Posted tagged ‘breakfast’

Remembering Jill

January 24, 2013

I lost my dear friend Jill almost two weeks ago.  The past few days have been rough trying to process what happened and wishing I could have talked to her one last time to tell her how much she means to me.  We lived a few blocks away from each other when I lived in LA and we shared many meals, desserts, walks and shopping trips in those years.

We both loved to walk and eat so we’d often walk around Wilson Park or around our neighborhood for miles and when we got tired, we would stop somewhere to eat dinner.  Jill loved dessert so sometimes dessert would be before dinner, if we saw a place that had a good red velvet cupcake or if we passed by a 7-11.  She sure loved Slurpees too.

I know I’ve written about Liliha Bakery before but I wanted to write about it again because I know Jill liked this place.  It’s open 24 hours so it’s a great late night place to go and every time I’ve gone, it’s been packed.  No matter what time of day it is.  Jill used to like eating their grilled potatoes!   Just remember that it is closed on Mondays.  We had to learn the hard way on prior trips back to the islands.

I’ve actually only eaten real food here once.  They have a long counter and even at 4 in the morning, it’s hard to get a seat.

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I always come here to get cocoa puffs.  It’s a cream puff with chocolate pudding inside and chantilly frosting on top.  I think the last time we came, we bought a couple dozen to take back to my in-laws since we were having people over.  They were gone amazingly fast.  TM and I only had one each that night so we went back another time to get more.

Jill, you will always be missed and never forgotten.

515 N. Kuakini St.   Honolulu, HI

Back in the 808: Boots & Kimo’s

August 15, 2012

When I was little, I would always make Sunday morning breakfast with my Dad.  Most times, our specialty was Betty Crocker blueberry muffins.  My job was lining the muffin tin with baking cups.  Other times, we’d make pancakes together and I would eat my mini pancakes plain with syrup on the side for dipping.  I guess I was never huge on a lot of sauce on my food.  So it surprises me that I liked my banana mac nut pancakes at Boots & Kimo’s as much as I did.

We had read the reviews and warnings about the wait for Boots & Kimo’s.  We thought a random Thursday morning for breakfast wouldn’t be TOO bad so we slept in (we were on vacation, after all) and took our time driving out to Kailua.  Apparently, Boots & Kimo’s is listed in Japanese guide books as THE place to go for breakfast on Oahu and we had to wait outside with many Japanese tourists.  We took a quick walk to Longs Drugs down the street to pass time.  Quick side note, Longs Drugs is still Longs Drugs in Hawaii and did not change their name to CVS!

I needed to order these banana mac nut pancakes.  I love most things banana and most things with mac nuts.  It was the perfect combination of the two.  I was a little concerned about the amount of sauce that is oozing on top of these hot cakes but they were the perfect amount of saucy sweetness on top!  I loved them and thought they were worth the wait.

For some odd reason, TM decided to go with the Huelo Paniolo Omelette.  It comes with corned beef, onions, tomatoes and swiss cheese with a side of fried rice.  I had a bite and it paled in comparison to my pancakes!  TM was eyeing my dish so I was nice enough to share.

I would love to go again for the banana mac nut pancakes!  I just need to make sure to go early and bring cash since they do not accept credit cards.

151 Hekili St.  Kailua, HI 96734

Back in the 808: Mitsu-Ken

July 18, 2012

*Sorry friends, I’ve been MIA lately!  May and June were crazy busy with travels to Portland, LA, Greece and Turkey.  Yes, Greece and Turkey too!  TM and I went on an amazing trip to a couple of the Greek islands and to Istanbul for two glorious weeks in June.  We ate our way around the two countries and I hope to post about them soon this year but in the meantime, let’s finish up our Hawaii trip.  Did I mention we’re going back to Hawaii in September?*

Fried rice and fried chicken aren’t my usual breakfast foods but Mitsu-ken is only open from 5 AM to 1 PM (Tuesday through Saturday).  TM was concerned Mitsu-ken would run out of their famous garlic chicken if we went for lunch so we headed out to Kalihi first thing in the morning.

We knew we had days of gorging ahead of us so we tried to keep it “light”… we only ordered 6 pieces of chicken and two scoops of rice to share.  The flavor on this chicken was incredible.  The outside was crispy, the inside flavorful and garlicky with a sweetness to it.  I’m sure we reeked of garlic for the rest of the day but it was worth it.  The fried rice was decent and almost seemed as if it had been made with mochi rice because it was a little of the soft side.  I would go back for the garlic chicken but not the fried rice.

Mitsu-ken is literally a hole-in-the-wall with no seating.  We ended up taking our food back to the car and eating it while parked.  This was our lovely view.  We had contemplated driving somewhere to eat that was more scenic than this but decided we wanted to eat our food ASAP while it was still hot.

TM wasn’t sure if he wanted to order a breakfast plate to go along with the garlic chicken but he decided against it.  He chose to keep it simple with just the garlic chicken and fried rice.

