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Archive for the ‘okazuya’ Category

No bento for me today as I took the day off so that I could drop the in-laws off at the airport and so that I can pick up the kids this afternoon. I have a lot of stuff to do today including stops at Fabric Mart so that I can find more material for my White Mage costume I’m making for the FFXI Fan Festival in November, the post office to mail out orders, Costco to buy fruits, Foodland or Marukai to buy food, and maybe the post office in town if I feel like going all the way down there to pick up my newest eBay purchases. What I’m looking forward to the most though is lunch.

Before I get to that though, I went to Marukai yesterday since Mr. Pikko was held up at work and said I was free to go if I wanted to so of course I had to go. They had new inventory in and had tons of this box similar to the Fine Will one everyone wanted:


I realize it doesn’t look as stunning as the Fine Will one, but I still think it’s a great color and a great box in general. This box is in the AIB store right now, so if you want to purchase one better grab it up soon! I don’t have that many. (4) +_+ The good news of this new arrival at Marukai is that it means Marukai is buying the junk discontinued stuff from Skater, who makes awesome boxes. At least, that’s what I assume happens with dollar store merchandise… I guess green isn’t a very popular color in Japan? That’s great news for me because I do think green is my favorite color bento box!

I had mentioned I was going to sell my Fine Will one on eBay to hopefully make a bit more money and I finally got around to doing so today. The listing can be found here.

Anyway, I mentioned lunch. Since I’m going to be at the airport, that’s just a bit away from Kalihi so I’m definitely going to make a stop at Monarch Seafood. A few years ago I used to work in Kalihi and though as a little Japanese girly I was at first scared of working in what I’d only heard of as a “rough” neighborhood, I found that the plus of working there is all the great places you can eat lunch. There are tons of okazuya shops there. To the people who haven’t heard of it, okazuya places are basically bento food stores where you go in and pick individual items to build your own bento lunch. You can read an article about it here.

If you look at the list at the bottom, there are 4 places in Kalihi! I’ve eaten at Gulick Deli and it’s a bit oily for my tastes and I went to Mitsuba once but I got there at the tail end of lunch so there wasn’t much left. I tried on several occasions to get the infamous Garlic Chicken from Mitsu-ken across the street from Mitsuba but since my tightass boss then was under the impression that lunch could be inhaled in 15 minutes and the line outside that place is always ten kinds of nuts, I never did get to eat there. In fact, that’s how I ended up eating at Mitsuba.

Anyway, I’m not eating at any of these places though. Monarch Seafood is this small little fish market on a corner right across from the Kalihi Bank of Hawaii that sells the most awesome plate lunches. And while you’re waiting of course you drool over their big selection of poke. I haven’t eaten there in several years, so that’s where I’m going today. The part that sucks is that their parking is as great as Waiola Shave Ice by the zoo: they have none. I’ll post pics later or tomorrow!

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After long, tiring, endless, painful hours of planning (2 hours this afternoon) and a quick tossing together in the kitchen tonight (3 1/2 hours) I have finally completed my 100th bento! It’s a sealife theme featuring some creatures that I’ve seen before on the crazy Japanese bento site e-obento.com.


The corners each hold 3 pieces of maki: 1 cucumber, 1 ume, and 1 avocado. Tucked inside the three pieces is a piece of okra. I have no idea what it tastes like, but it looks cute. heh. The ocean water in the middle is made of white rice dyed blue and green to give it a more aqua look. Click this close-up picture to enlarge.


At the bottom I have some furikake “sand” with a crab hotdog on it with cheese/nori eyes. I learned tonight that Redondo Hawaiian Winners, though nice and bright red, do not make for good bento hot dogs. They’re very difficult to cut due to the little balls of fat. Plus, finding little balls of fat is gross in itself. I’ll stick with turkey hot dogs!

The coral is cut with an exacto knife out of bell peppers. The fishies are carved out of carrots and bell peppers. The starfish is made out of kamaboko (fishcake) and has sesame seed eyes and a nori mouth. The squid in the middle is made from a Redondo hot dog and the head is a thin slice of turkey hot dog.

Since this is an obscene amount of rice, I doubt I will be eating the ocean. The 12 pieces of maki and the two hot dog pieces are more than enough to fill me up for lunch. It sure doesn’t feel like I’ve done 100 bentos!

Many of you know that I’m giving away some bento items in celebration of today’s lunch. I wrote everyone’s name on a piece of paper and folded them all up and put them into a little lacquer bento box. Baby Girl picked one out and the winner is…

Jennie from the US!

Why Jennie loves bento:

Because I need and want my children to eat healthy well balanced meals. Plus sometimes it is just cool!

Congratulations Jennie! Funnily enough, I shook those little papers around like crazy and yet the person who won was the last person to enter. ^_^ I’ll be in touch for address info and what not!

