Citrus Lane – March 2015

Life has been pretty hectic recently, so this review of the March Citrus Lane box is a little late.   I love receiving and opening these subscription boxes, and as always, Citrus Lane did not disappoint.  So, without further adeiu, on to my box:
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The first item in the box was this Bow Tie from Baby Bow Tie ($25) .  I feel like this bow tie is one of those things that I would love for Connor to have, but would not have bought it myself.  Accordingly, I was really happy to see this item in the box, and I can’t wait for Connor to wear it.   The tie was well-made, adjustable, and has a magnetic closure for easy dressing and removal.DSC03029

The second item in the box was this Tweat Snack Ball from Ubbi ($10).  This snack container has a pretty neat design.  It has two large handles for holding, a weighted bottom that the container supposedly always stays upright, and an attached lid that stays on while opening.  Connor’s not eating finger foods yet, however he will be in a few months.  I cant wait to use this one.
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The third item in the box was this First Play Peek-A-Boo Panda from Melissa & Doug ($8).  I thought this was a pretty nifty wooden toy.  The panda’s arm/hands flip up (over its eyes) and down, as if playing peek-a-boo.  Connor is just starting to learn about object permanence and so this peek-a-boo panda is a perfect toy for Connor.

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Finally, the last two products in the box were a 9 oz bottle Bubble Bath from Johnson & Johnson ($3) and a 3 oz bottle (not shown) of Head to Toe Baby Wash from Johnson & Johnson ($2).  I know that many people online were disappointed with this item because this is a product everyone has heard of or used before (most likely in the hospital).  But for me, I was happy with getting these items because they are much more useful than the tubes of lotion that I’ve gotten in past boxes.

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Month after month, I am surprisingly pleased with Citrus Lane.  They have a very nice mix of toys and useful items for baby.  I think this is my favorite box so far because I can see using each and every item in this box.  Overall, the I estimate the total value of the box to be about $48, which is a great deal considering the amount I paid for my box.

Rijo Restaurant

Ev and I have a small tradition that whenever one of us is off while the other is working, we have lunch together.  So, when Everett had to take off from work because we couldn’t find a babysitter for Connor, we decided to try Rijo Restaurant, which is the new restuarant that recently opened in the old Palamino’s space in Harbor Court.

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At first we couldn’t remember exactly where the entrance was, but we eventually figured out that this staircase was the entrance to the restaurant.  Inspired by the Penicillin cocktail that he ordered previously at Livestock Tavern, Ev decided to press his luck and ordered another whiskey based drink.  This one was called the Kintaro ($10) which contained nikka 12 yr. whiskey with sweet vermouth and a dash of peach bitters.  Unfortunately, this drink wasn’t that great.  I’d take the Penicillin coctail from Livestock over this one any day.

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For lunch, we decided to order two appetizers and split an entree.  Our first appetizer was the Smoked Duck Inaniwa Udon Tsukemen ($11).  This was my favorite dish of the lunch and it contained slices of lightly smoked duck breast on top of cold  udon noodles and served with a side of spicy tsukemen dipping sauce.  I thought it was really tasty and would definitely get this again.

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Our second appetizer was the Crispy Tofu with Quinoa ($10).  This was Ev’s favorite dish of the lunch and we both thought it was really creative use of quinoa using nontraditional, Japanese flavors.  The quinoa salad contained hijiki seaweed, kinpira, asparagus, cucumber, tomato, and had a sweet onion sesame vinaigrette.

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Finally, Ev and I split the Misoyaki Kobe Beef Philly cheese Sandwich ($14), which also came with a small micro green salad and a healthy helping of french fries.   I thought this was really good too.  It had a nice crusty bread and the steak was nicely seasoned a the misoyaki glaze.

DSC02993Overall, the food was really good here so I hope this restaurant does well.  I’m always looking for new lunch options that can accomodate larger groups of people and this restaurant would be a good choice for future events.   Also, the fact that they take reservations via Open Table is a definite plus.  I thought the prices were comparable to Livestock Tavern but I preferred all three of the dishes I had here over any of the dishes we ate at Livestock.  I will be back.  Hopefully sooner than later.

Pig and the Lady

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About a week ago, Ev and I decided to take the family out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, the Pig and the Lady.  We wanted to do something nice for Ev’s mom since she was getting knee replacement surgery the next day.

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We started our meal with three appetizers – the Fried Potato Skins with ikura, horseradish creme fraiche (not shown because we all finished it before I could take a picture) ($7), the Wild Ho’io with meyer lemons, shaved almonds, and parmesean shavings, shown above ($9), and the Dried porchini beignets with parmesan cheese and fish sauce ($8).

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I normally dont’ care for fish sauce, but these beignets were by far my favorite dish of the night. The horseradish creme fraiche balanced nicely with the savory, salty beignets.  I could have eaten two orders of these myself for dinner.

