Around Hawaii Columns

Bubble Tea Mania – The Hunt for Hawaii’s Best Bubble Tea – Part III

July 1, 2014
Bubble Tea Mania - The Hunt for Hawaii's Best Bubble Tea - Part III

Part I | Part II |  Part III    Not to be outdone by their “townie” counterparts, this collection of merchants all make the claim that the westside is the bestside when it comes to serving up ono bubble drinks for us country bumpkins. Let’s take a looksee for ourselves shall we? Coffee or Tea? […]

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Bubble Tea Mania – The Hunt for Hawaii’s Best Bubble Tea – Part II

June 1, 2014
Bubble Tea Mania - The Hunt for Hawaii's Best Bubble Tea - Part II

Part I |  Part II  | Part III   We continue our epic bubble tea journey with 5 more milk tea establishments located in town.   Dragon Tea We found out about this hidden gem after the wife saw her friend post a drink photo on Instagram. Since we hardly ever go to Waiks, we […]

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Bubble Tea Mania – The Hunt for Hawaii’s Best Bubble Tea – Part I

May 1, 2014
Bubble Tea Mania - The Hunt for Hawaii's Best Bubble Tea - Part I

 Part I  | Part II | Part III The wife is out of control. Ever since she was preggers with baby #2, she has had this fanatical craving – bordering on obsession – with the popular Taiwanese-born milk tea drink cleverly referred to as “Bubble Tea”. Pair that with the recent explosion of specialized bubble […]

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Dean’s Drive Inn – Kaneohe’s Treasure

April 1, 2014
Dean's Drive Inn - Kaneohe's Treasure

  An Interview with Dean Mishima from Dean’s Drive Inn   Whenever I travel anywhere new, I always make sure that grinding at the local hot spot is on the agenda. And although Kaneohe is not exactly “traveling” necessarily, buggah is far for me so getting to the Windward side these days is almost like […]

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Pioneer Saloon – Fixins Worth a Look-See, Y’all!

March 1, 2014
Pioneer Saloon - Fixins Worth a Look-See, Y'all!

When you hear the words Pioneer Saloon, the first thing you probably think of is an old, rowdy bar in the wild, wild west. With tumbleweeds rolling by, you picture a clean-cut sheriff greeting people with "howdy pardner" as he enters swinging batwing doors looking for the bearded bag guy. Well, this place in Diamond […]

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Ramen Burger Fever Hits Honolulu

February 1, 2014
Ramen Burger Fever Hits Honolulu

It all started with a tweet my friend Mari Taketa sent out on Wednesday, January 8th: @NonStopMari “RAMEN BURGER. coming to hnl @TasteTable next wed 1/15 from 11a til sellout. http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/eating/attention-honolulu-ramen-burger-is-coming/“ @NonStopMari’s #RamenBurger Tweet Wait WAAAAT!? *THE* Ramen Burger? You mean the original mashup from ramen prodigy Keizo Shimamoto that started it all? This I […]

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Jerome Williams – Spreading Aloha, One Pitch at a Time

January 1, 2014
Jerome Williams - Spreading Aloha, One Pitch at a Time

When you see Major League pitcher Jerome Williams for the first time, you see a big, strong man with hands the size of a grizzly bear. At 6’3″ and 240 lbs, you know for sure that he’s an athlete, and was likely “bred” somewhere in the Midwest. And then he opens his mouth. Bruddah’s first […]

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Agu Ramen Bistro – Already One of Hawaii’s Best Ramen Spots

December 1, 2013

My journey to Agu actually started online. As mentioned in my review of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka last month, I haven't seen much of the outside world following the birth of our second child. So looking at the most tastiest looking photos on Facebook and Instagram of a new ramen place called Agu, was about as […]

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Hokkaido Ramen Santouka – Japan Style Ramen Opens Shop Outside Don Quijote

November 1, 2013
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - Japan Style Ramen Opens Shop Outside Don Quijote

I know it’s been a little over a month since they opened, but now that another little person has taken residence in my home, the outside life has been severely limited. So when a morning meeting in town recently got on the schedule, my mouth started to water with the possibilities for lunch. My first […]

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4th Annual Rice Fest Takes Place on Sunday, September 1 at Ward Centers

August 1, 2013
4th Annual Rice Fest Takes Place on Sunday, September 1 at Ward Centers

