. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/22/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 4:30pm game vs. Nevada. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/29/12: 3rd Annual Rice Fest – As a sponsor of the event, VH07V will also have a booth at this year’s Rice Fest where we will sell all of our VH07V shirts in addition to the custom event shirt! Come on down to the Ward Warehouse complex to visit our booth any time from 11am-7pm.
  • 10/13/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. New Mexico. Stop by and say hi.
  • 10/19/12-10/21/12: 48th Annual Food & New Products Show – Get your Christmas shopping done at the Blaisdell all weekend! Come visit us at our booth for a free gift!
  • 11/10/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 2pm game vs. Boise State. Stop by and say hi.
  • 11/24/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. UNLV. Stop by and say hi.
  • 12/01/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. South Alabama. Stop by and say hi.

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)


Hawaii Meth Project Garage Sale

Next weekend (Sept 22 from 8am-1pm), my home storage facility – Hawaii Self Storage in Mililani – will be holding a “Garage Sale” to help support the Hawaii Meth Project. Buy great stuff and support a good cause at the same time. If you wanna pick up some VH07V merch while you’re there *grin* , message me on Facebook and I’ll see if I can swing by and meet you at my unit.

Hawaii Self Storage Garage Sale to support the Hawaii Meth Project
Hawaii Self Storage Garage Sale to support the Hawaii Meth Project


3rd Annual Rice Fest!

Save the Date! This year’s Rice Fest will be held on Saturday, September 29th from 11am-7pm at Ward Centers! This year, we will have cooking demonstrations from Chef Mavro of Chef Mavro Restaurant and Grant Kawasaki of Hawaiian Grown TV & Hawaiian Grown Kitchen, Santa Miyoshi of Tokkuri Tei defending his “Riceipe” contest belt, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato & ‘Uke’s Rising Stars, and taiko drumming from Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, our 3rd annual SPAM Musubi eating contest, and our 2nd successful attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest SPAM Musubi! Don’t forget to also bring your brown rice or monetary donations for our beneficiary Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Can’t wait! See you there…

3rd Annual Rice Fest
3rd Annual Rice Fest

Saturday, September 29, 2012
11am-7pm @ Ward Centers
Interact: RiceFest.com / Facebook / Twitter
RSVP: Facebook Event / Twtvite


P.S. R.I.P. Janet Liang. 😦

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

VH07V Facebook
VH07V FB
(“Like” VH07V!)
Facebook
Facebook
(Add me! πŸ˜› )
Twitter
Twitter
(Follow me!)
World Wide Ed Blog
Blog
(Random stuffs)

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

Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 5, 2012

September 5, 2012

Happy September y’all! Just 24 more days until Rice Fest. 8)

We’ve got a full load of WIH this week with 3 pics (including a 10 point question!) so getcho game faces on and guess awaaaaay! πŸ˜‰

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 5, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 5, 2012

Points for Photo #1…
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 5, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 5, 2012

Points for Photo #2…
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* First name of bride & groom: 10 points each!
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 5, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 5, 2012

Points for Photo #3…
* Name of sammich: 3 points
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Last Week’s Results (8/29)
Points for Photo #1
* Location: 2 points (Yohei Sushi – Otto)
* General area: 1 point (Kalihi – Otto)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Dillingham, Kokea – carokun)
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points (carokun)
Totals This Week

  • 3 points – Otto
  • 3 points – carokun
Round 7 Leadahz

  • 44.0 – carokun, Paco
  • 30.0 – Coconut Willy
  • 17.0 – rayboyjr
  • 11.0 – tweetpeep22
  • 07.0 – pink lady
  • 06.0 – Takeshi
  • 04.0 – J-Dog, soogs
  • 03.0 – Otto, Ynaku
  • 02.0 – pink lady, che
[Da Leadahboard]

VH07V SPOTTED!

For this week’s “Spotted“, we got University of Hawaii Warrior alum and current Toronto Argonauts’ superstar Chad Owens reppin’ his Black/White Logo T colorway! Bruddah reached out to me on Instagram, I sent him some gear for him and his `ohana, and rest is history! πŸ™‚

Toronto Argonauts star Chad Owens wears his VH07V on game day. That day, he goes off for 402 all purpose yards, 1 TD and the win! Auuuuraaaiiii!
Toronto Argonauts star Chad Owens wears his VH07V on game day. That day, he goes off for 402 all purpose yards, 1 TD and the win! Auuuuraaaiiii!

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* Still waiting for my two new colorways to come in. Gray/Green for the new football season and Blue/Pink (partially) for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure walk (and because it looks cool! πŸ˜‰ ). Will keep y’all posted!

* As one of the sponsors for this year’s Rice Fest (duh!), VH07V will be responsible for producing both the official Rice Fest shirt (for sale at the event at the VH07V booth) and the shirt for all volunteers. The sample I saw looked SICK! Can’t wait to share it with you guys!

Where/When you can find VH07V in the coming weeks:

  • 09/15/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. Lamar. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/22/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 4:30pm game vs. Nevada. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/29/12: 3rd Annual Rice Fest – As a sponsor of the event, VH07V will also have a booth at this year’s Rice Fest where we will sell all of our VH07V shirts in addition to the custom event shirt! Come on down to the Ward Warehouse complex to visit our booth any time from 11am-7pm.
  • 10/13/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. New Mexico. Stop by and say hi.
  • 10/19/12-10/21/12: 48th Annual Food & New Products Show – Get your Christmas shopping done at the Blaisdell all weekend! Come visit us at our booth for a free gift!
  • 11/10/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 2pm game vs. Boise State. Stop by and say hi.
  • 11/24/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. UNLV. Stop by and say hi.
  • 12/01/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. South Alabama. Stop by and say hi.

