Archive for March, 2011

The Cat loves kalua pork and cabbage. Let me rephrase that, The Cat loves the cabbage in kalua pork and cabbage. Whenever she orders the dish, she requests more cabbage and not too much pork, which the vendors are too happy to comply.

It’s hard to make this at home because I end up eating most of the pork, not that I’m complaining, but it does kind of upsets the balance of cabbage and pork.

I’ve tried adding more cabbage but that kind of dilutes the pork flavor too much. I’ve also tried adding liquid smoke to plain stir-fried cabbage (without pork) with so so results.

I think I’ve finally hit upon a solution. I slowly render the fat out of two slices of thick cut bacon. The bacon slices are removed and one head of cabbage is added, rough chopped. The cabbage is slowly pan roasted in the bacon oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Pan Roasted Cabbage with Bacon Grease

The bacon grease gives just enough smoky flavor and fat to approximate the kalua pork flavor, and I don’t have to eat all that pork. I used the bacon slices in the next post.

The other night, since I already had the sauté pan out, I also stir-fried some Maitake and Bunashimeji mushrooms in peanut oil with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir-Fried Mushrooms

Both dishes are not what I consider “pretty”, but they worked (The Cat liked them).


The Mouse

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Yesterday, while I was picking up my Bánh mì, I saw a little okazu-ya in the next building, had to check it out. The sandwich was still warm and I’m looking for the next meal. Sigh. The okazu-ya was closed when I saw it.

So today, I did a little reconnaissance, and of course I had to pick a little something up (it’s a rule). 😉


There’s no sign except for a small nameplate (looks like the type provided by building owners for ADA requirements).


Just look for the Maneki Neko (check out it’s left paw, cute yeah?).

Proper Etiquette Required

I thought the No “No’s” sign was cute too, very old school.

The interior continues the old school vibe. I didn’t want to take pictures, the lady behind the counter might have thrown me out and added another no to the list. Actually, she was very nice and friendly.

The Mouse's Lunch

I the above picture, I picked up one Spam musubi, one slice of tamago (egg omelet), and one inari sushi. I was hoping it would be more like the local style cone sushi, but it was not meant to be (I’ve just added cone sushi to the onigiri project). 🙂

In my opinion, the rice in both the Spam musubi and inari sushi was done right. Each grain was an individual but stuck to each other perfectly. The rice wasn’t mushy, nor did the rice fall apart when I bit into it. Kudos.

The tamago was a thick cut (which was good) but could have used a bit more seasoning for my taste. Overall, good.

I need to do more research at Chi-Chan’s.


The Mouse

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Bánh mì

Yesterday’s sandwich put me in the mood for a Vietnamese sandwich (aka Bánh mì) today. I haven’t eaten them in a while (the bread is a little rough on my braces). But craving won out over common sense today. Today’s sandwich was from the Kaneohe branch of Ba-Le.


I got my favorite combination, pate and steamed pork.

Pate and Steamed Pork Banh Mi

I’ve tried the other varieties but I always come back to pate and steamed pork. Yum.

I also picked up two of their dessert cups for after dinner.

Purple Sweet Potato and Mango

Since these are made with coconut milk, I don’t have to worry about the after effects of being lactose intolerant (sorry TMI). 😦

I can’t wait for the braces to come out.


The Mouse

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I’m paraphrasing Alexander Graham Bell.

We like the cornbread from here, it has good texture to it.

Crema Espresso Bar and Deli

We found this place while browsing at furniture awhile back (it’s located in a furniture store/wine bar/restaurant. The Cat used to come here for lunch when her office was near by. Today was my first time for lunch.

I choose the smoked turkey and tomato sandwich combo meal (chips and a drink).

Smoked Turkey Sandwich, Cornbread, and Green Tea

Lunch was served on real dishes, nice touch. They were out of chips so the server let me select the cornbread instead. No complaints here, The Mouse was happy.

The sandwich was good, the best part of it was the bread. I think it was a honey wheat, good taste and texture.

The server informed me that they will close in a couple of days (Wednesday I think), and reopen as either Stage Cafe or Cafe Stage (senior moment). The new menu will offer more sandwiches and pastries. I guess the old name limited the perception of the place.

My whole meal today was $6.50 plus tax, cheap eats indeed.

I hope they keep selling the cornbread. I bought three cornbread squares to take home and threw them in the freezer, just in case.

Looking forward to the reopening, at least I got to try it before it changed. Hope they keep the prices affordable.

One door closes, one door opens.


The Mouse

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Today, The Cat and I went on a mini adventure to the west side of the island to look for some activities for a project.

The first stop was here. I always thought boxcars raced in a straight line, I was wrong.

Box Car Track

Box Cars

The track is downhill with twists and turns, looked like a lot of fun.


The facility also has tracks for radio controlled racing.

R/C Race Track

R/C "Off Road" Track

R/C Pit Area

The director of the facility said that some of the cars could cost upwards of a thousand dollars, OMG!

The tracks also are home to several cats that serve as track officials. 😉

Track Official

One cat in particular is named U-Turn because 1) he has a kink in his neck, and 2) when he gets excited, he runs in circles.


Nom Nom Nom

U-Turn is very friendly and likes to eat. A cat after our own heart. 🙂

Lunch was in the area.

Missing Ah ... Nevermind

For about eleven dollars (cheaper during the week), an all you can eat buffet. Some of the selections:


At the 3 O’clock position is shoyu pork, it reminded me of the shoyu pork that a now defunct restaurant, Shanghai Bistro, more like pot roast than shoyu pork. At the 4 O’clock position is kau yuk (pot roast pork with fermented bean curd, Cantonese style), it was a little too sweet for me, not enough bean curd flavor.


The highlights of the above plate include deep-fried shumai at the 1 O’clock position. This was actually pretty good, crispy on the outside and ground pork hash on the inside.

What kind of surprised me was the maki sushi at the right of the plate. From the top, Spam and imitation crab with mayonnaise, Spam and tuna salad (with mayonnaise), and Spam and cucumber with mayonnaise. I dunno if it was Spam and mayonnaise but the combinations worked for me in a kind of local, weird, non-Japanese sort of way (understand?). The Cat was gagging. 😉

Both The Cat and I felt that the buffet was decent for the money. Not gourmet dining by a long shot but not bad if we’re in the area.

After lunch we went to look for the second activity in the area.


Race Track

It looked like a lot of fun but not quite what we were looking for. A little too loud and aggressive.


The Mouse

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