Check out fellow blogger Catherine Toth’s story about The History of Five Local Grinds:

  • Malasadas
  • Manapua
  • Boiled Peanuts
  • Spam Musubi
  • Saimin

She even mentions the “manapua man”!

Manapua Man
Yeah, my tins are small.



  • Malasadas
    Also known as Virgin Donuts (because no more hole).  Can’t go wrong with malasadas – as long as they’re hot and for me, chewy.  I think the best malasadas is from Agnes’ Portuguese Bakery in Kailua.  Even though they’re not “virgin”, they are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  Filled malasadas – I’d rather not.  Just give me plain sugar coated kine.
  • Manapua
    For me, a tasty bread makes a good manapua.  The filling is secondary.  And the tastiest manpaua bread (IMHO) is from Libby Manapua in Kalihi.  So ono, I could just eat the bread.  Baked manapua – meh.  Give me a good ol’ fashion steamed manapua.  With char siu filling.
  • Boiled Peanuts
    In my younger days, I used to get my boiled peanuts from Ruger Market.  And I always bought an Icee to go with my boiled peanuts.  Then I realized that the Icee tasted so good because the boiled peanuts was too salty.  The kine make my lips chapped, salty.  I tried the one from the peanut man at the old Ala Moana Farmers Market but didn’t care for the anise taste in his boiled peanuts.  Then a couple of years ago, I was at Alicia’s Market in Sand Island and tried their boiled peanuts.  Ho man!  I found a winnah!  The most onolicious boiled peanuts ever!  The $5 bag will be gone in one sitting.  The $10 bag will last two sittings.  Sometimes all in the same day.  They’re that good.
  • Spam Musubi
    I was never a big Spam-fan.  It was okay, but nothing special to me.  Then one time before we were flying out to someplace, Paula brought some 7-11 spam musubis for when we get hungry on the plane.  When we were sitting at the airport waiting for our flight, I decided to try one.  It was a Spam-katsu musubi.  Wow.  Maybe it was psychological because we where just about to start our vacation, but that Spam musubi tasted delicious.  And the second one that I ate on the plane tasted just a good.  So now, it’s almost like a must-have before heading to the airport.  7-11 Spam-katsu musubi.  How come we didn’t know about these things when we used to have to bring home-lunch for school excursions?
  • Saimin
    Wonderful, steaming, saimin.  Small-kid-time, the go-to dish to order was saimin.  You could never go wrong with local style saimin.  Even at the carnivals, the saimin hit da spot.  Then came something called ramen.  Friends talked about these places opening up around town called Ezogiku and they sold Japanese saimin.  LOL  Yeah, it was fun in the beginning trying the miso ramen, the spicy ramen, the tonkotsu ramen.  But I always came back to good ol’ local style saimin.  My favorite saimin – Dillingham Saimin (previously known as Boulevard Saimin).  Something about their dashi that makes it ichiban.  Keep all your fancy Japanese ramen, Chinese saimin, Korean kook su, Vietnamese Pho, etc. and just set me up with some local-style saimin.


I hungry now, how about you?



Visit Cat’s blog at The Cat Dish

We bid farewell to yet another MLC eatery —


Kenny's Restaruant


Here’s the scoops on it.


We used to patronize Kenny’s Restaurant every now and then until they renovated the restaurant and their prices became out of reach for our budget.


One of my fondest memories of Kenny’s Restaurant was when I was in high school and my friend Lee and I were attending Junior Achievement that year.  JA was holding a surf meet that Lee and I entered.  We had to report to White Plains beach at something like 7:00AM.  So we headed out from Kailua at around 5:00AM and before making that long drive out to Ewa, we stopped by at Kenny’s Restaurant for coffee and breakfast.  I remember how it was still dark when we went into the restaurant.  And when we came out, the sky was just starting to lighten up from the morning sun.  I felt somewhat mature for a high-schooler.  lol


Remember this place too?


Kenny's Burgerhouse


I remember Kenny’s Burgerhouse before they enclosed it.  It was like your typical 70’s drive in.  Sometimes on the way home from halmuni’s house, my dad would stop by the burgerhouse and get me a “large” fries.  It was one of those long paper dishes – filled with french fries tucked in a long white paper bag.  It lasted me all the way back to Kailua – because I couldn’t finish them!  But was so ono.


But alas, Kenny’s Burgerhouse – home of the Porky Boy, Cheesy Gal, Beefy Boy, and Suzy Q – closed in 2002, giving way to McDonalds.  You can still get those classics at Kenny’s Restaurant – but you’d better move fast as the restaurant will close their doors for good on July 5th.


