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Grindz of the Day: Ahi & Vegetable, L&L, Pier 21 & Zippy’s

We begin today’s “Grindz of the Day” at Ahi & Vegetable, a highly regarded eatery according to Yelpers, located in the Kapalama Center, right across the street from City Square (the old GEM for you old school folks).

Above we have a trio of Spicy Ahi and Spicy Salmon Bento, which includes the requisite Sushi Shoga and a side of Miso Soup for about $12.

Being essentially the same thing as this, all chopped up…

On that thought,  below is the same thing, except with the sub’ of Ahi Poke instead of that third Spicy Ahi “patty”…

Summing it up, Diner W and Diner J gave their Spicy Fish Patty bento from Ahi & Vegetable a quadruple thumbs-up, saying it was totally worth the $12 price of admission. I sampled some of the Spicy Ahi myself, and absolutely concur. Oishii so!

Next up, as you know my mom’s a big fan of Chinese, where here we have the “localfied” version of Sweet ‘n Sour Spare Ribs, done L&L style (the location in Market City Shopping Center, on the bottom level next to Ben Franklin)…

Amazingly, Mom gave L&L’s take on Sweet ‘n Sour Spare ribs a THUMBS UP of approval!

Next up, the Mushroom Chicken special of the day from Pier 21 that Diner E ordered recently, sub’d with Fried rice instead of white rice and mac’..

Guess how much for that massive plate? $6.75. And he really enjoyed it. Now that’s what I call bang for the buck!

Finally, Diner J was amazed neither Diner E nor myself have ever tried Zippy’s “infamous” Chili Cheese Fries. So he so kindly bought us each one to try…

And? It’s just OK, personally speaking. I actually have never liked my fries “messed with” too much. The most I go is Gordon Biersch’s most excellent Garlic Fries, and that’s about it. When they start throwing everything else, including the kitchen sink? Nah, not my style. I’m kinda’ an all-American “purist” when it comes to fries. Ketchup, and I’m good. Never-the-less, much appreciated Diner J for “turning us on” to your Zippy’s fries go-to fave!

That is all for now. Toodles. ;-)

15 thoughts on “Grindz of the Day: Ahi & Vegetable, L&L, Pier 21 & Zippy’s

  • July 16, 2016 at 8:00 pm
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    The Pier 21 Chix looks good, just like home. Your mom is right about those spare ribs, they look good….but all that mac salad? Not a chance.

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  • July 17, 2016 at 6:19 am
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    The Spicy Ahi and Spicy Salmon Bento looks solid!!!!

    And respect to fries, I am with you (dash of Lawry’s sprinkled over the fries with ketchup for dipping)) with the exception of Carne Asada fries.  There, I need a fork and I am OK with that.

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  • July 17, 2016 at 9:06 am
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    Pomai, I been a mac salad fan when I was a kid. Never pass by it. Perfer the salad more than rice. Mom would shake her head at me.

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  • July 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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    Pomai, I tried Quebec fries which I found to be very good and filling. Think plate lunch where everything gets mixed together. French fries, cheese curds and brown gravy. So far there are only two restaurants I will buy it at and they are both back in New England.

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  • July 18, 2016 at 5:45 am
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    @ Ken – Hmm. Never heard of Quebec Fries (almost literally “French Fries”?). I’m guessing they’re equivalent to the Belgian style Pommes Frites, which are typically served in a rolled-up newspaper cone.

    Now that we’re talkin’ fries, my favorite are waffle-cut fries, especially the seasoned ones served at Dukes Waikiki. The best! Well, Henry Kapono playing live in concert right there on Waikiki beach helps make it taste better, too. ;-)

    @ Amy – Mom always orders “double Mac’, no rice”, because A: she loves Mac’ and B: we always have a big pot of rice made at home, and she prefers that over the two scoops typically given with takeout plate lunches. Me? I’m pretty much “over” rice. More of a potato and pasta guy now when it comes to starch. That said, I just weighed myself this morning, and I’m down to 173 lbs. Almost back to my 2012 major weight loss weigh-in!

    @ ArnyB – Hmm. Never heard of Lawry’s Salt on Fries, however I shall try it! Mahalo for the tip! I actually have one of them kosher salt mills (Costco’s of course lol), the one where you crack the salt like pepper over your stuff. I’d never go back to iodized table salt after that!

    @ Pat – See my reply to Amy above.

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    • July 18, 2016 at 11:47 am
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      Pomai, Quebec fries in Canada was where they started covering their French fries with fresh cheese curds and brown gravy. In the U.S. Quebec fries are known Pouting. The city I lived in back in mainland was mostly made up of French Canadians that moved to mainland to find work and Pouting was a favorite dish in town like poke in Hawaii. A lot of French Canadian cuisine was served in City restaurants however the two best restaurants I found were 1 all Canadian restaurant in CT and one in Central Fall, RI (all Hispanic).

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      • July 18, 2016 at 11:52 am
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        Pouting should be “poutine”. Spell check strikes again!

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  • July 18, 2016 at 8:36 pm
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    Pomai, I have a French made Original Heavy Duty professional surgical grade stainless steel razor sharp “Bron Mandoline” (MSRP $210) with three sets of cutter blades 1 each side for 6 total). The top adjustable plate does micro thin slicing or flip the cutter blades up and open width to julienne cut whatever size you want. Only thing holding you back is your imagination on the cuts you can make. The bottom adjustable plate does wavy cut any thickness. By rotating the product 90 degrees after first cut you end up with waffle-cut. BTW, I didn’t use the hand guard one night and paid the price of having the palm of hand waffle-cut and it was hell getting hand to heal. Never, Never use a food slicer mandoline without the hand guard!!!

