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et alors

Waikiki lunch

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If you spend all day at the beach, you have to eat sometime. I got lucky and thought I'd share. Furusato sushi just off kuhio state park in the hyatt was just perfect. Lucious nigiri and even my daughters California roll was good enough for me to steal.

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Aloha... I live on O'ahu... let me know if you want some insider tips on serious dining in the area.


The Cactus Eater

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Hello Wantttobe,

I sent these recommendations to you via private message... but they might also be useful to others in the forum:

Not a lot of gems in Waikiki.. you generally have to leave the area for the good stuff. Fortuantely, the 4 primary culinary streets (restaurant rows) of Honolulu are all within a few miles of Waikiki hotels.

Kapahulu... this street actually ends at Waikiki (the intersection by the Honolulu zoo)... you walk half a mile away from the beach there is a cluster of about 50 places that locals enjoy... good mix of tourists & locals.

Waialae... another 1/2 mile past the Kapahulu strip away from the beach is Waialae avenue in the Kaimuki neighborhood.. few tourists get here.. another cluster of about 100 eateries.

Keeaomuku... this is a couple of miles from Waikiki at the edge of Ala Moana shopping center.. another cluster of about 50 eateries... good mix of Japanese tourists & locals

King St.... several mile stretch between Downtown & Waikiki... with hundreds of restaurants... here you will find the top local gourmet places (Chef Mavro, Alan Wong's)... as well as low brow joints.

In terms of Waikiki proper here are my recommendations:

Miyako at The New Otani hotel for proper, multi course Japanese cuisine

Morimoto's (as in the Iron Chef).. (the hottest restaurant in Honolulu at the moment) is solid for a weekday lunch with reasonable prices, and not too crowded.

Arancino for solid, solid haute Italian cuisine (even my friend from Rome approves)

Seoul Jung at the Waikiki Resort Hotel.. this is a hotel & restaurant operated by Korean Airlines mostly for their staff & Korean tourists

Hot Dogs have become a local thing and the three most important hot dog joints on the island are all in Waikiki... Hank's Haute Dogs, Hapa Dog & Puka Dog... I'd say do a crawl and share a dog at each joint!

Kapahulu Recommendations

Zaratez taco track parked next to Waiola shave ice... ask for the Mulitas Campechanas (Steak & Chorizo, Melted cheese between two griddle corn tortillas with onions, cilantro & salsa)

Irifune (Izakaya)

Side Street Inn (local bistro type cuisine, very casual,huge portions)

Rainbow Drive In (local plate lunches i.e., heavy, meat centric dishes served with two scoops of rice, 1 scoop of Macaroni salad)... the fried chicken & katsu are local favorites

Keeaomoku Recommendations

Orine Sarang Chae (Quality Korean with lovely patio dining a rarity in Oahu)

Gomaichi Ramen (recommend the soup with pork belly)

King St. Recommendations

Skip Alan Wongs... go to Chef Mavro instead

Sushi Sasabune (sushi nazi)

Bac Nam (Jelly Fish Salad, Beef Stuffed Squid & Oxtail Pho are fantastic)

Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Sweet Home Cafe (Taiwanese)

Spices (Thai & Laotian.. the Dill Curry is a favorite of ours)

Waialae Recommendations

3660 On the Rise (Local Haute cuisine great for families, no longer hip so there are no excessive crowds... the Ahi Tempura roll is probably the best dish I've had in Hawaii... rare Tuna crusted in Panko.. served with chicken gravy & Japanese salad.. great stuff).

Sabrina's.. Homestyle Italian, BYOB, casual, food lovingly cooked by a couple from Rome.. everything cooked to order.. be prepared for a long meal

Soul... acceptable Southern U.S. regional cuisine

Outside of these areas:

Max's of Manila (This is a chain of diners from Manila... Filipino fried chicken & other regional specialties from the Tagalog region).. in the Downtown area

Ahi & Vegetable (Spicy Ahi or Salmon bowl.. fist size ball of spicy raw fish served over baby greens with Ponzu dressing.. miso soup etc.,... simple, tasty, top notch ingredients <$10 per person)

Haleiwa Joe's in Kaneohe (not the one in Haleiwa).. decent continental + local cuisine (Prime Rib, Grilled Local fish etc.,) but arguably the most spectacular tropical setting on Oahu.. with Koolau mountains in the back drop, lush tropical forest views etc.,)

BTW.. the beaches on Waikiki suck.. the best local beaches are on the Windward side... highly recommend Kailua & Lanikai beaches.. as well as Waimanalo & Kaawa... if you get down to the Kailua / Lanikai side some decent eats to be had:

Uahi Island Grill (casual bistro type food with local flavors)

Chadlou's for Coffee & Ice Cream sandwiches

or stop by Foodland for a tub of Poke, Fried Chicken, Pasteles (Puerto Rican tamales made from plantains with pork, olives & Recaudo), Salad Greens, Fresh Cut Papaya... picnic on the beach.

Also for Hawaiian cuisine.. the best is at Helena's Hawaiian which is in Kalihi's restaurant row on School Street (this is a low rent Filipino & Pacific Islander immigrant neighborhood.. perfectly safe at day time).. other noteworthy places there are Mitsuba deli & Mitsu Ken catering... also worthwile would be a trip to nearby Liliha Bakery for locally flavored pastries (coconut sugar crusted puffs among other things).

If you don't get to Helena's Hawaiian.. then Ono's on Kapahulu would be okay.

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Thanks for the kind offer and auggestions!

We are back in waikiki with my daughter (6) sister and her 18 month old. So we need close, specific and family friendly (thanks for the above!!!)

I'll do at least on serious meal without sis and baby (my daughter is restaraunt trained) and we'll definately hit morimotos.

As well, breakfast is a chore.. We are up at six!

Any additional advice?

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Zaratez is now only at the HFBF farmer's markets. Get in the car and drive to Heeia Pier Deli & General Store in Kaneohe, amazing food, if someone delivers a fish straight

from the bay it's on the menu if not, not. Great ulu mac salad, guava chicken and lots of daily specials. Prima in Kailua is very good. Nico's reopened last month with a full

sit down restaurant/bar same location at Pier 38. Town on Waialae is very good and kid friendly. I just had the most wonderful meal at Roy's Waikiki. The chef there has

his own page of specials from starters to entree's that are inventive, full of flavor and magic. They like kids there too. I live in Kaneohe and can attest (although I hardly

ever go) Haleiwa Joe's is a magnet for locals who want a place for birthday/anniversary on our side for dinner they are not open for lunch.

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We did well, thanks again for all the advise!

Puka dog was a godsend for tired kids and hungry mommas, and the international market's foodcourt provided less expensive and yummy grub. We tried Roy's but kept getting timing wrong. We ate shrimp truck on the north shore (awesome!) and Morimoto's (not as good as the Napa one, really not worth it).

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