Grindz of the Day: Koi's, BBQ Corner, 49'ers, Zippy's, Natto, Adobo, Beef Tomato & Cookie Flowers

Grindz of the Day begins today with a Shrimp Scampi plate and Garlic Ahi plate Diner A and myself picked up recently from Koi Catering and Takeout.

Remembering how long it took our food to come out on our first visit here several years ago due to big crowds in a small place, this time we phoned in our order. Which even then, by the time we arrived to pick it up, we still had to wait about 5 minutes for our plates amongst a continuously building line of other hungry patrons.

Koi’s is certainly popular, with many folks on Yelp giving them 4 and 5 star ratings….

I was actually a little bummed I had called in my order based on the menu on their website, as had I known they had Hamachi steamed Chinese style as a daily special, I would have ordered that!

Should have asked about that when we phoned-in our order. Oh well. I was also bummed when they said they sold out of crab cakes. Really? At 11am sold out already? Alrighty then.

Well, all we wanted was a really good seafood plate lunch, which Koi’s are known for, whatever that may be. So Diner A decided to get the Garlic Ahi, which is actually the same thing Diner C ordered the last time we were here. Except this time he got it in plate lunch form instead of being served on a salad…

Koi Catering & Takeout – Garlic Ahi: Fresh Island Ahi Seared with a Garlic Seasoned Blend with Koi’s Signature Sweet Wasabi Sauce. $8.45

Here you see how the Ahi fillet is cut fairly thin, fried in a garlic-seasoned blend batter and smothered in Koi’s signature Sweet Wasabi Sauce…

Cutting into it for a bite, we find it’s full of flavor thanks to that batter and very moist and tender, belying it’s thin cut where you’d expect it be overcooked and dried out, but it’s not!…

Their “signature” Sweet Wasabi sauce is also very good, with a subtle, complimentary sweetness to it and a good nose-clearing kick of distinguishable “Wasabi action” going on, while the white and black sesame seeds give it a nice nuttiness.

Their salad is a slight spin on the classic Macaroni Salad, using a medley of various pasta shapes and colors instead of the usual small macaroni elbow pasta. Otherwise, according to Diner A it tasted pretty close to classic mac’ sal’, albeit with a more interesting dimension of textures and some extra herbs that complimented without complicating it. Overall, thumbs up.

Summing up Koi’s Garlic Ahi with Sweet Wasabi sauce plate with a “kicked-up” mac-turned-pasta salad, he gives it a “last Friday of Lent delicious” 3 SPAM Musubi.

And once again, save for the other scoop of mostly untouched rice, Diner A puts his seal of approval by polishing the plate!…

While that Hamachi steamed Chinese style daily special would have been nice, I ended up quite satisfied with Koi’s Shrimp Scampi plate…

Koi Catering & Takeout – Shrimp Scampi: Tiger Shrimp (really?) sauteed with Garlic Butter and Fresh Herb on a bed of Linguine. $6.75

The shrimp were smaller than I had hoped, yet for what it’s worth, they had all the flavor, sweetness and tenderness of tails twice their size. Plus they were expertly shelled and deveined, which is always appreciated.

Just as important, the well-seasoned, garlic-infused butter coated all surfaces of the tail meat like glue, so it was Shrimp Scampi “flavortown” in every bite. OK, I’m watching too much Triple D now. lol But really, it was.

The linguine pasta was done perfectly al dente and was flavored simply by the run-off garlic butter from the scampi. Perfect. A squeeze of the lemon and it was all good.

While the accompanying buttered French Bread was wonderfully toasty and generously buttered…

If anything, it could have used some garlic in the butter for the bread, but with enough garlic in the scampi, it sufficed as is. Basically a “shrimp-ee, garlic-ee butterfest” on a plate. Can’t complain about that!

Summing up Koi’s Shrimp Scampi plate, I’ll give it a “garlic butterlicious” 3 SPAM Musubi.

Moving on to the next dish, we have a Hamburger Steak plate Diner E picked up for lunch recently from BBQ Corner…

Witness the deep-brown and ono looking brown gravy all smothered with sauteed mushrooms and onions… yum!…

Behold the holy grail of hamburgers, GRILL MARKS!…

Let’s have a taste…

Ding-ding-ding, we have a winnah! Summing it up, Diner “Saimin Kaukau” E gives BBQ Corner’s Hamburger Steak a super-solid 3 SPAM Musubi, which would probably translate to 5 SPAM Musubi if it had been me.

Good Lord, now I’m craving for a Hamburger Steak or Loco Moco plate!

Speaking of burgers, next we head on over to Aiea at Forty Niner Restaurant, where Diner A and ohana enjoyed a few of their awesome home style burgers, starting with a Cheeseburger…

A Teriyaki Burger…

And a Double Cheeseburger…

With that, Diner A says their burgers are solid 4 SPAM Musubi rated across the board.

