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Murphy’s Bar & Grill

3 Jun

Murphy’s Bar & Grill

2 Merchant St

Honolulu, HI 96813

Hours: Mon-Fri  11am-2am / Sat & Sun 4pm-2am

CornedBeef

Corned Beef and Cabbage

My fiancé and I ended up at Murphy’s Bar & Grill one night, simply because we were desperate for something new. (Despite being a huge fan of Diner’s Drive-Ins, and Dives, I had no clue Murphy’s had been featured. ) He’s a fan of microwave shepherd’s pie and my family always makes corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s day, but we had never been to an Irish restaurant. Murphy’s wasn’t the best choice for a first experience.

Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

Walking into Murphy’s it was cute, very welcoming and very clean, but nothing like we imagined. That can easily be over looked and didn’t factor into my disappointment with this place. Our server was fast, friendly, and attentive. All of my disappointment comes from the food.

PotatoSkins

Potato Skins

We started off our meal with potato skins. They were cheesy. They were cheesy and that is all I can say about them. The portions were small, the potatoes were burnt and sour cream became the saving grace of the dish. Not a good thing usually.

I ordered their corned beef and cabbage with mixed veggies and mashed potatoes. I LOVE corned beef and cabbage. Salty, fatty, flavorful, it is normally amazing. This corned beef however was try and tasteless. The cabbage was minimal. The veggies were under seasoned and the mashed potatoes were over whipped.

PotatoSkins2

My fiancé decided to get their shepherd’s pie. He was happy with the flavor of the meat, but the potatoes were grainy and unpleasant to eat.

I’m torn on whether I’ll be giving Murphy’s another try.

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Lemongrass…It’s OK

30 Apr

Lemongrass

20 Kainehe St

Kailua, HI 96734

Hours: Closed Monday / Tues-Sun Lunch: 11am-2:30pm & Dinner: 5pm-8:30pm

HisandHerPho

His & Her Size Pho

Lemongrass was one of the first restaurants my fiancé took me to when I arrived here. I have tried their grilled pork, pad Thai, rare steak pho, house special wings, and spring rolls.

SmallPho

Rare Steak Pho

Their grilled pork and noodles was the first dish I had here. The pork was tender and flavorful and the portion size was good.

My fiancé’s go to dish is their pad Thai, but I’m not sure if that’s for the flavor or the varying  degrees of heat they offer. I personally find the pad Thai unmemorable, but my fiancé likes making it unbearably hot.

PadThai

Pad Thai

Our go to order at Lemongrass is pho and spring rolls, like with most places. The pho is ok, most times, inconsistent flavor has varied almost every time we go, but the best thing about Lemongrass pho is their sizes. Unlike most pho places where their small, medium and large are all about the same size, at Lemongrass their small is little, and their large is huge. I always struggle to finish my pho, so their small is perfect, while my fiancé, at most places is left hungry, he loves their large.

Their spring rolls are ok, a slightly stronger taste than I prefer.

SpringRolls

Spring Rolls

Their house special wings are supposed to be their hot chicken wings. They were different and juicy, but not necessarily flavorful or hot.

An always redeeming quality for Lemongrass is their exceptional service. Their wit staff is always helpful, kind, and welcoming. Service is pretty quick and normally very attentive.

Yamas Mediterranean Cuisine

28 Mar

Yamas Mediterranean Cuisine

1020 Keolu Dr

Kailua, HI 96734

Hours:  7 Days a Week 11am-9pm

zuchiniFries

Zucchini Fries

Sushi, pizza, burgers, I have been disappointed by many a dish on this island, but the one thing that never seems to fail is Greek. Before moving here I had enjoyed a gyro or two, but since relocating I’m enjoying a my Mediterranean dishes probably weekly, and although I would have never guessed Hawaii would become my Greek paradise, I’m not complaining.

gyro

Gyro and Garlic Fries

Yamas Mediterranean Cuisine was one of my first Greek stops on the island and it left me more than happy. My boyfriend and I started off the meal with an order of zucchini fries. The fries were perfectly crisp, the zucchini perfectly tender, and left my fingers grease free. Only thing missing was a perfect side of ranch.