Since they’re moving out – what restaurant would you like to see take its place?  Liliha Bakery?  Nah, too close to the original one.  Big City Diner?  Maybe.  I wouldn’t mind something old school like King’s Bakery Coffee ShopLikelike Drive In would make perfect sense opening shop there.  You know, because it’s right on the corner of School St. and Likelike Hwy.  Maybe a Wailana Coffee House?  Whatever moves in there – I hope they keep their prices reasonable and keep the counter.  A coffee shop isn’t a coffee shop unless there’s a counter to eat at.


As we bid farewell to Kenny’s – what are some memories you have of the Kenny’s Restaurant?  Or even the old Kenny’s Burgerhouse?  Share your stories with us.

Thursday 3 – Summer

25 June 2015

Sticking with the Summer theme.




Here we go:


  1. What were some of your summer jobs?
  2. Did you attend summer school or summer fun, or both?
  3. When was your best summer and why?


Okay, here’s my replies:



  1. What were some of your summer jobs?
    I’ve probably mentioned this about a hundred times – but my summer (and fall and winter and spring) job was being a “lot boy” at Windward Volkswagen.  It was my first and only high school/college summer job.  Working 6 days a week took me away from my family resulting in me growing up fast.  As much as I hated that job – I went to it everyday.  I listen to my friends talk about their summer cannery jobs and I almost feel like I missed out on something.  Almost.  😉
  2. Did you attend summer school or summer fun, or both?
    Nope.  No summer fun – not even the City & County kine at the local park.  Definitely no summer school.  Just stayed home and played all day.  What was funny was that during the school year, I had a hard time waking up in the morning.  But during the summer time, I’d wake up early enough to catch Spank and Our Gang or The Three Stooges before the morning cartoons began airing.
  3. When was your best summer and why?
    Has to be the summer of ’72.  Learned how to surf that summer.  When not going to the beach, I’d catch the bus to town and check out the surf shops.  Tried stripping down an old tanker and reshaped it into a knee-board.  Fiberglassed it and all.  It sure was ugly.  That summer I became a loner – and I was okay with it.  Just me and OMO (Our Mother Ocean).  The summer of ’73 was pretty good too.  Started hanging around with other “surf rats”.  Riding bikes down to the beach early in the morning to check out if there were any waves.  Lying under the coconut trees waiting for one of our friend to come home from summer school so we would all go surfing together.  Then we wondered why he kept coming home later and later as the summer session went on.  Found out he was punching time with a girl in his class so he used to come home late from summer school – while all of us were waiting under the coconut trees.  Actually, all our boards were stored at his house because he lived the closest to the beach so we had to wait for him to come home so we could grab our boards.  The thing is – he never told us why he always came home late.  We thought he was studying hard when actually, he was hardly studying.

Share you Thursday 3 – Summer replies with us.  And no shame share other summer stories.


I hope all the MLC dads had a wonderful Father’s Day.  We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  So classic, yeah?  And besides being Father’s Day, it was also Summer Solstice.


Endless Summer


So I thought it might be appropriate for Music Time – songs that have to do with summer.  “Summer” can be in the name of the song, the band, the lyrics, or related to summer.  Or maybe a song that takes you back to a special summer – but you have to share that memory with us.


Here’s a few to get started:





How about a band named SUMMER.





And finally, this song takes me back to the summer of ’72.  My best summer.


So start naming those Summer songs.

Previously, @Mark Shelby posted:



New thread topic idea. <~~~~

“What is your favorite Hawaiian Island. And what are the things that you love the most about it”?


~Mark Shelby


I thought it would make for a good Thursday 3 topic.


  1. What is your favorite Hawaiian Island?
  2. What are the things that you love the most about it?
  3. Share a story or two from a neighbor island trip.


