Oahu’s Gourmet Plate Lunch: Kaka’ako Kitchen

Posted in Food & Dining on December 19th, 2008

To find a new great place to eat, follow one cardinal rule: ask a local. On my very first weekend as an Oahu resident, I was steered to Ward Centers Kaka’ako Kitchen. And I’ve been there so many times, now I can actually pronounce it.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served out of “to go” containers, but don’t let that fool you. Every dish is turned out like it’s a gourmet plate at a five-star restaurant. I always try the fresh catch of the day, served with two scoops of rice and mac salad—just as it should be. Or if you’re more health-conscious, choose brown rice or a green salad (which comes with a stellar ginger dressing, much more than an afterthought).

I’d suggest ordering the calamari salad to share. It works nicely as an appetizer and they fry the squid to perfection—not rubbery like some places ’round here. And plate lunch purists, take heart! Kaka’ako Kitchen has your favorites too. Spam for breakfast. Chicken Katsu. Hamburger Steak.

Dishes rotate on and off the menu every so often (I was sad to see the arugula chicken salad go), which makes it a great destination to enjoy old favorites or find new dishes to challenge your palate.

But the best part? The prices are so reasonable, anyone can enjoy Kaka’ako Kitchen, and often. So get on down to their lanai and enjoy some great food and people watching.

Kaka’ako Kitchen, Ward Centers, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, (808) 596-7488


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Dirty Lickins’ Buffalo Wings Are Fly

Posted in Food & Dining on December 11th, 2008

Comfort food comes in many flavors: tomato soup and grilled cheese. Chocolate cake. Spam musubi. Poke. But for me, the ultimate comfort food is buffalo wings.

My wings have gotta be spicy and they’ve gotta be crispy. Since moving to Oahu I’ve been disappointed in the wings I’ve tried: either too soggy or downright gross.

Then, I met Dirty Lickins’ in Aiea.

Now, we’re in a relationship. A sweet, sweet love affair of red sauce and garlic and mac salad and crispy chicken. And I’ve never been happier, thanks for asking.

The five different hot sauces, from mild to “fire in the hole!” are surprisingly accurate. I usually order hot, and get stiffed with a medium flavor. But no, when the dudes at Dirty Lickins’ say “hot” they mean hot. I got that lovely, pleasant lip tingle—but only after I was nearly done. Next time, I’m trying Volcanic. With the large Coke this time.

Try the 4- or 8-wing plate lunch. Forget buffalo wings’ usual nutritious companions, celery and carrots. Dirty Lickins’ offers up rice and mac salad, so you don’t forget where you are. And at five bucks, I was full without an empty wallet.

My final surprise was the bleu cheese. I’m a wing purist. I never use bleu cheese on my precious wings. Why would I want to let something get in the way of the spice? But the owner insisted I try their signature bleu cheese. “Some people come here just for this,” he said, thrusting a tiny cup of the stuff onto my plate.

The garlic taste hit me square between the eyes. If you’ve never had tangy garlic in a smooth bleu cheese sauce, you’re missing one of the few gustatory joys in life. It is genius.

This hole-in-the wall joint is wing heaven. I dare you to disagree…

Dirty Lickins’ Aiea Shopping Center, 3rd Floor #303 / PH: 808.486.8500
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays


read the full article »

Dirty Lickins’ Buffalo Wings Are Fly

Posted in Food & Dining on December 11th, 2008

Comfort food comes in many flavors: tomato soup and grilled cheese. Chocolate cake. Spam musubi. Poke. But for me, the ultimate comfort food is buffalo wings.

My wings have gotta be spicy and they’ve gotta be crispy. Since moving to Oahu I’ve been disappointed in the wings I’ve tried: either too soggy or downright gross.

Then, I met Dirty Lickins’ in Aiea.

Now, we’re in a relationship. A sweet, sweet love affair of red sauce and garlic and mac salad and crispy chicken. And I’ve never been happier, thanks for asking.

The five different hot sauces, from mild to “fire in the hole!” are surprisingly accurate. I usually order hot, and get stiffed with a medium flavor. But no, when the dudes at Dirty Lickins’ say “hot” they mean hot. I got that lovely, pleasant lip tingle—but only after I was nearly done. Next time, I’m trying Volcanic. With the large Coke this time.

Try the 4- or 8-wing plate lunch. Forget buffalo wings’ usual nutritious companions, celery and carrots. Dirty Lickins’ offers up rice and mac salad, so you don’t forget where you are. And at five bucks, I was full without an empty wallet.