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)


New Hawaii Self Storage Commercial and Interview with Chad Owens!

Speaking of Chad Owens (above), here’s a funny commercial and mini-interview with him I found on Youtube!


Hawaii Self Storage Commercial and Interview with Chad Owens


3rd Annual Rice Fest!

Save the Date! This year’s Rice Fest will be held on Saturday, September 29th from 11am-7pm at Ward Centers! This year, we will have cooking demonstrations from Chef Mavro of Chef Mavro Restaurant and Grant Kawasaki of Hawaiian Grown TV & Hawaiian Grown Kitchen, Santa Miyoshi of Tokkuri Tei defending his “Riceipe” contest belt, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato & ‘Uke’s Rising Stars and taiko drumming from Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, our 3rd annual SPAM Musubi eating contest, and our 2nd successful attempt to break the Guinness World Records for the World’s Largest SPAM Musubi! Don’t forget to also bring your brown rice or monetary donations for our beneficiary Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Can’t wait! See you there…

3rd Annual Rice Fest
3rd Annual Rice Fest

Saturday, September 29, 2012
11am-7pm @ Ward Centers
Interact: RiceFest.com / Facebook / Twitter
RSVP: Facebook Event / Twtvite


Pray for Jay Fundraiser

And lastly… Jon Yamasato, a fellow Kaiser alumni reached out to me and asked if I could help support his friend Jay Veltri, who, at just 33 years old, is in the middle of his 2nd “battle for survivorship” with cancer.

This Saturday, September 8, 2012, the day before Jay’s 34th birthday, there will be a fundraiser held at a private estate at Paiko Lagoon (near Kuliouou). Suggested ticket donation is $25. The festivities will include a live band, buffet, children’s activities, a silent auction, raffle prizes and more! For fundraising ticket information, visit jayveltri.com.

I don’t know Jay personally, but because of our many mutual friends, it feels like I do, so I donated to his fight. If you are also able to donate to his fight or purchase tickets for the fundraising event this Saturday, please do. And please Pray for Jay… Mahalo!

Pray for Jay
Pray for Jay (Veltri)

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Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

January 1, 2011
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For | Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

Whenever anybody asks me where my favorite restaurant is, I always say “Tokkuri Tei” without any hesitation. Some will nod in approval because they’ve been, while others are curious because they haven’t. For the latter, I usually like to send them a link to an article I wrote about them several years ago: Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For because it contains the food “pr0n” that everybody gets excited over.

Recently, I was re-skimming the article and noticed that there were only 8 photos in it and I asked myself “Is that it!? Just 8 photos!?”

I’ve been to both of Tokkuri Tei’s locations dozens of times. Heck a single search for “Tokkuri Tei” on my computer box thing yields 296 items! Almost three hunny, and all I could muster up for that article was 8 measly photos? Must’ve been my rookie food blogging days. LOL!

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

Needless to say, an update was long overdue… So when co-owner Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi informed me that they would be moving to a new location (their 3rd in almost 22 years), I thought it would be the perfect time to update their story (and my photo count).

On Tuesday, December 21st, I answered Santa san’s call. They needed help moving the “heavy stuff” after spending the entire previous day moving the “small stuff” over (guess he knew about the “gun” show *grin*). The plan was to move the entire Tokkuri Tei operation from their 611 Kapahulu location to their new 449 Kapahulu location and be ready to launch in one week! Whaaaat? One week!? Fo real? No can! Can! Although just 0.2 miles away, moving an entire restaurant, enormous refrigerators and all, is not an easy task as I was about to find out.

I arrived that morning to this:

Dining area inside the old Tokkuri Tei
Dining area inside the old Tokkuri Tei

Kitchen and sushi bar at the old Tokkuri Tei
Kitchen and sushi bar at the old Tokkuri Tei

I gotta admit, I got a little misty. OK, not really, but there were so many memories made there!

Then, it was time to move one of the HUMONGOID refrigerators. Lucky thing this one had wheels!

Moving the refrigerator. Why am I not helping? :P
Moving the refrigerator. Why am I not helping? πŸ˜›

With the “heavy stuff” loaded up, we headed over to the new spot (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House above Hee Hing). I’ve honestly never been here since it was Sam Choy’s Restaurant, so I was particularly interested to see what kind of space we were working with.

Partially furnished dining area inside the new Tokkuri Tei
Partially furnished dining area inside the new Tokkuri Tei

Tokkuri Tei's other owner Kazu "Kaz" Mitake checks out his kitchen with Santa
Tokkuri Tei’s other owner Kazu “Kaz” Mitake checks out his kitchen with Santa

As you can see, it’s a fairly large blank canvas for which to paint. Thankfully, some familiar izakaya trimmings were brought in to spruce up the joint.

Japanese lanterns (chochin) waiting to be put up
Japanese lanterns (chochin) waiting to be put up

Santa went right to work putting them up.

Santa putting up the lanterns
Santa putting up the lanterns

Less than a week later (Sunday, the 26th), Santa invited me to their soft-launch party. The guest list was only around 20, but we had a very important role. We were there so that the staff could get their bearings and do a dry run before going live to the public the very next day. Here are some shots from that night.

