Oahu: favorite Restaurants?

Discussion in 'Hawaii' started by Travelman, Feb 27, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Travelman
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    Travelman Gold Member

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    Since so many people visit O'ahu as their first introduction to Hawaii, does anyone have any favorites or tips they would like to share?

    I am aware of one thread reviewing Little Village Noodle Restaurant in Chinatown area of Honolulu which I plan on trying out next time I'm on island http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/review-little-village-noodle-house.1948/

    Here is a thread regarding the breakfast in the Executive Lounge at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (HHV) Rainbow Tower; while the first post is not positive I am adding a link here so that people can compare
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/exec-lounge-rainbow-tower-hilton-hawaiian-village.771/

    Looking forward to reading about others ...
    Mahalo nui loa (Thanks very much) in advance for your contributions :cool:
     
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  2. Travelman
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    Travelman Gold Member

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    I will start off with one ... DUKE's.

    Location:
    Duke's is located beachfront in Waikiki.
    On the Sand at the Outrigger Waikiki, Oahu
    2335 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 116
    Honolulu, HI 96815
    (808)- 922-2268


    Internet link: http://dukeswaikiki.com/

    Meals
    Duke's serves, breakfast, lunch & dinner. It also has a bar area.

    I love the buffet breakfast ... especially since I can ask for Jalepenos to be added to my omelet which is made to order in front of you. There is also a good selection of fruit, fruit juices, and other breakfast type goodies as can be seen from the breakfast menu posted at
    http://dukeswaikiki.com/docs/Breakfast_Buffet for web 010610.pdf

    And we definitely love the Hula pie!! But it is definitely enough for two people[​IMG]
    So click this link to see lots of photos of Duke's famous hula pie:
    www.google.com/images?hl=en&source=imghp&biw=1186&bih=770&q=dukes+hula+pie&gbv=2&aq=2ms&aqi=g2g-ms1g-m1&aql=&oq=hula+pie

    We enjoy watching the beach come alive slowly in the early morning or to have an early lunch before the crowds arrive ...

    Most Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons there is entertainment late in the afternoons, so be sure to check to see if there is any entertainment scheduled for while you are visiting.

    Also while there, or while just visiting the Outrigger Waikiki, don't forget to check out all the photos on the walls of the man for whom the restaurant is named after --- Duke Kahanamoku.

    Hawaii's most famous citizen and the "Father of INTERNATIONAL Surfing,"

    Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was born August 24, 1890 in Honolulu, Hawaii .... At the age of 21 he won his first Olympic gold medal, then went on to represent the United States in the Olympics for 20 years, winning not only medals but the hearts of people all over the world. He is remembered as a swimmer not just for remarkable speed, but for his grace in the water, his good humor, and his sportsmanship.
    Although no spectacular video footage records his legendary longboard surfing, his exploits on a surfboard catapulted the sport to new heights
    Enjoy your visit!!!

     
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  3. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    I recommend Legend Seafood Restaurant in the Chinese Cultural Plaza (Beretania and Mauna Kea Streets). This place sets the standards for dim sum in Hawaii, and while many restaurants have come and gone in Chinatown, Legends faithfully turns out beautifully-made and tasty dim sum every morning of the year.

    For breakfast and lunch, don't try to order off the menu unless you're looking for a noodle dish or a large bowl of soup; just wait for the carts to come by and make your selections visually. Specialtry carts will also come by serving soups and rice porridges, fried items like pot stickers and turnip cakes, sliced meat platters, and desserts. I especially recommend the "zhong-zi"-- mochi rice with an egg and a variety of goodies all wrapped up in a lotus leaf and steamed.

    On weekend mornings you may have to wait for a table, but it's a large restaurant and the wait times are usually not excessive.

    Don't overlook Legends for dinner. They have wonderful fresh fish, crab and lobster, cooked in a variety of ways. The salt-and-pepper squid is exceptional. And be sure to ask what fresh vegetables they have that day. They will cook them any way you like.

    Validated parking is available in the Chinese Cultural Plaza parking structure, with its entrance on Mauna Kea St., just mauka (North) of Beretania.
     
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  4. Travelman
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    Travelman Gold Member

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    Re: Legend Seafood Restaurant
    Hilslands, it seems that the photos at this link are currently of the Legend Seafood Restaurant in the Chinese Cultural Plaza ... is that correct?

    If so, the food looks good ... and thanks for the tip[​IMG]
     
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  5. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    Yes! The photos are of Legends Seafood Restaurant, at least up to p.4.
     
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  6. dkelly1110
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    dkelly1110 Silver Member

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    My avatar was taken from a beachside table at Hau Tree Lanai. Expensive, but really nice food and incredible views.
     
