Uncle Bo’s

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was really excellent at Uncle Bo’s on Kapahulu. The waitress was a real pro, full of smiles and very candid. She was on top of her game and didnt miss a beat from the moment we sat down till the moment we paid the check. In fact, we had a coupon and forgot to read the fine print indicating we had to come after 8pm she spoke to the manager on our behalf (so we could redeem our voucher) and we really appreciated all her help and attentiveness. The only not so memorable in a good way service was the hostess who tried to seat us in the back room because we didnt have a reservation. The restaurant had plenty of empty tables out front so it was a bit particular that we had to ask a few times not to site in the dark, cold back of the restaurant especially when arriving for dinner so early at 6:30pm. The manager finally interviewned and told her she could seat in front with everyone else! ha ha ha

Food: The food was not so great at Uncle Bo’s its average but nothing really stands out as delicious or memorable which you look for from a restaurant and keeps you coming back time and time again. Everything we ordered was very overly sweet including the Baby Back Ribs, Clams and Pork Kabobs. You can find a good assortment of pupu’s, pastas, pizzas, seafood & poltry entrees at Uncle Bo’s with a asian-pacific meets italian theme to it. We also ordered a “Crab  Salad with Avocado” but where disappointed when it only had 3 small little pieces of crab a few pieces of avocado and the rest was all ham and a traditional cob salad. It was very boring and miss marketed for sure. The best thing we ordered was the Spicy Tuna Wraps, they where creamy and very tastily but not even remotely spicy.  

Favorite Dishes: Spicy Tuna Wraps

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Uncle Bo’s is nice. The restaurant has high ceilings and interesting artwork. The restaurant used to be Anti pastas so one wall has some interesting stanglass windows with garlic and other italian themed pictures covering it. The feel is trendy especially with the dark walls, floor and hanging chains. The front of the restaurant is lovely, however, the back of the restaurant has a completely different ambiance with low ceilings and rather dark / constricted. Our recommendation is to make a reservation and request the front seating area or go another time. The bar only has about 4-5 stools so its more of a place to mingle while waiting for a table than to grab a quick bite.

Consistency: We go to Uncle Bo’s every once and a while but it has been about a year since the last time we went. We are not particular impressed any time we have been with the food but it was convenient with the kapahulu location and late hours to grab pupus with friends, however, now that the new Side Street opened down the street i’m sure we will not be back to Uncle Bo’s for a good  long while (the pork chop at side street is to die for!).

Parking: Uncle Bo’s does not have free parking but there is a small private parking lot right next to the restaurant which costs $5 or you can find metered street parking which is free after 6pm and usually pretty easy to come by at night. If you have troubles across the street is another paid parking lot with ample spots as well.

Price Range: Medium ($12-$27) per Entree
Corkage Fee $10 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
559 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 735-8311
Website: http://www.unclebosrestaurant.com

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Sunday: Dinner – 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

uncle bo's crab and avocado salad

Crab & Avocado Salad

Uncle Bo's clams restaurant review

Clams

Uncle bo's ahi bites

Spicy Ahi Wrap

uncle bo's baby back ribs

Baby Back Ribs

uncle bo's kebabs

Pork Kebabs

uncle bo's restaurant

Decor

 

Home Bar & Grill

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was good at Home Bar & Grill on Kalakaua ave. Both our servers where really nice, cute and really stayed on top of our groups service. Often times with a large group the service can be slow or some people’s dishes / drinks are not right but this was not the case with Home Bar & Grill which was just great.

Food: The food at Home Bar & Grill is typical bar local style cuisine. Items you can expect to find on the menu include grilled meats, fries, poke, kim chee, salads, loco moco, burgers, seafood and even chicken gizzards. The menu also includes a Home Bar & Grill Burger Challenge featuring three 8oz kulana burger patties with cheese, bacon, sauteed onions, mushrooms, fried egg and a pound of fries. If you can finish it in 15 minutes you get it for FREE. Its a fun local spot with good bar food variety and flavor-full food. 

Favorite Dishes: Pork Chop, Parmesan Truffle Fries, Garlic Soy Beans (edamame), and the tater tot nachos.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is the old Slammers and they didn’t really do much to change the inside of the restaurant. It’s kind of run down looking with miss matched chairs and tables. The ambiance is dark and is the type of place you would meet some friends late night for grindz or maybe even a secret lover! haha

Consistency: This was the first time we went but will update this section next time. We do have some friends who say its consistently good for drinks and pupu’s after work though!

Parking: They have a valet parking private lot out front with a few limited spaces….or you can try to find street parking but be careful late at night because the area is a bit ghetto after dark.

Price Range: L0w ($9-$26) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
1683 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 942-2237

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sun: Dinner & Pupu’s 2 p..m – 2 a.m.

