Archive for February, 2009

Final Days of Circuit City

Circuit City will be closing it’s doors for good this Sunday.  They have been in the process of liquidating their entire stock since the announcement of their closing a month ago.  The entire upper floor is closed and the remainder of the stock is on the lower level.  Everything is 50-70% off and that may increase come Sunday.

A few things of note that are remaining:  Guitar Hero World Tour for Wii – $50; Dark Knight, Hancock, Smallville DVDs 50% off; Panasonic Lumix T25 camera $197.99; Canon Powershot A890 $89.99; Guitar Hero guitars for PS3 and 360 $25; Zelda Phantom Hourglass for Nintendo DS 50% off.  There is also a small remaining selection of CDs and DVDs, some DVD-Rs, printers, PC games, and other random computer things.

Good bye Circuit City and to those who lost their jobs I wish you well.

 


Tantalus – A Breathtaking View Minutes Away

Tantalus has long been a favorite place of mine.  Considering its proximity to Honolulu you might think that it gets swamped with tourists and families going for a picnic but I have rarely encountered more than a half dozen people there at any time.  There are actually two different spots on Tantalus I recommend checking out.  The first is the actual Tantalus lookout in the Puu Ualakaa State Wayside Park, which typically closes right after sunset.  You get a wonderful panoramic view of Diamond Head, Honolulu, the airport and beyond.  There is a well maintained  lawn at the lookout point that is perfect for an afternoon picnic.

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The second spot is perfect for checking out Honolulu’s night skyline.  To get to this spot head up Makiki St. and stay to the right when the road forks.  Turn right on Round Top Drive and follow the road up like you were going to Puu Ualakaa Park.  Before you reach the final hairpin turn that precedes the entrance to the park there’s a spot on the right-hand side where you can park your car.  This is a good spot but lots of Japanese tour buses come here at night and it can get pretty crowded.  Park your car there and walk down the road a little till you reach a demolished house with a chainlink fence blocking the driveway.  It’s far less crowded here and you’re afforded a wider view of Honolulu and beyond.

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Ramen Hunt part 1: Goma Tei

Char Siu Tan Tan Ramen

I love ramen.  The first time I had it in Japan I fell in love and that love has only continued to grow.  Luckily, Hawaii is one of the best places in the states and outside of Japan to get this simple, yet surprisingly complex, dish.

A friend of mine in Japan once said, as he was approaching his college graduation, that he was either going to become an Air Traffic Controller or start up a ramen shop.  Lovers of ramen truly love ramen and they accept nothing but the finest.

The Ramen Hunt is my search for the best ramen in Hawaii.  I’m not going to lie, I have not found a single bowl of ramen in Hawaii that even comes close to it’s authentic Japanese counterpart.  That being said, they is still some really great places here and I still have hope that I’ll find something that can compare to the true thing.  So without further adieu… 

In our first episode of our hunt for the best ramen in Hawaii we head on over to Goma Tei.  Located in the Ward Centre next to Borders, Goma Tei has been around for about three years now.  Specializing in Tan Tan, spicy sesame flavored, Ramen it has carved out a strong following in it’s short time here.  Some of you may know Goma Ichi, across the street from Wal-Mart on Ke’eaumoku, which also specializes in Tan Tan Ramen.  Both have very similar tastes and would rate similar reviews from me but I personally prefer Goma Tei.

Men (Noodle)

Goma Tei’s men is average in thickness, leaning slightly to the futoi (fat) side.  Has plenty of flavor and a good texture.  It won’t win any awards for being amazing, it’s just a good, slightly above average men.

Shoyu Ramen

Soup

The soup is arguably the most important part of ramen, if it’s not good then the ramen is no good.  A shoyu (soy sauce) base soup is mainly used here, though they also have Tonkotsu ramen.   The shoyu by itself is pretty light and doesn’t have much depth to the flavor.  If you’re looking for something on the simple side you might enjoy it, otherwise don’t bother.  The Tan Tan soup is also shoyu based but it takes on a new life with the addition of the spicy sesame seed flavoring.  It’s more oily and, combined with the lightness of the shoyu base, has a very good balance.  It’s not too spicy, which depending on your tastes may be a good or bad thing.  I found it to be just right.

Char Siu (Roast Pork)

The char siu here is easily the best I’ve had in Hawaii so far.  Thick sliced with a good balance of fat and meat and so tender that it falls from your chopsticks and melts in your mouth.  No complaints.

Conclusion

Goma Tei is one of my favorite ramen restaurants in Hawaii and as such I highly recommend it.  It’s not going to change your life or anything (there are ramen restaurants that will do that) but it’s definitely worth checking out.  Give the Tan Tan Ramen a try but don’t expect too much from the other flavors.  On a side note, if you’re planning on getting gyoza be forewarned that it invariablely takes forever to come out and is overpriced and entirely average.

Tan Tan Ramen

B-

(light)   1   2   3  3.5  4   5   (heavy)

(thin)   1   2   3   4   5   (thick)

Shoyu Ramen

D

(light)   1   2   3   4   5   (heavy)

(thin)   1   2   3   4   5   (thick)

Goma Tei

*note on grading scale*

I choose to assign a letter grade due to the ambiguity that is inherent in a numerical/star system.  An “A” rating is given for the best of the best, “B” for really good, “C” for average, “D” for not very good, and “F” for complete garbage.  I am admittedly harsh in my reviews and as always they are based upon my own personal opinions.  “Light” and “heavy” refer to how rich the soup is, “thin” and “thick” to the type of men (noodles).

Welcome (back) to Hawaii Metroblogs!

It’s been some time since we last saw a post on Hawaii Metblogs and I imagine that it’s fallen off pretty much everyone’s radar.  If you’re finding this site by accident (as I did) only to be disappointed (as I was) after the initial excitement of the prospect of a local news site written by locals for locals, then I hope I can give you reason to be excited again.  For those of you who don’t live here and are perhaps veteran Metrobloggers perusing the different cities, or you’re someone who’s simply interestind in Hawaii, I hope you enjoy seeing my side of the Aloha State.

I have a number of ideas of what I’m going to post.  These are entirely based upon my interests and as such I will make no attempt to cover every news outlet.  Think of me as the Weekend/Arts section of a newspaper.  I plan on covering a lot of restraunts, hikes, local events, clubs and interviewing locals.  For the Hawaii resident I hope that I might share the things I’ve found interesting with an intent that you might enjoy them as well.  For the non-resident I hope you might gain an interest in Hawaii and enjoy some of the things that we far too often take for granted.

So be sure to keep checking the site in the following weeks and I hope you’ll enjoy what I have to share.  If you’re like me and you love the idea of a local-only news outlet written by local people and think you have something to offer then go to the bottom of the page and find out how you can join us!  Once again, welcome to Hawaii Metblogs!

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