The sign is up!
The sign is up!

Tokkuri-Tei's new interior
Tokkuri-Tei’s new interior

Hilarious display. Great photo opp location!
Hilarious display. Great photo opp location!

Most of the shikishi (signed cards) are back up!
Most of the shikishi (signed cards) are back up!

The new sushi bar. So colorful!
The new sushi bar. So colorful!

And then came the food. There was no ordering involved. It was a set menu as decided upon by the kitchen.

Enoki Bata (Enoki mushrooms sautΓ©ed in butter)
Enoki Bata (Enoki mushrooms sautΓ©ed in butter)

Yaki Tori Kushi Yaki (chicken skewers), Geso Kara Age (deep fried squid legs), and the Enoki Bata
Yaki Tori Kushi Yaki (chicken skewers), Geso Kara Age (deep fried squid legs), and the Enoki Bata

Samples of the California Roll, Unagi Cali Roll, and Baked Alaska Roll
Samples of the California Roll, Unagi Cali Roll, and Baked Alaska Roll

Asupara Bata (Butter asparagus)
Asupara Bata (Butter asparagus)

Shake (salmon) sushi
Shake (salmon) sushi

Chicken Kara Age (fried chicken)
Chicken Kara Age (fried chicken)

Bintoro Tataki (flash seared albacore tuna)
Bintoro Tataki (flash seared albacore tuna)

Ebi (shrimp) sushi
Ebi (shrimp) sushi

Yaki Nasu (Eggplant)
Yaki Nasu (Eggplant)

I gotta be honest. At first, I was a little worried. With a space that much bigger, I wasn’t sure if they would be able to keep the “hole-in-the-wall” izakaya vibe/feel. I also thought that the taste might change. Well, I’m happy to report that neither has occurred. You still feel at home in their new digs and the YUM factor was still alive and well. The true test was when I went home and shmall kine kanak attacked! All pau!

The next day (Monday, the 27th), the Official Grand Re-Opening was set to happen, but it didn’t come without some drama. Santa and crew had to wait for the health inspector to come and deliver their health permit and that didn’t happen until around 2pm, just a few hours before opening! Yikes!

But with that outta the way, Tokkuri Tei was ready for lift off! I invited a bunch of (new and old) friends to join me. Here are some sights from that night.

Well hello again Enoki Bata! :P
Well hello again Enoki Bata! πŸ˜›

There's a Spider in Da Poke
There’s a Spider in Da Poke

(Off the menu) Sugimoto Risotto, er, Seafood Risotto 8)
(Off the menu) Sugimoto Risotto, er, Seafood Risotto 8)

Note: This is my all-time favorite dish from Tokkuri Tei, hands down (it even took First Place in the “Rice-ipe” Contest – Professional Division, at the Rice Fest this past year). Problem is, it’s not on the regular menu to order. In fact, Santa is the only one who knows how to make it! With that said, I have been petitioning (ok, begging) Santa to rename it from the mundane “Seafood Risotto” to the more catchy, and, dare I say, exciting “Sugimoto Risotto“! Ahahaha! While we’re at it, maybe we can convince him to make it a regular item on the menu. Muhahahaha! A fella can dream right? But fo’ real, I think this one would seriously sell like hotcakes! Or should I say Sugimoto Hotcakes? πŸ˜› Guess that doesn’t have the same ring to it…

Stuffed Portobello
Stuffed Portobello

Packed house
Packed house


Here’s an artsy panoramic video Clayton Wakida shot from his iPhone

Group shot: Jason Kim (@turkeyboy808), Lee Kojima, Leanne Nakamura, Matt Duffy (@Shogunai_Tacos), Mai Sugimoto, me, Santa Miyoshi, Kelli Nakama, Rick Nakama (@RickNakama), Clayton Wakida (@jarofclay73) and Mari Taketa (@NonStopMari)
Group shot: Jason Kim (@turkeyboy808), Lee Kojima, Leanne Nakamura, Matt Duffy (@Shogunai_Tacos), Mai Sugimoto, me, Santa Miyoshi, Kelli Nakama, Rick Nakama (@RickNakama), Clayton Wakida (@jarofclay73) and Mari Taketa (@NonStopMari)

What an awesome night with great friends and ono eats…

But wait! *screeeeech* You think it’s ova don’tcha? No way Jose! I still get choke photos fo’ share! πŸ™‚

Teriyaki Cream Tofu
Teriyaki Cream Tofu

Ama Ebi (raw shrimp) with deep fried head
Ama Ebi (raw shrimp) with deep fried head

Cajun Ahi Salad
Cajun Ahi Salad

Salmon Skin Salad
Salmon Skin Salad

Sunagimo Kara Age (Deep Fried Chicken Gizzards)
Sunagimo Kara Age (Deep Fried Chicken Gizzards)

(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke
(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke

Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)
Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)

Ahi Tempura Poke
Ahi Tempura Poke

Nori-chos (Nori Nachos)
Nori-chos (Nori Nachos)

Soft Shell Crab Kara Age
Soft Shell Crab Kara Age

Salmon Dynamite
Salmon Dynamite

Hideaki Santa Miyoshi invites you to visit their new location
Hideaki Santa Miyoshi invites you to visit their new location

Wow! 40 photos this time around… Take that 8 photos! πŸ™‚

Tokkuri-Tei Restaurant
449 Kapahulu (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House, above Hee Hing)
Honolulu, HI. 96815 (Street View)
(808) 732-6480 <— NEW Telephone Number!