Home Bar & Grill

Rib Eye

Home Bar & Grill pork chop

Pork Chop

home bar and grill restaurant review

Truffle Fries

Mai Tai’s Bar

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is hit or miss at Mai Tai’s Bar in the Ala Moana Shopping Center but typically (during the day and early evening) its pretty good. Only when it gets late at night does it get a bit harder to get good service as it gets so packed. That being said, more than one time has our pizza come out cold or later than all the other dishes but whenever you complain they always are quick to rectify the mistake by getting you a replacement item fired ASAP and then taking the dish off your bill which is really excellent service and absolutely does make you feel alot better about the whole situation. The reason we think is because they share a kitchen with Forest Gump so the waiters have to travel a farther distance between retrieving the food and servicing the guests.

Food: The food is good for typical bar food and they have a playful assortment of local favorites and standard bar items like seafood appetizers including popcorn & coconut shrimp, ceviche, ahi, sliders, salads, sandwiches , and great flatbread pizzas on the menu. For a great deal on drinks and pupu’s you have two chances for Happy Hour everyday from 4pm-7pm and then again from 8pm-11pm. Happy Hour deals include $4 Martinis, Wine, on the Rocks $3-$8 Pitchers of Beer and $5 select appetizers

Favorite Dishes: Flatbread Pizzas, Avocado Spring Rolls, Sliders, and Edamame

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Mai Tai’s is wonderful. They have the perfect outdoor but indoor seating and it really relaxing and a great place to enjoy the outdoors and beautiful Hawaii weather during the day and the night. The tables and decorations have a Tiki & Hawaiiana theme and the waitresses all sport matching aloha wear outfits which brings the whole ambiance of the restaurant up a notch.

Consistency: Mai Tai’s is pretty consistently good. As mentioned before they also have a tendency to bring out the food not completely hot so be prepared for that (and remember to send it back!). Other than that they have great food, a full bar and a consistently cool atmosphere to be enjoyed!

Parking: Mai Tai’s has lots of free parking because it is located on the top floor of the Ala Moana Shopping Center making this a great place to meet after-work or anytime for some drinks and pupu’s with friends.

Price Range: Low ($7-$12) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Live Local Music Twice A Day Every Day
4pm – 7pm & 9:30pm – 12:30am

Address:
1450 Ala Moana Blvd • Honolulu, HI 96814
4th Floor, Ocean Side
Tel: (808) 947-2900
Website: h
ttp://www.maitaibar.com/honolulu/about.php

Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
NFL Sundays 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Happy Hour Everyday: 4-7pm & 8pm -11pm

 

Mai Tai's restaurant in Ala Moana review

Garlic Edamame

BBQ chicken flat bread pizza from Mai Tai's in honolulu

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Outdoor bar in Ala Moana

Decor

 

Zap’s Cafe & Lounge

Overall Review: Cork

Service: The service was pretty good at Zap’s Cafe & Lounge in Honolulu. When we arrived our waitress informed us of a Happy Hour martini rate of only $3 which we where excited about. Upon asking the type of well liquor we where surprised that not one of all our group had heard of the vodka type. The upgrade for any name brand (Smirnoff, Sky, Absolute, Kettle, Grey Goose, etc) was no less than over double priced at $7 per a drink! Our friend had to then negotiate them down to $5 to be competitive with the bars in the area and seeing as we expected a large group to join us for Pupus after work we wanted to get a good deal. The waitress and manger were very accommodating and even called the owner to get approval for our request which was awesome. So we give the service at Zap’s a thumbs up but would hope the owners research the happy hour rates in town before setting themselves up for failure.

Food: The food was …..in the words of a friend….”Meh” –  Everyone in our group was left feeling like the food wasn’t that bad… but it really wasn’t that great either. The best thing by a long shot was the sweet potato fries, so if you go make sure you order at least 2 for the table to munch on. Other items on the menu included breakfast all day, pasta, burgers, salads, pupus, steaks, mac and cheese and other American classics & local favorites. Everything overall needed more seasoning and a little more pizazz.
Download Zaps Cafe & Lounge Menu

Favorite Dishes: Sweet Potato Fries, Edamame (a bit sweet), Pork Chop (Ok but dry and needed some dipping sauce to spice it up a bit). TIP: Don’t order the Eggplant Katsu it was really overcooked and like cardboard

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Zap’s is pretty basic. Nothing really is exciting about the interior of the restaurant or interesting for that matter. They do have a pool table and darts which are fun bar time activities but we didn’t play them while we there. The interior has both lounge seating, a bar and restaurant style seating which is nice for all types of social engagements.