My regular readers may remember that I mentioned a certain okazuya shop a couple weeks ago in Hilo called Y’s Lunch Shop. My Aunty K did in fact deliver me some of their awesome fried fish and musubi and it tasted exactly as I remembered it. Having just relived the old taste memories of high school so recently, I was very sad to receive an e-mail informing me that the “Pop” of this little “Mom and Pop” okazuya store had passed away. Frustratingly, I don’t remember his first name; I only knew him as “Mr. Miyamoto”.

He was a very kind old man, I remember going next door to buy something to eat and sometimes he’d give me a couple extra potatoes. (probably cause he’d seen me scrounging in the car for any little coins to use) I remember sitting on the back steps watching him bring back bags of food from the downtown KTA, wondering how it was possible for him to buy ingredients at the same market we shop at and yet produce such amazing fried chicken, egg, fish, and spam musubi. They’d be there at I swear, 3 or 4 am to start cooking their addictive food. Sometimes at the end of the day when they hadn’t sold everything, he’d pack it all up and give it to me or my brother. I had this massive crush on his oldest grandson who I never did get the courage to talk to during the summers he was in Hilo.

I dedicate my 100th bento to Mr. Miyamoto, who smiled a lot and gave to us whenever he could. May Y’s Lunch Shop always be there on Keawe Street. Hilo just wouldn’t be the same without it.

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After long, tiring, endless, painful hours of planning (2 hours this afternoon) and a quick tossing together in the kitchen tonight (3 1/2 hours) I have finally completed my 100th bento! It’s a sealife theme featuring some creatures that I’ve seen before on the crazy Japanese bento site e-obento.com.


The corners each hold 3 pieces of maki: 1 cucumber, 1 ume, and 1 avocado. Tucked inside the three pieces is a piece of okra. I have no idea what it tastes like, but it looks cute. heh. The ocean water in the middle is made of white rice dyed blue and green to give it a more aqua look. Click this close-up picture to enlarge.


At the bottom I have some furikake “sand” with a crab hotdog on it with cheese/nori eyes. I learned tonight that Redondo Hawaiian Winners, though nice and bright red, do not make for good bento hot dogs. They’re very difficult to cut due to the little balls of fat. Plus, finding little balls of fat is gross in itself. I’ll stick with turkey hot dogs!

The coral is cut with an exacto knife out of bell peppers. The fishies are carved out of carrots and bell peppers. The starfish is made out of kamaboko (fishcake) and has sesame seed eyes and a nori mouth. The squid in the middle is made from a Redondo hot dog and the head is a thin slice of turkey hot dog.

Since this is an obscene amount of rice, I doubt I will be eating the ocean. The 12 pieces of maki and the two hot dog pieces are more than enough to fill me up for lunch. It sure doesn’t feel like I’ve done 100 bentos!

Many of you know that I’m giving away some bento items in celebration of today’s lunch. I wrote everyone’s name on a piece of paper and folded them all up and put them into a little lacquer bento box. Baby Girl picked one out and the winner is…

Jennie from the US!

Why Jennie loves bento:

Because I need and want my children to eat healthy well balanced meals. Plus sometimes it is just cool!

Congratulations Jennie! Funnily enough, I shook those little papers around like crazy and yet the person who won was the last person to enter. ^_^ I’ll be in touch for address info and what not!

My regular readers may remember that I mentioned a certain okazuya shop a couple weeks ago in Hilo called Y’s Lunch Shop. My Aunty K did in fact deliver me some of their awesome fried fish and musubi and it tasted exactly as I remembered it. Having just relived the old taste memories of high school so recently, I was very sad to receive an e-mail informing me that the “Pop” of this little “Mom and Pop” okazuya store had passed away. Frustratingly, I don’t remember his first name; I only knew him as “Mr. Miyamoto”.

He was a very kind old man, I remember going next door to buy something to eat and sometimes he’d give me a couple extra potatoes. (probably cause he’d seen me scrounging in the car for any little coins to use) I remember sitting on the back steps watching him bring back bags of food from the downtown KTA, wondering how it was possible for him to buy ingredients at the same market we shop at and yet produce such amazing fried chicken, egg, fish, and spam musubi. They’d be there at I swear, 3 or 4 am to start cooking their addictive food. Sometimes at the end of the day when they hadn’t sold everything, he’d pack it all up and give it to me or my brother. I had this massive crush on his oldest grandson who I never did get the courage to talk to during the summers he was in Hilo.

I dedicate my 100th bento to Mr. Miyamoto, who smiled a lot and gave to us whenever he could. May Y’s Lunch Shop always be there on Keawe Street. Hilo just wouldn’t be the same without it.

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