PHO 27

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was ok at PHO 27. The staff was very friendly but it took a long time for us to get our pho which was kind of strange since the broth is pre-made each morning.

Food: PHO 27 has the dishes you would expect from a Vietmamese restaurant including Green Papaya Salad, Soups, Spring Rolls, Pho, Vietmanese Sandwhiches on French Bread (these looked very crispy and yummy), Rice Noodles, and other Entrees like Basil Chicken, Lemon Grass Shrimp, BBQ Pork, etc. The Pho was average and we don’t think they used MSG which is always a plus (some Pho places you instantly get a headache after eating your soup from all the MSG they add). The other dishes were ok but not particularly memorable. Next time we will try the Vietnamese sandwhiches which looked pretty delicious!

Favorite Dishes: Spring Rolls, Vegetable Pho, and Beef Pho.

Atmosphere: The ambiance is really nice at PHO 27 on Waialae. The restaurant has high ceilings and cool lamps and artwork. Its bright and colorful inside and very inviting. The owners definitely thought about everything including tables that hold napkins, chop sticks and other items inside of them for easy access by both waiters and eaters! The only negative thing is they have a huge TV inside which is really distracting when your trying to talk to friend and family.

Consistency: So far we have only been one time to PHO 27.

Parking: Parking is free and super easy at PHO 27 as the restaurant is located in the same complex as Times and Longs which have 2 levels of parking located out front.

Price: Low ($7-$13.50) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Necessary
Take Out 

3221 Waialae Ave
Suite 21
Honolulu, HI 96817
Tel: (808) 738-0027

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Sunday
Lunch & Dinner
10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls

PHO green papaya salad

Green Papaya Salad

PHO Beef

Vegetarian PHO

PHO Toppings

PHO restaurant pictures

Restaurant Picture


Monsoon India

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was good at Monsoon India for the most part. Our waiter was really polite and all the staff was friendly and pleasant.

Food: The food at Monsoon India on Ala Moana Blv in Honolulu was average but nothing sensational. The menu has typical indian items such as Curry, Tandoori breads such as Naan and Roti, Samosas, Tandoori Meats, Paneer, Biriyani , and other indian classics. The grilled meat Kababs assortment we tried had chicken, shrimp and lamb and was overall very dry. The Naan was super crunchy and was missing the chewiness it typically has which is great for mopping up yummy sauce & curry. The Vindaloo curry was the best thing we tried with Mahi Mahi and had great heat, however, there was only 2 tiny little pieces of fish and the rest was all potatoes. Also something to point out was they didn’t have that yellow rice option with saffron on the menu and only had Basmati rice which was ok but a bit oily overall. 

Favorite Dishes: Papadamu, and Fish Vindaloo

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is nice at Monsoon and homey. It has some indian artwork and other ethnic touches . The restaurant is small and only has about 10-15 tables total. The restaurant overlooks the Ala Moana blvd street which isn’t to pretty but does bring alot of light and airiness into the restaurant ambiance.

Consistency: We have only been once since it changed from Bombay India to Monsoon India and if we return we will update this blog… however, we still feel that Cafe Maharani is the best Indian food in Hawaii so will most likely not come back to Monsoon India anytime soon to satisfy a Indian food itch!

Parking: Monsoon Restaurant has validated parking available at the Discovery Bay building, on the Ocean side of Ala Moana Blvd in Honolulu. You shouldn’t try to find street parking because the parking at the Discovery Bay is super convenient and the elevator goes directly to the level with the restaurant.

Price Range: Medium-High ($14.95-$27.50) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

1778 Ala Moana Blvd
Suite 213
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 941-5111

Hours of Operation:
Dinner – 7 Days a Week
5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Lunch – 7 Days a Week:
12:00 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Monsoon India Naan bread

Garlic Naan

Monsoon India restaurant in waikiki appetizers


Monsoon India Tandori meat mixture honolulu

Tandoori Kababs

Fish Vindaloo at Monsoon India restaurant in waikiki

Fish Vindaloo

Restaurant review of Monsoon India in Waikiki



JJ Bistro & French Pastry

Overall Review: Cork

Service: The service was less than impressive at JJ Bistro on Waialae Ave. The restaurant is family owned and the staff was friendly but very slow to take our order or bring us food. In fact, the items we ordered trickled in one at a time which was strange especially when you want to eat at the same time i.e. appetizers and then entrees together, as a table.