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  7. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    Duke's is a must!
    Oahu also has the last Sam Choy's (I think) left in the islands. Both his Maui restaurants shut down years ago :(
     
  8. ArizonaGuy
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    ArizonaGuy Silver Member

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    One must consider the Hawaiian institution of Zippy's! It's a chain, sure, but it's just..awesome. :) Don't go expecting 5 star and you won't be disappointed.
     
  9. Halothane
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    Halothane Silver Member

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    I have always enjoyed the ceviche from Hula Grill (Located just above Duke's)
     
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  10. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    Dukes, Zippy's yup.
    I also had my local friends take me all over town...ate more seafood than i care to mention!
     
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  11. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    totally didn't know there was a Hula Grill on Oahu, but I love the ceviche @ the one in Kaanapali (maui)
     
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  12. Travelman
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    Travelman Gold Member

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    Website: http://www.hulagrillwaikiki.com/

    Address:
    Hula Grill Waikiki
    Oceanfront at the Outrigger Waikiki, Oahu
    2335 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 203
    Honolulu, HI 96815
    (808) 923-4852

    This is located right above Duke's.

    The atmosphere is quieter than Duke's - or at least those times that we have been there.
     
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  13. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    I suggest a visit to Alan Wong's Pineapple Room!

    Don't let the fact that it's located on the second floor of Macy's Ala Moana put you off. AWPR is a great place to sample local food and local style cooking. It has a great selection of "down home" favorites and foods from all over the islands, everything from Loco Moco to ahi, from poi to haupia, from poke to pork. The wine list is interesting but not extensive. The fish dishes are especially good, but AWPR has a menu that seems to please just about everyone.

    There are a lot of interesting appetizers and salads. Try the poke and sashimi combination or the chicken dumplings.
    For an entree, the salmon is the specialty of the house, but the ahi is quite delicious and the serving is generous. For dessert, have a piece of the light haupia cake and some "Will and Grace" press coffee (Kau, Big Island). Let the coffee steep in the press for several minutes and you will have one of the richest cups of coffee you've ever tasted.

    The restaurant is more casual than Alan Wong's King St. location and the tables are also further apart so you can have your own conversation. AWPR is open for breakfast on the weekends and lunch 7 days a week. There's free parking right outside the door of the restaurant, on the top level of the Ala Moana parking structure, Mauka/Diamond Head corner (mountain side, Diamond Head end).

    The Pineapple Room's website:
    http://www.alanwongs.com/pineapple-room-reservations
     
  14. LadyRVG
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    Hula Grill has excellent Lobster and their Ice Cream Sandwich dessert is to die for.
     
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  15. foady

    foady Silver Member

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    I lived in Honolulu for 2 years and here are my favorites (in no particular order):

    Side Street Inn (there's now Side Street Inn on Da Strip)
    Chef Mavro
    Alan Wongs
    Roy's
    Tai Pan (better dim sum then Legends in my opinion. you don't get the cart experience though.)
    Panda Cuisine (serves late night dim sum near Ala Moana Shopping Center)
    Bangkok Chef (best thai food in town)
    Fumi's Shrimp Truck
    Kalapawai Market (not a restaurant, but a great place to pick up food and drinks for a day at Lanikai Beach)
    Mariposa (for the popovers)

    I think I need to go book my next trip back to the islands!
     
  16. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    Good news, foady! Kalapawai Market has opened a Kalapawai Cafe. It's in a different location, 750 Kailua Road
    Kailua, but the food is great! You can eat indoors or outdoors, and it's open three meals/day. I especially like dinner there-- the menu's great! (http://www.kalapawaimarket.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/01/Kalapawai-Cafe-2010-02.pdf)

    I recommend the fresh fish of the day. Add on several of the 'artisan dishes for the table' such a kabocha squash or meyer lemon risotto paired with their excellent selection of wines and you have a true feast!
     
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  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I've got a couple. I mostly hate being in Waikiki but if you have to be there, I found a couple places near Waikiki Beach that are low-key, tasty and affordable. They are decidedly NOT the typical tourist fare and I love them for that.

    [​IMG]
    Morio’s Sushi
    808.741.5121

    Housed in a natural foods market, at night Morio’s transforms into one of the better sushi shops along Waikiki Beach. Morio works the sushi bar himself while a couple of waiters scurry around the small kitchen to help serve guests at the 5 tables on the adjoining patio. There are only about 8 seats at the counter and getting one can be tough – especially on a Saturday night. Morio’s regulars are loyal and keep coming back, with good reason. When in doubt, ask Morio for a recommendation. It is sure to please.

