Last night, we were searching for a place to eat. We took our daughter to lessons in Kapahulu so we were looking for something pretty much on that side of town. On the weekend, we had tried to get into that new Japanese restaurant on South King Street that had been featured in the newspaper (Hinone Mizunone - it's a Japanese franchise)...it sounded interesting but no luck. Passing by it looked like standing room only, really full...guess everyone read the same article too. My wife wanted to go to Kochi's but after we parked and peered into the window (surprisingly the parking lot had a lot of empty spaces), we were not sure if they were open or not. Several times before, we had passed by at the same hour and the lot was full and there were tons of people inside. This time, there was no one inside...what gives? Anyway, we ended up going next door to Jimbo's. We go to Jimbo's often enough where we are quite familiar with the food...so no surprises there. At peak hours, there is usually a line and it takes awhile to get a table (small room). If you want good udon, this is the place to go.
Jimbo's make their own noodles(the menu says homemade daily fresh udon noodles) and you used to be able to buy the noodles uncooked to bring home (not sure about now). They have hot versions, cold versions, donburi, and other kinds of stuff. My daughter likes all kinds of noodles (I do, too!) so she was happy about going. She ordered the Tanuki Udon (the one that comes with the tempura chips). I used to order the combos but these days I'm trying to cut back so I order smaller single orders. My wife and I both ordered the Hiyashi Kakiage Udon. It's summer and pretty hot so we wanted something on the colder side. It's cold udon noodles topped with kakiage tempura with the sauce on the side for dipping...yum! When it arrives at your table, it looks soooo awesome. The kakiage is like a huge tempura where there are sliced green beans, carrots and chopped shrimp all combined in a tempura batter and then fried up. First you pick up the grated daikon and chopped green onions on the top of the dish and place into the sauce and mix...and don't forget to mix in the dab of wasabi on the edge of the dish. Break off a piece of the tempura (cause it's sooo big) and dip it into the sauce and then bite...it's so crunchy and crispy, with a melding of those savory flavors from the tempura and the dashi in the sauce...every bite is a delight! And then you alternate with bites of the udon noodles (dipped in the sauce too), then back to the tempura...double yum! Little wonder that you will find many Japanese tourists occupying the tables next to you. Oh yeah, no msg (my wife loves that). Go early if you don't want to wait.
Here's the specials of the day:
Hiyashi Kakiage Udon
On Sunday, we took my daughter and a whole bunch of her friends to the 50th State Fair. During the summer, we have two fairs...the 50th State Fair and the Farm Fair. These events were a really big thing when I was growing up. Throughout the years, it seems like they've kind of gotten smaller and the quality seems to have diminished...but hey, that's me...the kids still love it. Of course, our fairs here don't compare to the ones on the mainland where you can get anything on a stick or the food variety is outrageous. This year there seemed to be a lot less of the local food vendors and more of those stereotype "carnival food sold out of a trailer" type vendors. Sorry I didn't get a lot of pics...plus I didn't really eat as I didn't want anything there. They had vendors selling hawaiian food, korean food, Okuhara fried saimin, hamburger/hotdog/fries, and some other stuff...I thought the assortment of toppings for the roasted corn was pretty awesome(I think it included li hing too), a lot of people was buying this. I took a pic of the plates my wife & friend bought (one is a kalbi plate and the other is korean bbq chicken).
"Hawaiian" roasted corn
Toppings galore for your corn...
Hawaiian food & stuff...
cooking & making the plates...
kalbi plate, bbq chicken plate
Of course the kids got ride wristbands and spent a couple of hours riding. Before we left, I just had to demonstrate to my wife my expertise so I easily won two 2 liter bottles of Pepsi on that game where you throw the ring around a post on top of the soda bottle...the only bad thing was that I had to lug those bottles around following the kids until we left. Boy, was I tired...and hot at the end...guess you really feel your age after awhile...
1936 South King Street
50th State Fair