P.S. Happy New Year Everyone!
P.P.S. Omedetou Santa san!

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

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening… Tonight!

December 27, 2010

OK so I lied when I said that my “Christmas Lights in Kapolei” blog was the last post of the year, but there’s a good reason for disturbing your peace and quiet this holiday season. *grin*

You see, Tokkuri-Tei, my favorite restaurant on the planet, has moved, and tonight is the grand re-opening at their new location: 449 Kapahulu (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House, above Hee Hing).

This post was made with equal parts of the following in mind:

  • inform you of the move (not everyone knows yet)
  • invite you down to come eat with us tonight
  • support Santa, Kazu, & the rest of the Tokkuri-Tei posse on this new chapter in their lives
  • encourage you to give them a try (once is all you need to get hooked) or
  • encourage you to continue to support them at their new location
  • starve you half to death with the following photos! hehe!

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Teriyaki Cream Tofu

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Ama Ebi

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
There’s a Spider in Da Poke

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Stuffed Portobello

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Sunagimo Karaage (Chicken Gizzards)

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Lilipuna Poke

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Ahi Tempura Poke

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Nori-chos

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Soft-shell Crab

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Seafood Risotto
(still trying to convince Santa that this should be called the Sugimoto Risotto πŸ˜› )

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Santa Miyoshi

See y’all there! πŸ™‚

Tokkuri-Tei Restaurant
449 Kapahulu (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House, above Hee Hing)
Honolulu, HI. 96815 (Street View)
(808) 732-6480 <— NEW Telephone Number!

οΌˆγ‚΅γƒ³γ‚Ώγ•γ‚“γ€€γ¨γ€€γ‹γšγ•γ‚“γ€€γ¨γ€€γ¨γ£γγ‚Šγ¦γ„γ€€γ‚ͺγƒγƒŠγ€γŒγ‚“γ°γ‚ŒοΌοΌ‰

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Poke Paradise – Experiencing the Best Poke Around Hawaii – Part II

February 1, 2010
Part I | Β Part IIΒ  | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Wow! What an unbelievable month! I guess y’all really love your poke eh?

Last month, we struck gold when I introduced a topic that was near and dear to my heart. She went by the name of Poke. 8) Your feedback and comments were amazing and, as a result, I was able to make contact with some of the “giants” of the industry.

This month, we’ve got a very special treat for you with a star-studded lineup of exclusive interviews from the likes of Sam Choy (Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch, Crab & Big Island Brewery), Mel and Justin Tanioka (Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering), Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri-Tei) and Alan Wong (Alan Wong’s Restaurants)! Normally, an interview with these living legends, would each merit its own column, but this is Poke Paradise and this is how we roll, πŸ˜‰ so strap on your seatbelts and get ready to go go go!

Sam Choy

What’s a special on poke without some words of wisdom from Hawaii’s poke authority Sam Choy? Yep, my thoughts exactly. That’s why it was imperative that I get a few soundbites from bruddah Sam.

Hawaii's Poke Authority: Sam Choy
Hawaii’s Poke Authority: Sam Choy

[Edward Sugimoto] You are often looked to as THE preeminent expert/authority in poke. It’s even been said that the popularity of poke in Hawaii can be traced back to you. How does that make you feel?

[Sam Choy] It is an honor for people to trace the popularity back to me. My love for poke has made me want to make poke recognized as much as sashimi and sushi.


Buy This Book from Amazon.com

[Edward Sugimoto] Your poke contests/festivals are legend. Are you still doing them and if/so, when can we expect the next one?

[Sam Choy] We are working with Turtle Bay to have our Poke Contest there again later this year.

[Edward Sugimoto] What are your top 3 favorite pokes and where are they from?

[Sam Choy] My top three pokes are traditional ahi poke with Hawaiian salt, limu kohu and inamona, kole or opelu poke and oio poke which I make at home.

[Edward Sugimoto] Where is your “go to” poke place (besides your own kitchen)? πŸ˜‰

[Sam Choy] Besides my own kitchen, Tanioka’s is my “go to” poke place. How can you go wrong with poke and one of Mel’s famous cone sushis? Try the alae poke! Have you ever tried the mochiko chicken? I was there doing a book signing with Mel in December and got to have it right out of the fryer… broke da mouth!!

[Edward Sugimoto] I’ve read somewhere that you even have a recipe that includes peanut butter? Is that true and how/why did you come up with that?

[Sam Choy] I actually got the peanut butter poke recipe from my dad who got it from his dad.

[Edward Sugimoto] What is one unique ingredient that surprised you (in a good way)?

[Sam Choy] The texture and the flavor of uni has surprised me. It is truly like taking a bite of the ocean!

[Edward Sugimoto] What’s in store for Mr. Sam Choy?

[Sam Choy] I am in the process of opening a new restaurant in Kona and looking forward to possibly expanding to the mainland (once) we’re up and running. The sky’s the limit!

Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch, Crab & Big Aloha Brewery
580 N. Nimitz Highway
Honolulu, HI 96817 (map)
Tel: (808) 545-7979
Breakfast Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-10:30am, Sat & Sun: 7am-11:30am, Breakfast Buffet: Sat & Sun: 9am-12noon.
Lunch Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10:30am-3pm, Fri: 10:30am-4pm, Sat & Sun: 11:30am-4pm
Dinner Hours: Sun-Thurs: 5pm-9:30pm, Fri & Sat: 5pm-10pm

Tanioka’s

Sam Choy’s self proclaimed “go to” place for poke is Tanioka’s. What say we head over to Waipahu and have a chat with father-son super combo Mel and Justin Tanioka to talk poke?

