Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jose's Mexican Cafe and Cantina - Spinach Burrito

Last night we had dinner at Jose's Mexican Cafe and Cantina in Kaimuki.  We eat here every month or so when we're craving for some Mexican food.  The location is convenient for us because they are at 1134 Koko Head Avenue and we are usually able to find free parking on Koko Head Avenue in the evenings.

I was in the mood to try something different last night and I saw the Spinach, Mushroom and Water Chestnuts Burrito ($13.95).  It sounded a little strange for a Mexican dish so I asked the waitress what she thought of it.  Of course she said it was one of her favorites!  I went ahead and ordered it.  It was really delicious!  It actually tasted like Mexican food without any meat.  I liked it because it didn't leave me feeling super bloate like I feel after eating the ground beef burrito or other meaty selections.

Kelli had the Taco Salad with Ground Beef ($11.95).  She orders this quite often and it is a good taco salad. 

I'm looking forward to going to Jose's again for that Spinach Burrito!  Sorry, Jai's Burrito, my other favorite!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bella Mia in Kaimuki, Honolulu Lasagna #FB

Today I met up with a bunch of Twitter people at Bella Mia, an Italian restaurant in Kaimuki.  It was my first time there and I wasn't sure what to try.  I decided to go with the Lasagna ($10.95).

The lasagna was served nice and hot out of the oven.  A nice perfectly charred layer of cheese encrusted the top of the baked-in dish.  As I cut into the lasagna, it appeared a little wet under the crisp top layer.  The flavor resembled a meaty pizza for some reason and not so much a lasagna.  Perhaps it has to do with the blend and proportions of the cheeses uses that makes it taste more like pizza.  The serving is large!  I managed to eat the whole thing along with about 3 of their complimentary fresh baked bread rolls, probably because I didn't eat anything all day until this lunch.  The excess moisture in my lasagna didn't matter too much because the seasoning was balanced and it didn't taste watery.

I like the setting of this restaurant and I'm sure I will be visiting again since it is in my neighborhood.   I may try the Eggplant Parmesan next, as recommended by my friend @NaneaKalani.  Too bad I ordered before checking what was just tweeted at me as I was deciding what to order.  I definitely enjoyed the restaurant and the group that invited me to join their lunch.  I had a chance to try someplace new and meet some new people at the same time over lunch.

Thanks @TrulyJoannies, @Hawaean, @TheChickenBus, @RSuenaga, @JNoblezada, @MarkTRC, @Legendjy, @Knyghtingale, @Keith_Sato and @SMurata for letting me join your lunch today!  :)  It was nice seeing/chatting/meeting and having lunch with you all.  Here's a photo of our table courtesy of @JNoblezada's iPhone & Plixi post:  Thanks to our waitress who offered to take it.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bale in Hawaii Kai Shopping Center

For today's lunch a few of us from the office went over to Bale.  I go there a few times a month since it is just a few minutes away from our office.

Today I had the Won Ton Noodle Soup.  This noodle dish doesn't come with the white rice noodles.  It is served with the yellow thin noodles.  The broth is also richer than the broth their pho is served with.  I like these noodles and the slightly sweeter flavors of the broth.

Another guy that went with us ordered the Crispy Noodle Chicken.  I don't know what it tasted like, but it looked so massive I just had to take a photo of it!

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Hagensborg Mocha Truffle Pig

Yum yum.  And... it has little cute pigs on it!

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Pulehu Rubbed Grilled Chicken @OnoToGo Lunch Truck #FB (add photo)

*Re Post - well my Gmail for Android application has failed me again and dropped my attached photo.  Here's my second attempt.*

On Nov 23, 2010 12:11 PM, "Rick Nakama, R GRI" <> wrote:

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Pulehu Rubbed Grilled Chicken @OnoToGo Lunch Truck #FB

Yesterday after completing my Monday Meals on Wheels route with Mark's assistance (again) we did the usual lunch to feed ourselves.  We have both heard and read a lot about Ono to Go ( so we were anxious to check out their lunch truck.

Ono to Go is usually found in a parking lot on the corner of Sheridan and Makaloa Streets, near Sam's Club's driveway.  Their truck is brightly painted in a street art fashion so it should be easy to spot.  They may occasionally be spotted in other locations so it is best to follow their Twitter account, @OnoToGo. 

I had the Pulehu Spice Rubbed Grilled Chicken plate for $7 plus I opted for the $1 up charge to have brown rice "genmai" instead of white rice.  It was very tasty and I will be trying to make my way to this truck for more lunches!

You can also find their information at

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Rick Nakama (R) GRI SFR SRES
808.382.6761 M

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Hour at The Counter Burger

Before going to our free movie screening of Fair Game tonight (courtesy of Ryan, we dropped into The Counter Burger in Kahala Mall (  We made it there at around 5pm and their happy hour specials are until 6pm.

We had the Mini Cheeseburger Trio for $4 and the Mini Locomoco for $5.  We also ordered a "Fifty-Fifty" (half sweet potato fries and half onion rings) for $6.75.

