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Grindz of the Day: La Tour, Zippy’s & Buk Buk’s

We start off today’s Grindz of the Day with a Matcha Green Tea Macaron from La Tour Cafe. And? C’est si bon, of course!

This dainty box of absolutely scrumptious La Tour Macarons were actually our “dessert” for a gathering we had yet again at the office recently.

For the takeout lunch part, I ordered  La Tour Cafe’s Meatball Banh Mi, which is described as a “Vietnamese style sandwich, with chicken meatballs, pickled carrots & cilantro on a crusty French baguette. It’s served with a very simple Romaine lettuce & cherry tomato salad, with Swiss dressing, along with house-made pickles.

A zoomed-in “money shot” reveals a “special sauce” which I couldn’t really discern exactly what was in it, except that it was like a sweet ‘n sour aioli, if you will.

Upon a complete bite through the “meat” of the Banh Mi, it reveals there is indeed chicken meatballs stuffed in it, which were kinda’ weird, actually in flavor. I mean, good, and definitely moist, but weird-tasting. In a good way. lol

La Tour’s crusty ‘n delightfully chewy French Beguette used for their Banh Mi was certainly up to snuff, yet the one from The Pig & the Lady rules.

Another oddity is, their Do Chua, which is the Vietnamese style pickled Carrots and Daikon, was missing… DAIKON! WT?!

It also could have used a few sprigs of mint and Thai Basil in there, however the sparse, yet fresh Chinese Parsley was adequate, I suppose. Overall, I give La Tour’s Chicken Meatball Banh Mi 2 SPAM Musubi.

Next stop, Zippy’s, late at night at the 24-hour restaurant on King Street near Piikoi, where my bro’, braddah Duke went for the gut-busting Chili Chicken Combo plate.

While Yours Truly also went into “Gut Buster Mode”, opting for none other than Zippy’s Loco Moco, the restaurant version.

As someone I once knew a long, long, long time ago would say, “Ooh, buss’ my body”.. we buss dat’ runny yolk! Oh yeah, baby!

At 2am in the morning? Go fo’ Zippy’s Loco Moco broke! Destroy it! ol

A Zippy’s restaurant Chili Chicken Combo plate at 2:30am in the morning, halfway through destruction.Yes!

Big Island Wild Pig Hunter and supah cool braddah, Braddah Duke!

Speaking of wild pig, Diner E went back again to that lunch wagon this past week for a “hana hou” of that incredible BBQ Teriyaki Pork plate, which come to find out the name of the business is “Buk Buk Kitchen“.

Above stay Buk Buk Kitchen’s Teri Pork mini plate Diner “Saimin Kau Kau” E wen’ stay get from da’ odda’ week, laddat.

Add to that is Diner A’s BBQ Teriyaki Chicken Plate from Buk Buk Chicken.. errr, I mean Kuk Buk Bitchen… err I mean, Buk Buk Kitchen!  LOL!!!

My only complaint is that they put plain chopped cabbage in there, with no dressing at all for it. But eh, screw it. BBQ MEAT! BBQ MEAT! BBQ MEAT! MEAT! MEAT! MEAT! lol

K, OK, cuz, braddah cuz.. now THAT is da’ BOMBUCHA BBQ Teriyaki Chicken plate of the century!  Brah, that’s gotta’ be at least two, or perhaps even three pounds of chicken on top da’ rice! And how’s da’ papa’a action, cuz? Meeean eh?! Whoo, da’ buggah look so juicy and ONO! Brah, I stay hungry now!  Buk Buk Kitchen.. check ’em out!


17 thoughts on “Grindz of the Day: La Tour, Zippy’s & Buk Buk’s

  • March 28, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Eh Pomai, from da previous post, you nevah gonna heah me diss da local plate lunch!  Only ting is I no can grind dem so much any moah – gotta watch da weight ya know!  ;)


  • March 29, 2015 at 3:01 am

    Pomai, now you’re talking of a sandwich I like.  So right grew up meat and

    vegetable together.  Not used to all meat dishes.  My family same too.  Not

    too heavy type of dishes .   Rice with it make it more filling and tasty.  Carb

    is must have.

  • March 29, 2015 at 3:53 am

    Kuk Buk Kitchen is a great name for a food business.  Love it!

