Monday, April 25, 2011

hawai'i: tanioka's seafoods and catering for some poke lovin'

my first trip to oahu was possibly one of the most relaxing, belly stuffing experiences ever. something about the clear blue hawaiian waters, the lush greenery, and the 24/7 warm weather brought out my ultimate relaxed state of mind. and as you might know, when one feels relaxed, one indulges.

thanks to misty and a few other resources i scrounged up, as soon as humanly possible, i searched for my first gustatory indulgence; poke (!) and was lead to tanioka's seafoods and catering in waipahu for some ono poke. OMG. ono is right.

there's all kinds of ono eats here which explained the crazy long line, but i was determined to stick to the poke plan. i mean, i know it's my vacation and all, but i didn't want to be mistaken as a beached whale when i lie on the beach. moderation is key. yes? besides, there were many days of eating to be conquered.

the variety of poke offered at tanioka's was rather amazing so i decided to order a bit of everything with a few extras thrown in. even though it was a bit pricey, the freedom to choose as much or as little as you want since it was charged by weight gave me some leeway with my wallet.

i settled on six different poke flavors; the alaea poke, onion with limu, onion poke, lomi ahi, limu, hot alaea poke, seaweed salad, and spam musubi. i was determined to experience a poke overdose...and i did.

what a fantastic spread! everything looked so fresh too! and the ahi was so chunky....yumz.

the alaea poke had this deep redness to it and was mesmerizing to look at. taste-wise, it was rather light and one dimensional since all i really tasted was the alaea sea salt. i must admit, not a favorite of the bunch but so pretty to look at!

the limu poke on the other hand, had great texture to it. the crunch and saltiness from the sea algae was a pleasant addition to the ahi.

but the best tasting poke in all that bunch was the hot alaea poke. i really enjoyed the spicy sweetness to it and the supple fish was just plain pleasurable in my mouth. i aggressively finished the whole container on my own without sharing and will definitely go back for this baby when i visit oahu again.

and to round out our first official hawaiian meal, i ended the poke overdose with my first spam musubi on the island. not the best that i've tasted but satisfying nevertheless. but boy, tanioka's poke has left quite an impression on me. i shall return.

Tanioka's Seafoods and Catering
94-903 Farrington Hwy
Waipahu, HI 96797
(808) 671-3779

price: $$
verdict: omg, i love it!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

breaking up with gingergrass

it's like THAT boy. you know. that one lingering one you dated, then broke up with, then dated again, only to eventually break up with once more. perhaps because of the passage of time, coupled with your hunger for companionship, you both reach out for each other again only to realize that lightening does strike twice and you should NOT have taken two steps back by rekindling a messy relationship that once was......

because eating copious amounts of shrimp chips won't ever make it any better.

nor sipping glasses of this uber yummy lychee mimosa ($7) enough to repair what's already been broken once....

because this relationship is quite similar to this persimmon roll ($4.95). random with ingredients that don't complement each other. please don't think that a few strands of persimmon flesh with noodles in rice wrapper should taste magically delicious. oh no, it tasted randomly conceived....just like this bygone relationship that you're trying to restart for a second time. people say your personalities didn't fit...and like this roll, it really just didn't...but you had to try again, didn't you?

and try as you might, an attempt to make the relationship slightly different by "behaving" for the first few months might have worked for the short term, but in order to prevent yourselves from falling back into old destructive habits, the foundation between the two of you must be strong in the first place and should not be accompanied by fatty baggage that cannot be digested. but alas, it was all smoke and mirrors wasn't it? just like this unctuous pork belly dish ($14.95) which tasted great as it was consumed, but as soon as it was fully digested, left one (namely me), pounding at the bathroom door for a belly emergency.

LOOK at all that unforgiving fat!

and by the tail end of this rekindled relationship with its obvious dried up passion like this dried up, overcooked fish in this big red snapper bowl ($10.95), it is probably a good time as any to give up because it's not worth the extra calories or the heartache.

because all the sweetness you had hoped would be there this second time around just did not materialize similar to these fried banana rolls ($5.95) which were served unripened and left a chalky taste in one's mouth. and truthfully, life is way too short to deny yourself of something sweet.

so what i'm really saying is, some relationships are meant to be left alone and once it's over, it should really be over. and now it's time for me to say bye bye to gingergrass. dahling, it was wrong once before and even with this second chance, we are clearly not meant to be. baby, we need to break up...again.

2396 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 644-1600
price: $$
verdict: not worth my time
Gingergrass on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

honey pig for a very sweet piglet

after eating here and there, i know i kinda look like this little piggy, sans the curly tail. so when my friend decided to have her bday celebration at honey pig, there was no doubt in my mind that i was all trotters in.

the impressive birthday meal began with a conical shaped cooking surface for the birthday girl's grilling pleasure. as we sat down, staring at this metal hill, i imagined a sizzling slope of raw meats. hubba, hubba.

after we placed our orders, our server made a beautiful spread of kimchi at the base of the conical grill. heated kimchi?!? oh yum!

we made multiple orders of the special pork bellies ($19.99), beef short rib choice ($19.99), beef thin slice ($17.99), and assorted mushrooms ($18.99) to stuff our bellies silly that night. the meats were placed at the top of the conical grill which meant delicious rivulets of meaty juices which flowed and intermingled with the kimchi at the bottom.

the meats were of high quality and the service was prompt and consistent. it was really difficult for me not to pluck off all the meaty pieces before they were fully cooked but an every expanding waistline begged for some patience and pacing with my mouf.

the end of the meal was signaled by a quick fried rice on top of the charred grill. the little bits of leftover meats were incorporated in with the rice, along with some veggies which made for a yummy, but heavy finisher for the meal.

overall, the experience was rather delicious. great quality meats and good service for a large gathering of hoggishly hungry peeps.

Honey Pig
3400 W. 8th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 380-0256

price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it!
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