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Coming Up

  • Next on 'Ono Kine Grindz:

    The Wedding Cafe, Manoa

    Recently Consumed:

    Zaney's, Downtown Honolulu
    Bob's Bar-B-Que, Kalihi
    Restaurant Yamagen, Moili'ili

    Below you will find a never ending list of restaurants that I want to visit or re-visit:

    Young's Fish Market
    Alan Wong's Pineapple Room
    Cafe Sistina
    Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
    Yakiniku Toraji
    Sushi Masa
    Ono Hawaiian Foods
    Tsukuneya Robata Grill

    If you would like to give me a tip on a new restaurant that is opening up, or give me a recommendation on some of your favorite restaurants, please send an e-mail to:

    onokinegrindz (at) yahoo (dot) com

    The following posts should be completed someday (!):

    New Diner's Drive In
    Border Grill
    Penang Malaysian
    Chez Panisse
    Zuni Cafe
    Indonesia Restaurant
    Boston's North End Pizza
    Happy Inn
    Kat's Sushi
    Fritz's European Bakery
    Makino Chaya
    Singapore/Bangkok Posts
    Chin's Kahala
    Hata Restaurant
    Ebisu Catering Service
    Bubba Burgers
    The Eggberts
    Blossoming Lotus
    Hamura Saimin Stand
    Bob's Big Boy

    WHEW! I hope to have them done by year's end!

    Upcoming adventures

    San Francisco, CA

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

    London, UK
    Paris, France
    Chicago, IL
    Seoul, South Korea
    I won't be able to visit Korea this year.
    San Francisco, CA
    New Orleans, LA
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Shanghai, China

    Hopefully, some of you can provide me with recommendations for some good eats!

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May 15, 2004



I think that Dim sum is very good, i like ta-gow, it has shrimp inside and its white on the out, Im not chinese so im not to good with the names, but the food is very dialious.



The Hawaii char siu baos tend to be drier and saltier than the ones here in LA. In fact, most of the assortments of dim sum are different. The LA char siu baos are sweeter with less coloring compared to the dark red shredded BBQ pork which you have pictured. I've also took note that your siu mais are a bit larger than ours too. I guess different ethnic regions have their own taste and styles. Probably goes for any other types of cuisines too. I sure do miss the old Char Hung Sut in your China town. You have something we don't have and that is the ma tai soo which they are famous for.


Hi Angel,

Welcome to my blog!

Do you mean "har gow" which are steamed shrimp dumplings? If so, I like to have them every now and again! =)

I like dim sum too, but this was not one of my favorite places.

Hi Clinton,

To be honest with you, I didn't care for the char siu bao at Mei Sum. The char siu bao was much better at Panda Cuisine. Here's a link to a photo.

The char siu in this one is very moist and not at all salty. In fact, its a bit sweet.

I think it depends on where you go.

Char Hung Sut on the other hand, makes local style manapua which is nothing like the char siu bao that you get in Asia. I have to agree though that the ma tai soo is quite delicious! I need to go there eatly one day before work and do a write up on the place.


Ah yes...This char siu bao comes closer to ours here in LA (and just as small in size with the split top) but the coloring is a little bit too red though. Don't know why but our char siu is kind of brownish and the filling is sweetish and quite thick in consistency. Both varieties are good in my opinion.
Comparing the sizes of the ha gow (shrimp dumplings), fun gaw (half moon), and siu mai (pipiau or pork dumplings), the Hawaiian version tend to be a bit larger than the LA version. The taste otherwise seem to be similar in most cases. That's just my own personal opinion.


Hi Clinton,

Any recommendations on dim sum restaurants in the LA area? I've always wanted to eat dim sum when visiting, but I have never had the opportunity. I never miss going to In-N-Out though! =)



The next visit you make it to the LA area, you definitely need to try Ocean Star Restaurant in Monterey Park. It was rated one or probably the best dim sum place here in LA. It is located off the 10 Freeway at Atlantic and Garvey. I've been there several times and the trick is to get there early before the crowd gets there on weekends, otherwise you have to wait a long time to get seated. It's a huge place almost like a warehouse and accomodates a lot of people but the place is well known and ultra popular. Another place which is close by, is the NBC Restaurant which is almost as good or comparable to Ocean Star.

If you're in Gardena, you need to try Seafood Empress on Redondo Beach Blvd. between Western and Normandie Aves. It's not as good as Ocean Star but probably is the best the south bay has to offer.

