Posts Tagged 'Local Food'

Garlic Shrimp at North Shore


On a recent weekend an errand took us up North to Waialua town, so we enjoyed lunch at neighboring Haleiwa. Whenever I head to the North Shore, right about when I’m passing through the pineapple fields my mind starts thinking about one thing: garlic shrimp! We usually eat at a shrimp truck in Kahuku, but this time we were on Haleiwa side so we randomly picked one of many shrimp trucks right on Kam Highway at the edge of town. Big Wave Shrimp Truck has plenty of parking and a spacious seating area with a friendly neighbor:


My Garlic Shrimp Plate ($12.00)


Every shrimp truck has its subtle differences and Big Wave Shrimp Truck’s garlic shrimp was topped with heaps of sweet roasted garlic and drenched in a clear buttery sauce. It was different from some other trucks that use flour to add a bit of crusty coating to the shrimp. I usually like it with flour since it thickens up the sauce a bit, but Big Wave Shrimp Truck’s version was delicious as well (good news: not as messy on the fingers) and most of all, their garlic was so sweet and soft that I consumed dangerous amounts of it on my rice with a drizzle of shoyu.

(Hubby) D’s Crunchy Shrimp Plate ($12.00)


A bonus: kama’aina and military get a free drink with plate!

MENU: View the menu on their website.  Apparently, the truck was also featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri.

Big Wave Shrimp Truck
66-521 Kamehameha Highway
Haleiwa, Hawaii

Daily 10:00a-7:30p



Waipahu Eats – Leeward Drive-Inn

We recently moved out of our tiny Honolulu apartment into a slightly bigger place. More space on a budget usually means looking outside of Honolulu, and we found our new neighborhood in fast developing West Oahu. We’re excited to discover all the area has to offer, from dining to beaches and parks. As for the dining scene, it probably won’t take long to try out every restaurant in Kapolei (there’s not that many since the area is still developing), and I’m eager to explore neighboring areas like Waipio, Mililani, Waikele and Pearl City. Waipahu is high on my list too, since it’s an older area, there are lots of hole in the wall local favorites for plate lunches, Filipino food, etc.

One such place Leeward Drive-Inn, gets the thumbs up from BIL2, a local boy from Waipahu, so of course we had to check it out. They’re located on the corner of Farrington Hwy and Pupukahi St. in the heart of Waipahu, where you won’t find a single tourist in sight. They’ve been in business since 1964 so you know they’re doing something right. On the menu you’ll find all the plate lunch usuals like loco moco, fried chicken, fried noodles, as well as breakfast, and some Korean BBQ items too. And a drive inn is not complete without green river (basically lime flavored sugar water with copious amounts of green food coloring – love it!), lilikoi drink, and icee floats too!

After you order your food from the window, there’s a spacious eat-in area on the side of the building.

Here’s the Fried Pork Chop w/ Gravy Plate ($8.45). First of all – WHOA – look at the amount of food on this plate! Three seasoned crispy fried chops smothered in gravy, served with 2 scoops rice, mac salad, tossed salad, and fried noodles.

The Ultimate Mix Plate ($9.95) consisting of kalbi, fried chicken, sweet and sour spareribs, hamburger steak, fried noodles & rice. Again, WHOA. A quick fried chicken review for anyone who cares: Leeward Drive-Inn’s chicken skin is not as crispy as compared to Tanioka’s or Zippy’s, but the meat is juicier. The seasoning is more “Western” style, which the best way to explain might be to say that I would probably pair this chicken with ketchup, whereas I would pour shoyu over Tanioka’s and Zippy’s chicken. One’s not better than the other, just different and yummy in its own way.

Sure, it’s not the healthiest place to eat, but for a good ol’ plate lunch craving, you can get your fill at Leeward Drive-Inn.

MENU: View the menu on their website. (As of current, prices seem to be outdated on their web menu – most items have increased by $0.50-$1.00).

Leeward Drive-Inn
94-209 Pupukahi St.
Waipahu, HI 96797

Mon-Thu 4:30a-11:00p
Fri & Sat 4:30a-12:00a
Sun 5:00a-11:00p

Baby’s 1st Birthday Pool Party

We attended the 1st birthday party of a friend’s son. Hosted at a community rec center in Hawaii Kai, It was a summer pool party decked out in fun, cheery colors and lots of treats for the kids.

Every local party has a pupu station with favorites like boiled peanuts and shrimp cocktail.

Well guess what? this one even had a pupu station for little kids with baby crackers and Gerber snacks!

Lunch was a catered feast of the usual local favorites: maki sushi, Chinese chicken salad, fried noodles…

Breaded fish, shoyu pork, kalbi, chicken, and Okinawan andagi.

There was a sweet treat buffet for the kids

and a shave ice station, perfect on this hot day. Hubby and I shared a rainbow cone with strawberry, pineapple, and blue vanilla flavors.

It was easy to see how much love and thought went into the preparation for this gathering, from the handmade banners to the homemade cake pop favors. The proud Mom and Dad gave a short speech and thanked friends and family for their support through the past year, which reminded me how blessed Hubby and I also are for the loving support system we have as our own family grows. It seems like just yesterday that my friend and I were silly college girls at the UH dorms, and it’s been a joy seeing our friendship through her wedding a few years ago, her pregnancy, my pregnancy, and now, celebrating her son’s first year of life.

