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Grindz of the Day: Sushi, Laulau ‘n Stuff

SushiMan – Lunch Bento (15 pieces), $7.49

Whether you go to Kozo, SushiMan or Aloha Sushi (three of the largest competing take-out Sushi chains on Oahu), they each have their own version of the “lunch box” as you see above. In SushiMan’s case, they call it a “Lunch Bento”. The made-to-order freshness, quality, variety and value of these “Lunch Box” sushi sets are hard to beat.

Look at everything you get here: 1 piece each: Ahi Nigiri, Hokkigai (clam) Nigiri, Ebi (shrimp) Nigiri, Unagi (eel) Nigiri, Egg Nigiri; and 2 pieces each: Kanpyo Maki, Shinko Maki, Cucumber Maki, California Maki and Futomaki. Plus they give you a generous serving of Sushi Shoga (sweet pickled ginger) and wasabi in a little cup on the side. What a deal!

For what it’s worth (FWIW), a solid 3 SPAM Musubi (borderline 4) for SushiMan’s Lunch Bento on this day. Oh, this is from the Hawaii Kai Town Center location (by Costco). They’re in the center where the concert stage is along the marina waterfront.

Since they were kinda’ hidden in the box, here’s the two California Maki…

SushiMan – California Maki

I was actually quite satisfied with these California maki. I’m usually disappointed with California rolls in maki form as they usually just don’t taste “right”, prefering the classic Temaki style (hand roll), but these were very good. I think it’s the way they shredded the immitation crab meat, and also the kind of mayonnaise they used, which could have been that richer Japanese variety.


In case you don’t know, “Grindz of the Day” entries on this blog are usually just a random showcase of various meals I, or someone I know had at some recent time or another, without going much into detail. Although I’ll try to explain as much as I can remember about each dish.

Moving along, we have another bento that Diner E picked up from Boulevard Snack near on Dillingham Boulevard…

Boulevard Snack – Teriyaki Chicken and Fried Gyoza, $6.49

He also got several maki rolls to go along with it…

Boulevard Snack – Tuna Maki, California Maki and Kim Chee Maki, $1.00 each (wow!)

Diner E gave the Teriyaki Chicken and Fried Gyoza Bento 2-SPAM Musubi, while I got to try a slice each of the maki sushi and give them a solid 3. The sushi rice was PERFECT. And just a buck each!

Next we have a Laulau plate from Young’s Fishmarket…

Young’s Fishmarket – Laulau plate, $12.05

The last time I had the laulau from Young’s, it was a little undercooked and underseasoned. This time it was PERFECT. Supah ono!

Young’s Fishmarket – Laulau

I could have sworn I tasted some butterfish in there just for flavor, although most of it was smokey, tender, tasty Kalua pork. I love PLENTY Luau leaves, and here Young’s does not skimp on it. They give choke.

Their Pipikaula tastes too much like Teriyaki beef. I think they should cut down on the sugar. Otherwise it has very “Pipikaula-like” jerky-tough, yet still moist texture to it. Their Lomi salmon also had enough salmon in it to keep it clear of being nicknamed “Lomi Tomato”. The perfect accompaniment with the Laulau. The Okinawan Sweet Potato was also steamed to perfection and kinda’ helped add the Poi factor, since there was none served here.

See, notice this plate is served with rice, which means one thing, it wasn’t actually my plate. My girlfriend picked this plate up from Young’s and shared it with me at home. If it were my plate, there’d be poi in there as my starch, not rice. For me, Hawaiian Food tastes waayyyyy better with Poi. Gotta’ get Poi. Just gotsda’. But hey, I’m just cleaning up the leftovers in this case, so I can’t complain.

Moving along to our final “Grindz of the Day”, we have some featured daily specials that were on display at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin Waikiki on a recent visit I made there, starting with this basket of deep-fried Tako…

This is Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin’s popular bite-size Tonkatsu…

Some kind of Japanese Cucumber appetizer…

I believe this is seared Kona Kampachi…

Last but certainly not least, the star of the show at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin, the Kurobuta Pork Loin Katsu…

Adding some music to the luau here, Braddah Waltah, the pioneer of Hawaiian Reggae music in Hawaii performed a few numbers at The Shack Waikiki several weekends ago. Here he is…

Braddah Waltah performing live at The Shack Waikiki – Saturday, August 29, 2009

4 thoughts on “Grindz of the Day: Sushi, Laulau ‘n Stuff

  • September 8, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Pomai, since living in California I have use what ever ingredients available in stores. I make my laulau with spinach, pork,fish. Butterfish not easy to find.
    Wrap in foil and boil it. My late mother use to worked at Young Fish Market when it was on Liliha St. taught me how to make laulau.

    Sushi you shown look mighty good. After seeing your photos I will also make haupia and some pipikalua and lomi salmon.

  • September 8, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Betty, wow, your mom used to work at Young’s Fish Market? Talk about a small world. That said, I’m really surprised you’re OK with substituting spinach for Luau leaves to make Laulau. Yet obviously you just have to make due with what’s available in your local market.

    One thing I never learned how to make is Pipikaula. Although it looks simple enough. I must say though, Young’s version is too “Teriyaki-ish”. It’s good, but it doesn’t taste “Hawaiian” if you will, which obviously misses the point.

  • September 9, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Yay Sushi Man! I went to the one on Wilder for ice cream every chance I got.


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