Next we have more Facebook coupon values from Zippy’s, this time with 20% off their Chili Nachos plate…

That was mine, which is I always choose the vegetarian chili, as I love MUSHROOMS!

This is Zippy’s Chili Nacho plate with their regular Chili…

How is it? Eh, just OK. I give it 1 SPAM Musubi. Their tortilla chips are bit too greasy and “corny” for me. Plus, with 20% off discount, it seems they also give 20% less cheese. lol

Next up we have Natto on rice, except this time the rice is mixed with Grandma G’s Kim Chee Fried Rice and Charsiu Fried Rice…

Of course with my usual Natto accompaniments, Takuwan (the yellow stuff) Beni Shoga (the red stuff) and Negi (the green stuff). SPAM Musubi rating? 4!

Then we have a few dishes from “Pomai’s Kitchen”, starting with Auntie Lynn’s awesome Chicken Adobo…

Plate ’em up…

The only thing missing was Peppercorns, which I had run out of. But that’s OK, as cracked black pepper seemed to have worked out just fine. The “secret ingrediment” to this masarap-sarap (delicious) Chicken (or Pork) Adobo recipe is PAPRIKA. Yup. I’ll share the recipe with a complete cooking demo’ later.

Next from “Pomai’s Kitchen”, we have another one of my favorite comfort food dishes, local Chinese style Beef Tomato…

I actually got this recipe from Aloha, and it turned out really ono, although I had to modify some quantities here and there to make it taste just the way I like it.

To me, it isn’t “true” Beef Tomato unless it has celery, bell peppers and onions in it, which I never skimp on when making it…

Flavoring the cornstarch-thickened gravy, oyster sauce and ginger are also a must. Such a simple dish, yet so, so ono!

Finally, this past Wednesday was officially “Administrative Professionals Day”, to which Diner C received this Cookie Flower Bouquet…

And to all of you who read/comment/look/lurk/drool over this blog, MAHALO!



9 thoughts on “Grindz of the Day: Koi's, BBQ Corner, 49'ers, Zippy's, Natto, Adobo, Beef Tomato & Cookie Flowers

  1. Pomai, now I call the moment they open at Koi. I inform them what time I will be there to pick food and they got it on time nice fresh and hot for me. The early brids get the worms. The Pillsbury refrid. pizza douggh turn out great for my pesto pizza with tomatos and cheese on it and I use Thai basil for pesto sauce.

    I also make mu own pizza dough at time too. When are you to market your bine mix for turkey and other type of meats it great. In California it cost 7.00 for a little package for one time use.

  2. Man, that all looks great…. but once again, the home-cooked stuff just looks like what I’d want to dive into. Both the adobo and the beef tomato…. something about making it yourself, I guess.

  3. Pomai, your Pomai’s Kitchen food look so ono. Care to try it out at KCC on weekends? Now days people have to be Jack Of All Trades due to jobs lost and must have back up skills to get by. I like learning many skill on my day off and after work too.

    I have to wait in long line at Koi Catering all the time and now call ahead and inform them what time I would be there. Want to make sure I get dishes that always ran by 11:00. Call like Amy moment they open is great.

  4. Pomai, I now see you great in business. Pomai’s Kitchen sound great. I see bloggers now will still have hard time get orders at Koi when everyone called when store open. Got to have back up places like Zippy and other ect..

  5. Darn! I think of trying Bar B.Q. Conner instead of Koi after reading of how other bloggers trying to call ahead when open to get orders in. It will be like radio phone in contest flooded with calls. It sound like great ideal but now everyone know of it.

  6. Michael, yeah, Koi’s seems to get pretty hectic around lunch hour. The place is too small for the crowds they pack in. Big kitchen though!
    Kimo, I don’t plan on opening a restaurant anytime soon. I enjoy having free time to enjoy life, which is something owning a restaurant doesn’t afford.
    Kelike, I’m actually contemplating entering the culinary program at KCC. Not to become a chef, but just to expand my knowledge of the industry and get more credential and respect as a qualified food blogger. That won’t be easy though with my “day job”.
    Marcus, I’ll do a thorough cooking demo’ with recipes of both the Chicken (or Pork) Adobo and local Chinese style Beef Tomato later.
    Amy, when you bake your homemade pizza, do you use a baking stone? I hear the crust turns out much better (more toasty and evenly cooked) when using one. Baking stones also work really great for frozen rising crust type pizzas.

  7. Pomai, I have a pizza stone and see Amy also have one. It great for pizza like getting it from pizza shop. Work great with the Pillsbury pizza dough crust and frozen pizzas too I did try nanns on it also true very well like tandori oven made.

  8. Amy and Kelike, I think you mean Naan.
    If you like Naan bread, check out Cafe Taj Mahal Indian restaurant on the corner of Waialae avenue and St. Louis Drive near City Mill. Their Naan is excellent. They also have a Garlic Naan, which I didn’t try, but it looked and smelled delicious.

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