The happy hour specials were a great bargain!  The locomoco didn't seem like a mini at all!  The fries were just way too much for two people.  I sent a tweet to Mark ( asking him to come help us eat the fries because I knew he was also coming to the screening, but he didn't come to The Counter in time. 
Well, we're standing in the line for Fair Game right now.  We'll see how it is.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pongo's Kitchen (@PongosKitchen) Mini Tofu Steak Plate #FB

Yesterday, I did my Meals on Wheels route for Lanakila Pacific (@LanakilaPacific) with the help of my friend, Mark (@MarkTRC).  After delivering the meals to the seniors, Mark and I stopped at Pongo's Kitchen (@PongosKitchen) for lunch. 
Last week, I had my blood tested for cholestorol levels a the HMSA HealthPass Tweetup (@HealthPass).  More about that on Mike's blog (@MikeSumida) found here or my past post about it here  Since my reading was borderline high, I've been attempting to make better choices when out eating.  I have to eat out frequently for lunches and dinners and it is not easy to always find healthier options on all menus.
At Pongo's Kitchen, I decided to go with the Tofu Steak.  The slab of tofu is seasoned and seared then topped with the "drizzle" of choice.  My choice was the shoyu and green onion drizzle.  It is all about the "drizzle" at Pongo's Kitchen.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Kakaako Kitchen Veggie Tofu Patty Plate

Today I had my second lunch out after learning that I had borderline high cholesterol levels.  You can read more about that here.  

I tried the Roasted Veggie and Tofu Patty with Olive Tapenade.  Tasted good, but I was hungry again within a couple of hours.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bangga Bangga "Really Spicy Poke Bowl" (@WorldwideEd @LalaLinzy @HealthPass #HealthPass20th #FB)

After learning that my LDL cholesterol blood test results were "borderline high" at yesterday's HMSA Healthpass 20th Anniversary Tweetup (, I decided it was time to try to reverse the damage done by my usual diet.  I am sure that taking the blood test a week after returning from three weeks of travel and eating didn't help my results either.  Anyway my result was a 159 (borderline high), if I had a 160 I would just be considered a high cholesterol person! 

As you are out and about, it's not very easy to find convenient, healthy food at a reasonable cost.  I first looked through Shirokiya upon arrival at Ala Moana Center only to find that almost everything was fried.  This is not surprising considering that Shirokiya is primarily a place for bento (Japanese box lunch) type foods and fried foods have longer shelf life.  Next I browsed through the food court and passed places like Panda Express and The Fat Greek.  I decided to try Bangga Bangga, a place that Ed ( first tried when I was with him.  He said it was ok so I figure I can rely on his opinion because he is always eating fish.

Bangga Bangga specializes in ahi poke (raw tuna/sashimi).  I ordered the poke bowl and was asked what type of sauce I wanted.  Again, I was faced with cholesterol damaging options like spicy mayonnaise and wasabi mayonnaise.  I resisted temptations and selected the spicy jalapeno shoyu.  I was then asked if I wanted little spicy, regular spicy or really spicy.  I wondered how spicy can it actually get considering it's only jalapeno peppers so I ordered the "really spicy".

The spicy jalapeno shoyu poke bowl is raw tuna seasoned with shoyu and sesame oil then topped with raw red onions, sprouts, sliced jalapeno peppers and Japanese cavier over steamed white rice.  It wasn't very spicy, as anticipated, and it tasted good. 

This is the first day following my eye opening HealthPass results and my attempt to start opting toward the healthier selections when eating.  It's not going to be easy and I know it's not going to be cheap, but I will see how I can do at my attempt to ear healthier.  Hopefully I can put a big dent in that number through diet and exercise because I don't want any medication for this!

Thanks HealthPass for holding that Tweetup and getting me to check my cholesterol level.  I was really surprised at my results!  I'm glad I know I need to do something fast!


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Need a little #HIasia KitKat snack before #H50 starts!

Just tried a blueberry cheesecake KitKat.  Very tasty, but I still prefer the otona one because it's bitter chocolate!

Now time for some #H50 live Twitter commentary action!  I missed it while away on my #HIasia travels. 


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Had "New & Improved" Version of Mr. Mandoo after #MealsOnWheels delivery

Today I had help from Kelli because she offered to be the driver for me as I delivered the lunches for Lanakila Pacific's Meals on Wheels program.  After completing the deliveries that take approximately an hour with the help of a second person, it was the perfect time and area for lunch at one of our favorite spots, Mr. Mandoo.

I've posted a few times about Mr. Mandoo and those posts can be seen at these following links.

Anyway, today we has a Kogi Fried Mandoo 9 piece side order and a Steak & Kalbi Mix Plate for about $18.  We ate there and shared the food. 

The owner told us that they've changed their fried mandoo a lot so let her know how it is after we try it.  It was delicious!  This new version seems to have a much crispier outside while also having a juicy and moist inside.  We really enjoyed, but *warning* watch out for those juices!  They may squirt out as you crunch in to take a bite!

This was my first time trying the steak and kalbi.  The steak was tender even at a medium well preparation (how Kelli prefers it).  The kalbi has a nice flavor with a slightly spicy kick to it.

Everything went well together especially with the little dish of pickled vegetables.  The pickling juices also doubled as a nice second dipping sauce for the mandoo and steak!

If you think you might be interested in volunteering for the Meals on Wheels program to help get hot lunches to Hawaii's seniors, you can read more about it here:  Or just ask me if you want to help me on a route.  :)

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Rick Nakama (R) GRI SFR SRES
808.382.6761 M

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