Tanioka's Seafoods and Catering Sign
Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering Sign

An Interview with Mel and Justin Tanioka of Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering

[Edward Sugimoto] You first opened your doors in 1978 in a thousand square foot space with just four employees. What were those first years like?

[Justin Tanioka] I don’t know. *laughs* I was one years old.

[Edward Sugimoto] Yeah I heard you were like a kid sleeping on the cooler or something like that right?

[Justin Tanioka] Yeah, I was actually born one month before we opened.

[Edward Sugimoto] Oh wow, OK. So no memories of that huh?

[Justin Tanioka] Yeah. The first four years, I don’t know… *looks to dad*

[Mel Tanioka] It was simple. We had less items. So basically we were more like a fish market, selling just fish. No sushi, no chicken, you know, anything like that. It was just you know, mostly filets, poke. The trend of poke was just starting then.

[Edward Sugimoto] Oh so you didn’t have poke from the very beginning?

[Mel Tanioka] Oh we did.

[Edward Sugimoto] You now have a very successful catering business (like you said) to add to your seafood side. How or why did that come about?

[Mel Tanioka] Well, in the 1990s, we looked at the fish availability, and I felt that… If it started to get depleted, which we look at in the 90s and we thought if it starts to get depleted, what else, what kind of income is going to subsidize our market. So we decided to start our catering business, which has grown to equalize our fish. Before it was just a small percentage, but now it’s becoming a larger percentage of our business. So in the future, we’re going to hopefully gear towards more catering as the fish start depleting, unless you go into frozen fish. But for 30 years we’ve been dealing with fresh fish, so we’re trying to avoid that, but eventually it’s gonna come yeah.

[Edward Sugimoto] What are your top sellers in terms of poke?

[Justin Tanioka] Probably our Limu Poke. That’s our top seller.

Limu Poke ($12.95/pound)
Limu Poke ($12.95/pound)

[Justin Tanioka] Onion with Limu Poke is right there with it.

Onion Limu Poke ($12.95/pound)
Onion Limu Poke ($12.95/pound)

[Edward Sugimoto] It’s just onions on top of that (the limu poke)?

[Justin Tanioka] Yeah kind of. A little different mix. A little bit stronger flavor on the onion poke side (with limu yeah). But the limu poke has been our item.

[Mel Tanioka] For parties, Spicy Ahi has been one of the best sellers because it stretches. You know the rice and spicy. For parties of two to three hundred, if you put like 20 pounds of poke, they’re gonna eat it up in a few minutes. So we thought that at least Spicy Ahi would stretch it out so everyone would have a share.

[Edward Sugimoto] What about not in terms of customers, but your guys’ personal favorite? Do you guys have any from here?

[Justin Tanioka] Mine would probably be the Onion with Limu. His is probably the Alae.

[Mel Tanioka] (*in unison*) Alae. *laughs* He knows yeah?

Alae Poke ($12.95/pound)
Alae Poke ($12.95/pound)

[Mel Tanioka] I love the Alae Poke. Chili pepper water oooh, that’s my favorite. With some poi and dry aku.

[Edward Sugimoto] Yeah, you guys have dry aku poke too right?

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah yeah yeah.

[Justin Tanioka] Yeah, we have dried poke. That one, it’s like a salty candy. When you eat it, it’s good, you know, just to pick on.

[Mel Tanioka] I always brag that we were one of the first guys to do that. Eventually, I don’t know who else does it yeah? *looks to Justin*

[Justin Tanioka] I’m not too sure. The only hard part about that is the price yeah? It’s priced kind of high, but, you know, after you dry it, you lose over 50% of your product just off the bat, and that’s not including the time and all of that.

[Mel Tanioka] So if you can picture a $10 pound of poke, when you dry it, it becomes $20 yeah? But the drying process is again, the labor process, the equipment used to dry, and all of that. For me it’s worth the price, but when you look at it at $19.95 (per pound) you’re like “woah”, but when you eat it, it’s worth it. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] You guys have, like, I heard over 40 different types of poke, or almost there?

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah, probably.

[Justin Tanioka] Close to that. Yeah, maybe 30 something. We never really took a count.

The Different Types of Poke from Tanioka's
The Different Types of Poke from Tanioka’s

[Edward Sugimoto] Are you guys continuing to think of new ones here and there?

[Mel Tanioka] We try to.

[Justin Tanioka] We try to. It’s hard to step away from the… Even when we make a new one, people kind of like it, but, like if they had to choose between a pound of the old Limu Poke or the new Garlic Poke, the Limu Poke is going to always come first.

[Edward Sugimoto] When making poke for yourself maybe like at home, what’s your one, go-to ingredient?

[Justin Tanioka] Aloha Shoyu. *laughs*

[Mel Tanioka] Our famous friends is Aloha Shoyu. We’ve been with them for 31 years.

[Justin Tanioka] Tell Sam (Choy) I said that.

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah, we’ve been using Aloha Shoyu for 31 years.

[Edward Sugimoto] You were mentioning earlier that Justin and your daughter Jasmine’s gonna be taking over. What else is in the future of Tanioka’s?