    Morio’s is also a BYOB shop and there are at least three convenience stores on the block. More than one guest headed back out mid-meal for more as the drinks kept flowing. Some of the regulars were even sharing their stash with the staff. Watching a guy move his hands that quickly with such sharp knives is one thing. Watching him do it after he chugs a beer is whole different level of amazing.

    [​IMG]
    Rainbow Drive-In
    808.737.0177

    I certainly didn’t discover this place – it has been around for over 40 years – but it is top notch. Located just far enough off the beach (about a mile) to keep the casual observers away, the grub is top notch. Breakfast is served until 10:30am and lunch/dinner after that. Huge plate lunch helpings for around $7 each. Hard to go wrong at that point.
     
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  18. FlyinHawaiian
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    FlyinHawaiian Silver Member

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    [​IMG]
    Chicken Katsu Plate, Grace's Inn (Kapahulu)

    [​IMG]
    Meat Jun and Chicken Katsu Plate - Young's Kal Bee (Aiea)

    [​IMG]

    Malassadas - Leonard's Bakery (Kapahulu)
     
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  19. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    I would recommend Town. It's a fabulous little restaurant that's not full of tourists. You would need a car to get there. What I like about the place is all the produce is fresh, the menu changes daily based on what is available that day. Some of the fresh produce is actually purchased from the local schools who grow it. Reservations are recommended.

    http://www.townkaimuki.com/
     
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  20. Noland

    Noland Active Member

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    awesome works, thanks for recommendation
     
  21. Audy_KTUH

    Audy_KTUH Silver Member

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    When eating (or foodie'ing) in Hawaii, the same rule applies as in other locations: look for where the locals are gathering around noon and dusk and blindly order the meal/drink/snack recommended. Take roll of Tums with you for insurance and bask in the glow of the local cuisine.
    That being said, here's a few more recommendations to add to this great thread:
    (Disclosure statement: You'll find me stuffing my face frequently at all of these establishments)

    Kaka'ako Kitchen - Local favorites on the healthy side. Easy parking and a short drive from Waikiki.
    http://kakaakokitchen.com/
    Resturant Yamagen - Hole-in-the-wall Japanese noodle shop near the University of Hawaii. Its a cash only establishment but the prices are reasonable. Very casual and low key. Their squid tempura is not to be missed.
    http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com/ono_kine_grindz/2004/12/restaurant_yama.html
    Grass Skirt Grill - When I'm working on or near the North Shore I always make time for this spot. Great fish dishes and somewhat decent prices. Its also got that cheesy touristy decor that is so bad its cool.
    http://www.grassskirtgrill.com/
    Million Restaurant - Great Korean place with traditional dishes and yakiniku (cook it yourself grilling). It can be tricky to find, but its only a short drive from Waikiki and walking distance from the Ala Moana Shopping Center. The servers can be brisk but its a a generally friendly place that has that great hole-in-the-wall atmosphere to it.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/million-restaurant-honolulu
    Liliha Bakery - Usually this place will be mentioned because of their cocoa puffs (not the cereal). Its a delicious baked creation that is essentially a cream puff filled with chocolate pudding and topped with chantilly. Another great reason to go here is their 24hr meal service, which is done on a counter adjacent to the bakery. You can expect typical diner style dishes along with many local favorites. Service is fast so you can gobble up some pancakes and still have time to drive down to the beach for the sunrise. If you have trouble finding this spot just follow all the locals from the bars downtown.
    http://lilihabakeryhawaii.com/
     
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  22. infamousdx

    infamousdx Silver Member

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    Rainbow Drive-In's Loco Moco is one of the best I've had on the islands.
     
  23. studio253
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    studio253 Silver Member

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    My wife and I were just out in Oahu a couple weeks ago and got together with a friend of mine that lives out there.

    Side Street Inn was outstanding but you've needed reservations since it appeared on No Reservations. Go figure :)
    We had a great meal, not just good but great, at Nobu.
     
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  24. HiFlyGirl808

    HiFlyGirl808 Active Member

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    Casual local grub: Try Zippys, Ono's (Hawaiian food)
     
  25. HiFlyGirl808

    HiFlyGirl808 Active Member

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    Cheap & casual meals:
    I second Zippy's and vote for Liliha Bakery, Teddy's Bigger Burgers.

    Hawaiian food: Ono's, Nico's at Pier 38 (I believe they're only open for lunch), Helena's, and Highway Inn.

    Semi fancy-pants: I recommend House Without a Key (Halekulani hotel) on Tuesday nights a.k.a. open grill night. The menu is a little cheaper and you still get the nightly music and hula show along with your meal. I recommend the surf & turf burger. Omg, it's delish.

    Dress to impress fancy: Roy's (try the butterfish, it literally MELTS in your mouth), Hoku's, or Alan Wong's.
     

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