Posts Tagged ‘Todd Wakida’

Hawaii Ramen Quest – Part IV

January 1, 2012
Part I | Part II | Part III |  Part IV  | Part V

We’re already 3 deep in our Hawaii Ramen Quest, but before we get all up into the 4th, I wanted to check in with y’all real quick-like, to see how your holiday season went. Didja get to cruise with family and friends and pound ono kine grinds? Ain’t that da best? And what about your resolutions for the new year? Hopefully, one of them wasn’t to lose weight ’cause here comes another flurry of ramen photos to make you hungry! πŸ˜‰

First up is Kiwami Ramen. I’ve heard a lot about this place (from reputable resources!) and have been dying to go there for the longest time, but Waiks ain’t exactly the easiest place to get to, or park for that matter… So when a meeting in Waikiki recently came about, I planned my lunch around a visit to this authentic tasting ramen shop in Waikiki Shopping Plaza’s food court.

Taking the escalator down to the Waikiki Shopping Plaza's Food Court
Taking the escalator down to the Waikiki Shopping Plaza’s Food Court

At first glance, this place looked legit. Japanese customers (from the muthaland kine) being waited on by a hardcore Japanese wait staff with Ramen Chef Yasuyoshi Sato manning the ship. I kept having to remind myself that d’uh… we were in Waikiki, where most of the Japanese tourists who visit us in this great state, congregate (mate!).

Then came the food. Although we ordered just ramen, we were given a complimentary small bowl of their Charsiu Rice. Wasn’t quite sure if it was because we were kama`aina, super handsome πŸ˜‰ or if it was complimentary for everyone, but I wasn’t about to question it. Into my trap went the pork!

Small Charsiu (Roast Pork) Rice - $2.50
Small Charsiu (Roast Pork) Rice – $2.50

It wasn’t quite as flavorful and tasty as my favorite from Yotteko-Ya, but it was an ono start nonetheless… and it was FREE! πŸ™‚

Then came my jam-packed order. While most ramens on Kiwami’s menu hover in the $8-$10 range, I saw a big ticket item at the top of the menu, smack dab in the middle. Referred to as the “Special Topping” Ramen, this $13.75 option – which included charsiu, egg, bamboo, corn and green onions – was the one I just had to have.


“Special Topping” Shoyu Ramen – $13.75 (Miso & Shoyu Thick Noodle options are $14.25)

Their soup base comes from a chicken feet & fruit combination that is boiled together for over 5 hours. Chiyu (chicken oil) is also added to select ramen dishes.

My buddy Todd got the Shoyu Thick Noodle ramen option, which resembled the kotteri style of ramen that I was looking for a little more, came with a shoyu based soup with pork fat. Here he is showing off his choice (and trying his best to smile).

Todd with his Shoyu Thick Noodle ramen - $9.25
Todd with his Shoyu Thick Noodle ramen – $9.25

You can really tell their attention to detail when it comes to the flavor and temperature of the soup and the consistency of the noodles. In fact, according to their web site, Chef Sato stands by three simple rules: 1) the ramen must be served quickly, 2) the soup must be hot, and 3) the taste must be consistent. They definitely hit on all three. So much so that I am looking forward to going back to try it again (and again).

Kiwami Ramen
Waikiki Shopping Plaza
2250 Kalakaua Ave, Suite LL102
Honolulu, HI 96815 (Street View)
(808) 924-6744
Daily: 11 am – 2:30 pm (lunch)
Daily: 5 pm – 10 pm (dinner)

 

My earliest memory of pounding ramen in Hawaii was at an Ezogiku, and, looking at their web site, it looks as though I’m right. They opened their first ramen specialty shop here way back in 1974! Wow, that was before some of us were born! Nobody I know, but still… 8)

With only a limited supply of poor quality photos of take out dishes from a previous visit to the Pearl City Ezogiku, I was in dire need of some better looking shots for this piece. Four friends/co-workers stepped up to the plate for me as we took a little field trip to the Ezogiku in Waimalu for some quickie lunch hour fooding.

Maribel, Trina, Wendy and Dennis ready to grind at Ezogiku Waimalu
Maribel, Trina, Wendy and Dennis ready to grind at Ezogiku Waimalu

Afraid that I would tease her for ordering yet another combo (see Hawaii Ramen Quest – Part III) Maribel threw me off the scent by ordering something totally different than her norm. She went with the Seafood Ankake Crispy Noodle.

Seafood Ankake Crispy Noodle - $7.25
Seafood Ankake Crispy Noodle – $7.25

Trina was torn between the Seafood Champon and the Ankake Ramen, but, since she likes her food spicy, she went with a suggestion from aunty (our waitress): the Spicy Ankake Ramen.