Hawaiian Islands


I’ll go first:



  1. What is your favorite Hawaiian Island?
    I’d have to say Maui is my favorite Hawaiian Island.
  2. What are the things that you love the most about it?
    One of the things I like about Maui is “Up Country”.  The cool air, the lavender farms, the protea farms, and the beautiful view.  It’s so peaceful.  I also like the manju shops in the towns.  Sam Sato’s manju and dry noodle.  Can’t forget Guri Guri.
  3. Share a story or two from a neighbor island trip.
    One time when we went to Maui, we hunted down Komoda Bakery – known for it’s cream puffs and pastry.  So I got some cream puffs and long johns and was grinding them on the way up to Haleakala.  It was a rainy day and the road was closed off due to fog so we headed down to Sam Sato’s for lunch.  After eating lunch, the cream from the pastries was doing a number in my stomach so I looked around and found the bathroom in the complex.  They didn’t have those ass-gaskets there.  You know, the cowboy hat looking paper to lay over the toilet seat.  So I had to use toilet paper to line the seat.  Let’s just say that after the “Lactose Intolerant” show was over – there was quite a bit of toilet paper in the bowl.  I flushed the toilet and the water just swirled, but didn’t go down.  Anticipating the worse, I just got the hell out of there.  I never did find out what happened as I dug out before anyone could blame me.  I haven’t been back there since…
    btw, is the Lightning Bolt store still located in Maui?


Okay, your turn.


* Mahalo @Mark Shelby for the blog topic!


Who Wears Short Shorts

15 June 2015

Paula and Me
Photo courtesy of Terri-Ann


When my daughter saw this picture, she laughed at it, turned to me and said “What’s up with the short shorts?”  I told her that back in our day – that was the normal length for shorts – that’s why they were called “Shorts”.  Unlike today’s “shorts” that come down to the knees – and for a short 1/2 Okinawan guy like me – they come down to almost my calves and just makes me look even shorter!


The shorts in this picture was my surfing shorts.  My going out shorts were corduroy Op (Ocean Pacific) shorts that were just about the same length.


Op Shorts
(Not me in this picture)


btw, if my eyes look dark in the above picture – it’s because I was wearing rimless glasses – tinted with a gradient tint – to hide my eyes.  Remember, this was back in the early 80’s  😉


There were a number of other brands of shorts back then, like Jantzen for example.  But over here in Hawaii – it was mostly Hang Ten and Op shorts.


Now as for the women – I need help here.  First thing that comes to mind is Dove shorts.


Dove Shorts


And the knock-offs – Dolfin shorts.


Dolphin Shorts


And Op even made women’s corduroy shorts.


Op Shorts Women


Oh, and my favorite – wrap around shorts (as I used to call them).


Wrap Around Shorts


Those days of short shorts are gone – at least for us guys.  Actually, I take that back.  At Sears, I did see that a local company was making Op style shorts in the 70’s length.  I don’t know if I’d wear then now as they might be too MLC for the public.


Even Levi’s are making their shorts longer.  One pair that I bought goes right to my knee.  In fact, the denim seam rubs against the back of my knee and is super irritating!  I can find a good length in the, ahem… MLC Men’s department.  Not in denim, but cotton.  And places like Uniqlo or H&M have some good length shorts.  But I have to shop around to find the right length.  Either shorts are getting longer or I’m getting shorter.


Remember Hot Pants and Daisy Dukes?  Maybe not appropriate attire for MLCers. 😯


What are your short shorts memories?  Guys, next time you’re wearing some shorts – try pulling them up to the length that we used to wear our shorts back in the day.  You going feel weird.  I know I did.  LOL


* Thanks for the blog idea, Palenaka


Sunday Evenings

11 June 2015

After doing the post Come Saturday Morning, I naturally had to follow it up with Sunday Evenings.  Because, you know… the Yin/Yang thing.


Sometimes when I’m lazying around on a late Sunday afternoon, the sun is just about setting, the afternoon showers are coming down the valley, and the 6 o’clock news is about to start – I recall my small-kid-time when I used to meet my old gf at Ala Moana Center on Sundays.  After parting ways, I’d catch the bus home trying my best not to fall asleep and miss my stop.


When I finally got home about 5:30 (the mall used to close at 4:00 on Sundays back then) – I’d fall on my bed for a late Sunday afternoon nap.  The TV in the front would be on and I’d hear the closing track for Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom as my brothers were waiting to watch Let’s Go Fishing.  Then before you knew it, the closing track for Let’s Go Fishing was playing and I’d drag myself off the bed as dinner would be ready in about a half hour.  When I heard that closing track for Let’s Go Fishing – that was my signal that the weekend was over.


Back in my smaller-kid-time, Sundays were spent with dad.  Maybe going to Kalihi to visit Halmuni, or dad taking us to Kailua beach to swim – which was always followed with shave ice from the Kuulei Malt Shop.  Or just riding my bike around the neighborhood until it was time to get in the house and bocha.  5:00 was bocha time – weekdays, weekends, holidays, it didn’t matter.


Then after dinner – The Ed Sullivan Show would be on.  Ever since he hosted The Beatles, everyone HAD to watch The Ed Sullivan Show.


