Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Great Outdoors

A few hours after touching down from Los Angeles and visiting with relatives -- they aren't doing well, but glad they are doing better -- my father took me to a very cool place called Yakiniku Don Day, a Korean restaurant, on Keeaumoku Street with exclusively outdoor seating. He described eating at restaurants in Korea under tent-like coverings much like this.

Don Day Seating
Yakiniku Don Day Seating

My father picked out a dinner menu for two ($49), wondering if there would be enough food. Within a few minutes, banchan platters were brought out -- potatoes, egg custard (texture was not very fluffy), napa cabbage kimchi, bean sprout namul, cucumbers, and ogo (seaweed) -- a large bowl of salad, two amazing, large crisp mandu (deep fried half-moon dumplings filled with meat, green onions, garlic, and ginger), a larger platter of napa cabbage kimchi, and sundubu jjigae (seafood soup).

The table and a side table quickly filled up! There was no question that this was more than enough for three people.

Don Day Spread
Part of the spread with mandu in my belly

Before the flame was lit to the grill, I wondered how people in Korea ate outdoors in winter. A few minutes after the flame was turned on, my question was answered.

I felt sated by the time one of the women placed slices of pork belly, beef tongue, beef brisket, onion, garlic, and kimchi on the grill. What a great aroma! As I've never had grilled kimchi, this was intriguing. It doesn't really affect the flavor just heats it up. Another ingredient that took me by surprise was the use of potatoes in the sudubu jjigae. Its addition thickened the soup and rounded the flavor of the gochujang (fermented chili paste).

Don Day Spread
Also came with sundubu jjigae

Eating outdoors in the gentle Hawaiian breeze with my father was great. This is one of the best lettuce wraps I've had, piling meat, kimchi, banchan, garlic, smearing some doenjang (miso), then dipping into salted toasted sesame oil. My father enjoyed the food also. I miss the place already.

- Cassaendra

Yakiniku Don Day
905A Keeaumoku St
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 951-1004


Hopping off the plane at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, I leisurely walked to my gate during a layover when I did a double-take as I passed Shoyu in Concourse G. The cooks were showcased behind glass under racks of hanging strands of fresh noodles. Even though I was headed to Japan via Los Angeles and Honolulu, I was intrigued and plopped down at the counter.

Shoyu Counter Seating
Counter seating

At each seat, at the counter or table, there is an iPad, electrical and USB outlet, and credit card swipe. iPads have access online, updates to your flight, and the menu. Selections included sashimi, sushi, ramen, and other dishes. I selected Tokyo style ramen with pork ($12.50) and asparagus tempura roll with mango sauce ($12).

I was startled when the food arrived in under 5 minutes. Broth was a bit lacking (in presence) when the ramen arrived. After I finished taking my pictures and packing my camera, the broth was nearly soaked up by the noodles.

Shoyu Tokyo Style Pork Ramen
Tokyo style ramen with smoked pork

The few spoonfuls of shoyu broth was a touch salty, but keep in mind that I'm sensitive to salt, had another layover, and about 8 hours until I arrived in Honolulu (swollen legs). Even though the noodles soaked up most of the broth, the texture was perfect - good bite and chew. Toppings were generous and delicious.

Clockwise from the top: beautifully boiled egg with a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi; nori (roasted seaweed); spinach; wakame (seaweed); menma (Japanese marinated bamboo shoots); and shredded smoked pork with scallions. The smoked pork was moist and similar to kalua pig from Hawaii.

Shoyu Asparagus Tempura Roll
Asparagus tempura roll

The asparagus tempura roll was technically made all right. The rice wasn't smashed or overcooked, and the ingredients were crisp. My gripe resides with the mango sauce. It would have been better to drizzle it on the platter so one can choose the level of inclusion. I would have opted for zero to a touch. It wasn't horrible, just too sweet for my palate.

If Shoyu was a standalone restaurant in Cleveland, I'd return. It's not perfect, but Cleveland is a ramen desert. There are a few restaurants that make a fair bowl of udon; however, there are no restaurants we've tried that can make a passable bowl of ramen. We have yet to try Dante in Tremont because they begin Japanese noodle service at 10:30 p.m., no earlier. Maybe one day...

- Cassaendra

Concourse G
Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport

Monday, October 29, 2012


52-08 Akemi Ride
52-08 Fall ride

Before the weather turned, we went to the park and a long ride all over town. She enjoyed it and took a long nap curled in a blanket after she came home.

- Cassaendra

Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn Gold

Golden Leaves

Fall drawing to a fantastic close. Weather forecast is for rain over several days. Naked spindly limbs for the next 5-6 months!

- Cassaendra

Monday, October 15, 2012


Cleveland Auction Coat
Love this!

I wanted this coat that was on display at the Cleveland Auction Company, but there are only so much room for nonessential acquisitions. Plus, this coat probably would't fit - too small or the sleeves would likely be too long.

- Cassaendra

Cleveland Auction Company
2418 Professor Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113
Tel: (216) 631-3232

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Whiskey and Cookies


Strawberry Cupcake
Strawberry cupcake

Cupcakes at a Cookie and a Cupcake are always a treat - from their cupcakes available daily to their special cupcakes available for 1-2 days. I've been thinking about my favorite daily flavors. Strawberry and apple come to mind immediately.

Whiskey Bacon Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Whiskey maple bacon and cookie dough cupcakes

Whiskey maple bacon and cookie dough cupcakes were specials of the day. Cookie dough was delicious, but the whiskey maple bacon was superb with its salty bacon and a large scoop of sweet whiskey maple buttercream. It's no wonder this is one of their best selling cupcakes! 

- Cassaendra

A Cookie and a Cupcake
2173 Professor Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113
Tel: (216) 344-9433

Friday, October 5, 2012

Autumn Leaves

The most beautiful time of the year.

Autumn Cluster

Autumn Leaves

Red Path

Autumn Grass

- Cassaendra

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