Spicy Ankake Ramen - $7.75
Spicy Ankake Ramen – $7.75

Wendy seems to like her fried noodles (see Hawaii Ramen Quest – Part III). She’s not really helping a brutha out on this RAMEN quest is she!? Haha, nah, nah Wen! Variety is good right? Here’s her order of Pork & Vegetable Fried Noodle.

Pork & Vegetable Fried Noodle (yakisoba) - $6.25
Pork & Vegetable Fried Noodle (yakisoba) – $6.25

Ezogiku is known for their Miso. In fact, their miso paste, fermented for over 2 months, is homemade and produced only out of their Honten (Main Branch at Waseda, Tokyo). The recipe, consisting of more than 30 spices, is super secret and is only known by their late Ezogiku chief cook Tomoji Onishi’s successor and founder Kenichiro Mitsui. Whether he knew all of this or not πŸ˜› , Dennis ordered the Miso Ramen like a champ.

Miso Ramen - $6.25
Miso Ramen – $6.25

I went with the other dish that Trina was hung up on: the Seafood Champon Ramen. It was tasty, but reminded me of many of the ramens covered in Part III. Perhaps I’ll go miso next time.

Seafood Champon Ramen - $7.25
Seafood Champon Ramen – $7.25

Although Ezogiku started its Sapporo style ramen in Japan, they have several locations in Hawaii as well as Vancouver, BC. Fun tip: The name Ezogiku derives from the two words Ezo & Giku. Ezo is the original name of the island of Hokkaido (where their Sapporo style ramen originated) and Giku (kiku) means chrysanthemum, the national flower of Japan. You can’t say you never learn anything from my articles now. πŸ˜‰

Ezogiku
Waimalu Shopping Center
98-020 Kamehameha Hwy
Aiea, HI 96701 (Street View)
(808) 488-9850
Daily: 11am-10pm

 

I noticed this next place when lunching it with my boy Bari one day at our usual hotspot: Mama Woo’s BBQ on South King Street. Located on the backside of this tiny strip mall, the sign and entrance to Chinpei Ramen is rather unassuming.

Sign outside Chinpei Ramen
Sign outside Chinpei Ramen

The interior still has that old school feeling (I remember eating here when it was an old Japanese restaurant long ago), but it is very clean with new tables and chairs, paint and furnishings. One freshly painted wall then takes us back to old school again with hand-written menu items taped haphazardly throughout.

Handwritten menu items at Chinpei Ramen
Handwritten menu items at Chinpei Ramen

I ask the waitress in her native Japanese what the most popular ramen is and she tells me it’s the Samma-Men. Samma-Men it is!

Large Samma-Men (Thick Soup) Ramen - $9.30 ($7.60 - Small / $8.30 - Regular)
Large Samma-Men (Thick Soup) Ramen – $9.30 ($7.60 – Small / $8.30 – Regular)

You can also choose the size of noodle you’d like (Egg Thick Noodle or Thin Noodle) in a variety of styles (udon, yam noodle or shirataki, harusame, or organic flour noodle).

Bari and I were in the mood for Shumai as well so we ordered the 6 piece. Here’s Bari with the Shumai and a mouthful of Samma-Men. Sorry B! 8)

Bari with his Samma-Men and our 6-piece Shumai order ($5.93)
Bari with his Samma-Men and our 6-piece Shumai order ($5.93)

You can order the Shumai and Vegetable Gyoza in quantities of 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12, and the regular Gyoza (Pot Sticker) goes even further with additional quantities of 14, 16, 18, 21, or 24!

Chinpei Ramen
2080 S King Street
Honolulu, HI 96826 (Street View)
(808) 947-5919
Tue-Fri: 11am-2:30pm (lunch)
Tue-Fri: 5pm-10pm (dinner)
Sat: 11am-10pm
Sun: 11am-9pm
Closed: Mondays

 

On a rare drive out to the Windward side, we decided to hit up Rai Rai Ramen in Kailua before taking some hacks on the Bay View Mini-Putt Pali course. I remember the experience (taste) being really good at Rai Rai, with various new and special menu items, and vowing to return again the next time I set foot (or tire) on Oneawa Street.

Rai Rai Ramen (Kailua) sign
Rai Rai Ramen (Kailua) sign

Wifey had the Miso Ramen, which included konbu, wakame, char siu, kamaboko, green onions and garlic chips.