Then at 8:00, it was time for The Carol Burnett Show.  That show was hilarious.  But when the familiar tune started to play (going by memory here);
“I’m so glad we had this time together,
Just to share a laugh or sing a song,
It seems like we just got started and before you know it,
Comes the time we have to say good-bye…  Good night”




And with that familiar tug on her ear – the weekend was over.


No words had to be spoken.  I knew to go brush my teeth and hit the bed.  The Carol Burnett Show was so entertaining yet so depressing when it was over – because I had to wait what seemed like a full month for the next weekend to arrive – only to go through this vicious – “Happy one day, sad the next” cycle.


Things changed in high school.  Sunday meant surfing with my friends.  Maybe a little skateboarding thrown in too.  Then relaxing at my friend’s house in the open air patio.  They had these weathered Adirondack chairs that were so, so comfortable.  The afternoon sun was already behind the Koolaus and the windward skies were turning from blue to a nice shade of purple.  The tall coconut trees swaying from the surrounding properties.  And us, just kicking back with some C&K on the stereo – all burned out from a full day at the beach.  Another weekend had come to a close.


Every so often my big brother would say to come over to his house for Sunday dinner.  Because I was always doing stuff on my own, I’d rush home to take a shower, then drive over to his house for dinner.  Being a single naive male, I’d get there only to learn that the dinner was for one of my niece’s birthday or some kind of celebration.  And there I was without a gift.  Although my nieces considered me the “cool uncle”, I was pretty clueless when it came to celebrations.  Luckily, all that changed once I met Paula and she’d ask what the dinner was for and go out and buy a present for the occasion.  Here’s a picture of us at one of my big brother’s Sunday night dinners.


Paula and Me


What are your Sunday afternoon/evenings memories?  I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten over my Sunday evening depression.




Did you know that there is another 70’s Nightclub Reunion event coming up?  Yup.  Pretty much sold out – but there might be single and/or double seats left.  Call Candy to check it out.

2015080870s NCR Plus - Flyer

Come Saturday Morning

8 June 2015

Come Saturday Morning


Saturday mornings are special times for me.  I spent most of my teen years working all day on Saturdays.  That meant rushing home after work to wash my car and getting ready for a date or getting the guys together for a social or a night out cruising the town.


Before I had the freedom to spend Saturdays as I pleased, it meant tagging along some place with my dad.  My mom sold real estate so Saturday and Sundays were her busy days so dad had me.


But stepping back – there was Friday night.  Friday night was the prelude to Saturdays.  It meant going out and doing something late because the next day wasn’t a school day.  When I was tagging along with my dad – it meant hanging out at Pali Lanes as he bowled the Friday night second shift league.  That’s where I taught myself how to play nickel machines just by watching the guys in the little room.


But try taking a listen to this song and close your eyes – and see what memories pop up in your head.



For me – my Saturday morning memories were a time when I was too young to work, but old enough to have my independence and go where ever I wanted to – so long as TheBus went there too.


I recall standing at the bus stop around 9:15 AM in the fresh morning sun.  The Route 56 bus rolls up and I jump on and meet my friends who had boarded the bus a few stops earlier.  Sometimes there would be some girls from Castle HS riding as the bus came from Kaneohe side.  I remember seeing M.S. as she was heading down to Ala Moana beach to keep her beautiful dark tan.


Getting off on Bishop meant looking for a bus heading to you know where… Ala Moana Center of course.  Getting ready for a day of “networking” and getting our club name out there for potential socials.  By the time we reached Ala Moana Center- the morning sun was still bright and crispy.  The fresh start of a Saturday morning.


Other Saturday mornings meant dawn-patrol at Shorebreak – our surf spot in Kailua.  I’d wake up before there was any morning light and throw on my surf shorts, grab my 5′-10″ board and start riding my 10-speed bike to meet my friends at the beach.  The only traffic on the street was the milk and bread delivery trucks.  It was that early.  Yet no matter how much I tried – I was never the first one at the beach.  While walking down the trail, I could hear the hooting of guys catching the glassy waves.  What was so strange was that on the cold mornings – the temperature of the water was warmer than the air.  So it was nice to take that first dive into the ocean.  Still pee’d in the water anyway.


I remember one time after surfing for what felt like the whole morning, I rode my bike home, put away my board, took a shower, and was ready to fix myself some lunch.  But when I looked at the time – it was only around 10:30AM.  I seriously thought the clock was wrong.  But when you start your day at 4:30AM, you can be pretty productive and accomplish a lot of things by the time McDonalds stops serving breakfast.


