Archive for the ‘Med $’ Category

Four Seasons in Ctown

A cousin came to visit her sister who goes to the same school as me. For dinner, we decided to go out for Korean as my treat. There are a few Korean restaurants in ctown but I’ve heard that Four Seasons is the best. I had been there once before and it had been pretty good. Four Seasons conjures up themes of Vivaldi and instills thoughts of the four seasons of Ithaca: summer, winter, still winter, and road repair.

We got there a little early and after a few minutes were seated. The panchan was simple but good, steamed broccoli, blanched bean sprouts, spicy fishcake, and honeyed potatoes. When ever I go for Korean, I always have to ask for seconds of panchan because I seem to attack it as soon as they bring it to the table. I opted for Bibim Naeng Myun which is buckwheat noodles in a spicy sauce because it was so uncomfortably muggy and warm outside. Almost makes the cold, long winter seem like a favorable prospect. Naeng Myun is the perfect Korean dish for summer because it seems to be cooling.
spicy, cool, deliciousness
The noodles were nice and chewy and the gojujang or chili pepper paste was red and pretty sweet. There was some garnish of cucumbers, beef, and kimchi that I mixed into the noodles.

This must be the best Korean in ctown because almost as soon as we had sat down the tables were being arranged to seat a few large looking parties. Soon enough, a whole horde of Korean students marched in and sat down at the long tables seated for 20. They seemed to be international students and it might have been some dinner to start off the beginning of the semester. It just seemed to confirm that Four Seasons is the place to be for Korean food in ctown and possibly all of Ithaca.

Summary
Four Seasons: ~ ~ ~ ~ 4 spicy noodles
Fufilling Korean with pretty good panchan for a good price ($10.95 for Bibim Naeng Myun). The place is a little small but it seems to be flocked by the Korean internationals and everyone else as well.

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Real Ramen!

My first bowl of real ramen! I didn’t think it would be in Hawai’i but life is full of surprises.

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Some co-workers took me here for lunch at McCully shopping center. The restaurant was not clearly labeled but I think it might have been called Kyoto Ramen? They had a pantan broth made of pork and chicken and had house made chashu which is marinated, tender pork slices garnishing the soup and noodles. A bowl was about $10 with and additional $1 if you wanted it spicy, which of course I had. The noodles were think and chewy but not too hard and they also were house made. It was definitely everything I had expected and more. A hearty bowl of rich soup with chashu and noodles… they were meant to be together. I’ve always been a broth drinker when it came to soups and never more so than this bowl of ramen. For most of my life ramen was that instant msg-ified meal that tasted awesome while eating it but makes you feel like crap afterward. Now with the real thing, ramen is satisfying before during and after.

Kyoto Ramen: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 5 super yummy noodles!

Weekend Eats: Giovanni Shrimp, Matsumoto’s Shave Ice, Kahala Nuts

This past weekend was a whirlwind. My weekends left in Honolulu are dwindling so I’ve felt a need to do as much as possible. Saturday morning I did an ocean swim from Chun’s Reef to Waimea Bay, Saturday afternoon I drove around with friends eating my way through the North Shore, Sunday morning I went diving, and Sunday afternoon I had my last sailing class.

The rest of Saturday was spent frolicking around North Shore eating lots. First stop was Giovanni’s shrimp truck. There were a lot of shrimp trucks to choose from on that road. I think the area was Kahana and Giovanni’s seemed to be a very established one.

I split a hot n spicy shrimp with a friend for $13 and they weren’t lying when they call it hot n spicy. I am a spicy food fan and I could eat it all but I wasn’t going to lick the sauce off the plate. The spiciness factor was a little too much for me and made eating the shrimp a little less enjoyable. I guess I should have taken it more seriously when they state on the menu that there are no refunds for hot n spicy shrimp.

Next stop was Matsumoto’s Shave Ice in Hale’iwa. Shave ice is a Hawaiian speciality. They are basically snow cones on steroids. You can get it with ice cream, condensed milk drizzled on top, and choose from literally a gazillion flavors.

Not to mention they are huge.

I got a large mango, blueberry, and one more flavor I can’t remember with condensed milk on top. mmm There was a huge line out the door but they have streamlined operation so you don’t really have to wait that long. The store is full of different t-shirts and shave ice gear like key chains.

