fun cheap eats Oahu/Waikiki
well I have been reading this board for a while and wanted to see the latest on interesting ethnic or local foods. Though hardly new to the scene,I see Ono Hawaiian is interesting as is OnJin Cafe or Side St. Cafe for starters. We are not renting a car, rather walking or maybe taking the bus so some place easily accessable by these modes or a short cab ride would be great. I am guessing some great Pupu's can be had during happy hours. Also a market that sells tasty prepared dishes would not be bad either as we have a fridge. Many thanks!
for markets you go to the saturday farmer's market at Kapiolani Community College, a short cab ride or bus ride from Waikiki. you can also go to an okazuya, japanese delicatessan. there's fukuya and ebisu's okazuya. for good prices on pupus and beer, you go to palominos. $3 drafts and half off their pupus.
Ruger market also has good Hawaiian food. In McCully I like Maple Garden for Chinese and Waiola's for shave ice. Fukuya used to be closed sometime in January of Febuary each year for vacation, so you might want to call them before if you go.
The food court in ChinaTown is absolutely great!! I can still taste the wonderful spring rolls we got from a Vietnamese stand - all the food we had there from different stands was fine! If I were going to Oahu this would be a must to re-visit. Net a glitsy place by any means but fantastic choices and food!
Ok I need to do my duty and report back. Here are some of the places I went:
near Diamond Head:
Ono Hawiian Foods. For a lunch, we asked the waitress to put together some native specialties. We had a combination meal which had: (all with spelling errors): Lau Chicken (chicken in taro leaves), Kalua pork , lomi lomi salmon, poi, salted dried beef, and some various condiments I cannot remember, and a short rib soup with greens. dessert was a custardy dish.She reported all were traditional foods with the exception of the side of rice, as rice was introduced later in history to the islands-and of course is very common now. I highly recommend this place from a food anthropology standpoint. nothing was delicious, but nothing was bad (although did not care for this version of lomi salmon). I actually liked the poi. You dip food in it, rather than eating a bowl of it. I kind of understand why native Hawaiin food has not taken the world by storm...however am grateful for the experience of trying things.
Rainbow Drive In- was a plate lunch spot also on kapahulu (hope I have this st correct). Loved it. I had a lunch with grilled short ribs, fried chicken and fish (fried of course). It came with the traditional rice and macaroni salad scoops. While this is the complete opposite of how I may normally eat, I really enjoyed it. I never know macaroni salad could taste good. They appear to be open for breakfast and people were enjoying the loco moco (beef patty, rice, eggs and gravy).
the food court in China town. It seemed every Asian country was represented, saw many things being made from scratch (ie dumplings) .
Be La- sandwiches. If you are a real Vietmanese sandwich fan, you won't be blown away. Still the sandwiches were ok.
I did not care for the many Poke varieties I tried from the food land at Ala Moana. And I like poke. If you go to food land go to customer service and get a free card that will let you get discounts on things.
Keneke. the best plate lunch I had on the islands. this town is around the east coast. A really nice drive (we rented scooters) past Sea Life park . Had the short ribs (Kilbi), Kalua pig and adobo pork. I think there was a Philipine influence here. That and a super religious thing going on. No matter, it was one of my favorite meals.http://www.kenekes.com/2003%20Menu.htm
If I remember more places that were worthwhile, I'll report back...
Nice report. Was the custardy dessert at Ono Hawaiian Foods white and coconutty? If so that would be haupia. Next time you're in Honolulu, try the haupia-filled malasadas at Leonard's or Champion's bakery.
You are correct that Rainbow Drive-Inn is on Kapahulu (as is Ono Hawaiian and Leonard's). Too bad about not liking the poke at Foodland. Keneke's sounds interesting. I'll have to try that the next time I'm on that side of the island at meal time...or just for a snack!
yup the dessert had to have been haupia. tasty. Do try Keneke....it was outstanding! I may have caught the poke on a bad day at foodland, b/c a few years ago I had it from the same store and it was great. Make sure and try the adobo pork and the kilbi at Keneke.