    Chili Chicken Combo plate from Zippy’s looks better when you eat it there vs getting it to go.  Perfect 2am gut buster!

    Get da scoops from da coconut wireless network.

  • March 29, 2015 at 6:54 am

    @ Keoni – I actually am not “dieting” right now, as you can tell. My weight is stable at 180 lbs., which is 30 lbs. over what I should be per BMI index, and considered “overweight”, but I’m OK with that. I’m comfortable in my skin right now. I got down to 167 lbs. several years ago, and I know I can do it again, but I’m just not determined to right now.

    @ Kelike – Ah, so you do like Pastrami Reuben. Me too. Gotta’ be on DARK RYE! As for rice, I guess it’s the lack of asian blood in me, as to be honest, I’m kinda’ “over it”. I mean, I’ll eat it of course, but rice isn’t my preferred starch nowadays. Lately I’ve been predominantly into potatoes, followed second by noodles of any type, then third, bread. In fact, my breakfast yesterday was Kabocha Pumpkin simple roasted tender, then drizzled with some melted buttah… buggah was winnahz!

    @ Gayle – Indeed! Or simply “Kuk Buk” as the name of a cook book featuring Filipino, a.k.a. “Buk Buk” cuisine.Tee-hee! What’s funny is, all these years, I thought “Buk Buk” was spelled “Book Book”. lol

    Regarding Zippy’s, ironically, Duke and I went straight there after the Mai Tai Bar closed, and get this: almost everyone else there was from Mai Tai’s! I mean, it’s not like we broadcasted to everyone, “hey folks, let’s hit Zippy’s after this!”,  yet that’s who was there. Must be the pauhana hot spot late at night in town. I don’t know, as I’m not a regular there.

    I remember when I was dating “someone” a long while back who lived in Pearl City, often times when we were out and about at night, our last stop was the Waiau Zippy’s (right across the power station on Kam Highway). And the place was always PACKED! Probably still is. And never failed, her favorite regular dish was Saimin, with a side order hamburger and fries. Man, could she grind!

    I actually was going to order the Zip Min, since Duke went into “Gut Buster Mode”, I followed suit and got the Loco Moco instead. And it was WINNAHZ! Zippy’s brown gravy and thick burger patty was da’ bomb! And sunny side up egg was cooked perfect!

    “Coconut Wireless” is a great name for a Hawaii-based website’s “News”, a.k.a. “Da’ Scoops” page. I was thinking about doing that, however it’s too high maintenance for me right now. I believe the “Coconut Wireless” came from Aku Pupule’s radio show on KCCN AM way back in the day, which in case you didn’t know, he was the HIGHEST PAID DISC JOCKEY in the NATION at the time.

  • March 29, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Yeah. I don’t get the cabbage fill either. Give me cooked or with thousand island and I’m fine. Stir fry it with some carrot julienne and then top with the meat or fish. That is the ticket.

  • March 29, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Pomai, non-related topic.  I notice in the media that Big Island is now referred to as “Hawaii Island”.  Have local people been transitioning also and calling it “Hawaii Island” or does everyone still call it “Big Island” as in, “I going Big Island this weekend.”  To me, it sounds weird to say “I going Hawaii Island this weekend” but I thought I’d ask.

    • March 29, 2015 at 3:55 pm


      Both my mom and dad are originally from the Big Island, and that’s all they referred to it as: “The Big Island”. Mom grew up in Kohala, and dad is from Hilo. My dad was a Hilo Police Officer, who then got his college degree (MBA) and went on to a different career as a leader in Hawaii’s agriculture industry. Mom worked for Aloha airlines as an agent at the Hilo terminal, then later transferred to Hawaiian Airlines’ airport station in Hilo, where she ended up retiring from here on Oahu.

      So yeah, just say “Big Island”. ;-)

  • March 29, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Pomai, I don’t know how tall you are, but I think you look fine – not overweight.  As for me I just like to say I’m momona!  heehee

  • March 29, 2015 at 8:26 pm


    I’m 5 ft. 9 in. tall, with weight currently clocking in at 183.5 lbs. To note, my dad was the shortest of his siblings, being the same height as me. All his brothers (my uncles) are/were over 6 feet tall, and Podagee to da’ max! lol

    Here’s the latest photo of me, taken just last week (3.19.15) at a “foodie” event, with the beautiful Melissa Chang of Frolic Hawaii…

  • March 30, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Anoddah place to check out nex’ time I come home in April! Making my list! Buk Buk Kitchen… already know Zippy’s Piikoi (mandatory breakfast stop!)

