Izakaya UOSAN

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My recent travels to Okinawa, Japan has got me craving authentic Japanese food on the daily. I mean, I’ve always loved Japanese cuisine, but when you travel and consume the real deal, it’s hard to go back to your usual spots and experience authenticity.

I spent Galentine’s Day with my dear friend Lola. She’s fluent in Japanese, is of Japanese descent, has relatives that live in Japan, and travels to Japan often. So when she tells me about one of her favorite spots, here in Honolulu for Japanese food, of course I’m gonna tell her to take me there! This is Izakaya UOSAN.

Located in the heart of Honolulu, on Kapiolani boulevard. This sort of hole in the wall is small, reservations recommended, and is truly a must if your craving amazing Japanese food and ambiance. And when I say ambiance, I mean, most of the customers and workers are Japanese. I barely heard a drop of english spoken while we were there. Our waiter was Portuguese, but was very fluent in Japanese language. The service was excellent and the food was amazing!

For starters we ordered bacon wrapped veggies. Small pieces of zucchini and asparagus wrapped in bacon, skewered and fried to perfection with some panko. A side of hot mustard and katsu sauce to dip them in. The perfect compliment to the start of sake drinking, unfamiliar food, and hilarious moments!

acs_1617I loved how the “specials” menu was hand written in Japanese.

Izakaya (meaning) is similar to a “gastropub”, but more like a sake bar that commonly serves small bites of food, or like we call it here in Hawaii, pupus. Lola and I sat at the sushi bar, as I wanted to watch the magic happen. I wanted to see my food being prepared right in front of my eyes. I’m so thankful that Lola is fluent in Japanese, she was able to converse with our sushi chef for amazing recommendations as you see here.

acs_1616Otoro a high grade marbled fatty piece of meat that comes from the belly of the blue fin tuna. Seriously melts in your mouth! The shrimp you see here was excellently prepared and just as tasty.

acs_1620 Uni or urchin roe, an acquired taste, but I absolutely love it!

acs_1619Now this right here, don’t knock it till you try it! I almost didn’t try it because of what it IS, but I made an effort to at least try. And you know what, I actually liked it. Literally melts in your mouth. Guys this is cod sperm sac, or as in the Japanese language, Shirako. Prepared raw, with a yuzu soy sauce. If raw isn’t your thing, they offer it grilled as well. I’d definitely order this again!

acs_1618This last piece of heaven was a special one. Lola wanted one more item to eat before ending the night, but didn’t know what to order. So she asked our waiter what he’d suggest. Guys this one is “off the menu”. This piece of heavenly sushi is made with I believe, chutoro (one grade below otoro) that’s minced and mixed with diced pickled daikon, over a shiso leaf and of course, rice. Serious umami action going on here. The fish melts in your mouth, the crunch from the daikon, and the earthy shiso leaf. My mouth is watering as I write this. It’s that good people!!!

All sushi were finished off with a special yuzu soy sauce.

It really didn’t need anything else.

acs_1622We can’t forget about dessert now can we? Yuzu sorbet. The most refreshing bite to cleanse the pallet and finish off the night. Oh and some warm green tea (not pictured). This dining experience was truly AMAZING! I highly recommend coming here for a fabulous UMAMI experience.

 

Izakaya UOSAN

1221 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

Ph: (808) 200-5077

Hours: Closed on MONDAY || Tuesday – Sunday 5:30pm-11pm

Reservations Recommended

Street parking on Kapiolani or in the building parking structure. *Note: If you’re parking in the structure, parking is free after 10pm.*

 

 

 

Burgers on Bishop

More than just a burger joint. Burgers on Bishop is a cute little, sort of hole in the wall located in downtown Honolulu. Tucked away on the ground floor of the Topa Tower right across the street from the Aloha Tower Marketplace.

I first heard about them on our local news, Hawaii News Now. They have a segment called Cheap Eats where they showcase local restaurants with amazing food at great prices. Click here to watch the Burgers on Bishop clip, please have a napkin with you and be prepared to wipe the drool off your face. LOL

Although Burgers on Bishop is known for their tasty burgers, my friend Lola and I decided to try a few different things on the menu, as prior to being known as Burgers on Bishop, they used to be called Burgers and Things. You can bet I’ll be back to try them burgers that are grilled and braised in a house made au jus. Burgers prepared French Style?? Yes please!

Lola and I weren’t wanting anything too heavy to eat, so we shared a few lighter options.

acs_1557Ahi Tataki

 

acs_1558Pork Belly with Kabocha Puree

 

acs_1559Garlic Truffle Fries

 

Lola and I went for “Pau Hana Friday”, which happens every Friday from 4pm-8pm. You BYOB, order from their regular menu as well as chef specials they offer that night. That Ahi Tataki in the first pic was one of their specials when we went. Seared to perfection garnished with a little lettuce, and onions, accompanied with a special soy sauce that went great with everything on the plate. YUM!

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Our drink of choice that night was a special sake that Lola brought back from her recent trip to Japan. “Kamotsuru” Gold Sake that had gold flakes in it. The gold flakes were shaped like cherry blossoms. We were so stoked when one of the gold flakes landed in our glass, cause they were so cute!

We ended the night with freshly baked cookies, compliments of owner Liz Watanabe. That oatmeal raisin cookie and almond cookie were so yummy. The perfect ending to our foodie venture.

