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Best Restaurant in Honolulu?

I'm looking for the best (or close to) romantic restaurant in Honolulu. I would like it to have a really nice view and SUPER good food. Right now I am looking at Brown's Beach House, but would really prefer something thats not in a hotel. I am looking to spend around $100 for two people. Thanks So Much!

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    1. Not to put a wrench in things, but at $50 per person you are not going to get the best Honolulu has to offer, especially if you are including adult beverages in that tab. Alan Wongs and 3660 listed above are great, but no view. Sadly if you want a spectacular view you are almost entirely limited to the Waikiki Hotels.

      For a view and romance I still think that the Hau Tree Lanai can't be beat. The food is probably not the most original, but I personally have never had anything other than a great meal there. The service is polite, cordial, and slower than molasses. The one real downside. But I don't know of anyplace else where you are virtually sitting on the beach, under the spreading hau trees,with the stars up above and all of waikiki spread out along the shore.

      You might want to check out the Ilima Awards as well, listing Honolulu's popuar choices. Google ilima honolulu, or check the following summary by the Honolulu Newspaper.


      5 Replies
      1. re: KaimukiMan

        Yes, it's true what he just told you. I think that you might try to have dessert or pupus
        and drinks at Mariposa in Neiman Marcus on a Friday night and catch the fireworks that the Hilton puts on. I've never been to the Hau Tree Lanai but it sounds like it could work.
        BTW, Brown's Beach House is on the Big Island at the Fairmont Hotel (used to be the Orchid and before that the Ritz Carlton.) Good luck in your meal.

        1. re: manomin

          Thanks for the help guys, glad I didn't book at Brown's Beach House, seeing how that would be the wrong island! =) None of the websites actually tell you which island they are on, so I've been trying to map it and make sure I'm actually on the right island. That seems to be working out well! =) Thanks for the info!

          1. re: Dogs4Me

            You want someplace listed as Oahu, Honolulu, Waikiki. If it says Kona, Wailea, Princeville.... wrong islands.

            If you want to go the pupu's route Mariposa is very good. You might also try the beachside "bar" at the Halekulani. You can probably do that for around $50/person. Figure $10-$15 for each type of pupu, and just a bit more for each drink, depending on what you order - although it could go higher.

            If you have decided that your budget wasn't realistic, and you really do want to do the top of the line restaurants (alan wongs, mavro, roys) then you need to about double your amount to $100/person. Kinda scary yeah?

        2. re: KaimukiMan

          Do you, or anyone, have the current best list?

          1. re: kel

            If you want a "list", I would start by checking the reviews for the Ilima Award winners for 2007. I don't agree with all the selections, nor will anyone else, but it is a good cross section of what is out there and what people like. Hope this helps.

        3. I just returned from Honolulu last week so a few restaurants are still fresh in mind for you to consider. Super good food, not a lot of view, but within walking distance of Ala Moana shopping center is a place called Okonomi Kai (808-944-1555. 1427 Makaloa St). If you've ever been to a Japanese teppanyaki (even if you haven't!) you'll love this place. A huge menu, predominantly of simply prepared grilled items, not a sushi or benihana-ish type place.

          We loved it so much we went twice.

          Most notably:

          Poke on the Okogi, fresh ahi tuna cubes, marinated in shoyu on hijiki (seaweed salad), tossed with sesame seeds, daikon radish, nori and on a bed of crispy rice squares

          Renkon (Lotus Root) with Cheese -- a japanese version of a quesadilla, the 5 lotus root slices are overlayed and grilled, topped with a mound of shredded cheese, and then topped with a thin crepe to make a tasty appetizer. Try it w/ the tabasco!

          Tokyo Tower - 24 oz (abt) 9 glasses served in a cylindrical tubed topped with a Tokyo Tower -- we had a lot of fun as a couple working our way (and getting lots of kudos for finishing it) through that!

          Okonomis - any of them -- okonomi is a combination of veggies, seafood, meat, and batter that makes for the most original and filling treat!

          Rib Eye - tender and delicious!!

          All together, there were more eaten, including grilled mushrooms, chicken, tomatoes with maui onion, -- each time inclusive of beers, some original sake martinis and gratuity we ordered 5-6 dishes and did not spend more than $100. I hope you'll venture in.

          1. My other contribution would be Halekulani's House Without A Key at sunset. They always have the best most elegant (not in your face) hawaiian musicians, the best view, and food and service are always great. Manageable on the expenses, I had the ahi tuna appetizer, and a chicken salad dish (fantastic, both) -- my husband the rib eye. +2-3 drinks we were well under $100.

            1. Sorry to be a kill-joy, but there's nothing that SUPER with a good view. I don;t think any of the places suggested so far are that romantic, possibly with the exception of Hau Tree Lanai, which I haven't been to. For what I think you're looking for, at least in the super-romantic category, Cabanas at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental is right on the beach & you eat in your own private cabana (surprise!). The food at Hoku's, the other restaurant there is good, so I'd imagine this to be, too. We had resvs, but it was too windy that night, so we moved into the chef's bar at Hoku's, so I can't give you a first hand report. Just an idea... (and it will be over $100 - sorry!)

              1. If you have a few hours to kill on a (i think a friday night), you can go to mariposa at Neiman Marcus. Get a table on the lanai before sunset and you can enjoy an unobstructed sunset and then later on the fireworks that go off at hilton hawaiian village. The food is good. If you don't go too crazy with drinks, you can pull off ~100.

                5 Replies
                1. re: da_seuss

                  You obvioulsy agree with me on this point from my post yesterday. It is Friday night for the fireworks. The Neiman Marcus martini is heavenly!

                  The view from Top of Waikiki is nice and I've only sampled the food but what I had was killer. You can see the chef Sean Priester every Saturday at the KCC farmer's market buying produce and such for his service. I am looking forward to a full meal there very soon!

                  1. re: manomin

                    I enjoy Mariposa as well, but do you really think of it as a "romantic" restaurant? Perhaps I have just had too many business lunches there.

                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        Romance can be wherever you are with the right person. No, I don't think it
                        is "romantic" as such but when there are such limitations on budget one must
                        consider what one can. I have had hundreds of lunches there always enjoy them
                        and the one time I ate dinner there it was pretty special with the fireworks.

                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          Did our first time dining there recently, and found the setting to be quite romantic - been married for 37 years, so maybe the comments do not qualify that much.

                          We had a lovely, well-spaced table (4-top for the two of us), and all was perfect. It was not the Friday Night fireworks, as mentioned (good idea, that!), but qualified nicely for us. The food, the wine and the service were all that we could have asked for. We both became fans that night. Only possible drawback is the traffic noise from Ala Moana Blvd. We didn't see it, as the railing on the lanai blocked that part of our view - maybe different if one was dining at the railing, but I think that its height would still keep the view out over the harbor. You *could* hear the trollies and the busses, though.

                          Yes, I'd call it romantic, but then I have not done those "business lunches!" [Grin]