We ordered their gyros and garlic fries as our main dish. The lamb was tender and flavorful. The pita was warm and soft. They added the perfect amount a tzatziki. The garlic fries were perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They were topped with just the right amount of garlic.

dessert

Baklava

We finished our meal off with their baklava. I’ve never had baklava before so I have nothing to compare theirs to, but it was slightly sweet, slightly salty, and super nutty with a nice cinnamon touch. It was amazing!

To top it off the service at Yamas was excellent. Our server was attentive without being over bearing. He was helpful in making suggestions and quick on delivery.

Anaheim Packing House – Adya

18 Feb

1436583004278Adya

Location:
Anaheim Packing House
440 South Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805

Hours:
Mon – Sat 11am-9pm / Sun 11am-8pm

Eating at Adya was the first and only time I have ever tried Indian food, so I have no point of judgment on which I talk about this food.

Before I left for Utah, I met up with my old Newport Beach Film Festival team for one more night of fun and we settled on Anaheim’s Packing House.

Although I was personally not a fan of the food, the staff was incredibly helpful and friendly, and service was very quick. The food delivered was fresh, hot, and quite beautiful. I just was not a fan of the flavors, but maybe Indian food just isn’t my thing.

One thing I must brag about however is their beer. I am not a beer person at all, but they have an amazing blood orange beer, that although I cannot remember the name of, I cannot wait to get back to Adya to consume it once again.

ChickenPlate

I Like my Tacos Greasy

25 Sep

Colonia Taco Lounge

13030 E Valley Blvd
La Puente, CA 91746

Hours:
Tues-Thurs 11am-9pm / Fri & Sat 11am-10pm / Closed Sun & Mon

AvocadoTaco

Crunchy Avocado Taco

Reviewing Colonia Taco Lounge is a strange task for me. This place puts my desire and love for greasy carne asada tacos served on the street against my desire to be surprised and see something classic taken to new levels. Colonia Taco Lounge is not a basic tortilla, meat, and salsa taco place. It is a taco shop filled with flavors, toppings, and options you would never ever imagine.

My English professor took me here as a going away celebration and although my taco craving was very disappointed, my foodie side was thrilled by my experience here. I got to try three of their tacos. I ordered their crunchy avocado taco and their fish taco. I got to try part of their campeon.

FishTaco

Fish Taco

Their crunchy avocado was just that, pure avocado, a little bit of corn, topped with a salsa, and served in a crunchy shell. The flavor was good and the avocado was refreshing, but it needed something else to break up that super creamy texture of the avocado. The fish taco was a fried mahi-mahi, spicy honey, and cabbage. I have mixed feelings on the fish taco. The flavors were good and it had a nice kick, but was overwhelmed by the tortilla.

My favorite of the three tacos I tried was the campeon. It is a taco with seared queso fresco, bacon, and salsa. It was simple, but packed so much flavor. The cheese was gooey, but the sear offered a sharp taste. The bacon was fatty and greasy and crunchy. The salsa was spicy. It was a perfect taco and probably so satisfying because it was a slight nod to a greasy street taco.

Colonia Taco Lounge is big and spacious. It seemed like a great place to meet up with friends on a Friday night. The taco menu rotates and changes so will vary slightly every time you go. The staff were all super kind, attentive, and helpful. Overall, although it goes against all my taco desires, Colonia Taco Lounge was pretty cool.

Good Burgers Served Classy

28 Aug

Umami Burger

338 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805

Hours:
Mon – Thurs 11am – 11pm / Fri – Sun 11am – Midnight

**Locations across California, as well as in New York, Nevada, and Illinois**

Sauces

So I sadly must report that I had to leave my internship in Anaheim, but on my last day my wonderful boss and coworker took me out to lunch, my choice. As I’m more of a dirty dive person, I panicked. I wanted to pick somewhere that served food I’d enjoy, but also wanted to pick somewhere my boss would feel comfortable at, thus I ended up at Umami. Umami Burgers, good burgers served classy.