Food: wow the food was bad at JJ’s and overall very lack luster. Everything was eatable but we only ate it because where so hungry…. practically starving! We started with the Kang Lao soup which was in a beautiful bowl but very watery and needed a bit more thickness or flavor to it, followed by the pizza which was so oily the whole bottom of the plate was covered in it. The pizza tasted ok but nothing better than we could have ordered from Dominos! The next dish we received was the vegetarian quiche which was by far the most disappointing dish specially for a french bistro! I mean how hard is it to make a quiche? it was just terrible. The last dish we received was the baked opakapaka and although it wasn’t fishy the sauce was extremely watery and had a strange flavor. We def wouldn’t return to JJ’s unless we where sticking to desserts because they looked pretty good. 

Favorite Dishes: None….. 🙁 bummer

Atmosphere: Ummm the atmosphere was very strange at JJ’s. The artwork is a mix match of all kinds of stuff and really quirky overall. Also the walls where really dirty which was a bit gross to look at while trying to enjoy your meal.

Consistency: It was the first time we have been and most likely the last! we went because we had a Groupon and thought it would be fun to give it a try but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Parking: JJ Bistro has a small parking lot behind the restaurant with some stalls for guests. On the weekend you can also park in the other retailers space because they are closed for the weekend. Besides the parking lot you can try to find street parking which is metered.

Price Range: Low ($5-$9.95) per Entree (Prix menu – $24.70)
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

JJ French Pastry
3447 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808)739-0993

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday 9am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday 9am – 9:30pm
Sunday: 12:00pm – 8:00pm

JJ Bistro & French Pastry restaurant review quiche

Vegetarian Quiche

JJ Bistro & French Pastry restaurant review

Baked Opakapaka

JJ Bistro & French Pastry pizza

Chicken Pizza


Champa Thai

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The staff sooooo nice and they feel like family since we used to go at least once a week (although in the past year have gone less and less). Often times its very busy and takes a while to order and get a bottle opener (HINT: bring your own or buy a screw top wine).

Food: The food has traditionally been always excellent, however the past few times we have been for both lunch and dinner the food was not as good. It must be related to the chef for the day…… The menu has transitional Thai favorites like spring rolls, curries, noddles and so forth. Be warned they use MSG in the food so if your allergic tell them when you order to leave it out. The food is so good you really won’t even notice a difference.

Favorite Dishes: Pad Seiew Chicken, Thai Beef Salad, Chicken Larb, Green Papaya Salad, Tum Yum (perfect for a cold),  All Curry with Fresh Fish is a sure thing!

Atmosphere: It’s a good place to bring a date or go with friends. It’s very casual, quaint, quiet (no loud music), nice art, and an overall lovely little restaurant.

Consistency: Out of the 5 years I have been going to the Waialae restaurant only 2 visits have not been consistently fantastic until just recently the past 3-4 times we have gone its been less than delicious so we moved this rating from 5 corks down to 4 (but maybe should go to 3 even). I would still recommend this restaurant but hopefully they haven’t changed all the chefs because it always used to be fantastic. Only thing we can say is each chef has their own “style” but for the most part it has been consistently good over the past half decade.

Parking: As far as parking goes there are 3 itty bitty little free spots behind the restaurant but you can always park on the street, the bank across the street or take the bus :)… this place is so good it’s worth walking!!

Price Range: Low-Medium ($8-$20) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!

Reservations Accepted & Recommended Only For Large Parties (+6 or more)
Take Out Available

Champa Thai Restaurants
2452 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
Ph: (808) 732-0054

Take-Out and Reservations:
At Pearl Kai Center –(808) 488-2881
At Waialae Ave. — (808) 732-0054 At Kailua– (808) 263-8281

Hours of Operation
Monday – Saturday • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm • 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sunday • 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Link To Website:

Champa Thai restaurant review

Green Curry

Champa Thai papaya salad

Green Papaya Salad

champa thai restaurant review hawaii

Sweet Chili Fish

Golden Duck

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service is really good at Golden Duck Chinese restaurant in Kahala. The food comes out of the kitchen lightning fast so if you where planning a leisurely meal don’t order everything at once. The staff is very friendly,  attentive and make you feel welcome.

Food: The food is good at Golden Duck. If you enjoy fresh seafood then we definitely recommend going to this Chinese restaurant because its taste and its cheap at only $13.95 for live lobster and $20.95 for live crab! The other items are OK but don’t stand out like the crab and lobster. Golden Duck has typical Chinese food including Peking Duck, Stir Fried Green Beans & Pork, Noodles, Soups, Vegetables, and most likely anything you are craving / classic favorites.

