Monthly Archive for July, 2011

Beer Is Good – Suntory Premium Malts, bottle

We first discovered this at Chimpei ramen, now available at Marukai. Suntory Premium malts in glass bottle. Same crisp bit with a nice touch of flavor and bitter character. Is it better? I’m of the school that prefers bottles over cans, I think it is a more pleasant experience. Does it taste different? I’m not sure, but I think so. And for all those people who worry about it, no Booby Promoting Additive in the plastic liner. Is it worth the $1 more? You’ll have to decide. 3 out of 4 non estrogened monkeys.

The Pastele Shop Pastele Moco

Since the place that Root works at did a contract over at the Pastele Shop on School and Gulick, he scored a freebie plate a few months back that I got to sample. The Pastele was really good, and the gandule rice it came with was good too. The tossed greens that came with the plate were fresh and a voluminous, and the dressing was good too. Ckucke was in the area, so he picked us up lunch from there. I gave the Pastele Moco a try. I saw it on the menu and it sounded like an awesome idea. Combine Loco Moco and Pasteles? How could you go wrong? Fabio made it by earlier in the month and had given it his seal of approval. For those who don’t know what a pastele (“pah-tay-lay” – the “s” is silent) is, it the Caribbean/Central American equivalent of the Mexican tamale. This steamed dish arrived in Hawai’i with Puerto Rican immigrants during the sugar plantation days. It uses ground plantain or green bananas in place of the cornmeal since this dish hails from more tropical regions where corn does not grow well. Continue reading ‘The Pastele Shop Pastele Moco’

Pop Goes the FX

OK, over the past week had been working bit by bit on the rally FX. After the last event, I managed to limp home with the leaking manifold. I thought it was running so rough because the leaking manifold was allowing air into the system causing the O2 sensor to read wrong and run rich. I replaced the gaskets and studs and nuts I’d lost and tightened down. It wasn’t as loud, but still ran lousy. I swaped over belt idler so I could completely delete the A/C compressor, and in the process reset the distrbutor and timing. Also verified spark signal at each sparkplug wire. It still ran wonky. I saw crud was being spit out the exhaust and I was begining to worry. I looked at the radiator fluid and the oil, though a little low, they both looked fine and clear. Odd. I replaced the O2 sensor, still ran bad. I started unplugging the spark plugs wires. Uh oh, unplugged #3 and there was no change in engine idle, looks like cylinder 3 is not firing for some reason. Hmmm, unplugging #2 also showed no change in how badly the engine was running. What’s going on here? Maybe injector problem? I’d have to look up which banks fire together, this was a possibility. I pulled the spark plugs and 2 & 3 were covered in black, none of the white/gray combustion color.  Finally I pulled out compression tester and it revealed extremely low compression on cylinders 2 and three. Ah damn, looks like a blown headgasket after all. Looks like I’m tearing things apart and doing a head rebuild. Wasn’t quite planning on this so soon, but looks like I’m going to be doing a bunch of work on it now!

Izakaya Naru

Open for a bit over half a year,  I’ve been there three times now and figured should do a review.  It is located on King Street slotted between TCBY and Sushi King and the Post Office.  Same location that has seen other small Japanese restaurants. It is an authentically Japanese style izakaya, they have a few other locations in Japan, so the staff is most comfortable with Japanese, although there is at least one who speaks perfect English. And as such, you’ll notice a large percentage of Japanese expats in the customer base. And it’s izakaya style is casual and intimate, many of the regulars and natives will call out orders direct to the counter. I would say the food is contemporary Japanese with a strong Okinawan bent. You’ll find a good amount of Okinawa standards like goya, rafute, soki soba, taco rice and an array of awamori drinks.

 In case you don’t know, taco rice is not a misspelling of tako, it’s an Okinawa thing. Imagine a taco, like a Taco Bell taco, that had it’s tortilla disintegrated and instead ended up on a bed of white rice.  Naru’s take on it is served ishiyaki style, a heated stone bowl that makes that wonderful burnt koge layer of rice. And the rice is a bit more like mexican rice style, with the spices and flavorings in the rice, as opposed to the bits on plain white rice that some might call more “traditional”, if one could call the mishmash of pop cuisine that is attributed to GI influence such a thing. I found this rendition to be quite tasty. There are still bits of lettuce in it that become all wilty, but I enjoyed it. Continue reading ‘Izakaya Naru’

GM Door Control Linkage Retaining Clip Repair

The upper latch on the work van back door suddenly ceased functioning. A quick examination revealed that the little plastic clip that holds the bent end of the pull/pushrod into the latch mechanism had broken, so the L-shaped end of the rod had nothing to control its high propensity to wander around inside the door frame. Toyotas and Nissans usually have secondary guides to limit the wandering of the linkages, but all GM had was a fat piece of foam insulation that only acted to keep the rod from rattling once the plastic retaining clip broke. Not wanting to have the van out of service for such a minor thing, I made a replacement part using a piece of metal pallet strapping. All the tools used were whatever was lying around at work, which wasn’t much. I would have tried making something out of zip-ties, but I couldn’t think of a solution in short order. If you had a little scrap Kydex or some other thermoplastic sheet, you could probably make something a lot nicer. Continue reading ‘GM Door Control Linkage Retaining Clip Repair’

Race Ready

Over the weekend I was able to get replacement Monroe strut cartridges up front changed out. That one shock was indeed blown, you aren’t supposed to hear little pieces rattling around inside. Next, seeing that all the goodness had escaped out of the rally FX’s airconditioning, I spent the earlier part of the week removing the A/C components. I was planning to transfer it over to the daily FX anyway and lightening the load goes with this being the race FX. Got the condenser, accumulator and the plumbing out, figure that should be good for more than a few pounds. The compressor and evaporator are still in there as those two take some work.

Then on Friday night, day before the race, I got the bug into my butt that as long as I was going that far, I might as well swap radiators. The radiator that was in the daily FX was a plastic tanked, aluminum cored unit. Doing the scientific soda A soda B comparison by lifting in left and right hand, it’s’ noticeably lighter than the all brass one. Easy swap.

Continue reading ‘Race Ready’

Jollibee Chicken Joy

I was out in Waipahu at lunchtime the other day, so I stopped by Jollibee to give them a try. Although this is the first USA franchise of a restaurant chain from the Philippines, you won’t find Filipino ethnic fare here: This is a Western-style fast-food place. The three major menu items they have are fried chicken, burgers, and spaghetti. This time around, I opted for the fried chicken, referred to here as “Chicken Joy”. The base plate is two pieces of chicken and one side, and from there you can upgrade to two sides, then three pieces of chicken. I got the two-piece with two sides, (#2) with mashed potatoes and buttered corn. The other options were white rice and something else I can’t remember right now. I neglected to indicate the spicy chicken option when I ordered, so I received the standard fried chicken. The service was very fast and the food was plated neatly. In addition to the gravy on the mashed potatoes, there was a little container of extra gravy for the chicken. Including the fountain drink, my meal came to $7.33 USD with sales tax. Continue reading ‘Jollibee Chicken Joy’

Bacon Xmas

Mmm… Bacon.  Nothing says the holiday season like a tree decorated with bacon!