Chain. Cheesesteak Comfort.

Okay, to start off I've never been to Philadelphia. I'm not sure what a Philly Cheesesteak is supposed to taste like. Don't take me as someone who is a good judge of this infamous sandwich. What I can say though is out of the chain Philly Cheesesteak joints, my favorite is Great Steak & Potatoes. Not all of them either though. There's ones in particular where the owners and cooks season the meat as it's cooking to add the extra pizzazz to it.
This particular Great Steak in Richmond had Chili Cheese Fries on the menu. I wish I knew they use the cheese goop instead of real cheese because if I knew this information prior, I definitely would not have ordered it. Meh, pass on this weak side.
We don't get anything special. Just the regular Cheesesteak with everything on it. Is it the best thing in the world? Nope. Is it good? Yep. Is it great? Depends if I'm craving it. Nothing great, but try it out if you haven't before.

Great Steak
2439 Hilltop Mall Rd.
San Pablo, CA 94806

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Pastries. Breakfast. Near Airport.

Yeah there were some pastries that Sam Sato's is known for but to be honest we strangely did not have the appetite for the baked goods once we finished. This place was located in an industrial like part of the city. I was a little confused in the beginning because we just saw a bunch of office buildings. Ma & Pa type joint. Nice folks. So anyway, onto the food:
Eh, I'm going to be honest I do not remember exactly what everything was called. But I assume this was dry saimin/ramen with the broth/soup on the side. Add as much or as little as you'd like. We liked the broth a lot but didn't want to get the noodles soggy so we just dipped and double dipped a lot. I'll be honest, this dish was nothing too special but there was this comfortable homemade taste making you want to eat up the whole bowl.
Beef Yakitori Stick. Yeah, about the barbequed beef stick. The meat was tough and reminded me a lot of beef jerky. If I wanted jerky I'd have to say this is good but in terms of yakotori eh. I thought we got more food but I guess not. There were other things on the menu we didn't get a chance to try but stay away from the little meat sticks. Nothing special, I wouldn't recommend it. There's other things in the area but if you want some little fruit turnover pies, small pastries, and some home eating drop by.

Sam Sato's
1750 Will Pa Loop
Wailuku, HI 96793

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Fusion. Carbs. Yum.

Very very delayed post! My Better Half has been visiting on and off the past couple weeks so we've been trying new eateries and I always decide to put off the posts so I won't have to be exhausted at work. Either that or I'm just spending time with her. Which means readers, such as yourself, must anxiously wait (yeah right!) for an update. So back to Maui since I still have not finished. If only our vacation there was as long as it's taking me to finish the series of posts. Haha. So anyway, thank goodness for the Internet because sometimes it's hard to find good things to eat. We found Star Noodle. Not too far from our hotel but the restaurant is located in a very strange, industrial area. Reminds me of Sugar Rush in Walnut because that's a small restaurant, which is also located in an industrial zone.
Here's a picture of the little sign outside. Yum. We came back to the restaurant twice so I'll just consolidate the postings and show everything we tried. Why post for two days anyway? Readers (whoever you might be) will get upset I'm wasting their precious time.
Garlic Noodles. Oh yum. Ever had garlic noodles from Yardhouse? It's like that but more garlic flavor, better, firmer (al dente), thinner noodles. It's quite yummy. The fried garlic has a very good, non-bitter taste because overcooked garlic can leave a bad taste in the food (and on your tongue). Love it. Garlic is very apparent and it is nom nom nom.
Garlic Steak. Mmmm, we tossed the meat in with the noodles and it was an awesome pairing. Don't dump too much of the sauce in unless you really enjoy sodium. Haha. Man it was so good and I love dishes that come out on hot sizzling plates. They're fun and it helps keep the food hot. The meat was tender, good Asian flavor to it and fried garlic topped over the dish. Garlic + Garlic. Oh yes, awesome.
Pohole Salad. These dishes below are what we ordered on the second trip to Star Noodles. This is made with a local vegetable, Hana Fiddle Head Fern. The vegetable is delivered from the East end of Maui. From Hana if you did not gather than from the name of the vegetable. I'm not sure how to describe this vegetable. It's sort of looks like cut string beans but has a more chewy texture. With the addition of the little leafy ends it's like al dente string bean mixed with ... yeah I don't even know, leafy stuff. It required a good amount of chewing but it's good. Both of us did not care much for the little shrimp but the tomato was a good addition. A very fresh tasting salad lightly tossed in soy sauce. We gobbled this thing up pretty quick.
Fried Saimin. This dish was very very light in taste. Fish cakes, egg, spam, bean sprouts. I think this dish uses spam instead of having to add too much salt or soy sauce. My Better Half did not think anything much of this dish but don't get me wrong, it did not suck. The garlic noodles stood out more in my opinion.
Steamed Pork Buns. This is like Chinese Steamed Bun with Roasted Duck dish. Was it good? Yeah of course it was pretty tasty, but there was a little bit too much hoisin sauce which made it salty. This is one of those things you could get in LA so unless you're craving this during your time in Maui, I think it would be safe to say you could skip this.
Chicken Yakitori. Very saucy. Tender chicken of course but my Better Half and I thought we could have passed on this too. When I go to new places I like to do stupid stuff and order excessive amounts of food. Then we have a bunch of leftovers we end up not eating later because I'm still ordering a lot of rubbish at other new places. I'm a bit stupid like that.
Malasadas. Fried Donut pretty much. At first bite it was quite good because it just came out of the fryer. But, I'll have to say I only tried this because I love donuts. I didn't care much for the sauces it came with because the butterscotch tasted more like butter (not the good sweet butter). The chocolate sauce was semi-sweet, which is what I enjoy. I ended up having to use the chocolate sauce to try and consume the remainder of the donuts since they were becoming a bit tough. For the most part though, I wish I tried a different dessert. Donuts always get me. Darn.

I cannot recommend this place enough. The service was great, waitresses were always explaining the dishes to customers if they look confused or seem new. Very attentive, friendly, helpful people at the establishment. The environment is nice because it's Asian contemporary (to match the type of food) and has a very comfortable, social, get-together-with-close-friends feel to it. I could imagine it gets quite noisy during the weekends but why would that stop anyone from eating good food. Price-wise, I guess I could say it's a little bit on the pricey side but the portions match the price and so does the flavor.

Star Noodle
286 Kupuohi St.
Lahaina, HI 96761

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