Menu

I had heard my boss and other people around work talk about Umami and how amazing it is. Me being the burger coinsurer that I am I immediately decided I had to try it, but it is located within the Packing District and I got sucked up by all that is the Packing House and after 10 months had yet to give it a shot. This was the perfect opportunity.

TruffleFries - Umami Burger, Anaheim CA

Truffle Fries

I ordered their truffle burger and we ordered their truffle fries and maple bacon fries for the table. The burger which comes with, truffled aioli, house truffle cheese, and truffle glaze, was very very good. The meat was delicious, juicy, and cooked to perfection. I had to contain myself and eat politely and slowly, but I loved every bite.

TruffleBurger - Umami Burger, Anaheim CA

Truffle Burger

The burger was not the star of the meal though. The burger was good, but the sweet potato fries were heaven. Maple Bacon Fries – sweet potato fries topped with maple-braised bacon lardons, rosemary Aleppo salt, and topped with chives. They were crunchy, fluffy, sweet, sticky, and salty. One if the best dishes I have ever eaten.

The truffle fries, which everyone seems to adore, didn’t leave that great of an impression on me. They just seemed like bland, skinny, cheese fries.

SweetPotato - Umami Burger, Anaheim CA

Maple Bacon Fries

Now, although I LOVE the sweet potato fries, and the burger was delicious. I don’t know if I would ever return, at least not on my own. If friends were gathering there or I was invited for something there I would definitely go, but as a place for me to frequent, even the fries can’t make up for the cost of a burger. I felt they were a little over priced. If I’m going to drop that much money on a meal of burger and fries, I’d much rather swing by G Burger and gorge myself there.

Trendy Pub in Old Towne Orange

22 Feb

Haven Gastropub

Location:
190 S Glassell St
Orange, CA 92866

Hours:
Mon-Fri 11am-2am / Sat & Sun 9am-2am

HavenGastropub

Haven Burger

With items on the menu such as a Charcuterie Plate for an appetizer or Wagyu Beef Cheek Poutine for a main dish, Haven Gastropub was slightly out of my norm. Although everything on the menu I had seen or heard of in my quest for foodie knowledge I do not normally frequent places that offer such things. Now before I hype them up too much Haven Gastropub, although offering some “fancy” dishes such as BBQ Pork Belly flat bread or Pig’s Face, foundationally they are a pub serving up craft beer, cocktails, and classics, like burgers, tacos, and fries. Before I dive into what I got to try, Haven Gastropub can be summed up as trendy enough for young people with well-made food to attract those with a more trained palate. It is nice enough to bring a date and laid back enough to come to with friends.

I came here as an office outing for the end of the year. Thanks to that I got to try a lot more things than I normally would. For appetizers they ordered House-made potato chips, pommes frites (French fries), deviled eggs, and fried pig ears. Strangely enough the item I feared the most from the appetizers ended up to be my absolute favorite. The fried pig ears, although strange looking, were crunchy, and salty, and addicting! If you are a pork fan, you will love these. The house-made potato chips were hot, fresh, crispy, and not greasy at all. The pomme frites, as they were thin fries, which I am normally not a fan of, were very well prepared. Despite their thin cut, they still managed to be crispy on the outside and maintain some sort of potato fluff on the inside. Lastly, the deviled eggs – these were not normal deviled eggs, with a kick to it, this was deviled eggs taken to the next level. Another must try.

For my main course I kept it simple. I ordered their Haven Burger. The burger comes with pickled red onions, roasted red bell peppers, wild arugula, st agur cheese, and their awesome pommes frites. This burger was huge and despite the fact that I over did it on appetizers, I devoured the whole thing. The meat was juicy and cooked perfectly and all of the flavors melded perfectly.

I look forward to possibly going back to try some of their other dishes, and more pig ears, but I do have one complaint. Their service was horrible. I must say they were busy and we were a large group (about 10 of us), but it took them over an hour to get us our food and they weren’t checking up on us or apologetic at all. We were just left alone. This may have been an off day and the food was good, so I won’t hold it against them too much, unless it happens again.