Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

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Let me just get this out of the way and say I’m not a huge fan of tripe. I didn’t grow up on it, but occasionally enjoy it in stew and pho. However, after eating this Tripe alla Parmigiana dish at Cafe Julia at YWCA recently, I have a whole new respect for the intestine.

Executive Chef Lance Kosaka, formerly of Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room, carefully cleans and cooks the tripe in a magical way that takes out most of the funk. The result is a tender, delicious, and “broke da mout” dish that I can only imagine would have been even better with a cold beer. Tripe in a rich tomato sauce and topped with cheese and a runny egg kept me going in for more. This day at lunch there were two other non-tripe eaters at the table, yet after trying this, we all agreed that it rocked. I would order it again in an instant.

Since opening in the YWCA late last year, and following the closure of the beloved Downtown @ the HiSAM, Cafe Julia has become a hot spot for lunch, pau hana, and weekend brunch. Chef Lance is doing the kind of food reminiscent of childhood days, but on an elevated level. Not to mention, the historic building in which the open-air restaurant is located offers a casual elegance to the ambiance.

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If any of the pot pies happen to be on special, get it. I’m told its a rare site on the menu, so I couldn’t pass up devouring one a couple weeks ago. This was a Mexican-inspired interpretation with beef, beans and a whole lot of goodness in a crisp pastry. So good.

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You can also find some great sandwiches here, like the Korean-Inspired Grilled Pork which was quite tasty.

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Finally, if you have room for dessert, Chef Lance’s version of an ice cream sandwich is worth the calories. He’s making cookies just like his mom made them for him growing up. What’s not to love about that?!

Cafe Julia can get busy at lunch, so I strongly suggest making reservations, especially for larger parties. Check it out next time you find yourself hungry in downtown.

Cafe Julia at YWCA
1040 Richards Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone : 808-533-3334
Breakfast: Sunday only, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Lunch: Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Pau Hana: Wednesday – Friday, 4-9 p.m.
Parking: One hour validated parking for Alii Palace for diners. It is the closest and cheapest garage located off Alakea Street. Metered street parking is also available along Richards and King streets.
Follow the restaurant on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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The name of the restaurant is fun to say all by itself, but Hinone Mizunone is a great spot for solid Japanese food in a casual atmosphere. Our family finally had a chance to try the restaurant last night to celebrate a birthday.

Not only is the food great, like the Sizzling Hamburger Steak and Tempura Teishoku pictured above, but at $17.50 it’s a great value. The hamburger steak is a signature item with a rich, sweet demi glacé over a thick and juicy patty. The tempura was light and delicious. We also enjoyed the Spicy Tuna Roll which had a nice kick. We left full and satisfied.

The staff is friendly and service last night was quick and efficient. Restaurant is also kid friendly. Parking is available but limited, however, there’s plenty of street parking in the area. And the restaurant does get busy, so be prepared to wait or call ahead to make a reservation.

Next time you’re driving down King Street and hungry, consider a stop here for a bite.

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Side Street Inn's legendary pan-fried pork chops.

My parents dropped into town for the long Labor Day weekend, so we took the opportunity to introduce my dad to Side Street Inn, the local institution famous for its Pan-Fried Pork Chops and menu of ono (delicious) local comfort foods that keep people coming back again and again. You know a restaurant must be good when it has no website, doesn’t need to advertise, is constantly busy, and the wait to be seated can often be more than an hour. It’s definitely one of the hottest tables on Oahu.

Yes, Side Street Inn IS that good. And yes, we did wait an hour and a half before our party of seven got seated last night (they do take reservations for larger groups, so call ahead if you know you’re going). But was it worth the wait? ABSOLUTELY! And thankfully, my dad enjoyed himself, especially the pork chops which I’ve been raving to him about for the past few years. He agreed it lived up to the hype we all built the Side Street experience up to be.

We had a lot to eat last night. Here’s a peek at the rest of the menu through the lense of my iPhone (I apologize in advance for not doing the food any justice). Everyone should have a Side Street experience at least once…or 50 times…in their life. 😉

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Chinese Chicken Salad

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Aku Poke with Limu and Onions

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Cold Tofu in a Ponzu Sauce and Topped with Bonito Flakes

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12 oz. Sizzling Rib Eye with Onions and Mushrooms

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Lup Cheong Fried Rice and Spicy Chicken

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Braised Shoyu Pork (reminded us of Kau Yuk)

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Kilauea Coconut/Chocolate Ice Cream Pie

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Satisfied eaters! Ensen with Kona grandma and grandpa.

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There's nothing fancy about Side Street Inn. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD! It's literally located on a side street. The interior isn't going to win the restaurant any awards. And the proper attire is whatever you're wearing when you get there. The perfect recipe for a great local restaurant experience.

Side Street Inn
1225 Hopaka St
reet (near Ala Moana Center)
Honolulu
, HI 96814
808-591-0253

-NGK

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