Taste of Hawaii: OLUOLU

There's a chill in Tokyo! We had a sudden drop in temperature this morning so I had to dust off my lovely pea coat earlier than I thought I would. I exhaled my first white breath of the season and it felt somehow nostalgic and refreshing.

Work has been taking over my life but I still crunch time to have fun on the weekends. It seems like there have and will be a lot of friends visiting this month so I apologize for not updating as much. (;-; ) I'm crossing my fingers at the moment because my boss is planning a vacation trip next month to Hawaii but that all depends on the condition of our company. Our trip has been delayed for the past 5 or so months and the homesickness is hitting--no, beating me down like crazy. 

Other than that, no changes in life. My daily routine remains the same: wake up, actually wake up, eat, go to work, sit in front of the computer for 9 hours, come back home, eat, shower, skype, and knock out. I feel like posting up a detailed daily routine in the future as well as find out everyone else's. It's not to be a creeper but just because I'm curious. :P

Down to business.

I've been slacking on this post for a while but since it's becoming super delayed, I should get this out to y'all now. (haha y'all)

So here is my review on my friend's self-owned Hawaiian restaurant in the Kansai area. These days, you can find many restaurants serving Hawaiian cuisine but honestly, this place is the one. And I'm not only saying that because they're my friends. :3

The name of the shop is "LOCO'S KITCHEN OLUOLU" (we like to call it "oluolu" for short). 'Olu'olu (pronounced ooh-loo ooh-loo) is a Hawaiian word for "nice" or "pleasant". And that is what makes this restaurant so different from any other Hawaiian restaurants in Japan. They have that certain atmosphere that makes you never want to leave and let time pass by leisurely.

The interior of Olu Olu gives the feel of a small yet cozy cabin. When you walk in, you are greeted by friendly chefs and waitresses while finding yourself surrounded by miscellaneous trinkets, posters, and floral decorations. Add that with Hawaiian music playing in the background and you've escaped from Japan to all the way across the Pacific.

The place is run by my two friends; Masa (top) and his wife, Sayo (bottom. I really didn't have to indicate these. lol). I met them through a good friend back in Hawaii a while back when they held their wedding ceremony in Honolulu. Right from the start, I knew they were really warm people. They're sociable and extremely kind which probably is the reason why their customers always come back. I feel like for them, customers are friends rather than consumers.

I promised them I'd visit the Kansai area one day and try their restaurant. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to on my recent trip to Osaka. We invited all my friends living in that area and had such a fantastic time. The orders were left to Masa for his recommendations and I have to say that having it satisfy my hunger is a complete understatement.

Here was our feast:

Ahi/salmon poke/salmon: Poke is a popular dish in Hawaii. Or any cube-cut (poke means "to slice") sashimi for that matter. Commonly found at any party, especially served with beer. On the left is smoked salmon mixed with cut onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, chili peppers and on the right is ahi (tuna), green onions, sesame oil and garlic. Or that's what I think was in it. haha Ahh~ home.

Loco Moco bowl. Compare this to the Loco Moco I had at L&L, or the Loco Moco burger I had at McDonalds and this has to be the best one I've ever had/seen (no offense to L&L and McDonalds!). It must have been their "secret" homemade sauce for the patty. Oh goodness, I'm drooling.

Mixed plate: Hawaii is known for our "mixed plates" which at most times consists of rice, some type of BBQ meat and macaroni salad. The salad was a nice healthy touch. They even threw in some yummy garlic shrimp. mmmmm....

Spam musubi: Another famous Hawaiian dish. Musubi as in the Japanese musubi (rice ball). Although, these are block-shaped with a slice of spam in between. Many people find it strange that we enjoy eating spam in Hawaii but they're just the ones missing out. I can never count the many times I've had one of these. My mom would make them for me for school field trips, parties and I would sometimes make them whenever I craved them. Goodness, I'm starting to regret writing this post because now I'm even more homesick and hungry.

Whenever I think about this place, I only recall good memories and great food. If any of you are around the Kobe (Kansai) area at the time, do stop by this great restaurant and say hi to Masa and Sayo for me. You won't regret it. :)

Price: Moderate (from 600~1,500yen/$7-17 per person)
Location: 3-5-2 Kitanagasa doori, Chuou-ku Kobe-shi,
Hyogo-prefecture (兵庫県神戸市中央区北長狭通3-5-2)
Comment: I would go back just to eat there again and play their ukuleles. They speak English so there's no need to worry about the language barrier. In fact, they want to practice English more so everyone goooooooooo! And tell them who sent ya. :3

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