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    • July 19, 2016 at 6:02 am
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      Ken,

      Regarding Poutine, totally silly O/T on that, but in local Pidgin English, we say “Poutine”, which in proper English means “poor thing”. In a sentence, “Awe, look that stray dog. Poutine.”

      Regarding gravy on fries, I first got turned on to that at the St. Louis High School cafeteria (shared with Chaminade), where they used to pour this KILLER brown/teriyaki gravy on the fries served alongside my teri burger. OMG, the best!

      As much as I LOVE cheese, not really a fan of it on fries, as I find that combination way too rich for my taste. Like deep-fried cheese. OVERLOAD.

      Regarding your mandoline “hand slicer”, been there, done that! I had (can’t find it now) the Japanese mandolin called a Benriner, which I used for slicing cabbage SUPER FINE to serve with Tonkatsu. The angled blade on that model is RAZOR sharp! Well, one time I basically sheered a substantial amount of the underside tip of my pointer finger off. Bled profusely. Surprisingly, having not gotten stitches, it totally healed over, where you can’t even tell that happened.

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      • July 19, 2016 at 2:56 pm
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        Guess you’ve never tried Animal Style fries at In-N-Out Burger.  Cheese and grilled onions on top of the fries, then a Thousand Island-type sauce on top.  We usually get it “well done” (double-fried) without the sauce.  Yum!

        The teriyaki sauce/gravy on the fries sounds good.  I usually dip my fries in all kinds of sauces, depending on what I’m eating with them.  Gravy, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, etc.

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      • July 19, 2016 at 8:26 pm
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        Pomai,
         
        The Canadian cheese curds at least the ones I’ve had are fairly small and flavorful but they don’t melt all over the fries from the heat and the gravy but stay soft and complement the fries and gravy as a separate taste. So don’t think Quebec fries or Canadian “Poutine” is overloaded with brown gravy and gobs of melted cheese making fries soggy because on the contrary it is a really nice dish with flavor. BTW; I also have a Japanese Benriner Mandolin Vegetable Slicer with all the razor sharp cutters. There are things I like the way the Japanese Mandolin is good for and there are things the French Mandolin is good for.

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  • July 20, 2016 at 6:17 am
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    @ David – I’ve been to two In-and-Out locations just outside the Vegas strip, and both didn’t really “wow” me. Definitely good stuff, but not like “OMG, we SO need an In-n-Out in Hawaii!” blow me away ‘kine. That said, if In-n-Out DID open in Hawaii, they would KILL it here! So would Trader Joe’s!

    As you know, Five Guys Burgers & Fries recently opened in Mililani.

    @ Ken – Got it on the Canadian Poutine. Good to here it’s all complimentary to each other and not a soggy fries piled-up “mess”.

    One thing I like about the Benriner is it’s very easy to clean by nature of its simple and portable design.  I never did make use of the Julienne blades (in various cut sizes) it comes with. Only the default flat, angled blade. That said, I can pretty much get the same super-fine cuts of cabbage with my good ‘ole chef’s knife and a cutting board.

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    • July 20, 2016 at 9:41 am
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      In May we vacationed in SoCal and decided to try Five Guys since we had never tried it before.  After hearing about the hype, we were underwhelmed to say the least.  We did like all the toppings you could put on your burger but the burger itself was just okay.  We didn’t like the fries at all.  I think I ate maybe three and that was it.  Probably the best part of the meal was the free peanuts that they give out.  Now those were good!  The soda machine was cool too, where you could add different flavors to your soda.  So many different combinations.

      We do like In-N-Out much better.  Sometimes I’ll get Animal Style, sometimes a regular but with grilled onions instead of raw onions.  And always well-done fries.

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      • July 20, 2016 at 8:48 pm
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        My godchild took me to an In-N-Out Burger in Reno, NV and I found it to be so so for the price against Teddy Bigger Burger ordered my way (naked burger, ketchup and pickle with onion). I made a special trip up to Millilani town center from Makaha to try this so called great Five Guys Burger.  Pretty much walked right in and ordered not knowing about free peanuts!
         
        The cash register lady got me confused so I ended up ordering a double burger with grill onions, pickles and ketchup (basic burger to taste meat for me), small fries, bacon hot dog with mustard and small drink. The bill came to $27.39 with tax. WHAT—-are these made of GOLD!!!!!
         
        Double that for two and shall I take a lady out in Waikiki Beach to one of the restaurants and enjoy a full dinner cheaper than that for two??? To tell the truth, the burger was semi juicy mostly from grilled onions and the fries and hot dog worked well microwaved the next day as left overs.
         
        After checking CA prices I found the chain has added $3 pricing to each menu item over CA pricing almost the same as Buffalo Wild Wings. Yes it does cost to ship to Hawaii and if you never freeze your beef then you should be purchasing beef local not jacking up the price per item; Five Guys Burger just got my one and only patronage just like Buffalo Wild Wings.

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  • July 21, 2016 at 3:58 am
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    Pomai, what so special of tossing burger patty on the grill?. I perfer flame broil at BK. Taste is much better. Back from Malaysia where they served deep fried hamburger with bun dip batter and deep fried. People line up for it. Street food.

    Reply

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