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Grindz of the Day: Liliha Bakery, Straub Cafe & WBC

Let’s start today’s “Grindz of the Day” on a fun note, featuring Diner A’s creation that we’ll name Liliha Bakery Crumpet “Volcano Jelly Man”. Which as you might ask, “Pomai, what in the HELL is a Crumpet VOLCANO JELLY MAN!?”

Well, what happened was, Diner E brought Crumpets (very similar to a biscuit) and a fresh bottle of “Volcano Jelly” from Liliha Bakery on Nimitz to share with us in the office earlier this week.

In case you don’t know what “Volcano Jelly” is, it’s sort of like a cross between artificially flavored Raspberry and Cherry jelly, while being very thin in viscosity compared to regular jelly and very sweet. Think a thin “jellified” cherry Lifesaver candy, and there you go.

Some Liliha Bakery regulars also call it “Nuclear Jelly” or “Radioactive Jelly” only because of its luminescent bright red color. It really almost glows!

Liliha Bakery Butter Roll with “Nuclear” Jelly, a.k.a. “Atomic” Jelly”, a.k.a. “Radioactive” Jelly. Photo courtesy of of Jeni Mae M. on Yelp

See, now us three are the advertising and marketing “gurus” of our company, so we have to be creative. However, as it turns out I’m not that creative. At least, not as much as Diner A. In the photo right above, you see I was just “Plain Jane”, simply spreading Liliha Bakery’s famous “Volcano Jelly” on the toasted Crumpet like anyone else would. Bo-ring.

So what does Diner A do? Yup, he goes and one-ups me, dropping by my desk in a sort of show-off way, going, “Hey Pomai, check this out”….

Not only does he create a Lilha Bakery “Volcano Jelly Man” Crumpet, but also a Liliha Bakery Crumpet “Volcano Jelly Pac Man” as well! Genius! **Wok-o-wok-o-wok-o-wok-o-wok-o-wok-o-wok—-**

Yep.That’s why we run the marketing in our company. We’re creative monkeys, somethin’ fierce. lol I think I’m going to use the photo of Liliha Bakery “Volcano Jelly Man” as my new FB Avatar. LOL!!!

Next up we’re at Straub Cafe, to which again you’re wondering, “Where the heck is Straub Cafe, Pomai!?” Well, of course it’s the cafeteria at Straub Hospital, at the corner of Ward and King Street.

I don’t know what it is, but every time I go to visit someone in the hospital, I always get “da onos” for the hospital cafeteria food. They always have my comfort food faves like pot roast and gravy, good ‘ole fried chicken, lasagna and burgers ‘n fries. Dat’ ‘kine stuffs.

On my visit to Straub Cafe this past Wednesday evening, this is what wen’ stay get (these displays look dried out because it was late already, but trust me, the stuff being served in the steamer pans looked ono!)…

Here’s the real deal served…

Straub Cafe Crispy Asian Chicken with Thai Dipping Sauce. $7.99

Thankfully, unlike what they serve their patients, they really do add salt and pepper in  Straub Hospital’s cafeteria food. lol

Speaking of comfort food, let’s sneak in this Zippy’s Chili Burrito plate Diner E enjoyed the other day…

Buggah’ look ono! See, this is the kind of dish I’d totally TEAR APART around 12 midnight after an evening at the next place…

This is Joe, the Brewmaster and part owner of Waikiki Brewing Company, about to add hops into a fresh batch of their popular Jalapeno Mouth craft beer.

In the previous post about Honolulu Beerworks, I mentioned the protocol equipment necessary for operating a microbrewery, which the beginning stage of beer making after milling the grains is the Mash Tun shown above. Here you see Joe removing the spent grains from their Mash Tun.

What the Mash Tun does is extract not just the flavor from the roasted and milled grains, but as importantly from a chemistry aspect, it convert the starches in crushed grains into sugars for fermentation once the yeast is added when its sent to the boiler kettle. The yeast will feed on those sugars, which in turn converts to alcohol. Beer making really is a fascinating science, as it is art.

As for what they do with the spent grains from the Mash Tun, they give some of it away as slop to local pig farmers, and the rest of it is used for baking breads and other uses in their company kitchen. Cool, huh?!!!

You should smell the spent grains when they’re taking it out from the Mash Tun still steaming hot. It already has that “baked bread” smell to it, where you want to eat it straight-up!

Above is Joe’s half-brother (you can see the resemblance!)  Nate, the Manager of Waikiki Brewing Company, showing off a Cheeseburger Waikiki (their next door neighbor and parent owner) Bacon Burger with Sweet Potato Waffle-cut Fries. Dang, does that look ono!