Consistency: We have only been once to Zap’s and don’t think we will return anytime soon. It was OK but nothing very exciting or delicious. Unfortunately we don’t think Zap’s has a long future ahead of it.

Parking: Zap’s does have a small parking lot in front with room for maybe 10 cars.

Price Range: ($4.50-$14.95) per Entree (some market price items)
Corkage Fee $ per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
1018 McCully St
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 942-0012
Website: http://zapcafelounge.com//

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday-Saturday: 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday: Open for Private Events After 4 p.m. Only

Zap's Cafe Pork Chop Image

Pork Chop

Zaps Cafe in Waikiki Eggplant Katsu picture

Eggplant Katsu

SOUL – Cuisine with Aloha & Spice

Overall: corkage

Service: The service was the best thing about SOUL. The restaurant is a mesh of full service and plate lunch get it yourself service. You are seated by a waitress and given menus, water and a very pleasant smile! then once you decide what you want to eat you need to go and order at the counter, pay and then be re-seated. Once your order is complete the waitress brings it out to you and also clears the table. Both waitresses where absolutely jewels. Both exceptionally friendly and helpful – to bad the food was crap!

Food: We where soooooo very excited to try this place as the menu was mouth watering… sadly it was some of the worst food we have had in a while! they should name the restaurant Soul – Cuisine with Salt & Frozen Ingredients! The cuisine menu is a mixture (as promised) of Southern food and Hawaiian comfort food. Staple items on the menu include Seafood Gumbo & Grits, Pulled Pork, BBQ Ribs, Fried Chicken, Feta & Crab Mac & Cheese (sounds delicious), Jambalaya etc. The food was all pretty bad, the ribs where fatty and chewy  – everything was kind of old tasting and very salty. The trout was fishy, the salad was over dressed and the mash potato’s where even cold… they tasted like glue….. everything was pretty disgusting! The salad we ordered was the best thing and lets face it, it is pretty hard to screw up mixed greens! that being said, the salad was named “Avocado and Papaya Salad” which would indicate more than 1 piece of papaya and 1 little piece of avocado. False advertising 4 sure!  and overall the restaurant is pretty darn expensive for the shabby quality of ingredients served.

Favorite Dishes: To put it bluntly – we didn’t like anything. The best thing was the wine we brought with us!!  The Avacado & Papaya Salad was the best thing we ate (see Food above). The Fried Chicken did look delicious, but we didn’t try it this time around. Our waitress did say her favorite thing was Shrimp and Grits but – again…. can’t recommend anything from this visit!

Atmosphere: We enjoyed the atmosphere at Soul very much. It is a cute little dive with a fun personality and was pretty clean. You can site either outside (about 3 tables) or inside (about 10 tables) which is nice for variety. They had interesting art and the overall place feels pleasant once inside. They also had great music – not loud at all and very easy going Island style beats.

Consistency: Well we have only been once and after such terrible food it will be extremely hard to go back and give this restaurant another shot. In the spirit of fairness and for the benefit of our readers we will go again and update this review at that time….. so stay tuned!

Parking: Well as all restaurants in this little mini mecca of Kaimuki there is very limited free parking for the 6 restaurants guests. If you go early and are lucky you can snag a spot (no more than 20 in front and back). If you are unlucky or go after 6:30 you can park for $5 at the lot across the street and hope you don’t get a ticket (which has happened to us before). Good luck!

Price Range: Medium ($12-$22) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
St Louis Dr & Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 735-7685.

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. .
Sunday: Brunch – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinner – 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Aloha and Spice ribs review

Spare Ribs

Soul Location

Side Street Inn

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is wonderful at the new Side Street Inn on Da Strip! from the moment the valet opened the car door, to the moment we were seated the service was excellent. The staff was smiling, happy, and down right pleasant through the entire meal. Its rare to find such good service and it commendable!

Food: The food is served family style so its the perfect place to go with lots of friends & family for pupus or dinner. The menu is very typical of a local style restaurant with lots of Asian and Island flavors, lots of meat dishes, appetizers and overall good grindz.  Each dish was served hot, fresh and in a timely manner so its no wonder the place was packed!

Favorite Dishes: Nalo Green Salad (big and delicious), Pork Chops, Hoisin BBQ Baby Back Ribs (all ribs are just delicious!), Garlic Soy Beans, and drum roll….Peanut Butter Crunch dessert. Sooooo freaken good!  (Tip: Don’t order the fried rice, its very heavy and not very crispy)

Atmosphere: The new side street in has a great atmosphere. The restaurant has ample seating and airy high ceilings prefect for absorbing all the noise. The Side Street in has both booth and table seating making it a very homey, bright and modern restaurant you can feel comfortable wearing anything in.

Consistency: We have only been to this new location once but the food is consistently tasty with the other Side Street Inn location on 1225 Hopaka St.