Favorite Dishes: Fresh lobster with black bean sauce, Fresh crab with ginger and onions, Choy Sum with oyster sauce, Fried string beans with pork (Tip: order rise instead of noodles they are a little oily and overcooked)

Atmosphere: The ambiance isn’t anything exciting. The restaurant is big and has plenty of seating for all size parties which is great. The decor is very clean feeling because the wall and furniture are both bone white but they do have some plants and artwork which brighten it up a bit.

Consistency: We have been twice so far and both times the fresh seafood was delicious! similarly the noodles dishes were not so great.

Parking: One of the best things about Golden Duck is that it has tons of free parking located in the back of the restaurant.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($11-$30) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

4230 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 737-7188

Hours of Operation:
Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner
Sun – Thu: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

golden duck chinese restaurant in kahala review

Lobster in Black Bean Sauce

golden duck restaurant review

Crab in Ginger Sauce

Golden duck soup

Sweet & Sour Soup

Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant

Overall: CorkCork

Service: The service is always ok at Los Chaparros Mexican restaurant on Beretania street. It’s a small restaurant and they usually only have one server for the entire facility so it can take a while…. TIP don’t go to this restaurant if you are in a rush or you will be sorry! that being said, the staff is always very friendly and happy to see you when you arrive.

Food: The Mexican food at Los Chaparros is so so. One nice thing to point out is they use white meat for the chicken which many Mexican restaurants don’t. The food was ok but nothing that is extremely memorable or leaves you smacking your lips for more. Overall the food could use a little more seasoning and even the chips and salsa needed a little love. You can find anything you could want from a Mexican Restaurant on Los Chaparros menu including Tacos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Carnitas, Carne Asada, Fajitas, Burritos, Chimichanga’s, Chili Rellenos, etc.

Favorite Dishes: The Fish Tacos, Enchiladas with salsa verde

Atmosphere: This restaurant doesn’t have the greatest ambiance. It’s very dark and kind of gloomy. They tried to brighten it up with flags and colored walls but the overall feel is washed out and a bit dated. The music is traditional and awesome… it really adds a nice touch to the experience but watch out for the table directly under the speaker it is so loud you can barely hear yourself think!

Consistency: We have been a few times and its always consistently ok. Prob won’t go back again anytime soon now that the new Mexitlan restaurant that opened in Kaimuki and is much more fun and authentic!

Parking: YES Los Chaparros has free parking. The lot is directly in front of the restaurant and is fairly limited in size (at least 5-8 spots). The restaurant is on the right hand side of Beretania street so make sure not to miss the restaurant or you have to take a long detour back.

Price Range: Low-Medium ($7-$17.50) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

2140 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 951-6399

Hours of Operation:
Tue-Thur, Sunday
Lunch: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Dinner: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday
Lunch: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Dinner: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Los Chaparros Mexican restaurant in Hawaii carnitas picture


Los Chaparros Mexican enchiladas in hawaii

Chicken Enchiladas

Los Chaparros restaurant review on beretania street

Inside Decor

Teddy’s Bigger Burger

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork Cork

Service: The staff was super friendly at Teddy’s. They are fast on their feet and full of smiles. They where quick to whip down the tables between eaters despite how busy and managed to get the food out in a timely manner. We give Teddies Bigger Burger on Beretania Street two thumbs up.

Food: The food is pretty tasty at Teddy’s Bigger Burger in Honolulu. The food is what you would find in a common dinner with ice cream, onion rings, burgers and fries. What makes Teddy’s so good is that the burgers are made fresh to order and from 100% ground chuck. The chicken on the combo was also very juicy, moist and well seasoned. The buns were fresh and soft and all the ingredients from salads to fries where high quality. They also have a happy hour Monday – Thursday 2pm-5pm for $1 OFF any combo order.
Teddy’s Bigger Burger Menu For Download

Favorite Dishes: Baco Salad (7oz hamburger, avocado, cheese, tomato, bacon), Chicken Combo Sandwhich, Fries

Atmosphere: We really like the atmosphere at Teddy’s Bigger Burger. They are fun and designed like an old dinner. The color scheme is red, yellow and black and from the tables to the art on the walls the casual and hang loose 50’s theme keeps this restaurant young, trendy and fun.

Consistency: We only have been once so far but the restaurant was absolutely packed! we promise to update this section again next time we visit Teddy’s for a quick burger fix.

Parking: The Teddy’s location on Beretania has a good sized parking lot with over 10 spots making this an easy restaurant to go for lunch or a quick bite while shopping in town.

