Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Aloha! Greetings from Hawaii! I went on an epic food tour adventure and it’s all below to share with you! We ate lots of poke, ramen, tonkatsu, sushi + more. Oh and can’t forget shaved ice which is unlike any kind I’ve ever had, same goes for poke!

At the end you’ll see the full list (some on the list not shown through pics) and some explanations of the best places below! You can always keep up on my instagram hashtag #llindseytravels and at @lindseyeatsla + @llindseyl for more from the trip!

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Spam Musubi From Musubi Cafe: They have a bunch all over town so be sure to stop by!

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Sunsets + Surfers over Waikiki

Let’s talk: accommodations!

We stayed at the newly renovated ‘Alohilani Resort right on Waikiki, we got a beautiful ocean view that was breathtaking (especially at Sunset!)

For airlines, we took Alaska Airlines! straight from LA to Honolulu Airport, Hawaii!

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Pineapple Dole Whip from the Dole Plantation: They have tours where they show you the grounds but there is also a big gift shop where you can buy souvenirs and get food. It’s in a really remote area surrounded by beautiful greenz everywhere!

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck: There are 2 locations and normally super busy, I went on the earlier side on a weekday and there wasn’t as big of a line as usual. Serving up traditional Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp with rice!

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Shaved iced from Matsumoto! A popular shaved ice place in North Shore. Another great spot for shaved ice in Waikiki is Walia Shaved Ice.

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide
Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Shaka! Stuffed sweet bean with acai and vanilla soft serve at Kokoro Cafe (inside a shopping center right off the beach of Waikiki)

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Definitely head to the Japanese Villages! There is such a large amount of Japanese food in Hawaii that is NOT to be missed. There are two different kinds that both have great offerings (from the likes of dumplings, tempura, sweets, ramen and more!!). One is in the huge mall in Waikiki called Shirokiya Japan Village Walk. The other one is called Waikiki Yokocho Japanese food hall - where the above picture was taken at ramen stall in the walk called Baikohken (which was definitely one of the best ramens I’ve ever had!

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Tokatsu Ginza Bairin had some of the best pork tonkotsu I’ve ever had as well and it was a really special experience. It’s such a classic in Hawaii and it’s been around for so many years, it’s so authentic and done right.

We started off with a cucumber salad (I just love to always order cucumber salads from freshness and crunch! It’s a great palette cleanser as well) + we ordered their most popular tonkotsu. It came with dipping sauces, rice and a cabbage salad.

What else was really fun about this experience is that you ground up your own sesame seeds to make your tonkotsu sauce. Everything was delicious!

For a quick + easy hike to a gorgeous waterfall (and an amazing view on the way) head to Manoa Falls! It’s green and gorgeous + not a hard hike.

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Hawaii wouldn’t be the same without Leonard’s! Lines, ALWAYS, these Malasadas are a Hawaii staple.

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide
Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

Sushi Izakaya Imanas is a super local sushi spot that won’t break the bank (granted it’s not super cheap either!). There are a lot of higher end sushi spots in the area, but this is a mid-level place that I can get behind with an adorable and quaint ambience and fresh sushi.

Piggy Smalls has DELICIOUS Vietnamese food. A standout is definitely the pho french dip - with a dip in a really rich pho broth. They have a sister restaurant called Pig and the Lady that is similar.

Hawaii Food & Travel Guide

All the food places we visited

Plate Lunch

  • Joes Express Grill - super quick on the go plate lunch right next to the Honolulu freeway!

  • Helena’s - ask to get all their staples (ribs, kalua pork, etc.)

Japanese Food

  • Murukame Udon

  • Shirokiya Japanese Walk

  • Tokatsu Ginza Bairin

  • Yokocho Japanese Walk

Hawaiian Food

  • Musubi Cafe

  • Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

Ahi Poke

  • Ono Seafood

  • Fort Rugers Market

  • Kahuku Superette - my top and favorite poke we tried!

  • Yama’s Fish Market

Dessert

  • Walia Shaved Ice 

  • Matsumoto Shaved Ice

  • Leonard’s Malasada’s

  • Kokoro Cafe

  • Kai Coffee

Fancier/Sit Down/Other

  • Alan Wong’s  - more of the pricier side, asian influenced food, delicious for a special occasion

  • Opal Thai - some of the BEST thai food I’ve ever had (and I’m a thai food FIEND, definitely put this on your radar and make a resy beforehand). food has so much flavor, good quality ingredients and the people that run it are so sweet and welcoming.

  • Pig & The Lady

  • Piggy Smalls

  • Sushi Izakaya Imanas

Korean

  • Kalbi on Fire - yumz korean truck right where Giovanni’s is on in North Shore.

