Soldier to Soldier Hawaii

My Top Ten Oahu, Hawaii Restaurants I’ve Been To In 2023

Hey everyone. If you're new here, my name is Misty, 
and I go to local restaurants on the island of   Oahu to show you all what is available to eat 
here on the island. So at the end of every year   I have been going over the best places that I've 
tried during that year. So for 2023, these are the   restaurants I've tried this year that's stuck out 
to me. Number 10 is Wagyukushi, and it's located   outside the Kaheka Don Quijote food court.

They offer 
beef sticks that are tasty and tender using wagyu   beef. You can buy just the sticks or get a plate 
lunch that comes with rice and a salad. The plate   lunch is reasonably priced for wagyu beef and the 
taste of the food was very enjoyable. Number nine   is SW8 Dada Sisig and it's located in the parking 
lot of the Waipahu Plantation Marketplace – otherwise   known as the old Arakawa's. This little food truck 
specializes in sisig plates and beef pares mami,   which is a Filipino noodle soup.

The sisig is 
fried fresh in their deep fryer, chopped into   little pieces, and served over rice. The beef pares 
mami was a delicious and flavorful beef soup   with delicious noodles inside. The noodles were 
chewy like saimin and the broth was a deep beef   broth flavor with a slight hint of ginger. There 
were generous portions of beef that topped the soup, as   well as some green onions and vegetables. The food 
was fabulous and the couple running the business   were very friendly. They let me into the trailer to 
film some of the food and you know, you can't beat   it. Great food, great service. Can't go wrong. Coming in 
at number eight is The Food Company and they were   voted as AAA's Best Plate Lunch on Oahu in 2023 of 
this year. So I had to check it out and it did not   disappoint. Although it has been voted the number 
one plate lunch in 2023, they've been in Kailua for a   long time. They offer local plate lunches, homestyle 
plate lunches such as turkey with gravy, various   salads, and many homemade desserts. I've tried the 
Hot-ya chicken, which is is a mochiko chicken with a   Sriracha mayo type sauce, the lau lau plate, which 
is available every Fridays, and the fried mahi   mahi plate.

And every plate lunch I've tasted 
was seasoned well and tasted amazing. From the   tossed salad, the rice, to the mac salad. And everything 
was enjoyable. The best thing is the parking isn't   a hassle there and all the local plate lunches are 
affordable at $12.95 a pop. Number seven is Monarch   Poke. It started this year in the Pearl Kai Shopping 
Center by the previous owner of Plantation Café, which   used to be located in Kapolei. They specialize 
in fresh delicious pokes, but also carried over   some of their Plantation Cafe menu such as their 
bagoong fried rice.

The fish in the poke was fresh   and the sauce the poke was tossed in was seasoned 
well. They also put creative touches to their poke   and put quality ingredients like avocado inside. 
The bagoong fried rice was presented beautifully and   tasted amazing. And the pork it came with was tasty 
with this like caramelized bark. The   miso salmon I remember that plate was 
also delicious with a beautiful side salad with   his homemade dressing and garlic fried rice. I 
really like the creativity, the presentation, and   the taste that Monarch Poke had in all the dishes 
that they presented. And you know you can't go   wrong. I really loved Plantation Café as well. 
So all the food that the chef does there is   very, very impeccable. My number six pick is Max 
and Lucy's, which is located in the heart of downtown   Honolulu near the circuit court on Punchbowl 
Street. They serve delicious breakfast starting   at 6:00 a.m. and then they start serving lunch 
at 10:00 a.m. They have specials of the day from   Monday through Friday (sorry they're closed on 
weekends) that include salmon katsu, steak   plates, taco salads, to prime rib on Thursdays.

plate lunches are affordable, tasty, and there are   many choices to choose from. You can get brown, 
white or his fried rice and I believe mac   salad that has tuna in it and or you can get a 
fresh side salad if you don't like mac salad   with your choice of dressing. And all these are 
provided to you for no upcharge. My favorite   is the steak plate and the steak is cooked to 
your liking under a salamander broiler and it   has a great simple seasoning on it. The salmon katsu 
was also good and it was a massive portion of food.   The desserts are amazing as well.

So definitely 
go get some when you pick up a plate lunch from   there. There is free parking on the side of the 
building and I like the steak plate so much here   I've been back three more times after filming the 
first video. So what can you say? Far East Seafood   comes in at number five. They were formerly Far 
East Chinese food in Waipahu and it was rebranded   as a seafood restaurant. They have a sushi 
chef making fresh sashimi and sushi dishes, crab   boil type dishes, but still has some other Chinese 
dishes that Far East Chinese used to make. So   whether you're craving Japanese food or Chinese 
food, you can get your fix here.

