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Oahu 2015 – Day 2 Part 2: Ala Moana Mall and The Pig and the Lady

This post is part of our November 2015 trip to Oahu!

By the time we had finished all our “snacking” it was close to 3:30 pm. We had 5:30pm reservations at The Pig & The Lady in Chinatown so we didn’t bother to return to the condo. Instead we drove to the Ala Moana mall.

I come from mall capital of the tri-state area. I live next to 3 malls, one which is the biggest mall in the state. I can’t stand them! But when in Hawaii I must go to Ala Moana. There is something about it which I absolutely love. I don’t know if it’s just the plethora of Japanese products at Shirokiya, the open-air concept, the stores I can’t find on the mainland, or the local food in the food court, but I love it. Even if I don’t buy anything, I just love walking around soaking it up.

The open-air Ala Moana Mall in downtown Honolulu. There are free hula shows every day! Picture from Wall Street Journal.

We visited Shirokiya which is the Japanese department store – I love looking at all their stuff! If we didn’t have to eat dinner in a few hours I’d certainly be noshing my way through the second floor.

The beer garden at Shirokiya’s second floor, where you can get really cheap beer during happy hour!

The new Ewa Wing of the mall was not open yet. Bummed we were to miss it by 2 days – but from the pictures I’ve seen online, it looks like a gorgeous & a bright new addition. (Check out the Tasty Island’s post on the new Ewa Wing.) Oh and did you know Shirokiya is slated to open a brand new huge Japan Village Walk/food town in the new Ewa wing June of 2016? Count me in…

Shirokiya’s new Japan Village Walk is under construction and will open in 2016. Image from bizjournals.

At around 5pm we headed back to Chinatown. Parking can be a pain in the area so you want to give yourself ample time, we circled around for a bit before we found parking 5 blocks from the restaurant.

The interior of The Pig & The Lady looks like a shabby-chic opium den meets trendy speakeasy: exposed brick walls, semi-open kitchen, large bar area, and birdcage lamps dangling from the ceiling.

Interior of The Pig and the Lady’s brick and mortar location.

Large bar area and you can see into the kitchen.

Cocktail menu

We were handed menus and I was happy to see that the offerings at the restaurant menu differ slightly from what is offered at the farmers markets so that we’d have a unique experience. I ordered a cocktail called the Cobra Commander. It had a sriracha ice cube in it! It was interesting but it got a little too spicy as the ice melted. Steve got one called All the Reflexes which is a little more tropical in vibe.

Cobra Commander with a sriracha ice cube!

We started off with some appetizers: Oysters fresh from Kualoa Ranch on the north shore, served with a special kaffir lime mignonette. Something called “THE WORKS”: escargot and bone marrow, sautéed with fresh betel leaves and turmeric, served with grilled baguette. The oysters were great! I didn’t know Kualoa ranch farmed oysters but apparently it’s a recent development. It’s slightly brinier than traditional west coast oysters but I prefer that anyways. The mignonette was really good!

Kualoa Ranch oysters! We went on an ATV tour there during our last Oahu trip.

They are not kidding when they call something The Works. The bone marrow…let me say when they brought it to our table our jaws just dropped. We were not expecting the huge roasted shank bone they set in front of us….about the size of my head. The bone marrow was already scooped out and prepared, but the bone was there for us scrape of all the roasted meat on the outside. It was huge! And filling! I think this would be better shared with a group of people as it was very rich and decadent and probably a bit overkill for just us (and we obviously have big appetites too). It was so big the neighboring tables took pictures as well!

The HUGE hunk of bone that was in front of us was jaw-dropping. They already scooped the marrow out in the bowl. Spread it on toast…oh my!

A closer look at the dish. The chunks of meat on the bone can be scraped off and eaten too. Needless to say, we got full from this one appetizer!

Our main course was a pho French Dip, a banh mi style roast beef sandwich with a clam broth “jus”. It was very good, but I was honestly getting full at this point. The broth was so delicious, it was bright and tangy, and you wouldn’t think it would go with a roast beef sandwich but it worked really well.

French dip – banh mi style roast beef with a clam “jus”

I thought we wouldn’t be able to do dessert but I’m glad we did as it was one of my favorite things we ate on the trip. The “Flava Fatality” features their homemade soft serve, shortbread cookie, and flavored milk which all change every week. We decided on a twist of the day’s flavors: matcha green tea with raspberry sorbet (which just so happens to be our favorite ice cream/sorbet flavors!). The swirl is served with a large black sesame shortbread cookie, and a glass of dark molasses flavored milk. They even wrote Happy Anniversary with icing on the plate (yes it was our 7th anniversary!). OMG everything was so yummy we ate the entire dessert!

What an amazingly delicious dessert! Thanks The Pig & The Lady for a delicious evening.

We really enjoyed The Pig & The Lady and I highly recommend it for some unique spins on souteast Asian/Vietnamese cuisine. Note the place is busy and hoppin’ and it can get pretty loud too. Reservations are highly recommended…they were packed on a Thursday night. (Oh and pay a visit to the bathroom if you like campy 80’s films).

That’s the end of Day 2! Coming up on Day 3…I go on a solo photography tour at sunrise with Oahu Photography Tours!

Read more about our November 2015 Trip to Oahu.

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