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May 3, 2010 12:44 PM

last-minute oahu getaway. need recs.

My hubby and I are returning to Oahu for a short and sweet getaway. We will be arriving at 8:30 pm next Thursday and leaving on a redeye on Sunday. We're staying near Waikiki beach and would love recs for the following:

1. late night meal on Thursday (probably around 10 by the time we check into hotel, etc.). a take-out place or a restaurant/bar that has late-night nibbles would be ideal.

2. sushi/poke within walking/bussing distance of waikiki. we really enjoyed tokkuri-tei and irifune last time, and if up to my husband, we'd go back. however, i'd like to try other places. palate-wise, i'm somewhat adventurous and enjoy uni but will not eat quail egg. hubby, on the other hand, likely will not venture past maguro, hamachi, or shiro maguro.

3. breakfasts around waikiki. the cheaper and faster, the better. prefer to go somewhere that isn't part of a chain that can be found in California. we have been to eggs-and-things and while it was decent, do not want to go back.

4. sunday lunch & dinner with a car. We plan to rent a car for the day for some hiking, snorkeling and maybe kayaking.

any input would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. late night options are limited. Zippy's, LikeLike Drive In, Liliha Bakery, and (not my pick) mac24/7.

    sushi/poke near waikiki is limited. nobu's is in waikiki, has a tremendous reputation.... bring your platinum card. Shokudo near ala moana is ok, but not best known for sushi. genki sushi at ala moana center isn't bad.

    breakfast, waikiki? wailana coffee shop (hello 1968), rainbow drive in, diamond head grill

    1. Side Street Inn may be a good bet for that late dinner - the kitchen's open until midnight. For sushi, you might want to try Gaku. If you're not up for the (~2 mile) hike, TheBus will get you within a block or two. Nobu and Sasabune are both famous, but each of them is just one outpost of an empire - why go to Honolulu for a meal you could get in LA?

      Side Street Inn
      1225 Hopaka St, Honolulu, HI

      Sushi Sasabune
      1419 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814

      Sushi Izakaya Gaku
      1329 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814

      Nobu Waikiki
      2233 Helumoa Road, Honolulu, HI 96815

      1 Reply
      1. re: alanbarnes

        My sentiments exactly about Nobu & Sasabune. We can walk the 2 miles to Gaku. Will definitely go to Wailana Coffee Shop and Rainbow Drive-In for breakfast. Last time, we went to Eggs & Things, and Zippy. Eggs & Things was decent but I was not impressed with Zippy. The food was not tasty and it was greasy.

        Has anyone heard anything about Morio's? It receives rave reviews on Yelp but I have found Yelp to be highly unreliable.

        Rainbow Drive-In
        3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

      2. Sunday morning, try the Cream Pot for breakfast/brunch. You won't be sorry.

        Cream Pot Restaurant
        444 Niu St, Honolulu, HI 96815

        1. 1 & 2) Not many places are open until late. I agree with you, Tokkuri Tei is great! Plus, if you did go back, I'm sure there are so many other dishes you didn't get to try yet. If not, ask Santa to prepare a special dish for you. This guy is very creative! Last time we were there he created several awesome dishes for us, dishes that weren't even on the menu. Have you tried the beef tongue? It's sliced thin and grilled. One of my favorites! Some other dishes you might want to try are teba (grilled chicken wings), yakitori (grilled chicken skewers, another favorite!), grilled chicken gizzards and heart, deep fried amaebi (prawns), chicken karaage (Japanese style fried chicken), bata asparagus, bata giant clam, etc. Their list is extensive! If you like sushi, their Toro (fatty tuna) is great! If it's not in season, opt for the O-Toro (less fatty but still good). And of course can't go wrong with Hamachi.

          3) Not in Waikiki but in Kalihi, City Square. At least you won't feel hungry after eating at Pancakes and Waffles. Breakfast for 2 is about $15 and lunch is less than $10. Had pretty good reviews in today's paper! Lot's of interesting dishes. Waikiki is too commercialized, you're paying more and getting less service because they can't handle serving all the tourists. If you need to stay in Waikiki, try Wailana Coffee House. Or, if you can drive out to Waipahu (Elena's) or even Kapolei (Juliez), try their Adobo omelette's!

          Lunch on Sunday depends on where you're going snorkeling. If on the North Shore, Kua'Aina is a great place for burgers. They also have another location in town, acrosss Ala Moana Beach Park. If you're in the Kahala area, The Counter would be great too. Talk about how you want your burger, up to 1 lb. and you can choose from a wide variety of buns, meats, toppings, and sauces. Their sweet potato fries were also great!

          Dinner, why not have a great one at Chai's Island Bistro, Aloha Tower Marketplace. The atmosphere is nice and he has top local musicians performing nightly. A must have is their Shrimp Kataifi for pupus. For dinner you have to decide, too many great things to choose. I've had the Mongolian Lamb Chops, Lobster and Prawns with sweet chili sauce, and the Moi (Threadfin) which was a fish only reserved for our ancient Alii's (Haw'n royalty). For dessert, if you like chocolate, the chocolate pyramid along with some french pressed coffee which he has a wide variety of.

          Hope you're able to visit several of the above suggestions. Let me know how my selections were. And, have fun while you're here!


          Chai's Island Bistro
          1 Aloha Tower Dr, Honolulu, HI

          Wailana Coffee House
          1860 Ala Moana Blvd Ste Lbby, Honolulu, HI 96815

          Aloha Tower Marketplace
          , Honolulu, HI 96813