  • Itchy Butt - korean fried chicken

Keep up with me on Instagram at @lindseyeatsla!

Weekend Getaway To Ojai!

Ojai Wine Festival

The past weekend, I went on a lil vacation to the Ojai Wine Festival. We had such an amazing time trying all different kinds of wine, eating finger foods and soaking up the sun. The location for the festival is in this remote area of Ojai filled with mountains and greens - it truly felt like I was far away from LA, even though it was just 2 hours away + I'm looking forward to going back next year! 

Ojai Wine Festival

There was wine (TONS) kombucha on tap (which i went to over and over again!), poke tostadas and even shops like garlic graters (see above. ) 

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casa ojai inn

We stayed at a cute and quaint little bed n breakfast called Casa Ojai Inn, just seconds from the happening part of Ojai. After the festival, we took a short nap (lots of wine + sun just does that to a person haha) and then afterwards went to the Ojai Beverage Company (just 5 mins from the hotel) for dinner where we got fried artichokes with a ghost pepper aoili that were to die for! I am so looking forward to recreating it at home.

Then we spent the night at Casa Ojai Inn, picked up a little breakfast, and we were on our way home. Excited to come back to Ojai and explore more of the food, culture and coming back to the Ojai Wine Festival next year!

San Francisco Food & Travel Guide

Uji Time

It was my first time visiting San Francisco. I went for a lil mini vacation, but definitely stuffed in A LOT of attractions but mostly a lot of FOOD! Follow along as I show you where to eat, what to do and where to stay in SF! We swapped into two hotels, one being Argonaut Hotel that was right on Fisherman's Dwarf and the other one being more into the city and "downtown" ish vibes and area. We ate ice cream, thai food, prime rib, seafood.. dessert. you literally name it! Read along for more. 

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Rooster And Rice

The first thing we did when we landed - picked up some hainanese chicken from Rooster and Rice. Although a simple dish, this place did one of my favorite renditions of it. There are two locations so you can definitely stop by on your next trip! 

Blue Mermaid SF 

Located inside the Argonaut Hotel, Blue Mermaid is a seafood driven and focused concept right on Fisherman's Wharf. We went for a leisurely lunch right downstairs from our room. :) We got ahi tuna tacos (because I can never NOT order those on the menu!) Oysters, a seafood feast of cioppino with shrimp, mussels, crab + the works. 

4505 Meats

BBQ PLEASE! As if we weren't eating enough, we added on a BBQ place + OMG. I feel in love with this burger. It had a sesame and scallion bun and gruyere cheese on a grassfed patty. Go here + get that! 

The Argonaut Hotel

Step inside the The Argonaut Hotel! Oh my gosh, this hotel suite was something that I've just dreamed about. Take a look at this TUB! After walking, eating and being on the town all day, there was nothing I wanted to do more than to jump in the jacuzzi/tub and soak up. Not to mention, they had bath salts right on the side of the bathtub to place in. I am now so inspired to make sure I have this in my future house! hah!

I loved everything about this hotel, it was SO close to the water and was right on Fisherman's Wharf. 

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China Live SF

The Vibe at China Live SF was unlike anything I've seen in LA. It was an underground Chinese restaurant with all different booths of chefs making dim sum, to slicing the pecking duck. You can also shop a lot of the products you eat during dinner at their store next door, AH MAZING. Food, cocktails, vibe, 100. come to LA asap! 

The Mill SF 

It was almost time for us to say goodbye to SF, and we were honestly slowing down from how much food we had been eating. :o lol! So we decided to chill out at The Mill SF. We got coffee, iced hot chocolate and 2 toasts, both amazing. You can see them making their bread fresh when you're walking in the back. Not to mention cute AF vibes in here! 

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How could we not visit the Painted Ladies?! :) 

Wrap Up (also featuring a lot we went to not pictured)

Food/Desserts/Snacks:

  • Rooster and Rice
  • Salt and Straw
  • 4505 Meats (Get the BURGER!)
  • Boba Guys
  • Lililiho Yacht Club (make a reservation - we didn't and we actually STOOD and ate our whole dinner. was a very delicious dinner but a very interested one standing the whole meal! :o) lol
  • Blue Mermaid SF
  • Uji time
  • Codmother Fish and Chips
  • China live SF
  • The Mill SF
  • House of Prime Rib
  • Joe & The Juice
  • Ippudo USA Ramen 
  • Super Duper Burgers

Attractions/Tourist: (there is A LOT more touristy things, but I generally stuck to the foods) :p

Hotels:

The Annex Oxnard Food Tour

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I just found a new reason to travel to Oxnard: The Annex at The Collection Riverpark. The first thing comes to mind is that this is the perfect stopping place when you're headed to Santa Barbara, or just want to get away from LA for a day. The Annex is a newly opened food destination with tons of different food vendors ranging from all flavors and cuisines. Food is the center-point here, but there is also a jewelry shop and a soft goods shop with items like Balsamic Vinegar and Oils! Not to mention cute items for your household! Curious to see what's inside The Annex? We outlined our full Food Tour below. 