That’s kind of a funny shot: a slider. One Waikiki Brewing Company Pork Slider. Not three, but just one. It’s like it’s naked without the other two there. For that, I must eat you and put you out of your single slider loneliness! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

Above we have Waikiki Brewing Company’s Kalua Pork Cuban Quesadilla, which while I didn’t eat this particular one, I think that’s what I’m going to have later today after “earning it” at the beach. Yes!

Finally, for all you doggie lovers, we have a very handsome Poodle hangin’ out with his owner at Waikiki Brewing Company, where they welcome pets! Which makes sense, being the bar is almost literally on the sidewalk of Waikiki. Poodles are actually one of the most loyal dogs you can own, and they will love you to death. Almost too much, as Poodles usually choose one “Alpha Leader” in the household and become very attached to just that one person.

That Poodle looks a lot like one we used to have.

True story, when I was just a little little boy, we used to have a female Standard Poodle named Jolie. She was personally given (not sold) to my mom by Mrs. Kaiser — the second wife (who was his nurse) of the late and GREAT Henry J. Kaiser — whom used to breed show class Poodles. That said, as part of my mom’s ownership of Jolie, in her early years, Jolie used to get groomed every 3 months by professional groomers working for Mrs. Kaiser at the Henry J. Kaiser oceanfront estate in Portlock, Hawaii Kai.

Jolie was VERY attached to my mom. So much so, mom got worried Jolie would try to attack me when I was just a newborn infant, being Jolie would sit in front of my crib and stare at me for long periods of time. And whenever my mom went to pick me up to feed me or whatever, Jolie would just stare at her in an unpleased way.

Jolie never ever harmed me (I eventually fed her every day), but still, that illustrates how jealous and overprotective she became over my mom, Jolie’s Alpha Leader.

Long story short, when Jolie passed away of old age (she ended up having very bad arthritis), my mother cried for over a week. I will never ever forget that. She really loved Jolie.

9 thoughts on “Grindz of the Day: Liliha Bakery, Straub Cafe & WBC

  • July 18, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    OT as usual, but I was literally listening to Wicked Game as I read your post, I just came on my playlist as I typed in your URL. Coincidence! Oh, and cute doggy.

    • July 18, 2015 at 3:26 pm


      I’m actually pretty good at singing Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” in the Karaoke bar. Probably because of real-life experience related to its lyrics and haunting mood of despair. Oh no, here we go again. LOL!!!

      Really though, great song. :-)

      • July 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

        I was still youngish and idealistic about love, heart intact, when this song came out. Dido’s “White Flag” is the one that most resonates with me now when it comes to “that” real-life experience. Though I never sing Karaoke. Ever. Not enough booze in the world.

        • July 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm


          Oh God, “Not enough booze in the world” to sing Karaoke? Try go to Wang Chung’s in Waikiki after, say 11pm. So many people there singing totally HAMMERED, some totally MURDERING the song! And what’s funny is, when they’re tanked, they always choose these really moody, depressing love songs that you know they’ve never ever sung at a Karaoke bar in their life before. *Liquid courage* LOL!!!

          Ah, “White Flag” by Dido… I LOVE that song!


  • July 18, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Here’s the (very ominous) complete video footage I shot of the 3-alarm house fire that happened this morning on Lime Street, near the Marco Polo on Kapiolani Boulevard (no loss of life, THANK GOD!)…

    • July 19, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      This morning I drove by the home that was on fire on Lime Street yesterday morning, and as it turns out there’s three homes on the same lot: a large newer two story home in front, an also newer single story home in front next to that, and also an old Quonset Hut style home in back. The Quonset Hut home in back looks like the one that was totally engulfed and a total loss, while the two-story home in front looks like it also suffered major fire damage, especially towards the back where it was nearest the Quonset Hut home. Not sure if even that two-story home is repairable. looks like the roof rafters got hit hard with flames, and there’s gotta’ be major smoke damage throughout that two-story home. The owners were there removing all their belongings out when I was there.

      I met the Hawaiian girl who was renting in there that was interviewed on the news, as she was walking her two dogs across the street. Surprisingly she was in really high spirits, saying she was just happy to be alive. I bet!

  • July 18, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Black smoke is very bad, white smoke is better but no smoke is the best! I feel for the family whose house was on fire.

    • July 19, 2015 at 8:22 am

      One of the interesting things I have noted about hospital cafeterias is that they all seem to have a Hawaiian menu day. Kn fact, speaking of Kaiser, I had Hawaiian when I was visiting at Kaiser Hospital.

      • July 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm


        Many plate lunch joints on Oahu have Hawaiian food every Friday in honor of “Aloha Friday”.



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