BlogsRSS FeedLike us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

Anybody up for Israeli BYOB? How about noodles and tonkatsu?

That’s right, TWO open-invite dinners for Nonstop readers, both next week

Posted August 20, 2012 by Mari Taketa

Before you ask me what Israeli food is, have a look at this menu. Da Falafel King’s sit-down restaurant is all about what owner Yanir Yosef calls “Israeli-style fast food”: spring-green falafel, roasted shawarma, garlicky fresh hummus and all the pita and side dishes that fill your table while you wait for your order to arrive. Who knew? I only found out when I popped in for a pic for We’re on it last month and tried to order takeout.

What’s shakshuka? I asked.

Yosef described it as a tomato-rich stew filled with chunky vegetables and finished off with eggs cracked open and cooked right in the stew.

Mmm, I said. I’ll get that to go.

Don’t you want to sit down and eat here?

I would, I said, but see how the afternoon light is fading? See how beautiful it is now? I need to go take more pictures.

Five minutes, he said. You’ll see.

And while I stood there, the table in front of me filled with six small plates of vegetable tapas, then pita wedges with various dipping sauces, then beefy fried dumplings, then finally my shakshuka, still in the pan and steaming.

That’s when I made a mental note to come back with you. All this, and BYOB, people! Even with one daily special (tonight’s was meatballs and Moroccan fish) and a sampler plate, Falafel King’s restaurant menu is bigger than those at its Waikiki Trade Center kiosk or Moiliili food truck. All the side dishes come with every dine-in entree, and if all you want are the tapas and pita, then it’s only $10.

Can you think of a better summer scenario? If you’re free next Tuesday, Aug. 21, let’s kick back, nibble through as many dishes as tempt us, and bring our own cold libations. We’ll share all plates and split the bill. Just RSVP in these comments.

Da Falafel King
Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 6 p.m.
2239 S. King St.
Former Diego Tacos space next to Old Stadium Park
Street parking

If eats from the ancient land aren’t your thing, I have another proposition for you. Nagasaki Champon/Ringer Hut opened last month just around the corner from Falafel King’s Waikiki kiosk, in the old Menchanko-Tei space on Seaside.

Never heard of Nagasaki champon or Ringer Hut? Neither had I. But listen: There are 500 Ringer Huts in Japan, serving up the chain’s signature veggie-packed champon noodle dish, veggie- and meat-topped fried noodles, garlic-free gyoza and various izakaya-style small plates. But THE must-try item, I found out, is Ringer Hut’s tonkatsu, famous in Japan and the specialty it actually started out with in 1962.

All this is in this video, which @Photolulu was kind enough to flag for me. And even if you don’t understand Japanese, you’ll get that Ringer Hut’s champon noodles are so popular, the chain invented its own New Operating System to cook this dish — veggies, noodles and all — in under two minutes.

If you love noodles or tonkatsu, and you’re free for dinner next Thursday, Aug. 23, just sign up in the comments. Sorry, this one’s not BYOB.

Ringer Hut
Thursday, Aug. 23 at 6 p.m.
Waikiki Trade Center
2255 Kuhio Ave.
Validated parking in building


  1. Melissa808
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Um. I think you should invite Adir and Shuly! Seriously. 

  2. nonstopmari
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm

     @Melissa808 i’m pretty sure they’re regulars already, like they were at the kiosk, then the food truck…

  3. Melissa808
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm

     @nonstopmari I know that! I mean to give you an insider perspective.

  4. ThomasOhhh
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Mari, this is a given. I’m in for both! I have a friend who might join for Ringer Hut night (the one that told me about it). 

  5. 808marv
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I’m in for Da Falafel King!

  6. nonstopmari
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:59 am

     @808marv ok, see u next tues!

  7. nonstopmari
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

     @ThomasOhhh got it, keep me posted!

  8. ThomasOhhh
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    @nonstopmari Falafel: Me,
    Champon: Me +1

  9. nonstopmari
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

     @ThomasOhhh got it! i’m losing count but so far i think we have abt 5 each for both places

  10. timpham
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Mari, count me in for both!

  11. nonstopmari
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm

     @timpham k, see u tues AND thurs!

  12. russkar
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Mari , two spaces please for tonight. Mahalo, Russ

  13. nonstopmari
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm

     @russkar hi russ, i’m overbooked, going to run down and see if they can accommodate 2 more. will get back to u shortly!

  14. russkar
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

     @nonstopmari : Not to worry we’ll join you next time. Leaving for Kailua ..

  15. nonstopmari
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

     @russkar ok ;)

About Mari Taketa

Mari Taketa is a dedicated eater who's as opinionated as she is hungry. She covered everything from neighborhood mom-and-pop places to ethnic eateries to fine dining restaurants on Honolulu's dining scene for Metromix Honolulu and The Honolulu Advertiser's TGIF. Before that, she ate her way through Vietnam, Scotland and Japan, where she lived, traveled or worked, after recovering from a journalism career that included stints as editor-in-chief of Hawaii Business magazine and reporter and editor at The Associated Press. Her goals are to always be hungry for more, and to always want to know what's around the next corner.

Copyright © 2014 Nonstop Online, LLC. All Rights Reserved.