Price Range: Low ($4.99-$11.99) per Entree
No Corkage Fee! (But you have to bring your own bottle opener)
Take Out Available

Happy Hour Deals

134 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 926-3444

2424 S. Beretania Ave #101
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 949-0050

Kailua Village Shops
539 Kailua Rd., #101
Kailua, HI 96734
Tel: (808) 262-0820

Hawaii Kai
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy., E124
Honolulu, HI 96825
Tel: (808) 394-9100

Hours of Operation:
University, Hawaii Kai, Kailua Locations:
Mon-Thu: 10am – 9pm
Fri-Sun: 10am – 10pm

Waikiki Store:
Hours of Operation
Mon – Sun: 10am – 9pm

teddy's bigger burger restaurant review hawaii

Cheese Burger Combo

Teddy's Burger Hawaii

Delux Burger

Bella Mia

Overall: CorkCork

Service: The service is ok at Bella Mia. The staff is friendly and its a family owned business which is always nice. Both times we have been the service staff was welcoming and full of smiles. I wouldn’t say the service is fast but the food comes out quickly and the overall its pleasant.

Food: The dishes are huge at Bella Mia and absolutely large enough to share or for you to bring home for a second meal. They have everything you would imaging a from a NY-Italian restaurant including pasta, pizza, and a few salads. The marinara sauce and hot bread they serve you is delicious! its hot and the sauce is so good you could drink it. I would recommend going for lunch and having a salad and the bread as an appetizer it would be a perfect meal. The pasta was pretty good as well but was a bit overcooked.

Favorite Dishes: Greek Salad, Free Bread and Marinara Sauce

Atmosphere: The motif of Bella Mia is that of a casual, family style NY Italian restaurant. The table clothes are the traditional checkers of red and white. They have a pizza window and fun pictures and nick knacks around to give the ambiance that of a comfortable family-dive restaurant. Its the type of place you can bring kids and they can spill marinara sauce all over the floor without a second thought. The tables and chairs are miss matched which adds to the charm of this Italian family business.

Consistency: Both times we have been the food was consistently OK.

Parking: Parking is easy at Bella Mia because the restaurant is in the Kaimuki Shopping Center. You can find ample parking (most of the time) for only $1 for the first hour.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

1137 11th Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 737-1937
Website: /

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Bella Mia greek salad picture form honolulu hawaii

Greek Salad

Bella Mia Restaurant in Hawaii

Bella Mia Restaurant

Mexitlan Grill – OUT OF BUSINESS

Overall: CorkCorkCorkCork

Service: The service is excellent at Mexitlan Grill which is a relief since the restaurant is extremely small in size (about 8 tables total). The service is very friendly and attentive making it a very enjoyable restaurant for both a quick bite for lunch or dinner out with friends.

Food: The food is authentic Mexican through and through. It’s wonderful to finally get a good Mexican restaurant in Honolulu that has more than just some run-of-the-mill burritos,  enchiladas and tacos. The restaurant proteins include fresh Fish, Lobster, Beef Tongue, Shredded Beef, Asada, Cochinita, Orange Pork, Chicken and more!  The salsa is fresh and once you start eating it you will want to put it on everything.  In fact, last time we ate at Mexitlan we got to experience them roasting the tomatoes fresh for the salsa because part of the grill opens up into the dining area…it was authentic and fun to watch.

Favorite Dishes: Chili Relleno (yum!), Fish Wrap, Tacos – Chicken, Beef Tongue, Cochinita, and the Enchiladas.

Atmosphere: The first thoughts that come to mind are – quaint, traditional, and charming. Even though the restaurant is small and doesn’t have any views they really decorated it perfectly and it doesn’t feel claustrophobic or crowed. Mexitlan has  beautiful artwork and authentic decorations which give the overall ambiance an A+.

Consistency: The food is consistently good. The restaurant is very new so we only have eaten at this establishment a few times but everything was very good and we are excited to go back again soon!

Parking: There is a private lot at the Kaimuki Shopping Center which has plenty of parking for about $1 per hour. If you are lucky you can also score 3 free street parking in front of Big City Diner and walking through the restaurant.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Accepted For Dinner (only recommended for 5 people plus)
Take Out Available

1137 11th. Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 737-5678

Hours of Operation:
Open Daily For Lunch & Dinner: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Closed Mondays

Mexitlan resturant in Hawaii review

Enchilada Chicken Mole

Mexitlan restauarant review

Fish Wrap

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

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