Miso Ramen - $7.50
Miso Ramen – $7.50

I got something off their new (at the time) menu called Hot & Spicy Seafood Ramen. It wasn’t as spicy as I expected, which was a good thing since I am still attending Spicy Training University. πŸ˜›

Hot & Spicy Seafood Ramen - $9.75
Hot & Spicy Seafood Ramen – $9.75

I also ordered a side of Fried Oysters for good measure.

Side Order of Fried Oyster (3 Piece) - $3.25
Side Order of Fried Oyster (3 Piece) – $3.25

Rai Rai Ramen (Kailua)
124 Oneawa Street
Kailua, HI 96734
(808) 230-8208
Wed-Mon: 11am-8:30pm
Closed Tuesday

 

I will refer to these final two locations as our one hit wonders. Not necessarily because it’s the only ramen option they got. Quite the opposite actually. More so because it’s the only photo I took at the time. *blush* Check it.

Mr. Ojisan is one of my friend Grant’s favorite restaurants. Amongst a menu chock-full of Japanese eats, they carry 5 different ramens: Miso Charsiu Ramen, Vegetable Charsiu Ramen, Cold Ramen, Tonkotsu Miso Ramen (which I must go back and try!) and the one I got on this particular visit: the Ojisan Ramen.

Ojisan Ramen - $8.95
Ojisan Ramen – $8.95

Mr. Ojisan Japanese Restaurant
1016 Kapahulu Ave #140
Honolulu, HI 96816 (Street View)
(808) 735-4455
Mon-Fri: 11am-1:45pm (Lunch)
Mon-Thu: 5:30pm-10:30pm (Dinner)
Fri-Sat: 5:30pm-12am (Dinner), with Karaoke from 10pm-2am

 

Even though Yakitori Yoshi is primarily a yakitori house, they still have three ramens on their menu: Butter Ramen, Tonkotsu Ramen (which, again, I must try), and the Yoshi Ramen below.

Yoshi Ramen - $5.90
Yoshi Ramen – $5.90

At least I think it’s the Yoshi Ramen. My friend Rick, who was the one who actually ate it, can’t even remember eating at the restaurant, let alone what he ordered that night. LOL! We’ll go with the Yoshi Ramen. πŸ˜›

Yakitori Yoshi
1427 Makaloa Street
Honolulu, HI 96814 (Street View)
(808) 941-6891
Daily: 5:30pm-12am

 

And there you have it. Part 4 of the Hawaii Ramen Quest is in the books. Next month, we wrap things up with a visit to Sun Noodle Factory and an interview with the man himself Hidehito Uki. Space permitting, I’ll also try to mention a few must eat ramen spots in the muthaland itself… Japan.

Now get back to your New Year’s diet! πŸ˜‰

Part I | Part II | Part III |  Part IV  | Part V
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Makapu`u Lighthouse Trail Hike – Revisited

February 1, 2011
Makapu`u Lighthouse Trail Hike |  Makapu`u Lighthouse Trail Hike – Revisited 

Since we stay on one roll with the “revisited” kine action (see Tokkuri Tei – Revisited), let’s pay a return visit to a place we’ve been to once before. Back in August of ’06, your boy covered the popular hiking spot in Hawaii Kai called : the Makapu`u Lighthouse Trail Hike. As a former resident of the area (or “God’s country” as we like to call it πŸ˜› ), I used to frequent the trail quite a bit and thought I knew it pretty well. Au contraire, mon frΓ¨re.

There is a whole ‘nother side to this puppy, as we’re about to find out.

So the “normal” trail is pretty duck soup. It’s a semi-curvy, paved path on a slight incline most of the way. It ain’t no Koko Head, das fo sho!

Paved path up Makapuu Trail
Paved path up Makapuu Trail

And then you have the side that gets all nuts, or “off-the-beaten path” as they say. A little more challenging on the ol’ quads, but a lot more rewarding if lighthouses ain’t your bag. On this side, you’ll be able to hike down to the tide pools, see a blowhole or two, and take a dip in the ocean near Pele’s Chair.

Side Note: Recently, there has been sad news of a father and daughter losing their lives on this side of the trail. Though, it’s still unclear how they died (at the time of this writing), most experts believe it was not from a fall from the trail. Regardless, please be aware of your surroundings and be very, VERY careful any time you trek any of Hawaii’s beautiful trails. Hike at your own risk. R.I.P. Charles and Stephanie Casados. 😦

OK, so I gotta admit. I did indeed know about the tide pools, but wasn’t quite sure how to get to them (and didn’t bother to research it). It wasn’t until a recent field trip with the hiking group `Imi Loa, that I was able to experience this other side of Makapu`u trail that had eluded me.