[Justin Tanioka] So far, everything’s up in the air yeah?

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah.

[Justin Tanioka] It depends on the economy. You know how everybody bounces back. I think some of it is fate you know? You gotta look, if you see something, maybe something might pop up (like) “Eh, you wanna be a part of this” or whatever, that’s how we would…

[Mel Tanioka] We did create a franchise. We went through the manual. But we’re not sure right now yeah ’cause it’s hard to… I tried, we had three stores at once, but it’s hard to keep the quality. You can expand a lot, but sometimes you lose the quality. So it’s trying to keep that quality vs. trying to expand… I guess people expand because they want to make more money right? But the end result is… You gotta expand with the intentions of keeping the quality.

A look inside Tanioka's during a rare down time
A look inside Tanioka’s during a rare down time

[Justin Tanioka] And with it being harder and harder to get fresh ahi.

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah. That’s the part.

[Justin Tanioka] You know, each store is going to have to get their own fish and if we’re having trouble getting fish sometimes, like I don’t know what’s going to happen to them.

[Mel Tanioka] There’s a lot of factors. The Fresh Limu Factory is another one to consider. On a daily basis, it’s easy to get, but when it gets to the holiday time, I mean everybody is scrambling to get it, because you know, the volume goes higher. So that’s another thing that we’re looking at. But I think the franchise stores will probably go into like a different type of program. Not maybe 40 different types of poke, maybe they’ll have like 5 of just the basic sellers. Spicy Ahi, Shoyu Poke, Limu Poke.

[Justin Tanioka] And then of course the cooked food side. You know like the okazu-ya, just grab and go. Fried Chicken, Fish Patties, Shrimp Tempura, you know, stuff that’s consistent every day, tastes good. You know, it’s basic things that you would eat every day too yeah?

Family Bento with Fried Noodles ($5.50)
Family Bento with Fried Noodles ($5.50)

[Justin Tanioka] But as for me, I think my future is here at the market. Just keep it going. Keep this place going.

[Edward Sugimoto] Carry on the name ah?

[Justin Tanioka] Yup. Make my father proud. Make my parents proud.

The Tanioka `Ohana: Mel, Lynn and Justin (not pictured: daughter Jasmine Tanioka Lum)
The Tanioka `Ohana: Mel, Lynn and Justin (not pictured: daughter Jasmine Tanioka Lum)

[Edward Sugimoto] You guys have anything to add to your loyal customers or future customers?

[Justin Tanioka] Well, I would like to thank our customers. Thank you for standing in line. Some days are so busy. We try to get them (in and) out of here as fast as we can. I think we have a pretty good system right now.

[Mel Tanioka] And they’re so pleasant. Our customers are like, “Oh sorry, sorry you gotta wait in line,” (and they’re like) “No, no, no, it’s worth the wait.” They’re so positive and we’re just, we appreciate that yeah.

[Justin Tanioka] A lot. We appreciate it a lot.

[Mel Tanioka] And first of all we always trust in the Lord to guide us.

[Justin Tanioka] And our employees too. Our employees are what makes us. You know, without our employees, we wouldn’t be Tanioka’s you know. But our employees work hard, they work, you know they work fast… *looks at dad* Anything else?

[Mel Tanioka] *smiles*

It was great to see a truly genuine family doing good here in Hawaii. Justin was super cool and mellow, like he could’ve been your high school buddy growing up, while Mel Tanioka was very generous in packing, and I mean PACKING 3 shopping bags full of okazu items – like maki sushi, cone sushi, and even a bento to go along with their popular Limu Poke – for us to take back to the office. And though I didn’t get to meet daughter Jasmine, mom Lynn was just as warm and bubbly and always smiling.

Not only is their poke winnahz, they, as a family, are as well. Go and support the Taniokas k?

Tanioka’s Seafood and Catering
94-903 Farrington Highway
Waipahu, HI 96797 (map)
Tel: (808) 671-3779
Email: Onopoke@taniokas.com
Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: 9am-3pm

Tokkuri-Tei

No stranger to the world of poke, Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi of the Izakaya style Japanese restaurant Tokkuri-Tei, is the winner of many cooking competitions, including Sam Choy’s Poke Contest, and has been delighting clientele to his unique poke stylings since the ’90s. Celebrating his 21st anniversary this year (the restaurant’s, not his πŸ˜‰ ), Santa continues to push the culinary envelope for creative eats in Hawaii.

Hideaki "Santa" Miyoshi inside his restaurant Tokkuri-Tei
Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi inside his restaurant Tokkuri-Tei

Here’s a quick interview with the man simply known as “Santa”:

An Interview with Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi of Tokkuri-Tei

[Edward Sugimoto] Hi Santa, did you have poke on your menu from the beginning and if not, when did you start carrying it (and why)?

[Santa Miyoshi] Why? We didn’t have before, but after the poke contest (1997), we start carrying some poke.

[Edward Sugimoto] Was it a good seller in the beginning?

[Santa Miyoshi] Uh yeah, kind of.

[Edward Sugimoto] You won numerous awards at, like you said, the poke contests. What made you first want to enter the contests?

[Santa Miyoshi] Ah, well, it was Aloha Shoyu Cooking Contest I entered (in 1996), and I won a prize so I tried looking into other cooking contests, and there was one poke contest come up so I just entered. *laughs* There was no particular reason.

[Edward Sugimoto] And you had a story about wearing sweat pants and the security guard stopped you or something like that?