Parking: Oh the parking… yes not our favorite part of the evening seeing as the only convenient place to park is the valet service provided by the restaurant at a $5 fee without tip! Don’t get me wrong… I’ll pay for valet but if I eat at the restaurant I hope to get a better deal than $7-$8 per a visit. Of course you can always find free street parking on Kapahulu if your lucky.

Price Range: Medium ($8-$20-Market Price) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
614 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 591-0253 or 596-8282
Website: www.sidestreetinn.com

1225 Hopaka St.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel:(808) 591-0253 or 596-8282

Hours of Operation:
Hopaka St – Sunday – Saturday 2:00 pm – 2:00 am
Da Strip – Please call restaurant as hours for new location are TBD

Sidestreet In Whole Fish Picture

Steamed Fresh Fish

Side Street Pork chop product review

Pork Chop

Kaka’ako Kitchen

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is excellent at Kaka’ako Kitchen. They have a very low employee turnover rate and all the staff goes above and beyond their job descriptions to provide provide excellent and personable service.

Food: The food is really good at Kaka’ako Kitchen. It’s a favorite spot of locals and they serve great plate lunches which are always fresh and hit the spot every time! You can also order your plate with either fresh Nalo greens, crispy fries, or macaroni salad depending on what your in the mood for and what fits into your dieting.

Favorite Dishes: Fried Rice (only served at breakfast), Furikake Mahi Wrap, Seared Ahi Chop Salad, Furikake Tempura Catfish (extra delicious!), Sweet Chili Chicken, and Fresh Catch of the Day. (TIP: The salad dressing is to-die-for and you can also purchase a bottle for $7 to take home)

Atmosphere: The restaurant is one where you order at the counter, pay, take a number and then they bring your plate to where you select to sit. There are both outdoor (covered) and indoor seating available and its a great place to go for a quick bite. The atmosphere is laid back and it’s the perfect place to people watch.

Consistency: The food is consistently excellent and exactly what you expect it to be every time! We have never been disappointed with the food.

Parking: The good news is parking is free at Ward Center. The bad news is you have to fight for your spot! It’s recommended to park in the lot across from the movie theater and walk across the street or tackle the parking structure.

Price Range: Low ($8-$12) per Entree
No Alcohol Permitted
Phone & Fax Orders Accepted!

Address:
1200 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
Telephone: (808) 596-7488
Fax: (808) 596-9114
For Catering: (808) 596-7491
Website: www.wardcenters.com/dining/merchants/kakaakokitchen.html

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday – 8am-9pm
Friday-Saturday – 8am-10pm
Sunday – 8am-5pm

Big City Diner

Overall: corkage corkagecorkage corkage corkage

Service: The service is always very good at all the Big City Diners. The staff has a lot of Aloha and you always feel right at home.

Food: The food is excellent. The menu screams classic American “diner” but with a local flare. There is something for everyone at the Big City Diner and its sure to become your families favorite! They also have an excellent Happy Hour Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm with your favorite dine-in pupus at 50% OFF and $1 OFF big beers, house wines and well drinks. Big City Diner also features a weekly menu selection of $10 entrees which are delicious, fresh and make the menu really exciting.

Favorite Dishes: Ultimate Vegetable Omelet, Bloody Marys (designated as breakfast food), Fresh Fish & Eggs, Fried Rice, Ramen, Salmon Salad, Paniolo Chicken Salad, Taco Salad, Upcountry Veggie Sandwich and many others!

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is nothing fancy but that’s part of the charm. Its a place where you can never be under dressed and is perfect for spending time and a quick bite with friends and family. Each location has the same homely environment and they even have a treasure chest and balloons for the keiki’s! yay!

Consistency: Each location is excellent and we never leave disappointed.

Parking: For the Kaimuki location the best place to park is at the Kaimuki shopping center. For the Ward Center location directly across from the movie theater is a good place to start looking for parking or in front of Nordstrom’s Rack. If you are in a rush you can valet on the second floor of the movie theater parking lot for $5.

Price Range: Low ($8-$20) per Entree (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
No Corkage Fee!!
Take Out Available
Reservations Not Needed

Addresses:
Big City Diner – Kaimuki
3569 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu – (808) 738-8855
Website: http://bigcitydinerhawaii.com/

Visit For Menu’s & Daily Offers!

Big City Diner – Ward Center
1060 Auahi Street, Honolulu – (808) 591-8891

Plus locations in Pearlridge, Waipio and Kailua!

Hours of Operation:
Sun-Thursday: 7AM-10PM
Fri-Sat: 7AM-12AM (midnight is last seating)

Big City Diner Tofu Omelet

Tofu Omelet

Big City Diner In Hawaii

Wings