`Imi Loa Hiking Group logo
`Imi Loa Hiking Group logo

`Imi Loa is an informal circle of friends brought together by leader Howard Chi. Here’s his story of how it all began:

“It started as a small group of friends and we would just send out group emails to see what’s up and when or who could make what date… then as more and more people wanted to come the emailing became a mass back and forth mess of blah… so I took it upon myself to make a page and name us as ‘Imi loa… now the dates are preset and there are event evites with the 411… I think originally it started off with about 30 of us and now it has ballooned to 187 currently… but really it was just another reason for us to get together and hang out.”

According to the group’s Facebook profile, they are a “network of like minded individuals who share a common interest in exploring our island backyard.” Each month, they meet up to conquer a new hiking trail around the island and are now up to 190 peeps strong at the time of this writing. If you’d like to be a part of this exciting group, drop `Imi Loa a line via Facebook!

Anyway, where were we? Ahhh yes. The tide pools. To the tide pools! To get there, take the “normal” path up the Makapu`u trail until you get to the whale lookout point.

Whale lookout point
Whale lookout point

Whale lookout point
Whale lookout point

Whale lookout point
Whale lookout point

Whale lookout point
Whale lookout point

After gathering yourself, head out to the edge on the right and choose a path.

Todd showing us the way
Todd showing us the way

The path on the right was more direct, but steeper in nature. The path that veered to the left was roundabout but gradual, and seemed to be the easier one to take. Our group split in two on the way down and the group that went left got to the bottom quicker (probably due to the relatively flatter terrain). Either way, it goes without saying that it’s a good idea to take your time and watch your step as there is loose gravel along the way.

Looking back
Looking back

Looking down
Looking down

Looking to the side. Artsy yeah? :P
Looking to the side. Artsy yeah? πŸ˜›

Almost there!
Almost there!

Now compare that to the folks on the right side path!

Steep path
Steep path

Yikes! And here’s a look back on their trail. Nuts yeah?

Looking back
Looking back

We finally get to bottom, where a mini blowhole greets us.

Makapu`u Blowhole
Makapu`u Blowhole

Let’s wrap around to the other side to time some scenic shots!

Makapu`u Blowhole
Makapu`u Blowhole

Makapu`u Blowhole
Makapu`u Blowhole

Other taking photos of the blowhole
Other taking photos of the blowhole

Waiting for the others to make it down
Waiting for the others to make it down

Continue to the left (if you’re facing the ocean) to get to the tide pools.

At the top of the tide pool
At the top of the tide pool

Scenic shot
Scenic shot

Calm tide pool
Calm tide pool

It looks pretty relaxing and peaceful, but once in a while, the waves will come and bum rush you one quick one (see below). So heed da Ka`au Crater Boys’ advice (“Keep your eye on the wave, don’t ever turn your back”) and be careful.

Not so calm tide pool
Not so calm tide pool

At the midway point of our hike, it was a good a time as any to stop and take a group shot. Check it!

`Imi Loa group shot [Photo Credit: `Imi Loa]
`Imi Loa group shot [Photo Credit: `Imi Loa]

Then, it was time to make our way back up to the main trail.

Heading back up
Heading back up

Heading back up
Heading back up

Group leader Howard taking a little breather
Group leader Howard taking a little breather

Getting steeper!
Getting steeper!

Getting there...
Getting there…

Almost to the top!
Almost to the top!

Back to the whale lookout point.
Back to the whale lookout point.

Since we chose to go up the steep side to get back, many of us took this opportunity to catch our breath and take a break. When we were well rested, we headed back down the main trail to get to the path to Pele’s Chair.

It’s a little hard to explain, but the trail head for Pele’s Chair is to the right of the first major left of the paved path (on your way up). Basically, look for this view overlooking Alan Davis and you’re there.

Near the trailhead for Pele's Chair
Near the trailhead for Pele’s Chair

Note: You can also get to Pele’s Chair directly from the parking lot via a dirt path. It’s a straight shot so it’s a lot easier, but what fun is that right? πŸ˜‰

In order to get down to Pele’s Chair, another zig-zag trail awaits you.

Path towards Pele's Chair
Path towards Pele’s Chair

Path towards Pele's Chair
Path towards Pele’s Chair

Ed’s Tip: Be careful of objects along the path. My friend Todd pierced his leg with a hidden bush stump.

Cactus on path towards Pele's Chair
Cactus on path towards Pele’s Chair

Boulder on path towards Pele's Chair
Boulder on path towards Pele’s Chair

Before long, it opens up and flattens out, and you can see the water to the right and Pele’s Chair to the left.

