Recently, Steve and I met some friends at one of our favorite sushi restaurants Mitch’s Honolulu Fish Market and Sushi Bar . We were surprised to find that Mitch’s had a newly expanded their dining room. Continue reading
Category Archives: Hidden Gems
Hilo Rice Noodle Soup! What a mouth full and what a weird name, right? Steve and I were in Hilo looking for a quick bite to eat, and I stumbled upon this hole in the wall after reading a couple good reviews on Four Square.
Hilo Rice Noodle Soup is located on 1990 Kinoole Street in a ghost town shopping center near a crack seed store. It’s really important to know that because there is no signage for the restaurant!
This place is an outdated take out and sit down restaurant that serves home cooked Chinese and Vietnamese food. The menu is extensive with favorites like pho, pot stickers, chow fun, and every Chinese food dish you can think of.
Steve got the Kung Pao Chicken ($8.15) (he starting eating too fast before I could get a photo in) and I got the Tofu Vegetable Pho ($10). Steve’s chicken came with rice, egg drop soup, and a huge won ton chip. It was a tasty traditional dish with fresh zucchini.
My pho was shocking delicious. It looked very plain and unremarkable, but I have got to say it was one of the best soups I had ever had! It was a clear looking broth, not like the typical beef or pho broth I’m use to that is on the cloudy or darker side, but it was super delicious! I was also impressed with all the wonderful choi sum and other fresh vegetables that came in my soup. I was feeling a little lethargic and after my soup I felt alive and healthy!
I am interested to visit Hilo Rice Noodle Soup again and try other items on the menu. If you’ve been here and can recommend any dishes please comment below!
I have a love-hate relationship with Los Angeles, California. I love to visit L.A. because there is so much to do, the food is amazing, there is gorgeous sunny weather, beautiful beaches, great shopping, but I hate L.A. because everything is very expensive, there is always crazy traffic, and most of the people who live there dress like they’re being followed by the paparazzi.
I spent a lot of time in the car sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on the enormous freeways, and it cracks me up to see that everyone who lives here either drives a Ferrari, Bentley, or a Prius.
Despite my complaints, I had a fabulous weekend in L.A. and got to catch up with some old friends. Here are highlights of my weekend and places that are worth checking out the next time you’re in Hollywood…
- The J. Paul Getty Museum: this was my second trip to the Getty Museum and I have to say this place is pretty amazing. The building, grounds, and view alone are magnificent. We got to see the Herb Ritts exhibit while we were there! It costs $10 to to park at the Getty, but admission to the museum is free.
- Point Dume: located on the coast of Malibu, California this beach is a little off the beaten path. This beach doesn’t get as crowded as others nearby because it’s tucked inside a neighborhood, there are only about 8 parking spaces, and you have to hike down a little hill to get to the beach. If you commit to the far parking, walking, and lugging your gear down a hill you will come to a beautiful spot to sunbathe, surf, and enjoy the ocean.
- Baco Mercat: my new favorite restaurant! This place is nothing like you could ever imagine, and I am still dreaming about the food I had here. Baco serves DE-licious, non-pretentious food with twists, turns, and unique flavors. The food has Western and Eastern Mediterranean influences and poultry, pork, and beef is from producers who raise their animals humanely with no growth hormones or antibiotics. Produce is from local Southern California and always fresh and seasonal. Most of the food is served in small tapas style plates. This place gets very crowded, so reservations are a must.
- Bar 107: located in downtown Los Angeles, this “dive bar” located on West 4th Street was unexpectedly fun! 80′s music, red pleather booths, strange crowds of people, stiff drinks, a great vibe, and never a line in the restroom, this bar is a must try if you’re wandering around downtown L.A. and want to try something different.
- Malibu Cafe: at Calamigos Ranch is a must do for weekend brunch. Located in South Latigo Canyon in Malibu this place is really a hidden gem. This gorgeous outdoor dining spot is pet and kid friendly and serves up gourmet breakfast with a southern influence. Prices are surprisingly very reasonable and on Sundays you can get mimosas for $10 with unlimited refills!
I am a garlic lover and put fresh garlic in every dish I cook. I recently learned a little garlic secret (well not so secret), PEELED GARLIC!! I was getting my Korean cold noodle fix the other day and afterwards wandered into Keeaumoku Supermarket and stumbled upon a huge bag of fresh peeled garlic for just under $3! I was in awe because just one bulb of garlic at the grocery store can run you about $2.
I know you can buy peeled garlic by the tubs at Costco, but the produce at Costco isn’t as fresh as I would sometimes like it to be, and the peeled garlic in Chinatown, Don Quijote, and little Korean markets like Keeaumoku Supermarket is a lot better.
I was very impressed by Keeaumoku Supermarket’s huge bag, which looked like about 6 huge bulbs of garlic. The garlic cloves were super fresh and cooking with the peeled cloves made life so much easier. Calling all garlic lovers, please don’t ever peel your own garlic again or over pay for unpeeled bulbs at the regular grocery store!!
Lately, I’ve been buying grass-fed beef when possible and just found out that Kualoa Ranch sells 100% grass-fed beef. This is awesome because Kualoa is only about 10 minutes away from my house, we get to eat a healthier product, and also help support this local east side ranch.
Kualoa Ranch cattle are raised on a 4,000 acre property and free to roam a 1,500 acre pasture. The herd is primarily made up of a cross between Angus, Brangus, and Hereford stock. The grass-fed cattle produces leaner cuts of meat, which is lower in fat. The production process takes place completely in Hawai’i. The cattle are slaughtered at an FDA inspected slaughterhouse in Campbell Industrial Park and processed at Wong’s Meat Market.
To buy some meat, all you have to do is stop by Kualoa Ranch’s restaurant. Kualoa offers ribeye, t-bone, teri beef, and ground beef. The meat is available on a first come first serve basis. You can even go online ahead of time and reserve your meat.
The last time I went to Kualoa I picked up a portion of ground beef, sold in a 2 pound pack for only $8.00. This price is cheaper than the grass-fed ground beef that I buy at Safeway or Costco. In the past couple weeks I made two great batches of Bolognese sauce and have to say I loved the quality and taste of the meat. Grass-fed does have less fat and can be on the tougher side, but a with the help of a longer simmer, my meat sauce was tender and delicious.
The next time I take the beagles to Kualoa park, I will be stopping by the Ranch to see what other cuts of beef are available for me to buy. It’s nice to see ”fresh farm, direct to customer” beef is available in my neighborhood.
If you’re looking to get off the Waikiki strip and want to save some money, the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel , formerly the Waikiki Prince Kuhio is a great 4-star hotel option. The entire hotel has been newly renovated and it’s also home to the modern American restaurant Mac 24-7.
Located on the second floor of the Kailua Medical Arts Building at 407 Uluniu Street, this massage school gives professional massages by their massage interns for only $30 an hour. I am not a super picky massage client, and I love paying only $30 for an hour massage, but this inexpensive massage spot does not skimp on quality.
The Hawaii Healing Arts College clinic is spotlessly clean with elegant Hawaiiana decor. Each individual massage room is beautifully decorated, peaceful, and every intern that I have encountered was professional, polite, and gave a wonderful massage.
If you’re looking for a inexpensive treat for your body call the Hawaii Healing Arts College to make an appointment at 808.266.2468 or visit their website. They offer massage appointments by interns or licensed professionals 7 days a week from 9 am to 9 pm.