Hawaii Mom Blog




January 24, 2021

Take-out From et al.

After a conversation with my husband's niece on who makes the best lobster rolls on Oahu, I was craving a lobster roll (happens every time!). Since we were in town on a Sunday morning, we decided to get take-out from et al. in Kahala MKT, since lobster rolls are on their Sunday brunch menu.

et al.'s lobster roll had a nice bun to lobster meat ratio. The meat is tossed in a curry aioli and brown butter sauce that gave it a nice flavor that wasn't too heavy or overpowering.  I loved the thin waffle cut chips w/old bay seasoning.

We also tried the et al. burger, which came with bacon, cheese, Maui onion confit, jang sauce, and fresh cut fries. 

The hubby loved this burger - it was well seasoned and thick!

I really enjoyed the Hawaiian clam chowder. It had real clams in it (with the shell)! While I prefer my chowder to have a thicker consistency, I would still order this again, as I like that they use local ingredients such as ulu and smoked meat.

Take-out service and curbside pick up are available. Call 808-732-2144 to place your order. 

p.s. the lobster roll is not on their dinner menu!


et al. in Kahala MKT
4210 Waialae Ave.
(808) 732-2144
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January 23, 2021

Café Kaila

After an early morning start on a Saturday morning watching the sunrise with a couple of friends, we headed to Café Kaila for breakfast. Normally there is a crowd of people waiting for tables on Saturday mornings, but on this day, there wasn't a line at all at 8 am. While it's great that we didn't have to wait for a table, it was a good reminder of how these locally owned small businesses need our support.

My friend ordered the avocado toast, which consisted of a hefty serving of avocado, greens, cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, on a roasted focaccia bread. 

She also wanted to try their fried rice, so she ordered a scoop of fried rice on the side. 

Our other friend ordered the eggs benedict and upgraded the starch to fried rice. She was only able to finish half of it!

I was hoping they had the cornbread waffle on special today, but it wasn't so I got the regular Belgian Malted Waffle with caramelized apples. Cafe Kaila's waffles always have a crisp exterior and fluffy interior.  I used the whipped cream on the side as a dip for the caramelized apples. 

Before you leave, check out their display of pre-packaged cookies in assorted flavors on the counter - they're only $10 ($11 for certain flavors) and great for gifting or snacking on. 

Café Kaila has only indoor seating, however, tables are spaced out, temperatures are checked prior to entry, and take-out is available. 


Café Kaila
2919 Kapiolani Blvd (Market City Shopping Center)
(808) 732-3330


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January 22, 2021

Wrap Hack / Tortilla Trend

After I tried the Korean Wrap Hack, I decided to try out the original "Wrap Hack" / "Tortilla Trend" itself using a flour tortilla.  

It really is a fun way to make meals, allowing everyone in the fam to customize the wraps to their liking.

Just cut a slit on the radius of one side of the tortilla, and fill each quadrant with whatever your heart desires - turkey, cheese, lettuce, onions, avocado... it's a great way to use up leftovers!

After you fold up each part, toast it in a pan (straight on the pan or in some oil), and you've got yourself a super convenient and yummy meal.

I'm trying out some dessert ideas next! 


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January 21, 2021

Peanut Butter Cups Made with Medjool Dates

A while go, I read in a magazine that you can make Peanut Butter Cups (my fave!) with Medjool Dates, which will give the treat a nice, subtle caramel flavor.

If I could make a PB Cup that tastes good and is a healthier version than what I usually eat, then I thought this would be worth a try.   

I simply took 1/2 cup of pitted Medjool Dates and soaked them in water for 10 minutes to soften them up.  I then put them in a blender with 1/2 c creamy peanut butter, and blended until everything was well combined.

In a microwave-safe bowl, I heated 2 c chocolate chips with 1/2 c creamy peanut butter for 1 minute on high.  Stir until smooth (if it's not completely smooth, heat up for another 30 seconds).

In a lined mini-muffin tin, I poured approximately 1 teaspoon of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup (shake or hit the tin onto the counter so the bottom of each muffin cup is smooth and even).  

I then scooped approximately 1/2 teaspoon of the date mixture, rolled into a ball, then flattened a little before placing into each muffin cup.

Pour approximately 2 teaspoons of the melted chocolate mixture into each muffin cup, making sure the date mixture is coated completely (again - shake or hit the tin on the counter to smooth and even out the chocolate).

Refrigerate for at least an hour, and enjoy!

They are truly delicious!  

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January 20, 2021

The Alley at Ala Moana Shopping Center

If you have recently been to Ala Moana shopping center, chances are you have seen the lines for The Alley, a popular boba chain from Taiwan. Sure enough, when we arrived a little after 5pm on a Tuesday, there was a line of people waiting to get their boba fix. I decided to order online and let my daughter shop while we waited for our set pick up time. Fifteen minutes and 3 tops from Brandy Melville later, we went straight to the pick up window and our boba drinks were ready for us in a paper shopping bag.

The Alley makes their own tapioca balls from scratch and by hand. They also make their own sugar cane syrup to ensure quality and flavor. This definitely comes through in their boba drinks. I customized my Royal No. 9 milk tea with oat milk and while I loved the boba, I should have stuck with the regular milk because it was not as creamy as my daughter’s The Alley Trio milk tea. The Alley Trio comes with boba, coconut jelly, and konjac jelly. She loved it. 

Oahu already has many great boba shops, but The Alley makes a welcomed addition to Ala Moana shopping center especially with their  online ordering! 


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Kim Chee Fried Rice

A couple of  years ago, Chef Alan Wong gave me a copy of Hawaii's Plantation Village 25th Anniversary Cookbook, on which he wrote a Foreword.

In this cookbook are a lot of nostalgic recipes, ones that reflect Hawaii's history and our diverse culture.

One such recipe is for Kim Chee Fried Rice.  I followed the basic instructions, but made several tweaks.   

I simply chopped up 1/2 can of SPAM, browned it in 1T oil, then threw in 1 c chopped kim chee, and stir fried everything for a couple of minutes.

I then added 3 cups of day old rice, 2 T kim chee juice, 2 stalks green onions chopped, and 1 t sesame oil, and mixed well until the rice was evenly coated.

Top with a fried egg and garnish with chopped green onions.

Quick and easy!

Find the original recipe in Hawaii's Plantation Village 25th Anniversary Cookbook.

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January 19, 2021

Korean #WrapHack

TikTok seems to be where a lot of food trends happen and go viral.  One such trend that I only recently became aware of (since I am not on TikTok) is the #WrapHack.  It's basically where you get a flour tortilla, cut the radius of one side, put ingredients in each of 4 quadrants, and fold into a convenient, tasty wrap!

People have been putting all sorts of ingredients, and my friend Val posted a Korean #WrapHack that she replicated from Chef Chris Cho.

It consisted of rice, kim chee, SPAM, and egg in a toasted sheet of nori.

Since I had all of the ingredients, I had to try!

The key is to toast the nori so it holds up to all of the ingredients (and don't take too long taking pix, otherwise the nori will become soggy).

It's a fun way to make a portable, hand-held meal.

I'm already thinking about what other ingredients I can use for fillings.

To find out how to make the Korean Wrap - check out Chef Chris Cho's video here https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ6_EzhAn1T/.


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