Path towards Pele's Chair
Path towards Pele’s Chair

We’ll come back and hike a bit to the left to check out Pele’s Chair, but that water looks too refreshing to miss right about now!

Path near Pele's Chair
Path near Pele’s Chair

Path near Pele's Chair
Path near Pele’s Chair

Plank near Pele's Chair
Plank near Pele’s Chair

That man-made diving board/plank is made out of what appears to be an old telephone pole. Although make-shift, da buggah was supah fun to jump off of!

After soaking our bones in the water, we headed back to our cars in the parking lot… But not before taking a quick detour to Pele’s Chair, named after its chair-like shape.

Path towards Pele's Chair
Path towards Pele’s Chair

Pele's Chair
Pele’s Chair

Pele's Chair
Pele’s Chair

And there it is. Another “revisited” column with 40+ photos! Geez Louise! These be a lot of work son! Let’s hope and pray for an original piece next month. Ahahahaha! Nah, all worth it. Hope y’all enjoyed it! Shooooots!

Just as I did in my previous article on Makapu`u, I’d like to take just a moment to honor a friend who unfortunately lost his life off the beaten paths of this trail. You will always be remembered bruddah. R.I.P. Warren. R.I.P. also to Charles and Stephanie Casados who recently lost their near here…

In Memory of Warren Hiroshi Matsuda
(October 2, 1974 – September 27, 2002)

Warren Hiroshi Matsuda
Warren Hiroshi Matsuda

Tom & Warren Matsuda Scholarship Fund
Warren’s father Tom’s life was also tragically taken from us. In their honor, Roy’s Restaurant has – with the help of an annual endowment through the University of Hawaii – started a scholarship fund in Warren and Tom’s name, awarding the winner of their annual culinary competition with monies to further his/her education in the art. For more information about the Tom & Warren Matsuda Culinary Scholarship Fund, please contact Roy’s Restaurant’s Rainer Kumbroch at (808) 396-7697 or Robbyn Shim.

Makapu`u Lighthouse Trail Hike |  Makapu`u Lighthouse Trail Hike – Revisited 

Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010

Sorry for da lateness! Shmall kine busy! To reward your patience, let’s do some “Lucky you live Hawaii” shots this week. Can you tell where these are???


Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - December 1, 2010
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 1, 2010

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


Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - December 1, 2010
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 1, 2010

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


Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - December 1, 2010
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – December 1, 2010

Points for Photo #3…
* Creative Photo Caption?: 2 points
* Location?: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Who dat at the Lifeguard station?: 2 points each
* Why wuz we dea?: 5 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1/2 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points
* Google Street View link?: 1 point


Last Week’s Results:
Ho, I wasn’t joking when I said was goin’ be hahd last week! Most questions went unanswered. Does that mean I can re-use um? πŸ˜› tweetpeep22, Coconut Willy, Paco and Rosette were still able to eek out a few points though! ‘Grats tp, C Dubbs, 2Pac and Rosey! πŸ™‚

Da Leadahboard (Round 2)!

  • 70.5 – Masako
  • 37.5 – Takeshi
  • 31.5 – Paco
  • 18.0 – rayboyjr
  • 17.0 – kuya.d
  • 10.5 – AlMan68
  • 08.0 – Coconut Willy, Rosette
  • 06.5 – tweetpeep22, NeedaHobby
  • 06.0 – che, MakiSushi
  • 04.0 – am
  • 03.5 – bB
  • 03.0 – kickerbear
  • 02.5 – pink lady
  • 02.0 – sshawnn, M, Kage, EMM386
  • 01.5 – mcat
  • 01.0 – effenprincess, Chicken Grease, carokun, Ynaku, 9th Island Cuz

Check out my new article on AroundHawaii.com entitled: “Hike, Bike, or the Like – Give the Pearl Harbor Bike Path a Whirl“! *grin*

Hike, Bike, or the Like - Give the Pearl Harbor Bike Path a Whirl
Hike, Bike, or the Like – Give the Pearl Harbor Bike Path a Whirl


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My Blog
:: My Blog ::
(Random stuffs)
My Facebook
:: My Facebook ::
(Add a brutha! πŸ˜› )
My Job
:: My Job ::
(Road Runner Mobile)

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Have a happy VH07V Wednesday and beginning of December y’all! Don’t forget to post your guesses below k? Shoooots!

Hike, Bike, or the Like – Give the Pearl Harbor Bike Path a Whirl

December 1, 2010

On a somewhat recent episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, Dog and his posse went chasing down a fugitive in some dense forestry-looking area on our `aina. Upon closer examination, I recogmatized um as da place we biked back in August: The Pearl Harbor Bike Path. What better time to write about it for y’all right?