Happy Birthday to the adorable baby boy!

Family Picnic at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park

This past weekend we gathered at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park for a birthday picnic for SIL1.

SIL2 brought lumpia, mochiko chicken, and fried chicken from Tanioka’s in Waipahu.

Here’s everybody’s favorite, spam musubi…

… and potato mac salad, and nishime from Gulick Delicatessen, and garlic edamame and spicy ahi poke from Foodland.

Hubby baked delicious cupcakes for the birthday girl, and we enjoyed a beautiful day of flying kites, grass sledding, and just hanging out at the park. We don’t get snow here in Hawaii, but the kids sure had a blast blazing down the steep hills of Kaka’ako Waterfront Park on their cardboard sleds.

Beach Picnic

Living in Hawaii means you’re never more than a short walk or drive away from gorgeous sandy beaches and blue waters. That equals loads of fun on the cheap on the weekends.

This past weekend hubby and I spent the day at San Souci Beach with SIL 2 and the kids. After a picnic lunch of musubis and fried chicken, we swam in the ocean and got gunned down by our nephew armed with a water gun. Repeatedly.

Then, SIL2 and I spent the rest of the time critiquing impressive beach bodies and spotting cellulite and fake boobs. What? You know you do it too.

I made shiso and takana musubis, shoyu hot dogs, potato mac salad, and watermelon. SIL2 brought inari sushi, fried chicken, and lumpia from Tanioka’s.

Off the Wall Restaurant Bar & Catering

The spot for this month’s dinner with the girls was the Pearl Kai Shopping Center at a small restaurant called Off the Wall. The  cuisine can be best described as a fresh take on local style Japanese and Okinawan comfort food. The vibe of the place is youthful, warm and friendly.

We started off with Crab & Artichoke Wontons ($6.00) with a creamy filling

and BBQ Spiced “Hapa” Fries ($7.00) – sweet potato and regular fries served with a mustard dipping sauce.

Ahi Poke Salad with a light kimchee dressing that my friend loved and wanted to purchase.

Tofu Salad ($6.00)

Tempura Shrimp Club Temaki ($3.50)

Kimchee Ahi Temaki ($3.50)

Okinawan Yakisoba ($9.00) made with thick and firm Okinawan soba noodles and lots of veggies.

Shoyu Pork Miso Okinawan Soba ($7.50)

Fresh andagi anyone?

In addition to the traditional Andagi ($0.85 – for those that don’t know, it’s like a very dense fried cake doughnut), they have several variations including the Anda-dog ($4.50) which is a corn dog but with andagi batter. I tried the Shoyu Pork Andagi ($3.00) which is an andagi topped with shredded shoyu pork and some of that sweet shoyu sauce. The perfect combination of sweet and salty.

And of course the decadent Chocolate Filled Andagi ($2.00) to end our meal.

With our stomachs full, we rolled out of Off the Wall and headed to Starbucks to continue our gab-fest.  I love trying new restaurants, and I’m so glad we tried Off the Wall. And we get to do it all over again next month. Until then, ladies!

MENU: View the menu on their website.

Off the Wall Restaurant Bar & Catering
Pearl Kai Shopping Center
98-199 Kamehameha Highway, B-10
Aiea, HI 96701

Tue-Sun 2:30p-9:30p
Closed Mondays

Yama’s Fish Market

I picked up lunch at Yama’s Fish Market for some friends and met them at their workplace for a picnic lunch break.

Yama’s is one of my favorites for take-out Hawaiian food and fresh poke. I usually get their full Hawaiian plates with lomi salmon, poi, haupia, and poke so they run over $10.00, but I didn’t realize how reasonably priced their regular plate lunches are. Other than one tiny table outside, they don’t really have a place to sit down and eat so it’s the perfect place to get take-out on your way to the beach or a beautiful park.

Lau Lau Plate ($5.85). For anyone who doesn’t know what lau lau is, it’s pork (or chicken and/or fish) inside taro leaves wrapped up in ti leaf and steamed until it’s melty soft.

Yama's - Lau Lau ($5.85)

and a side order of Chicken Long Rice ($2.50)

Yama's - Small Chicken Long Rice ($2.50)

Kalua Pig Plate ($5.85). What a value for this heaping pile of kalua pig!

Yama's - Kalula Pig Plate ($5.85)

Mochiko Chicken Plate ($6.45) served with sweet chili sauce. I was surprised because I thought they gave my friend chicken katsu instead of the mochiko chicken she wanted, but she said that’s how their mochiko chicken is. It’s crusted with panko which is unusual to see.

Yama's - Mochiko Chicken ($6.45)

My Ahi Poke Patties Plate ($6.45) with sweet chili sauce, one of their specials for the day. I wasn’t sure what I’d be getting, but these panko-crusted ahi poke cakes (limu and all) were delicious. I thought they might be seared rare but FYI, they were cooked all the way through.

Yama's - Ahi Poke Patties ($6.45)

It was a cheap but most delicious lunch! Click here to view the menu on their website.

Yama’s Fish Market
2332 Young Street
Honolulu, HI 96826
Mon-Sat 9:00a-7:00p
Sun 9:00a-5:00p

February 2019
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