Located in the heart of old Hilo town and just off of Kilauea Avenue is a tiny shop in an old building known for selling small, but tasty mochi confections. Two Ladies Kitchen is artisanal mochi, without the attitude that tends to come with artisanal things. They don’t need a website (they have none), or an active social media presence. The lines that form outside of Two Ladies Kitchen is all that they need to tell their story. They make great, handmade muchi, and probably the closest that you can get to the mochi that you would find being sold by street vendors in Japan’s Tsukiji Market. You take one bite and all that you want is more.
Ah, the pancake. Stoutly stacked, the sweet and fluffy pancake is a breakfast staple, and for good reason. The basic pancake is simple to make, yet the possible pancake permutations are endless. You’ve got the classics like banana pancakes and blueberry pancakes. In Hawaii, macadamia nut pancakes commonly pop-up on cafe menus. But beyond these #basic pancakes is a movement toward more intricate pancakes with much more vivid flavor profiles. In this 5 To Try, we highlight 5 of the most creative, drool-worthy, and instagrammable pancakes on the island. Hungry? You will be after you read this post.
If you were a kid who grew up in the 80’s then it’s likely that you played some (or a ton of) Pac-Man. Now, you can relieve those Pac-Man memories at the Pac-Store, a Pac-Man pop-up cafe located inside of a transformed Bread & Butter. The retro-themed pop-up was created in partnership with Bandai Namco Entertainment and features many of the Pac-Man characters that have become such a large part of popular culture.
What is a gastropub? These days, I’m not too sure. Early on, though, when a pub went from just serving beer to serving fanciful takes on traditional dishes, they were said to have morphed into a gastropub. Nowadays, the term gastropub is synonymous with establishments that serve high-end beer along with creatively thought out dishes. Whether they started out as just a pub…well, that’s no longer a requirement. Enter The Brilliant Ox, the latest gastropub to hit Oahu, in the old Pearl Ultra Lounge space in Ala Moana Center.
We first visited Scratch Kitchen more than three years ago when they were located in Downtown, Honolulu. They’re no longer at their original location, instead, they’ve moved into new digs at the South Shore Market at Ward Village. They may have moved, but you can still expect to find some of their most popular dishes. Also, as you salivate through the photos, do keep in mind that the menu at Scratch is seasonal…and so some of the items that you see below may no longer be offered.
I’ve visited Osaka on a handful of occasions, but I typically spend most of my time exploring the lively “gastronomist’s town” of Dotonbori. This most recent visit, though, we ended up staying near the Shinsekai area, a part of old Osaka that was built before World War I to represent the coming of a new world full of innovation and technology. The northern end of Shinsekai was made to resemble Paris, while the southern end was inspired by New York’s Coney Island. With this in mind, don’t be thrown off by the Tsutenkaku Tower, an Eiffel Tower lookalike. One of the main attractions of Shinsekai are the many Kushikatsu restaurants. We tried the most famous, Kushikatsu Daruma.
Herringbone Waikiki is as imaginative with its menu as it is Instagram friendly. You’ll want to take a photo of everything you see and taste at this International Market Place dining establishment. The Herringbone experience is one for all of the senses to enjoy. They’ve recently started to serve weekend brunch, and I think they’ve nailed it. And by the way…the weekend (at Herringbone) begins on Aloha Fridays…so plan accordingly.