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Planning a honeymoon on Oahu


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7 replies to this topic

#1 laurenmilan

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 01:03 PM

My fiancee and I are planning a honeymoon on Oahu, and are looking for recommendations for terrific restaurants to visit while we're there. We're more interested in regional cuisine than flash (there's plenty of luau's out there for that!) and I'd love to visit at least one okazuya while I'm there. Any recommendations?
"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

#2 glossyp

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 06:44 PM

Can you provide a price range? How many expensive, splurge dinners, if any, and what area/s will you be visiting? I think we can get some good suggestions going if we have a bit more information.
"Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." TMJ Jr. R.I.P.

#3 laurenmilan

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 07:59 PM

Can you provide a price range? How many expensive, splurge dinners, if any, and what area/s will you be visiting? I think we can get some good suggestions going if we have a bit more information.

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Well we'll probably want at least 1 splurge dinner, of course, but we're also interested in exploring the regional cuisine rather than Japanese or continental cuisines. I'd be very interested in at least one or two of the local lunch spots/trucks that you recommend, there are so many that I have no idea which ones I should try. My fiancee and I are both Egulleters and fans of regional US cuisine, and we're looking at this honeymoon as another learning experience :wink:

I'm a big fan of Roy Yamaguchi's cookbooks, but have heard that i should avoid his restaurants, is this true?
"Give me 8 hours, 3 people, wine, conversation and natural ingredients and I'll give you one of the best nights in your life. Outside of this forum - there would be no takers."- Wine_Dad, egullet.org

#4 Ann Hall Every, CCP

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 01:59 PM

My fiancee and I are planning a honeymoon on Oahu, and are looking for recommendations for terrific restaurants to visit while we're there. We're more interested in regional cuisine than flash (there's plenty of luau's out there for that!) and I'd love to visit at least one okazuya while I'm there. Any recommendations?

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Hi Lauren,

I lived in Hawai'i for 8 years...came back to my native NY 5 years ago....
So I can't tell you what's new in the last five years, but here's where we went for great food -

Roy's - in Hawai'i Kai (about 10 miles outside of Honolulu) - the food was great - the place a bit noisy - but sitting outside was an option.

3660 On The Rise - in Kaimuki - a neighborhood within Honolulu -

Indigo - very unique Asian style cuisine - on Nuuanu Ave. in Chinatown

Palomino - part of a chain, but you wouldn't know it by the food etc.

Maple Garden - the best Chinese food you'll ever have

I'm sure you can find these restaurants online for more details. There are other, but these came to mind instantly. If I think of any more, I'll let you know.

For romantic drinks at sunset....go to the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki - their outside lounge for cocktails and pupus (hors d'oeuvres) with Hawaiian musicians playing traditional Hawaiian music and "the lovely Kanoe" doing modern hula - if she's still there dancing the hula she's terrific and the ambience of the location can't be beat. Be sure to buy yourselves some flower leis on Maunakea Street in Chinatown - there are lots of lei shops there but we used to buy ours from Cindy's. Leis are given all the time for all occasions!

If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me at annevery@cookwithaloha.com

Aloha!
Ann

#5 mikeycook

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 02:14 PM

My wife and I are planning to go in January for an academic conference (her conference, I am just tagging along) and I have been doing some research as well. The most highly regarded place "seems" to be Alan Wong's, at least in terms of Hawaiian cuisine. Roy Yamaguchi's place gets good marks, as does Chef Mavro. There are also a number of french places that look nice, but since we get to eat French frequently, I have focused less on them.

Of course, that's just from my research. People who have actually been to Alan Wong's and Chef Mavro would probably be a better source.

Anyone?
"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."
~ Fernand Point

#6 Tess

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 02:34 PM

I'm a big fan of Roy Yamaguchi's cookbooks, but have heard that i should avoid his restaurants, is this true?

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There's been a backlash against Roy's especially since it's been a chain on the mainland, but in my opinion the one in Hawaii Kai is just fine.

#7 glossyp

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 03:10 PM

This are my personal observations based on recent meals at the places mentioned and some additional thoughts.

Roy's Hawaii Kai is very good. The chef does interesting and tasty dishes - try any of the seafood preparations. It can be hot and it is definitely noisy but dress accordingly. Formal or dressy attire is not required and you see plenty of regulars in shorts.

