Garlic kimukatsu set – Kimukatsu

Garlic kimukatsu set - Kimukatsu
With cabbage salad, rice, miso soup, Japanese pickle, and choice of special sauce. $19
Kimukatsu, Honolulu HI

This kimukatsu flavor was pretty good, but a little greasy again. I really enjoyed the dipping sauce and the Japanese pickles were delicious and totally assuaged my salt cravings. The miso soup also had strips of fried tofu in it which was tasty!

Cabbage salad - Kimukatsu
Cabbage salad.

Steamed rice - Kimukatsu
Steamed rice.

Miso soup - Kimukatsu
Miso soup.

Japanese pickles - Kimukatsu
Japanese pickles.

Salt and spring onion sauce - Kimukatsu
Salt and spring onion sauce.

Tea - Kimukatsu

Tea. Complimentary

Lollipop plant (Pachystachys lutea, Acanthaceae)
Lollipop plant or golden shrimp plant (Pachystachys lutea, Acanthaceae), Ainahau Triangle Park.

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Chelsea’s Treat sandwich – Giovanni Pastrami

Chelsea's Treat sandwich - Giovanni Pastrami
Double Decker! 1/2 pound of hot corned beef and pastrami with Swiss cheese, tomato and Russian dressing on rye bread. Served with macaroni salad. $16
Giovanni Pastrami, Honolulu HI

Geez, this sandwich was large! I love corned beef and pastrami so I was in heaven. I don’t think I really needed the macaroni salad, but I ate it for good measure, lol!

Sound box - Giovanni Pastrami

Sound box. We needed this to listen to an SF Giants baseball game! :)

Ala Wai Canal
Ala Wai Canal from Ala Moana Boulevard.

My first Hawaiian luau!

Ali'i Luau buffet
Kalua pig, teriyaki chicken, fish, purple yam, noodles, pickled vegetables, salad, braised greens, etc.
Ali’i Luau, Laie HI

During my previous trips to Hawaii, I somehow managed to avoid attending a “cheesy” luau. Well, I made it my mission to finally go to one of these popular tourist attractions during this visit and what better place to attend one than at the Polynesian Cultural Center! Their website advertises the Ali’i Luau as Hawaii’s “Most Authentic Luau”, but I’m still not convinced of its authenticity after sitting through it. It seemed pretty cheesy to me. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the experience and the chance to check a Hawaiian luau off my bucket list. The food was ok as buffet food goes, and the entertainment was enjoyable. I don’t think I’d do it again, but I would still recommend it for those who haven’t tried it.

Taro roll - Ali'i Luau
Taro roll. This was pretty good, especially slathered in butter, lol!

Ali'i Luau entrance
Entrance to the luau.

Ali'i Luau dining area
The dining area.

Ali'i Luau entertainment
Luau entertainment. The show was actually pretty long with many dancers. The little kid dancers were SO cute to watch!

Black pepper kimukatsu set – Kimukatsu

Black pepper kimukatsu - Kimukatsu
With cabbage salad, rice, miso soup, Japanese pickle, and choice of special sauce. $19
Kimukatsu, Honolulu HI

This was the first time I’d ever tried kimukatsu, and it was very tasty! It’s made with thinly sliced pork cutlet stacked into 25 layers, covered in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried for 8 minutes. It sounded intriguing so I had to try it. It thought it was really flavorful and tender, but it was a little on the greasy side probably because they fry it on a low temperature. The set is quite large so I was definitely full afterward.

Cabbage salad - Kimukatsu
Large bowl of cabbage salad for the table.

Steamed rice - Kimukatsu
Steamed rice.

Miso soup - Kimukatsu
Miso soup.

Japanese pickles - Kimukatsu
Japanese pickles.

Ume shiso ponzu - Kimukatsu
Ume shiso ponzu sauce.

Asahi beer - Kimukatsu

Asahi draft. $5.50

Tahitian dancers
Tahitian dancers, Canoe Pageant, Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie.

Wafu salad – Izakaya Takonoki

Wafu salad - Izakaya Takonoki
Baby spinach, radish, tofu, tomato with sesame shoyu dressing. $8.50
Izakaya Takonoki, Honolulu HI

This was ok, nothing special. I actually would have preferred it if the salad came tossed and with smaller pieces of fresh tofu.

House chardonnay - Izakaya Takonoki

House chardonnay. $5.50

Sunset at Waikiki Beach
Sunset at Waikiki Beach, Oahu.

Mixed meats plate – Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar

Mixed meats plate - Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar
Trotter croquettes, smoked beef tongue, house sausage, flat-iron, roasted garlic, salsa verde, grilled ciabatta. $25
Salt Kitchen and Tasting Bar, Honolulu HI

Mmm, this was heaven on a plate for a meat-lover like me! I think the smoked beef tongue was my favorite! It was SO tender and had a great texture and flavor, noms! The trotter croquettes were also really fun. I wish the pic would’ve come out better since this dish was so yummy.

Brothers In Valor Memorial

“Brothers In Valor” Memorial, Fort DeRussy. Honoring World War II veterans.

Royce’s spicy nachos – Giovanni Pastrami

Royce's spicy nachos - Giovanni Pastrami
A giant plate of homemade tortilla chips covered in a pepper jack cheese sauce, spicy taco-seasoned natural black angus ground beef, tomatoes, onions, guacamole, sour cream, and green onions. $15
Giovanni Pastrami, Honolulu HI

This was definitely a largo plate of nachos, but it wasn’t very good. The seasoned ground beef wasn’t spicy at all at the pepper jack cheese sauce was super bland. Lame!

Coors Light beer - Giovanni Pastrami

Coors Light beer. Pitcher $12

White bougainvillea flowers
White bougainvillea flowers (Nyctaginaceae), Ainahau Triangle Park.

Hula’s sangria – Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand

Hula's sangria - Hula's Bar & Lei Stand

Cabernet du jour, fresh pressed lime, fresh pressed lemon, fresh pressed orange, pineapple juice, orgeat syrup.
Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand, Honolulu HI

Mmm, I love sangrias! They serve this in a pretty large glass so you can take your time to enjoy. Thanks Hula’s!

Mokoli'i (Chinaman's Hat) Island
Mokoli’i (Chinaman’s Hat) Island, Kane’ohe Bay.

Mixed plate – Rainbow Drive-In

Mixed plate - Rainbow Drive-In
BBQ beef, fried boneless chicken, fried mahi mahi, rice and coleslaw. $7.75
Rainbow Drive-In, Honolulu HI

This tasted great, but the fish and chicken were a little greasy. The breading they use on the chicken tasted amazing though – SO much flavor! I also liked the slaw becuase it was on the sweet and vinegary side.

Diet Coke - Rainbow Drive-In

Diet Coke. Regular $1.40

Rainbow Drive-In
This place is very popular and always has a line in front. Overall, I thought the food was pretty tasty and very affordable!