Mitsu-ken is located across the street from the place we were planning on eating lunch.  After we finished our food, we drove across the street to pick it up lunch.  Good thing we kept our breakfast “light” that day!

1223 N. School St.   Honolulu, HI

Back in the 808: McDonald’s breakfast

February 20, 2012

I have a rule that when I travel, I cannot eat at a chain restaurant.  Why eat at Chili’s in Los Angeles, when I can go to Chili’s in my hometown?  It is just not special… unless they have special menu items at other locations.

One place I enjoy checking out in foreign countries is McDonald’s.  There are always different menu items that are fun to try, as well as some regular staples. There were gyros at McDonald’s in Greece and shaka shaka chicken at McDonald’s in Japan, to name a couple.

Even though Hawaii is a part of the U.S., they still have special menu items.  Before we left the mainland to go to Hawaii, I told TM that we should put McDonald’s breakfast on the list.  We were not allowed to go there for lunch, snack or dinner.  It specifically had to be breakfast.

McDonald’s in Hawaii has rice on the menu for breakfast!  TM and I both got Portuguese sausage, eggs and rice with TM’s platter having a beloved serving of spam as well.

McDonald’s in Hawaii also has different flavored pies.  My favorite flavor is haupia so I was bummed, they didn’t have it this time around.   We did pick up a taro pie though!  There were little chunks of taro throughout which made it very yummy.  Yes, we ate the pie for breakfast because we wanted to eat it while it was still warm.  And yes, the pies at McDonald’s in Hawaii are still fried, not baked.

My latest obsession

September 19, 2011

I tend to get obsessed with things I like.  Case in point: my pizza cravings.  And my pizza obsession.  Sometimes I can’t stop thinking about a particular food and want need to have it all the time.  Luckily, my latest obsession was something a little healthier than pizza.

Mangoes.

We spent 8 days in the Caribbean this month celebrating our one year wedding anniversary.  I can hardly believe a year has passed.  I don’t think I ever documented our wedding food on this blog.  <insert sad face here>  Time sure flies!

So back to the mangoes.  We stayed at one of those luxury, all inclusive, adults only resorts in the Dominican Republic.  It was so luxurious that we didn’t even bother leaving the resort.  There were 8 restaurants, 10 bars and 24 hour free room service so TM was in heaven!  We literally ate everything under the sun (including multiple packages of Oreos left in our room daily by the free mini bar.)  We found out we really enjoyed the breakfast buffet and lunch buffet at one of the restaurants on the resort.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much of a breakfast person so TM loaded up on the omelettes, pancakes, bacon, etc. while I loaded up on boiled egg whites and the fruit bar.

On any given breakfast and lunch, my plate usually looked like this.  I’d eat at least two plates of mangoes.  They were so sweet and ripe, I got quite hooked.

These are NOT mangoes.  I learned the hard way.  Our last full day in the DR, I had already planned out in my head that I’d gorge on mangoes since it’d be my last chance.  I got to the fruit bar and saw papaya, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe… but NO MANGO!  I grabbed what I thought was a mango and asked our server if someone in the kitchen could cut it for me.  I apparently handed them a green/orange grapefruit to cut for me!  (In my defense, I even asked TM if I was holding a mango in my hand and he said yes.)

So I asked another server if I could have a mango and they brought out this beauty for me.  But it wasn’t enough.

So I had to ask another server if I could have a lot of mangoes cut up for me.  Score!  I wonder when I’ll get to eat them again.  I’d imagine they don’t taste as good on the mainland and will be quite a let down after all of the mango I ate in the Caribbean.

Macrina Bakery

June 6, 2011

I was stoked to find out that Macrina Bakery was literally next door to our condo that we stayed in!  Why, you ask?  Macrina Bakery was voted one of the Top 10 Best Bread Bakeries in America in Bon Appétit magazine, that’s why.

We stepped in and smelled doughy, baked heaven.

There were so many things to choose from!  We had a hard time deciding on a lil’ something sweet or a lil’ something savory.

Since we couldn’t decide, the only thing we could do was to indulge in something sweet AND savory.  Dad went with the ham and cheese dumpling (right).  It was a flaky pillow stuffed with gruyere cheese and bits of ham on top.  Obviously it wasn’t enough because Dad asked, “Where’s the ham?”  TM went with a parmesan rosemary ham biscuit.  It was a little dense but very flavorful.  Both were excellent when warmed up a bit.

I saw the word “nutella” and knew I just HAD to try the nutella brioche.  I loved the kosher salt on top to give it that salty/sweet combo and there was a huge pocket of nutella in the middle!  I’ve never had anything nutella that was short of amazing.  This cocoa puff is not to be mistaken for the other cocoa puff or the cereal.  This cocoa puff had a pocket of cocoa pudding-ish goodness inside the bread with some chocolate on top as well.

