This post is totally overdue — I stayed at the Doubletree Alana back in January during a staycation with my Most Awesome cousin and my favorite nephew. We spent one night there and took advantage of both a corporate rate and the More Points promotion (on top of the 25% point bonus for having Hilton Honors Gold status).
Although the Alana is a teeny bit of a walk away from Waikiki Beach (on the other side of Fort DeRussy park), we had a great time. Hilton Honors Gold gave us free parking and free continental breakfasts. We were welcomed with the Doubletree’s signature chocolate chip walnut cookies (and since my super amazingly adorable godson-nephew was present, it was really more like handfuls of chocolate chip cookies each, and we were “welcomed” every time we stepped in and out of the hotel). He was also very pleased with the fancy rainfall shower in our room.
The hotel is close to all the kitschy wonderfulness that Waikiki has to offer. Yes, I grew up in Hawaii, but I am far from bothered by Waikiki’s so-called touristy-ness. I find so much of it so charming. Waikiki Beach was more crowded than either I or my Awesome cousin had ever seen in our lives that weekend, but that left more time for eating Puka Dogs and shopping at the Japanese beauty shops.
We checked out a couple hours late the next day (which we cleared with the front desk) after a day at a beach and meandering down Kalakaua and Kuhio Aves and then headed to our next destination on our Waikiki staycation — the Embassy Suites!
Note to self: When you book an “accessible” hotel room, it does NOT mean that the room is near the floor’s vending/ice machine. The term “accessible” actually means that you mistakenly booked your boyfriend (AND his business partner) a handicapped-room for their out-of-state conference — complete with lowered light switches. After a 5-hour flight, do not be surprised if he does not reciprocate your enthusiasm that all that the extra space between furniture is (sort of) like being upgraded to a suite. Apparently, having no bathtub and sitting on a shower bench is not equivalent to having your own personal in-room sauna. Despite how adorable he always says you are, at 2,225 miles away from home, he will not be amused.
And as we’ve recently acquired a nerd correspondent permanently based in Hawaii…
Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of K-Drama a.k.a. ‘the Young and Restless’ for Asians on television. It’s from these shows that I’ve learned many helpful Korean phrases such as “Sarang hae” (I love you); “Ige eolmayeyo?” (How much is this?); and “Nae hoebuhkeurapeuteuneun changuhro kadeuk cha isseyo” (My hovercraft is full of eels). You know, useful phrases that I can more or less incorporate into my everyday life.
Although I love being Japanese, lately I’ve asked myself, “Self, how else can you become more Korean? How can you make your pretend ancestors proud?” And then it hit me like a steaming bowl of bibimbap…to become Korean, I must eat as the Koreans do!
Which brings me to my review of Yuchun Korean Restaurant…
To be honest, I walked into the restaurant apprehensive of two things:
#1 Eating noodles that were black.
#2 Eating noodles that were black, in soup that was ice-cold.
Yobo (sweetheart) and I ordered “Set A” ($30) off the menu which included (2) bowls of Naengmyoen (which is a dish made up of black arrowroot noodles, topped with a boiled egg, thinly-sliced meat, daikon/veggies, in a savory ice-cold soup) and a sizzling plate of Kalbi (Korean BBQ shortribs). I ordered the spicy noodle bowl, while Yobo decided to try the regular bowl.
First they brought out some Korean side dishes to share and gave me a small bowl of cold soup. For a while, I could only stare at this bowl of frosty broth in wonder. But before I could ask what happened to the noodles, the waitress brought out the rest of our meal. Apparently, when you order the “spicy” Naengmyoen, they give you the soup on the side.
So we ate. And OM-Go Seok Bin (a character from my favorite show), everything was delicious!! Of course, my Japanese taste buds also made me order an obligatory bowl of bap (rice) to eat with the kalbi, but other than that my meal at Yuchun was pure perfection. The food tasted as though it was cooked from the heart, and I know this because Koreans got Seoul!! LOL, we will definitely be eating here again!
P.S. You’re welcome.
Yuchun Korean Restaurant
1159 Kapiolani BlvdHonolulu, HI 96814