Chef Mavro is excellent. His is the only big-name restaurant in town where the chef is in the kitchen every night cooking. I think his food continues to evolve and I don't consider the dishes to be overwhelmingly "French" but rather more Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Hawaiian Fusion or whatever the current description is for it. Service is stellar and again, no need to dress up.

I would eat at the Pineapple Room any day before Alan Wong's - the food is better and it's way cheaper.

All of the following are very casual spots where you'll be eating from disposable plates:

Nico's at Pier 38 is a must stop for the food and the setting. It's there to serve the workers at the adjacent fish auction house so it's super casual. Very cheap and very good.

Check out Kulia Grill in the new medical center. The students of the culinary arts program intern there and the menu changes daily (only open Mon-Fri). See what the next generation of chefs might be cooking. They also serve an awesome cheeseburger with house-made potato chips for right around $6.

If you get out of town, stop by Poke Stop in Waipahu and check out whatever Elmer Guzman might be cooking. He's the former executive chef for Sam Choy's Diamond Head and his seafood preparations are better than ever. Outdoor seating only - this is a very tiny spot.

For a contemporary plate lunch, visit Wally Ho's Garage & Grill in Aiea. You might find grilled eggplant on taro bun or really good braised short ribs.

There's more but I'll stop now!

Edited by glossyp, 26 October 2005 - 03:11 PM.

"Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." TMJ Jr. R.I.P.

#8 oneidaone

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 07:16 PM

12th Avenue Grill in Kaimuki - everything very fresh, very comfortable easy food with a very nice
'compact' wine list. There are some regular menu items but we chose to eat all the specials of the
day and all were really good. Reservations highly recommended.

town - Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki. Their "Always fresh, Organic when possible" shines through
in their menu.

Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas, Restaurant Row - Definitely go! Hiroshi Fukui is a master of combining his
Japanese heritage with farm fresh (including his ever present on the menu preparations of moi),
Nalo Farms greens and vegetables produce delightful flavors and beautiful plates of great food.
I just ate there a couple weeks ago and he has expanded his menu to include larger plates. One
such item we enjoyed was the filet mignon with a slab of foie gras seared to perfection with an
incredible sauce, au gratin potatoes and vegetables a great dish and good value at $25.95, I do
not eat foie gras at all but he was more than happy to sear it and send it home for our dogs.

Vino, Restaurant Row - Adjacent entrance with Hiroshi's. Italian with emphasis on fresh ingredients
from the islands especially Oahu. The asparagus Milanese with Waialua asparagus topped with a
quail egg on toast points is amazing. The experience of Vino is enhanced by the extensive wine list
selected by Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya who works the floor like a roomba checking on every
guest and table answering questions and encouraging them to try the thoughtful flights he has
put together or a great wine by the glass. There are many special events on a weekly basis making
this a very fun destination. He also works the Hiroshi side offering wine advice. His enthusiasm
is contagious.

Mariposa, Neiman Marcus Ala Moana - serving almost 400 lunches a day this ocean/blvd. setting is
worth your time and possible wait to have lunch at. Always fresh fish, great salads, beautiful cocktails, tobacco onions, a most amazing lobster club. My favorite place to relax and enjoy one
of life's truly great pleasures, the long leisurely lunch made better with a sake/vodka martini or two.

Roy's Hawaii Kai - you cannot miss with the 'Flagship.' Executive Chef Ronnie Nasuti drives this
place with his creative talent and innovation while keeping with the food philosophy of Roy himself.
I myself eat there at least a half dozen times a year if not more and am constantly amazed at the
kitchen. Consistent preparations of Roy's signature items are complemented by the daily specials
of fish, beef, pork, chicken. If you are lucky enough to be there the night they have a tomato fusion
sauce you will have a fabulous experience. Yes, it can be noisy, usually is. I have never noticed it
being hot. Since you are a fan of Roy's cookbooks, check out his new Fish and Seafood title that
was published in July of this year, a beautiful book and very user friendly as well as educational.

I probably have more but I need to finish making my dogs' food.......a hui hou :biggrin:
"You can't miss with a ham 'n' egger......"
Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004