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Mahalo to owner Liz Watanabe for having us! You are such a ball of energy and an amazing host. We had such a great time! We’re just sad we couldn’t try your famous homemade cheese cake. Next time we’ll come earlier so we won’t miss out!

acs_1560Lola, Liz, and myself.

If you’re ever in the downtown area, go check them out! They’re open Monday-Thursday for breakfast & lunch, 8am-3pm. Then on Fridays from 8am-8pm with happy hour (BYOB) between 4pm-8pm. Follow them on INSTAGRAM for daily specials.

acs_1538Until next time friends, CHEERS!

 

 

Hawaii Beer Fest

Ever attended an event for the first time, felt so unprepared, still had and an amazing night, but took notes for when you attend the next similar event? Well that’s what happened to my friend and I when we attended the Hawaii Beer Fest 2019: Winter Edition. Let’s just say next time, our must have accessory will include a PRETZEL LEI!

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With just under 3 hours to taste about 100 draft, craft and international beers, you can bet we had a fabulous time! Responsibly of course. Here are a few of what we tried and a list of some of my favorites.

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Budweiser has been around for quite some time. I’ve peeped this 6 pack in the grocery store many times, but never gave it a chance to let itself fall into my shopping cart. Haha! I’m so glad I had a chance to try it here at Hawaii Beer Fest. Not as heavy tasting as I thought it would be. You can definitely taste a hint of Jim Beam, very smooth. Learn more about Budweiser Copper Lager by clicking here. You can be sure I’ll give this 6 pack a helping hand entering my shopping cart the next time I head to the store.

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One of my favorite styles of beer is a stout. Super dark, rich in flavor with hints of chocolate, caramel, and even coffee at times. I’ve known Guinness had been around for years, but never knew for how long. So when I seen that I could sample their 200th Anniversary Export Stout, I couldn’t pass it up. Full bodied flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel. Two hundred years is a long time to be brewing beer. I was curious to learn more about what makes this anniversary stout so special. Click the link to learn the history and the story of how this 200th Anniversary Export Stout came to be.

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I couldn’t go to a beer fest without trying a new local brewery. Shout out to Mehana Brewing Company! Would you believe this local company brews their beer in a facility that used to be home to Hilo Soda Works? It’s true! The old Hilo Soda Works is now home to locally crafted beer.

This Volcano Red Ale was awarded the Silver Medal in 2012 at the World Beer Championships. I could surely taste why they were chosen for this high honor! If you love hoppy beer, this ones for you!

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And that’s a wrap! Here’s a list of some of my favorite brewers that were there, but weren’t pictured. I apologize, we were having too much of a great time!

Honolulu Beer Works: Makakilo Brown

Lanikai Brewing: Pillbox Porter

ROGUE: Honey Kolsch

Omission Brewing: Lager

Kona Brewing: Pipeline Porter

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Of course after a night of sampling beers, we had to end the night with some tasty bites! This is THE BRILLIAN OX, a new restaurant and gastropub located in the Ala Moana Shopping Center.

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Affordable prices and plates to share. We ordered the Crispy Pork Belly Bao Buns, Bone Marrow, and Fried Noodles. The perfect bites to end the night.

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A great night spent with good company for sure! I’m looking at upcoming beer events and found this next one happening end of March, HONOLULU ON TAP. Tickets on sale now! Maybe I’ll see you there. Don’t forget your pretzel lei! ALOHA!

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P.S. If you love great photo ops, you’ll love this sexy red telephone booth located inside The Brilliant Ox. #DoItForTheGram

The Journey Begins

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Aloha friends and thanks for joining me! I’ve finally created an official blog site and am excited to share my random thoughts, fashion finds and foodie ventures with you!

As a new blogger, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Lisa, and I’m a jewelry designer who lives on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Most weekends you’ll find me winging it with my favorite people. No plans, just a car, a bag packed with extra clothes, towels, and sunscreen. Ready for whatever the day brings.   Beach days and foodie-ventures are the absolute best weekends ever!

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Since I am a mom who wears different hats (What mom doesn’t??), I’m usually powered by BulletProof Coffee. Between the jewelry designing, and all the hats I wear, when I do have some spare time, I love thrift shopping. You can always catch me peeping what’s new in the Poshmark App, updating my own Poshmark Closet, “sharing” the Poshmark LOVE, and occasionally splurging on an irresistible Poshmark bundle! Aaaaaaahhhh… the rush of a good deal always excites me.

Besides thrifting, I love being in my kitchen. My favorite things to create in the heart of my home is, BAKED GOODS! So who wants dessert???

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My friends describe me as LOUD, but I’m only like that when I’ve known you for a while. I’m really an introvert. I describe myself as someone who even though the thought of walking into a room of new faces scares me, I will make every effort to make new friends. I’m a “closet” social butterfly.

So tell me friend, who are you? I’d love to say HELLO or KUMUSTA (since I’m Filipino) to the beautiful face in front of the screen, reading my very first official blog post!

Glasses: Ross Dress for Less, Earrings & Necklace: Rocks Box (Get your first box FREE with code: MILOLIILOVEXOXO, Jean Jacket: Free People, Top & Bag: VICI DOLLS, Moto Jeggings: Found in the Poshmark App, Bangles: By yours truly and can be found in my Poshmark Closet. Download the Poshmark App for FREE and use code: MILOLII_LOVE for a $5 credit on your first purchase. Happy Poshing!

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