Monday, December 13, 2010

Ono Kine Grinez

Waimea Beach on a particularly cloudy day

My tan from my Oahu trip a couple weeks back is already fading, but it's okay because by the end of it I barely fit into my swimsuit anyway.

Next First stop:

Multiple locations.

I couldn't find any videos of the "Next stop: ZIPPY'S" ad campaign, but this 1992 commercial precisely illustrates what it feels like to eat at Zippy's. 

Worth the trip indeed.

I first wrote about Zippy's in reference to their mac salad.  Their familiarity and consistency naturally begged for Zippy's to be the first thing I ate off the plane. 

Spam not pictured

I opted for the comprehensive Surf Pac.

I wanted to sit down since I had just gotten off the plane, thus the slightly overboard price of $10.25, but if you want to dine in the to-go area, the Surf Pac will run a couple bucks cheaper.

Pa'ala'a Kai Bakery
66-945 Kaukonahua Rd
Waialua, HI 96791
(808) 637-9795

I grew up down the street from this place so I will stand by it no matter what.  The custard honeymoons were always my favorite as a kid in stark contrast to my sister's favorite chocolate honeymoons.  As adults we can now find middle ground with the chocolate and custard honeymoon.

Honeymoon, donut holes, butter roll, smokies, aka breakfast.

Sweet donuts aside, Pa'ala'a Kai is most famous for their smokies wrapped in an insanely buttery dough.

Young's Fish Market
1286 Kalani Street
Kalihi/Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 841-4885

Young's offers authentic Hawaiian food rather than your standard "plate lunch," which is local to Hawaii but not necessarily Hawaiian.

After three hours of raiding the yet-to-be-picked-over Savers in Kalihi (much unlike Bay Area thrift shopping), I was unusually ravenous for poi, which is taro root pounded so much that it reaches a goopy consistency.

My half of the butterfish laulau combo plate

I split the hefty butterfish laulau combo plate which includes butterfish laulau (available only on Fridays), lomi salmon, pipikaula, poi, steamed Okinawan sweet potato, and extra rice.

Butterfish laulau basking

Laulau is pretty much the best present you could give someone because you can eat the wrapping paper too.

Chun Wah Kam Noodle Factory
98-040 Kamehameha Hwy
Aiea, HI 96701
(808) 485-1107

You cannot get chow mein like this on the mainland.  Serious.

Char siu, honey garlic chicken, and kalua pig manapua
Chun Wah Kam is my favorite place on the island to get manapua, or "steamed bun" in layman's terms (though an afterhours manapua from 7-11 is like the best thing ever when you realize how much whiskey you've drank).  Chun Wah Kam offers a ton different types of manapua and even a pizza manapua that happens to rule.  Of the three I had, the classic char siu pork reigned supreme.

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck
66-460 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
+ several other North Shore locations

Garlic butter shrimp plate

This is a picture of Cristy's garlic butter shrimp plate ($13).  I don't like shrimp, but you probably do so I thought I'd include a picture from this famous truck.  If it were the case that I simply hadn't ever had good shrimp, Giovanni's would have changed my mind.  But it didn't because I just don't like shrimp.  Unfortunately, I feel a lot of important food doors will remain unopened until I do.

Opal Thai Truck
66-460 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
(808) 381-8091

Pineapple fried rice.
Since I was in the shrimp truck gulch and realized I still didn't like shrimp, I opted for a shrimpless entree at the Opal Thai truck.

Kozo Sushi
Multiple locations

Ahi tartare roll

It's a little embarrassing but I am only now at this point in my life easing my way into eating raw fish/sushi.  I can't speak for how awesome this local sushi chain may or may not be except that I loved the ahi tartare roll ($6.99), and that is all I've ever tried there.  After finishing my roll I came to the realization that SF is really lacking in affordable sushi take out like that all over Oahu.  Without submitting to supermarket sushi, I can't think of anywhere in SF where you can order a freshly made roll to go for under $10.  In a way, sushi is like the burrito of Hawaii, and places like Kozo akin to taquerias but you won't leave with a case of burrito-butt.

As massive as this list is and all the food was, I still missed several spots I'd meant to hit up.  There is never enough time nor appetite, even at a rate of four meals a day.  Did I mention I also had a full traditional Thanksgiving meal and plowed through the leftovers also? 

A mochiko chicken musubi from Diamond Head Grill that I stole a bite from

My missed connection food list goes as follows:
-ramen at Yotekko-Ya
-anything at the KCC Farmer's Market
-musubi or manapua late night at 7-11 just because I'm an adult and I can
-malasadas at Leonard's Bakery
-Garlic ahi fried rice from Irifune

Lengthy essay on SHAVE ICE coming soon.

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