Shave ice is awesome because it’s cheap, fun, and Hawai’i has the best.

The night before I went to see hp7pt2 at the theater and they were selling Kahala candied nuts! There were macnuts, pecans, and almonds. I of course had to get the macnuts and it was either 1 for $5 or 2 for $8 (or was it 1 for $4 and 2 for $6??) so I opted for the better deal and more nuts and got macnuts and almonds. I finished the macnuts during the movie before I could even get a picture. I saved the almond ones for later.

Overall
Giovanni’s: + + + + 4 pluses
Matsumoto’s: <0 <0 <0 <0 <0 5 shaved ices
Kahala Nuts: co co co co co 5 diamond nuts

Diving pictures in case you’re interested. YO (yard oiler wreck and Nautilus Reef)


Weekend Eats: La Tour Macaroons, Liliha Coco Puffs

Last weekend presented some good eating opportunities in the desserts category.

La Tour Macaroons:

I was always confused about macaroons because I thought they were all like coconut macaroons and didn’t know why they looked like colorful chocopies.  These were my first macaroons everrr and they were quite delicious.  There were plenty of flavors to choose from:

And I ended up getting 3.

matcha (green tea)

strawberry black currant

banana caramel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The macaroons were cheerfully hued, light, creamy centered, sugary delights.  The banana had good banana cream filling but not so much caramel flavor.  Matcha had a nice green tea pop and I love how the inside is so bright green!  Strawberry with a black currant surprise in the middle for a little more chewy texture.

I had packed a pbj on La Tour squaw bread from the farmer’s market for a snack and also bought a vietnamese ice coffee so it was a meal!

The only real downside was the price.  They were $1.75 x 3 = $5.25 for 3 macaroons… a little on the pricey side for a few cookies but hey, just more economic portion control.

I also went to a friend’s house for dinner last weekend and someone brought Liliha Bakery Coco Puffs.

These are apparently Liliha Bakery’s specialty.  They are chocolate filled cream puffs with a signature Liliha topping that you see in the picture.  I don’t think I’ve ever had anything quite like this topping, not quite a frosting but very think, sweet, and buttery.  The girl who brought them said there was a woman getting a cake frosted in the stuff when she picked them up at the bakery!

mmm mmm

I also made a haupia pie to take to my friend’s dinner.  If you don’t know what that is see my pi day post!  I only had a few hours hence the speed cooling in the freezer.

Overall

La Tour: o o o o   4/5 macaroons

Liliha Coco Puffs: o o o o   4/5 coco puffs

Haupia Pie:  simplest tropical pie you can do, if only I had time for a homemade crust

Spices – A Restaurant

Wow, so I’ve fallen behind in updating…  Studying took over a little bit I guess.

Nonetheless I have still been eating!

Last Sunday I was peregrinating around UH campus area on Dole St. looking for some dinnahs.  I was looking for maybe a ramen shop or Chinese or something and there were a few no-goes.  I walked a little further down and there was a restaurant called “Spices” spelled with chili peppers calling itself a southeast asian restaurant.  I love Thai food and despite only having been open for a little while there were already 2 people eating inside.  It looked pretty nice and I was getting hungrier so I walked in.

It was a nice little restaurant with light streaming in on the yellow-gold paint with framed pictures and buddhas around.

They put mint in the water bottles which looked pretty classy.  The water didn’t taste like mint or anything but it looked cool.

The menu had some Thai classics like pad thai, Burmese, and perhaps Laotian food?  I ended up ordering the Burmese Ono Khao Soi aka Roger’s fave with tofu.  This is my first khao soi and I think first Burmese dish.  Although, I may have had a Burmese style biryanni at a cooking class…

 

I ordered the Burmese Ono Khao Soi.


Noodles in curry with tofu and cilantro topped with crispy fried noodles on top. Delish. I’ve never had noodles in curry but it was really good. I love curry because even the tiniest leftovers makes another meal if you just mix it with rice. A little leftover curry goes a long way!



Of course I had to have dessert.

Khao Niew Kha Thi is the Burmese mango sticky rice with a coconut custard. I had to pay extra for the mango but mangoes are worth it.

It was garnished with mint and I totally ate it too.

Overall:
Spices – ~< ~< ~< ~< ~< Delish