New eats: da ala cart

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da ala cart

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By Mari Taketa
Nonstop

I screech into the parking lot of the Kaheka Street Don Quijote, intent on a mission. A hot tip (thanks @FliptOutEats) has alerted me to a new food truck that sells — what?! — bacon-wrapped musubi. But the first time I screech into DQ a few weeks ago, the truck's closed up tight.

This is my lucky day. This guy is running around setting up table and chairs and hanging up his red kushiyaki grilled skewer sign. Food on a stick! I whip out my camera for one quick shot for We're on it. And then I see the menu.

One hundred percent izakaya food. Eleven items, ranging from $1.50 to $2 a stick, with said musubi eating only a $2.50 hole in my wallet.

Let's tally this up: Food on a stick, at the edge of a parking lot, dirt cheap. I smell a review.

How long for one of everything? I ask.

I'm so sorry, he says. I'm a little delayed. My son was born today.

What?! Congratulations! Well, I'll go shopping then.

It'll be ready, he says. And by the way, my name's Chris.

da ala cart
Don Quijote parking lot
Poni Street at Makaloa
808-224-5110

27 comments
konaish
konaish

I'll have to see if those delicious, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly sticks will be on the menu at DQs. Love that I can get a quick izakaya fix between restaurant visits.

Annoddah_Dave
Annoddah_Dave

EO: Bumped into this cart a couple of months ago. Gave it a try and it is like you say. The dude is very personable and recommended things to eat. It was interesting as it took awhile to cook the chix. For local tastes, the simple salt and pepper seasonings do well...also would have been nice with sake or beer. Wait, sake is beer...sorry. Quisote at Quijote is Quite the Quintessential treat on the street.

AlisonLong
AlisonLong

I LOVE DA ALA CART! I've been going like 3 to 5 days a week since I've discovered it. I've had everything on the menu and i can't say anything bad. I love it all! Tsukune is one of my all time favorites. it's some kind of ground chicken mix topped with an awesome sauce. You can't go wrong with anything on his menu. And everything is grilled fresh for you to enjoy hot off the grill. I think the hit here is the grilled musubi. When i read the menu my jaw dropped cuz i could not imagine what a grilled musubi was like. But when i tried it, it was even better than i expected! It's ginger miso pork insdie the log of rice which is wrapped in bacon, grilled, and rolled in a sheet of nori. I'm so craving one just talking about. And Chris is like the nicest guy in the whole world. Great service, great food, great day! Don't waste anymore time and go check it out! He's parked in front of Don Quijote Kaheka from 5pm to 9pm, everyday but thursday.

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

for this, dirty though my black pajamas may be, i would come down from squatting in the morning mist beside a mountain trail, drinking coffee from a wooden bowl, and proceed to order two of everything.

snowgirl597
snowgirl597

tried this food truck today, and i have got to say, the food is delicious! loving the grilled tongue, pork, and asparagus wrapped with bacon on-a-stick... the owner was super friendly, and thanked us for our long wait with a free sausage on-a-stick! yum! don't forget to order the musubi with miso pork... its a "winnah" as well, without breaking the bank. all in all, the food is definitely worth checking out! his hours are 5p-9p, and i hear you can call in your orders! awesome :)

harrycovair
harrycovair

Wow, he shows up after the birth of his son. Dedicated to his craft or his son was born early in the morning. Wondering if I should switch my DQ shopping hours from when it's empty to sometime between 5pm and 9pm now.

jalna
jalna

I love, love, love Chris' sticks! EVERYTHING is sooo ono. Okay, I couldn't bring myself to try the shishamo, but I brought some home to my husband and he liked it. I've been calling Chris when I'm pau work, then I'll pick up my order to go, although the two mochis I usually order never make it home. I eat um on the way, 'cause I can't wait. Chris packs up everything so nicely, separately in foil, so even though it takes me about 1/2 hour to get home, everything's still nice and hot.

keaniq73
keaniq73

I ate there recently with a bunch of my co-workers taging along with me. Our bunch loves to get together and try new things and eat at new places. When we went there we were pleasantly greeted by Chris. We loved that it was food that was going to be fresh off the grill..although he did mention that it would take about 20 min (since i had 6 people with me) and i totally understood and anticipated the forth comming meal. Besides, we walked around Don Quijote to pick up a few items we all needed anyway. By the time we were done, the smoke and the smell of our grilled morsels were giving us a tase of what to come. I do have a bunch of picky friends..some opted not to try the tounge or shishamo..but with a lil nibble from my almost devoured stick, they changed their minds and can honestly say they enjoyed it and would try it again. I'd definately go back. Maybe even call ahead and order before we get there. Yes..he said he does take orders ahead of time. Yeayee! Very addicting...

lihinggirl
lihinggirl

*drool* will have to check it out another time. thx @nonstopmari!

DianeSeo
DianeSeo

This would make a good addition at Eat the Street.

808marv
808marv

I saw this truck a while back when I parked by Don Quijote for Eat The Street 1 or one of those events at the Kapiolani lot where the food trucks are. I guess I thought you had heard about it already so I didn't mention it to you. Looks pretty good for a quick try of izakaya eats, and reasonably priced as well. Think I will drop by one evening to try!

Ynaku
Ynaku

How nice that guy. Oh and congrats on he being a daddy. As for the food in the parking lot? I think I can handle that. Gotta have that musubi to go along with the other skewers.

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

@snowgirl597 agree on all points :-) i now have game plan for late-afternoon snack today, followed by yogurt from ce fiore.

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

@jalna wow, u really are a fan! i'm torn btwn eating there while it's really hot, or getting it home to some nice cold sake :-)

keaniq73
keaniq73

He gave us a tall folding table to stand around! There were 2 tiny chairs, but we didnt mind standing and mingling amongst ourselves..it was after work so we were not in a rush. We all joked about it and thought maybe next time, we'd bring our own beach chairs and hang around outside the truck. Dont get fresher than that! As i read your article, i laughed because we were thinking it would be great if we had some sake too! Oh well..theres always take out.

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

@DianeSeo i had the same thot -- w/ at least another grill, another person doing prep and a third outside taking orders and ringing up customers. wonder if his lease at dq wd let him off one friday nite a month?

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

@808marv u're right, he opened in feb, experimenting w/ lunch, which didn't go well and also why he was closed when i showed up at rush hour. after a while he switched to evening hours, which is when i caught up w/ him.

jalna
jalna

@nonstopmari @jalna Fresh off da grill is da best. But with "some nice cold sake"? Hmmm . . . now, that's a dilemma.

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

@keaniq73 re sake, i KNOW! i bought the kind in little cans, but... shoots, shd have given him one to congratulate!

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