My final surprise was the bleu cheese. I’m a wing purist. I never use bleu cheese on my precious wings. Why would I want to let something get in the way of the spice? But the owner insisted I try their signature bleu cheese. “Some people come here just for this,” he said, thrusting a tiny cup of the stuff onto my plate.

The garlic taste hit me square between the eyes. If you’ve never had tangy garlic in a smooth bleu cheese sauce, you’re missing one of the few gustatory joys in life. It is genius.

This hole-in-the wall joint is wing heaven. I dare you to disagree…

Dirty Lickins’ Aiea Shopping Center, 3rd Floor #303 / PH: 808.486.8500
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays


read the full article »

Dirty Lickins’ Buffalo Wings Are Fly

Posted in Food & Dining on December 11th, 2008

Comfort food comes in many flavors: tomato soup and grilled cheese. Chocolate cake. Spam musubi. Poke. But for me, the ultimate comfort food is buffalo wings.

My wings have gotta be spicy and they’ve gotta be crispy. Since moving to Oahu I’ve been disappointed in the wings I’ve tried: either too soggy or downright gross.

Then, I met Dirty Lickins’ in Aiea.

Now, we’re in a relationship. A sweet, sweet love affair of red sauce and garlic and mac salad and crispy chicken. And I’ve never been happier, thanks for asking.

The five different hot sauces, from mild to “fire in the hole!” are surprisingly accurate. I usually order hot, and get stiffed with a medium flavor. But no, when the dudes at Dirty Lickins’ say “hot” they mean hot. I got that lovely, pleasant lip tingle—but only after I was nearly done. Next time, I’m trying Volcanic. With the large Coke this time.

Try the 4- or 8-wing plate lunch. Forget buffalo wings’ usual nutritious companions, celery and carrots. Dirty Lickins’ offers up rice and mac salad, so you don’t forget where you are. And at five bucks, I was full without an empty wallet.

My final surprise was the bleu cheese. I’m a wing purist. I never use bleu cheese on my precious wings. Why would I want to let something get in the way of the spice? But the owner insisted I try their signature bleu cheese. “Some people come here just for this,” he said, thrusting a tiny cup of the stuff onto my plate.

The garlic taste hit me square between the eyes. If you’ve never had tangy garlic in a smooth bleu cheese sauce, you’re missing one of the few gustatory joys in life. It is genius.

This hole-in-the wall joint is wing heaven. I dare you to disagree…

Dirty Lickins’ Aiea Shopping Center, 3rd Floor #303 / PH: 808.486.8500
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays


read the full article »

Dirty Lickins’ Buffalo Wings Are Fly

Posted in Food & Dining on December 11th, 2008

Comfort food comes in many flavors: tomato soup and grilled cheese. Chocolate cake. Spam musubi. Poke. But for me, the ultimate comfort food is buffalo wings.

My wings have gotta be spicy and they’ve gotta be crispy. Since moving to Oahu I’ve been disappointed in the wings I’ve tried: either too soggy or downright gross.

Then, I met Dirty Lickins’ in Aiea.

Now, we’re in a relationship. A sweet, sweet love affair of red sauce and garlic and mac salad and crispy chicken. And I’ve never been happier, thanks for asking.

The five different hot sauces, from mild to “fire in the hole!” are surprisingly accurate. I usually order hot, and get stiffed with a medium flavor. But no, when the dudes at Dirty Lickins’ say “hot” they mean hot. I got that lovely, pleasant lip tingle—but only after I was nearly done. Next time, I’m trying Volcanic. With the large Coke this time.

Try the 4- or 8-wing plate lunch. Forget buffalo wings’ usual nutritious companions, celery and carrots. Dirty Lickins’ offers up rice and mac salad, so you don’t forget where you are. And at five bucks, I was full without an empty wallet.

My final surprise was the bleu cheese. I’m a wing purist. I never use bleu cheese on my precious wings. Why would I want to let something get in the way of the spice? But the owner insisted I try their signature bleu cheese. “Some people come here just for this,” he said, thrusting a tiny cup of the stuff onto my plate.

The garlic taste hit me square between the eyes. If you’ve never had tangy garlic in a smooth bleu cheese sauce, you’re missing one of the few gustatory joys in life. It is genius.

This hole-in-the wall joint is wing heaven. I dare you to disagree…

Dirty Lickins’ Aiea Shopping Center, 3rd Floor #303 / PH: 808.486.8500
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays


read the full article »
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