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Hawaii Secrets for Food & Fun

  • lollya Mar 16, 2007 12:07 PM
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Hi everyone,
I wasn't sure where to post this, but I am heading to HAWAII for the first time and am looking for some support and advice for a stellar vegetarian experience...can anyone help me? I would appreciate it so very much!

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  1. Being a complete omnivore, I really can't help you directly. However, IIRC, Ray Riegert covered some vetetarian bases in his book, "Hidden Hawaii," ISBN 0-915233-27-4. You might want to check it out at your library, but also make sure that you have the latest release of the book. It's been in print since the late '70s, and has been updated numerous times. I found most of his general dining recs. to be good, though more for middle to lower-end (cost wise) restaurants. Otherwise, I can't think of another resource. Maybe others here will have some good suggestions, like the person looking for vegan for a lu`au recently. If they found some good vegan fare, maybe they'll share it with you.

    Hunt

    1. The Vegetarian Society of Hawaii (one of the oldest such groups in the nation) provides a list of veg-friendly restaurants at its website. Here is the link: http://www.vsh.org/Veg-Friendly-Busin...

      4 Replies
      1. re: Yoshio

        Thank you both so v. much.

        1. re: Yoshio

          That's good to know. While I'm not a vegetarian, there are so many requests on this board. Thanks.

          Hunt

          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Howzit lollya!

            As always, excellent suggestions from Bill Hunt and Yoshio.
            Here’s a few more sources of info you can try…

            (restaurant listings, may not be current)
            http://www.alternative-hawaii.com/res...
            http://www.vegetarianusa.com/city/Hon...
            http://www.chinatownhi.com/?q=node/14

            (Hnl's alternative weekly
            )http://www.honoluluweekly.com/

            A couple places I’ve tried:

            A little Indian place (India Bazaar?) in the Old Stadium Mall (2320 South King).
            http://local.yahoo.com/details?fr=dd-...
            I always enjoyed whatever I ordered, but service was hit or miss.

            And across the parking lot from there is one of my favorites- Kiawe Grill. Yes, they’re primarily a carnivore’s haven but you can just get rice and Korean sides as a vegetarian option. Hmm, this might not be a good idea- the fragrance of beef sharing it's essence with the kiawe wood grill may tempt you to the dark side.

            Well Bento- I'd eat here about 1X/week when I lived nearby, but that was during the previous owner's tenure. Harris Brazina was a great guy, but moved back to the East Coast. The new owners apparently got the recipes from Harris when they bought the place. Macrobiotic options; no ambience, takeout only, and parking is tight at times.
            http://www.wellbento.com/

            Andy's Sandwiches and Smoothies in Manoa Valley (2904 East Manoa) is small, crowded, but has that good ohana (family) feel. Good sandwiches and baked goods, family owned & operated for 30 years.

            Even if you don't eat there, I highly recommend that you check out Manoa Marketplace in Manoa Valley. Grab a coffee, tea (and/or a pastry from Bakery Manoa) and just sit in your car in the parking lot and watch the clouds come over the Koolaus and drift into the city. It’s not so much the stores and restaurants that are in there, but there is a very powerful energy in that valley.

            Aloha and good luck!

            1. re: sambrada

              Thanks Sam! I appreciate your time!

        2. Also some of the Korean take out places (ex: Gina's) have a vegeratian option where you can just pick from a bunch of their sides. Same goes for okazya, because you're picking an assortment of small items it's possible to just choose the veggie ones.

          1. Which island(s)?

            1 Reply
            1. re: DriverPhil

              thanks cowfish...

              driverphil - oahu and kauai!

            2. Go to the Fabulous Four seasons where they go out of their way to please the customer.
              Avoid the trendy Tommy Bahamas which manages to mangle a salad, drenching it with a lime-based dressing that wilts or destroys the taste of anything else that might be good for you. For the carnivores, avoid the jerked pork sandwich...a heart attack on a plate...served with a sticky sickening sweet sauce obliterating the taste of the local pork and then they pile fried onion rings on top of that !!! eeuuuu...As if that is not enough to kill a person, they serve it with FRENCH FRIES!! All in all, Tommy Bahamas serves a disgusting meal in this entree...also they love overdoing nearly every dessert with TONS of sugar and intense chocolate ( enough for a week of indulgence which leaves one with a diabetic sugar rush) and a rush to the water fountain outside.

              1. In Lihue you must go to Hamura Saimin. I'm not sure about the vegetarian part, but for an authentic food experience it is a must.

                In general we avoid all chains - why go to Hawaii, or anywhere, and get the same food you have back home?

                Enjoy!