Hawaii – part 1

Last October, Husband and I took a trip to the Big Island (Hawaii) to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. On our 2nd day (first day was recouping from the flight after an afternoon arrival), we drove to the East side to visit Hilo. I used to live here when I was a little kid and wanted to see how much had changed (or not) since I left.

Due to a big breakfast and the fact we were going to a luau later that night, we didn’t want to fill up on a big lunch. Plus, the humidity was killing our appetites. Living in Southern California has spoiled me, apparently. I don’t remember Hilo being –that– humid but then again, it had been almost 20 years since I moved away.

Anyways, I insisted we had to eat something “local”. I had no idea of where to go, though. The only places I remembered food-wise was a cafe next to the Woolworth’s at the mall and a small mom n’ pop market that served shaved ice. We weren’t a family that ate out a lot when I was a kid.

Driving around the downtown area, Husband and I came across Cafe 100. I had seen this place featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” show; they served up loco mocos and plate lunches. Perfect…local cuisine with things Husband would eat.

Cafe 100 isn’t really a restaurant; it’s more like a stand. You walk up to a window, place your order and pick it up at another window. There are tables set up outside along the sides for people who want to eat there.

Halloweenie loco moco special

Little sausages

They were advertising a “Halloweenie” loco moco special (rice covered with gravy covered with a fried egg and topped with several pieces of small weenies). I had to do a little convincing to get Husband to agree to this as he was iffy about the combination. Gravy on rice…with egg? Trust me, it’s actually really good.

This ended up being smaller than I expected but worked out perfectly as a snack split between the two of us. I would have liked more of a crisp edge on the egg but the yolk was nicely runny. A little more gravy would have been preferable as well since there wasn’t enough for all the rice. The weenies were plump and juicy. Taking a little bit of everything for each bite resulted in salty yumminess. However, the gravy alone was a little lacking in the salt so once we ate all the weenies and egg, the rice and gravy was a little bland. Husband was quickly won over by this dish, though.

I wish we had more of an appetite because I would have loved to try their plate lunches and grab a Spam musubi. Oh well…next trip!

3 NOMs!

Cafe 100
969 Kilauea Ave
Hilo, HI 96744
(808) 935-8683
Cafe 100 on Urbanspoon

Chopstix

Chopstix has been on regular rotation thru my tummy since I was a college student almost 8 years ago…maybe even earlier than that.  I seriously think this place has some of the best gyoza in town. Nicely crispy browned bottom, moist filling, and the wrapper is of always perfect thickness and never doughy. And it’s only $3.95 for an order of 6. Not bad.

As for the rest of the menu, this place is serves up some good ramen, soba and udon. I’m a fan of the deluxe nabeyaki udon. The awesome thing is that they don’t serve the shrimp tempura in the bowl; it comes on the side so it doesn’t get all soggy by the time it gets to you.  Usually, I end up with the oyako-don, a huge bowl of rice covered with egg, chicken n’ onion. Put on some Sriracha sauce, mix it up and you’re all good to go. It comes with a bowl of miso soup and a salad.  There’s also katsu, katsu curry, yakisoba, and seasonally, hiyashi. They also serve up several different rolls if you want something sushi wise but I don’t think there’s nigiri.

The prices here are fair for the amount of food you get. $10 should cover you (sans alcohol) and you may even walk out with leftovers.

Service is good as well though sometimes it varies.

Parking sucks. Asian strip mall…not enough spaces, tiny spaces at that and then you get the people who can’t/won’t park properly. There is a lot in the back that may offer up an easier situation but good luck navigating to it.

I give Chopstix 4 NOMs.  Fast service, great simple cheap eats, consistent quality…can’t go wrong with a place like that.

Chopstix
4633 Convoy St Ste 101
(between Dagget St & Opportunity Rd)
San Diego, CA 92111
(858)569-9171
Chopstix on Urbanspoon