Now I need to start with a disclaimer. If being on Dog the Bounty Hunter is any indication, there could conceivably be certain areas of the path that may be viewed as “shady” to some. For parts of the ride, wifey kept saying that it probably wouldn’t be safe for people to run/ride by themselves. Personally, I felt perfectly fine, but that’s probably because I’m the proud owner of this intimidating gun show (*flexes*). πŸ˜› All kidding aside, if you don’t feel safe or feel like you can’t protect yourself, take some friends along if you choose to do this path.

With that outta the way, let’s get a rollin’!

I’ve read reports that the trail can be anywhere from 8 to 18 miles or more, spanning the areas between Aiea to Waipahu to even Nanakuli! I guess it just depends where you decide to start and how far you wanna take it (see map from the DOT. Our particular adventures started from Aiea and went to Waipahu and back. Check it!

Depending on where *you* decide to start, the parking sitch may not be the greatest. We opted to start on the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area side, which meant finding parking in the surrounding neighborhoods near Aloha Stadium (to the chagrin of those living in the area). Note: We later discovered that there is actually a parking lot for the park (recreation area) if you enter in through McGrew Loop off Kamehameha Highway (view Google Street View). Whether or not you trust your car parked there – while people watch you unload your bike and ride off – is up to you.

So if you parked in the Aloha Stadium area like we did, just make your way north, down Kamehameha Highway and take a left at this little side street with no name (Google Street View). That will lead you to the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area and beginning (southeast portion) of the Pearl Harbor Bike Path.

Pearl Harbor Bike Path in the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]
Pearl Harbor Bike Path in the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]

(That’s a photo of my friend Jay at the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area on the return trip. Sorry, I didn’t have any photos of us going in the other direction.)

As you start your journey, you will actually travel under a portion of the Moanalua Freeway (HI-78), giving you a neat, not often-seen perspective.

Under the Moanalua Freeway (HI-78)
Under the Moanalua Freeway (HI-78)

Soon you’ll find yourself on the backside of Pearl Kai Shopping Center. Perhaps, if you were a member of 24 Hour Fitness back in the day when it was here, you might remember seeing some mysterious road with joggers prancing along it? Well, that was the Pearl Harbor Bike Path! Mystery solved! πŸ˜› Here’s the only shot I have (from AndHere.com) of the backside of Pearl Kai. It’s the parking lot underneath the old 24 Hour Fitness.

The back of Pearl Kai Shopping Center [Photo Courtesy: AndHere.com]
The back of Pearl Kai Shopping Center [Photo Courtesy: AndHere.com]

Eventually, you’ll pass by Best Buy, Harbor Center, Cutter Ford, and Neal S. Blaisdell Park.

Neal S. Blaisdell Park
Neal S. Blaisdell Park

This is a good place to catch your breath and grab some water (and use the potty).

A few strip malls later, you’ll instantly recognize the back side of the Hawaiian Electric power plant…

Hawaiian Electric power plant
Hawaiian Electric power plant

… Followed by a cute little taro patch/field.

Taro patch/field
Taro patch/field

At this point, you’ll be riding parallel with the H-1 (westbound) for a little while with East Loch to your left. Passing Pearl City Peninsula on your left, things will open up at Middle Loch, where you’ll see some pretty cool ships docked out at sea.

Ships at Middle Loch
Ships at Middle Loch

As you pass Middle Loch and make your way towards West Loch…

Path between Middle Loch and West Loch
Path between Middle Loch and West Loch

I noticed something really disturbing.

Pollution along the Pearl Harbor Bike Path
Pollution along the Pearl Harbor Bike Path

At the end of the little river/canal/stream that ran alongside of the bike path (Kapakahi Stream?), there was a build-up of trash and waste, including a shopping cart and even a spare tire! This is hereby a plea to the city to please take a close look into this! Mahaloz!

Finally, you’ll make it to Waipahu Home Depot Road where you’ll take a right to head towards Farrington Highway. Along the way, you’ll notice HUGE stacks of compacted recycled goods (at an Ewa Repair Shop? or Depot Metal Inc.?), a good a time as any for a photo opp! πŸ™‚

Compacted recycled Goods at Ewa Repair Shop
Compacted recycled Goods at Ewa Repair Shop

Continue to make your way towards Farrington Highway and you’ll start to get your bearings. You’ll pass by Servco Auto Leeward when you hit the highway. Strange coming from that direction yeah?

