Days of Our Knives

Bedwetting, gym class, and side ponytails: all things you're glad you've firmly left in your former years. But every now and then you can't help but feel nostalgic for a few choice things from your past, like your favorite childhood foods.

All over town chefs are recreating dishes from their pasts that are "all grown up." These playful dishes are the perfect fix for curbing your nostalgia and your cravings.


Lei Chic Pudding on the Ritz
If all you've ever had is pudding from a box or a plastic cup, it's high time you experience the real deal. This heavenly parfait starts with rich homemade chocolate pudding made from whole milk, real eggs and shaved chocolate, and is topped with whipped cream, homemade marshmallows (which will change your life), and fresh fruit. A heads up: the menu here is always changing and their hours are limited, so it's best to check their twitter (@littleoven) before you go. The Little Oven, 1467 South King St., Honolulu. 808.947.6836. (photo credit Melissa Chang)
Lei ChicGrill of Your Dreams
Your daily after-school routine used to be: come home, drop your backpack and demand a snack. Well, the "after school special" at Apartment 3 is totally demand-worthy: a double-decker grilled cheese sandwich filled with gooey Gruyere cheese and thin slices of salty prosciutto. Dip the whole thing into the accompanying bowl of roasted tomato bisque for the ultimate treat. What's that sound? Oh, that's just your inner fat kid rejoicing. Apartment 3, 1750 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu. 808.955.9300.
Lei ChicRice, Rice Baby
There's nothing better than a good ol' Spam musubi. Or, that's what you thought until you tasted one of Mana Bu's freshly made gourmet musubis. Filled with ingredients like baked salmon, unagi, veggie curry and azuki beans, they’re a far cry from the ubiquitous packages of regret that beckon you from across convenience store counters. The rice options are aplenty—organic white, brown, 10-grain and mochi rice. They only use fresh Hawaiian sea salt as a preservative, and never add chemicals or artificial flavors. And with over 34 varieties available every day, there's something for everyone. Mana Bu's, 1618 S. King St., Honolulu. 808.358.0287.

Lei Chic

When it comes to food you’ve officially adopted a can-don’t attitude. Spaghetti and meatballs from a can was cool when you were six, but to be perfectly can-did it’s time to move on to a more sophisticated version. Twirl this around your fork: tender pappardelle noodles (those are the big fat ones) mingle with a perfectly balanced marinara and hearty hunks of veal cheeks. Reminiscent in shape and texture to a meatball, the cheeks have a super soft, velvety texture. Move over Chef Boyardee, you've officially been replaced by Chef Man-ardee. Formaggio Grill, 305 Hahani St., Honolulu. 808.263.2633.
Lei ChicPlum’s the Word
As a kid you loved li hing powder sprinkled on fruit, gummy candy and well, practically anything. Shokudo decided that if it’s good enough for Sour Patch Kids, it's good enough to infuse sake with. Shots of their li hing infused sake go down like, well, candy, so don't say we didn't warn you. Shokudo Japanese, 1585 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu. 808.941.3701.