Thursday, July 01, 2010

Kim Chee II, Hawaii

Kim Chee II
3569 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI

Telephone: 808.737.7733

Monday - Sunday:
10:30 am - 9:00 pm

(Here's the UrbanSpoon link- the restaurants don't have a website.)

I've probably mentioned this- I have not one lick of kimchi in my apartment right now. My abode is incompletely Korean. I am upset about this, understandably, but have not had the time to make kimchi. I'm sure that I'll document the process of me, making kimchi by myself for the first time ever. Shudder. I feel that things could be horribly awry.

Anyway, tearing myself away from potential kimchi-tastrophes! I was flipping through photos on my phone when I saw something kimchi-esque in a thumbnail. "What could that be?" I said to myself. I looked at the picture and realized that it was from my Hawaii trip, where we ate Korean food once, in Honolulu.

I remember it well (okay, it was only three months ago, but still) because it was so weird to speak in Korean in Hawaii. I had gotten used to people speaking in island-time English (slow) or rapid-fire Japanese. (We had a theory about why people spoke to me in Japanese- it's because I'm pale. My best friend, who actually is Japanese, is darkly tanned, and wasn't bothered by the tourists asking her things.)

The meal wasn't very good, but it was welcome. I just wanted Korean food, what can I say? I took photos on my phone, so excuse the indecent quality:

The kimchi was totally crappy. I hate this type of kimchi, with cabbage sliced and tossed into a rather flimsy marinade. I still ate a lot of it, because sometimes, bad kimchi is better than no kimchi at all.
This is a type of namul (나물) made of dried moo (무). Moo is similar to daikan radishes, but shorter and fatter. It's the radish that is generally used in making kimchi. Anyway, the moo is dried and then kind of re-hydrated in a marinade. This dish was far too salty, but actually quite good, especially with rice.
Obligatory Korean BBQ. It was fine. Nothing to write home about, but not bad.

There aren't many Koreans in Hawaii; at least, not in the places I visited. We had a tough time finding a Korean restaurant to go to, and while this one had pretty good reviews, it pales in comparison to a lifetime in LA, where we have an entire town devoted to us.

I'm going to make kimchi soon, because if nothing else, these pictures make me want to prove that good Korean food can be even in the midst of non-Koreans. I just have to find the appropriate vegetables, and then I'll be set.

Wish me luck, I'll definitely need it...