Since we were hungry, we decided to stop by at Tanioka’s to rest our bones…

Our bikes outside of Tanioka's
Our bikes outside of Tanioka’s

And pound some ono poke.

Poke and rice (with the IntelliGo) next to the Tanioka's Menu  [Photo Courtesy: AndHere.com]
Poke and rice (with the IntelliGo) next to the Tanioka’s MenuΒ  [Photo Courtesy: AndHere.com]

A big mahalos to bruddah Donovan for hooking us up with some ono grindz!

With our bellies full and bones well rested, it was time to make the return trip back to Aiea. Rather than listening to my annoying commentary, let’s press the mute button on me and enjoy the photos of the ride back in peace and quiet.

Jay with his leftovers
Jay with his leftovers

Above Middle Loch
Above Middle Loch

Todd and wifey
Todd and wifey

Wifey and I [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]
Wifey and I [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]

Signage
Signage

Todd and Jay
Todd and Jay

More fields
More fields

Behind HECO
Behind HECO

Todd's
Todd’s “handsome” face

Peesu
Peesu

Jay and wifey
Jay and wifey

All smiles
All smiles

East Loch [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]
East Loch [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]

Right next to the freeway
Right next to the freeway

Almost there...
Almost there…

We made it! [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]
We made it! [Photo Courtesy: Todd Wakida]

I wanna say the entire trip probably only took like 2-3 hours, including the lunch break, but that’s just my guesstimate. An overall fun, and different adventure that you and your homeys can enjoy one (or every) weekend. Just remember to bring a friend if you’re not with me. πŸ˜‰

Oahu… A Day In the Life

June 1, 2007

Todd is your typical local boy. Born and raised on big plate lunches, beaches and BBQs, this pseudo-expat will get all emotional on you if he stays away from these for too long. So when he made plans to return to Oahu for a few days from his current/temporary abode on the Big Island (with previous stints in Las Vegas, Maryland and Virginia), I made it a point to take the day off and tag along with this tourist to wherever he wanted to go. Turns out HE showed ME a thing or two about Oahu and its many hidden treasures…

The day started with a scheduled 7:30am arrival time from Kona International Airport at Keahole to Honolulu. As we all know, that means 7:40am by the time they get out of the plane and are ready to be picked up (7:50am if they need to go to baggage claim). So guess who calls me at 7:20am with an excitable voice traceable only by the high-pitched shriekiness? Yep, Tourist Todd. I was already on the way, but still rubbing the sleepiness from my eyes. He felt so guilty for his early morning arrival that breakfast would be on him at our first stop at Toshi’s Delicatessen in Kalihi.

Toshi's Delicatessen Sign
Toshi’s Delicatessen Sign

This tiny, hole-in-the-wall okazu-ya sits inconspicuously on the mauka side of North King Street, just a few blocks from downtown Honolulu. (! – There is a small strip of parking right up front, but be careful if you’re coming from the Wes’side… the turn is dangerous and possibly illegal).

At 7:49AM on a workday Friday, there was already a line of hungry locals forming.

Line at Toshi's Delicatessen
Line at Toshi’s Delicatessen

After tasting their Japanese-style breakfast/lunch lineup, it’s not hard to understand why.

Choices at Toshi's Delicatessen
Choices at Toshi’s Delicatessen

On this occasion, Todd ordered up a hamburger patty, corned beef patty, SPAM, eggs and rice, while I had the hamburger patty, corned beef patty, eggs, tofu and chow fun.

Todd's order of hamburger patty, corned beef patty, SPAM, eggs, rice and a snuck in peace sign
Todd’s order of hamburger patty, corned beef patty, SPAM, eggs, rice and a snuck in peace sign

My hamburger patty, corned beef patty, eggs, tofu and chow fun order
My hamburger patty, corned beef patty, eggs, tofu and chow fun order

Toshi’s Delicatessen
1226 N. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96817 (map)
(808) 841-6634

With food in our bellies, we headed just up the road to Chi-town, aka Chinatown. We were having a local-style barbeque that evening and wanted to pick up some goodies ahead of time. We ended up getting just three items: charsiu, roast pork and Okinawan sweet potatoes, but the photos I captured throughout provide for some interesting sights if I do say so myself. πŸ™‚

Vegetable stand in Chinatown
Vegetable stand in Chinatown

Crab selection in Chinatown
Crab selection in Chinatown

More veggies in Chinatown
More veggies in Chinatown

Crossing the street in Chinatown
Crossing the street in Chinatown

Roast duck hanging in Chinatown
Roast duck hanging in Chinatown

Frozen Ox Tails
Frozen Ox Tails

Veggies in Chinatown
Veggies in Chinatown

Fruits and veggies in Chinatown
Fruits and veggies in Chinatown

Seafood and poultry selection in Chinatown
Seafood and poultry selection in Chinatown

