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Apr 6, 2010 01:47 PM

Help - just moved to Honolulu - where do chowhounds shop

hi everyone --

Just moved to Honolulu last week and need some help getting the lay of the land. Where do you shop for
-- cooking gear (pots and pans)
-- Asian food products, i.e. a big Asian supermarket (preferably with parking)
-- other food products (I found Whole Foods and Costco already, what else is good?)
-- furniture (there has to be more than Homeworld without being Asian antiques)
-- Any other shops you love?

Thanks, Kelly

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  1. Aloha Kelly,
    The first place I hit when going back home from LA is Don Quijote on Kaheka in Ala Moana, then to the next block over to Wal*Mart on Keeaumoku St., Then when I'm all exhausted, I'll go across the street to Long's located in the Ala Moana Shopping Center next to Sears. If you still have some energy, go to Marukai next to the Ward Warehouse and spend some more money. Keep Hawaii green...spend money!

    Ward Warehouse
    Buffet 100, Kakaako, HI 96814

    1. Pot n pans - Ross Dress For Less; inexpensive, brand new, name brand, and at least 9 locations

      Asian food products - Don Quijote {801 Kaheka Street (Honolulu) or 850 Kamehameha Highway (Pearl City)}; mostly Japanese prod, some Thai, Filipino, and Korean prods. Palama Super Market; 1210 Dillingham Blvd - mostly Korean prods, some of everything else.

      Other foods - Farmers Market; - Fresh, local, inexpensive, and supports local businesses/farmers. Doesn't get any fresher

      Furniture - ABC Furniture or Disco Mart

      Not sure of your budget, but all these places have things that will fit in anyone's budget. Good luck Kelly, welcome home!

      1. Chef's cooking gear: Hata on Sand Island
        Japanese stuff: Shirokiya in Ala Moana Center
        local fish, meat and produce: Chinatown, Open Markets, Waipahu Marketplace, KCC market Sat. AM
        High-end furniture: Inspiration in the Design Center
        Cheap stuff: Salvation Army, Goodwill
        High-end fish: Tamashiro
        Wine, etc.: Tamura's, Fujioka's

        1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

        Ala Moana Center
        1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

        1 Reply
        1. re: Joebob

          I agree with Y Hata!

          For kitchen equipment and cookware, FORGET those rip-off expensive specialty stores (e.g. Compleat Kitchen, Executive Chef @ Ward, Williams-Sonoma, Macy's, etc.)

          Instead, go to a decent restaurant supply store like Y.Hata on Sand Island and Bargreen Ellison in Pearl City or Aiea (across from Pearlridge Shopping Center behind a furniture store, Fortunoff? HomeWorld?). They look like warehouses, but full of durable heavy duty equipment at relatively low prices.

          That $12 OXO peeler from Compleat Kitchen is a piece of crap and half as sharp as the $1.50 Victorinox ones you'll find at the restaurant supply stores. A regular stainless steel mixing bowl shouldn't cost $20!

          You don't need a $200 All-Clad/Mauviel/Le Creuset/etc. pan to cook amazing food! The best restaurants in the world don't even use these pans. Just get something thick, heavy and sturdy. At home, I cook on restaurant-grade carbon steel saute pans (naturally nonstick like seasoned cast iron, but lighter in weight and faster to heat up; super durable). Heavy-gauge aluminum saucepans, sheet pans & stockpots are what most restaurants use, and they're very good for what you pay for.

          See Mark Bittman's advice for restaurant supply store shopping to outfit a new kitchen in the NY Times:

          Too bad Y. Hata & Bargreen Ellison aren't as cheap as mainland restaurant supply stores. At least Bargreen Ellison has a nice trade discount (20%?) if you work in the industry, (but don't lie).

          Also some good deals at Ross and Craigslist. I've seen bare and enameled cast iron dutch ovens for <$40, Cuisinart ice cream machines for <$15, decent pasta presses for ~$15. I even saw a RobotCoupe for $80 once. Check the Business section of Cragislist for restaurants going out of business. You can usually get baking sheet pans and mixing bowls (and hotel pans and deep fryers, and walk-in freezers, etc.) for dirt cheap.

          For the freshest ingredients, try for the farmer's markets. Not just produce, and not just at Kapiolani Community College (KCC) & the Blaisdell Center. Every day of the week, all over the island:

          I'm a fan of fresh local Ka Lei eggs @ Safeway or better yet, at their store in Kaimuki (on Waialae kinda near Big City Diner.


          MA'O Organic Farms in Waianae has a great weekly CSA veggie box going now, too (especially if you like daikon, beets and Hakurei turnips).

          Big City Diner
          3569 Waialae Ave Ste 3, Honolulu, HI 96816

        2. lots of good suggestions. there is an asian grocery (called asian grocery i think) on beretania near the hispanic market (mercado de la raza) across from grace's and times. do go to the diamond head farmer's market on saturday morning, and bring your appetite.

          furniture? give up, there is no good place to buy furniture here. OK, maybe not true, but it is a time consuming process. The compleat kitchen and that other place down at ward will have whatever kitchen equipment you want. Just bring a couple of extra credit cards with you. macy's isn't terrible either, sears can be ok.

          1. Whenever I go to Oahu, I make a special trip to Marukai to get rid of my Japan nostalgia. Definitely try it out- you just need to pay for the membership!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Mag454

              They let you in without a membership for a one day small fee...

              1. re: flylice2x

                They give me a weekly pass which can be renewed if you are a visitor with out of state liscense-i am there every Christmas for 3 weeks and shop there almost daily-mostly for thier outstanding poke!