I like Little Village Noodle House. It’s where my boyfriend’s aunties always have everyone meet up to celebrate Chinese New Year. So I’ve grown to affectionately think of it as “our” spot.

Plus, the food always is satisfying, the service quick, and it’s in a convenient spot in Chinatown (close enough to all the municipal lots).

I realized, though, that I had never been there for dim sum. So last week, Metro editor Christina O’Connor, social media manager Nicole Kato and staff writer Paige Takeya joined me on yet another midday food excursion.

There is just one very small, minor detail to keep in mind before trekking to Little Village for dim sum: Don’t — but only because the restaurant does not offer it. I was a little sad — dim sum is so fun, with all the little plates and almost-bite-sized items — but it wasn’t a terrible inconvenience. There are more than 100 dishes to choose from at Little Village, meaning it probably has anything you’d be looking for.

Opting to go family-style (it’s really the only way to do it at a Chinese restaurant), we each chose one dish from the menu.

First came Paige’s selection: Mu-Shu Roll with pork. A stir-fry combination of pork and vegetables, including cabbage and mushrooms, it was all rolled together in a tortilla-like crepe with a dab of hoisin sauce. I liked it and would order it again. The sauce was flavorful but light, and each bite had the right amount of texture.

Then came everything else all at once: Orange Chicken and Tofu with Mixed Vegetables Fried Noodles for Nicole and Christina, respectively, and my choice, Garlic Fried Rice. None of it was remarkably different from other places I’ve had these dishes. The Orange Chicken, bright and more like orange-red in coloring, was pleasantly surprising in that it wasn’t too sweet, which I prefer. The noodles, which were half crispy, half bathed in gravy, had the right amount of sauce. The vegetables that accompanied it were perfectly cooked (they had a bit of a crunch, but were still easy enough to bite into). And the Garlic Fried Rice, though I felt there could have been a more liberal use of garlic, went well with everything as a substitute for plain white rice.

It was a nice interlude to an otherwise crazy week, and it made me realize something: It isn’t just the food to look forward to at Little Village — it’s the entire experience.

It’s a place I immediately think of as being perfect for family, since I’ve been there with my own. But you know what? It also works out great for friends, too, as I’ve recently discovered.

Because there’s never anything quite like a shared meal.

Little Village Noodle House
1113 Smith St. Honolulu, HI
Phone number (808) 545-3008
Business website


Cupcakes get really boring really fast. So for Thanksgiving last year, I decided to turn the treat into everybody’s current beloved animal — it’s pretty easy, too.



• Cupake mix
• Almonds
• Semi-sweet chocolate chips
• Butter
• Powdered sugar


• Prepare whatever cupcake mix you prefer (I make mine from scratch, but box cakes are OK, too) and bake.

• Meanwhile, cut the almonds in quarters or halves (depending on how big you want the ears).

• After the cupcakes are about halfway through, take it out of the oven and secure the “ears.” Put it back in the oven to finish baking.

• Using a double boiler, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips with a little bit of butter. (If you don’t have a double boiler, get a pot and fill it with about an inch of water. Then place a glass bowl on top of it, which you would then put the chocolate in. You don’t want the bowl to touch the water, so make sure it’s a bit bigger than the diameter of the pot.)

• Dip cooled cupcakes into the chocolate icing, and let dry.

• Mix powdered sugar with a smidge of water to create a thicker consistency. Put it in a Ziploc bag, cut the tip and draw cat faces to the cupcakes. Let dry.