Okinawa Sweet Potato
Okinawa Sweet Potato

Shrimp selection at the Maunakea Marketplace in Chinatown
Shrimp selection at the Maunakea Marketplace in Chinatown

Poor piggy who went to the market
Poor piggy who went to the market

Following Chi-town, we went to another “C-town” (Costco town) to pick up the rest of our eats for the BBQ: Tri-tips, shrimp, bacon & scallops, and other miscellaneous goods. We then headed for the crib to prep and drop off the food for that night. Our other friend Kelvin picked us up from here and we headed to the beach.

Didn’t take too many beach shots (or at least ones they would let me show you), so below is just one taken after our day in the sun, walking back to the car. Side note: When I told Todd I was writing a “day in the life” piece of his time here and asked him what he wanted to include in it, rather than mentioning anything about food, Hawaii or otherwise, he wanted to mention that he’s single and available. Kelvin is as well FYI, so for all y’all single ladies out there, feast your eyes on this! *grin*

Kelvin and Todd, Hawaii's most eligible bachelors
Kelvin and Todd, Hawaii’s most eligible bachelors

Nothing tastes better than a plate lunch after the beach, so the three of us stooges headed to local favorite Rainbow Drive-In in Kapahulu.

Rainbow Drive-In
Rainbow Drive-In

Kelvin and Todd – both monster eaters – ordered the Mixed Plate, which consists of teri steak, grilled mahi, and chicken. Todd was so much in heaven that he wouldn’t even move his hand to let me take a picture!

Rainbow Drive-In's Mixed Plate (teri steak, grilled mahi, and chicken)
Rainbow Drive-In’s Mixed Plate (teri steak, grilled mahi, and chicken)

As for me, I took the practical approach and got just a burger and fries to save my appetite for the eats to come that night.

Rainbow Drive-In's Hamburger and fries
Rainbow Drive-In’s Hamburger and fries

Kelvin made a joke that Rainbows was so fast that as soon as you placed your order and walked over to the next window, your food would be ready! He wasn’t too far from the truth! For future reference, Rainbows is fast kine!

Rainbow Drive-In
3308 Kanaina Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815 (map)
(808) 737-0177

With more than 12 hours past since that girly voice greeted me on the phone this morning, it was time for the barbeque! Let me put on my bbq hat and attempt to recipe this buggah out:

First up on the grill was the beef tri-tips.

Seasoned Beef Tri-Tip
Garlic Salt (to taste)
Seasoned Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Olive Oil (to taste)

Season the beef with garlic salt, seasoned salt and pepper just before cooking (will dry out meat if done too far in advance). Pour enough olive oil over each piece to moisten. Cook over grill, rotating regularly, to desired wellness.

Beef Tri-tip on the grill
Beef Tri-tip on the grill

Next was the Italian-style shrimp:

Italian-style Shrimp
2 pound bag of frozen 21-25 shrimp (shell off, tail-on and de-veined)
1 bottle of Italian Dressing (your choice)
Salt
Pepper

Defrost the shrimp and lightly salt and pepper them (shrimp is naturally salty and will also get ample flavoring from the dressing). Throw shrimp in a Ziploc bag, empty dressing into the bag and zip up. Do your best impression of “Shake Yo’ Money Maker” or “The Twist” (depending on what generation you’re from) and shake the bag until your shrimp is well coated. Place in fridge and let sit/marinate for at least a couple of hours.

When they’re ready, throw ’em on the grill and cook to taste, rotating regularly. (Note: Shrimps cook very fast so keep them off of the hot part of the grill and keep an eye on them or they will burn/char.).

Italian-Style Shrimp joins the party
Italian-Style Shrimp joins the party

Lastly, the Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
1 bag frozen scallops
1 pack bacon
Skewers or thick toothpicks

Defrost frozen scallops and remove hard connective tissue (optional). Wrap bacon around scallop and secure in place with skewer. No flavoring necessary as the oil and saltiness from the bacon will be sufficient. Grill, rotating regularly, to taste and serve.

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops round out the bunch
Bacon-Wrapped Scallops round out the bunch

Big plate lunches, beaches and BBQs… All in a day’s work. But let’s not forgot to mention one of the most important Bs that makes living in the islands so unique: bonding with your buddies. You can’t put a price tag on that.
Good food, with great friends… Lucky we live Hawaii.