I thought the   lunch prices for both the sushi and the crab boil 
were reasonably priced compared to other similar   restaurants. The food was fresh and exceptionally 
tasty and I especially like the crab boil. That   dish was awesome especially for the lunch special. It 
came with real fresh corn that was super sweet,   a good amount of snow crab, shrimp, and potatoes 
filled you up. And the restaurant is remodeled   and clean and the service was nice and fast. At 
number four it's Sweet Corner Café, which is a brand   new cafe specializing in Macau inspired cuisine. 
They're located in the industrial area of Halawa.   The waitress Chelsea is warm and friendly and 
she's the daughter of the owners and the cooks of the   restaurant.

And although they're tucked away 
in a industrial area, they are open early in   the morning to the late evening hours up to 8:00 
p.m. And they're serving delicious savory dishes,   pastries, homemade desserts and drinks. The drinks 
are creative from their pink lemonade, their lattes,   to their butterfly pea tea lemonade. And the fried 
rice they had was amazing in flavor and one of   the rare fried rices you'll find with real bacon 
in it.

And the ribs that we had were fall apart   good, the chicken and waffles were sweet and savory 
made with an Asian bubble type waffle instead of   the traditional type waffle, and the croissant was 
probably my favorite. With its chocolatey coating,   cocoa powder, and the crisp crunchy outside and the 
soft inside. And don't forget to try their Macau egg   tarts. It's a cross between a Hong Kong style egg 
tart and a Portuguese egg tart. They serve other   dishes such as homemade noodles, gyoza and poke 
as well. The dishes are creatively put together   in my opinion and everything I tasted there was 
seasoned well and tasted great. The environment was   welcoming and the service was amazing. My number 
three pick is Fujiyama Texas and I've been to   Fujiyama Texas for their kushikatsu, but I never 
tried their breakfast items. And Fujiyama Texas   recently opened a breakfast menu and also a lunch 
menu later this year and they serve traditional   Japanese breakfast items. And although the dishes 
seem simple, everything I tasted was superb.

The   curry noodle dish was flavorful and the noodles 
had a nice chew to it. The curry wasn't too   strong. It was just perfect and just right. The 
traditional breakfast of misoyaki butterfish was   the star of the show. The flaky tender pieces of 
fish were seasoned with a slightly sweet miso   sauce and it just hits the spot with warm rice. 
And it is also served with pieces of egg omelet   and gobo, nori, and some pickled vegetables. And 
don't forget to add the tonjiru, which is a pork   and tofu soup.

This is what blew me away. Although 
it's simple and unassuming looking, this pork and   tofu soup came with a punch of flavor. Earthy miso 
flavors, natural sweetness with what appeared to   be stewed daikon in it, and the silky tofu pieces 
in it and meaty slices of pork, this dish is one   of the best tasting dishes I've eaten this 
year. Paired with rice and this was the breakfast   of champs for sure. Although there are differing 
opinions about this place, Rigo Hawaii made my   number two on my list for this year. After 
filming this restaurant, I went back two more   times because I enjoyed the food that much. It is 
on the expensive side, but I'm willing to spend my   money on a restaurant that presents quality food 
and great service. This restaurant specializes in   Spanish typee tapas dishes, as well as pastas and 
pizzas, but with a Japanese twist. Most of the   appetizers I tried were tasty and creatively put 
together and had just the right amount of, you know,   portion size to finish and you're still able to 
try another dish without getting full.

If you're on   a budget, try coming here for pau hana for just pupus 
and drinks to just sample some of the food without   committing to a full entrée. My favorite drink 
here was the sangria. I also like their pastas   and off camera I tried their pizza, which was also 
amazing. The crust is thin and was cooked in a wood   fire oven. The star of the restaurant here was 
the paella though. It's a Spanish rice dish topped   with lots of seafood. And the bottom of the rice 
crusted in the pan and that was the best part. If   you love seafood you'll love Rigo Hawaii. And my 
number one restaurant that I tried, in my opinion,   of all the ones I tried while filming for the 
year of 2023 was even a surprise to me. I had no   expectations coming to this restaurant. I just went 
there because it, you know, opened up and everybody   was talking about it. And it is…I hope I'm saying 
it right again – Yi Xin Café and that's located in   the Market City Shopping Center next to the 
Walgreens and between the Foodland.

The owners   also own Sing Ma Tei in the Ala Moana Makai food court. 
Yi Xin Café specializes in Hong Kong style   food and also Singaporean dishes and Malaysian 
dishes. The reason I picked this restaurant to be   number one on my list is that I thought every dish 
we ordered had dynamic flavors that were pleasant   to the mouth. And I think they would please most 
any palette or local palette anyway. The flavors   exploded in your mouth, but not in an unfamiliar 
way. It's the way you'd want a fried rice to taste   and your other entrees to taste. Yet it's kind of 
new and has a little touch to it that makes it   exciting.

