The best meal from my trip to Honolulu last spring was at The Pig & the Lady. The Astronomer and I found Chef Andrew Le and Mama Le’s brand of Vietnamese-inflected island fare awesomely creative and delicious; we couldn’t wait to visit again on our next trip to Oahu.
Although my schedule was jam-packed with work commitments on my most recent return to the islands, I had to make time for another meal at this fabulous establishment.
I rounded up two hearty eaters (Hi, Thien and Kris) and we Uber’d to the restaurant for lunch. The space was packed considering it was a weekday, but we managed to squeeze in at the tail end of the lunch hour.
Thien sipped on Papa Le’s Iced Coffee ($4), while Kris handled the Cobra Commander ($11). The former was plenty strong yet sweet, while the latter was spiked with avocado mezcal and pink-grapefruit liqueur and chilled with Sriracha ice.
Continue reading ‘Lunch at The Pig & the Lady – Honolulu’
Since June goes to bed before the sun sets these days, The Astronomer and I celebrated our anniversary over lunch rather than dinner this year. Not quite in the mood for a fancy kind of fete, we headed to Honey Badger Noodle Shop in Alhambra for a casual, noodle-centric meal. The couple that slurps together, stays together.
I first visited Honey Badger last October with Louise. While the food we tasted was very good, it arrived painfully slowly. Not to mention, nearly half the menu was unavailable for one reason or another.
Fortunately, the restaurant was firing on all cylinders when I lunched here with The Astronomer. Service, pacing, and food were all on point.
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Our final meal in Honolulu turned out to be my favorite of the entire trip. From start to finish, The Pig & the Lady impressed us with its fun, fearless, and thoroughly delectable Southeast Asian-inspired fare.
Chef Andrew Le and his mother, Loan “Mama Le” Le, initially launched The Pig & The Lady as a pop-up restaurant and farmers market stand before finding a permanent home in Honolulu’s Chinatown. While Chef Le trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Mama Le is strictly self-taught. When the two collaborate in the kitchen, pure deliciousness happens.
The restaurant’s porcine theme is echoed throughout the space, from the napkin holders to the menu. The wet snouts and curly tails set a playful tone all around.
Continue reading ‘Dinner at The Pig & The Lady – Honolulu’
There’s a lot to like about Side Street Inn. From the bold cooking to the generous, family-style portions and warm smiles all around, it’s no wonder that Colin Nishida’s spot has been packed since opening its doors in 1992.
In his article for Food & Wine, Jonathan Gold aptly described the place as “An aggressively multicultural house of big eats that just happen to be served on shared platters, lubricated by oceans of beer.” Sounds like good times, right? Right!
The Astronomer and I, along with our friend Luscious Liana, dined at the newer and fancier Kapahulu location on an evening when we were feeling especially hungry. As is generally the case, we ordered way too much food and had a blast doing so.
The first dish to arrive was “Da’ Famous Pan Fried Island Pork Chops” ($23). Seasoned and coated in a mix of garlic salt, flour, and corn starch then pan-fried to golden brown, the pork chops were “Crispy on da’ outside, Juicy on da’ inside!”—just like the menu promised. A little dip of ketchup and these chops were good to go.
Continue reading ‘Side Street Inn on Da Strip – Honolulu (Kapahulu)’