    • March 30, 2015 at 7:37 am


      Have you ever been to Sunrise Restaurant on Kapahulu avenue? It’s an Okinawan restaurant (on of very few on Oahu, next to Utage in Dillingham Square) in that gets RAVE REVIEWS on Yelp. Haven’t been there yet myself, yet will soon! Another place to consider when you get back home. ;-)

  • March 30, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Long-time reader, second-time poster.

    I love this site.

    I love the pics.

    I love the honest reviews.

    T’anks, Pomai!  Youdaguy!

  • March 30, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Fried chicken chili mix.  Best two things on the Zippys menu imo.  The teri plates from Buk Buk’s look really tasty.  Need some mac salad on that plate.

  • March 30, 2015 at 9:50 am

    @ pukapants – Hilarious screen name!LOL! Mahalos for da’ Aloha! :-)

    @ kobi-San – Gotta’ add the classic ZIP MIN to the “best of Zippy’s Restaurant” list. IMO, that’s arguably THE BEST SAIMIN you can get in Hawaii, with Palace Saimin in Kalihi a close second. Zippy’s Podagee Bean Soup kicks @ss too.

    Regarding Buk Buk’s, they should make the cabbage into a simple local style cole slaw.

  • March 30, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Have you ever tried the Chili Moco at Zippy’s?  That’s pretty ono, although I wish they would use the burger they use for the Prime Burger instead of the regular plain burger.  But I guess I could request that for a little more $.

    Speaking of cabbage at the bottom of plate lunches, Sheldon Simeon of Top Chef fame, has a dish on his menu at Migrant here on Maui.
    “Bottom of the Plate Lunch
    Shaved Kula Head Cabbage, Rendered Ribeye Schmaltz, Warm Kalbi Dressing”

    He got the idea from when he would buy plate lunches and all the juices from the meat would drizzle down to the bottom and mix with the shredded cabbage.

    I’ve been to Migrant but didn’t try that.  Everything else we did try though was ono, although this was “interesting”:
    “French Onion Tsukemen
    Iwamoto Ramen Noodles tossed in Garlic Oil, 12 hour Braised Short Rib, Kula Onion Soup, Grated Gruyere, Micro Cilantro”

    • March 31, 2015 at 4:42 am


      Yep. Sure have. Did a review TWICE on Zippy’s Chili Moco here and here. As  noted, the shear “brilliance” in their execution was the addition of mac salad mayonnaise in between the burger patty and the rice. Genius!

      As for the Prime Burger, the last few times Diner A ordered that, even that had the cheaper, smaller patty in it. Zippy’s is really getting “squeaky” in portions with their takeout side of the restaurant. Like really bad. The last Zip Pac I ordered barely had one scoop of rice in it! I could imagine the Kahului location, where the prices are also about $1 or more higher than Oahu. Thankfully Zippy’s dine-in restaurant is still good on portion and value.

      Wow, both those dishes from Migrant by Chef Simeon sound incredibly creative. Chances are even if you hadn’t mention it, that French Onion Tsukemen would be my choice as well.

      As you know, Iwamoto Natto Factory (Paia) makes the noodles for Sam Sato’s famous “Dry Noodle”. And you can also buy those same noodles at Ah Fook’s Market in Kahului.

      Going through Migrant’s photos on Yelp, looks like Chef Simeon does quite a bit of “outside the box” Iwamoto noodle-based dishes. Even his basic “Saimin” looks and sounds seriously kicked-up!…


      • April 5, 2015 at 10:31 pm

        I never noticed the mac salad mayo before.  Guess cause I was chowing down on the rest of the chili moco!  As for Migrant, the French Onion Tsukemen dish was “interesting” as in “kinda of weird”.  We love French Onion Soup and we love noodle dishes but put together and it just didn’t seem like it went well together.  But that’s just us.  The rest of the meal was pretty much grind, grind, grind!


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