But back to spending my Saturday mornings – from age 15 to 21 – every Saturday was spent working from 9:00 – 6:00.  When I finally changed jobs and had my Saturday’s back – it felt so odd.  Like I didn’t know what to do with myself.  Coincidentally, it was also right after my long time girlfriend and I had broken up and my friends list was far and few (sure could’ve used FaceBook back then).  I drove around not knowing how to spend all this free time that was suddenly on my hands.


Nowadays, my Saturday mornings consist of waking up around 8 or 9 o’clock.  Making the coffee and going outside to get the newspaper.  And it’s when that crispy Saturday morning sunshine greets me – that The Sandpipers “Come Saturday Morning” song starts playing in my head.  And I smile and reminisce about the old Saturday morning bus rides to town.


Where does the “Come Saturday Morning” song take you?  What are some of your small-kid-time Saturday morning flashbacks?  Share your Saturday morning memories with us.

No, not trying to be morbid here.  Let’s see where this Thursday 3 takes us.


  1. Do you remember how you felt on your last day(s) in high school?
  2. Do you remember how you felt on your last day(s) in continued education?
  3. Do you remember how you felt on your last day(s) of working?


Now, I know that all the questions may not pertain to all of us.  But just think how you would’ve felt or might feel when the time comes and share that.  I’ll go first.



  1. Do you remember how you felt on your last day(s) in high school?
    At first, I was on top of the world.  No more school that I HAVE to attend.  No more strict time schedules.  I’m FREE!  But then deep down, it was bittersweet.  This place that I’ve been coming to for 3 years was about to end.  All the memories made, time spent, and stories shared on “the benches” had come to an end.  And what made it even harder was that most of my friends were a year younger than me and they will still have another year to make memories.  But swallowing the sentimental pill meant that I was moving on to other memories to be made.
  2. Do you remember how you felt on your last day(s) in continued education?
    Okay, I took  four and a half years to finish at a two-year college.  I was ready to end this thing.  I spent the last three semesters just trying to satisfy my Science requirement.  I hated Science.  But actually, I was working a full-time swing-shift job so those last couple of years at KCC was mostly just playing.  Don’t get me wrong – I had a good time playing – but I was ready to settle down and get a regular 8 to 5 job.  Could it be that I was growing up?
  3. Do you remember how you felt on your last day(s) of working?
    I’m not there yet.  But I think about it – about when that day comes.  When I was younger – the word “retirement” was used only when discussing 401k accounts.  I couldn’t wait to retire as I had so many things that I wanted to do.  When I was younger, that is…  Nowadays, I don’t have so many things that I want (or can) do.  I know the last days of work will be bittersweet.  Just like the last days in high school.  Why?  Because I’m going to miss the people who I’ve worked, laughed, & cried with.  But once again I will swallow the sentimental pill and move on to bigger things and making more memories.
    Actually, after I retire – if everything goes as planned – it’ll be only 15 years of people that I’ve worked with that I’ll miss.  That’s nothing compared to the folks who retired after 35, 40, 45+ years with the same company.  That’s people that they’ve spent half their lifetime with.  That is a hard sentimental pill to swallow.



But one of the worse experiences for me was getting laid-off when a company was dissolved.  When The Advertiser shut down – that was difficult.


Advertiser Proud


It wasn’t like I could go back and visit the others still working there.  Everyone was gone.  And it wasn’t like I could go back and visit the offices again and recall the memories.  The building was shuttered.  Unlike in high school where you can still return to the campus and walk the halls and recall the memories.  I can’t do that at The Advertiser building.  In fact, I can’t do that at KCC either as the Pensacola campus is all but gone.


For me, that sentimental pill is a hard pill to swallow…

Small-Kid-Time Shoes

1 June 2015

My small kid time shoes were a pair of black Buster Browns.




It was probably handed down three times when it finally reached me.  Sure, they weren’t hard and stiff like new shoes.  Nope, they were all broken-in by the time I got them.  Only thing was – they were broken-in to three different pairs of feet!


Back in small-kid-time, we hardly ever wore shoes.  Maybe to a funeral, or fancy wedding, or church service.  Otherwise it was slippers if anything.  Most times was just bare-feet.  Unlike today’s kids who wear athletic shoes everywhere from school, to the mall, to hanging out with friends.


Try thinking back to your elementary school days – what kind of shoes did you own?  Think about those excursion days when shoes were required.  What did you wear back then?