[Santa Miyoshi] Oh yeah yeah, because I just wear like T-shirt and start running around the display area and they told me not to, you know, stick around there because only for the chefs. Um, I have a badge saying I can enter. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] On your menu, you have quite a few poke dishes (Ahi Poke, Spicy Ahi Poke, Ahi Tempura Poke, There’s a Spider in Da Poke, and Ahi Tar-tare Poke). Which is the most popular and which is your personal favorite?

[Santa Miyoshi] I think the Ahi Tar-tare Poke is the most popular one. And then Spider Poke is very popular too.

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

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

Also on the menu: Ahi Tempura Poke - Tempura Fresh Ahi with Shrimp Tempura ($16)
Also on the menu: Ahi Tempura Poke – Tempura Fresh Ahi with Shrimp Tempura ($16)

[Edward Sugimoto] How about your personal favorite?

[Santa Miyoshi] My favorite is maybe Amaebi poke which we don’t serve here.

[Edward Sugimoto] You also have some that are not on the menu (Ericka’s Poke, New Age Amaebi Nigiri Poke, Lilipuna Poke, Redefined Lomi Salmon Poke, Poke-ing Emi, and Poke Pasta Italian). Which is your favorite from these and why don’t you include them in your menu? Can customers order (them)?

[Santa Miyoshi] Some of the stuff is very hard to prep and we don’t have it (the ingredients) all the time so it’s really hard to make all the time.

(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke - named after the street that some of Santa's regulars live on.
(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke – named after the street that some of Santa’s regulars live on.

(Off the menu) Seafood Risotto - not necessarily listed as a "poke" dish, but I just had to mention it 'cause it's literally to die for!
(Off the menu) Seafood Risotto – not necessarily listed as a “poke” dish, but I just had to mention it ’cause it’s literally to die for!

[Edward Sugimoto] Are you working on any new poke dishes?

[Santa Miyoshi] Not necessarily but any kind of new item I’m always thinking (of).

Santa served this (hamachi, truffle, & shiso roll) to us recently, jokingly referring to it as the Sugimoto Roll! Could it be??? Santa san, douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu! If not, maybe you can rename the Seafood Risotto to Sugimoto Risotto (or Risotto Sugimoto?)?
Santa served this (hamachi, truffle, & shiso roll) to us recently, jokingly referring to it as the Sugimoto Roll! Could it be??? Santa san, douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu! If not, maybe you can rename the Seafood Risotto to Sugimoto Risotto (or Risotto Sugimoto?)? πŸ™‚

[Edward Sugimoto] And how about some of your favorite poke not from here?

[Santa Miyoshi] I like the one (jalapeΓ±o ahi) from Tamura’s. They make pretty good poke.

[Edward Sugimoto] Your new book Izakaya Hawai (Tokkuri-Tei Cooking), tell me a little bit about that.

[Santa Miyoshi] It’s just a history of this restaurant plus whatever I’ve been working on to make new dishes. It just consolidates all of the stuff we did (for) over 20 years.

Buy Izakaya Hawaii - Tokkuri-Tei Cooking from Amazon.com
Buy “Izakaya Hawaii – Tokkuri-Tei Cooking” from Amazon.com

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you have anything else to add to your loyal customers or future customers?

[Santa Miyoshi] Thank you for coming. *waves at camera and laughs*

Tokkuri Tei
611 Kapahulu Ave, Suite 102
Honolulu, HI 96815 (map)
(808) 739-2800
Mon-Fri 10:30am-2pm
Mon-Fri 5:30pm-12am

Alan Wong

Last but definitely not least, we feature the god of Hawaii chefs: Alan Wong. Alan graciously took some time out of his insanely busy schedule to sit down with me to talk about poke, his use of it in his restaurants, and the importance of buying local.

An Interview with Alan Wong of Alan Wong’s Restaurants

[Edward Sugimoto] As a local boy, what are your fondest memories of poke?

[Alan Wong] You know when you’re raised in Hawaii, you grow up with that. It’s at every potluck, it’s at every gathering. I mean, you know, when you think of the holidays, New Year’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving, you’re always going to have red sashimi. Think of all the tailgating and all the hibachis. When you go tailgating at the football games, what does everybody have in their cooler? Poke, great pupus. You just grow up with it.

[Edward Sugimoto] Why was it important for you “the Master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine” to add poke dishes to both of your Hawaii locations?

[Alan Wong] I think what’s important is for people to taste Hawaii when they come to the restaurant. We want people to taste Hawaii so how do you taste Hawaii? We feature things grown/raised here in Hawaii, we also feature dishes that local people like to eat, whether it’s an ingredient, or whether it’s a concept like Loco Moco. So how do you take the Loco Moco and put it into this kind of a setting? Poke is a natural because it’s a big part of our culture. And so, every household eats that, so how do you take the poke, just like the Loco Moco, and put it in the setting?

[Edward Sugimoto] What’s the story behind Poki-Pines and how did you come up with it?

[Alan Wong] You know, Poki-Pines is, first of all a play on words. You know the animal the porcupine. *smiles* And so, cooking ahi or frying the ahi is one way to eat poke. You know, especially after it’s marinated. You marinate the poke and sometimes when you add shoyu to the poke it gets kind of dark, it doesn’t look very attractive, but you know, you can still eat it. Then you fry it and it tastes good. So we just wanted to encase that in the won ton strips, and it came all like you know, all this, like a porcupine. So it’s a play on words, and when you think about the crispy texture that you have on the outside, with the cooked poke, and then you marry that with wasabi sauce but with avocados, you know, that makes a good marriage.

