City Square in Kapalama, originally a GEM department store, has become a bustling strip mall with a variety of businesses, including a pet shop (in the space where Shiro’s Saimin stand used to be), a flower shop and, where Grocery Outlet was formerly located, a discount used furniture warehouse store.
What actually is its current anchor tenant and partial-namesake is Honolulu City Hall, a government office where folks from all over the island come to get their Hawaii state driver license, take care of DMV matters and other City & County affairs.
When hunger strikes, there’s also an interesting variety of eateries to choose from. So this past week, me and my two coworkers went here to seek out whatever it is we felt hungry for.
Diner “A” had the “ono’s” for a bento, so he went with a Garlic Chicken and Teriyaki Beef mini bento from Sugoi Bento and Catering just a few doors mauka of Young’s Fish Market…
Sugoi Bento & Catering: Garlic Chicken and Teriyaki Beef Mini Bento, $5.35
He loved the Garlic Chicken, but wasn’t very fond of the Teri’ Beef.
Sugoi Bento has a substantial selection of local favorites on the menu, including breakfast, ala carte dishes, bentos, noodles, salads, plate lunches, and even their own bottled signature bottled sauces. I’m most curious about that Ahi Loco Moco. There’s also a Teri Loco Moco. Very interesting.
Diner “E” checked out Young’s Fish Market where he chose a Pastele and Turkey Tails plate…
Young’s Fish Market: Pastele (Puerto Rican) and Turkey Tails. Includes 2 scoops rice and mac’ salad, $7.00.
Well OK, that doesn’t make for a pretty presentation in a photo, but Diner “E” said that Pastele was excellent. And he ALWAYS orders those juicy Turkey Tails at Young’s, which is one of his favorites.
As you may know, Young’s Fish Market is one of Honolulu’s most reputable purveyors of Hawaiian Food, serving up what is arguably the BEST Lau Lau in the state. They have Hawaiian combo plates that range from $8 to $15.
Or you can get all the good stuff ala carte: Laulau, Kalua Pig, Pipikaula, Salted Butterfish, Salted Salmon, Chicken Long Rice, Tripe Stew, Squid Luau, Pua’a Na’au Lu’au, Beef Stew, Pasteles, Butterfish & Watercress, Raw Crab, Inamona, Dried Aku, Dried Opae, Dried Ahi, Poke, Haupia, Kulolo, Sweet Potato, Char Siu, Roast Pork, Turkey Tails, Boiled Peanuts, Smoked Marlin, Portuguese Sausage, Chili Pepper Water and Sashimi platters. Hungry yet?
I chose Korean and went with a Fish Jun plate from Chong’s Bar-B-Q…
Chong’s Bar-B-Q: Fish Jun plate, $6.50
Chong’s has a rather cozy dining room where you’re served restaurant style, or you can order take-out like I did here. The typical Korean menu is all here, including Kal Bi, Bi Bim Bap, Meat Jun and everything else, all including your choice of 4 Korean style pickled vegetables from the wide selection available at the front counter. I especially loved their simmered Shoyu Potatoes. Winner.
The fish jun batter was tasty and more on the crispy side, which was different, but the fish inside, which I’m guessing was something cheap like Pollock, was rather bland and sliced too thin. Still, the portions were generous, all the vegetables sides were excellent and the price very reasonable. If I worked closer to City Square, I’d certainly make this place a regular stop.
Another popular local eatery here is Kapiolani Coffee Shop, who are known for their ono Oxtail Soup, Pig’s Feet Soup and Kim Chee Fried Rice. They also have hot cakes and eggs breakfasts, sandwiches, burgers, dogs, and plate lunches in a comfortable coffee shop environment.
So next time you need to renew your driver’s license, car registration or transfer a title and the stomach begins to growl, ono grinds are just a few doorsteps away!