If you've been craving rice for the last year, your wait is no more! The 4th Annual Rice Fest will kick off National Rice Month and take place on Sunday, September 1st from 12pm-5pm at Ward Centers (in the square parking lot across the street from the movie theaters). Come on down and enjoy rice […]

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Kaka`ako Kool – Keepin’ Kool in Kaka`ako

July 1, 2013
Kaka`ako Kool - Keepin' Kool in Kaka`ako

Now that we’re in the midst of summer, we’ve gotsta find ways of cooling off from that hot Hawaiian sun. One way, of course, is to slurp down a local fave known as “shave ice” – or “ice shave” if you’re from the Big Island 😉 (See my article about other shave ice places here). […]

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Chad Owens – A Born Fighter

June 1, 2013
Chad Owens - A Born Fighter

Chad Owens is no stranger to competition. He came into this world fighting… Fighting for his life. Weighing just 3 pounds, Owens (aka “Mighty Mouse”) was born a month and a half premature. It was the determination of his mother to never give up on him that became the driving force behind who he is […]

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Rinka Japanese Restaurant – Go for the Gold!

May 1, 2013
Rinka Japanese Restaurant - Go for the Gold!

One evening, after helping us watch our daughter for the entire day, I told the parentals that we should go grab dinner, my treat. I suggested Rinka, this new Japanese restaurant I’ve been hearing about through the foodie grapevine. Much like the discovery of Marukame Udon a couple years ago, Pops had already heard about […]

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DASH Gastropub – Gastrolicious!

April 1, 2013

Wikipedia defines the term “gastropub” as “a portmanteau of gastronomy and pub” and refers to a bar or restaurant that serves high-end beer and food. While gastronomy is the study of food and culture, with a particular focus on gourmet cuisine, a pub is not usually known for more than just beer and “bar food.” […]

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Mamaya Japanese Foods – Mamma Mia!

March 1, 2013
Mamaya Japanese Foods - Mamma Mia!

Yeah, I know “Mamma Mia!” is an Italian phrase and this place I’m about to cover is not, but “Mamaya” is not exactly the easiest word to rhyme or come up with something clever for. It was either that or something to do with Papayas. 😛 We have a tradition in the Sugimoto household where […]

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Aloha Brisbane! – Part III: Koala Day! (#AlohaBNE)

February 1, 2013
Aloha Brisbane! - Part III: Koala Day! (#AlohaBNE)

Part I | Part II | Part III    As with all good things, our time in Brisbane had come to an end. With bags packed, we, however, had one final expedition left in us before saying goodbye to the Queensland city by the river. We started our morning by hopping into the van of the […]

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Aloha Brisbane! – Part II: Exploring the City (#AlohaBNE)

January 1, 2013
Aloha Brisbane! - Part II: Exploring the City (#AlohaBNE)

  Part I |  Part II  | Part III   After a 10 hour flight and a long night of heavy and indulgent eating and drinking, a serious siesta in the plush, cloud-like hotel bed was just what the doctor ordered. With the exception of that psychopath Catherine Toth (who decided to wake up early […]

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Aloha Brisbane! – Part I: Hawaiian Airlines Launches Their Newest Route to Australia (#AlohaBNE)

December 5, 2012
Aloha Brisbane! - Part I:  Hawaiian Airlines Launches Their Newest Route to Australia (#AlohaBNE)

   Part I  | Part II | Part III   Traveling to Australia has always been a dream of mine. I mean, let's face it, they've got so many interesting and unique things going for them… Their seasons are completely opposite from ours. They've got koalas and kangaroos to ogle over. They have cute sayings […]

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Saimin Adventures – The Search for Hawaii’s Best Saimin – Part I

November 1, 2012
Saimin Adventures - The Search for Hawaii's Best Saimin - Part I

It wasn’t long after wrapping up the final part in my 5 part series on Hawaii’s best ramen, that people started harassing me. “You need to cover saimin now!” “What about Hawaii’s best saimin places!?” As good as their suggestions were, prior to my interview with Sun Noodle president Hidehito Uki, I was a full-on […]

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Kona Kai Sushi – The Izakaya for Locals

October 1, 2012
Kona Kai Sushi - The Izakaya for Locals

Call me Jiro because I always dream of sushi. And in those dreams, I typically envision a small, dark, packed-to-the-brim hole-in-the-wall with a certain “je ne sais quoi” aura. Behind the sushi bar stands a stoic, elder sushi master who earned that title of “master” by working his way up the sushi making ranks for […]

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