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Ev’s brother had a cold so he ordered the Braised Veal Shank Soup, cooked in a central Vietnam style with banana blossom, rau ram, smashed chili, calamansi, spiced lemongrass beef broth and vermicelli noodles ($17) for himself. The rest of the family split three entrees.

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Handcut Octopus Bolognese with saffron, potato skins, pomegranate, and fennel ($19).  Ev enjoyed this dish a lot.
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Shinsato Farm Pork with chorizo pierrada, olive oil potatoes, hazelnuts, leeks braised in espelette & apple cider, and mizuna ($29).   Overall, I cannot think of anything bad to say about this dish.  Nice crispy pork on top of a nice bed of mashed potatoes and dressed with a nice meaty gravy/sauce.  What more can you ask for?
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Crab Fat Curry with dungeness crab, clam jus, betel leaves, apple & banana sofrito, market vegetables, and a puff pastry crust ($32).  This dish was the most impressive looking dish of the night with its huge pastry puff top.  While the curry had a good flavor, I couldn’t really taste any the crab.  I also thought the use of kabocha pumpkin in the curry was an unusual, but complemented the complexity of the curry really well.

Overall, another great dinner with the family.  The meal was a little on the pricey side (about $35 – 40 per person after drinks), but the complexity of the food makes it so worth it.

Kaimuki Superette

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I was happy to hear that Ed Kenney, the chef of Town Restaurant, opened another restaurant on Waialae Avenue called the Kaimuki Superette. I also learned that the Superette catered more towards the lunch crowd, serving menu items similar to the ones they used to have at Ed Kenney’s old Downtown Restaurant at the HiSAM that closed down a few years ago. Downtown used to be one of my favorite places to go for lunch, so I was excited to try out this new restaurant.

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When you first step into the restaurant, you can immediately feel the casual, retro vibe of the restaurant.  In front of you, you see the register and the menu on the wall behind it, and to the right of you, there are two rows of tables and chairs, enough sit about 15-20 people.  Playing nicely with the restaurant’s theme, Seasonal Sandwiches & Sundries, in addition to selling ready-made food to eat, the Superette also sold various sundry items, including fresh Shinsato Farms sausage ($7.85), MA‘O greens ($6 a bag), pickled root vegetables and watermelon rind kim chee ($.6.99).  After you order and pay for your food at the register, they give you a number and a staff member brings the food to your table when it’s ready.

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The lunch menu had a nice selection of sandwiches, salads, and side dishes.  Some notable sandwiches were the Porchetta sandwich, the Ahi Clubhouse sandwich, and the Shinsato sausage sandwich.  At first I wanted to order the Porchetta Sandwich, but all the sides were looking so good, that I decided to get the Side Sampler, which was a selection of 5 sides of my choice for $12.  I decided to go with the Roasted Beet Salad with dandelion greens and goat Cheese, the Ho Farm Tomato salad with ricotta cheese, the Watermelon Salad with Jalepenos, chilantro, a lime-chili dressing, a Roasted Root Salad of  Ma’o carrots, radish, and hakurei and the Quinoa Salad with long beans, kabocha pumpkin, tomatoes and okra.

DSC02939Ev decided to order the South Shore He‘e (octopus) Roll with celery seed and tarragon on a buttered bun ($14). The sandwich came with a small side salad and two pieces of pickle.  The octopus was delicately cooked and bread was nicely buttered and toasted perfectly.
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Overall, it was a very enjoyable meal.  My only complaint is the limited parking in the area.  Aside from the three parking stalls next to the restaurant, the only parking in the area is street parking.  While we were lucky enough this time to get one of the three stalls next to the restaurant, I’m sure there will be many more times where we won’t be as lucky.  Other than that, I know I’ll be back soon.  Maybe I’ll try the Porchetta Sandwich next!

Manichi Ramen

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Ev and I have been visiting at a lot of ramen restaurants recently. Now that Connor is getting more mobile, it has been getting harder to have a nice, long dinner out. Fortunately, ramen is fast enough to order and eat before Connor gets bored of his highchair.  Our latest ramen restaurant was Manichi Ramen.

Ev and I have been wanting to eat at Manichi for quite some time now. We pass Manichi once a week when we pick up our Ma’o CSA box. So, I was really happy that we finally got to eat there. I ordered the Manichi Special Miso Tonkotsu Shibori ($13.50), which came with charsui, bean sprouts, green onions, and egg in a rich miso broth. The egg was cooked perfectly – nice and gooey.

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Ev ordered the Manichi Special Ebi Tokotsu Shibori ($13.50).  The broth was slightly spicer and had a light shrimp flavor.
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Overall, Ev and I really enjoyed Manichi Ramen. We couldn’t agree on which broth was better – I liked my broth better, while Ev liked his better – but we both agreed taht both were very good. The noodles were cooked just right and had a nice chew to it. We will definitely be back soon.