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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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« The Daily Grindz | Main | Random Photo #24 »

January 19, 2006



Hi Reid - The prices seem to be on the high side. Hope the Pho' was outstanding since it's a "regular bowl", for almost 7 bucks - the meat better be filet mignon. And the Imperial Rolls look just like regular old Cha Gio to me.


Hi Reid,

My mom works by here so I pass it a lot of my way to the Covenant Cafe (their soups are excellent!)I never understood why it's always busy. I enjoy dining there when our family doesn't want to drive to Chinatown. But for simply average food, the prices are too high in comparison to other Vietnamese restaurants. Super Pho (despite the tacky name :)) by 7-11 on Waialae may be a better neighborhood bet.


I've been waiting for this post forever! :P I saw it on the sidebar!


I only went there once...a loooongg time (years) ago and the prices were *high* for (imo)mediocre food.

Will Lee

The Pho is definitely pretty good though. And they give you an ample serving of rice noodles, which is usually lacking in most Pho houses.

Is it phonetically prounounced (phuh) or (pha)?


i agree that they are expensive but it's a clean restaurant. i like cuu long, 2 locations one in chinatown the other in the pearlkai shopping center


Reid: I've been reading your comments over the last year and really enjoy your reviews. I agree with your comments about Hale Vietnam. I feel that they're overated. There's a small Vietnamese place across Waialae called Saigon. Not much to look at, but better tasting dishes. Cuu Long in Pearl Kai is good, but very crowded. I haven't tried the one in town.


I've always associated Hale Vietnam with Chiang Mai--more of a nieghborhood place that is frequented by non-Asians/non-Locals. And the quality of the food is about the same--bland and overpriced.


I guess it was a good thing that I didn't get an opportunity to go to this restaurant on my trip back. Auwe, how disappointing!


I very much agree w/your comments re Hale Vietnam. We only go there out of desperation, not having tried other pho placed in that area (my beau lives in Kaimuki). I absolutely adore one of your suggestions--Bac Nam (which is in my neighborhood). As usual, your comments are spot on!


Hi Kirk,

The prices here are definitely on the high side which is probably why I don't visit this place too often. Judging by the food I had on my latest visit, I probably won't eat here again.

Hi Kathy,

I haven't been to Covenant Cafe in years, but I think I need to go again. Thanks for the reminder. As for Super Pho, after a visit there a while back, I don't think I'd visit that place again. I really didn't enjoy the food there. I heard that the place next door to Okata Bento was pretty good.

Hi Cindy,

Do you like the food here?


You're exactly right. That's the same thing I thought.

Hi Will,

I think you can have better pho for less money at either Bac Nam or at Pho 97. They do give a lot of noodles, but the beef is substandard. I would much rather have good quality beef and herbs than more noodles.

I think pho is pronounced more like phuh.

Hi Sherry,

Thanks for stopping by.

Yes, Hale Vietnam is clean, but I don't think that's a reason for charging a much high price than some other places. Bac Nam is clean and sparsely decorate, but I think the pho is much better there.

I haven't been to Cuu Long in a while, but have to agree that it is pretty good.

Hi Kirk,

Welcome and thanks for leaving me a comment. I'm glad that you agree, but I can't figure out why this place is always packed AND why they've been around so long.

I guess people in the area don't mind paying a higher price for mediocre tasting food.

Oh well...


Oooh, don't talk about Chiang Mai, please. But yes, these two places have much in common.

Hi Cindy,

I think you might want to experience this place at least once, just so that you know. I mean, I might have different tastebuds than you do! =)

Hi Nai,

Long time no hear!

Bac Nam is in my neighborhood too, so we must be neighbors. I think the prices at Bac Nam are a little high too (not as high as Hale Vietnam), but the quality is much better.

Veruca salt

I am totally craving sticky spring rolls.

A pity the Pho was no good.

I find Pho a little bit like pizza. Even when it's bad, it's still good, if you know what I mean.


Hi Veruca Salt,

Long time no hear!

The spring rolls were excellent, I guess to balance out the quality of the pho. Everything can't be good right?

I think I know what you mean by that second comment, but since there are so many great places to get pho here, I normally just go to the places that I enjoy. =)


Have you guys ever been to Pho Mai on the corner of S. King and Keeaumoku? It is a small but clean and cozy looking restaurant. The foods are pretty good and tasty.


I love hale vietnam. I come there two to three times a week. Even though it cost more than the others, the service and the friendliness of its people is well the worth. Hale Vietnam is one of the oldest vietnamese restaurant in town. I mean 20 years of service to the community says a lot. I grew up eating here. In my opinion it's still the best in town.


Hi TL,

Welcome to the blog. Sorry for the late response to the comment. Is it the one next to La Pizza Rina? If so, I haven't been there in a long, long time!

Hi Brian,

Welcome to the blog.

I'm glad you like the service at Hale Vietnam and I'm glad you enjoy the food there.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

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