Best sushi in Oahu? Other recs?
I'm in West Oahu vacationing here until Friday afternoon, planning our meals. We have a RSVP for Alan Wong's but that's it. We'll probably try Roy's too, since we're staying near there. Would love to find a good sushi place too, any recs, or should I just wait and have sushi back in LA?
Sorry but I don't have any sushi recs. However, you might also want to try Alan Wong's Pineapple Room which is in Macy's at the Ala Moana Shopping Center. I actually prefer the PR to Wong's signature restaurant.
For good Hawaiian go to Ono Hawaiian on Kapahulu. Also get the daily special at Rainbow Drive-In, also on Kapahulu. And if you haven't tried them in LA, go to Beard Papa's for a cream puff. There's one in Kahala in the Foodland supermarket.
Wow, that seemed like no-brainer - until I began to think about it, that is. With all of our dining experiences on Oahu, I thought that I could easily come up with 4-5 sushi places, but I cannot. I KNOW that I've had good sushi there. My wife always talks about it, but even she could not name even one place. Maybe we've spent the last few decades doing the "fine-dining" scene, and have just forgotten WHERE we had the great sushi. Sorry.
As for hopkid's suggestion for Ono Hawaiian, I second that, though I have to admit that I am more of a fan of AW's on King St., than the PR location, but that's just me.
BTW, if you want to really explore AW's, I highly recommend the "Chef's Counter," though it's a bit frenetic, compared to sitting at a table, and the room afforded one gets a touch cramped, as the food starts coming in waves, the experience of being in the "middle of it all," is worth the pace and the elbow room.
I understand that the hotel in Kahala (was Kahala Hilton -> Mandrian Oriental -> now ?) has redone, what was once the Maile Room, and that it is fantastic. It had not reopened, when we were last there, so I do not have any first-hand info on it. The reviews that I have gotten indicate that it is back on par with the old Maile Room, and that is saying a lot. It is just east of where I think you are referring to as West Oahu (Hawai`i Kai?).
I'll pour over some of my older notes, and see if I can nail that sushi for you, though considering the age of some of those, the place(s) might well be long gone by now.
Thanks for the tips, guys. I've been on Atkin's but I think I'll take a break from it so I can really enjoy my vacation. What chowhound goes on vacation and diets? Cream puffs sound enticing. I'm from LA but have never heard of Beard Papa's, I'll have to try.
As for sushi, another recent thread suggests Mitch's which looks great. I'll come back and report on it.
I'll look at the menus again for AW and PR, it seems like there's a pretty even division between those favoring one of the other. As for the chef's counter, it would be hard because I have a 17-month-old in tow. We're probably going to get to each restaurant precisely when they open at 5:00 to avoid crowds as much as we can. I think if we were at some counter my son would try to crawl behind it and start launch-serving the food to diners across the room.
I would ordinarily skip Roy's because we have one in LA, but it's right where we are staying (Marriott Ko Olina) and I hear it's loud, which is good to reduce the guilt factor when you have a little one who might act up.
Thanks for the tips, keep them coming!
With a 17mo. dining guest, the Chef's Counter would be out of the question - if it were I. Yes, early and a table would be far, far better. Good call. The food is still great and the dining experience right up there, but you will have room and the pace is a lot more casual.
I must have read "East Oahu," when you said "West Oahu." Sorry about that. My rec. for the old Kahala Hilton - now ?, is completely across Waikiki from you. We've never stayed at the Marriott Ko Olina, but have had lunch there, pool bar/restaurant. Other than a weak wine list, the food was surprisingly good, though nothing seemed out of the ordinary resort, poolside dining experience. Did not do their full restaurant, but did look over the menu and wine list - as we're planning on getting in a few rounds of golf there, next time, and will probably stay on the property for a couple of nights. Please report on the dinig there, as it is a bit far to drive into Honolulu-proper for an evening meal, especially as we always work the wine lists pretty well, when we dine. I'd always choose to walk, or cab-it, than have my poor wife have to abstain so she can drive. I did NOT know that Roy's has opened out West. My experience has always been good (to a few near-great) food, with moderately priced, well-chosen wines, though from a limited list. Yes, most have a noise level that exceeds my threshold, but then I like my dining quiet to begin with. I've done the one in Hawaii Kai (original, I think), and most of the others in Hawaii and on the mainland. Seems that Roy Yamaguchi places many of his spots in resorts that are a bit out-of-the-way, so they usually get placed in our dining scheme, just because there are often too many nights and too few restaurants. I have never had a bad meal at a Roy's, but then I've only had two great ones. It depends on the exec. chef at the particular location. He gives (or gave) them great latitude with his dishes and some really "spread their wings."
Enjoy, and please report on Ko Olina dining. I'll follow your suggestions, probably in Oct.
If you get to Honolulu, you might want to book Indigo in China Town. It is still very high on my list, even though I missed them on our last two trips.