Adventures

What Grindz I’m Looking Forward To!

Hey guys! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving break! My mom came up from perfect 80 degree weather to the chilly 40 something degrees, so that was fun! I know that we should really take a break from talking about food until maybe December 5th, haha. But I’m so excited to go back home (after I die a little from finals) and I’m most excited to EAT LOCAL GRINDZ!

For those of you who are not familiar with the pidgin lingo (lol like I’m an expert), “grindz” means food. I’m not entirely sure why we say grindz. Probably because when the food is so good, your mouth turns into a grinder and you demolish that food.

Anyway, here is a list of grindz I’m most excited to eat. I’ll have a brief description below the images, because some of you might not know what these things are!

Oh wait, okay so disclaimer! Most of these pics are not mine. I’m pulling them from google. Also, Hawaiian local cuisine (not Hawaiian food (there’s a difference)) is a mix of Hawaiian and Asian food.

Poke

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So if you didn’t know already, poke is seasoned raw fish chunks. Sounds gross right, but that’s all that it is. It’s simple, healthy, and super yummy if you like seafood. It’s not sushi. It’s poke. It’s best when fresh and on top of rice! The best place for me to get my poke is at Foodland, because no one can beat their quality and $6.99 price.

I found this on google and this is how Shoyu (soy sauce) poke is supposed to look like. Although I love avocado, it’s not supposed to be in poke. That’s a straight up mainland thing. Also, poke started in the islands not California or Seattle. Like, it was a thing for us way back before it became viral, hipsters.

Ube Ice Cream

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Shout out to all the Filipinos! So, ube is just another word for purple sweet potato. Ube ice cream is sweet potato mixed with coconut milk, which is as divine as it sounds. Traditionally, it’s the topping on halo halo, a Filipino dessert. I’ve never had halo halo (I know, I’m a terrible person), but I think the ube ice cream would be my most favorite part of it.

Pho

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If you’re not a foodie and not on the West Coast, Pho is sort of like the Vietnamese version of ramen, but it’s different. The difference is in the noodles, broth, and toppings. I don’t know how to make pho from scratch, but maybe they’re made differently, too. The broth can differ depending on who makes it, but it’s a pretty light and flavorful broth. It can be pretty translucent. Although there are a bunch of toppings you can put in your pho, it’s usually very veggie based. I love putting beef and lots of veggies in my bowl. I love getting pho from Mama Pho in Aina Hina. I’ve only had pho a few times and Mama’s is da best one.

Local Fruits

Excuse the bad quality of these pics. I miss all the fruits back at home, especially the ones I can sample on my dad’s friend’s nursery. It’s super cute and oh my gah so beautiful! And his fruits are all exotic, tropical, and delicious. He’s most known for his pineapples, but he grows a bunch of other things.

The dark pink fruit above is called Pitaya or dragon fruit. It’s not super flavorful and sometimes you luck out and get one that tastes like water. But his were super sweet. Fun fact: dragon fruit grows from a cactus like plant.

The light pink fruit above is guava. It’s not as sweet as you think it is and it’s kind of hard to eat. It has a weird texture, but it makes me feel fresh after eating it.

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These are my friends, Deanna, Sarah, and Rylie. The guy in the striped shirt is my dad’s friend who grows all the fruit. Aren’t they cute?! Behind them is a breath taking view of Waiminalo.

Poi Balls

So, I only get these in the summer when I go camping, but these are bomb. They’re so good and sweet. So, poi is mashed up taro, which is a staple starch for the Hawaiians. If you’re really native, you eat that thing raw with two fingers. I’m super Asian American, so I like mine with sugar and fried. Basically, you get the poi and mix in the sugar and mochiko powder to make the batter. Then you get a wok full of oil, scoop up the poi batter, then fry until it’s crispy.

I Heart Nalo’s Tofu Poke Bowls

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Ugh, no one can do better tofu poke bowls than I Heart Nalo. This restaurant is so cute and super green. Everything is local, home grown stuff. It’s mostly vegan, I think, and it all tastes super good. I went there once and got this masterpiece above. The seasoning is so prime and the veggies were just fantastic.

Anything from Zippy’s

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Zippy’s is like our local In-and-Out or Five Guys. If you grew up in Hawaii, you know exactly what this is. I love Zippy’s. It’s getting expensive, but it’s such a throw back to elementary school days and you know the food is so good.

My favorite thing to get there is the spaghetti and the Zip Pacs. For the locals reading this, remember getting jealous at that one kid who’s mom bought them a Zip Pac for the field trip? Or all those times you went to the beach and ate this on the sand?

Anything from Miki’s

So, there are pictures of this wonderful place and their food, but I’m too lazy to look it up and add onto this post. Miki’s is all the way out in Pearl City (shout out to the West Side) and they are a super late night hole-in-the-wall. They open at 10 pm and close at 3 am.

