Oahu Food Guide: Day 2

 
 


Hi, friends! Here we are with Day 2 of our Oahu Food Guide! (Be sure to check out Day 1 if you haven't already.) 

Let's not waste any time and just jump right into the food! I think we skipped breakfast that day because we knew we were going to have a full day of eating ahead of us. Just kidding, we stopped for Taco Bell before heading out of town. I would add Taco Bell into this post, but I don't think you need me to tell you how amazing Taco Bell is. 

 

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck 

After all of that drinking at DnB’s and Beer Garden the night before, we still managed to get our hungover asses out of bed and get to Haleiwa on the North Shore of the island for lunch. I’m sure many of you have heard of Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, which is famous for its garlic shrimp. And does it live up to its hype? YES. Yes, it does.

There are a handful of items on their menu, but just get the shrimp scampi (garlic shrimp) plate. Trust me. It comes with 2 scoops of rice and a dozen shrimp for $14. This is the description from their website: “A dozen shrimp marinated in olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, and lemon butter, served with two scoops of rice all drizzled with garlic lemon butter and caramelized chunks of tasty garlic.” Now doesn’t that sound absolutely divine?! I don’t know how they do it, but it’s amazing.

I have tried their hot & spicy shrimp plate and guys, don’t do it. IT’S HOT. And I really like spicy food. I drank my entire bottle of water while eating it to calm the burning sensation in my mouth and I still could’ve used more. It’s too hot to even really enjoy. If you do decide to try it, be prepared with lots of water, my friend!

Some pro tips:

Be prepared to wait for parking and also wait in a very long line to order. I suggest dropping someone off to get in line while the driver looks for parking. If possible, also have someone save a table for your group while someone is waiting in line to order. It gets really crowded!
Bring your own extra napkins and/or wet wipes. It can get messy and they only give 2 napkins per plate. You can also wipe down the table if the people before you were a bunch of messy eaters. :p

Address:
66-472 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
Phone number: (808) 293-1839
Website: giovannisshrimptruck.com
Hours:
Sunday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Monday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

 

Okina Café

Located in the food truck next to Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, Okina Café is the perfect place for a refreshing and healthy(ish) treat after all that butter and garlic you scarfed down. They have real fruit smoothies, acai bowls, organic iced teas, and boba, to name just a few of their menu items. We each had a fresh fruit smoothie and it was the perfect balance to an oil/butter-heavy lunch.

They also offer 10% off if you check in on Yelp!

Address:
66-472 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
Phone number: (808) 447-7707
Website: okinacafe.com
Hours:
Sunday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Monday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

 

Tonkatsu Tamafuji

After living in Japan, I didn’t think I would ever find anything that even came close to the katsu I had in Japan (especially at Wako-see my Kyoto blog), especially in Hawaii. But alas, it exists! Tonkatsu Tamafuji makes, hands-down, the closest to actual Japanese katsu that I have ever tried.

If you’re anything like me, I learned lots of names of Japanese food in Japanese, but I have no idea what it translates to in English. SO, I’m going to try to help you guys out with some of the menu items that are confusing, because either you have to guess with the google-translated English, or you have to know how to read Japanese.

Coincidentally, we ordered the two things on the menu that involve some Japanese that most people probably don’t know. I ordered the Pork Loin Cutlet Egg Toji Set and Justin ordered the Jyukusei Pork Loin Katsu Set. Both were so noms!

For my dish, if you can imagine this… it was like a katsudon but without the rice underneath and a bit more soupy. The Japanese on the menu says "donabe katsu toji teishoku" (土鍋かつとじ定食), so for those of you that know Japanese food by its (Westernized) Japanese name, you’ve probably heard it as just, "katsu nabe". "Nabe" just means cooking everything in a pot. The "do" in front of "nabe" just means it comes out in the sizzling black pot, as opposed to a regular pot. "Toji" means the whole 'cooked with egg and shoyu (soy sauce)' thing. Justin’s dish was just a really thick piece of pork katsu!  "Jyukusei" means aged. So, he had aged pork katsu. It was really tender, so I bet the aging process has something to do with that.

Every set comes with miso soup, pickled veggies (tsukemono), shredded cabbage, and your choice of rice. Don’t let the menu confuse you (see menu photos below). That first one is white rice LOL, if you want white rice, go with that one. (They definitely used google translate, yeah?) It’s a type of rice that’s from Hokkaido and it’s famous for its glossy appearance, sticky texture, and balance of sweetness. Seasoned mixed rice is takimomi gohan for those of you that may know it by that name, but can’t read Japanese. And the last one, 5 grain rice, is pretty self-explanatory, yeah? Okay, Japanese lesson ends here. My brain hurts.

The shredded cabbage and rice are refillable throughout the meal, so you know we had a few servings each! I love the shredded cabbage so much. But, you know what really makes the cabbage good? The sauce! Each table has two different types of sauce and one is supposed to be for the cabbage and one is supposed to be for the katsu (I think, and don’t ask me which is which in the photo because I have no idea). But, the main thing is that they’re both really good and you can’t go wrong with either. If I remember correctly, one had more of a ponzu taste, and that’s the one that’s recommended for the cabbage.

You also get a textured bowl filled with goma (sesame seeds), that you’re supposed to grind yourself and add sauce to it. You’re then supposed to use this to dip your katsu in. Fun, yeah?

HIGHLY RECOMMEND 

Menu:

A few tips:

If you’re staying at a nearby hotel, call the restaurant and ask them to put your name on the wait list and tell them you’re leaving now. If you’re not staying near the restaurant, call when you’re about 10-15 minutes away. It gets super crowded at dinner time so even a little bit of a head start helps. And I don’t believe they take reservations.
Go early, if you can. We went just after 5:00 pm, and we still had to wait (first seating was at 5:00, so we got second seating).
Park in the underground garage of the building (it only costs a few bucks, enter on Kapahulu – easiest if you’re coming from Waikiki), or utilize the street parking on Kapahulu (metered on weekdays until 6:00 pm).

Address:
449 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
Phone number: (808) 922-1212
Hours:
Sunday: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Monday: 4:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 4:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Thursday: 4:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Friday: 4:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm

 

And that's all for Day 2! Lots of good food, right?! Be sure to keep an eye out for Day 3 because it was filled with just as much deliciousness! 

Thanks for reading. <3

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