In LA Chinatown, the best I can suggest is the Empress Pavilion on Hill Street in the Bamboo Pavilion near Dodger Stadium. This place is really crowded during the lunch hours and on weekends. There is limited validation parking in the garage where it is located. The LA Times wrote a review on this place as one of the best in LA.


Hi Clinton,

Thanks so much for the tips and the advice on eating in the LA area. I'm hoping to get out there this summer. =) I'll make sure to try out some of the places you listed. BTW...why don't you have a blog? =)


I'm from the LA (Montery Park) area, and went to visit Hawaii this Spring. I went to Mei Sum for dim sum on the weekend. It was packed and crowded, but worth the wait. If you go during the evening, when it's not so crowded, you can still get dim sum, but it's the most fun during the day. My favorite is the deep fried eggpplant with deep fried garlic bits; it was _really_ good and flavorful--great for the garlic lovers. I was impressed with the shrimp dumpling cause it had whole large shrimps in it, and was very fresh and steaming hot. The seafood roll was also great since it had everything-- a large shrimp, a delicately flavored fish fillet, black mushrooms, and imitation crab wrapped in a soft beancurd skin. Another favorite is the deep fried seaweed roll and the deep fried scallop in the taro ball--that was awesome!! And then for dessert, I recommend the lightly sweet yellow egg tarts. For the lovers of fried rice and garlic lovers (me included), the Mei Sum Special Garlic Fried Rice was delicious. It had bits of shrimp, some char siu, and just enough garlic to not overwhelm you yet not disappoint. When I go back to visit Hawaii again, I would go back to Mei Sum for really great dim sum!


Hi Teresa,

Thank you so much for stopping by and providing your recommendations for dim sum at Mei Sum. For some reason, I wasn't really that impressed. Maybe it was an off day....

I'll definitely try to go back there again soon. Thanks again!


Sup Reid,

I just love your blog! Awesome pics and topic! You always have good reading!
My family and I went to Mei Sum the other day on a Saturday early evening about 5pm and my good friend recommended it to me etc. Well long story short the dim sum was average and the service was terrible! We ordered crispy gau gee mein with cake noodle and when the dish was brought to our table, it was so tiny in portion compared to other local homestyle cantonese restaurants here in Hawaii. My brother in law and I were in shock. Our wives were just eager to eat after a day of shopping at Ala Moana Center. As other dishes were served like the harm ha pork with ong choy, the quality of the food was getting sadder. The ongchoy was old and the whole dish arrived with oil bubbles from the oil blanching in the wok. It just wasn't pleasing to the eye. My wife just wanted to taste the shrimp/pork shu mai which was just ok. We were better off just buying from Chun Wah Kam or Island Manapua for the the over charged prices. We were very disappointed. We waited for over 10 minutes for them to steam more shu mai and to get more rice. The pineapple shrimp looked so sad too because it had more pineapple then shrimp and the sauce was made with too much ketchup. The only thing that was satisfactory was the mochi rice chicken wrapped in lotus leaves like jung. If I brought my digicam maybe they would've been on the ball. We waited so long for water and teapot refills that I had to holler for a waitress for service. So after reluctantly paying the bill we headed out of the door and the cashier/waitress came running out after us and said "so sorry because you didn't leave the tip!" We just glanced and shook our heads walking toward our car parked on the street. That will be the first and last time there for our family.


I've been to Mei Sum before. I agree that most of their food is overpriced and not as good as you could find elsewhere. I'd rather just go to Empress for the yummy black bean beef chow fun and good/cheap dim sum ^_^ Have you ever tried Little Village, Reid? They have the best Honey Walnut Shrimp, and they're in Chinatown.


Hi Reggie,

Thanks for stopping by and for the compliments.

I feel bad that you had such a bad experience at Mei Sum. Mine wasn't as bad, but I agree with you that the food wasn't anything special. If I had the same experiences that you did, I'd probably not want to visit here as well. Then again, it may also be because I've eaten dim sum in Hong Kong and most of the food servers there are the same way. LOL!

Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Cindy,

I took the liberty of moving your comment to the correct post.

Welcome to the blog. I hope you like it. I haven't ever been to Empress, but I have been to Little Village. It's been a while though, but I must agree that the food there is quite good, even though it's a little more pricey than most places.

Thanks for stopping by.

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