Another friend of my dad found this place on Yelp and he passed on this local secret onto me. They’re known for their comfort food that come in good portions for a decent price. They have roast beef (which is like tasting Jesus), meatballs, BBQ chicken, and so on. They have a set menu every year, but have different daily specials. It’s the BEST. I highly recommend you trying this place.

Hope you enjoyed this and got super hungry, because I am! HAH! Hope you like or share this post. Please try these places and things if you ever come around the islands. It’s super different from what you’d eat on the mainland, but all of it is super good. Go out of your comfort zone and try everything.

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Adventures, The List of 5

5 Things To Do In Hawaii For Free-ish

1. Hiking

Unless you want to hike with a guide and a bunch of strangers, you must go out and do a hike (or several!). It’s beautiful through out the entire hike, there’s always a magnificent view, it’s free, and it’s healthy! I haven’t had the chance to do hikes on the West side or North shore, so my examples are limited to hikes in the East side, South East side, and North East side of Oahu.

Although these hikes are a once in a lifetime kind of activity, please do in-depth research. It is dangerous to hike, you know. We might not have bears,  but we do have pigs, dehydration, lots of people get lost, and people have died on these trails. It’s really easy to get yourself in trouble if you don’t know how to hike, so BE WISE!!! Or be the laughing stock of the 7 o’clock local news. Below are easy hikes that I highly recommend.

  • Makuapu’u Light House
    • It’s paved, so it’s mostly easy.
    • If you are not an experienced hiker, clumsy, pregnant, or elderly, then DO NOT GO DOWN THE CLIFFS to the tide pools.
      • Lots of young people go down
      • Tide pools are very dangerous
        • Many people have been hurt by the waves

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  • Diamond Head
    • Lots of stairs to climb when you get towards the top
      • So worth it!
    • $1.00 entry and $20.00 parking

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  • Koko Head (this is actually a little harder)
    • Lots of “stairs” straight up
      • Thigh killer!!!
    • Hot
      • Need sunscreen and water
    • Great view from above

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  • Aiea Loop
    • Drive out far and little confusing to get to
    • Lush green nature all around
    • Park
  • Pali Look Out
    • Not really a hike
    • Beautiful, stunning view
    • Police always in area
2. Beach Hopping

One of my most favorite things to do withe my friends is going to the beach. I actually have a semi-annual North Shore excursion that I orchestrate. But there are so many other beaches to go to! I mean, it is an island! However, to keep some beaches a secret (for local reasons), I’m just going to list some general areas with great beaches that are not so intense.

  • North Shore
    • Sunset beach, Turtle bay, Haleiwa Beach
    • No huge waves, pretty safe
    • White sand
    • Perfect for picnics after visting Dole Plantation

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  • East Side Beaches
    • Avoid Sandy’s and Makapu’u if you value your life
    • Beautiful teal waters and white, fine sands
    • Gaze up at the cliffs and explore the little towns

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  • North East Side
    • White, fine sands
    • Beautiful teal/blue water
    • Nice shopping areas nearby

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  • South Shore
    • This is Waikiki area
    • Highly populated, but still pretty to see
    • Much prettier beyond the shore
      • You can go on tours or go snorkeling

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3.First Fridays/Art & Flea

Like New York, there are lots of cool, free things to attend. There are a lot of cool vendors and stuff that would make great souvenirs. Lately, Hawai’i has been strongly promoting local boutiques/businesses, and art. Thanks to gentrification, these places are in the trendiest and coolest part of Honolulu.

  • First Fridays
    • Chinatown block party
    • Fashionable boutiques with local designers
    • Good food, good drinks, good bars
    • Lots of bars and a few pool halls to visit
    • Art exhibits with local artists
    • Parking is hard to come by

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  • Art & Flea
    • Every third Thursday of the month
    • Held at various areas in Kaka’ako
    • Vendors, good food, good drinks
    • It’s according to a theme, so dress up for it! (The last one I went to was dog themed)
    • Fashionable, stylish, cool, trendy!
    • Parking is hard to come by

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4. Watching sunsets/sunrises on the beach/cliffs

How can you resist or avoid doing this? Sunsets are magical back a home! It’s a wonderful backdrop for photos, proposals, dates, and so on. It’s so serene with all the ombre of orange to midnight blues! The best places to view it is on the beach or on sea cliffs.

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5. Exploring Waikiki at night

Although it’s a tourist trap, Waikiki is so much fun to explore at night. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do at night! I love walking by the shops, walking on the beach (which really isn’t allowed), and seeing the street performers.

The last time I was there, an Middle Eastern dance troupe was running around. They were blasting their folk songs, dancing, and had a train of people following them! They were even dressed up in costume!

Also, every Friday night, there’s a fire work show at the Hilton!!!!

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