Ahi Poki-Pines - Crispy Won Ton Ahi Poke Balls On Avocado with Wasabi Sauce ($15)
Ahi Poki-Pines – Crispy Won Ton Ahi Poke Balls On Avocado with Wasabi Sauce ($15)

Restaurant Manager Kerry Ichimasa describes the Poki-Pines dish

[Edward Sugimoto] In your book New Wave Luau, you mention several different types of poke (Ahi Poke, Ahi Poke Gyozas with Soy-Vinegar Chile Dipping Sauce, Ahi Poke Nigiri, Nairagi and Kajiki Carpaccio with Swordfish Poke, Nori-wrapped Akule Stuffed with Poke, Seared Ahi Poke Cakes on Crostini, as well as the Poki-Pines). Are there any plans of making any of these available on your menu in the future?

Buy New Wave Luau from Amazon.com
Buy “Alan Wong’s New Wave Luau: Recipes from Honolulu’s Award-Winning Chef” from Amazon.com

[Alan Wong] They come in and out. We’ve served things in the book, in the various restaurants, but, you know, it’s like you gotta keep moving forward and try new things and different things and as you learn more, as you travel more as you taste more things, see more things, you’re cooking style evolves. So I think we will have more. Let’s say instead of poke dishes, more raw preparations yeah? It’s something that we love to do so we’ll always see those evolutions happening in our restaurants.

Chopped Ahi Sashimi and Avocado Salsa Stack - Stacked Crispy Won Ton, Spicy Aioli and Wasabi Soy ($19.50)
Chopped Ahi Sashimi and Avocado Salsa Stack – Stacked Crispy Won Ton, Spicy Aioli and Wasabi Soy ($19.50)

Restaurant Manager Kerry Ichimasa describes the Chopped Ahi Sashimi and Avocado Salsa Stack dish

[Edward Sugimoto] So even you’re still evolving as a chef?

[Alan Wong] Oh, you know, the local people love to eat raw fish. We are an island state, we’re surrounded by the ocean so, we like to serve the fishes from our waters, we are a culture that eats a lot of raw fish, and so it’s only natural that if you want people to taste Hawaii, and taste the culture, that you serve a lot of these preparations, whether they’re in poke form, or tartare form, a carpaccio form, or a kind of seviche or sashimi form, it’s all kind of one big category.

Alan Wong (Photo Credit: Arthur Betts)
Alan Wong (Photo Credit: Arthur Betts)

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you eat poke outside of the restaurant…

[Alan Wong] Of course. *smiles*

[Edward Sugimoto] … and if so, where do you like to go?

[Alan Wong] Well, you know, I don’t go out too often, but every once in a while, the poke at side street, my buddy Colin (Nishida), you know. I don’t go out too often.

[Edward Sugimoto] What’s in store for you personally, and what’s also in store for your restaurants?

[Alan Wong] Well, I think, you know, you put the economy aside, you still have to do your thing. I think I’m ready to cook up another concept or two, and I hope that we can grow as a company, I think we can grow as individuals within our company, so that I think, you know, we want to move forward, but sensibly in this time.

Alan Wong's Restaurant Sign
Alan Wong’s Restaurant Sign

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you have any words for your customers out there or future customers?

[Alan Wong] *laughs* Well, besides come taste Hawaii, um, this past Christmas I said, imagine if every dollar you spend buying Christmas presents for your friends and family, you bought everything that was made or raised in Hawaii, or produced in Hawaii. With the economy the way it is, what better way to fuel our own economy. So I think I speak on behalf of all the restaurants, all the mom and pop stores and restaurants that dot the community and become the community, we need to support our local restaurants. That’s what it is. It’s like the farmers. If we don’t buy local, we don’t support the local farmers, well, we’re not going to have farmers. Well you know, it’s the same with the restaurant industry. It’s time to come out and support your local restaurants, and *looks at camera* I hope to see you.

Alan Wong’s Honolulu
1857 S. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96826 (map)
Tel: (808) 949-1939
Reservations: (808) 949-2526
Hours: 5-10pm daily

The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814 (map)
Tel: (808) 945-5529
Reservations: (808) 945-6573
Breakfast Hours: Sat: 8-11am, Sun: 9-11am
Lunch Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am-4pm, Sun: 11am-3pm
Dinner Hours: Mon-Sat: 4-8:30pm

I’d like to send a big Mahalo to all of the folks who made this possible: Sam Choy and his Executive Assistant Sally Watanabe; Mel Tanioka, Justin Tanioka, Lynn Tanioka; Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi; and Alan Wong, his Project Coordinator Nicole Ng, his Restaurant Manager Kerry Ichimasa, and his entire kitchen staff!

Stay tuned for Part III, when we spend a day in the life of Seafood Hawaii, Inc.’s President Jed Inouye. From the fish market on the pier, to the kitchen, to the market at Sam’s Club, we get a history lesson from one of Hawaii’s experts. We’ll also pay a visit to some of the other supermarkets’ poke offerings from the likes of Safeway, Costco, Foodland, and more.

As always, if you know of anyone in the industry, send them my way and I’ll include them in this series. Shoots!

Part I | Β Part IIΒ  | Part III | Part IV | Part V

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 DΓ©cor, 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