Oh PHO! Love Pho to start on The Annex food tour. We tried the regular beef pho and an amazing vermicelli beef bowl with peanuts, green onions and the works (this was SO good and filled with so much flavor!) It was a great start to a food-filled day. 

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Now head on over to Seoul Sausage and grab your favorite hot dog and tater tots. Don't forget to pair it with some Bottle & Pint beer, just right next door! There is tons of seating around The Annex so you can go ahead, order a few different things from different vendors and meet back to eat! 

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Next up! Let's first take a moment to note these stunning, bright, vivid and beautiful red plates and cups from Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters. They serve up some gluten free pastries and we even tried a vegan one :o I wanted to take it home for my sister (she is vegan) but I couldn't help but try myself. ;) Stop by here to grab your daily coffee (don't forget the latte art!) What pairs even better with a daily cortado?! A nice big rock and bracelet from the Sueño Jewelry Studio. You can choose from tons of different jewlery options at the store as well, so you can do some shopping while you eat! 

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The poke trend is still hot! But at Poke Ceviche, you can top yours off with something a bit special... Taki's! I remember when I was in high school, I would get these for lunch from our vending machine so it's super nostalgic for me. Yes, I didn't eat the most healthy lunch ;) They have other items on the menu in addition to poke, like these poke tacos! Nom! 

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You can't have a food hall without hand crafted sandwiches and burgers. Head to Scratch Sandwich Counter and get their take on sandwiches and burgers. Including their homemade ketchup, it has a subtle sweet flavor from the fresh tomatoes they use. (p.s you can also pick it up at Whole Foods!) 

The Annex is the best of ALL worlds! There is breakfast, dessert, tacos, sandwiches, poke, jewlery and just a sweet vibe all around. After eating your way through The Annex, head out to the other areas and shop around - outside of the Annex is a HUGE shopping center with all of my favorite shops, so you already know I walked around and shopped a bit... and also needed to walk off all this food I ate! Which vendor would you want to go try?! 

Weekend at La Jolla (Food + Travel)

Had a quick little vacay to La Jolla the other weekend! I wanted to stay solely in La Jolla so this trip is not about San Diego itself. However, there is a lot to see in La Jolla and a lot left I need to see! I've been here a few times before but this time I stayed in a hotel that was central to everything, Empress Hotel La Jolla. Set right in the happening + bustling part of La Jolla, The Empress Hotel is walking distance to many fine attractions and not to mention steps away from the beach. ;) I found myself leaving my car put and had a nice and relaxing time walking around soaking up La Jolla. 

Empress Hotel La Jolla

Where did we eat first? Of course, Oscar's Mexican Seafood! 

I really love the quality and freshness of the fish in San Diego, it's definitely some of the best fish I've ever had. It's not even that far of a drive away from LA which makes me so happy! Whenever I go to La Jolla or San Diego, I HAVE to stop at Oscar's. We came here on our way before checking into the hotel, about 10-15 mins away! It is essentially a fish taco shop but has a lot of different types of varieties of meat and seafood. We got the traditional fish tacos, battered shrimp tacos and tried the steak taco this time. Definitely a classic to hit up! There is a few locations, in San Diego as well as La Jolla! 

Sushi Ota

Okay, now this place, this is my special place. Only a 10-15 minute drive from that bustling town of our hotel, The Empress, but worth one of the only drives we did over the course of the trip. This sushi is one of the best places I've ever been for sushi and not only that, it offers the quality at an extremely affordable price, in my opinion. It's not "cheap" prices, but for the average quality to price ratio, it is extremely reasonable and a MUST try when in La Jolla. and I mean MUST try. 

Sometimes I find myself wanting to just drive up for the day to go to this sushi place. My favorites are the ikura, uni and salmon belly. Their rolls are also delicious but I normally aim towards just the traditional sushi and get a roll or two. 

Puesto

Saturday came around and we were ready for some more tacos! Because, why not? We went to this super cute and trendy taco place and got lobster, steak and shrimp tacos. We also tried the chicharrones which were my personal favorite. Only have a 7 minute walk from our hotel. Although it's in such a happening part of La Jolla, it is still so calm and peaceful, even on a Saturday. 

