Kaui and Big Island help...
We are 2 adventurous NYC newlyweds. We have nearly 2 weeks in Hawaii and we no very little about Hawaiin food. We have been in Honolulu for 2 days and loved Ono. No problem with poi as others have discussed. The poke was our first and it was wonderful as well. Please forgive our poor understanding of Hawaiin geography as we describe where we're staying. We are looking for recs for everything from very high end (we'd like to do some superb sushi at some point) to dingy hole-inthe-wall type places serving great local cuisine.Price is not an issue if the food is good. Thanks hounds for your help!
We will be at the Hyatt in Poipu for 3 nights and we will have a car if there are better food options than what is served at the resort. We will be on the North Shore in Hanalei for another couple nights.
In the Big Island, we will be staying either near or in Pahoa for 4 nights. We will have our own kitchen for that time so if there are markets you recommend, let us know as we love to cook on vacation.
We will have one night in KEALAKEKUA.
Our last 2 nights will be near Hawi and Kapaau.
We can't thank you enough for your help. We're looking forward to a honeymoon full of great food.
Hyatt resort in the Poipu area for 3 nights
House on the north shore in Hanalei
(JUNGLE 2 SEA RETREAT AT 4813 ANANALU ROAD, HANALEI , HI)
house 15 minutes from Pahoa, 3 nights
Ramashala in Pahoa, 1 night
Ka'awa Loa B&B, in KEALAKEKUA, in the Kona area - 1 night (82 5990 NAPOOPOO)
Ranch 2 miles south of the towns of Hawi and Kapaau, 2 nights
congratulations for staying in out-of-the-way, non-touristy places...try Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea on the Big Island for Hawaiian cuisine...the Bamboo Restaurant in Hawi...The Canoe House at the Mauna Lani Resort for ambiance...Keii Cafe in Kealakekua...Road House Cafe in Kainiliu for lunch...Manago Hotel in Captain Cook for pork chops...the Holuakoa Cafe in Holualoa for an authentic Hawaiian dining experience (the best fig salads and lilliquoi cheese cake on the planet)...enjoy!
We had great sushi at our hotel, the Marriott in Lihue in Kauai. The wasabi was the real thing, not the imitation stuff I'm used to, it was delicious and dangerously easy to over-do it.
A word of caution, coming from NYC, it was hard for us to adjust to everything outside of the hotels shutting down crazy early-- at one restaurant, they asked if we could come at 6:30 instead of 7 when I tried to make a reservation.
On a recommendation we went to the Hanamaulu Restaurant. The Japanese tea house-like atmosphere was cool, but the food was completely uninspiring--greasy and overcooked, sushi was blah.
In Pahoa, Ning's has pretty good Thai food. Malama Market has a decent selection of groceries, but you'll find greater selection at better prices in Hilo, so if you're coming from that direction you may want to stop at KTA or Safeway on your way down. Nothing to do with food, but don't miss the thermal tidepools down by Kapoho; bathwater warm with honu everywhere.
Upcountry, I second the recommendation for Hawai'ian Style Cafe in Waimea. Ono local kine grinds. Breakfast and lunch only. For fine dining, Merriman's is hard to beat, although Daniel Thiebault's is really good too.
Kona side, Teshima's Restaurant in Kealekekua has outstanding home-style Japanese food. Up the road in Captain Cook, the Manago Hotel has a great "old Hawai'i" feel. They're famous for their pork chops, but the fish is good too. In Kailua town, Ceviche Dave's has great ceviche for take-out.
Here is my review of Kaua`i and O`ahu (plus the Northshore). You might find some places worth your while.
I did a Big Island review, but it seems to have become lost, maybe when CH had a major makeover. The gist of that review was that the two restaurants at the Four Seasons were great, as was Daniel Thibaut's, up-country. If I can ever find that, I'll share it with you.
It's been decades, since we did Pahoa, so I doubt that anything from my trips would even be there anymore. In Hilo, we loved Cafe Pesto, plus one other. For some horrible reason, I can never recall its name, but someone did post it, not that long ago. I'll search this board for Hilo and see if I can locate that. Why it is not imprinted in my mind is a mystery to me, as it was a really good "family-style" spot, with a touch of elegance and great food and service.