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Aug 1, 2010 04:42 PM

September 17th visit to Honolulu Rec's

Hi, gonna be spending a week in Honolulu next month and would like to have some rec's on local must eat's.

Really would like to check out some loco moco, and Lau lau, [I first had loco moko and Lau lau at a Hawaiian BBQ in SF a few years ago.] and those macadamia pancakes.
Searching the list for loco moco doesn't offer much of these places or locals to recomend them as good, vs the me to tourist joints.
The pancakes, hot dogs, Pho, etc seem to be better directed.

Gonna rent a car a few days to see the island, me out here:
Breakfast spots, local grub locals eat, stalls, wagons, BBQ, and those chow discoveries not to be missed. The way the economy is heading this may be my first and last chance!!!

Landing September 17th, and counting the days.

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  1. I'm not a fan of loco moco, but only because I can't abide fried eggs (its a texture thing). Still I would recommend the loco moco from big city diner because they have one of the best hamburgers around. Not only that, but I understand that if you want you can get it on their super ono fried rice.

    I'm sure some afficionados will chime in with ohter recs.

    3 Replies
      1. re: RobertM

        HNL below is probably right. ive never had the LocoMoco at Nicos, but their food is always excellent. he has a great list on his link as well.

        for lau lau try Ono's or Haili's on Kapahulu.

      2. re: KaimukiMan

        I'm also not a fan of loco moco, but for me, it's because I only like hamburger in a bun; other than that, I don't care for ground beef (doesn't make much sense, but there it is). So, I decided to try the Pineapple Room's version, figuring that if high quality ingredients didn't do it for me, I could just continue to pass it by.

        I have to say, it was a very high quality dish, and the components were good, especially the eggs, which were done to perfection -- soft, with liquid yolk that coated the patty quite nicely. As you can see below, I opted for fried rice, though I may have liked steamed better, from a textural standpoint. Instead of gravy, they used a jus (which is may be considered an abomination by some). It wasn't bad, and for someone who likes them, it is probably really good. But I'm just not a loco moco fan.

      3. I would highly recommend Nico's for their Loco Moco. Although they are mostly known for their excellent seafood at very reasonable prices, their Loco Moco is the best we have had on Oahu. For a list of must have places on Oahu to dine at they we miss so much on the mainland, see my thread:

        16 Replies
        1. re: HNL

          Advice much appreciated!
          My buddy is asking about a luau.
          Any advice on these?

          1. re: RobertM

            I would highly recommend the Luau at the Marriott Ko Olina called Fia Fia with Chief Siuleu (sp?). The Cheif is very entertaining and it is relatively small compared to the big corporate Luas, like Paradise Cove which is just down the street from the Marriott Ko Olina.

            1. re: RobertM

              the two biggest are germaines and paradise cove. there is also one at the polynesian cultural center for those who bought the all day plus meals. ive also heard good things about the one at Ko Olina.

              1. re: RobertM

                The only O`ahu lu`au that impressed me was at Sea Life Park, but then the client bought the entire park and had it catered.

                I've done the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center), and while I enjoy the PCC, the food is NOT why I attend. We have taken to doing the full day, talking to the kids about THEIR islands and then skipping out, and dining elsewhere. The actual lu`au is (or was) just a cafeteria meal, and the "shows" are all done by then. PCC is great, about once per every 7 years, but one should not go for the food. Cultural Anthropology is the main call.



                PS - not a real laulau fan, but the best was Alan Wong's at his New Wave Lu`au at the Pineapple Room. Not sure if that is on the menu there, but you might wish to check.

                Alan Wong's Restaurant
                1857 S King St Fl 3, Honolulu, HI 96826

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  note: PCC does NOT serve adult bevvies.

                  1. re: edible complex

                    I can understand, relative to the group that supports them. OTOH, considering the food, I'd head elsewhere on purely culinary dictates. There are not enough mai tais to induce me to enjoy the food. Everything else is great, but we're here to talk about food.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      the luau at PCC seems to roll in waves. ive been there when it was above decent, and been there when it was worse than awful. have seen them run out of food, and other times when they put so much on your plate it was hard not to spill. notoriously uneven over the long haul.

                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        KamukiMan, you say "other times when they put so much on your plate it was hard not to spill."

                        I was there in June and the luau was a buffet. Plates were certainly being loaded but it wasn't PCCs fault, and there was plenty to go around for everyone to make multiple trips. Quality-wise, it didn't make a big impression, but it wasn't outright bad. The pork was actually pretty decent, as were the taro rolls.

                        The fruit drinks they hawk as an extra for $10 or so are tasty but not worth it- they couldn't handle the volume of orders and by the time ours came we were done with our meal.

                        I woudn't work the PCC into your plans based on the desire for a luau, but if you're doing it anyway, it might be worth it.

                        1. re: Chris VR


                          That has been my repeated experience, however I feel that the day is more than well-spent. We now just plan on a late dinner, after a full day there. Food is not the draw for us - Polynesian culture is.


                      2. re: Bill Hunt

                        but it is a Polynesian Cultural Center and shouldn't they be celebrating that culture/heritage in its all aspects?

                        personally, I avoid most things that require public attendance and Wonder bread delivery trucks :-)

                        Hunt, we went to OLA last night for the big bday dinner...had a hostess/seating issue, but the food and service were amazing. will give a more detailed report when I have time. took your rec and called Alan Wongs yesterday and got a lanai table for this Sat. night. will also report back. not sure what we will have time for Sun. eve before the 10pm flight. staying at Sheraton Waikiki and may just go up to Twist at Hanohano for a flight of wines and apps. although, I'm not sure how they do it, as I was informed last night at OLA that "stacking" is not allowed in Hawaii. translated, you cannot have more than on drink per person on the table at one time. hmmm?

                        Alan Wong's Restaurant
                        1857 S King St Fl 3, Honolulu, HI 96826

                        1. re: edible complex

                          The "Stacking" law does not apply to wine flights strangely enough. This I know from talking to the liquor commission at the recent Restaurant & Hospitality show in July. It's an odd law and even they had a hard time explaining it.

                          1. re: manomin

                            it is an odd law. the way it was explained to me is that you can not have more than one of one type of drink in front of you at a time. So even if it is your 21st birthday, they can not line up 21 shots of tequilla or crown, or jack or whatever for you. You can have a beer with a hard liquor shot, or wine with a beer, or (perhaps) a red and white wine (that got a bit vague.)

                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              odd indeed, as we were told you cannot have more than one of anything at a time. we asked about beer and shots and were told that you could have the shot but the waiter had to hold the beer until the shot was consumed, then you could have the beer.

                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                So, no John Lee Hooker style 1 scotch 1 bourbon 1 beer all at once.
                                I can settle for a shot of Jamerson's along side a cold Guinness.
                                No Problem!

                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                  I really enjoyed watching and listening as they stumbled around trying to explain the law they are responsible for. Maui is worse there is no infused alcohol allowed. Also at F&W events only hotel employees can serve so you get people who hand out towels by day at the pool pouring wine which means over pours and not a lot of knowledge about what they are serving.

                              2. re: edible complex


                                I will look forward to that. Am sorry that the FOH did not step up and get things perfect. On our trip, that was not even a consideration, and only one dish did not pass muster. All else - FOH/BOH was great!


                    2. Aloha..
                      We'll be there the same time..
                      Here is a link for the great happy hours of food and drink in Waikiki..


                      1 Reply
                      1. Lots of good chow advice here, thanks: Sun Set locations for libations, or maybe a sit down on the sandy beach? Which beach? What Bar?