The rest of the day we walked to the beach and watched the ocean. We walked back to the hotel and relaxed a bit before heading to dinner. 

The Hake 

It's dinner time! We got ready and again, WALKED to dinner! It's so refreshing, number one, staying in a hotel that is so close to everything and number two, walking around to where we need to go, which is very rare in LA. :) Wowee, The Hake sits atop a view that makes you feel like you're looking into eternity. The view is spectacular, but I'm happy to say the food is top notch as well. As well as cocktails and mixology.

What we got? Hamachi Crudo, Octopus, Shaved Asparagus Salad + Fish of the Day! 

Overall, I think this was a pretty successful 1-2 day trip and if you ever have a short trip like this, I'd be sure to hit these spots and check out Empress Hotel La Jolla. Anywhere else in La Jolla I should hit up on my next trip? Comment below! And keep up with my travels at #llindseytravels

Banyan Tree Bangkok

If you've been following me on Instagram lately, you've noticed I took an awesome trip to Thailand. It was such an amazing time - flew into Bangkok, went to Phuket, Chiang Mai and ended our trip back in Bangkok. When arriving back in Bangkok, I went straight to Banyan Tree Bangkok. Banyan Tree Bangkok is known for it's popular rooftop destination, where you can overlook the whole city. It's pretty spectacular. But alongside that, is also an amazing property, with gorgeous rooms and and overall great hotel experience. Follow along below for more pictures and what we ate! 

Be sure to take a look at my travel hashtag #llindseytravels to see more and stay tuned for a full Thailand Travel & Food Guide. Now let's get into it. :)

First thing's first: Breakfast! 

My room had a gorgeous view so how can I not order some breakfast? It was nice to get to relax at Banyan Tree and stay at the resort and take in the view. Throughout our trip, we were always on the go (in a good way! ;)) so it was nice to come to the property and take a break. One way to relax here is to take a bath, which is just dreamy isn't it! The bathtub had bath salts on the side of it and the room comes with daily essential oils and incense, something that Banyan Tree is very popular for as well, as for good reason. 

Bai Yun

Next up, we went to try their Dim Sum spot, also overlooking a beautiful view. I could not get enough of this view. :p We had a spread of their most popular dim sum dishes, including Steamed Jade Dumplings with Fresh Scallop and Shrimp (below) as well as Steamed Seaweed with Spicy Garlic Sauce and Minced Shrimp + much more! You can take a look at Bai Yun here. 

Afternoon Tea 

Depending on which levels you stay on of the hotel, the higher floors have a lot of amenities. One being Afternoon Tea, (as well as buffet breakfast). Took it all in with some Jasmine tea and some pastries before heading to dinner. 

Vertigo & Moon Bar 

Now onto what Banyan Tree is really popular for. People from all over the world are told they MUST go here to see this unbelievable 360 view of the city. If you are ever in Bangkok, this rooftop is a MUST, just look how gorgeous this is! There is dinner at Vertigo, too, where we tried a wine tasting menu of ahi poke, lamb, mushroom soup and more! Head to Moon Bar for drinks, you won't be sorry. Grab a couple drinks and soak it all in. 

Banyan Tree Bangkok

Banyan Tree

The Importance of Traveling

IMG_3051 Something about traveling is so liberating. I can be anyone I want to be. I feel so alive. I can understand why some call this an addiction.

I am a 20 year old girl from California, and I am studying abroad in the Netherlands for about 6 months, in a small city called Maastricht. Maastricht is located in the province of Limburg, the south of the Netherlands. Belgium and Germany border Maastricht, and so many places are close by. An hour flight got me to Dublin, Ireland, a four hour car ride got me to Paris, France, an eight hour bus ride got me to Prague, the Czech Republic - you can probably get the picture. It truly centers Europe and has became one of my favorite places on this planet. I chose to study here for this very reason - I knew that I wanted to travel and see the world. And meeting people from all over the world comes along with it. I have grown to have a deep infatuation with my life here.

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I learned a lot about Dutch culture while being here. I learned a phrase: "Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg" which translates to "behave normally, that's strange enough." That's an interesting life expression to me. I don't know how much I agree with it, but I understand where this society is coming from.  This country is so special and beautiful, especially Maastricht. The Netherlands LOVES to celebrate life.  I love that. Life is so short, why not celebrate it to its fullest capacity? And be with people who maximize your happiness. I have learned to remove toxic people from my life because it is not worth it to keep them there. Why not be the happiest person you can be? I have learned so much more about myself on this journey, than I have in my lifetime. I have learned to channel my inner bliss and live my life for me. I needed to learn this.

Life makes sense sometimes. I needed to leave the U.S. to realize that.

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