Hamura's Saimin – Lihue, HI

Hamuras SaiminHamura’s Saimin Stand
2956 Kress St
Lihue, HI 96766

Rated: ♣♣♣♣♣

If I had to choose my last meal on earth, it would be a large shrimp special at Hamura’s saimin. Hamura’s Saimin is the reason why I go back to Kauai every other year.

What is saimin you might ask? Saimin is a soft wheat egg noodle much like ramen, but only 100 times better. It’s usually served in a light broth with fish cake, wontons, napa cabbage, spam and an egg.

The scene:

Hamura’s is a hole in the wall in a little alley on the island of Kauai. The restaurant is filled with a bunch of u-shaped counters with stools lined up on either side. Of the 10 years I’ve been coming to Hamura’s, I think the only cosmetic change at the restaurant was a new sign. You don’t take your time at Hamura’s. You sit, you eat, you go. They have lunch and dinner rushes, so get here early or you will be waiting.

The food:

Any of the saimins are outstanding. The broth is light, the noodles have a bite and the spam has the right hint of saltiness. I’d stay away from the wontons, if you’ve had a real wonton before. These weren’t that great. For dessert, get the Lilikoi (passion fruit) Chiffon Pie. That is my favorite pie ever! It’s nice and tart, and I’m a huge fan of anything with a meringue.

It’ll be another 2 years before I go back to Hamura’s. Le sigh….

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Hawaiian Airlines Sale – SF To Honolulu For Only $358

Here’s a BIG sale from Hawaiian Airlines for those of you planning on traveling to Hawaii from now until March 11. Book by Jan 19 to take advantage of the deal.

Las Vegas – Honolulu $438*
Los Angeles – Honolulu $368*
Oakland – Honolulu $378*
Phoenix – Honolulu $338*
Portland – Honolulu $288*
Sacramento – Honolulu $468*
San Diego – Honolulu $418*
San Francisco – Honolulu $358*
San Jose – Honolulu $358*
Seattle – Honolulu $288*
Portland – Maui $288*
Seattle – Maui $308*

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5 Day Travel Itinerary And Cheap Tips – Oahu, Hawaii

Waikiki

Who writes itineraries for a vacation in paradise? Not me. Well, not until today. I rather spend most of my time laying on the beach and the rest of the time eating. (If you didn’t know, Hawaii has REALLY good food.) All the time, I have Hawaii-virgins asking me where all the hot spots are in Oahu, and every time, I send them the exact same email, a list of activities and a list of restaurants. So I decided create an itinerary specifically for this post. I’ve also thrown in a few budget tips for those of you broke from the hotel and airfare. The itinerary is based on 5 days in Oahu. Enjoy!

Cheap Travel Tips:

  • Transportation: You don’t necessarily need a car in Oahu. You can pretty much get around taking the bus system. Adult fares are $2.25 per ride, or you can get a 4-day pass for only $25. You can even take this bus from Waikiki to North Shore.
  • Souvenirs: If you have a Costco card, get your gifts here. They’re cheaper and you can buy in bulk. It is located at 525 Alakawa Street.
  • When to travel: Go in the off-season like in March or September. Tourism will be down during those times, so travel companies will adjust the costs to get you to come.
  • I’ll say it again, rent a condo! There you can have a kitchen to use, so you don’t have to eat every meal out.

Itinerary and photos after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Alan Wong's Restaurant – Honolulu

Alan Wong LogoAlan Wong’s Restaurant
1857 S King St, 3rd Fl
Honolulu, HI 96826

Rated: ♣♣♣♣♣

Obama came here recently and it sparked my interested to write a review. I’ve been going to Hawaii every year and have been dying to try this place. That’s why I was super excited when K took me here on my birthday a couple months back. Seated in the boonies of Honolulu on top of an office building without an ocean view, the restaurant makes up for it’s poor location with superior service and tasty food made from local Hawaiian ingredients.

The Service:
Upon making reservations, K notified the restaurant that we would be celebrating my birthday. With that, I had been greeted 3 separate times with a “happy birthday” from 2 hostesses and a waiter before sitting at our table by the window. I was even presented with a personalized menu with a birthday message signed by all employees working the restaurant that night! Being a 5 star restaurant serving $40 dishes, Alan Wong’s sets the pretentiousness aside and treats its guests like family.

What to order:
Drinks
When on vacation in Hawaii, it was only right that we started the meal off with a passion fruit mojito and a piña colada.

Mojito and Pina Colada at Alan Wong's

Appetizers
We ordered the Tuna Tartar and Avocado Tower for an appetizer. It was fried just perfectly so the tuna was still raw. The only thing about this dish was that it was difficult to eat elegantly. I had to sneak in bitefulls using my hands when no one was looking.

Tuna Tartare at Alan Wong's

Next on our appetizer list was the caesar salad. I had been eating so unhealthy during my trip to Hawaii, I felt like I needed to order some greens to balance it out. There was nothing too special about the salad other than the parmesean bowl it was served in. If you know me, you know I love cheese.

Caesar Salad at Alan Wong's

Entrées
Now onto the entrées. I had the Sautéed Shrimp and Clams Linguine pasta with a chili garlic lemongrass black bean sauce. I initially wanted to order the butterfish, but someone snatched the last one before I could place my order. So since I had my heart set on that butterfish, I wasn’t able to properly enjoy my meal. It was good, but not the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

Seafood Linguine at Alan Wong's

On the other hand, I am notorious for loving what other people order over my own dish. “Grass is always greener…” right? So to live up to my name, I thought my boyfriends dish was amazing! He ordered the Ginger Crusted Kona Kampachi with miso sesame vinaigrette, organic Hamakua mushrooms and corn. I liked his so much, I almost asked to trade. The miso vinagrette was sweet and creamy – not too salty which can often be the case with miso sauces. The fish melted in my mouth and you could barely taste the ginger, which was a good thing since I’m not a fan of ginger.

Miso Kampachi at Alan Wong's

Dessert
For dessert, we ordered the Coconut haupia sorbet served in a chocolate shell with an assortment of local exotic fresh fruit. This made my night. It had to be the best dessert I’ve ever had at a restaurant. The sorbet was rich – almost like ice cream – and the chocolate shell was thin enough for it to melt at first touch when it met my tongue. If you come to Alan Wong’s, this dish is a must.

Coconut Sorbet at Alan Wong's

Last but not least, the restaurant presented me with a strawberry shortcake on the house for my birthday. It was made with a spongecake, making the dessert light and airy. We were so stuffed at the end of the meal, we had to leave this one half eaten.

Strawberry Shortcake at Alan Wong's

Et all, Alan Wong’s is an experience. With a full stomach and an empty wallet, we left Alan Wong’s pleased. I probably won’t go back since it was so pricey, but I’m glad to say I’ve eaten at the same restaurant as Obama!

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