Tonkatsu Tamafuji

The discussion the other day on where to eat for dinner came up with tonkatsu, and our go to is Menchankotei on Keamoku. Their signature item is menchanko nabe, but their tonkatsu is excellent. However, I got curious and did a net search and discovered this place, Tonkatsu Tamafuji, been getting the buzz. It’s a Hokkaido chain that opened on Kapahulu Ave. a little more than a year ago. Glowing reviews, and warnings about the long waits. I ended up solo this past Thursday so decided in the name of research to chance it.

Continue reading ‘Tonkatsu Tamafuji’

Beer Is Good – Birra Moretti La Rosa

Something I haven’t seen before, a different varietal of Moretti. This one is labeled as a doppelbock. Pours dark amber, medium light head. Fairly strong hop, but also strong roasted malt. Pretty mild middle and clean finish with some lingering bitter. I would call it more of a red than a doppelbock, though at 7.2 ABV it does pack some punch.  Medium thick mouthfeel. It’s certainly much preferable to my tastes than the standard Moretti you find.

In comparison to others, I’d give it a barely eeked 3 doppelmonkeys out of 4. I don’t know if it stands out enough to rate a 3, but its definitely better than a 2. F though, that ABV is sneaky, not high enough you notice it when drinking, but every time I’ve had one, it affects me. Either I get really sleepy and knock out, or just now I slammed my toe into the corner of the door jamb! The other night I stubbed my other toe into something else, I might have to give up on this beer!

 

Beer Is Good – Blue Point Toasted Lager

Pours clear amber, light head. Light hop and malt aroma. Light bitter that does not linger too long, slight grain in finish. Light mouthfeel, describes the whole of it, light and crisp. Easy drinking, nothing outstanding, nothing offensive.

Just barely 3 out 4 toasted monkeys.

 

 

 

Beer Is Good – Firestone Walker Lager


Finally something other than an IPA other than the 805. Pours bright clear yellow, medium light head. Pilsnery hop aroma, mild bitter that quickly tapers, nicely balanced. Crisp and yet has a nice mallllt and grain note. Light mouthfeel, easy drinking, yet has character. This is “sessionable” that also quite enjoyable.

Solid 3 out 4 lager monkeys.

 

 

Marketing


Damn marketing! Whoever came up with this retro campaign, it worked. I bought a four pack because the label art on the can caught my attention. Of course the beer is good, but I guess with all the variety and influx of new flavors popping up every week, you can get lost in looking for and trying the latest that you forget the classics. So while trying new is good, you discover new faves like Fat Tire New Belgium, or Firestone Walker 805, for example, but don’t neglect the old standbys, because you never know when they may vanish.

 

Oh So Buco

 

Decided to make a osso bucco like dish for dinner. Instead of lamb shank used Hawaii beef shank. After making it realized that its not very hard, just takes a long time. I guess time is money, which is why restaurants can charge so much for it? It’s basically stew. Looked online at a bunch of recipies to get the gist of things then went for it. Salt & pepper and dredge the meat in flour. Heat up pot pretty hot, add oil, brown meat. Remove meat, then saute the classic aromatic veggies of onion, carrot, and celery. Toss in herbs, I grabbed fresh rosemary and bay leaf from our yard, threw in a few sprigs of thyme bought from store, saute a bit. Toss in finely diced hot red pepper. Then deglaze. Supposed to use wine, but I had the Russian imperial stout which is pretty winelike. “Not too sweet, not too rancid, jus’ right!” (For you off islanders, look up Rap Reiplinger’s Auntie Marialani) Continue reading ‘Oh So Buco’

Beer Is Good – Sam Adams Smoked Lager

Final selection from the SA variety pack, this Smoked Lager. Pours deep amber with light head. Despite the name, there is not a strong smoked aroma. If anything the hop bitter is more pronounced. There is a hint of the roasted malt. Fairly light mouthfeel, which kind of goes with the wateriness. It’s drinkable, but it does not fill me with joy either.

2 out 4 kinda smoked monkeys.

 

Beer Is Good – Mission Brewery Dark Seas Russian imperial stout

Feeling in need of dark, a Russian imperial stout is pretty extreme. Pours opaque black with very light head. Dark fruit and alcohol aroma. Dark roast, interestingly bitter is even, coffee flavors. Pretty thick mouthfeel, this is a sipping beer. And as a good stout maintains good character warm. 9.8 ABV, this beer is not to be taken lightly.

Solid 3 out 4 imperial monkeys.

 

 

Vaccuum Fad


Vacuum (aka Thermos) bottles have existed for decades, even the stainless steel ones, but it seems just recently that to tout one around is trendy. Hydroflask seems to be the ones that kicked this off, they achieved such heavy market penetration that they were everywhere. What also helps is the accessories, it makes them more like sports bottles where you can drink directly from them on the go. Most “old school” vacuum bottles would require you to pour into a cup first, although if you’re a construction worker you would have mastered the skill of lifting the cooler jug above your head and pouring directly into your mouth. Everyone seems to have them, kids, nurses, office workers, ladies where the clang goes along with the jangle of Hawaiian bracelets. Continue reading ‘Vaccuum Fad’

Beer Is Good – Sam Adams Kellerbeir


Next in the variety pack is this not commonly seen german style, Kellerbeir. Pours hazy medium amber, medium light head. Medium hop aroma, medium bitter that stays even throughout. Malt and grain is not pronounced, fairly dry mouthfeel and finish. Pretty easy drinking.

3 out 4 unfiltered monkeys.