I thought the Hong Kong milk tea with the bear 
was a very cute presentation and it was not only   cute it was very flavorful. The tea was milky 
with a pleasant sweetness and I actually wished   I had free refills. I mean I liked it that much, but 
unfortunately you can only get one cup with your   price. The chicken wings with the shrimp paste 
were crunchy and flavorful. You didn't taste   any shrimp or you know stinky fish type taste. 
It just elevates the flavors of the seasoning   just like fish sauce does.

So if you're not into 
seafood you wouldn't even know that there was   seafood or shrimp paste in that dish. It was an 
amazing, amazing type of chicken wing. The Thai   style pork cheek had amazing flavors of lemongrass 
and all the flavors you'd expect from a Thai   dish. However you know, even though it had the 
bold flavors of Thai flavors, the pork cheek was   tender and it just fell part in your mouth. And I 
liked the sides of the chili so you could add that   if you wanted. So it had a like a small kick of 
spice that it gave, but at the same time if you're   not into spice you don't need to add it. And the 
sizzling beef had a delicious sauce paired with   it and you know, comes on a big sizzling platter. 
Very enjoyable to watch it come to your table. And   the beef was sliced in a way that was so thin that 
it made it easy to eat and it was very tender.

And   everything just went well with rice. So you should 
have rice with your dish – your entree. We got   fried rice in instead of plain rice and 
it was the most flavorful fried rice I've had in a   while. It had the wok hei flavors, you know, from that very 
high heat point and just really delicious. I'm   sure they put fish sauce in it too or something 
different than a regular typical Chinese style   fried rice because it was very, very flavorful. And the 
side of green beans, even though it looked boring,   it's simple looking but it also tasted fabulous 
as well. Like every dish we had was just so flavor   packed and I just was impressed with everything 
we ordered with no expectations going in.

The whole   meal was amazing. I enjoyed every dish that came 
to our table. The service was quick and friendly   and the prices weren't so bad. You can walk 
in there with shorts it's not somewhere fancy   where it's uppity and you feel uncomfortable. You 
can just go there just dressed in jeans, shorts,   slippers, whatever and you're treated well. And it's 
all good.

They now serve crab dishes after a   couple of months of being open that we were not 
able to get because they weren't serving it when   we went. But go check it out if you like crab. 
You know I looked at the pictures and some video   of the new crab dishes that are Singaporean crab 
and Malaysian style crab. So definitely check it   out if you enjoy seafood and if you haven't been 
there you know it's just really delicious food. I   would highly recommend going there and any of 
the ones that I mentioned on this list and   all the other ones I've videoed as well.

know, just support your local businesses and   restaurants out there. They all make really good 
food and they work really hard to provide us   with good meals. So I hope you enjoyed my list. 
That is just my opinion and of course it's not   the list of every restaurant on Oahu. It's just the 
ones I filmed for this year of 2023. The list keeps   growing longer my stomach's only so big. So I hope 
I can reach more of them in this coming new year   of 2024. For all the ones who have subscribed or 
watched and commented on my videos from the very   beginning, thank you so much. I really appreciate 
all of you – each and every one of you, for   supporting this channel. It has grown so big to 
more than I ever expected.

You know, when I started,   I think I put it in my question and answer a long 
time ago, I didn't even think I would hit 100 you   know subscribers. But we're almost at 10,000. 
That is just amazing. So I hope you all have   a safe and Happy New Year with many blessings and 
good fortune to all of you. And you know I hope   you stick around and see some of the adventures 
I have planned for 2024 – not just on Oahu, but off   of Oahu. And always keep an open mind. That's 
always my motto for those who watch.

And not just   stick to local food. There's so many different 
cultures moving here to Oahu and they show you   all your…you know all kinds of stuff and their 
culture. So definitely just be open-minded. Try it.   You might actually find something that you might 
fall in love with. And you know spread the word   so other people can taste their food. So with that 
I'll leave you with that until next year.

I'll   see you next year for another food adventure. 
I'll see you then. So enjoy your New Year's and   New Year's Eve. If you like this press the like 
button, subscribe if you're new, and if you're   not new and I know it's a lot of you know I can 
see analytics, a lot of people continue watching   but they don't press the subscribe button. So 
subscribe if you haven't. Maybe you forgot or you   don't do those, but that'll help me out a lot.

I'll see you again next year. Peace out take care. 🤙🌺🌈✌.

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