Oh. My. Gosh. Guys. We cannot begin to describe how much we miss those acai bowls from Island Vintage Coffee in Waikiki. They are THE best acai bowls we’ve ever had and we’ve scoured SoCal looking for acai that might even come marginally close. IVC had perfectly fresh and amazing acai, further highlighted by pineapple and mango unlike any you’ve had before. The honey they use is also one-of-a-kind, and one that we stock up on religiously whenever we visit. The acai bowls were nothing short of addictive, with us going back once or often times twice a day for our fix. To this day, this is what we miss most about Hawaii.
Pro tip: If there is a long line, they have a small boutique across the hall where you can order your acai bowls and other food from 😉
Next up on our list would be Musubi & Bento Iyasume. They have the biggest selecion and tastiest spam musubi we have ever come across. Spam musubi is at its core just spam and rice wrapped neatly in a sheet of roasted seaweed. Sounds simple enough, right? But this place takes it to a whole new level!
When you walk into the tiny closet-sized space, you’ll see a couple of unassuming elderly women grilling spam (and other meats) on small George Formans. What makes this place magical is the sauce that the spam marinated and cooked in. Slightly sweet, with hints of smoke and savory umami. It’s a great compliment to the salty spam. Their rice is perfectly cooked, and moderately seasoned. They also avoid the cardinal sin of packing in substantially more rice than spam. Oh and did we mention they had 15+ different variations??
And it would be ridiculous not to include the glorious Tonkatsu Tamafuji – which is nothing short of magic. Check the yelp reviews and you’ll see that hundreds of locals agree. If you’ve ever deep fried anything before, you’ll know that the big problem is temperature. When you try to fry too many things at once, the temperature of the oil drops rapidly and you end up frying longer than necessary, making the end product overly greasy.
Tamafuji solves this by employing GINORMOUS copper pots and limiting their batches to a few katsus at a time. This keeps the oil at the best possible temperature, allowing a crisp exterior, and perfectly cooked interior without that awkward grease. But, none of that would matter unless the pork itself deserved that kind of treatment. And boy does it. The pork is fork tender and succulent. It stunned us so much the first time that we ended up going back 3 times during our week long trip. And it was worth it. Every. Single. Time.
One other place to note is this steak house we stumbled upon on our last trip was . We entered the restaurant through the hotel entrance, and our first thought was, “Did we just walk into a convalescent home?” Shelves full of books and creepy paintings lined the walls of the actual restaurant. It was dark and gave a slight “Tower of Terror” kind of vibe. The service was excellent and the steaks here were good, but we’ve had better for the price. What really sold us equates to three words, “Chocolate Lovers Flambé”. *Lawrence proceeds to dissolve into a drooling mess* (Watch video below to see what we mean 😉
Here is a video compilation of our trip to Oahu, HI in May 2017. We are super behind with compiling these videos, but I hope to get them all edited and posted soon!
M + L