There were so many other things I’d like to try from Macrina Bakery.  I would definitely love to make another stop there the next time I visit Seattle!

2408 First Avenue   Seattle, WA

Schooner or Later as seen on DDandD

February 24, 2011

We ate at Schooner or Later for brunch on one of our more recent trips to Los Angeles.  Jill said she and her friends eat here all the time after playing golf and Aaron wanted to try it since he had seen it on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. (DDandD)

TM loves his breakfast and since I don’t, he doesn’t get to eat much of it.  He had the hardest time deciding what to order… omelette?, corned beef hash?, eggs?, pancakes?, waffles?… all of the above?  There were too many things to choose from.  He ultimately chose “The Mess” with corned beef hash on top.   It’s basically everything you want in breakfast thrown on one plate for consumption.  It has chopped ham, onion, and bell pepper grilled with hash browns and eggs and topped with melted Cheddar cheese.  It is served with sourdough toast.   When his food came out, it literally did look like a big mess on a plate!  They can serve up to 50 or 60 of these in one day since breakfast is served all day long!

Jill went with the french dip sandwich and opted for the skillet potatoes rather than fries.   So healthy!

I went with the crab melt.  It’s crab meat, cheddar and swiss cheese with avocado on grilled parmesan sourdough.   For someone who didn’t like avocados growing up, I’ve become quite the avocado lover lately.  The sandwich was grilled nicely but I couldn’t finish my fries.  It was too much food.

We sat outside overlooking the water and boats.  Apparently, it’s always packed on the weekends so go early or be prepared to wait.

241 Marina Drive  Long Beach, CA

So we might’ve cheated a little…

February 2, 2011

I was most excited about trying out the english muffins at The Model Bakery in Napa.  Chef Michael Chiarello chose it for “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” so of course, I wanted to try it too.    Our hotel was a few blocks away from the bakery so we (the english muffin and I) were destined to meet!  I had heard they sell out quickly so I knew we needed head over as soon as we could.

Apparently 9:30 AM is not early enough so TM ended up with a cinnamon roll.  It was pretty dense and had raisins in it.  Not exactly my cup of tea.  Plus, I was pouty disappointed that they were sold out of english muffins!

I ended up with my usual cheese danish.  This cheese danish was quite good.  Light and fluffy and cheesy in the middle… but it was still no english muffin.

I got over the missing english muffin after while.  We stopped for lunch at V. Sattui (a must when we are in Napa) and decided to venture across the street to Dean & Deluca.  I was wandering around looking at the overpriced bags of rice (5 pounds for $6, really?!?) when I noticed their bakery counter off to the side.  It was like a light shining down from the heavens.  In the corner of the glass case I saw the english muffins with a sign that read “English Muffins from Model Bakery.” So we might’ve cheated a little.  We really DID try to get these from The Model Bakery!

I immediately bought four and took them home to eat.  They were light, airy, buttery and fluffy.  It looked nothing like a Thomas’ english muffins you buy in the store and tasted nothing like it as well!  These were so buttery, we didn’t need any extra butter and it tasted PERFECT toasted with some strawberry jam.

Oxbow Public Market   644 First Street    Napa, CA

Voodoo Doughnuts

March 12, 2010

What is a trip to Portland without going to Voodoo Doughnuts??

I’ve been on this writing hiatus because work has been busy.  I never wrote about one of our most significant stops in Portland.  We had to go to the Voodoo.

We stood in line for what felt like forever.  Doughnuts were supposed to be our breakfast but ended up being more of a lunch because we didn’t make it inside until past noon!

I already knew what I wanted to get before we went.  I got the “No Name” doughnut.  It’s so good that they couldn’t come up with a name for it to do it justice.   Chocolate rice krispies and peanut butter anyone??  We ordered SEVEN doughnuts between the four of us and guess what… we ate ALL OF THEM.   Aaron thought his “Old Dirty Bastard” choice was hilarious.  Matt got the “grape ape” but after one bite each, we thought that was enough.

Of course, we had to get a traditional Voodoo Doll Doughnut!  There is a pretzel stabbing the heart of this doughnut and strawberry jelly oozes out of it…

22 SW 3rd Ave.  Portland, OR

あけましておめでとう!

January 4, 2010

Happy New Year! 

It is Japanese culture to eat ozoni for breakfast on New Year’s Day.  My Mom makes it every year with this year being no exception.  The word ozoni literally means “mixed simmering” and includes mochi, chicken, and a bunch of vegetables.  The mochi is a must.  As with everything in Japanese culture, it’s all about the presentation.  My Mom even cuts the carrots into cute little sakura blossoms!

It has been a long standing tradition to have a New Year’s Day celebration at my parent’s house with all our extended family.  My Dad has nine brothers and sisters so with all the cousins and cousin’s kids, the house is packed!  Everyone brings yummy food to share (my Mom makes all the traditional osechi ryori though) and we pig out all day.  Fun times!


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