Kimchi jjigae (stew) accompanied with an old fashioned lunch box and sides

Kimchi jjigae (stew) accompanied with an old fashioned lunch box and sides

1726 Kapiolani Blvd., #101 Honolulu, HI
Phone number (808) 941-6678

I’ve been to 678 at least a hundred times — OK, maybe more like a dozen — always to eat yakiniku.

I just like everything about 678. The food is good and the menu is varied. Service is quick and always attentive. Fruit-flavored soju dangerously tastes like juice. Messages and drawings scribbled on the wall (which you can add to) are fun to look at.

I mean, really, I could go on. My entire family likes 678 so much that in recent years, it’s where we’ve celebrated most birthdays.

So when I found out that 678 also is open for lunch, well, I think you know where I’ve been eating a lot on weekends.

Much of the lunchtime menu is the same — most people I see when I go in are eating yakinku. But there also is a handful of lunch specials that include plate lunch-style entrees, soups and combo plates. This is where things get exciting. The best thing about lunch at 678 is ordering a combination plate, or specifically, ordering something that comes out on a tray.

Bibimbap, served with seaweed soup and sides JAIMIE KIM PHOTO

Bibimbap, served with seaweed soup and sides JAIMIE KIM PHOTOS

I know, I know, it sounds crazy and trivial and silly. But there is no greater joy than watching your food arrive, with three items comfortably placed on a tray that you get to enjoy for the next hour or however long it takes you to finish everything.

And it’s good, too. I’ve sampled a couple of items so far, both of which I plan on ordering again. First, there was a combination that was served with a bowl of kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew) along with panchan and an old-fashioned lunch box — a tin box filled with rice, a fried egg and more panchan. Then, on my most recent visit, I ordered the bibimbap, served in a stone bowl and accompanied with miyukguk (seaweed soup) and, of course, panchan.

So. So. Delicious.

My favorite was the kimchi jjigae. It packs the kind of heat that slowly creeps up on you, but also has a lot of flavors and textures — a hint of clam broth, softly stewed kimchi and enoki mushrooms. Plus, eating out of an old-school lunchbox is just straight up fun.

And now … I think I know where I’d like to eat lunch on Sunday. Again.



For the past few weeks, Metro social media manager Nicole Kato, staff writer Paige Takeya and I have been stopping in at Mr. Tea Cafe. It’s conveniently located about five minutes from Metro’s office, there’s parking (though stalls are kind of tight) and we always go before lunch, which means there’s never a line.

Bubble tea is just one of those things I like treating myself to — often. I should also remind readers that I have a very temperamental stomach, so sadly, milk teas are not an option. I do love regular teas, though, and Mr. Tea recently has become a favorite.

I particularly like that you can adjust the sweetness — anywhere from 25 to 125percent sweet, in quarter increments.

My order: Jasmine peach tea with rainbow jellies, always. Nicole and Paige are a little more adventurous, sampling flavors like black sesame and chocolate (pictured), respectively.

Hopefully, I can fill up my stamp card soon to get a 10th drink for free — #priorities.